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.
January 31, 2013

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
"We're like handshadows illuminated by stars, and the shadow on the wall, lit by a star, is really a shadow of what isn't us." —Gary Barwin


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1917 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "I have never scolded you, Yolande, for your natural vices, but let me warn you against these exotic 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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1903 issue of Saturday Evening Post.

Dedicated to the Master of Masks, Jeff McBride.


[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 . . .

January 30, 2013

Unicorns (permalink)


From The Day of Wonders by M. Sullivan, 1879.  The text reads, "U was a unicorn, needing no breath, / V was a viper, as silent as death."
> read more from Unicorns . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Silence, emptiness, and beside the bed, burning steadily, the lighted candle."


[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)
We too often forget that even zombies were once better read than dead.  A crucial example is an article in a 1905 issue of Windsor magazine, in which the first example of a "walking encyclopaedia" is technically deceased.  Over the years, ravenousness for knowledge, even from beyond the grave, became equated with a base hunger for brains.  Alas, it's all indicative of the "dumbing down" of popular culture.


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

January 29, 2013

The Right Word (permalink)
The DVD release of Anthony Newley's series The Strange World of Gurney Slade doesn't feature subtitles, so we took it upon ourselves to transliterate the following rather marvelous made-up words:


> read more from The Right Word . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook, for Navid Sinaki:


The title reads, "Grief makes a pomegranate split."
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1903 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "The vicar prodded most of the them with his stick."


[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 . . .

January 28, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1912 issue of Metropolitan 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 . . .


Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"The sooner you catch yourself in the act of building your mental snowball, the easier it is to stop."
Richard Carlson, The Big Book of Small Stuff


This illustration is from Peterson's magazine, 1876.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This might surprise you, but I don' t really hate rap.  I like the fact that it tells a story.  I just can't sing it. It's not me—"
John Nieman, The Wrong Number One
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Years ago we quipped that John Venn traveled in many circles.

But as it's been too long since our last Venn joke, here's a new one:

John Venn's favorite way to waste time was running in circles.

(One might think these jokes write themselves, but the process is protracted and requires protractors.)


Source and massive version here.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .

January 27, 2013

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
We're delighted by the latest praise for our Machinarium Verbosus by poet W. B. Keckler (author of Ants Dissolve in Moonlight):

[A] very humorous series of essays, experiments and actual OBJECTS (?!) all addressing metaphysical ideas in literature--but in an EXTREMELY playful way.  I LOVE this book.

But don't miss the other things he has to say, including why he is "damn nervous" of our actual person!
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1905 issue of Metropolitan 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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1913 issue of Life 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 . . .

January 26, 2013

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
The opposite of hubris is hubrisn't.

(We're proud to claim "hubrisn't" as a Googlewhack.  Google's one other instance of the word is from a tweet.)
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Before the advent of Internet porn:  an illustration from a 1908 issue of Life 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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1912 issue of Life magazine.  The caption reads: "Sports of All Nations:  'Cut your Neighbor' or 'Freeze the Blighter,' the popular pastime of England.  The players endeavor to outstare each other.  It is played in twosomes, foursomes and then some.  The player dropping his H is disqualified."


[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 . . .

January 25, 2013

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
This 1904 edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Cayenne is apparently really hot.


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


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Our Caption: Yes, do take stock and leave the bonds.

(Illustration from a 1912 issue of Life 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 . . .


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

"The answer is simple: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Nicholas Rescher, On the Nature of Philosophy

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

January 24, 2013

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Here's how to test whether or not someone is a "which" or practices "which-craft" [sic]:


The caption reads: "Now then, Molly! did you drop THAT, or did you not?"  The illustration appears in The Argosy, April 1, 1870.
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 issue of Life 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)
"It may surprise you to find out how much information there is about you on the Internet, even if you, yourself, do not participate in social networking activities."
Information Security Management Handbook: Volume 5 (2011)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

January 23, 2013

Puzzles and Games (permalink)

Jollification expert Bernie DeKoven highlights our oddest work yet — a book that transforms other books in surprising ways.  As we confabulated with Bernie:

The Dictionary Game (see also Fictionary) turns a serious reference book into a gaming generator; the dictionary is playfully transformed from a tool for decoding puzzling words into a puzzle-making machine, where whimsically fake definitions take the stage.  But could any book, spontaneously pulled off the shelf, be transformed into a playfulness machine?  Could one’s entire home library be a gaming center?  That’s the lofty goal of a new publication that offers, among other oddities, cut-out paper spectacles for seeing more than is readily apparent in any book.

