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.
August 31, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait of Phileas Fogg from Around the World in Eighty Days.

“His eyebrows, his beard, faded into a smoke, into nothing at all.” —Louis Golding, Magnolia Street

* 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 :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which word is funnier: smudge or spot?

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

Answer:  Smudge, as it is “funny sounding.”  (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 . . .

August 30, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"So difficult, isn't it, to draw hard-and-fast lines between what one rationally believes, and what one trusts is true, and what seems to admit of more than one explanation."
E. F. Benson, Trouble For Lucia
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


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 . . .

August 29, 2010

Ampersands (permalink)

Omegaword suggests using amperbangs in the names of law firms as a testament that two heads are bigger than one.
We celebrate Omegaword's invention of the amperbang and now realize we've seen amperbang facial expressions, as when someone nods enthusiastically, eyebrows raised, to prod us to reveal a seemingly inevitable and yet elusive punch line.

---

Jeff writes:

Ha! I know the facial expression well, having experienced that "amperbang moment" once or twice (i.e. too many times) myself.
> read more from Ampersands . . .


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 FIRST MEN IN THE MOON by Herbert George Wells

As I sit down to write here amidst the shadows of vine-leaves under the blue sky of southern Italy, it comes to me with a certain quality of astonishment that suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


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

• 7-letter words: 11
• 8-letter words: 4
• 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 . . .

August 28, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
William Keckler quips:

It was revealed that there is no such language as Gaelic.

People were just making "funny noises with their mouth."

Apparently, it's just a slightly more clever form of Pig Latin.

*       *       *

The Welsh language was diagnosed with a genetic condition which explained its odd situations with regard to vowels.

Gene therapy was initiated, and in a few short months, Welsh was a "normal, healthy language."
> read more from The Right Word . . .


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 . . .

August 27, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait John Bartholomew Gouch from Sunlight and Shadow.

The book title is eerily appropriate, as we see Gouch in both his corruptible and incorruptible states.

* 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)
“The bottom of your boat must be protected by paint.” —Morton J. Schultz


 
* 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 . . .

August 26, 2010

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


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which word is funnier: food or snack?

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

Answer:  Snack, as it is “zippy sounding”  (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 . . .

August 25, 2010

Uncharted Territories (permalink)
A blank map from James Whale's classic film The Old Dark House:


A flooded road in Wales; a map with running ink.
> 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 . . .

THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS by Lewis Carroll

One thing was certain, that the WHITE kitten had had nothing to do with it:—it was the black kitten's fault entirely. For the white kitten had been having its face washed by the old cat for the last quarter of an hour (and bearing it pretty well, considering); so you see that it COULDN'T have had any hand in the mischief.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

WANING 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 decreasing, like the small villages in the English countryside. This semicolon appears before the Last Quarter Semicolon and before the Full Semicolon. The amount of the semicolon that we can see will grow smaller and smaller every day, like a ball of string.


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

August 24, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Interrobangs ensure streamlined punctuation bursts.  Compare the original (left, via Frog Blog) to our concise version (right).  Three interrobangs communicate the excited disbelief of six traditional punctuation marks.


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


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from Daniel Pratt’s biography.

“Complete with owl eyes and spectral beard.” —Osbert Sitwell, qtd. in Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes

* 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)
A Can of Yams or a Can of Sweet Potatoes?

How well do you know your tubers? In each sentence, guess whether the can of ___ contains yams or sweet potatoes.

1. "Her eyes stopped at the single can of ___. That one insignificant can, Katie knew, was her downfall."
Donna Nelson, Encore, 2004, p. 173

2. "One itsy-bitsy can of ___ won't do it, will it, Sammy boy?"
Jamie L. Turner, By the Light of a Thousand Stars, 1999. p. 179

3. "They can take a chance on a can of ___ and enjoy a surprise."
Thomas Swann Harding, The Popular Practice of Fraud, 1935, p. 313

4. "Cash gain in April is linked to an incident involving a can of ___ and a finger."
—Horoscope, The Weekly World News, March 15, 2004

5. "Destiny lies in a can of ___ in syrup."
—Horoscope, The Weekly World News, Nov. 15, 2004

6. "People like that, they got to deserve a can of ___ up the ass."
Joe R. Lansdale, A Fist Full of Stories, 1996, p. 133

Answers: 1. sweet potatoes, 2. sweet potatoes, 3. sweet potatoes, 4. yams, 5. yams, 6. yams. (The answers are in black text on the black background. Highlight to view.)

