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.
March 31, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"We have found a strange foot-print on the shores of the unknown.  We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin.  At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the foot-print.  And Lo!  It is our own."
—Arthur Eddington, qtd. in Cosmic Trigger, Vol. 1 by Robert Anton Wilson


Footprints in the Portmeirion estuary.  Photo dedicated to Gordon Meyer, author of Las Vegas: Underfoot.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Prof. Oddfellow.  See larger version here.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

March 30, 2010

Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
I dreamed someone told my fortune: the Tarot Hanged Man, inverted.


> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .


It's Really Happening (permalink)
The foreground photo is from the brilliantly witty series Arrested Development.  The cats in the background floated over from Cute Overload.

> read more from It's Really Happening . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Someone ought to write a book called Your Mission Is Too Small or Your Church Is Too Small."
Robert Bacher & Michael Cooper-White, Church Administration, 2007, p. 229.

---

Dan notes that someone has written such a book.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

March 29, 2010

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


For Geof Huth.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: Yoga or Pilates?

Clue:  This is according to an artist

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

Citation:  Pam Rubert, “Pamdora’s Box,” Pamdora.com, (Jan. 30, 2005)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

March 28, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
Thanks to Beth Ritter-Guth for praising our Strange and Unusual References site for offering facts not found on any other site, for offering free e-books, and for aiming to teach as well as to entertain.  See her full discussion here.

Thanks to Lists Galore for pointing to our friend Jonathan's wacky birthday form.
> read more from The Right Word . . .

March 27, 2010

It's Really Happening (permalink)
This collage is in honor of the new cosmological model that the universe endlessly expands and contracts without any Big Bangs.  The foreground photo is from the blissfully funny series Arrested Development.


> read more from It's Really Happening . . .


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 . . .

March 26, 2010

Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“I am watching your ship through my uncle’s telescope.” —Alexander Kent


 
* 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:

"I just want you to say you love me." —Neil Simon, Laughter on the 23rd Floor
> read more from On One Condition . . .

March 25, 2010

Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Looking up the tower of the camera obscura at Portmeirion, Wales.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

March 24, 2010

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


Inspired by Jeff Hawkins, who writes:

Joy! The sound of rising spores is equaled only by their half-baked aroma, a scrumptious cacophony no matter how you slice it. I, too, hear the yum!
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Who is funnier: Jackie Gleason or Art Carney?

Clue:  This is according to musican/comedian Steve Allen.

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

Citation:  Steve Allen, The Funny Men (1956), p. 154.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

March 23, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
Thanks to Vani Hegde for blogging her favorite one-letter words from our dictionary!
> read more from The Right Word . . .


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 . . .

March 22, 2010

Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)

* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"There are beautiful almshouses all over England, and someone ought to write a book describing them."
E. V. Lucas, London Lavender, 1912, p. 236.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

March 21, 2010

It's Really Happening (permalink)
This collage is in honor of the world's only immortal animal—a jellyfish that regenerates its entire body over and over.  The foreground photo is from the astonishingly hilarious series Arrested Development.


> read more from It's Really Happening . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
"Our only certainty is that the new world will be something different from what we were used to."
—Carl Jung, qtd. in Carl Jung and Soul Psychology


Photo by CalamityJon.
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

March 20, 2010

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 . . .


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 . . .

March 19, 2010

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 . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
True or False: There is only one thing funnier than watching drunk people dig around in sand for fabulous prizes.

Clue:  This is according to The Recovering Sorority Girls’ Guide to a Year’s Worth of Perfect Parties

Answer:  False.  “Trust us—nothing is funnier than watching drunk people dig around in sand for fabulous prizes.”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Deandra Brooks, The Recovering Sorority Girls’ Guide to a Year’s Worth of Perfect Parties (2005), p. 126.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

March 18, 2010

Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Portmeirion estuary, Wales.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

March 17, 2010

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 . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Somebody ought to write a book and call it Saints Inveterate."
Francis Lynde, The Quickening, 1906, p. 389.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

March 16, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

Photo by Earl-What I Saw 2.0.
Perhaps Andy Warhol Was Wrong, For a Fascinating Variety of Reasons

[Updated with new wrongness!]

