CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.

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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
June 30, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Dedicated to the Master of Masks, Jeff McBride:


Prof. Oddfellow offers this free vintage clip-art frame, originally appearing in an 1896 issues of McClure's Magazine and painstakingly restored to its original glory. The image is available for download in high-resolution GIF and vector EPS formats.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


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


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


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"If economics is studied in the right way, it's a lot of fun.  This may surprise you, if you've ever looked at a college textbook on economics."
David Gordon, An Introduction to Economic Reasoning (2000)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

June 29, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Auroral spirits: An illustration from a 1903 issue of Century Illustrated magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Call it a Hunch (permalink)
"Call it curiosity, call it a hunch, or call it, as my own analyst might be inclined to call it, an attempt to rectify a past mistake."
—Heidi Julavits, The Uses of Enchantment, as if describing the plot of Young Frankenstein


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


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from A complete history of the Mexican War.

“The General’s ghost could not be exorcised by burning a few bundles of paper.” —Alfred W. McCoy

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

June 28, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1896 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "He went into one of his trances."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Puzzles and Games (permalink)
"A flourishing lushness of cryptograms."
Jean Ray, Malpertuis


> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may come as a surprise but most doctors and dentists are not scientists."
Rafael Aguayo, The Metaknowledge Advantage
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

June 27, 2011

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Here's a review of our privately circulated treatise on the profound secrets of Twilit Silence (one of many Prof. Oddfellow works available only by special request):

Conley puts forth a method of noticing the subtlety of the space between day and night, especially when one can experience silence at that liminal time.  His thoughts on the matter, along with his collection of quotes and photographs on the subject, induced a bona-fide magical state of mind as I enjoyed them under the mid-day shade of a tree in a park in Berkeley.



"Hail, twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour!"  From Harper's magazine, 1889.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
Staring into the depths: an illustration from a 1906 issue of Pall Mall magazine.  The caption reads: "She took her eyes from the mile-deep caverns in the fire and glanced at the faded daguerrotype."


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


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 . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
Keep love letters and give them "night-lodgings, because it is safer to let such things sleep, lest, when killed, they haunt us as ghosts." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .

June 26, 2011

Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
I dreamed a green-faced Gustav Meyrink confessed to me: "I want to be a full-stop rather than eternally a comma in the punctuation of time." 
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
There's a fine line between the Atlantic and the Pacific:


This is a sliding tiles game from 1915.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Frontispiece from Guardian’s Mystery.

"Only a ghostly shadow, but without that shadow, ironic nuance would be lost.” —W. B. Carnochan, Gibbon’s Solitude

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

June 25, 2011

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Thanks to Dornob Designs for featuring three photos of our rainbow bookshelves in their piece entitled "Sublime Spectra: 3 Bookcases Neatly Sorted by Book Colors":

http://dornob.com/sublime-spectra-3-bookcases-neatly-sorted-by-book-colors/
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Long before the film Snakes on a Plane came this illustration in Pall Mall magazine (1896) of snakes on a train.  The caption reads: "The ground was alive with snakes."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
"You have to be able to laugh at anything and everything.  The statues of the Buddha all smile, and not without reason, whilst the Christian saints are all bathed in tears.  If people would smile more often, there would probably be fewer wars."
—Gustav Meyrink, The Green Face
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .


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

"The simple answer is that it works.”

Donald Michael Kraig, Modern Magick (2010)

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

June 24, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Memories that come back to life are like ghosts; they emerge, as if from a tiny point, then swell until they suddenly take on a spatial presence of greater beauty and immediacy than they ever had before."
Gustav Meyrink, Walpurgisnacht
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Staring Into the Depths (permalink)


 
Staring into the depths: an illustration from Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, 1881.  The caption reads: "She gathered her drapery about her, and leaped into the stormy darkness."

