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, 2011

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)
"As the proverb says, better to return as a ghost than never at all."
—Giorgio de Chirico, Hebdomeros
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The first step in the writing process is to understand the assignment. This may surprise you if you have never thought about the variety of writing assignments you may encounter."
John A. Beck & Marmy A. Clason, Light on the Path (2007)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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

March 30, 2011

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Here's a link to our guest blog diagram over at DJ Misc, showing how diamonds throw out miniature northern lights.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
In our book on Divination by Punctuation, we note this marvelous take on the hyphen by the great scholar of anomalies, Charles Fort: "We have to get along with the logical-illogical, in our existence of the hyphen. Everything that is said to be logical is somewhere out of agreement with something, and everything that is said to be illogical is somewhere in agreement with something. . . . In an existence of the hyphen, it is impossible to be altogether wrong—or right" (Wild Talents, 1932).

While on the subject of hyphens:

Here's a hyphen-shaped cloud.

Is this a hyphen trapped in time?

A page emblazed with the words "This page intentionally left blank" is hilarious to folks blessed with the ability to comprehend irony (recall our previous post in which a person with irony-challenges proudly stepped out from under a rock, discordance be damned!).  But we surely approve of working a hyphen into such ironically non-blank pages.  Speaking of irony, we're reminded of a great line in the classic comedy series Black Adder: "'Have you no idea what 'irony is?'  'Yeah, it's like goldy and bronzy, only it's made of iron."
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 . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Why waste your time in a living hell?
You can live in cloudland just as well.
Holly Johnson, "Heaven's Here"


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


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from Memoir of Rev. James M. Challiss.

“Surely a ghost.” —Regan Forest, Secrets of Tyrone

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

March 29, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
The manifesto manifesto, by Kim Mok.

(via J-Walk)
> read more from The Right Word . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The surprising truth, that life over there is much the same as life over here."
Blackwood's Magazine (1978)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Writing is just a version of reading."
Geof Huth

. . . which reminds us of Hemingway's description of "eyes like inkwells."
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)

Imagine a game of "What's My Line," in which either a cherub or an imp whispers into a blindfolded panelist's ear.

Are the whispered words pictured on the right of an angelic or a diabolical nature?


Answer: Diabolical. "'Move on to a more elevated existence,' the demon whispered." —Bob Blackman, The Commission, 2004, p. 130. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

March 28, 2011

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From our Magic Words outpost:

We have a new book out for magicians and magic enthusiasts — a guide to the hidden gems of the classic magazine The Jinx (1934-42), entitled Jinx Companion.

See it online for free at our Jinx Companion page.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"Rhetoric, as hardly bears repeating, bears only a distant relationship to truth."
—Wlad Godzich, "The Domestication of Derrida"


> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Don't look a sugar daddy in the teeth.

(Thanks, Mike!)
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Telescopic Em Dashes (permalink)

 
*These em dashes are from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.  Some of our magnifications appear in Forgotten Wisdom Vol. II.
> read more from Telescopic Em Dashes . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
"The only certainty is risk."
William Campbell, Dead Forever: Apotheosis: Book 2 (2010)
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

March 27, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Surprising though it may sound, some of the splendour of the inaccessible realms above can be found even here."
Friedhelm Hardy, The Religious Culture of India
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)
"Faint songs visited my ears, and the gray day was only gray like a dove's breast."
—Mary Johnston, 1492 (via Gary Barwin)


> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .

March 26, 2011

Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The simple answer is that it is just impossible.”

House of Commons Health Committee (2007)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from A Memoir of Charles Mayne Young.

“He made a ghost-shaped sooty mark.” —The Walker Book of Ghost Stories

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

March 25, 2011

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Here's our guest tweet over at the traffic light on Michigan Avenue.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Let's enjoy an interlude from our long-running game to consider some things that sound funnier than they are:

(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
"Our only certainty may be that we feel uncertain about our future."
Caren Goldman, Healing Words for the Body, Mind, and Spirit (2009)
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

March 24, 2011

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Playing on the old Zen chestnut, we ask:

If a traffic light hangs at an intersection and there's no one there to see it, does it see red?

Our favorite virtual traffic light answers this question here.

(Thanks, Gordon!)
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
From our former outpost at Twitter:

Kudos to Gary Barwin for this Googlewhack: "Metaphor, it's really something else!"

