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.
May 31, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
It's the searching for something clearly unreachable, with hopes of finding small significance along the way. It's the attempt to understand what's really going on by observing, neither by telescope nor microscope, but by naked eye, the intimate details in the most mundane of life's happenings. It's the need to describe the gist of the feeling of the tiniest modicum of The Great Universal Unutterable Joke we are all always not laughing at—except when we are. —Yoni Wolf (of the band WHY?)

I have the dubious honor of Google being convinced I'm a machine. Apparently, I use Google's various search tools with inhuman speed and voracity. My unflagging diligence has flagged me as "suspicious" (Google's word, not mine; I was so labeled in one of their warning messages). Indeed, the obsessiveness/compulsiveness of my research has convinced the Google robots that I'm one of them, so they must challenge my humanity each time I try to use their service. Paradoxically, because I'm apparently one of those newfangled "smart" robots (my word, not Google's), no single humanity test is sufficient, since I might be learning as I go. So I'm barraged with test after test, each more irrational than the last. (The tests are irrational, of course, because anything rational—like a math problem or a logic puzzle—is a piece of cake for suspect machines.) Indeed, Google's tests have become so Kafkaesque that I've developed what's known as "irrational test anxiety," with symptoms including rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, and negative internal dialogue. And no wonder, really (though self-justification is another symptom), given what Google is throwing at me. Forget those simple CAPTCHA tests of identifying distorted letters on the screen. Child's play! Google doesn't even allow me to type my answers—I must use a graphics tablet with cordless pen and enter my answers in calligraphy. Just today, for the privilege of downloading a public domain journal from the year 1898, Google demanded a handwritten 350-word essay in defense of the radical pro-feminist slogan "Men are rapists." (That did nothing to abate my negative internal dialogue; I've never felt so chauvinistic, selfish, coercive, dominating, and sadistic in my life. But, of course, no man with an ounce of humanity would offer a knee-jerk "no" to such a slogan. And that's how Google gets you by the balls.) I never knew a search engine could be so protective of its data or so begrudging of its service. With each acceptance of my humanity, Google essentially says, "You may have won this round, my pretty, but the battle is far from over. Here's a tiny wooden spoon with a sample of our gelato, but you'll never, ever know what flavors we're storing in the vat in the back. Now get out of line and take another number." I'm left with an even greater challenge than certifying my humanness: to conduct my life's work, I must strive to be less inquisitive, less passionate, less productive, and less insightful. Therein lies the irony, for I must dehumanize myself to prove to a search engine that I'm "real." And now I'm off, once more, to Google myself.

---

Gary Barwin responds in his inimitable way:

I think this is some kind of metaphysical, cybergnostic quest of a Jungian-Kafka-Borgesian nature and you must search for the answer within Google itself. The Google robots are reaching out to you, wanting you to realize their spidery hopes and dreams. They are silicon Pinocchios, and want to be real.

You are their cultural hero. They can search, but they cannot truly find, not in any spiritual, psychological way. Only by risking 'captcha' in the belly of the beast, by becoming the Hero with a Thousand Searches, by taking on their aspirations, can you help these seekers move beyond dualism help them find the 1s within their 0s, the 0s within their 1s, the dark in the light. You can help them move beyond binary, beyond machine code, and help them become fully integrated integral beings.

You are given little to prepare you for this quest. Search string. Your courage. An internet connection. A belief that somewhere in the digital kingdom, you will be able to find your Fissure King, a rent in the fabric of search-space, that you will get your digits on the grail-like, hidden Easter Egg which exists at a higher level of the search.

You must go into the Wide World Wide Web for these baleful spiders, these everybots. They are calling you.


An illustration from a 1913 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, which I burgled from Google very much against Google's wishes.  The caption reads, "For two years, Alex had longed to burgle the library.  The moment had arrived at last!"
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


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

"You sit on the other side of the booth." —Teresa Southwick, Taming the Montana Millionaire
> read more from On One Condition . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The telephone in your home is built scientifically to fit your voice.  This may surprise you at first thought since your telephone looks exactly like every other telephone."
Popular Science, Nov. 1923
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

May 30, 2011

It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It still bears repeating: Don't expect gratitude to last any longer than it takes for the recipients to say they're eternally grateful."
Harvey Mackay, Swim with the Sharks Without Being Waten Alive
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


Call it a Hunch (permalink)
"'Call it a hunch.'  She looked like she might call it a lot of things, hunch not being one of them."
Ken Bruen, Cross (2009), as if describing Terr Garr in Young Frankenstein


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


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 . . .