Andy Warhol
famously predicted that in the future, everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes.  Now that the future is already here, there are those who beg to differ with Andy, and for a fascinating variety of reasons!

In his novel Rant (2007), Chuck Palahniuk suggests that "Andy Warhol was wrong.  In the future, people won't be famous for fifteen minutes.  No, in the future, everyone will sit next to someone famous for at least fifteen minutes."

Movie critic Frank Schneck posits that the word should be film, not fame: "Andy Warhol was wrong.  It's not just that everyone is going to have 15 minutes of fame.  In the not-so-distant future, every person on the planet is going to have a film made about him or her" (Hollywood Reporter, 2000).  Others seem to agree, in a roundabout way:

"Andy Warhol was wrong. Today it seems that anyone can parlay their 15 minutes of fame into 15 cable episodes, with an option for a second season."
—"It's Unreal How Easily Reality Shows Pop Up," Rocky Mountain Daily News, July 20, 2002

"Andy Warhol was wrong. Everyone's not going to be famous for 15 minutes; instead, we will all have our own talk shows."
—"Ex-Dancer, Ex-First Son Tries a New Career: Talk Show Host," Buffalo News, Aug. 16, 1991

Then there are those who argue that the 15 minutes are recurring:

"The couple who wrote and performed the theme to the 1970s TV series "Happy Days" are on a media blitz in Colorado Springs this weekend, proving that Andy Warhol was wrong. Not only will everyone in the world get 15 minutes of fame, they'll get another 15 minutes when the nostalgia factor kicks in a couple of decades later." 
—"These Days Are Happy for Couple," The Gazette, March 6, 1997

"Andy Warhol was wrong ... People don't want 15 minutes of fame in their lifetime. They want it every night."
—"Pseudo's Josh Harris," BusinessWeek, Jan. 26, 2000

"Andy Warhol was wrong. With the release of the film, Factory Girl, he and his 'superstars' are about to get another 15 minutes of fame."
—"Straight to the Point," Daily Mail, Sept. 27, 2006

"As it turns out, Andy Warhol was wrong: not everybody will be famous for 15 minutes. But with bad prospects and a good agent, those who once were can now extend the clock thanks to unprecedented TV demands for the vaguely familiar." 
—Vinay Menon, "More Dancing with Quasi-Celebs," Toronto Star, March 19, 2007

Not fame, but Hitler:

"Andy Warhol was wrong. In the future, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes."
—"Originality is the First Casualty of War," Austin American-Statesman, April 1, 1999

"Andy Warhol got it wrong. It's not fame everyone will have in the future; It's a chance to scream at someone else on TV."
—"Clinton Vs. Dole About Ratings, Not Discourse," Witicha Eagle, March 11, 2003

Not fame, but privacy:

"Andy Warhol was wrong. The wild-eyed artist boldly proclaimed that in the future everyone would have 15 minutes of fame.  Warhol's fortune-telling skills were nowhere as visionary as his art. Warhol should have predicted with the explosion of reality television that in the future everyone will have 15 minutes of privacy."
—"One Day, We'll Beg for Privacy," Fresno Bee, Aug. 3, 2000

Not fame, but Colorado citizenship:

"Andy Warhol was wrong. It turned out we were all from Colorado."
—Barry Fagin, "Montel Williams and Me," Independence Institute, Nov. 1, 2000

Fame, yes, but in the past, not in the future:

"Andy Warhol was wrong. Everybody already has been famous––some time last week. It just depends on who’s telling it and who’s listening."
—"The Remembering Game," Depot Town Rag, Sept. 1990

Fame, yes, but not 15 minutes exactly:

"The culture-shock doctor explained that science had discovered that Andy Warhol was wrong about fame; He had the right idea, but his figures were off."
—"The Sting of Cable Backlash," Miami Herald, Oct. 9, 1983

"'Andy Warhol was wrong,' Neal Gabler said. 'He was right when he said everyone will be famous, but wrong about the 15 minutes.'"
—Marjorie Kaufman, "Seeking the Roots of a Celebrity Society," New York Times, Dec. 11, 1994

"Andy Warhol got it wrong by 12 minutes. People have three minutes of fame; long enough to walk down a catwalk and back."
Guardian, July 7, 2002

