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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King of Hearts of War and Peace
As I Was, As I Am
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100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
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A Fine Line Between...
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Always Remember
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Apropos of Nothing
Book of Whispers
Call it a Hunch
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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
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Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
How to Believe in Your Elf
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
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Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
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Only Funny If ...
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
January 31, 2014

This May Surprise You (permalink)
Ruined castles are actually the bones of once vibrant creations, not only alive but kicking.  (You've surely heard of flying buttresses.)  Our illustration of "a real live castle" is from Our Boys in Ireland by Henry Willard French, 1891.

> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Peg Woffington by Charles Reade (1868).  The caption reads: "Oh, yes! you are beautiful, you are gifted, and the eyes of thousands wait upon your every word and look."
[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)
Uroboric yin-yang fish: an illustration from an 1896 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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January 30, 2014

Precursors (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt shares a precursor to Victor Borge.  According to H. Allen Smith, Vladimir de Pachmann would call for a book to elevate himself on a piano stool that was supposedly too low, then pretend he was now too high, and then remove one page to get the height just right.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Mahatma and the Hare: A Dream Story by H. Rider Haggard (1911).  The caption reads: "Changed indeed, mysterious, wonderful."
[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)
"We can – rather surprisingly – owe duties to the dead and also to a great range of anonymous future people." —Tom Bentley, The Moral Universe
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January 29, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
We learn in the BBC series The Mighty Boosh that "there are over seventeen mirrors in the mirror world."  We find a precursor in The Century of Louis XIV by Frances Cashel Hoey, 1896.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Gentlemen All and Merry Companions by Ralph Wilhelm Bergengren (1922).  The caption reads: "There was a long, white flash in the moonlight."

[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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Precursors (permalink)
A precursor to the Death By Lemon cake recipe.  An illustration from an 1879 issue of Punch magazine.
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January 28, 2014

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Q: How do the eponymous Cat People escape being caged?

A: They break the fourth wall.  (See our still from the 1982 film.)
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Bachelors Club by Laurel Zangwill (1891).  The caption reads: "Again the voice came from the centre of the curling rings, 'I am your father's ghost.'"
[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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Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

The text reads: "If one's portentous shadow precedes, the unknown future into which one advances will dread one's arrival. —John Cowper-Powys, Porius (paraphrased)"
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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January 27, 2014

Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
"'I just came out with a dirty joke DVD.  I'll have to send you a copy.'  The stupid part about me saying this was that it was apropos of nothing."
Gilbert Gottfried, Rubber Balls and Liquor (2011)
> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The King of the Conjurors by James Skipp Borlase (1877).  The caption reads: "Buried in the sand."
[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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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Chicken Road "Farce is only funny if it is true."
Mikhail Bulgakov, Zoya's Apartment: A Tragic Farce in Three Acts (1991)
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January 26, 2014

Book of Whispers (permalink)
"Tell my secret? No, indeed, not I; / Perhaps some day, who knows?"  From Through Woodland and Meadow and Other Poems by Marie Low, 1891.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Cup of Fury by Rupert Hughes (1919).  The caption reads: "Aren't you afraid to push on when you can't see where you're going?"
[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 In the Sweet and Dry by Christopher Morley and Bart Haley (1919), illustrated by Gluyas Williams.  The caption reads: "'Hush,' said Quimbleton nervously. 'Someone may be watching us. ... You see I water the flowers with champagne.'"
[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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January 25, 2014

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
A glass half frozen
Never boils.

This we learn from Jeff Hawkins, and we wish we'd known it when we were compiling "One Hundred Ways I've Failed to Boil Water" (here's the interactive version, and here are all 100 ways in a concise grid.)
> 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 The Mahatma and the Hare: A Dream Story by H. Rider Haggard (1911).  The caption reads: "Guided, guarded by the spirits of dead suns."
[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 The Fur Country by Jules Verne (1874).  The caption reads: "A new country was springing into being."
[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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January 24, 2014

Precursors (permalink)

Jonathan shares:

About a week ago, I read this, in a book by Ira Wallach called Gutenberg's Folly, published in 1954:

"Some of that book," he said, "was written on the cylinder head of a ship ploughing through the Red Sea in the heat of an Arabian summer.[...] I'll never forget it," he said. "I proofread that cylinder head myself!"

Just a few days later, I read this, in a book by Frank Sullivan called The Life and Times of Martha Hepplethwaite, published in 1926:

Then I felt a strange impulse to write a poem. There was no paper handy. I acted upon the impulse of the moment and scribbled the verse upon the back of a taxicab I had been leaning against, waiting for traffic to pass. The taxi driver was very angry with me when he discovered what I had done, but when he read the poem he wept and said it was marvelous, and I must sell it to some magazine.

The poem was there on the taxicab, so we had to take the taxicab along, too, and we felt so foolish dragging that taxicab into magazine office after magazine office. Finally we sold the taxicab and the poem for $14, and you cannot know how delighted the taxicab chauffeur and I were with that first money earned from my poetry.

