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.
June 30, 2010

Strange Dreams (permalink)
I dreamed I was being tested on Shakespeare's "Withdrawn," but I couldn't remember if it was a comedy, tragedy, or history.


Myrlin Hermes writes:

Strangely enough, you turned up in my dream last night, emerging from a TARDIS. Perhaps a subconscious reaction to your habit of blogging from the future? At any rate, I'm tickled by the image, which seems somehow fitting, given the way you have quite suddenly and wonderfully dropped into my consciousness.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

WAXING GIBBOUS

The semicolon appears to be more than one-half but not fully illuminated by the reading lamp. The fraction of the semicolon's dot that is illuminated is increasing, like a visibly waxing moon. This semicolon appears before the Full Semicolon and after the First Quarter Semicolon. The amount of the semicolon that we can see will grow larger and larger every day, "like a comet to the eye of the astronomer."


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .

June 29, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ The Veil ~

Portrait from Life of William Plumer.

“From this ghostly veil of vapor the form of a man was evolved.” —Ballou’s Monthly Magazine

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

FRANKENSTEIN by Marry Wollstonecraft Shelley

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking. Suddenly, a shot rings out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


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


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

June 28, 2010

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)

Even a squiggle isn’t immune to the corruption inherent in transliteration.  Here's our pictorial study of how Laurence Sterne's elegant and eloquent squiggle (d)evolved through various editions of Tristram Shandy.  We call it "Lost in Transliteration."
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .


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 . . .

June 27, 2010

Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)

By k2/Ken Keirns.  See original here.
Terry
Patron Saint of the 80s
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: Irish coffee or brandy?

Clue:  This is according to literary humorist Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.

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

Citation:  Personal correspondence, Oct. 15, 2007.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

June 26, 2010

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

CORELLI'S MANDOLIN by Louis de Bernieres

Dr Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse. Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


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 . . .

June 25, 2010

The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine (permalink)
We now formally introduce our repository of ghostly images that were never meant to be. The specters were conjured unwittingly, through a mechanical process of book scanning. Their portraits technically do not exist, except within this context. To explain: in old books, frontispieces were typically protected by a sheet of translucent tissue paper. So thorough is the Google Books scanning process that even this page of tissue paper is scanned. The figure in the plate beneath the tissue—"beyond the veil,” as it were—emerges as from a foggy otherworld. The frontispieces were never meant to be seen this way. Their wraithlike manifestations have been artificially "fixed" in time by the scanning process. In essence, timeless phantasms of dead writers have been captured and bound into a new age.

And so we call this phenomenon "unforeseen art," as it constitutes an aesthetic expression without original intent. Just as artists often credit their inspiration to a Muse, the accidental art herein is in the domain of real ghosts; every author here has departed to the Other Side. We call it "necromancy by proxy," as the scanning machine serves as our "spirit medium" or shaman.

~ The Veil ~

Portrait from Illustrations of the Author of Waverley.

"O You who unveils the hidden, reveal to me the secret of this.” —Simcha Paull Raphael, Jewish Views of the Afterlife

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“So who knows, perhaps your ship will come in with the next shortage.” —Learning Today


 
* 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 . . .

June 24, 2010

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


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

"I'll do all the cooking." —Bill Berkowitz, Local Heroes, 1990
> read more from On One Condition . . .

June 23, 2010

Unicorns (permalink)
New on Kindle: our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.

Also of note: in Robert Altman's Images, a children's book within the film likens the voice of a unicorn to the song of a butterfly: "Straight past his nose zoomed seven enormous butterflies, with eyes like stars and bright blue wings, and each one was humming. And then Hero started to tremble, for it seemed to be him who was humming—not with his usual tuneless hum but a butterfly's humming, just as if one had flown down his throat."


Robert Altman's Images concerns a story about unicorns.
> read more from Unicorns . . .


Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)


The frontispiece to H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

WAXING GIBBOUS (PROGRESSIVE)

"The semicolon corresponds to a rising."

Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .

June 22, 2010

Uncharted Territories (permalink)

75 uncharted territories for off-the-beaten-pathfinders.
Thanks to the Wacky Web Sites blog, who covered our atlas of blank maps:

According to webmaster Craig Conley, there are fundamental differences between a blank page and a blank map. A blank page is empty, whereas a blank map suggests space and orientation and is still designed by a cartographer. Conley takes this one step further, presenting blank maps suggested by history, folklore, or literature such as a landscape purified by snowfall, the unknown path Cleopatra must have taken after Actium, or what Babel looked like before it was built.
> read more from Uncharted Territories . . .


Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain

"TOM!"
No answer.
"TOM!"
No answer.
"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!"
No answer.
Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: a dotted line or a solid line?

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

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

Citation:  Suck School of Comic Art, Suck.com, (Nov. 7, 1997)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

June 21, 2010

Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .


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 . . .

June 20, 2010

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
"[There's] only a very fine line between the ability to concentrate intelligently on an objective and an unhealthy obsession." —Amanda Quick, The Perfect Poison (2009)


A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


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 . . .

June 19, 2010

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

THE SATANIC VERSES by Salman Rushdie

"To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die." Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


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 . . .

June 18, 2010

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 . . .


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 . . .

June 17, 2010

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

VALIS by Philip K. Dick

Horselover Fat's nervous breakdown began the day he got the phonecall from Gloria asking if he had any Nembutols.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


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: a pencil mustache or a handlebar mustache?

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

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

Citation:  Suck School of Comic Art, Suck.com, (Nov. 7, 1997)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

June 16, 2010

The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine (permalink)
Smart Home Hacks author Gordon Meyer reviews our latest book, The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine: "It's another amazing work . . . Conley's union of ghostly images and enigmatic quotations is near perfect."

The label "near perfect" reminds Prof. Oddfellow of the math behind the idiom, "Close, but no cigar":
 


When graphed, perfection has a cigar shape.  Something "near perfect" is, by definition, still flawed.  Hence, the idiom, "Close, but no cigar."

---

Antonin Artaud writes:

These are beautiful. You are a mathematician of literature. There have only been a few Doctors of the Church. Lewis Carroll and Velimir Khlebnikov would love your blog. And your mind.
 

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine . . .


Puzzles and Games (permalink)
Handwriting etiquette calls for a neat dash through misprinted characters. However, several such character obliterations actually form new characters—creation through destruction. Can you dash off the names for each of the would-be transformations below? (Click on the image for answers.)



(Dedicated to Gary Barwin and Geof Huth.)

---

Geof Huth writes:

Craig, thanks for the dedication, of all kinds.
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

WAXING GIBBOUS (FUTURE)

"Consequently, as the semicolon suggests, their stars are recreated from numbers."

—Morse Peckman, Word, Meaning, Poem (1961)


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .

June 15, 2010

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


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


Inspired by Gary Barwin.
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 . . .

June 14, 2010

Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

We were struck by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt's witty proposal that a clique is "a cliché turned on its . . . side?"  So we set out to prove it.


> read more from The Right Word . . .

June 13, 2010

Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Pretending to Have Been Robbed

"It's the oldest trick in the book.  They strip themselves, leave their clothes concealed somewhere, then come into town pretending to have been robbed, in the hope of finding some muttonhead like you to take pity on them and give money or clothes they can sell." —Karen Maitland, Company of Liars (2009)
> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"There ought to be a book of the laws and customs a-la-mode, presented to all young people upon their first introduction into public company."
Fanny Burney, Evelina, 1904, p. 81.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .

June 12, 2010

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

MRS. DALLOWAY by Virginia Woolf

Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.

[Thanks to June for the suggestion!]
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


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 . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
What is funnier than humanity disrobed of its well-tailored beliefs?

Clue:  This is according to Charlie Chaplin

Answer:  Nothing.  “You see, nothing is funnier than humanity disrobed of its well-tailored beliefs.  The audience will laugh itself speechless!”  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  Kevin J. Haynes, Charlie Chaplin: Interviews (2005), p. 70. 
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

June 11, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
The sleep inducement surrounding Michael Jackson's death unmasked him as Osiris, the dying and resurrected god.  MJ wasn't addicted to plastic surgery per se but rather to being "put under" and rising again with a new face.  As Carl Jung explained, "the dying and resurgent god ... expresses a transformation of attitude by means of which a new potential, a new manifestation of life ... is created."  MJ's sequence of reincarnation was y=sin(x^2), with each vacillation of increasing frequency, to the point that he died nightly.  By the physical incarnation we came to know, MJ's spirit was too refined to operate within the mundane, just as a distilled spirit is so volatile as to hazard combustion.  The jokes about MJ's nose falling off were unwitting retellings of the Osiris myth; this time, the general public embodied Isis, putting the pieces back together while singing the magical incantation: "Ma ma say, ma ma sah, ma ma koo sah."
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands (permalink)
William Keckler notes:

The really funny thing is that the atom was tamed long before the dust bunny was.

