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.
December 31, 2009

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


On One Condition (permalink)
Yes, you may . . . on one condition:

"you must tell no one." —John Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, 2001
> read more from On One Condition . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .

December 30, 2009

Not Rocket Science (permalink)
New Scientist reports that

an article in London newspaper The Daily Telegraph about the first images from the European Space Agency's orbiting Planck observatory ended with the paragraph: 'The telescope is looking at the heat left behind by the big bang. It is a job comparable to measuring the body heat of a rabbit sitting on the moon.'

Peter Abrahams is frustrated by the lack of clarity of this statement and wants to see what he calls the lunalapin 'defined more precisely with regard to the size of the rabbit, the colour of rabbit, and whether it is in sunlight or shade.'  Only then is he prepared to decide 'if 1 lunalapin is an accurate measure of the sensitivity of the observatory.'

We are in a position to know the vital statistics of the rabbit on the moon:

Weight: 3 lb (1.4 kg)
Length: 16 in. (41 cm)
Fur Color: Grayish brown on top and white underneath.
Habitat: Both sun and shade.


Gordon Meyer writes:

Yes! I'm sure this is exactly what was meant by "on the moon." Thanks for
the nifty composition.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Ah, the spoon, the perfect spoon!  In its mystic bowl all men are one, and so are all women.  Champagne and shoulders, poetry and long scarves, loftiness, altruism, souls, hard work, conscience, sacrifice, all fuse into perfect oneness in the spoon.  All Whitman’s Songs of Himself and Other People lie in the hollow of a spoon.  If you seek the Infinite and the Nirvana, look not to death nor the after-life, nor yet to pure abstraction: but into the hollow spoon.”
D. H. Lawrence, Mr Noon


> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From the inimitable Tom Weller, author of the classic Science Made Stupid, comes this "minim" (the perfect answer to the maxim):


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .

December 29, 2009

The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
In the film Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, which is funnier: the shape of Hulot’s car, or the noise the car makes?

Clue:  This is according to a film critic.

Answer:  the noise.  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Jay Leyda, Voices of Film Experience: 1894 to the Present (1977), p. 455.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

December 28, 2009

Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Lens flare over Splash Mt., Disneyland, California.  See larger size here.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Inspired by Gary Barwin, who responds:

Falling back into the sky
creating angels from stars
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"There ought to be a book on the Art of Clear Thinking."
Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, 1998, p. 490.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

December 27, 2009

Puzzles and Games :: Letter Grids (permalink)
This puzzle grid contains several big words. Can you find them?

• 7-letter words: 11
• 8-letter words: 3
• 9-letter words: 1

All letters in the word must touch (in any direction), and no square may be reused.

Click to display solutions
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Letter Grids . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .

December 26, 2009

Staring at the Sun (permalink)
A new booklet by Prof. Oddfellow promises a mystic vision in one minute.  (Staring at the sun isn't required; the effect will work with a light bulb.)


The woodcuts of Renaissance visionaries aren't necessarily beyond one's comprehension -- one simply must meet the visionary halfway.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


Something, Defined (permalink)
"I don't think something something something is very threatening."
Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl
> read more from Something, Defined . . .

December 25, 2009

Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“Your ship will come sailing in—our ship.” —Michael Bliss


 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .


On One Condition (permalink)
Yes, you may . . . on one condition:

"that you will learn chemistry." —Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1863
> read more from On One Condition . . .


Not Rocket Science (permalink)

 
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .

December 24, 2009

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: What's more pedestrian than a painting of a bowl of fruit?

A: A painting of pedestrians.

(Thanks, Mike!)

Jonathan suggests a painting of the backside of a crosswalk signal.
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which are funnier: Chickens or ducks?

Clue:  This is according to comedy expert Peter Bergman

Answer:  Chickens.  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Fred Goodwin, “The Infinite Mind: Humor” (1998), p. 8
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

December 23, 2009

Not Rocket Science (permalink)

From our outpost at Blogger:

Bringing a snowman to life isn't rocket science.  Our whimsical take on the Tarot magician is in honor of home automation expert Gordon Meyer (of Smart Home Hacks fame) whose magic spell for vivifying a snowman appears in Magic Words: A Dictionary.)
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)

The walls were adorned with blue wallpaper, all tattered, it is true, and behind it, in the cracks, cockroaches swarmed in terrible numbers, so that there was an incessant rustling.

—Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, 1990

* Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.
 
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)
Anonymous says:

Tertium quid, said the inner ghost of antiquity.
 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .

December 22, 2009

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .

December 21, 2009

Book of Whispers (permalink)
"He places the tube to his ear and the answer comes."
The Carpet Trade Review, Vol 5, No 11, Nov. 1878


> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Somebody should write a book on the history of history."
Kim Heacox, The Only Kayak, 2006, p. 162.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

December 20, 2009

Puzzles and Games :: Tic Tac Toe Story Generator (permalink)

Art by spacesick.
Here's our translation of the Xs and Os of this book cover, using The X-O-Skeleton Story Generator.  As we don't know the order of play, we read the letters row by row, left to right:

Round kissing sun
Reassurance magnifying, shadowing
Marking the spot of one(ness)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Tic Tac Toe Story Generator . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .

December 19, 2009

Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Professor Oddfellow at the Will Rogers State Park, Pacific Palisades, California.  See larger size here.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Who are funnier in their vices: women or men?

Clue:  This is according to novelist Ernest Hebert

Answer:  Men  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Ernest Hebert, The Old American (2000), p. 255
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

December 18, 2009

Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)

 
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .


Unicorns (permalink)


Unicorns from a Tudor pattern book, c. 1520.  Via peacay.
> read more from Unicorns . . .


Not Rocket Science (permalink)

 
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .

December 17, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Here's one for linguists:

What's an allophone in French? 

An allo-allophone.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .

December 16, 2009

Puzzles and Games :: Film-ictionary (permalink)
We were tickled by this line from a film synopsis:

"The 1994 restoration [of Die Finanzen des Großherzogs] confirms that this is indeed a farce by FW Murnau." 

We've always thought that one should never judge a film's genre without having seen the original negative.  The Murnau bombshell almost beats that time they restored the Sistine Chapel and confirmed that it was all an elaborate self-portrait of Michelangelo.
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Film-ictionary . . .


Ampersands (permalink)


* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .

December 15, 2009

The Right Word (permalink)
Unnecessary Attribution
(of brief, public-domain utterances)

by literary rapscallion Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

In the word of the Immortal Bard, "No."

As the great Ralph Waldo Emerson remarked, a century and a half ago, "Yes."

"What the hell," as Ed Begley, Jr. says at the end of Back to the Future.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, "[That would] be [wonderful]!"

Prof. Oddfellow adds:

In the word of the great statesman and martyr, Abraham Lincoln, "Alas!"

As the legendary Mae West once exclaimed, "Funny!"

In the word of the great Persian poet-astronomer, Omar Khayyam, "Who?"

To quote the eminent Frenchman, Rousseau, "Indeed!"

In the word of the great American slavery abolitionist, Frederick Douglas, "Never."

As the celebrated Dr. Johnson once asked, "Why?"

In the word of the great Italian poet-philosopher Giacomo Leopardi, "Oh!"

Gary Barwin adds:

As God said, ". . ."
> read more from The Right Word . . .


The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"There should be a book about a girl having a pirate adventure."
Brad Strickland & Barbara Strickland, No-Rules Weekend, 2001, p. 37.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

December 14, 2009

Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore (permalink)
Today's question:

Did Tiger Woods fall from grace?*

With "hindpsych," the answer is "yes"!  In our Tarot spread, the center card shows a figure cleaning up a mess.  Note that he is flanked by the ideals of family life (the Ten of Cups) and prosperity (the King of Pentacles), yet his face is buried as he struggles to pick up the pieces.  Like mocking reflections of golf clubs, the leafing wands in the center card are phallic symbols of potency, suggesting that Tiger Woods is reaping the seeds he has sown.  We can say with confidence that Tiger Woods turned away from the promise of domestic bliss and financial success to multiply his phallic power.  And it's all he can do to handle it.


* Historians must reconstruct the past out of hazy memory.  "Once upon a time" requires "second sight."  The "third eye" of intuition can break the "fourth wall" of conventional perspectives.  Instead of "pleading the fifth," historians can take advantage of the "sixth sense" and be in "seventh heaven."  All with the power of hindpsych, the "eighth wonder of the world."  It has been said that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.  Therein lies the importance of Tarot readings for antiquity.  When we confirm what has already occurred, we break the shackles of the past, freeing ourselves to chart new courses into the future.
> read more from Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore . . .


Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: Seneca’s The Pumpkinification of the Divine Claudius or Byron’s Vision of Judgment?

Clue:  This is according to a scholar of medieval Latin poetry

Answer:  The Pumpkinification of the Divine Claudius  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Helen Waddell, The Wandering Scholars of the Middle Ages (1927), p. xxv. 
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

December 13, 2009

On One Condition (permalink)
Yes, you may . . . on one condition:

"You are to keep your mother's wood-box full all winter long, and do it yourself." —Louisa May Alcott, Little Men

---


Thinks: Oh, joy, a loophole! It was not specified that I must fill the wood-box with wood. This will do nicely for my back issues of Punchinello.
> read more from On One Condition . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .

December 12, 2009

Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
Some Forgotten Saints You Might Want to Call Upon in Your Hour(s) of Need

courtesy of William Keckler

1. Saint Grippius--Patron Saint of Jar Lids So Tight They Drive One to Blasphemy or to Sell One's Immortal Soul

2. Saint Orapurulentia--Patron Saint of Tongue Piercings Which Get Infected and Do Not Respond to Amoxicillin or Second or Third Line Antibiotics

3. Saint Blepharius--Patron Saint of Annoying But Probably Harmless Eyelid Twitches

4. Saint Prophylactscissus ("Father Rough Plow")--Patron Saint of Broken Condoms (better offer a Novena!)

5. Saint Uhmm--Patron Saint of Awkward Silences

6. Saint Papyrmnesia--Patron Saint of Forgotten or Lost Receipts

7. Saint Hydromnesia of Antigua--Patron Saint of Those Who Forget to Flush (especially before the arrival of company)

8. Saint Pousseriana--Patron Saint and Protectress of Dust Bunnies

9. Saint Orthoplastia--Patron Saint of Plastic Surgery Gone Awry

10. Saint Pseudomirthia--Patron Saint of Those Who Must Fake Laughter at the Unfunny Humor of Bosses, Spouses, etc. (She will help loyal supplicants conjure a suitably "believable" fake titter).
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)
"As I stared at the sun, it no longer shone brightly but became dark, as black as a piece of black cloth."
A Navajo Legacy: The Life and Teachings of John Holiday


Photo by quapan.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

December 11, 2009

Not Rocket Science (permalink)

 
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Someone ought to write a book on how to cope with a bored genius child."
Jane Jennings, Why Joy?, 1978, p. 49.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

December 10, 2009

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Inspired by Jeff of Omegaword, who once woke up on the wrong side of zero.

---

Jeff writes:

Ha! I've always suspected the decimal point, and now, at last, comes theproof.

Thank you!!
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
"Is the real secret of power that when it seems greatest, it is dying?"
—D. Lamar Jacks, "Newgrange"
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .

December 9, 2009

Strange Dreams (permalink)
"In dreams, I use my hands to propel myself through the dense atmosphere. I am heavy; I am unable to move quickly in the viscosity of the place. I pull myself forward with my fingertips, but not along the ground. A tapestry of woven strands lies below me and stretches out in front. This is how I move.

"In dreams, I negotiate a labyrinth. My mazes are open fields and dark interior spaces. They are inhabited, but no one is like me. They are obstacles and distractions, and I move past them on my way to freedom.

"In dreams, I don't remember the dull slumber of my waking hours."

—Jeff, Omegaword
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
What is funnier than the innocent bystander who gets a cream pie in his face, slips on a banana peel, and lands in a garbage truck?

Clue:  This is according to a legal expert

Answer:  Nothing  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Judith Nisse Shklar, The Faces of Injustice (1990), p. 36.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

December 8, 2009

Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)

Photo by Erik.  See full size here.
"Slouched against a wall and rolling his eyes like the patron saint of boredom."
Chris Fuhrman, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .


The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
> read more from The 40 Most Meaningful Things . . .

December 7, 2009

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Someone ought to write a book on England's Golden Ages."
Maurice Eli Goldberg, 100,000 Years of Art, 1930, p. 254.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

December 6, 2009

Unicorns (permalink)
Christopher Williams shares this unicorn-related word:

Eburnean
-adjective

a.) Made of or like ivory.*

b.) Ivory-colored.

[Origin: From Latin eburneus meaning "ivory." ]

*The horn of the unicorn, though typically considered to be eburnean (probably due to its association in the Middle Ages with the tusk of the narwhal), was originally described as red, white, and black by Ctesias (the origin of which most likely lies in its significance as an ancient calender symbol).

