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.
February 28, 2013

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook, for Gary Barwin:

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1895 issue of The Idler magazine.  The caption reads: "Swear that for fourteen days you will drink nothing but cocoa."
[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 . . .
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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
We all know that the opera isn't over until the fat lady sings, but did you know that in Scotland, the bagpipes aren't over until the corgi cries?  Proof comes from Life Magazine, 1917.
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February 27, 2013

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
Wikipedia strives for an "encyclopedic tone," but what does such a tone sound like?  Giovanni Vlacancich knows.  He patented a method of "assigning each letter in an alphabet a musical note, converting words in a message into the musical notes and then using the musical notes to communicate the message to another human being."  When played all together, the alphabetic notes of Wikipedia's encyclopedic tone sound like ... well, one hates to use the word cacophony.

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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
This one from Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook was inspired by Jeff Hawkins:

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Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
I dreamed of a ten-cent emotion in a fifty-dollar frame.

From Life magazine, 1912.
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February 26, 2013

Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
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Precursors (permalink)
W. S. Gilbert's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (1874) precedes Tom Stoppard's by 92 years.  (Thanks, Jonathan!)

Pictured left, the first page of Gilbert's play.  Right, a poster for the 1991 film of Stoppard's play.

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Always Remember (permalink)
"Always remember that everyone moves at their own pace."
Christopher Greco, That's My Opinion, Period! (2011)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1922 issue of Scribner's magazine.  The caption reads: "The Ghost Trees"
[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.]
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February 25, 2013

The Right Word (permalink)

"Figs and filberts": a new expression via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.  For example:

"Let's get down to figs and filberts."
"I don't know my figs from my filberts."
"It's time to separate the figs from the filberts."
"Don't make a fig out of a filbert."
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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.
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but one animal of the Everglades that has the potential to cause harm is the oyster."
Paddling the Everglades Wilderness Waterway (2011)
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February 24, 2013

Strange Dreams (permalink)
I dreamed I was a grim reaper — not the Grim Reaper, but a grim reaper, as there was a different Death for every possible way to die.  Ironically, I stood accused of a person's demise, but I didn't fear capital punishment as I knew I was the personification of death and, besides, I could slip away from the rigmarole at any moment.  Exactly which sort of death I personified as I can't recall.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Cups and balls: an illustration from a 1901 issue of The Idler 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 . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A message from the dead."  A detail of a comic strip from Life, 1920.
[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 . . .
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February 23, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1918 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 . . .
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The Right Word (permalink)
Here is some one-letter maledicta from Life, 1918.  To decipher what those letters mean, see One-Letter Words: A Dictionary.

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February 22, 2013

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Ronette Pulaski of Twin Peaks.  (Fans of the series will recognize the scene in question.)  The illustration appears about a century earlier, in Henley I. Arden's Elizabeth or Cloud and Sunshine (1891).

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 issue of Wide World magazine.  The caption reads: "They saw the towering rock, in obedience to the white man's order, rise high into the air."
[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 . . .
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A Rose is a ... (permalink)
"A rose is a rose is a rose . . . unless it's an apple! Apples are actually part of the rose family."
Karla Dornacher, Sweet as Apple Pie (2011)

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February 21, 2013

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
There's a thin line between slapstick and tragedy, says thinker's comedian Stewart Lee in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle.
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
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Precursors (permalink)
"Lamia":  an illustration from a 1900 issue of The Idler magazine and a precursor to the spooky portraits hanging in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.

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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
There's something about the lettering styles of the late 60s and early 70s ... no matter whether we're talking about 1860-70 or 1960-70.

"Revolution" lettering by Alan Aldridge.  The Sunday Magazine lettering is, of course, from the early 1870s.
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February 20, 2013

Precursors (permalink)
Before Andy Warhol made his famous pronouncement, the polymath Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (b. 1742) noted, "Everyone is a genius at least once a year."  (Lichtenberg added that "real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.")
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1905 issue of Wide World magazine.  The caption reads: "I was soon enveloped in the fiery tongues of flame."
[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 . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Cartoons magazine, 1916.
[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 . . .
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February 19, 2013

Precursors (permalink)
Before Arrested Development introduced us to the fictional self-help book The Man Inside Me (2004), there was The Man Inside (1914).

