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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June 16, 2016 (permalink)

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April 23, 2016 (permalink)

Thanks to the wildlife recorders at the National BioBlitz Network for recommending our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns By Sound as "vital reading" for anyone "interested in auditory detection of unicorns."  (Photo courtesy of Katherine Davis.)
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March 13, 2016 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:
You've heard the controversy of the New York Times outing "Gay Twitter" (and how Gay Twitter "erupted" in response).  Here's how Gay Twitter (actually a parade float pulled by two unicorns) erupts.
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February 3, 2016 (permalink)

From Two Little Savages by Ernest Thompson Seton, 1922.  This should be of interest: A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.

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December 21, 2015 (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1892.  This should be of interest: A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.
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August 19, 2015 (permalink)

The latest review of our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound is a must-read, even if the critic (who didn't buy the book and who self-identifies as mentally ill) rated the book with a single star.  We've identified that single star as the one Sappho called "the fairest of all the stars":
I have rented this book from my local library, and attempted to read it. I was expecting some semblance of argument for the reality of Unicorns as a species, or at the very least salient information on Unicorns. Instead, it should be said that this book is a work of esoterica, and could be classified alongside books of spells or psychic channeling. The entire book consists of instructions of various places and ways to sit down in the quiet of nature, and listen. According to the author, the reader is supposed to be listening for singing unicorns, anyone availed of folkloric or mythological knowledge, will find a distinct absence of singing unicorns from the works of Pliny, the Bible, and other books considered primary sources on unicorns (unless one counts the Shadavar, which undoubtedly sings, but whose nature as a true unicorn is tenuous). I'll give you an example of my own, one night in bed, I was convinced that my tinnitus was actually the result of me hearing radio waves, needless to say I was actually mentally ill at the time. I am not accusing the author of being crazy, but I will willingly accuse him of being very separated from skepticism and reality. If you obey this book, you would be sitting out in nature meditating, which is fine, but I doubt you will hear any singing unicorns unless you mistakenly convince yourself that you are hearing them. What is wrong with communing with nature via meditation, to simply experience nature and commune with it? You need no new age or esoteric beliefs to do THAT, in fact, even Atheists often admit a reverence for nature. In the words of Carl Sagan, the garden is just as wonderful, even if it does not have fairies at the bottom of it.
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July 7, 2015 (permalink)

Over the past four years, British recording artist Benjamin Berry (of Fear of Tigers fame) has been working on a musical companion to our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.  As we simply can't wait for that release, we've been recording some tracks of our own, in conjunction with voice artists Jonathan Caws-Elwitt, Hilary Caws-Elwitt, Robert Parker, and Karen Kahler.  We've even worked in some fantastical unicorn facts not previously revealed in the field guide.  Our first recordings are available for free listening over at Soundcloud.  Remember that for every heart icon you click, a baby unicorn takes its first steps.

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April 28, 2015 (permalink)

You may recall our 5-minute canoe journey on a frozen lake in search of unicorn sounds, but we just added subtitles to the video (four years late, but who's counting?).  Be sure to click on YouTube's "Subtitles/CC" button, because the audio is often somewhat murky due to environmental sounds as well as mumbling:

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April 14, 2015 (permalink)

From La Morale Merveilleuse by P. Christian, 1844.  This should be of interest: A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.
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March 10, 2015 (permalink)

Here are some vintage unicorn aficionados rom Notes, Critical, Illustrative, and Practical, on the Book of Job by Albert Barnes, 1849.  This should be of interest: A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.
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January 21, 2015 (permalink)

This unicorn in a silent forest appears in Das Deutsche Volkstum by Hans Heinrich Joseph Meyer, 1899.  This should be of interest: A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.
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January 13, 2015 (permalink)

From The Middle Kingdom by Samuel Wells Williams, 1883.  This should be of interest: A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.

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October 17, 2014 (permalink)

From A Book of Scotish Pasquils, edited by James Maidment, 1868.  This should be of interest: A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.
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May 25, 2014 (permalink)

Animals drawn from memory (apparently), from Bibliophile (1908).  The caption reads: "Hec animalia sunt veraciter depicta sicut vidimus in terra sancta."
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April 15, 2014 (permalink)

Unicorn Sonnet, by Gary Barwin

I send you this email. I am no unicorn. You ask the number of my horns. A hundred? A thousand? Perhaps they are uncountable, considering body surface area and thickness. Needle-like, perhaps they mirror flesh in slivers, a silver aura of pixels or data points, a fiber optic network of breath or light.  Perhaps they are beams sent from the cemeteries of distant stars, or broad as trees, root you to the ground while reaching toward a rhizomatic sun. 

I reply: No, I have no horn. Unscrewed from my forehead, I keep it in my desk at work, my mother, father, sister, son. Springtime a shopping cart or unicorn, moving air and light in its chrome matrix. Soft familiar music from everywhere, winter, its white pelt & warm skin now also in a desk. I am no unicorn, but send this email. I am a spammer of friends and of feelings that bud like sticky leaves now unfolding.

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February 3, 2014 (permalink)

Michael Red.
We're overdue to mention the tribute song to our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns By Sound, by Michael Red, who creates esoteric soundscapes for art gallery openings and low-speed chases.  Here's the track over at Amazon.  Here it is over at SoundCloud, and here it is at YouTube.

Meanwhile, thanks to Ben Denison for proclaiming the unicorn guide as "One of my favourite books."
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September 14, 2013 (permalink)

To paraphrase José Ortega Y Gasset, when we hear a unicorn, it is the unicorn that is present and evident, not our hearing it.  We do not hear our hearing when we are listening.  In order to realize that there is such a thing as our hearing, we have to stop listening and remember that a moment ago we were hearing.  We hear our hearing when we are outside it, when it is not immediate to us, when the reality with which it had to do -- hearing the unicorn -- is reality no longer, but rather we are in another reality which we call 'remembering a past event': recalling that we heard a unicorn.  To those who think that unicorns are not real, we reply that what we think is never reality; a thought doesn't and can't think itself -- a thought, far from being fundamental reality, is no more than an invention -- something hypothetical or theoretical.  To truly know unicorns, it is necessary to subtract all of that which has been thought, to realize that the reality of unicorns is always different from that which is thought.  In a nutshell, the pre-intellectual executive act consists in the coexistence of oneself with unicorns.

Big-eared unicorn gargoyle photo courtesy of Wolfgang Schubert.
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September 7, 2013 (permalink)

From our former outpost at Twitter:

"It’s as if we believe gravity is real & unicorns are not. ... How damaged our belief systems are."
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September 4, 2013 (permalink)

If we had to choose but one shop to carry our whimsical field guide to identifying unicorns by sound, it would be Castle in the Air in Berkeley, California.  Imagine our delight to hear that our book is back in stock there, and that folks have been "pawing through it, gleaning its wisdom."  [Thanks, Clint!]

Speaking of castles in the air, we spotted the immaterial tower below within the world of Google Maps.  This castle "exists" in the town of Warwick, England.  But get this: we spent so much quality time bi-locating to England that Google defaulted our browser to the U.K. version.  No kidding: we're automatically redirected to, even when we explicitly type ""  Can't make this stuff up.

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August 24, 2013 (permalink)

Followers of our unicorn research might be intrigued by our latest collaboration with the living legend of magic and mentalism, Kenton Knepper.  We developed a novel system for determining how one's personality type aligns with nine historical unicorns.  We also include another world exclusive: a system for identifying one's totem mythological hybrid beastie.  Secret symbolism, shamanism, mythology and psychology — it's all part of what we call Myth Logic Readings.

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