(And we're sorry, Gary, for ruining your Googlewhack the moment Google indexes this page!)
> read more from The Right Word . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you — many people find that anger makes them feel good."
Judith S. Wallerstein & Sandra Blakeslee, What About the Kids? (2004)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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

March 23, 2011

Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Don't take this the wrong way, but if I feel tomorrow like I do right now, I might be better off hanging out with myself."
Yolonda Tonnette Sanders, Soul Matters
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


Not Rocket Science (permalink)

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik and family.
"It's not rocket science," says Margaret Watson. "People learn to be parents every day.”

To which we say: "out of this world!"
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from The Best of Balzac.

“‘It’s a blue smudge,’ Phil said. ‘Maybe it’s a flaw in the photo.’” —Elaine Viets, Killer Cuts

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

March 22, 2011

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
We're honored to illustrate an article about L.A.'s mysterious public gardens.  Our photo depicts the beautiful Descanso Gardens.


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


Pfft! (permalink)
Our friend Jonathan Caws-Elwitt spotted this lovely pfft variant in the wild:

p'fft
—our 11th cousin P.G. Wodehouse's novel Bertie Wooster Sees It Through

We can verify that p'fft is an appropriate response to "blankety-blank nonsense" (as noted on the first page of Budget Weddings For Dummies).  Relatedly, Wodehouse has written: "He had a dim sort of idea that it began with an F or a G, but beyond that his mind was a blank" (The Small Bachelor).

But did you know that p'fft comes down to us from an ancient Chinese expression meaning, "May your children and grandchildren never murmur as they carry out the careful and brilliant virtue of their predecessors"?

It's commonly assumed that the apostrophe in p'fft stands for an f, the concept being that an f-too-many is overwhelming.  Indeed, Wodehouse notes: "You could have knocked me down with a f" (Right Ho, Jeeves).  Yet the truth is more interesting.  The apostrophe actually stands for a hyphen, swept upwards as it were by the breath of the expression.
> read more from Pfft! . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The surprising truth is that Mom can also read your mind when you are fast asleep."
Linda Sunshine, How Not to Turn Into Your Mother (1991)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)

Imagine a game of "What's My Line," in which either a cherub or an imp whispers into a blindfolded panelist's ear.

Are the whispered words pictured on the right of an angelic or a diabolical nature?


Answer: Diabolical. "A mocking demon whispered in her reluctant ear: 'How happy you might be now, if things were only changed a little!'” —M. V. D., "The Story of Margaret,” Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine, Vol. X, 1881, p. 263. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

March 21, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
There's something beautiful that children don't learn in books of fairy tales.  In surrealist novels for grownups, the illustrations don't necessarily correspond to the text.  For example, in the dreamily Gothic Czech masterpiece Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, the illustration of a headless woman for page 149 appears next to page 106.  Prof. Oddfellow explains the phenomenon by way of Philip G. Zimbardo's Discontinuity Theory, which suggests that cognitive searches for rationality and normality may lead to madness.


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


Telescopic Em Dashes (permalink)

 
*These em dashes are from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.  Some of our magnifications appear in Forgotten Wisdom Vol. II.
> read more from Telescopic Em Dashes . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
"The only certainty that we have is that we are not alone."
Mary Kay Kelley, Celebrating the Lectionary (2010)
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

March 20, 2011

Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
I dreamed my tea leaf reader saw an asterisk.*

*To learn what an asterisk means in a tea leaf reading, see Dr. Boli.


Photo by Scout Seventeen, slightly modified.
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may come as a surprise, but I don't spend a lot of time checking out your wife's breasts."
JoAnn Ross, Far Harbor
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Semicolon Moons (permalink)


A Moon / Venus semicolon, captured by Greg.
> read more from Semicolon Moons . . .

March 19, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Here's an insightful review of an unusual, gutted book that cannot exist digitally.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple:  more money will be needed to achieve the results that might have been reached.”

Drayton Bird, Commonsense Direct & Digital Marketing (2007)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from Memoir of the Life of Elizabeth Fry.

“A silhouette appeared and magnified on the display.” —Eric S. Nylund, Halo

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

March 18, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"The [computer] link will turn out to be the most important new punctuation mark since the comma."
—software architect Mark Bernstein

(Thanks, Gordon!)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you. ... Writing is work — hard work."
Thomas Wolfe, quoted in his illustrated biography by Ted Mitchell
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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 . . .

March 17, 2011

Call it a Hunch (permalink)
"Calling it a hunch just makes it mysterious, and it isn't."
Isaac Asimov, apparently not referring to Marty Feldman's hunch in Young Frankenstein (given that Marty's hunch mysteriously switches from the left side to the right side of his back)


A still from the perennially hilarious Young Frankenstein.
> read more from Call it a Hunch . . .