Please note that our Machinarium Verbosus is a book for the few—the very few.  If it’s important to one’s psychological well-being that the machinations of the Universe be neat and tidy and wholly comprehensible by the human mind, then absolutely do not proceed with this book’s experiments.  Let this constitute a very serious warning: do not take these experiments lightly, as any one of them may induce an existential crisis.
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1911 issue of Life 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 . . .


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


Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)

I dreamed I was the Berlin Wall, separating the independent clauses of East and West Germany.  But suddenly the clauses joined together.  I woke myself up.

Later that night, I dreamed I had a crush on a man who "speaks like a president, not always authoritative or anything but he can form sentences, complex sentences with beginnings and ends, subordinate clauses--you can HEAR his semicolons!"  Upon waking up, I realized this man was a character in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers.  Up to that point, I had always agreed with Roger E. Axtell that "You can't say a comma or a semicolon unless you are Victor Borge."
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .

January 22, 2013

Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)


> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 issue of Life 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 . . .


Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
"'You can't have a fear of the unknown,' the artist/beggar Gabriel Fluke tells me, apropos of nothing.  'You have a fear of the known.  You have a fear of what you know.'"
James S. Kunen, Diary of a Company Man (2012)
> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .

January 21, 2013

Precursors (permalink)
One hundred and thirty-four years before C. S. Lewis published a demonic exchange in The Screwtape Letters, we were invited to listen in on an Infernal Conference or, Dialogues of Devils (1808).


> read more from Precursors . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 issue of Life 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)
"This might surprise you ... but I guess I do understand, kind of."
Amy Ackley, Sign Language
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

January 20, 2013

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
From the desk of literary scalawag Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

"Increasingly I find that I'm writing, not for myself, but so that an audience of readers might appreciate me.  I have progressed from narcissism to egotism."
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Must I shake hands with him?":  an illustration from a 1907 issue of The Canadian 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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Fairy bunny: an illustration from a 1904 issue of The Canadian magazine.  The caption reads: "Welcome, mortal boy! I have long hoped to see you."


[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 . . .

January 19, 2013

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
Here are some great unused book titles from Raymond Chandler's notebooks:

http://www.futilitycloset.com/2013/01/12/a-gumshoes-library/
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Hypnotism: an illustration from a 1916 issue of Cartoons 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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Route taken by imaginary joke":  an illustration from a 1911 issue of Life 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 . . .

January 18, 2013

The Right Word (permalink)
Overheard at lunch: "She calls a comforter a duvet and I want to kill her every time she does that."

It was a great (if chilling) reminder of how using the right word can prevent murderous impulses.
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The Unmasking":  an illustration from a 1912 issue of Life 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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1904 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "Her outstretched arms seemed to close upon something."


[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 . . .

January 17, 2013

Strange Dreams (permalink)
In the wee hours of January 17, 2013, I dreamed of writing to Larry Hass.  He had requested the template from a printing company that I use (full of cut lines and bleeding, come to think of it!).  I noticed on my laptop screen that the file of Larry's request had surprisingly disappeared once I'd printed out the template.  (Behest and fruition adding up to one, not two?)  As I began to handwrite a cover letter for the printout, I noticed that the paper was unusually fibrous (papyrus?), the back being somewhat smoother than the front.  Within mid-sentence (asking "Did you request this?" since I had no evidence of a request), I noticed that I'd inexplicably switched to the back of the page.  (When front and back merge, aren't we in Möbius territory?)  This happened twice, and I crumpled up the very crisp pages with divided sentences.  On my third try, I decided to begin on the smoother side to see if my pen would stay there.  (Apparently it worked.)  As I wrote, I was aware of three mismatched clocks.  (A fullness of time?  A three-in-one mystery?)  When I set off to mail the letter, my feet ran in place like Fred Flintstone.  (Motion/stillness? Point B indistinguishable from point A? "Modern stone age"?)  After I dreamed this, as I remained asleep, I lucidly recalled the details and dream-typed this transcript to Larry three different times, as if the message were so important that I mustn't forget anything upon waking!
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt coined a new oath or expletive: "Jumping dingbats!"  He explains: "I come by it honestly, having encountered a technical glitch whereby the fancy typographical divider known as a dingbat jumps one line upward in the course of file conversion, so that the text is now divided in the wrong place."