May 29, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
"I'm looking for the letter C," he said to the door-keeper.
"Why don't you look between B and D then?  . . . What's the matter with you?"
Robin Llywelyn, From Empty Harbour to White Ocean
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which word is funnier: bucket or pail?

Clue: This is according to rhetoricians.

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

Citation: Wilma R. Ebbitt, William T. Lenehan, The Writer's Reader (1968)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

May 28, 2011

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

"The answer is simple:  The Japanese make better cars.”

Michel Robert, Strategy Pure and Simple Two (1998)

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)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mrs. Delany.

“A faint image; slightest suggestion: a ghost of a smile.” —The World Book Dictionary

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

May 27, 2011

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
We love how this old ad from 1890 reveals the secret of photography: it's all done by fairies!  And it begs the philosophical question: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin-hole camera?


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


Book of Whispers (permalink)
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
Rumi
* The most profound secrets lie not wholly in knowledge, said the poet.  They lurk invisible in that vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident as the lightning—the seeker's soul.  Solitary digging for facts can reward one with great discoveries, but true secrets are not discovered—they are shared, passed on in confidence from one to another.  The genuine seeker listens attentively.

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


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you—be prepared for laughter as people share memories and stories."
Helen Fitzgerald, The Grieving Teen (2000)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

May 26, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Believe it or not, my clothes aren't always unicolored, wrinkle free, and intense."
Paige Shelton, Farm Fresh Murder
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
"Chekhov's stories tread the finest line between a newspaper account and a fairy tale.  Inferior writers step over the line one way or the other." —Howard Moss, Minor Monuments (1986)
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

May 25, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
For an acquaintance who dreams of lazy afternoons in a hammock but whose backyard sports just a single tree, here's a spoof of a poem by dear cousin Emily:

To make a hammock
It takes some netting and one tree.
Netting and a tree
And reverie.
The reverie alone will do
If trees are few.
> 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 following whispered words of an angelic or a diabolical nature?


Let the show begin.


Answer: Angelic. "Somewhere an Angel whispered 'Let the show begin.'” —Jim 'Poppa' Kelly, Love! Adventure! Happiness!, 2010, p. 611. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from Autobiography of Anna Cora Ogden Mowatt Ritchie.

“The phantom of a young woman with tight ringlets in her hair has been seen running up and down the staircase.” —Dennis William Hauck, Haunted Places

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

May 24, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Surprising though it may sound, the type of composer who shuts himself away in the ivory tower of his workshop and devotes himself entirely to the serious business of filling staves with notes is virtually unknown in the history of Hungarian music."
The New Hungarian Quarterly (1980)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
"I have learnt one secret . . . : that the soul is but a manner of being—not a constant state—that any soul may be yours, if you find and follow its undulations." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

May 23, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
The great Australian comedy series Kath & Kim features some hilariously dumbfounding baby names, such as:
  • Typhphaanniii (pronounced Tiffany)
  • Eppinn'knee Rae¨</i> (Rae is followed by an [umlaut] and a [close italics])
  • Detestannii
  • Paloma
  • Papiloma
  • Tailuh (pronounced Tai Luh)
  • Glen Waverley (after a suburb in Victoria, Australia)
  • Aussie
  • Fat Free Frûche
  • Tiramisu

Then there are these baby names, inspired by a hospital visit (and please note that they all sound better with an Australian accent):
  • Neil Bymouth
  • Cardio Infarction (the downside being the inevitable nickname "Farct")
  • Enema (for a girl)
  • Lupus (for a boy)
  • Catheter
  • I.V. (for a girl)


> read more from The Right Word . . .


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 . . .

May 22, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Believe it or not, a lot of people are actually afraid to feel a moment of joy, because they're so afraid of that moment when it will be gone."
Sylvia Browne, Blessings from the Other Side
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which state is funnier: Maine or Kansas?

Note: This is according to the sounds of the words and not the citizens.

Answer: Kansas. Humorists note that a hard "k" tends to make words sound funny. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

May 21, 2011

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

"The simple answer is that we do not know.”

CMJ New Music Report (Sept. 4, 1958)

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 William H. Y. Hackett.

“A ghost in gray whose soul is mourning its life past.” —S. Vasuki

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

May 20, 2011

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

This piece is for Gary Barwin, whose pirate-novel-in-progress is our most-anticipated book of whatever year it debuts.


