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 OneLetterWords.com.
This illustration of a coffee octopus (or, er, quintopus?) is from a 1901 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. The caption reads: "School teacher. Pulled down hill."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost
sense of immediacy. We follow the founder of the Theater of
Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then
flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free. The images
we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]