"For there's a man inside me, and only when he's finally out, can I walk free of pain." —Dr. Tobias Fünke

Recreation of The Man Inside Me cover by VIsraWratS.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1904 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "'Through him!  Pass through him!  Come out!  Come to me!' I cried."
[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 . . .
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It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It bears repeating that any exercise is good, even if it's a walk or a slow swim."
Laura Riley, You and Your Baby Pregnancy
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February 18, 2013

Book of Whispers (permalink)
Here's the secret meaning of the Queen of Diamonds*: "Don't desire to be high-prized."  From The Idler, 1895.

*Note the diamond motif at the queen's feet.
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Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple. Vermouth is not evil.”

The Mixellany Guide to Vermouth & Other Aperitifs (2012)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
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Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)

I dreamed again I was allowed to marry another semicolon.  Our wedding was conducted by San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren, who kept saying, "I am not trying to be petty here, but it is a big deal ... That semicolon is a big deal."

Later that night, I dreamed that I discussed my marriage with Rick Boyer, who said: "Like punctuation marks, milestones break up, to a degree, the continuity of daily experience.  And like those little black marks, they add dimensions to the text of our lives, extra meaning that otherwise we would fail to read.  Nate's upcoming wedding day, like a speed bump, to some degree sneaked up on us despite the fact that we've been looking forward to it.  What is it about weddings, anyway?  You have one marked on the calendar for perhaps a year or two; yet, two weeks before the event all is madness and pandemonium as both families scramble to get ready. ... Our coming 'big day' reminds me that milestones - those punctuation marks of life - are liberally dispersed for all and that life is not one uninterrupted stream but a book with a beginning and an end.  It has sentences and paragraphs, set apart by punctuation marks, that add up to chapters which sometimes we don't recognize as such until looking back later over the nearly completed manuscript."
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February 17, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1918 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 . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The end."  A detail of a comic strip from Life, 1920.
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February 16, 2013

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Even though modern eyes might consider the young lady's skirt to be quite long (in the image below), she's wearing the "short skirt now in vogue," making her vulnerable to casting a disreputable shadow.  We generally love that one might be scandalized by one's shadow.  A true character must cast a fascinating shadow, one way or another.  Note that the tricky "witching hour" here is sunset and not midnight.

Jeff shares:

After careful analysis of the photograph, I note the following:

1) The trollop's ankles cast the shadow of a wading bird, thus creating the overwhelming sensation of familiarity in the average seaside lothario.

2) The upper portion of the trollop's shadow appears to have a bun in the oven, creating, in the average seaside lothario, the overwhelming desire for family.

3) Neither the lustful dandy nor the translucent salt behind him have shadows of their own, therefore they cannot be true characters. I blame Photoshop.

4) Upon closer inspection, the cad sneaking up the stairs is Puss 'n Boots, not Jack Sparrow.

5) The trollop's right hand is not a hand at all. It is a pincer, leading me to suspect that she is either Crab Woman or Lobster Girl. If the former, she may be harboring a crab cake in the oven instead. If the latter, she has simply lost her mittens.

6) She and the approaching cat in the hat are merely going out for seafood and a movie. It's 1868 after all.

From Punch, 1868.  The caption reads, "Young ladies who affect the short skirt now in vogue, are respectfully cautioned against the witching hour of sunset!"
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1892 issue of The Idler magazine.  The caption reads: "Baby Smithson loved me."
[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 . . .
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February 15, 2013

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to filmmaker John Waters "jumping the shark."
By the time audiences and auteurs settled into the ’80s, America’s look back in affection at the ’50s had begun to show its age. (When Fonzie jumped the shark in an episode of "Happy Days,” his daredevil stunt soon became shorthand for that precise moment in time when a beloved piece of pop culture begins to overstay its welcome). That didn’t stop "Pope of Trash” John Waters from mining the world of downscale greasers for 1990’s "Cry-Baby.” —Scott Stiffler
Our precursor appears in Frederick Upham Adams' The Kidnapped Millionaires: A Tale of Wall Street and the Tropics (1901).

