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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Breathing Circle
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Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
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Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
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A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Yesterday — December 20, 2014 (permalink)

"Midwinter comes tomorrow," from Songs of Three Centuries by John Greenleaf Whittier, 1877.

December 16, 2014 (permalink)

"Winter-Time": an illustration from The Jorrocks Edition by Facey Romford (1892).

December 9, 2014 (permalink)

From Voyage aux Pyrénées by Hippolyte Adolphe Taine and illustrated by Gustave Doré, 1860.

December 8, 2014 (permalink)

"And the quiet lake shall feel / The torpid touch of his glazing breath, and ring to the skater's heel."  From Winter Pictures by Poet and Artist, engraved by Edward Whymper, 1881.

November 25, 2014 (permalink)

"Somber, gloomy, desolate without," from The White Cat by Ernest Warren, 1882.

November 19, 2014 (permalink)

"Braving the elements," from Sunshine and Storm in the East by Annie Brassey, 1881.

November 18, 2014 (permalink)

"That cloud foreshoweth a bloody dukkeripen," from Lavengro; The Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest by George Henry Borrow, 1896.

November 17, 2014 (permalink)

From True as Steel by Jules Marie Alfred Girardin, 1884.

November 15, 2014 (permalink)

From Palestine, Past and Present by Henry Stafford Osborn, 1859.

November 13, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from La Vie a Montmartre by Georges Montogueil (1899).

November 3, 2014 (permalink)

The caption reads, "The desolate, black day touched him no more than a summer shadow touches a sunlit sea, for his whole soul was afire with the golden blaze of his song."  From Munsey's Magazine (1920).

October 27, 2014 (permalink)

"He goes and comes with silent feet.  He sobs amid the rain."  From Red Apple and Silver Bells by Hamish Hendry and illustrated by Alice B. Woodward, 1899.

October 23, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The Child's Book of Poetry (1886).

October 22, 2014 (permalink)

"The Sick Wind": an illustration from Red Apple and Silver Bells by Hamish Hendry (1899).

October 18, 2014 (permalink)

From Sketch-Book of the North by George Eyre Todd, 1896.

October 17, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The Experiences of a Forty Niner During Thirty Four Years Residence in California and Australia by Charles Ferguson (1888).  The caption reads: "A race with a shower."

An illustration from Cornhill Magazine (1866).

October 13, 2014 (permalink)

"It is nearly eleven o'clock, and the cold thin rain, which has been drizzling so long, is beginning to pour down in good earnest."  From The Works of Charles Dickens, Household Edition.

October 10, 2014 (permalink)

"Soon there was a regular storm," from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain.

October 8, 2014 (permalink)

"Sweet day, so calm, so cool, so bright," from The Pyrenees by Henry George Blackburn, 1867.

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