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.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Yesterday — September 18, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Marvels Over Our Heads by Georg Hartwig (1888).  The caption reads: "Cave in dream lead mine, near Wirksworth, Derbyshire."


[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"Here we see it in this picture.  It looked as if the waves were angry."  From Chambers's New Geographical Readers, 1891.


   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .

September 17, 2014

Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
From The Innocents Abroad by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1869.


> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .


Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
"The snoring match," from Backsheesh by Thomas Wallace Knox, 1875.


> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Baby's Museum by Uncle Charlie, 1882.


[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Stanley in Afrika's Donkere Wildernissen by Henry Morten Stanley (1890).


[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Legal and Other Lyrics by George Outram (1887).  The caption reads: "Oh! what a deevil, &c."


[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"That sail will never put you under the water again."  Or, to quote Jeremiah 21:10, "And he shall burn it with fire."

From Gryll Grange by Thomas Love Peacock, 1896.


   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .

September 16, 2014

This May Surprise You (permalink)
Here's how to imbue majesty into something as ordinary as a library stamp.  (We find this majestic library stamp in the Commercial Intelligence Journal, 1921.)


> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Puzzles and Games (permalink)
Gary Barwin reports:

Aaron Tucker has created this amazing site, Chessbard which translates chess games into poetry. You can play classic games, play a game against a chessbot, or modify games. The site then 'translates' the game into poems: both a White poem and a Black poem. Aaron has also written an essay about the project and its development.

I was delighted to be able to contribute to the site. I created some poems (by modifying a classic game) and wrote a discussion about what I did and about chess in general. Read it here.

Really fascinating.

And while you're thinking about chess, definitely check out the very lovely, Calvino-Chess Dictionary by Craig Conley. You can buy the book or read it online. I'd recommend the book!


> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .



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