Dust bunnies are completely underutilized as a weapon now, of course.

But the potential is there.

You know what it says in the Vedas, "I AM BECOME DEATH."

That's actually a reference to a dust bunny.

People always worry about the wrong apocalypses.

The real one is blowing around under their beds, just biding its time.

Dust Bunny Apocalypse.
> read more from Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“Just keep your eyes open and don’t tell everybody your business and your ship will come into port.” —Charles Whelan


 
* 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 . . .

June 10, 2010

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison

I am an invisible man.  Suddenly, a shot rings out.

[Thanks to June for the suggestion!]
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
"Weapons are always drawn and brandished like special days marked in the calendar with that proverbial 'X' which never really helps you to remember." —J. Karl Bogartte, Antibodies: A Surrealist Novella
 


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


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

June 9, 2010

Semicolon Moons (permalink)

FIRST QUARTER (CONTINUOUS)

"Punctuated by many pockmarks and craters."

—Tammy Plotner, The Night Sky Companion (2007)


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .


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


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin, who saw a distant comet in an exclamation point.
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 . . .

June 8, 2010

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?'  Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: "What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?" —Bertolt Brecht

A: The hole hovers in Swedenborgian space.

---

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt adds:

Having originated, of course, in Switzerlandborgian space.

Pitchinwoot writes:

The mice collect them for their Mouse Holes.


> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .

June 7, 2010

Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the puzzle image below to reveal one possible solution.

You Do the Math - Presumptive Conundrums
* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
True or False: A goatee is funnier than a Vandyke.

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

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

Citation:  Suck School of Comic Art, Suck.com, (Nov. 7, 1997)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

June 6, 2010

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

PETER PAN by J. M. Barrie

All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.

---

Timon writes:

Love this suggestion. I have to say it. "In the beginning.... Suddenly, a shot rang out!"
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
"Just as there are polysyllabic words that say very little, so there are also monosyllabic words of infinite meaning."
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)
> read more from The Right Word . . .

June 5, 2010

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

Inspired by Myrlin A Hermes, The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet


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Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)


"Your boat awaits you, and you had better go ashore at once.” —Patrick Smyth

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

June 4, 2010

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
In the tradition of the ageless phrase, "If I had a nickel for every time I ...":

If I had a user name and password for every time I tried to log onto a website ...

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Gordon Meyer writes:

ha! Indeed.
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Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Is it true, as Momus suggests, that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out'"?  Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

ANNA KARENINA by Leo Tolstoy

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in
its own way.  Suddenly, a shot rings out.
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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)


A still from Vertigo (a film irreparably marred by Kim Novak's clownishly painted on eyebrows).

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June writes:

That's what Laura Palmer's mother said when SHE saw the white horse!
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .

June 3, 2010

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Thanks to the Master Organizing blog for featuring our bookshelves organized by color.
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Employing a concave mirror to turn a map into a globe, Prof. Oddfellow makes contact with his inverted homunculus.


Jonathan Caws-Elwitt quips:

The homunculus appears inverted to us because it lives south of the equator.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
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June 2, 2010

Semicolon Moons (permalink)

FIRST QUARTER

One-half of the semicolon appears to be illuminated by the reading lamp. The fraction of the semicolon's dot that is illuminated is increasing. The right half of the semicolon appears lighted and the left side appears dark and cryptic. During the time between the New Semicolon and the First Quarter Semicolon, the part of the semicolon that appears lighted gets larger and larger every day, like an island rising from the depths. It will continue to grow until the Full Semicolon.


 
Inspired by Gary Barwin.
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Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which name is funnier: Herbie or Peter?

Clue:  This is according to comedy t.v. writer Jerry Rannow

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

Citation:  Jerry Rannow, Writing Television Comedy (2004), p. 87.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

June 1, 2010

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
We have a new item for the running joke about how water and other things spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.  In New Zealand, the rotary phones went from 9 to 0.  (The illustration is from Peter Jackson's horror/splatstick film Dead Alive.)  Our insightful friend Tamara notes that in both hemispheres the zero is fixed at the bottom of the dial.  Aha!  That's why we sometimes put a slash through the zero — it represents the equator, angled in honor of the Earth's axis!


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)


Gary Barwin described Canadian Parliament as (among other things) a "clock-eyed baby."
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .



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