"Warhol was wrong ... cos he was 10 minutes off; it's really five minutes now."
—"Meat Loaf Criticises Academic 'Laziness,'" TVNZ, March 9, 2010

Fame, yes, but for more like 15 seconds:

"Andy Warhol was wrong. Everyone can be famous these days, all right, but the renown lasts more like 15 seconds, not minutes."
—"Smile! You're Part of a Video Society," Greensboro News and Record, May 20, 1990

"Andy Warhol was wrong when he said that everyone would have 15 minutes of fame; extras can look forward to having only seconds of movie glory."
—"12 Hours' Extra Work for a Brief Moment of Glory," Derby Evening Telegraph, Nov. 9, 2006

"[A cuckoo clock bird speaking:] Andy Warhol was wrong; I only get 15 seconds of fame."
—Mike Peters, "Mother Goose and Grimm," July 27, 2005

"Andy Warhol was wrong. In my case, at least, fame clocked in at only 6:42 minutes, and that was before the final cut."
—Wilborn Hampton Lead, "Confessions of a Soap Opera Extra," New York Times, Dec. 31, 1989

"Andy Warhol was wrong when he said that everyone will enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame. The time frame he referred to might one day be measured in seconds."
—Warren Adler, "The Dividing Line," Aug. 10, 2009

Fame, yes, but for more than 15 minutes:

"Andy Warhol was wrong. You can be famous for a lot longer than 15 minutes, if you're clever enough."
—"Oliver's Brand of Revitalisation," Marketing Week, April 7, 2005

"'We were sure that Andy Warhol was wrong, that it would last more than 15 minutes,' says Hilary Jay.'"
—"Maximal Art and Its Rise from the Ashes," Philadelphia Inquirer, July 25, 1993

"When it comes to the Super Bowl, Andy Warhol was wrong. Its cast of characters has been famous for 25 years, and will be 25 years from now."
—"Simply the Best," Denver Post, Jan. 27, 1991

"Andy Warhol was wrong. Long after the buzzer sounded on Mark Fuhrman's 15 minutes of fame, he just won't go away."
—"Fuhrman Overstaying His Welcome," June 10, 2001

"Andy Warhol was wrong: sometimes you do get more than 15 minutes of fame, even if you're not Greg Louganis."
National Review, Dec. 10, 2004

"Andy Warhol was wrong. Not everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. Many people get more than that. Like Dr. Bernie Dahl."
The Nashua Telegraph, Dec. 3, 2000

"Andy Warhol was wrong. In the Ultimate universe we’ve got more than 15 minutes."
—"Hack Meets Hacker," Aspen Magazine, Midsummer 1996

"Andy Warhol was wrong … you can have 45 minutes of fame, not just 15!"
—"Invitation to Present at the OTM SIG Conference in June 2009," Dec. 22, 2008

"Andy Warhol was wrong in my case; my fifteen minutes of fame have been more like three hours."
Ken Eichele, My Best Day in Golf: Celebrity Stories of the Game They Love, 2003

"Andy Warhol was wrong; I was a hero for at least fifteen hours." 
—Gene GeRue, "Tomato Madness," Dec. 17, 2006

"Andy Warhol was wrong.  People aren't famous for fifteen minutes; they're famous forever."
Arthur Black, Black & White and Read All Over, 2004

Fame, yes, but "in" 15 minutes, not "for" 15 minutes:

"Andy Warhol was wrong, when he predicted that in the future, people would become famous for 15 minutes. This is the future. Now people become famous in 15 minutes. Take Duran Duran."
—Ethlie Ann Vare, "New Echoes of Duran Duran," New York Times, Nov. 24, 1985

Fame, yes, but without measure:

"Andy Warhol was wrong. In the future, everyone will not be famous for 15 minutes. Everyone will just be famous."
—"Cooking Up Celebrity Storm," Boston Globe, Jan. 21, 2000

"Andy Warhol was wrong. No one Is famous for just 15 minutes. These days you get to be famous whenever you feel like it.  Just like everyone else."
—"Now, Everyone is Famous! Who Knew?" Associated Press, July 16, 1999

"'Andy Warhol was wrong,' says Newman, who completed his trek in 1987. 'If I wanted to be boring, I could live on this for the rest of my life."
—"Book Lists Sometime-Dubious Firsts," Dallas Morning News, July 31, 1988