(This puzzle is inspired by and dedicated to Jonathan-Caws Elwitt, author of The Can of Yams.)
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .

August 23, 2010

Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
From our Magic Words outpost:

When Andrew Lovatt kindly praised us for "bringing the excitement and the hunt and mystery back into lexicogaphy," we realized that he had identified the patron saint of our magical dictionary: Artemis, the Roman goddess of the hunt. Thanks, Andrew!


Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .


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:


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 . . .

August 22, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Is modern science even more bewildered than religion?  Here's Charles Fort's incisive take:

The position today of what is said to be the science of physics is so desperate, and so confused, that its exponents are trying to incorporate into one system both former principles and the denial of them.  Even in the anaemia and frazzle of religion, today, there is no worse state of desperation, or decomposition.  The attempt to take the principle of uncertainty—or the principle of unprincipledness—into science is about the same as would be an attempt by theologians to preach the word of God, and also include atheism in their doctrines.  (Wild Talents)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


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


> read more from The Right Word . . .

August 21, 2010

Unicorns (permalink)
As dedicated fans of Swedish music, we were tickled to hear that producer/composer Ludwig Tjernlund found our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound while browsing the web for inspiration.
> 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 . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: pipes, cigars, or cigarettes?

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

Answer:  Cigarettes.  “Draw them with smoke swirling up from the tip, and guffaws are guaranteed.”  (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 . . .

August 20, 2010

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Inspired by Andrew Lovatt
> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


Uncharted Territories (permalink)
Here's a poem addressed to our interactive "Follow Your Bliss Compass," by a nifty guy who goes by the name "700 miles to infinity."
> read more from Uncharted Territories . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from Henry Sidgwick: A Memoir.

“I do not allow any cold steel ever to profane this ghostlybeard of mine.” —Frederic Townsend, Spiritual Visitors

* 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 . . .

A SUITABLE BOY by Vikram Seth

"You too will marry a boy I choose," said Mrs Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .

August 19, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
Types of Keyboards

by William Keckler

You have to start with the keyboard with individual letters.  Then you graduate to the keyboard with concepts.  Later, they give you this horrifying keyboard with the concepts grouped into ethical, jurisprudential, scientific and historic categories.  You are horrified to find—to give just one example—"mass murder" and "the common good" sharing a single key.  "Progress" and "calculated limited extinctions" are also key-mates.

And they tell you that's not even your final keyboard.

Graduation still looms.  All the elders are getting excited for you.

The most horrible betrayal arrives, disguised as a graduation present.
> read more from The Right Word . . .


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


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)


"Go far enough in one direction, and your ship will come back to the place it started from.” —Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact

 
* 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 . . .

August 18, 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 IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST by Oscar Wilde

Morning-room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street.  The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished.  The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room.  Suddenly, a shot rings out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

WANING GIBBOUS (PROGRESSIVE)

"You who punctuate night's fleeting hours."

—Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy (2001)


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

August 17, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from Biography of Zadock Pratt.

“His face is the face of a spirit dimly bright.” —Elizabeth Barrett Browning

* 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 :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
What is funnier than the whole world?

Clue: This is according to English novelist John Strange Winter (pseudonym of Henrietta Eliza Vaughan Stannard)

Answer: "The whole world is funny, but that part of it that calls itself dramatic is funnier than all the rest put together!" (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)

Citation: John Strange Winter, Heart and Sword, 1898, p. 99
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

August 16, 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)
Which is funnier: a crooked line or a straight line?

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

Answer:  A crooked 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 . . .