---

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt quips:

Q. What's black and white and red all over?

U. My horn!

---

Gary Barwin exclaims:

Thanks for eburnean!

"the single horn of the exclamation mark, the shadow of a unicorn surmounted by its long eburnean shadow, a distant comet and its swart trail."
> read more from Unicorns . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
> read more from Annotated Ellipses . . .

December 5, 2009

Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Will Rogers State Park, Pacific Palisades, California.  See larger size here.

---

Silesius of Rhodes writes:

i hear michael hutchence singing. i'm melting in the sun. this is pretty. sundogs are pretty.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


* The most profound secrets lie not wholly in knowledge, said the poet.  They lurk invisible in that vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident as the lightning—the seeker's soul.  Solitary digging for facts can reward one with great discoveries, but true secrets are not discovered—they are shared, passed on in confidence from one to another.  The genuine seeker listens attentively.

No secret can be transcribed, save in code, lest it—by definition—cease to be.  This Book of Whispers collects and encodes more than one hundred of humankind's most cherished secrets.  To be privy to the topics alone is a supreme achievement, as each contains and nurtures the seed of its hidden truth.  As possessor and thereby guardian of this knowledge, may you summon the courage to honor its secrets and to bequeath it to one worthy.
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December 4, 2009

Not Rocket Science (permalink)

 
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
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Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which age is funnier: 39 or 40?

Clue:  This is according to comic Jack Benny

Answer:  39.  “The age jokes ... didn’t start until he was 55, and a nurse in a sketch asked him his age; he paused and said 36.  It got a big laugh, so he remained 36 for the rest of the season.  The following year, he was 37; in the next, 38.  He decided to freeze at 39, because it’s a funnier number than 40.”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Garry Giddins, Natural Selection (2006), p. 33
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
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December 3, 2009

Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore (permalink)
Today's subject: the passing of Michael Jackson.

To experience serenity (10 of Cups), one must quest uncharted areas (3 of Wands) and open to the unknown (High Priestess).  What is left in one's wake: love.


* Historians must reconstruct the past out of hazy memory.  "Once upon a time" requires "second sight."  The "third eye" of intuition can break the "fourth wall" of conventional perspectives.  Instead of "pleading the fifth," historians can take advantage of the "sixth sense" and be in "seventh heaven."  All with the power of hindpsych, the "eighth wonder of the world."  It has been said that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.  Therein lies the importance of Tarot readings for antiquity.  When we confirm what has already occurred, we break the shackles of the past, freeing ourselves to chart new courses into the future.
> read more from Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore . . .


Annotated Ellipses (permalink)

 
* Ellipses don’t merely omit superfluous words or mark pauses.  Far from it!  In an astonishing number of cases, the ellipses illustrate a narrative, inviting the reader to “connect the dots.”  Learn more about Annotated Ellipses at Amazon.com.
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December 2, 2009

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)

An antidote for people who complain that Christmas has become so commercialized that it is devoid of meaning.
One of our lesser-known works (so carefully circulated that even we haven't mentioned it here on Abecedarian during the book's four years in publication!) is The Collected Lost Meanings of Christmas.  For those who know the meaning of Christmas but can't use it in a sentence, we collected 126 distinct definitions of the holiday, with literary quotations.  Check the description over at Amazon.com for a surprising snippet.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
"How do you carve yourself out of your self?"
The North Dakota Quarterly


Photo by mag3737.
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Colorful Allusions (permalink)

The gauges sizzled with blue light. Long sparks crackled along the wall. Somewhere a red light blinked, like a silent, threatening eye, and a vial behind Joachim's back was filled with a green glow. Then everything calmed down; the spectacle of lights vanished.
—Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain, translated by John E. Woods. Mann is describing the workings of a primitive X-ray machine.

* Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.
 
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December 1, 2009

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
"No two melted snowflakes are different." —Gerald Creede

(Thanks, Gary!)


Photo by Jenny Downing.
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The 40 Most Meaningful Things (permalink)

 
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Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"There ought to be a book that tells the story of interesting companies that have disappeared from the economic landscape, and describes how they lived, how they died, and how they fit into the evolution of capitalism."
Peter Lynch & John Rothchild, Learn to Earn, 1997, p. 190.
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Original Content Copyright © 2014 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.