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, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, 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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This May Surprise You

August 8, 2019 (permalink)

We can now confirm that the following is very literally true:
"The writer of a dictionary rises every morning like the sun to move past some little star in his zodiac; a new letter is to him a new year's festival, the conclusion of the old one a harvest-home; and, since after each capital letter the whole alphabet follows successively, the author on his paper may perhaps frequently celebrate on one and the same day a Sunday, a Lady-day, and a Crispin's holiday." —Jean Paul Richter, Levana
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August 7, 2019 (permalink)

Not science fiction -- "Huge machine sits and waits in mid-campus."  From the Florida Flambeau, 1959.
#ominous #vintage headline #machine
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August 6, 2019 (permalink)

"Stepford Wives unrealistic."  From the Kansas State Collegian, 1975.
#vintage headline #stepford wives #unrealistic
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August 4, 2019 (permalink)

"Unknown man is 'unknown.'"  From the Florida Flambeau, 1959.
#unknown #vintage headline
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August 3, 2019 (permalink)

How volcanoes form.  From The Great Sea Horse by Isabel Anderson, 1909.
#vintage illustration #giant #volcano #deity #god
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August 2, 2019 (permalink)

To fulfill a prophecy, we had to build a legless chair for two in a single evening.
#levitation #chair #furniture #video #floating chair
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July 30, 2019 (permalink)

It wasn't until 1989 that reality for women was finally uncovered.  From Bay Area Reporter, 1989.
#reality #weird headline
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July 29, 2019 (permalink)

It wasn't merely a prop in that old Bewitched episode in which Darrin had to be fluent in Spanish within five minutes.  It's actually a book: Fluency in 5 Minutes.
#book cover #foreign languages #fluency #language learning
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The Daily Universe, 1960, says in no uncertain terms that you were hurrying home for a turkey dinner and killed someone.  Fake news!
#car wreck #vintage newspaper #car crash #fake news #car accident #homocide
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July 28, 2019 (permalink)

We'd heard of headline snafus, but here's a quite literal one.  From the Kansas State Collegian, 1971.
#vintage headline #snafu
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July 26, 2019 (permalink)

"Dead still alive and kicking."  From the Kansas State Collegian, 1975.
#life after death #dead #undead #vintage headline
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"Physicist turns gold into lead." From George Washington University's Hatchet, 1987.
#gold #physics #vintage headline #big science #vintage news #lead
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July 24, 2019 (permalink)

"Opinions.  Women also human": a headline from the Kansas State Collegian, 1975.
#sexism #vintage headline #women #opinions
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July 23, 2019 (permalink)

You know that there were, famously, two actors who played Darrin Stephens in the classic series Bewitched.  But in 14 episodes, the role was handled by neither Dick York nor Dick Sargent.  Who was this virtually unknown third Darrin?  (Hint: it was neither of their stunt doubles, nor is it an "Alan Smithee" who disavowed being associated with the series.)  The answer is actually difficult to talk about, because in 14 episodes the character of Darrin was played by a non-entity: not merely an invisible man, but an anti-person, if you will a Ne'er N. Stephens.  Though spoken to on the telephone, and performing his advertising job either at the office or out of town, Mr. Nobody played Darrin.  The key issue is that the character still figured into these plots — his presence and importance was never ignored.  Darrin existed in those 14 episodes, though played by a no-name, a zero.
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July 22, 2019 (permalink)

We applaud the cliffhanger at the bottom of the first column.  Yet both headlines are, typical of the press, inaccurate.  There's no near-riot, and the weird mystery is not actually solved (see next to last paragraph).  Best detail: the location is spooky sounding: "Gimghoul Road."  From Daily Tar Heel, 1939.
#ghost #vintage headline #weird news
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Timeless advice: "solve your problems ealry."  From The Etownian, 1954.
#vintage headline #advice #problems
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July 21, 2019 (permalink)

The reason that the film Riding in Cars with Boys didn't debut until 2001 is that it was previously barred.  The headline reads, "Freshmen barred from auto rides with frat men."  From Daily Tar Heel, 1939.
#vintage headline
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July 19, 2019 (permalink)

"Boogieman is alive and real": a headline from the Kansas State Collegian, 1975.
#monster #vintage headline #boogieman
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July 18, 2019 (permalink)

Though you may very well associate New York with "the Big Apple" and George with peaches, in fact it's the other way around.  It's a common mistake!  From Piedmont's 1929 yearbook.
#vintage photo #vintage yearbook #giant apple #apple #fruit #big apple #george
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July 17, 2019 (permalink)

Ghosts bring their own welcome mat.  From The Link, 1948.
#vintage illustration #ghost #welcome mat
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