CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
May 31, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1854 issue of Punch 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 1898 issue of The Idler magazine.  The caption reads: "Truly the Unknown's face shone like a lamp."
[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 1903 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "The Presence seemed to gather round my head with a caress."
[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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May 30, 2013

The Right Word (permalink)
"Yex" isn't a word? Oh, yex it is!  Two stills from Dear Ladies.


> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The Source of the Nile":  an illustration from an 1863 issue of Punch 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)
A "fidgetglyph" in a scan of a page from McClure's magazine (1904) recalled a constellation.  We fiddled around and discovered that the glyph is, indeed, a lion.  [For Geof Huth.]


> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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May 29, 2013

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook, for a Tumblr acquaintance:
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from an 1868 issue of Punch magazine.
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Try not to think about the purple elephant with green stripes.  This specimen was accidentally colorized by Google's scanning machine.  From McClure's magazine, 1904.  The "moire" the merrier!

> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .
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May 28, 2013

Strange Dreams (permalink)
"Roses dream by perceiving scents which seem to waft from far distances, unknowable lands."
Wendy Walker, The Secret Service (a stunningly original novel)

> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
An illustration from a 1904 issue of Punch magazine.  The caption reads: "Wonderful dream, as recounted by a gentleman who passed the night in a room hung with 'goblin tapestry.'"  This should also be of interest: How to Believe in Your Elf.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
It's commonly believed that the psychedelic drug LSD was first synthesized by the chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938.  However, we can confirm that LSD was first "cooked up" by one Mrs. Threadneedle in 1847.  The acronym LSD has nothing to do with her chemical compound but rather the cost of her "soothing syrup."  (L.s.d. stands for the old British monetary values of "pounds, shililngs, pence," from the Latin "librae, solidi, denarii.")

From Punch, 1847.  Mrs. Threadneedle is saying, "Did it have a nasty panic?  Here then —here then!!!"
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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May 27, 2013

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook, for Jeff Hawkins:
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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1888 issue of Punch 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 1881 issue of Punch 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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May 26, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Father Time learns about the quantum cups and balls 116 years before physicists Billangeon and Nakamura publish their quantum cups and balls in the journal Nature.  An illustration from an 1896 issue of Punch 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)
Science holds a match to the sun: an illustration from an 1883 issue of Punch 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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May 25, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1867 issue of Beadle's 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 North Pole enjoys a nightcap with the midnight sun: an illustration from an 1896 issue of Punch 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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May 24, 2013

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Robinson Crusoe started off as an armchair traveler.  (See evidence, from Little Wide Awake, 1882.)
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"History repeats itself and history never repeats itself are about equally true." —G. M. Trevelyan
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The Serpent Cigarette": an illustration from an 1882 issue of Punch 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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May 23, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The 'Odd Fellow' Out": an illustration from an 1891 issue of Punch 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 . . .
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1883 issue of Punch 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 1900 issue of Harmsworth's magazine.  The caption reads: "'Stay there,' she said, 'or I will move the pieces.'"   See If a Chessman Were a Word: A Chess-Calvino Dictionary.
[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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May 22, 2013

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
Someone should write a guide to Jerry Lewis films that aren't Jerry Lewis vehicles.*

*Inspired by Jonathan, who said, "We gave up on watching Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River. (Imagine my shock and outrage when this movie starring Jerry Lewis turned out to be nothing but a Jerry Lewis vehicle!)"

[Jonathan later added, "Did you ever see the film version of Visit to a Small Planet? See, there's a movie starring Lewis that's not a Jerry Lewis vehicle.  Even Jerry Lewis's performances in the film are not Jerryesque."]
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 issue of Punch 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)
Father Time stands at the finish line for the seasons' quadricycle race: an illustration from an 1897 issue of Punch 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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May 21, 2013

The Right Word (permalink)
"We've caught him in flagratto del grando."  A still from Dear Ladies, series one.

> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Snake-Talk": an illustration from an 1867 issue of Beadle's 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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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
An illustration from an 1877 issue of Punch magazine.  The caption reads: "An arrangement in 'Fiddle-de-dee.'"
> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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May 20, 2013

The Right Word (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook, for Gordon Meyer:

The text reads, "A pilcrow (¶) is so named because a 'pulled [plucked] crow' will speak paragraphs."
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Time Will Tell: Father Time reads the palm of the New Year: an illustration from a 1903 issue of Punch 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 1876 issue of Punch 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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May 19, 2013

The Right Word (permalink)
An illustration from an 1886 issue of Punch magazine.  The caption reads: "The New Verb: Banjo, Banjab, Banjat — Banjamus, Banjatis, Banjant!"
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1878 issue of Punch magazine.  The caption reads: "There and (not) back!"
[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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May 18, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"There must be mirrors that reflect unwillingly."
Stephen Sparks

The illustration is from an 1865 issue of Punch 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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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from an 1878 issue of Punch magazine.
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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May 17, 2013

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

The text reads: "It's not that we get up on the wrong side of the bed, but rather on the wrong side of the dream.  Freud identified the two basic sides of a dream: manifest and latent."
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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1888 issue of Punch 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 1896 issue of Pall Mall magazine.  The caption reads: "The mist condensed into a body."
[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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May 16, 2013

This May Surprise You (permalink)
Castmembers at Disney's Star Tours attraction can no longer exclaim, "May the Force be with you!" to riders because Jediism (the most common "alternative" faith in the United Kingdom) is a genuine religion, and the blessing is considered equivalent to "Praise the Lord" and "Hare Krishna."  To quote comedian Stewart Lee, "it's political correctness gone mad!"
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"In the long run, reality turns out to be inextinguishable, unreachable.  One can find out more and more about it, but not everything.  Even so, it's advisable to try to find out a little more, because in certain investigations surprises do occasionally occur." —Enrique Vila-Matas, Dublinesque (highly recommended!)
> 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 1905 issue of Punch 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)
"Some believe that the 'surveillance society' began with the advent of networked computers and databases, but is this an accurate assessment?"
Timothy C. Lim, Stand! (1999)

This illustration is from Beadle's Monthly, 1866.

[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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May 15, 2013

This May Surprise You (permalink)

"Content must never become fact": a still from a bonus interview in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1886 issue of Punch 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)
"Quis spectat spectatores, he wondered.  Who is watching the watchers?"
Stephen Davies, Hacking Timbuktu (2010)

This illustration is from Beadles Monthly, 1866.

[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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May 14, 2013

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
The phrase "an A for effort" was coined by Æsop.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a flying fish from an 1867 issue of Beadle's 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 The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "The reflections were now frightfully distorted."

[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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May 13, 2013

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
The Dalai Lama says it's possible for a female to succeed him, but he failed to mention that the Buddhist cosmos has countless heavens and therefore countless glass ceilings.
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The Right Word (permalink)
Here's a quotation from our Spotted in the Wild blog that we wished to share here, too:

"He that uses the word impossible outside of pure mathematics is lacking in prudence." —William Somerset Maugham, The Magician
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
An illustration from an 1886 issue of Punch magazine.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Something, Defined (permalink)
An illustration from an 1879 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "There's always a something."
> read more from Something, Defined . . .
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May 12, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1849 issue of Punch 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)
"Potato sings": an illustration from an 1882 issue of Punch 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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May 11, 2013

Strange Dreams (permalink)
An illustration from an 1873 issue of Punch magazine.  The caption reads: "Currant Jelly."

If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A steam [train] demon seeks passage through the domain of wood nymphs and fauns.  An illustration from an 1883 issue of Punch 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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May 10, 2013

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"One loves most books that produce the sensation, when opened for the first time, that they've always been there." —Enrique Vila-Matas, Dublinesque
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
A precursor to the cult television series The Prisoner:  "Are you the gentleman who occupies Number Six"? From The Saturday Evening Post, 5 November 1904.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Then he wandered back to the street and began to walk, wading through shadows he might never trust as empty again."
Martin Harry Greenberg, All Hell Breaking Loose (2005)

Wading through the shadows, from Punch, 1882.
[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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May 9, 2013

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"The best thing to do is to travel and to lose all theories, lose them all." —Enrique Vila-Matas, Dublinesque (highly recommended!)
> 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 1903 issue of Punch 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)
"I must breathe in and breathe out, regularly, steadily, evenly, deeply. . . . In—out—in—out—in—out—that's right!  I'll manage if I go on—I'll get there if I go on." —John Cowper Powys, Porius

Here's the link to our Breathing Circle, the most popular interactive feature on this site.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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May 8, 2013

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
"The pace of time depends on how it was lived; the present is black and white while the memory is blue."
Gian Enzo Sperone: Torino-Roma-New York, 2000.