Thanks, Jonathan!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"There are significant differences between what's interesting and what's really interesting." —Jim Sterne, Social Media Metrics
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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January 23, 2014

Puzzles and Games :: Film-ictionary (permalink)
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to fans of Seal (Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel), from seventy years before the singer-songwriter's birthday.

 
Above, "Watching for seal," from In Arctic Seas by Robert Neff Keely, 1893.

Below, watching for Seal.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Chicken Road It's funny only "if you know the real-life story behind the joke."
New York Magazine (Dec. 6, 1982)
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January 22, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
The first "you mama such a dog" joke appears in Ghost Stories (1865).  The caption reads: "There is the nocturnal visitor whom you have so long taken for the ghost of your mother."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"You should write a book in your spare time.  The Grand Duchess's Guide to Winter Amusements: How to Have Fun in the Snow Without Showing Your Petticoats." —Sarah Miller, The Lost Crown
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .
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January 21, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
This illustration purports to depict the remains of Ponce de Leon, "the last of him who sought eternal youth," but we have previously established that Ponce de Leon is one of the Chinese immortals.


Illustration from In the Wake of Columbus by Frederick A. Ober, 1893.
[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 The Grand Old Mystery Unravelled by Anonymous, illustration by Harry Furniss (1894).  The caption reads: "'They will say I have lost my head!' he exclaimed, wildly, throwing up his arms with that energy that has so often pulverised his opponents and raised his friends to heights of enthusiasm. 'But the fact is,' he continued, 'they have lost theirs!'"
[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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Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
This diagram illustrating the possible nature of the process of a telepathic transmission of a conscious thought appears in The Verdict: —?: A Study of the Probable Origin of Certain Physic Phenomena Together with a Record of Very Striking Personal Experiences by Tertium Quid (1920).
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .
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January 20, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Fur Country by Jules Verne (1874).  The caption reads: "Some of the icebergs assumed extraordinary forms."
[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)
It's unlucky to rechristen a boat "Jonah" with an albatross quill on Candlemas Day if a red-headed woman is whistling on board.
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January 19, 2014

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Thanks to Gordon Meyer (of Smart Home Hacks fame), who for years has stocked our minimalist coloring book (complete with white crayon) at Quimby's bookstore.  Here's a photo of Gordon's presentation:

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Secret of Lonesome Cove by Samuel Hopkins Adams (1912).  The caption reads: "See how the aural light seeks it."   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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From In the Sweet and Dry by Christopher Morley and Bart Haley (1919).  It reads:

He pulled out a drawer at random—Schedule K-36, Minor Social Offenses—and ran his embittered eye over a card.  It was marked Conversational Felonies, and began thus:

Arguing
Blandishing
Buffoonery
Contradicting
Demurring
Ejaculating
Exaggerating
Facetiousness
Giggling
Hemming and Hawing
Implying
Insisting
Jesting

Each item also referred to another card on which the penalty was noted and legal test cases summarized.
[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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January 18, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Gate Beautiful by John Ward Stimson (1903).  The caption reads: "The Scroll of Life."
[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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Gary Larson: an illustration from a 1918 issue of Life magazine.  The caption reads: "Fra Ignatius has a God-given gift for caricature."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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January 17, 2014

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
Here's a winter's night from The Poetry of Robert Burns, Vol. 1 (1896).
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from The Ivory Snuff Box by Frederic Arnold Kummer (1912).  The caption reads: "There lay Richard, her husband, upon the floor, his face encircled by a ring of blinding light."
[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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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"It's a wise person who monotonizes existence because then each small incident, if one knows how to read it in a literary way, has a wondrous quality." —Enrique Vila-Matas, Dublinesque
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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January 16, 2014

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
From our former outpost at Twitter:

"Admittedly Don Quixote made a fool of himself with the windmills, but when all's said and done, there probably were giants about." —Edmund Crispin, Holy Disorders
> 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 The Fur Country by Jules Verne (1874).  The caption reads: "It is more beautiful than the Aurora Borealis."
[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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Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)

"Yes, but if you want to make that clear, you should have a footnote or something."  A still from Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle bonus interviews.
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .
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January 15, 2014

Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
"'Frivolous,' I said, apropos of nothing."
Mary Daheim, Alpine Escape (2011)
> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Life in the Mines or Crime Avenged by Charles H. Sompson (1898).  The caption reads: "It was the Phantom Horseman!"
[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 City Festivals by Will Carleton (1892).
[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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January 14, 2014

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Here we are catching some rays in a tucked-away little place some folks will recognize.

A self portrait of Prof. Oddfellow.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Secret of Wrexford by Esther Carr (1878).
[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 Apology for Noses": an illustration from Bentley's Miscellany (1841).
[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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January 13, 2014

This May Surprise You (permalink)
You knew that Juan Ponce de León led the first European expedition to Florida.  But did you know he also inspired the presidential White House?

