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 Fine Line Between...
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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
February 28, 2014

No News Is Good News (permalink)
"Nothing very exciting to-day": no news is good news in The Quiver, 1883.
> read more from No News Is Good News . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"What do the bells say?"  Is the older sibling teaching the younger to count by listening to a distant clock tower, or are the parents conducting a seance in the parlor, the spirit bells shooing away the sandman?  (Guess which one we think it is!)  From Little Wide Awake: An Illustrated Magazine for Good Children, 1881.
[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 27, 2014

Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
"And apropos of nothing at all he adds, 'We are nice people.  Not everyone understands that.'"
John McPhee, La Place de la Concorde Suisse
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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

From Punch, 1893.
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Loaded:"  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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February 26, 2014

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

We enjoyed mapping out a fun Jonathan Caws-Elwitt bit.


 
The caption reads:
"Really?? How did you arrive at that conclusion?"
"Well, I was coming from Premise Point, so I took Logic Boulevard and then made a sharp deduction. Then I went straight on Reasoning Avenue until I came to another clearly marked deduction. But if you're coming from Hypothesis Heights, you can also get there via the Experience Loop: just follow it around the perimeter of Empirical Square for a while, then take the first right induction after your evidence tank reads 'full.'" —Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
Saint Dragon and the George from The Tomahawk (October 12, 1867).
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .
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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
We call this one "Beverly Hills 1902-One-Oh."  The caption reads, "You are the little brown lady who comes so constantly to my house."  It appears in The English Illustrated Magazine, 1902.

> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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February 25, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
This bit by Frank Sullivan ...

If [Grandpa] was in a good humor when he awoke, he would take us youngsters up to Dick Canfield's to play games, but as he was never in a good humor when he awoke, we never went to Dick Canfield's to play games.

is a precursor to this bit by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

No family New Year’s get-together was complete without an appearance by Uncle Carlyle. Unfortunately, as there was no one named Carlyle anywhere in the extended family, we had to be content with a slightly incomplete New Year’s. Nevertheless, we had quite a good time.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Move On!": an illustration from The Tomahawk (November 2, 1867).
[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)
"Time is so much more real than Space that it might be called the Begetter of the Illusion of Space." —Pelagius, qtd. in John Cowper Powys' Porius.
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February 24, 2014

This May Surprise You (permalink)
You've heard the expression "neither here nor there."  The "here" of things is your immediate environment. But what is "there"? Over "there" is nothing less than a pudding in the form of a lion couchant. We find our evidence in Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, 1898.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Edmund Crispin predicted why we just fled from Twitter, seventy years in advance:

"The world in which we live[:] the abominable, sentimental, mob-ruled world of cheap newspapers and cheaper minds, where every imbecile is articulate and every folly tolerated, where the arts are dying out and the intellect is scorned, where every little cheap-jack knows what he likes and what he thinks.  Our moralities, our democracy, have taught us to suffer fools gladly, and now we suffer from an overplus of fools." —The Case of the Gilded Fly (1944)
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
"It's only funny if the audience (me, in this case) knows you know the answer is Mickey Mouse."
Joel Siegel, Lessons for Dylan (2003)

Photo courtesy of carroca.
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February 23, 2014

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Thanks to Geeks2point0 for featuring our photo of our books arranged by color in a piece about how "geeks hatch from bookworms."

> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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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: "Down with goose-berries: the New Menace!"
[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 22, 2014

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
We're honored by this piece by Gary Barwin.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Last Sentence by Maxwell Gray (1894).  The caption reads: "Yet her glance did not blanch from the torturing sight. ... Should she crash blindly through the window-pane and shout the truth in their startled ears?"
[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 21, 2014

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
We are excited to transcribe for you the sound of shish kebab, as revealed in William Castle's The Night Walker.
Indeed, as few have ever suspected, each roasted piece on the skewer is a musical note!  The final uplifting tone is, of course, the end-piece being plucked.

Barbara Stanwyck contemplates musical shish kebab in The Night Walker.
 

Our transcription of the world's most accurate shish kebab theme.
> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Before the discovery of continental drift, geologists elegantly explained transoceanic similarities of life by crediting giant monkeys.  Our illustration is from The Star of the Sea: A Historical Novel by N. Gregor, 1897.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from The Fur Country by Jules Verne (1874).  The caption reads: "The bears were walking about on the roof."
*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 20, 2014

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
Here's our visual tribute to the song "My Canary Plays Canasta in Canarsie" by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.

The lyrics:

My canary plays canasta in Canarsie
She scoffs at those who favor crazy eights
She won't deal five-card stud
And, oh, your name is mud
If you should try to tempt her with charades.

Yes, my canary plays canasta in Canarsie
Although she never brings a deck of cards
She isn't one for rummy
And she complains to Mummy
If ever you suggest a round of hearts.