[For Jeff.]
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1876 issue of Punch 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 of an owl tent from an 1899 issue of Cosmopolitan 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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May 7, 2013

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

The text reads, "Before a reputation can precede, it must accompany oneself. —Jonathan Caws-Elwitt"
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1883 issue of Punch 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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It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"I've said it before, but it bears repeating: all the good advice in the world won't help if you don't have a teachable spirit."
John C. Maxwell, The Complete 101 Collection
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .
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May 6, 2013

Precursors (permalink)
A precursor to the cult television series The Prisoner: Even as a baby, he would not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. (This illustration, by William Donahey, is from The Green Book magazine, 1916.)  The caption reads, "Number? Number, please?"
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1850 issue of Punch 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 1914 issue of Scribner's 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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May 5, 2013

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
If only all terrible reviews could be of this caliber, fewer authors might be driven to drink.  Dr. Thomas Hodd, of the Université de Moncton, reviewed our Franzlations (a guide to the imaginary Kafka parables) for the Journal of Canadian Poetry, Volume 28.  Long story short, our book is worse than cancerous poetry (quite literally, he says it compares unfavorably to a specific book of poems about cancer that should have been left on the hospital bed and not published).  Franzlations, he says, is "more like an artifact than a book of poetry" — criticism we will take on the chin with a British stiff-upper-lip (as it were).  Our "images and phrases begin to resonate, although for what purpose is unclear since the esotericism implied within these pages feels contrived, and ultimately fails to extend beyond the pages of the book" — to which I retort, "That's what they said about The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus!"  But in all seriousness, esoteric is defined as being intended for a small number of people with a specialized knowledge, so if the esotericism of Franzlations were to be unleashed from the pages of the book, it would transmute into exotericism (intended for the general public), an idea that causes our corrosive juices to reflux.  As we meditate upon Dr. Hodd's scathing conclusion, we have to smile (enigmatically, to be sure), because to be "neither poetry nor art," neither words nor images, is very Zen.  Dr. Hodd has inadvertently acknowledged that we've attained enlightenment.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1903 issue of Punch magazine.  The caption reads: "Peace crowns the old year."
[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)
Science dances with the fairy radium in 1903 as today.  An illustration from a 1903 issue of Punch 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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May 4, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1867 issue of Punch 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 1849 issue of Punch magazine.  Also very much of interest: The Young Wizard's Hexopedia.
[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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May 3, 2013

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"What a night for spirits and kelpies, warlocks, fairies, pixies, nixies, and sperrimongles!  Assuredly, if ever there could be a spot and a moment when this dull work-a-day world is surrendered to the absolute dominion of elfin powers, it much be here and it must be now!" —Agatha: A Fanciful Flight for a Gusty Night by George Halse, 1860.
[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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Disguised as a Christmas Tree (permalink)
A person disguised as a Christmas-type tree, from an 1896 issue of Punch magazine.  The caption reads: "I am immense in it, my boy, immense!"  This will also be of interest: The Collected Lost Meanings of Christmas.
> read more from Disguised as a Christmas Tree . . .
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Disguised as a Christmas Tree (permalink)

The absurd angles of this person disguised as a Christmas-type tree are from Punch, April 2, 1870.
> read more from Disguised as a Christmas Tree . . .
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May 2, 2013

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

The text reads: "Putting the pushcart before the locomotive leaves the horse to [do his own thing mostly]." —Jeff Hawkins
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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Kafka's Metamorphosis, from an 1869 issue of Punch magazine.  See our book of imaginary Kafka parables, Franzlations.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A great cool rush of delight passed through me, as if I could breathe suddenly in the blasted heat of the music."
Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

This cooking piano appeared in Punch, 1907.  One could, of course, play the Minute Waltz to time a one-minute egg.

[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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May 1, 2013

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: "Spiritualism" delivers 12,000 Amazon books and five million Google hits.  What are modern magicians doing today that will spark like controversy?

A: "Modern magicians are on the wrong path; they waste their energies upon trifles." —Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1896 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Hilda's self-control broke down completely."

Dedicated to Teresa Burritt.

[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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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.