"Andy Warhol was wrong about one thing: His own 'fifteen minutes of fame' have never ended."
—Barnes & Noble, review of Andy Warhol Treasures, 2009

"In the internet age, bad headlines no longer go away and Andy Warhol was wrong about his fifteen minutes of fame. If you are infamous now, you are infamous forever."
—Peter Walsh, "Curtis Warren: the Celebrity Drug Baron," Telegraph, Oct. 7, 2009

The opposite of fame:

"Milwaukee futurist David Zach says Andy Warhol was wrong: We aren't going to get that 15 minutes of fame after all. 'It's just the opposite,' Zach says."
—Tim Nelson, "The Skinny," St. Paul Pioneer Press, Aug. 27, 1998

"I think Andy Warhol got it wrong: in the future, so many people are going to become famous that one day everybody will end up being anonymous for 15 minutes."
—Shepard Fairey, Swindle #8, 2006

"Andy Warhol was wrong. Most of us will never come close to being famous—even for 15 minutes."
—"Stepping into the Spotlight," Wall Street Journal, Nov. 8, 1999

Fifteen, yes, but not minutes:

"Andy Warhol was wrong: not everyone deserves 15 minutes of fame. Some people deserve 160 words of recognition ..."
—"Unsung Heroes," What Magazine, Jan. 1, 2004

"Andy Warhol was wrong: for 15 minutes, everybody gets to be a starting quarterback for The Saints."
—"Tyson Still Has Issues," Atlanta Journal, Oct. 16, 1998

"Andy Warhol was wrong: in the future, everyone won't be famous for 15 minutes, but everyone will have their own Web site."
—"Book Review: The Non-Designer's Web Book," Information Management Journal, July 1, 1999

"Andy Warhol was wrong. We've all had our 15 minutes, now we all want a mini-series!"
—"Boy First Believed On Runaway Balloon Found After Frantic Search," New York Post, Oct. 16, 2009

"Andy Warhol was wrong. Everyone won't just have 15 minutes of fame. One day—soon, I suspect—we all will have our very own talk shows."
—Linda L.S. Schulte, "Word's Worth," Baltimore Sun, Jan. 31, 1996

"In the future, we'll all have 15 minutes of future."
—Nein Quarterly

"In the future, everyone will be offended for 15 years."
—Sean Tejaratchi

Fame, yes, but perhaps 30 minutes:

"There are times in life when you just hope that Andy Warhol was wrong and that a merciful God will grant you a second 15 minutes of fame."
—"Confessions of an Embarrassed Viagra Expert," University Wire, Sept. 24, 1998

Just plain wrong:

"The endless parade of disposable rock bands, special-effects movies, potboiler thriller novels and TV sitcoms makes me think that Andy Warhol was wrong."
—"Longtime Newsweek Art Critic Peter Plagens is Also a Painter," Newsweek, April 25, 2002

"A TV producer played by Joe Mantegna muses that Andy Warhol was wrong about everybody being famous for 15 minutes."
—"Allen's 'Celebrity' Witty, Wicked But Shallow," Wichita Eagle, Dec. 9, 1998

"Andy Warhol was wrong - everyone does NOT have their 15 minutes of fame and the overwhelming majority of You're a Star hopefuls would have told him that."
—"The Fame Game's Just Not Worth It," The Mirror, Aug. 25, 2006

"Andy Warhol was wrong. When you’re a Vanderbilt running back, you’re not famous for 15 minutes."
—Anthony Lane, Nashville City Paper, Nov. 5, 2004

"My main conclusion: Andy Warhol was wrong—we won't all get 15 minutes of fame."
—"Using the Internet to Examine Patterns of Foreign Coverage," Nieman Reports, Sept. 22, 2004

"Warhol was wrong! He neglected to factor in the 15 minutes of one's own alter-egos."
—"Warhol was Wrong," GenderFun.com, May 29, 2009

"Warhol was wrong. The message is clear: we do not want your 15 minutes of fame, you can shove it."
—Alix Sharkey, "Saturday Night: The Techno Ice-Cream Van is on its Way," The Independent, June 26, 1993