Glued Snippets (permalink)
"All we have are fragments."
Geof Huth
> read more from Glued Snippets . . .


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

March 16, 2011

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Gordon spotted our Not Rocket Science at Chicago's Quimby's Bookstore, sitting next to All My Friends Are Dead.  The pairing is apropos, for our book was inspired by the illustrious Martha Brockenbrough, author of the forthcoming The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy (Arthur A. Levine Books).


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


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which car is funnier: Buick or Chevrolet?

Clue: This is according to the book Humor in the Classroom: A Handbook for Teachers (and Other Entertainers!)

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

Citation: Deborah J. Hill (1998), p. 67
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from Memoir of Albert Newsam.

“A ghostly blur of light, the psychic essence, the inner being.” —Kathryn Harrison, Thicker Than Water

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

March 15, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"For nutritional quality, the surprising truth is that most tomatoes are created equal after all."
Rodale's Organic Gardening (1987)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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 . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)

Imagine a game of "What's My Line," in which either a cherub or an imp whispers into a blindfolded panelist's ear.

Are the whispered words pictured on the right of an angelic or a diabolical nature?


Answer: Diabolical. "But this demon whispered, 'Trust me,' and her soul longed to obey." —Lucy Blue, The Devil’s Knight, 2006, p. 260. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

March 14, 2011

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Turn those e's silent, and Obama has a new slogan if he runs for president of China.*

Hop[e] and Chang[e]

* "Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China." —The Washington Examiner

[Thanks, Mike!]
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Not Rocket Science (permalink)

Dana Michelle Burnett suggests that "Home decorating is not rocket science."  So much for those spaceship-themed wall stickers!
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


Telescopic Em Dashes (permalink)

 
*These em dashes are from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.  Some of our magnifications appear in Forgotten Wisdom Vol. II.
> read more from Telescopic Em Dashes . . .

March 13, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
A lovely review of our dictionary of magic words, from the Silver Star Journal:
A massive and truly amazing tour de force of linguistic dexterity, merging sorcery, etymology, history, and literature into a global cascade of words of power magical and otherwise, drawn from countless ancient and modern civilizations. The art of Grammarye meets literary erudition, with each word examined, explained, and illuminated by wild and witty quotations from countless sources. Spells, mantras and Qabala meet slang, hokum and poetry. Enormous fun, and about thirty pages devoted to aspects of Abracadabra and its variants alone! Big fun! Hours of creative playtime!
> read more from The Right Word . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"The act of reading impedes looking at words."
Enrique Enriquez
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may come as a surprise, but some of the things you do to relax can actually make you more stressed!"
Trevor Romain, Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves!
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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 . . .

March 12, 2011

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Our 9th cousin, the visionary Dr. John Dee (adviser and tutor to Queen Elizabeth I) is here beautifully celebrated by the artist Sev.


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple:  change is happening constantly, with each tick of the clock, with each blink of an eye, with each breeze off the Bay.”

Marcia Z. Nelson, The God of Second Chances (2001)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from Life of Johnson.

“There is no ghost, among all the ghosts haunting London, that we oftener meet at night . . . than old Samuel Johnson’s.” —“Haunted London,” All the Year Round

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

March 11, 2011

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Paddling in school is controversial.  Yet how will students row, row, row their boats gently down the stream without a paddle?
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Not Rocket Science (permalink)
"When you do walk away from a flip, keep it short and sweet. This is not rocket science. Either it makes sense or it doesn't." —D. Sidney Potter, The Flip (2010)

We find this advice useful whether the flip in question refers to a tract home or a finger.


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


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)


“Trust that your ship will come in fully laden with the fruits of your labor, rewards for work well done.” —Nancy Garen

 
* 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 . . .

March 10, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The surprising truth about performance evaluation is that it rarely works and is almost universally disliked by leaders and followers."
Modern Hospital
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"I want more than what I want."
Salman Rushdie
> 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 . . .

March 9, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
"Language only works when two or more people agree that it does."
Geof Huth


> read more from The Right Word . . .


Uncharted Territories (permalink)
"Why didn't you tell me in the map room there was a map missing?"
Gwyn Cready, Aching for Always (2010)


(This delightful snippet is scanned from Book Sales of 1895.)
> read more from Uncharted Territories . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from Autobiography of Andrew Somerville.

“That’s the ghost’s chair, and the time has come!” —Ivy Hooper, Theosophical Review

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

March 8, 2011

Puzzles and Games (permalink)
The following passage from Robert Irwin's astonishingly brilliant The Arabian Nightmare, in which a character traverses a chessboard-like Cairo, recalls our own manual on using a game of chess to construct a story: If A Chessman Were A Word: A Chess-Calvino Dictionary.