Illustration from In the Wake of Columbus: Adventures of the Special Commissioner Sent by the World's Columbian Exposition to the West Indies, 1893.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from John Dough and the Cherub by L. Frank Baum (1906).
[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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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Chicken Road "The story is only funny if you tell it in a funny way."
—Ferdinand F. Fournies, Why Customers Don't Do What You Want Them to Do-And What to Do About It (1994)
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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January 12, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Five Little Peppers Midway by Margaret Sidney (1893).  The caption reads: "I'd much rather be a dragon than a princess."
[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 The Master Key by L. Frank Baum (1901).  The caption reads: "Those fellows seem to be looking for trouble."
[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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January 11, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Wrong Woman by Charles D. Stewart (1912).  The caption reads: "The stars, a vast audience, had all taken their places."
[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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Strange Dreams (permalink)
"A Sleep-Walker": an illustration from Hypnotism: Its Facts, Theories and Related Phenomena by Carl Sextus (1893).
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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January 10, 2014

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)

From literary scalawag Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

There was a precocious young zebra,
Who was second to none in cerebra.
She read Plato, con brio,
With Venus in Leo,
And Leibniz when Mars was in Libra.

> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Somnambulist—A judge tries a case while asleep."  An illustration from Hypnotism: Its Facts, Theories and Related Phenomena by Carl Sextus (1893).
[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 The Mystery of the Red Flame by George Barton (1918).  The caption reads: "The dearest wish of my life...has been to live in Washington."
[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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January 9, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Merrell's line of "angelic shoes," from Kulturgeschichte by Friedrich Anton Heller von Hellwald, 1896.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
An illustration from The Case of Jennie Brice by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1915).  The caption reads: "He had a nightmare."
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
Father Time [Signature] dictates how many beats are in each measure from The Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle (1887).
> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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January 8, 2014

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
Here's the quietest instrument in all of Florida, at the Saint Augustine cathedral.  Recording artist Ken Clinger notes that it would be an elegant setting for performing John Cage's silent composition 4′33″.  Ken adds, "The fact that it still has a piano stool makes it seem to invite use for contemplation."

Molto Pianissimo.
> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"The sea's relentless waves are like continually renewing sets of teeth gnawing at the land, and with over 221,000 miles of coastline in the world, that's a lot of nibbling.  But the sea is capable of more than just amphibious assaults: it can also penetrate the land through a series of air raids, as water from the oceans is air-lifted up into the atmosphere where it creates a formation of clouds that are ready to deploy their water cargo down on the rocks and the soil of this land at will.  The land invasion can come in varying degrees, from light rain raids through to heavy blanket bombings, randomly deployed throughout the year.  The resulting saturation causes the land to weather and erode, which in turn can cause devastating mud- and landslides." —Richard Horne, A is for Armageddon: A Catalogue of Disasters That May Culminate in the End of the World as We Know It (2010)
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Haunted Man by Charles Dickens (1848).
[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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January 7, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to MGM's Cowardly Lion of Oz, from Le Grand Siècle by Émile Bourgeois, 1896.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Somnambulist—Playing while asleep": an illustration from Hypnotism: Its Facts, Theories and Related Phenomena by Carl Sextus (1893).
[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 The Burgess Nonsense Book (1901).
[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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January 6, 2014

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
A frosty day from The Leisure Hour, 1895.
*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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Master Key by L. Frank Baum (1901).
[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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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Chicken Road It's "funny only if you know some basic geography."
Indianapolis Monthly (Oct. 2005)
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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January 5, 2014

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from Farewell Nikola by Guy Newell Boothly (1901).
[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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Rest Hollow Mystery by Rebecca Newman Porter (1922).  The caption reads: "Good God! Anything could happen in a place like this!"
[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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January 4, 2014

Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from Lewis Carroll's A Tangled Tale (1885).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Monitor at Megson's by Robert Leighton, illustration by Gordon Browne (1906).
[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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January 3, 2014

Staring at the Sun (permalink)
We hereby document yet another way to stare at the sun: stand with your back to a beveled-glass window and look at the rainbows on your palm.
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"Silence belies the proverb that still waters run deep." —Francis Jacox, Shakspeare Diversion: A Medley of Motley Wear (1876)

An illustration from Lewis Carrol's A Tangled Tale (1885).

An illustration from The Japs at Home by Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen (1895).
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .
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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Chicken Road "I figured it was only funny if you didn't have to smell them."
One Too Many Blows to the Head (2009)
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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January 2, 2014

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
Here's the first snowfall from The Quiver, 1880.
*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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Stories of an Old Maid Related to Her Nephews and Nieces by Emile de Girardin (1856).  The caption reads: "This old man was not a confectioner..."
[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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Nonsense Dept. (permalink)
The Muse of Nonsense: an illustration from The Burgess Nonsense Book (1901).
> read more from Nonsense Dept. . . .
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January 1, 2014

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Sean Tejaratchi notes that "In the future, everyone will be offended for 15 years," and it's a worthy addition to our ongoing contention that:

Perhaps Andy Warhol Was Wrong, For a Fascinating Variety of Reasons

(Click the title above for our surprising research.)
> 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 The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (1888).
[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 Farewell Nikola by Guy Newell Boothly (1901).  The caption reads: "Presently a picture shaped itself in the cloud."
[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.