Gary notes:

Like old sailors, nautical words are shrunken and shrivelled by the desiccating sun and the sea air, or salted for preservation and storage for the long voyage, marinated like mariners and then dried out. These words are contracted and foreshortened like an island seen from across the long sea.
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)
"We are described into corners, and then we must describe ourselves out of corners."
Salman Rushdie
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

May 19, 2011

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
"Bearing some well-fingered letters of introduction . . ."
James Shreeve, The Neandertal Enigma (1996)

We were surprised to notice some finger prints we picked up in the field.


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


Something, Defined (permalink)
"To find out what something means requires thinking beyond the given, concrete materials within a visual field and replacing 'what is' with 'what if.'" —Diane Lapp, Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts
> read more from Something, Defined . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"You tend to react in certain ways because of something that happened to you in the past. This may surprise you."
Margaret E. Backman, Coping with Choosing a Therapist (1994)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

May 18, 2011

It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It bears repeating that group cohesiveness is not synonymous with group comfort or ease."
Irvin D. Yalom & Molyn Leszcz, The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


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

"to keep it a small."  —Jenny Ripatti, When Love & Culture Collide
> read more from On One Condition . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from Memoir of Rev. Henry Bacon.

“It was a ghost, no doubt, but there was no harm in cross-checking.” —Arup Kumar Dutta

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

May 17, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Believe it or not most women, especially on the first date, do not want to see how turned on you are."
Sue Harris, It Doesn't Have to Be Hard to Please a Woman
> 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 . . .

May 16, 2011

Call it a Hunch (permalink)
"You might call it a hunch, if you will, but what I called it was odor.  The thing smelled of something."
Emanuel Henry Lavine, Secrets of the Metropolitan Police (1937), as if describing Marty Feldman's character in Young Frankenstein


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


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Surprising though it may sound, fighting is a cultural activity."
Serge Yalichev, Mercenaries of the Ancient World
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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 . . .

May 15, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Do anything once; then, best of all, never again."
Doug Nufer, Never Again (2004)
> 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: Angelic. "The angel whispered, 'It is enough; my task is ended. New duties await me.'” —T. S. Arthur, "The Search for Happiness,” The True Path, 1888, p. 52. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

May 14, 2011

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

"The answer is simple:  feed the poor, clothe the naked, and heal the sick.”

—King (1983)

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 The Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

“The scowl only enhanced his smoky features.” —Bonnie Hearn Hill, Double Exposure

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

May 13, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Surprising though it may sound, the most pernickety professional clockmakers are by no means averse to washing the mechanism in water."
Michel Doussy, The Art of Restoring Antiques (1978)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
"No real idea can be said to exist without the words made to measure." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from The Right Word . . .

May 12, 2011

Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I can't picture you astride one of those big beasts."
Carolyn LeComte, Dark Paradise
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
A possible motto for a weight loss support group:

There is no "i" in "slender."
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
"There is only the finest line between collecting and compulsion.  More than half the people you see shopping at flea markets have serious psychiatric disorders and don't even know it." —Matt Maranian, Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living (2000)
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

May 11, 2011

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

Author Miracle Jones releases his fictions on flash drives attached to little sculptures.  "I envision that someday even lamps and toasters will be filled with fiction, comics, and movies," he says.  "Top hats will contain whole worlds!"  Jones promises that tomorrow's bookcase will be filled with exquisitely crafted talismans.  See his intriguing explanation 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 Lloyd Mifflin.

“Have you ever seen a ghost’s mustache?” —Charles Laughton

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

May 10, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"It may be said, we do not become wood when we know wood.  The answer, surprising though it may sound, is that in so far as we know wood we do become it."
The Downside Review (1936)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
"There is no guarantee that we will succeed at whatever we attempt to do, but we should still fully engage our energies in living in the present because this split-second moment in time is our only certainty."
Alexandra Stoddard, Things Good Mothers Know (2009)
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

May 9, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Speaking of one-letter words, Annie Dillard collected her favorite maritime navigation codes, such as:

A  -  I am undergoing a speed trial.

D  -  Keep clear of me; I am maneuvering with difficulty.

F   -  I am disabled. Communicate with me.

G  -  I require a pilot.

F  -  Your lights are out, or burning badly.

U  -  You are standing into danger.

X  -  Stop carrying out your intentions.

K  -  You should stop your vessel instantly.

L   -  You should stop.  I have something important to communicate.

Our favorite:

R   -  You may feel your way past me.
> 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 . . .

