CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
This May Surprise You

March 5, 2018 (permalink)

Tears in the fabric of space, described in Cosmopolitan, 1912.  "Many of the nebulous objects recently photographed have strange black holes, or gaps, in them, as distinct as drops or splashes of ink.  Some of them look like luminous veils, gemmed with thousands of stellar points, and torn in places as if the stars had lacerated them."
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The unknown is uncentered.  (Note how the word "the" is an entire letter's width too far to the right.)  From The Unknown by Francis Lathom, 1826.
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March 3, 2018 (permalink)

"Cameras are much too well behaved."  From Popular Mechanics, 1933.
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March 2, 2018 (permalink)

You've heard of the elephant in the room, but did you know he wears spectascles?  From Le Rire, 1894.
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March 1, 2018 (permalink)

You've heard conflicting stories about who discovered America, but in fact it was a young rooster called Happy-Go-Lucky.  From St. Nicholas, 1879.
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February 25, 2018 (permalink)

Cats aren't staring into space -- they're looking at themselves with the mirrors in their eyes.  The headline reads, "Mirrors in cat's eyes cause them to shine at night."  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
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February 22, 2018 (permalink)

"Human hands on clock tell the exact time."  From Popular Mechanics, 1931.
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February 20, 2018 (permalink)

"What may seem surprising at first is that, whilst it appears to, the surface of the Sun is not actually burning at all!  Neither is it boiling nor bubbling as it appears to in high-resolution views." —Philip Pugh, Observing the Sun with CoronadoTM Telescopes.
On the rise: my collection of vintage sun imagery


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Here's confirmation that "too far east is west," and vice versa.  "'Wild West' canyons found off New England coast."  From Popular Mechanics, 1932.
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February 19, 2018 (permalink)

Some of the very best photographs of wild animals are selfies.  "Jackal takes own picture."  From Popular Mechanics, 1931.
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February 18, 2018 (permalink)

This is true of the Grim Reaper.  "Power scythe run by motor operated by one man."  From Popular Mechanics, 1931.
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February 15, 2018 (permalink)

When crossing, it is polite to hold the grim reaper's scythe.  From Kladderadatsch, 1923.
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February 12, 2018 (permalink)

Gargoyles send kisses to your family.  From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1910.
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Emerson once said that books are noble, and here's proof.  By Emma Jane Worboise, 1871.
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February 11, 2018 (permalink)

Even though "Pacific ocean not big enough to hold the moon," Moon River is just right.  The headline is from Popular Mechanics, 1932.
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February 10, 2018 (permalink)

Before the invention of e-books, this is how it was.  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
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February 9, 2018 (permalink)

"The surprising truth is that we all reach a saturation point when it comes to money."
—Stephen Goldbart & Joan DiFuria, Affluence Intelligence
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February 8, 2018 (permalink)

"Too much to eat is main reason you get fat."  From Popular Mechanics, 1934.
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February 7, 2018 (permalink)

"Din of modern city worse than lion's roar."  From Popular Mechanics, 1931.
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February 4, 2018 (permalink)

All those bugs in Florida -- they're tourists, too.  From The Judge, 1913.
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Original Content Copyright © 2018 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.