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


> read more from The Right Word . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1912 issue of Life magazine.  Text within the image:

It was a fine chance, BUT—
He is a good man on the job, BUT—
I would like to marry you George, BUT—
Napoleon had the battle won, BUT—
Your story is very good, BUT—
I would give you an order, BUT—
Yes, we are in the market, BUT—
I like your work, BUT—
I would give you the job in a minute, BUT—
It was a clear night and the sea was calm, BUT—
Enjoy yourself, BUT—
Spain once ruled the world, BUT—


[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)
"This might surprise you: Your brain is still growing."
Mark Oestreicher, My Changes
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

January 16, 2013

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein suggested that memory cannot be said to communicate the past to us.  "For even supposing that memory were an audible voice that spoke to us—how could we understand it?  If it tells us e.g. 'Yesterday the weather was fine,' how can I learn what 'yesterday' means?" (Zettel, 40th Anniversary Edition, translated by G. E. M. Anscombe).


*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"I looked in":  an illustration from a 1905 issue of The Windsor 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 . . .


A Rose is a ... (permalink)

"'A rose is a rose is a rose,' but what is true of roses is not true of homicides."
American Legal Injustice: Behind the Scenes with an Expert Witness
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .

January 15, 2013

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
"She felt just like sitting on the rocks all day": from Miss Roberts' Fortune by Sophy Winthrop (1875).


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


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1904 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "Always that white baby hand called upwards through the earth."


[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 . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
Doctor Dolittle notwithstanding:

"So perhaps the answer is simply to collect all the facts, and then make a judgement. But is it possible to collect all the facts? You cannot, after all, talk to the chickens." —For Business Ethics (2005)


> read more from Simple Answers . . .

January 14, 2013

Staring at the Sun (permalink)
Prof. Oddfellow stares at the sun while contemplating his options (invigorate the scalp or restore shine?).


> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
Bitter feelings were in the little girl's heart (as we learn in Mrs. Molesworth's The Bolted Door, 1906).

Indeed, "Long before your children are capable of expressing their feelings in words, you see in them the exhibitions of pride, anger, revenge, selfishness, and other evil passions; and these 'roots of bitterness' are constantly 'springing up' at every subsequent period of life" (Joseph Cross, Headlands of Faith, 1856).


> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Call it a Hunch (permalink)
"Call it a hunch, or gaydar, or what have you."
J.M. Snyder, It's All Relative (2011)


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

January 13, 2013

Strange Dreams (permalink)
Our friend KC shared this dream from 1999:
I was with Craig C. and a few other people on an exploratory voyage.  It seemed like we were on a spaceship, but there wasn't much sense of it being that physical.  We were exploring different levels of reality, and discovered that to go from one level to the next higher, we had to place our attention on the sun of the nearest solar system, and once we focused on it, we would awaken in the next higher reality.  But each level was different enough that the technique had to be altered for each level.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1905 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "Then the terrible thing happened."

Jonathan offers a zinger: ""She looked straight at me through her mono-lorgnette!"


[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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Communing With the Buffalo Spirit:  an illustration from a 1907 issue of The Windsor 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 . . .

January 12, 2013

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Someone should write a book where the main character slowly falls in love with the reader."  (Source.  Thanks, Jonathan!)
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1904 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "Once more he placed the men, and once more they started of their own volition."


[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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"What he saw reflected there, Christ alone knows." From Appleton's magazine, 1905.


[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 . . .

January 11, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1903 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "I know I was not dreaming."


[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 . . .


Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm looking for a strictly professional relationship."
Kathleen Long, Silent Warning
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1891 issue of The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "No one shall ever drink out of it again."


[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 . . .

January 10, 2013

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook, inspired by Jeff Hawkins:


The text reads: "If there's one thing a ball of string isn't good for, it's aligning a scope with the polar axis of your home planet. —Jeff Hawkins."
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Precursors (permalink)
Forty-four years before Doctor Dolittle talked to the animals, we learned that animals say such things as:
  • He did it first.
  • I wish.
  • I don't care.
  • Not my fault.
  • What is that to you?
  • I am as good as you.
  • More, more.
  • Why not?
Additionally:

I want to see the world.

That is my place.

That's nought to me.

It is too hard.

Why?

(The Man's Boot and Other Tales; or Fabulous Truths in Words of One Syllable by Gertrude Sellon, 1876.)
> read more from Precursors . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1907 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "A dull, unearthly glare surrounded 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 . . .

January 9, 2013

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"The Fog Folk":  an illustration from a 1907 issue of The Windsor magazine.


*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .


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

"The answer is simple: word of mouth.”

The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence (2012)

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


Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
I dreamed again that I was in hell, forever separating the independent clauses of a compound sentence, as if they were young siblings fighting over space in the back seat of the family station wagon.