Dedicated to Teresa Burritt.
[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


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

"that it be delayed for one year." —Christiane Bird, The Sultan's Shadow
> read more from On One Condition . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"With the exception of their eyes being closed and their bodies being relaxed, hypnosis subjects are fully awake.  This may surprise you and may perhaps be a little difficult to understand."
Joe Niehaus, Investigative Forensic Hypnosis (1998)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

June 23, 2011

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

"As one goes through it, one sees that the gate one went through was the self that went through it." —R. D. Laing (via Clifford Pickover)

. . . reminds us of this illustration from Harper's magazine, 1912:


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


Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Thanks to Myrna Mackenzie for featuring our color-coded bookshelves in her piece on "Amazing Bookcases":

http://www.myrnamackenzie.com/2011/06/amazing-bookcases.html


> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)
We're delighted to share this review of our Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine:

Bibliomancer Craig Conley turns his attention to a decidedly modern bit of marginalia—Google Books' scanned images of author portraits as found in the frontispieces of Victorian-era books.  From his introduction: "In old books, frontispieces were typically protected by a sheet of translucent onionskin.  So thorough is the Google Books scanning process that even this page of onionskin is scanned.  The figure in the plate beneath the onionskin—'beyond the veil,' as it were—emerges as from a foggy otherworld.  The frontispieces were never meant to be seen this way."

However, the eyes of Conley have seen them such, and he presents here an entire book of paired portraits, veiled and unveiled.  The presentation evokes "necromancy by proxy," as Conley puts it, the scanning machine taking up the role of the crystal ball.  Quotes on ghosts, shadows, mist, and nothingness culled from Conley's tireless research accompany each diptych.  Ephemera of ephemera, The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine is an unexpectedly rewarding and transporting read.

Clint Marsh (editor of Swami Panchadasi's Clairvoyance and Occult Powers: A Lost Classic), from his review in The Pamphleteer
* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Prof. Oddfellow found his ideal of a wonky homestead: the Carpenter's House (1908), now part of the Dow Museum's preserved city block in the heart of St. Augustine's historic district.  There's no lens distortion in the photo — the house really is that lopsided. 


> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Things beyond compare:
  • the taste of yeast
  • the world
  • Paris
  • the moon
  • the human figure
  • the sense of accomplishment
  • Yahweh
  • thy destiny
  • the excellence of Italian cookery
  • the beauty of a rose
  • a blue-sided, white-capped mountain, reflected in a broad, placid, shimmering lake, and framed between fleeting clouds, graceful trees and verdant lawn
(These tidbits were all culled from our research.)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

June 22, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1906 issue of Pall Mall magazine.  The caption reads: "'Oh, don't!' she cried.  'Don't get any bigger.  I can't bear it.'"


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


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


Dedicated to Alayna Williams, of course.
> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from Memoir of Samuel Slater.

Slater’s ghost is a mirror image. The striped aura in his portrait appears courtesy of the scanning machine.

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

June 21, 2011

Precursors (permalink)
Pre-dating the hilarious comedy series "Childrens Hospital" [sic], about a clown doctor who heals through the power of laughter, here's an illustration from an 1891 issue of The Strand magazine.  The text reads: "'Doctor,' said the clown to the physician, 'do not be jealous, but it seems to me that my tomfooleries have done more good than your prescriptions.'"  The caption reads, 'Thank you, Slap-Bang."


> read more from Precursors . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
This bold, all-caps typo in Amanda Owen's The Power of Receiving disturbs us not because the apostrophe is upside down, and not because "don'r" isn't a word, but because "don'r" is pronounced "Donner," as in the snowbound American pioneers who didn't limit themselves to non-human meat.

(Dedicated to the ever-beguiling Martha Brockenbrough.)


> read more from The Right Word . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may come as a surprise, but there is no one right way to get organized." —Donna Smallin, Organizing Plain and Simple
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

June 20, 2011

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Before the "photobomb" phenomenon, in which a third party unexpectedly steps in and ruins a photo, there was the "etch-plosion," in which an engraving was spoiled by an attention-hungry figure in the background.  Consider, for example, this etched illustration from an 1869 issue of Harper's magazine.


> 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 . . .


Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which word is funnier: moist or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?

Clue: This is according to feminist/humour academic Gina Barreca.

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

Citation: Gene Weingarten & Gina Barreca, I'm with Stupid (2006)
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .

June 19, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"The Fall did not begin with eating the apple, that is base superstition.  It was hanging pictures in houses that did it!  Scarcely has the plasterer made the wall sheer and smooth than the Devil appears in the guise of an 'artist' and paints you a 'hole' in it with a view into the distance.  From there it's only one step to the bottomless pit where you're hanging in full fish and soup on the dining-room wall yourself next to Isidor the Handsome or some other crowned idiot with a pear-shaped head and a Cro-Magnon jaw, watching yourself eat."
—Gustav Meyrink, The Green Face
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from Margaret Woods.