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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
What strikes us about this item from The Wide World Magazine (1908) is where, exactly, the mysterious figure in question suddenly disappeared.  Note that two locations are mentioned:

1. "Denver, Colorado"
2. "Denver (Colorado)"

How many people — dozens, hundreds, or dare we suggest thousands? — have suddenly disappeared in "Denver (Colorado)"?

Our very serious advice: Do not enter parenthetical locations frivolously.  Neither a trail of breadcrumbs nor GPS software will be of any service.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
If you ever open a bottle and hear a hissing sound, stand back.  This snaky letter S is from Sunday magazine, 1875.

[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 . . .
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February 14, 2013

Always Remember (permalink)
"Always remember that there are many — thousands, millions! — of ways of expressing love. And remember that your partner has the right to express his/her love in ways that may not be what you want or expect." —Gregory J. P. Godek, 1001 Ways to Be Romantic  (1999)

Photo by Sara Harper-Hudson.
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

Father Time is a magician who conjures cupids.

The text reads:

FEBRUARY by Oliver Herford

"My next," said Time, "you will agree
     is new!"  With that he mumbled
A Magic charm, when one! two! three!
     From out the Hat there tumbled
A flock of little Loves who twirled
     And fluttered round like sparrows
And deluged Poor old Mr. World
     With myriad darts and arrows.

From Metropolitan Magazine, 1904.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A valentine from a 1903 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 . . .
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February 13, 2013

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)

The caption reads, "From whence the owner vanishes into the immeasurable Hades of all the forgotten crustaceans of the world. —John Cowper Powys, Porius.)
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 . . .
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The Right Word (permalink)
On the magical quality of philosophical phrases: "They have something, a sort of magic — I don't know what — that makes like rich and exciting to me.  . . . I think we're thrilled by the weight of history that lies behind each one of these phrases.  It isn't just the world itself, or just its immediate meaning.  It's a long, trailing margin of human sensations, life by life, century by century, that gives us this peculiar thrill.  . . .  I know they're absurd, these phrases . . . Words like 'pluralism' and 'dualism' and 'monism.'  But what they make me think of is just a particular class of vague, delicious, physical sensations!  And it's the idea of there having been feelings like these, in far-off, long-buried human nerves, that pleases.  . . .  It makes life seem so thick and rich and complicated."  —John Cowper Powys, Wolf Solent
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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
When I look into your eyes, I expect time to stand still.  But this is ridiculous!  [See the caption of the illustration from The Canadian Magazine, 1901.]

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February 12, 2013

This May Surprise You (permalink)

To date, the oldest exclamation point that geologists have excavated is a simple straight-shelled cephalopod.
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"The whole astronomical world is only a phantasm, compared with the circles within circles, the dreams within dreams of the unknown reality!" —John Cowper Powys, Wolf Solent
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"So it's 2 pm and you've got the dreaded 2 o'clock feeling." —The Grave Radio

This illustration of the dreaded 2 o'clock feeling is from Cartoons magazine, 1916.
[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 . . .
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February 11, 2013

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
There's so much to love in this first page of William De Morgan's When Ghost Meets Ghost (1914).

The first chapter is very rightly numbered zero.  Shouldn't all ghost stories begin with chapter zero?

The chapter summary is playfully honest about what it amounts to, and it mentions a "somewhere that is now nowhere."

In the first paragraph, there's a withering mention of several young ladies having "lost their individuality."

The third paragraph exposes a great truth: a story can do without accuracy.

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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Who ever said a pianist can't support himself?

Clinging to a piano for support.  From Metropolitan Magazine, 1905.
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This might surprise you ... but not everyone gives a rat's ass about antique maps."
Barbara Parker, The Perfect Fake
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February 10, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The years, like flivvers, rattle past."  A detail of a comic strip from Life, 1920.
[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 . . .
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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
Staring into the depths: an illustration from a 1915 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "What had she seen beyond the candle-flame?  It is the strange that invests visions with poignancy."