Later that night, I dreamed I was caught in traffic.

Upon waking, I was filled with the "immortal longings" that impel "every hyphen and semicolon," as discussed by William Stryon in Sophie's Choice.


Semicolon sign courtesy of Pixiewarp.
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .

January 8, 2013

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Somebody should write a book about the relationship between monotheism and monolithism."
David DeBatto & Pete Nelson, CI: Mission Liberty (2006)
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Imaginary Friend:  an illustration from a 1907 issue of The Windsor 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)
"This may surprise you, but many people enter into volunteer work for self-promotion."
Comrie Palme, Dying to Get There (2011)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

January 7, 2013

Always Remember (permalink)
"Always remember that theirs are bigger and need attention first."
Telephony (1913)


Photo by Prof. Oddfellow.
> read more from Always Remember . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1903 issue of The Windsor 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 . . .


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

"The answer is simply, all of the above.”

Reading John With St. Thomas Aquinas (2005)

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

January 6, 2013

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Pictured: Prof. Oddfellow collects his thoughts.  Note the eye-shaped lens flare, courtesy of mysterious forces.


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


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1903 issue of The Windsor 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 . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
Did you know that buxom has both an obsolete and an archaic meaning?  Obsolete: compliant, obliging.  Archaic: lively, good-tempered.


From Appleton's magazine, 1908.
> read more from The Right Word . . .

January 5, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The following chapter plates appear in The Man Trap by Sears Gallagher (1909).  Titles include:
  • Chapter Two, in which a Sliding Panel is Mentioned
  • Chapter Eight, in which the Plot Thickens
  • Chapter Nine, in which the Unexpected Happens
  • Chapter Fourteen, in which a Door is Opened





[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 . . .


Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from an 1895 issue of The Windsor magazine.


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


Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
Ending a scene "with a jolt—the ubiquitous cat jump (a feline leaps out of the darkness with a screech). This is the oldest trick in the book." —John Kenneth Muir, Horror Films of The 1980s (2007)

The illustration is from Appleton's magazine, 1907.  The caption reads: "With a savage whining scream The Death hurtled through the air." 


> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .

January 4, 2013

Precursors (permalink)
Forty-four years before children found a doorway to a magical world within a cabinet (C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 1950), children found a doorway to a magical world within a cupboard (Mrs. Molesworth's The Bolted Door, 1906).


> read more from Precursors . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1895 issue of The Windsor 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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
While looking for the proverbial farmer's daughter, we encountered "the beautiful, hypothetical stranger"!  She was wandering through Good Housekeeping, Aug. 1911.


[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 . . .

January 3, 2013

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook, inspired by Jeff Hawkins' unlikely pairing of vegetables to astronomy.


The text reads, "The so-called eyes of nightshade tubers always connect to form the constellation Cassiopeia, the original 'couch potato.'"
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)
The way sea life keeps track of tides is less poetic than salty romantics would have you believe.  (The illustration is from Five Minutes' Stories by Mrs. Molesworth, 1888.)


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


Precursors (permalink)
Though the famed comedian/juggler/alcoholic W. C. Fields made his Broadway debut in 1906 at the age of 26, we're going to register this 1906 image from London's Punch as a precursor to the archetype that later became his signature.  The caption reads: "Thoughts for non-thinkers.  Be sure you raise no more spirits than you can conjure down."


> read more from Precursors . . .


Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
"If there was such a thing as seeing a ghost, Doris had seen one.  She stared at the shopping bag.  'Fondly I'm dreaming, ever of thee,' she quoted softly, apropos of nothing."
Judith Bowen, The Wild Child (2012)
> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .

January 2, 2013

Book of Whispers (permalink)
"The secret of life included within its immeasurable orbit the secret of death."
John Cowper Powys, Porius
* 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 . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"My scepticism soon left me":  an illustration from A Bid for Fortune by Guy Newell Bootby, 1895.


[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 . . .


It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It bears repeating that some of the most valuable word of mouth you can generate will come simply from having a reputation for being completely open, fair, and trustworthy."
Rules to Break and Laws to Follow
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .

January 1, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Friendship is better than sleep, at least according to the fairies.  From Out and All About, Fables For Old and Young by H. A. Page, 1874.


[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 . . .


Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from an 1899 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.  The caption reads: "Tears mingled with the raindrops on her cheeks as his 'Happy New Year, lady,' followed her down the gloomy street."


*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This might surprise you ... but I've never had a girl ask for my DNA before."
Simon Clark, Ghost Monster
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .



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