Margaret’s insubstantial "Woods” is reminiscent of Victor Hugo’s perspective on death: "I feel in myself the future life; I am like a forest that has been more than once cut down.”

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

June 18, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The lure of the North Pole: an illustration from a 1906 issue of Pall Mall magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"And thus we arrive at the surprising truth that true art is truer than fact."
James Wideman Lee, The Geography of Genius (1920)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


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

"The simple answer is that fashion changed.”

Alistair Fox, The English Renaissance (1997)

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

June 17, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1863 issue of Harper's magazine.

Dedicated to June.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
Why begin "astonish" with a double S?  Interestingly, the word derives from the Latin tonāre, "to thunder," and the double S glyph of pre-Columbian Mexico is a symbol of clouds, rain, and water.


This snippet is from William Mason Cornell, Recollections of "Ye Olden Time" (1878).
 

This snippet is from William Mavor, An Historical Account of the Most Celebrated Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries from the Time of Columbus to the Present Period (1803).
 

This snippet is from The Christian Witness and Church Members' Magazine (1858).
 
> read more from The Right Word . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from Life of Washington.

"I don’t care if you’ve got George Washington’s ghost giving you evidence on this thing.” —Ellen Hawley, Open Line

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

June 16, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)


 
From an 1898 issue of The Strand.  The caption reads, "It will help you in many ways."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Something, Defined (permalink)
"Hey, like Aretha, says: R-e-s-p-e-c-t.  Something something means to me or however the other lyrics go."
Christopher John Farley, My Favorite War
> read more from Something, Defined . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Corporate America loves experts, and pays dearly for their expertise.  This may surprise you—have you ever considered becoming an information expert in a small area?"
Michael Geraghty, Anybody Can Negotiate—Even You! (2006)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

June 15, 2011

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Prof. Oddfellow sends greetings from the "Other Side."


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


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?


Where there's a will there's a way.


Answer: Angelic. ""Where there's a will there's a way,' his angel whispered.” —Eddie Stack, The West, 2010, p. 112. (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Believe it or not, money isn't all that it's cracked up to be."
Lee Goldberg, Mr. Monk in Outer Space
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

June 14, 2011

Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Don't take this the wrong way, but from everything you've told me, it sounds like other than dark movie theaters, you don't exactly have a scene."
Robin Palmer, Geek Charming
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


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

"I would like for you to have your cell phone on you at all times, so that if anything goes wrong, you can call someone."  —Erin Sankey, Nalee
> read more from On One Condition . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
 "Our only certainty is to act with the body."
Wittgenstein
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

June 13, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"For the surprising truth is, love has little to do with relationship survival."
Tom Merrill & Bobbie Sandoz-Merril, Settle for More (2005)
> 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 . . .

June 12, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Even if our work is rooted in realism, we have to believe there is more to our world than meets the eye." —Sara Zarr

(via Martha Brockenbrough)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait of Old Q from The Ghosts of Piccadilly.

"The man was no more than a shadowy profile.” —Jason Hightman, The Saint of Dragons

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

June 11, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Strange how colourful life can be if you take the trouble to look at it from close to and turn your back on the so-called important things, which only bring vexation and suffering."
—Gustav Meyrink, The Green Face
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


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

"This answer is simple, very simple indeed, and, to really honest minds, it ought to be self-evident. ... Human pride.”

The Dublin Review (1903)

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

June 10, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may come as a surprise, but, theoretically, a camera is lubricated for 'life.'"
Thomas Tomosy, Camera Maintenance & Repair
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"It is far too easy to talk of a dead author behind the backs of his books."
Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

June 9, 2011

Strange Dreams (permalink)
To resist nightmares of the Spanish Inquisition, evoke the Danube at midday.  (This tip comes to us from The Stone Door by the great surrealist painter and author Leonora Carrington.)


> read more from Strange Dreams . . .


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


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .

June 8, 2011

It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"This bears repeating: You can't fit a baby into a clock."
Tracy Hogg & Melinda Blau, The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems

We're reminded of Gary Barwin, who last year described Canadian Parliament as a "clock-eyed baby."  Here's how we picture such a thing:


> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"It is one of the oddest things in the world that you can read a page or more and think of something utterly different." —Christian Morgenstern

(via Futility Closet)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from Some Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson.