---

Stefan writes:
Awesome post on Warhol. I never really liked the guy and his art, but I give credit where credit is due, he was a great coordinator and inspiration for other better artists and musicians. Much like Sex Pistols, I don’t find them good but they did inspire much better bands to get together and create wonderful albums. So I agree he was wrong however he didn’t anticipate the connectivity and subcultural activity we have today which shatters his definition and value of fame. Also nowadays with youtube clips and Jersey Shores fame and infamy seem to be interchangeable. But what I liked about the article was how Warhol’s idea was refuted from different perspectives. Here’s mine: "Warhol was wrong about his theory on the 15 minutes of fame. The time frame is the maximum length of a video you can post on YouTube.” Mine is of course valid for today, just like Warhol’s and those quoted in your post are valid in their own cultural Zeitgeists.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)

In some unseen gorge a stream gurgled; a velvety green butterfly with black and yellow markings danced over white flowers; deep among the blue shadows of the trees a branch broke and leaves dropped heavily into leaves.

—Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

* 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 . . .

March 15, 2010

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 . . .

March 14, 2010

Colorful Allusions (permalink)

Pairs of great woodpeckers larger than crows, with flashing white bills and crimson crests afire in the sun, crossed the river in deep bounding flight, and hurtling flocks of small long- tailed parrots, bright green as new leaves in the morning light. The wild things were shining with spring colors and new sap and finally I was, too. I would sink my teeth into this morning land like a fresh peach.

—Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country, 2008.

* 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 . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which cuisine is funnier: Swedish or Jewish?

Clue:  This is according to comedian Steve Allen

Answer:  Jewish.  “Jewish foods generally are funnier than their Swedish or French equivalents.”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Steve Allen and Jane Wollman, How to Be Funny: Discovering the Comic You (1987), p. 50
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

March 13, 2010

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 . . .

March 12, 2010

Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“Your boat must be a curiosity.” —Susan Warner


 
* 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 . . .


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 . . .

March 11, 2010

Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Grotto Viewpoint at Portmeirion, Wales.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

March 10, 2010

Puzzles and Games (permalink)
Imagine a retail store's Open/Closed sign.  Now imagine that it's printed on only one side.  With just two words and a detachable apostrophe, how can the sign indicate that the store is open or closed for business?

For our answer, click here.
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .


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 . . .

March 9, 2010

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)

Heinrich Füger, "Prometheus Brings Fire to Mankind," c. 1817
"[William Blake's] vision of the infinite in everything is common to East and West; what is distinctly Western, out of the Jews, is the voice of honest indignation against every institution which would deny or demean the infinity within each human soul.  The release of our full human potential—to let the light of Prometheus shine everywhere—is the distinctly Western mystic tradition and does not appear in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, or any Eastern religion."
Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which word is funnier: house or condo?

Clue:  This is according to the book Drawing on the Funny Side of the Brain

Answer:  Condo, as it is “more specific”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Christopher Hart, Drawing on the Funny Side of the Brain (1998), p. 107
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

March 8, 2010

Staring at the Sun (permalink)


Prof. Oddfellow basks in Lloyd Wright's mountaintop memorial to Emanuel Swedenborg in Rancho Palos Verdes.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Someone should write a book on Kant's ethics good enough that it will be required reading."
Christine M. Korsgaard, Creating the Kingdom of Ends, 1996, p. 287.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

March 7, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
You've heard the cliché, "There's no 'I' in 'team.'"  Similarly, there's no "us" in "narcissism."

Speaking of contractions, there's no "big O" in "nymphomania."
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands (permalink)


Gordon Meyer declares: "I think the professor has just solved one of life's great mysteries!"

See also our diary of the last dust bunny in the Netherlands.


> read more from Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands . . .

March 6, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
We're delighted to have our research on the letter X referenced in Marcel Danesi's X-Rated!: The Power of Mythic Symbolism in Popular Culture.



> read more from The Right Word . . .


Staring at the Sun (permalink)


The estuary at Portmeirion, Wales.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .

March 5, 2010

Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)


“Your ship will come in, and then you’ll have temps of your own.” —Merle Kessler

 
* 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 . . .


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 . . .


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 . . .