August 15, 2010

The Right Word (permalink)
We recently stumbled upon a surprising tip involving one-letter words: someone suggested using them as commands to keep a dog from barking.  (The logic seems to be that dogs can't understand sentences.)

We happily note that in Shakespeare’s time, R was called littera canina, "the dog’s letter," because it sounded like a dog's growl.
> read more from The Right Word . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"It is the custom here, that we go just a little beyond, that we consider each direction with the possibilities of madness and it’s grand, all-inclusive theatrics, where even minor dreams are worth their weight in gold, when balanced against the darkness out of which they have gestated and taken their cues from the fiercest and loveliest of all the animals."
—surrealist J. Karl Bogartte, "The Weapons of Love"
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

August 14, 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 . . .

KUBLA KHAN by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree.
Suddenly, a shot rang out
Through caverns measureless to trout
Down to a sunless sea.
> 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 . . .

August 13, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait from Walt Whitman’s Complete Writings, recalling his allusion to “window-pierc’d façades.”

“Even if we cannot see the colored shapes as the ghostly portrait of a man, we do see the colors as something.” —Marc Bekoff

* 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)
“Your boat must be able to move in very light airs.” —Lin Pardey


 
* 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 . . .

August 12, 2010

Glued Snippets (permalink)
A bit of irony from a scanned book over at Archive.org: a notice to handle the text carefully due to brittle paper.

---
Alsop Peanutworthy notes:

In my experience, poets are much more brittle than the paper they write, type or publish upon. And this was true even in the pre-acid-free era.


> read more from Glued Snippets . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Vladimir Nabokov: "I confess I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip. And the highest enjoyment of timelessness -- in a landscape selected at random -- is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude to whom it may concern -- to the contrapuntal genius of human fate or to tender ghosts humoring a lucky mortal."  (via SocialFiction)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


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

August 11, 2010

Unicorns (permalink)

Clint Marsh, author of The Mentalist's Handbook, shares his lovely review of our unicorn field guide.  We've bolded our favorite bits:

Craig Conley is a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure.  A voracious researcher, he possesses both the focus required to compile book-length arcana on a given topic and the objectiveness to consider sources other scholars might ignore.  It is precisely this tendency to "overlook" that forms the basis for Conley's Field Guide.  As he states in the book's introduction, "Because we live in a highly visual world, we rarely exercise the full range of our hearing.  Yet our ears can detect things that our eyes automatically reject.  By listening as opposed to looking, we can avoid overlooking.  Practice can be richly rewarding, whether one is listening for unicorns in particular or neglected delights in general."  And so Conley mines the known literature on unicorns, nobly eschewing distinctions between historical accounts, fantasy novels, and instances of metaphor, organizing the brief excerpts and other tidbits found into 51 short lessons in the art of "deep listening" necessary to perceive the fabulous beasts.  Soundwave diagrams impart insight into audible tendencies of the unicorn as rustling, laughter, mimicry of orchestral instruments, soft nickering, cries of ruin, and the creature's alarm "sneeze."  More complex diagrams contribute to the mapping of the once well-maintained highways between magic and science, illuminating such correspondences as the Fibonacci Spiral with the shape of the outer ear and the comparative curl of the unicorn's horn with that of the human cochlea.  Conley also offers an companion compact disc with four tracks of listening exercises set in a sylvan soundscape.  Narrator Michael Warwick guides the listener through the first half of the CD, then departs, leaving only the birdsong and delicate, layered crackle and murmur of the forest and whatever one might discover there.  This book and recording are fine works of practical esoterica.  Highly recommended.
The Pamphleteer
> read more from Unicorns . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

WANING GIBBOUS (FUTURE)

"There followed the period of nothing-to-do-but-wait."

—Ivan Doig, This House of Sky (1980)


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


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which number is funnier: 16 or 18?

Clue:  This is according to the play Mr. 80% by James Sherman

Answer:  16  (The answer is in black text on the black background.  Highlight it to view.)