“Distorted it’s true, but distinct enough to make out a face.” —Martin Grzimek, Heartstop

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

June 7, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
We would swear this illustration of a fire eater is dated "1967," though the issue of Cosmopolitan in question was published in May 1900.  Apparently, an artist is only as far ahead of his time as his autograph dates him.  (Note that in 1902, Georges Melies will film his classic A Trip to the Moon, which will also be exactly sixty-seven years ahead of its time.)


Bob responds:

That performer is a fire eating magician!  The mouth of the performer is functioning as a hat.  The fire appears to have taken a specific shape of a rabbit: hand holding its rear end, paws reaching back to the performer's mouth, and two ears towering up from the too-small head.  Not bad for the shaping of a flame.

And I can believe in anything else I want too.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


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

"We are all like snowflakes."
—comedian Lewis Black

And:

"Snow is a faked cleanliness."
—Goethe

Then:

"We are all unclean, or rather we are all unclean persons."
—Samuel Trickett
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"In a restaurant, you can tell if bamboo chopsticks have been used many times by dark stains from soy sauce visible at the tips.  This may surprise you."
Gaku Homma, The Folk Art of Japanese Country Cooking (1991)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

June 6, 2011

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 . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
"The common pebble you find in your fist after having thrust your arm shoulder deep into water, where a jewel seemed to gleam on pale sand, is really the coveted gem though it looks like a pebble as it dries in the sun of everyday." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

June 5, 2011

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Prof. Oddfellow offers this free collection of vintage frame clip-art, culled from 110-year-old issues of Cosmopolitan Magazine and painstakingly restored to their original glory.  The frames are available for download in high-resolution GIF and vector EPS formats.  See samples of the corners below:

Vintage Frame #1 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #2 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #3 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #4 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #5 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #6 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #7 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #8 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #9 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #10 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #11 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #12 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #13 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #14 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #15 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #1 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1906)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #1 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1914)
GIF | EPS

> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"We got it the first time, Kurt [Vonnegut], when the books were written by Voltaire."
William Keckler
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from Letters of Emily Dickinson.

"The Frost of Death was on the Pane—” —Emily Dickinson

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

June 4, 2011

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

"The answer is simple:  pay close attention to the five L’s and decide to correct the ones that are lacking.”

Richard A. Harris, Simple/Truths (2010)

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


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
There is "the finest line between unique and odd" (Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes, 2008).
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

June 3, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)


 
Staring into the depths: an illustration from a 1913 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The delightful caption reads, "It was characteristic of her that she could so excite herself by the power of visualization as to be completely transported."
[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


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

Inspired by and dedicated to Jonathan and Hilary Caws-Elwitt:


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 come as a surprise, but the big secret when it comes to money is to give it away!" —Daniel Robinson, Potion Mixology
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

June 2, 2011

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 AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton

On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)


> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .

June 1, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Sometimes the smartest thing . . .
  • cannot be defended intellectually
  • is to let it roll off your back
  • is to wait until next year
  • is take on a humble task that needs doing
  • is to give up and try from a completely different point of view
  • is to shut your mouth and listen
  • is to get out early
  • is to apologize
  • is to play along
  • is to give up
  • is to stop it altogether
  • is delegating
  • to bring to a gunfight is a knife
  • is to go with the flow
  • is to stay out of the way
  • is to cut your losses
  • is to be scared
  • is to follow your heart
  • to turn a complete about-face and offer something in total opposition to a trend
  • is pack up, jump on your horse and gallop off to greener pastures

(These tidbits were all culled from our research.)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
At age 75, Katsuhika Hokusai timelined his artistic quest: "At the age of 73, I finally apprehended something of the true quality of birds, animals, insects, fishes, and of the vital nature of grasses and trees.  Therefore at 80, I shall have made some progress, at 90 I shall have penetrated even further into the deeper meaning of things, at 100 I shall have become truly marvelous, and at 110, each dot, each line shall surely possess a life of its own."  Vincent Van Gogh achieved Hokusai's dream at the age of 37.  (Michael R. Zomber, Park Avenue, 2010)
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from the Alfred Saker biography.

“As through a veil I glimpse your hands in the shadows.” —Hans Urs von Balthasar

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



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