[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .
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February 9, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1904 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Those brogans are ever with him."
[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 . . .
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The Right Word (permalink)
Here's a form of cartoon swearing ("maledicta") from Metropolitan Magazine, 1911 — perhaps an exclamation of "Dingbat!" without the use of any dingbats.  The caption says it's a verb, and the "ding" part of "dingbat" probably traces back to the obsolete meaning "to deal a heavy blow."
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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February 8, 2013

Book of Whispers (permalink)
From Samuel Orchart Beeton's Book of Jokes and Jests:
Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, was tormented by the conspiracies incessantly formed against his throne and person. One day a man presented himself at a public levee, and told the monarch that he knew of a means by which the monarch might discover any conspiracy against him, and that for a certain sum of money he would reveal it to him. Dionysius promised to give him what he asked, upon which the man, taking him aside, said to him, "I possess no such secret, but if you tell your subjects that I have revealed to you one that is infallible, no one will henceforth dare to conspire against you." Dionysius thought the advice excellent, adopted it, paid the money, and lived tranquilly thereafter.
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
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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 . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
Pleasantries about the weather need not be dispassionate, as we see in the caption to this illustration from Windsor magazine, 1908. 

*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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February 7, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1913 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "No voice nor ticking clock nor cat with velvet entrance relieved the abysmal silence of the gaping door."
[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 . . .
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Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)

A naked I under the naked eye.  From Life magazine, 1911.
My dream was concupiscent.
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"In the long run, if you're patient, you discover that, just like laughter and tears, life and art have a tendency to end up merging and intertwining to form a single figure, at once comic and tragic, a figure as singular as that formed by the bull and the bullfighter." —Enrique Vila-Matas, Never Any End to Paris

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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February 6, 2013

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

The brace pictured here marks the space of six seconds.  It's a "thrill unit" (what Wendy Swanscombe calls a placet [Latin for "it pleases"]).
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1907 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Bill and the preacher rose rigidly in unison and huddled terror-stricken together."
[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 . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"When you look back at your life it may surprise you to acknowledge that what you considered the end of something was in fact a new beginning."
David Tenneson, Journey Through Many Lifetimes (2011)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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February 5, 2013

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Our Favorite Asterisk of All Time?

Check out the very special asterisk in this little verse from The Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle, 1887.  It stands for the word gloom (in all fairness, how much clarity can we expect of gloominess?) even as it concentrates what little light there is into a gleam in a house cat's eye.  Is the asterisk here a genuine example of visual poetry, or did the typesetter run out of space and improvise grandly?  We don't care, as the result stands.  (Note that we hunted down what would appear to be the web's only other gloomy asterisk, if only to give the cat's other eye a twinkle.)


"Asterisk + Gloom," a photo by Richard Weston, appears here in the context of literary analysis.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1906 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "The gods of the North were dancing beyond their walls of eternal ice."
[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 . . .
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Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
My dream was cloudy.

An illustration from The Canadian Magazine, 1897.  The caption reads, "He was punctuating his sentences, deliberately, with clouds of tobacco smoke."
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .
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February 4, 2013

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Unencumbered by linear time, recording artist Ken Clinger adapted and covered a song we wrote 14 years ago, "Legend of the Map."  Interestingly*, all references to Esperanto have been erased!

*Given that the song is about Esperanto, and given that Ken Clinger is a student of Esperanto.
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Always Remember (permalink)
"Always remember that you are the victim here – bottom line."
Melina N. Jacobs, The Illusion of Love (2009)

"Yes it works. And no, you can't try it."  Person trap photo by Hryck.
> read more from Always Remember . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1904 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "He laughed when he saw me."
[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 . . .
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Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple. Perhaps the answer is much simpler that you would believe. You must practice.”

Alex Nekritin, Naked Forex (2012)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .
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February 3, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1904 issue of Metropolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Bob can neither sleep nor play, free from the intrusion of these spectral shoes."
[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 . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"I am four hundred and three years of old to-day."  From Metropolitan Magazine, 1904.

[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 . . .
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February 2, 2013

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 . . .
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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 . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1897 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "They rise upon me tattered and dog-bitten."

[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 . . .
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February 1, 2013

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

From the genius that is Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1914 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 . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
To readers who have ever juggled more than one book at a time, we present the Bibliofool, whom we found in Bibliophile magazine, 1908:

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.