Citation:  James Sherman, Mr. 80% (1987), p. 14
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

August 10, 2010

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
We're honored to be referenced in an article about "A Surprising Historical Source of Sustainability":

Perhaps Portmeirion’s greatest achievement is the creation of a built environment that forces its occupants to question preconceptions about the world that they inhabit. As author Craig Conley points out, the setting is more of a virtual reality. The project exists as a series of contradictions that allow nothing to be taken at face value. The village has a town hall, but no residents and a lighthouse with no light. It is a port on an estuary too shallow for most watercraft. The result is a series of opportunities for expectations to be defied which, in turn, prompts visitors into a mindset of inquisition.

See the entire article here.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Mysterious Beards ~

Portrait of Henry Longfellow from Evangeline.

In the ghostly signature, there is no “fellow” in “Longfellow,” as befits the nature of the spirit world.

* 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 . . .

MOBY DICK by Herman Melville

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .

August 9, 2010

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
The idiom "an elephant in the room" postdates Houdini's death.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


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:


Text by Geof Huth.
> read more from The Right Word . . .

August 8, 2010

It's Really Happening (permalink)
Saturn's ethereal aura has a heartbeat.


The foreground photo of this collage is from the wrongfully-canceled comedy series Arrested Development.
> read more from It's Really Happening . . .


Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
"The joker-god Maui has the same attitude as Ludwig II—you can't have too much loud color and bright contrast, and to hell with critics who want the 'understated.'" —Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger II


Left, a detail of a canvas depicting Ludwig II as the king of castles, sporting an architectural beard.  Right, Maui of Oceanian mythology.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .

August 7, 2010

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)


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


Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)

Punctuation music via Make It Work.
I woke up with a tune stuck in my head.
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .


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 . . .

August 6, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Headlessness ~

Portrait from The life of Horace Greeley.

“He developed into a benevolent and magnanimous spectre, and, as far as it was possible for a headless apparition to be so, he was an interesting ghost.” —Edward Gordon, “The Ghost of Dundrumlie”

* 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)


“Presently your ship will come in. ‘What ship?’ you ask.” —Harold Holbrook

 
* 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)
Which is funnier: covertibles or hard-top cars?

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

Answer:  Hard-top cars.  (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 . . .

August 5, 2010

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
"The only difference between Comedy and Tragedy is when the curtain falls.  After the applause, Time keeps on its relentless march."  —Myrlin A Hermes, The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


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

August 4, 2010

Unicorns (permalink)
Gordon went on a quest for unicorns at Quimby's Bookstore and spotted our acclaimed field guide next to none other than The Earwig's Tail!


> read more from Unicorns . . .


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 . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)

FULL (CONTINUOUS)

"A lovely beach, punctuated at low tide."

—Jack Jackson, Trekking Atlas of the World (2006)


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

August 3, 2010

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Headlessness ~

Portrait from Memoir of Elder Benjamin Taylor.

"The stars and catherine wheels of light that filled his head dissipated.” —Wilbur Smith, Time to Die

* 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 . . .

JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.  We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question. Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
What is funnier than sex running wild?

Clue: This is according to Nelson Algren

Answer: "After all, nothing is funnier than sex running wild." (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)

Citation: Nelson Algren, Entrapment and Other Writings (2009), p. 302
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

August 2, 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 . . .


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 . . .

August 1, 2010

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


Mal Content writes:

Thanks for this. It makes me miss writing those supernatural instructions and apothegms that you always made so much better (and more convincing) with your artwork! I keep wanting to do a New Dark Proverbs blog and make it work, and I think that's mostly your influence. I love the higgledy-piggledy metaphysical horse races ideas which constitute your various dissections of the game theory which language inevitably reveals itself to be (as it tentacles its way into its various convincing irrealities). I mean your diverse "series." I'm getting an image of the threads on a radial tire interweaving in space in a car commerical next to an image of the Three Fates and their threads. If I met the Fates, I think that would be the first thing I would ask them. "What is the thread count on my fate?"
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: furniture or a small kitchen appliance?

Clue:  This is according to a guide to drawing comics

Answer:  A small kitchen appliance.  The funniest small kitchen appliance is a toaster, followed by a blender.  (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 . . .



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