Crossing the open spaces of the city was like moving across a chess board, chill and dark in the shadows, still brilliantly warm in the places the sun could reach.  He was crossing a dark square now near the Bab al-Luq, where the rich merchants' houses were, when he saw a face, high up in the dark shadows of an upper-storey casement, staring down at him.  It was a woman's face, round and plump and shining silver as if it was the moon.

Deliciously, the character in Irwin's novel is about to confront a knight!
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but the best place to meet a flight attendant is not in the air, but on the ground."
Don Diebel, The Complete Guide to Meeting Women (1991)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)

Imagine a game of "What's My Line," in which either a cherub or an imp whispers into a blindfolded panelist's ear.

Are the whispered words pictured on the right of an angelic or a diabolical nature?


Answer: Diabolical. "I do not know what demon whispered to me, 'Take this book home with you.'” —Friedrich Nietzsche, qtd. in R. J. Hollingdale, Nietzsche, 1973, p. 51. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

March 7, 2011

Ampersands (permalink)
"The & is a possibility."
Geof Huth
> read more from Ampersands . . .


Telescopic Em Dashes (permalink)

 
*These em dashes are from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.  Some of our magnifications appear in Forgotten Wisdom Vol. II.
> read more from Telescopic Em Dashes . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
"Our only certainty is that dissonance is a source of motivation."
Bella DePaulo & Leah Wilson, The Psychology of Dexter (2010)
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

March 6, 2011

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
Our friend Teresa at Frog Blog posts about the fine line between giving up and seeing how much more one can take.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"I know this may come as a surprise, but it turns out that refrigeration actually dries out its contents."
Christine Ansbacher, Secrets from the Wine Diva
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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 . . .

March 5, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
From our former outpost at Twitter:

"'Life insurance': a pretense that it is a soothing and useful event to have a violent and painful death."
Leonora Carrington
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple:  It is widespread but not universal.”

Robert Arking, The Biology of Aging (2006)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

"The adorable living past.  One must wallow, just wallow in it.  How can anybody be a person of quality if they wash away their ghosts with common sense?" —Leonora Carrington, "Waiting," The Seventh Horse (emphasis ours)

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~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from A Memoir of the Life of William Livingston.

"His shadow on the wall was a silhouette from another era.” —Martin Harry Greenberg, Civil War Ghosts

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

March 4, 2011

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Did you hear about the stage magician who toyed with yoga?  His kundalini rose as a balloon snake.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Not Rocket Science (permalink)

"This is not rocket science but if you draw four horizontal lines across the page equally spaced down the sheet you will magically produce five sections!" —Essential Skills for Managing in Healthcare (2010)

We tried it ... and were delighted to see that the five sections correspond to a rocket's five stages!
* Inspired by Martha Brockenbrough, our puzzle book Not Rocket Science is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Not Rocket Science . . .


Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
“Your ship will come home and moor.” —Edwin Cranston


 
* 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 . . .

March 3, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
"It is impossible to understand how millions and millions of people all obey a sickly collection of gentlemen that call themselves 'Government!'  The word, I expect, frightens people.  It is a form of planetary hypnosis, and very unhealthy."
—Leonora Carrington, The Hearing Trumpet
> read more from The Right Word . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Even liquids may be magnetic. This may surprise you, but you can easily prove it to your own satisfaction."
—Raymond B. Wailes, "Fun With Magnetic Chemicals," Popular Science, April 1938
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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

March 2, 2011

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
We've previously noted that even a squiggle isn’t immune to the corruption inherent in transliteration.  Here's our newly updated 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."  We're proud to be the only place on the Internet that compares Dutch, French, Spanish, German, and English squiggles from literature.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from John Greenleaf Whittier.

“The ghost on paper, the poem itself.” —Dylan Thomas

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

March 1, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The surprising truth is that an ancient Roman would probably not have known how to decipher any of [the Roman numerals]."
Quantum (1994)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
Here's a guessing game. How many pages did a reader make it through Metaphysics of the Supernatural as Illustrated by Decartes before scrawling an expletive in the margin? There are 65 pages, so your guess should be from 1 to 65.

To reveal the bad word in question as well as the correct page number, click the image below.

Metaphysics of the Supernatural as Illustrated by Descartes
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: last year's fashions or last century's?

Clue: This is according to playwright Arthur Wing Pinero.

Answer: Last year's. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)

Citation: Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, Plays (1986)
(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.