March 4, 2010

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)

King Ludwig II of Bavaria
In a gross disservice to Bavarian history, it is universally said that King Ludwig II constructed his fairy tale castle Neuschwanstein as an escape from "reality." The castle itself is a colossal refutation to such sloppy—if not willful—misrepresentation. Quite the opposite of being trapped in the past or caught up in a romantic dreamworld, Ludwig was so forward thinking, so revolutionary, that he built a portal to access the very framework of the Bavarian ideal. Emblazoned throughout with murals and architecture depicting key scenes from Bavarian folklore, Neuschwanstein castle constitutes an elaborate "War Room" of mythic proportions. Indeed, Neuschwanstein is evidence that Ludwig attained a state of consciousness that Timothy Leary called the "Neurogenetic Circuit." Robert Anton Wilson explains that the Neurogenetic Circuit:

processes DNA-RNA-brain feedback systems and is "collective" in that it contains and has access to the whole evolutionary "script," past and future. Experience of this circuit is numinous, "mystical," mind-shattering: here dwell the archetypes of Jung's Collective Unconscious—Gods, Goddesses, Demons, Hairy Dwarfs and other personifications of the DNA programs (instincts) that govern us.  [Prometheus Rising, 1983, p. 41]

To properly govern his people, Ludwig positioned himself to draw from the very paradigms of the Bavarian spirit. In other words, he infused his nobility with the high ideals of his country, literally surrounding himself (dome ceilings to floors) with model images of Bavarian enlightenment. Ludwig held a magnifying glass over the Bavarian blueprint, and a ray of sunlight hit the lens to form a hologramatic castle.

Far from having his head in the clouds, Ludwig's feet were firmly planted in his culture. That such a visionary was ultimately judged "mad" by his political enemies comes as no surprise. That Neuschwanstein has endured as the Eighth Wonder of the World is a testament to Ludwig's genius.


Neuschwanstein Castle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: Mark Twain or any of his books?

Clue:  This is according to a Mark Twain biographer

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

Citation:  Albert Bigelow Paine, Mark Twain: A Biography (1912), p. 661.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

March 3, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
From our Magic Words outpost at Blogger:

We just discovered (with help from Gordon) that a Mac app called Presto contains a passage from our Magic Words: A Dictionary. Presto is a utility for quickly pasting in commonly used snippets of text, and the magic word "presto" is the default example. So when one types "presto" into any application, a passage from our dictionary appears, like magic!


> read more from The Right Word . . .


Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)

Photo by meredith.
The Patron Saint of Towels

Motto: "Holy absorption of the wring of truth."
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .


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

• 7-letter words: 13
• 8-letter words: 4
• 9-letter words: 2

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 . . .

March 2, 2010

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

From our Magic Words outpost at Blogger:


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 . . .


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

"you tell me all about it." —R. H. Stoddard, "The Little Monk," 1864
> read more from On One Condition . . .

March 1, 2010

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Carly Simon's song "You're So Vain" doesn't identify its subject, yet actor Warren Beatty has asserted that it's about him.  Beatty's assertion begs a question: if anyone takes "You're So Vain" personally, is he or she technically correct?

The answer is Yes!  According to Hugh Everett's "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics, every possible quantum vanity is realized.  In the many-branched tree of parallel universes, each and every vain human being is the true subject of Carly Simon's song.

---


This is very comforting! Imagine being vain enough to think YSV was about you, but finding out it wasn't. The very world might cease to revolve around one.

Technical question: Does Everett's theory still hold for values of "a" (a = age of vain individual) that are < Y (Y = years elapsed since song was written)? In other words, was Simon farsighted enough to build infinite references to unborn vain people into her song? 

Similarly, I note the problematics around individuals who were alive when the song was written but not yet vain, their vanity only to develop later on. In their case, I hypothesize a "critical vanity threshold," or CVT--the discrete moment at which someone's vanity has matured to the point where Simon's song begins to refer to him or her.
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .


Peace Symbols to Color (permalink)
Peace, too, is a living thing and like all life it must wax and wane, accommodate, withstand trials, and undergo changes.
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game


The Guatemalan Rose symbol of peace.
> read more from Peace Symbols to Color . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"There ought to be a book to settle arguments about records in pubs."
Proceedings of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 1929, p. 282.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .



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Original Content Copyright © 2014 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.