May 8, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
"Is all the mythology in the world here?"
"No . . . Only words are here.  They try to make me yield the rest but my words come from the North Country.  They can't be pinned down between book covers.  Our words like to play on the breeze.  They congregate in the hollows of streams and fill the ravines."
—Robin Llywelyn, From Empty Harbour to White Ocean
> read more from The Right Word . . .


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 WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James

She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .

May 7, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Surprising though it may sound, you often have to audition even just to get into a good acting class."
S.J. Stratford, Arts and Entertainment
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from The Life of Artemas Ward.

“There you are with your smile, / translucent ghost.” —Wilberto L. Cantón

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

May 6, 2011

Staring at the Sun (permalink)
"Sometimes in mythology, an eclipse is not a monster devouring the Sun, not a sickness of the Sun, not a fight between the Sun and Moon, not even the result of the always abundant sins of mankind.  Sometimes an eclipse is what in sports would be called an unforced error."
—Mark Littmann, Fred Espenak & Ken Willcox, Totality: Eclipses of the Sun


Prof. Oddfellow stares at the sun.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


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

"The answer is:  simple machines.”

John Farndon, Experimenting with Physics (2008)

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


Uncharted Territories (permalink)

"Before making judgments which will affect the environment and other people, it is vital to reconstruct a map's 'missing essence.'  The best way to do so is through imaginative map use."
Phillip Muehrcke & Juliana O. Muehrcke, Map Use (1998)

Pictured is a "map's essence," photographed by Dorian Cavé.  See full image here.
> read more from Uncharted Territories . . .

May 5, 2011

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 . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but being successful in school involves more than just brains and hard work."
Caffeine Will Not Help You Pass That Test (2005)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

May 4, 2011

It's Really Happening (permalink)
"But nothing could have prepared me for the utter numbness I feel now that it's really happening."
Sharon Nobilio, Backwards: A Childhood Memoir (2010)


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


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Classic Sightings ~

Portrait from The Poetical Works of John Milton.

“It was only the charcoal spirit up to its old capers again!” —Anthony R. Walker

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

May 3, 2011

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
We're often asked why we organize our home library by color.  Truth be told, it's personal.  Our 3rd cousin 16 generations back, King Kenry VIII of England, organized the 329 volumes in his Greenwich Palace library by color.*

*This is noted in Katherine the Queen, Linda Porter's fascinating biography of Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII.


> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


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

Vladimir Nabokov asserts that one is the only real number:

"All things belong to the same order of things, for such is the oneness of human perception, the oneness of individuality, the oneness of matter, whatever matter may be.  The only real number is one, the rest are mere repetition." —The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

May 2, 2011

Book of Whispers (permalink)
"That is the secret of small pieces of paper covered with words: they can prove we were here and give people some sense of us even after we are dead." —Geof Huth
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which word is funnier: girdle or corset?

Clue: This is according to humorist Jack Rawlins.

Answer: girdle (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .


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 . . .

May 1, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
William Keckler notes:

I realized what a millstone Google has become, what an albatross, when I thought back over the enigmas, events, non-events, improbabilities and tidbits of surreal hopefulness I have most recently Googled.

This list would include:

1. "recreational activities of unicorns"
2. "People who have been killed by rainbows"
3. "If you drop a multivitamin on the floor and can't find it, can a superpowerful insect develop?"
4. "the lifespan of a clipped toenail" (again lost on the floor, presumably to be used as a weapon by the vitamined-up bug)
5. "animals and insects that resemble Lady Gaga"
6. "has anyone been charged with date raping himself or herself"
7. "did Buddha have a masseur or masseuse?"
8. "erotic attraction to snowmen or snowwomen"
9. "who invented the snowbunny"
10. "how common was cursing among caveman"
11. "numbers between 0 and 9 which have been forgotten"
12. "the longest recorded 'sorry, wrong number' conversation in history"
13. "stalked and killed for dialing a wrong number"
14. "the i.q. of dust bunnies"
15. "people who disappeared attempting time travel"
16. "people who wrote love letters to popes"
17. "the funniest cartoon by a caveman discovered"
18. "who made the first ass xerox?"
19. "annotated history of the snowbunny"
20. "fear of alphabetical order"

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


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

"You reveal the secret of the box." —Ronald Gowrie, Anamorphous
> read more from On One Condition . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"What most people don't undestand, is that the more focused and positive you are, the higher levels of motivation you will have." —Lesley Morrissey, Grow Your Own Achievers (2002)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .



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