Oh, my canary plays canasta in Canarsie
(And this is where you'll hear some different chords)
We hope we've raised a smile
Tin Pan Alley style
With avians who sneer at checkerboards

[J. Caws-Elwitt] © 2014 Strangest Songs (ASCAP)

> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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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: "My! Isn't she a beauty?"
[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: "With bleak playing the rôle of customer he then went through a pantomime of serving imaginary drinks."
[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, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
"What odd, misshapen, ugly things I made."  If only Etsy had existed back in 1719.  From Daniel Defoe's The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Modern Housekeeping (1905).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Chicken Road "Funny? Only if you could act as an outsider looking in."
Maxine Hancock, Love Knows No Difference: Learning to Give and Receive (1999)
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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February 18, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"An Itinerant Restaurant": an illustration from The American Kitchen (1899).
[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)
An illustration from The Need of Change by Julian Street (1922).  The caption reads: "To lean, vampire-like, and listen to the frightened babblings of my dreams."
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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February 17, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
This Nebraska/Ohio bit by Frank Sullivan ...

He made a few simple calculations, as a result of which he pioneered to Nebraska, so that when the next dust storm came up, instead of being blow [sic] from Ohio back to Holcomb Landing, he was blown from Nebraska back to Ohio, where he wanted to be.

... is a precursor to this Ohio/Nebraska bit by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

I was puzzled to note that there is a place in Nebraska called Town in Ohio, Nebraska. But it turns out there is a simple explanation: it seems they named it after a town in Ohio.


> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Case of George Dedlow by Silas Weir Mitchell.  The caption reads: "I knew I was that boy."
[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)
An illustration from The Fur Country by Jules Verne (1874).  The caption reads: "He shook his fist at the sun."
*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 16, 2014

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Thanks to the Working Harbor Committee of NY/NJ for featuring our photo of the tall ship El Galeón.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Gate Beautiful by John Ward Stimson (1903).  The caption reads: "The Law of the Three Primaries."
[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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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
An illustration from Seeing England with Uncle John by Anne Warner (1908).  The caption reads: "He said no, he was n't a saint."
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .
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February 15, 2014

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
From our former outpost at Twitter:

A pro said the children's book I'm writing is 130 pages too long (& nearly referred me to a shrink), unaware I specialize in the impossible.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"Not That Way": an illustration from The Fur Country by Jules Verne (1874).
*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 Yellow Circle by Charles Edmonds Walk (1909).  The caption reads: "Dorothy took a chair before the crystal."
[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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"St. Valehtine's [sic] Prisoner," from Pleasant Hours, 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)
"The Tourist's Guide!": an illustration from The Tomahawk, (September 14, 1867).
[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: "I think it is time to retrace our steps."
[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, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
This "Black Death Record" is a precursor to the music label Black Death Records, from The Grange of St. Giles, the Bass by Jane Stewart Smith, 1898.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The witch of Ben Y Gloe from The Art of Deer Stalking by William Scrope (1839).
[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)
An illustration from The Divine Seal by Emma Louise Orcutt (1909).
[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 12, 2014

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
You've heard that a horse was a Roman senator, but did you know a buffalo was the earl of Southesk?
> 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 Fur Country by Jules Verne (1874).  The caption reads: "All might watch the progress of the phenomenon."
[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)
"DEVIL":  an illustration from an 1897 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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February 11, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Encyclopedia of Death and Life in the Spirit World by J. R. Francis, vol. 2 (1906).  The caption reads: "The evil personage who is supposed to prompt the deeply religious to deeds of torture."
[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 the modern computer from The Chase of the Golden Plate by Jacques Futrelle (1906).  The caption reads: "Suddenly he stopped and turned upon The Thinking Machine."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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February 10, 2014

Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
"[O]ne woman, apropos of nothing, mentioning Flaubert only to dismiss him as a writer of no importance."
V. S. Naipaul, India: A Wounded Civilization (2011)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from A Brief History of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers by Theophilus Charles Noble (1889).  The caption reads: "St. Dunstan gives a practical reminder of the power of the horseshoe."
[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 "Deformities are only funny if they suggest postures an ordinary person could take up but would not ordinarily remain in." —T. L. S. Sprigge, "Schopenhauer and Bergson on Laughter," Comparative Criticism: Volume 10, Comedy, Irony, Parody (1989)
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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February 9, 2014

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: "The Six Quimbletons or The Decanterbury Pilgrims In Their Artistic Revival Of Old and Entertaining Customs, Tableaux Vivants, Vanished Arts, Folklore Games and Conjuring Tricks Such as The Drinking of Healths, Toasts, Nosepainting, The Lifted Elbow, Let's Match For It, Say When, Light or Dark? and this One's On Me. Communion With Departed Spirits. Please Do Not Leave Before the Hat Goes Round."
[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 Gate Beautiful by John Ward Stimson (1903).  The caption reads: "Atomic Ladder-of-Life: From solid—to liquid—to gaseous—to etheric—to spirit 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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February 8, 2014

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from Jock of the Bushveld by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick (1907).  The caption reads: "The haunting mystery of eyes and nothing more."
[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 Fur Country by Jules Verne (1874).  The caption reads: "To the icebergs! to the icebergs!"
[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 7, 2014

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
William Keckler suggests that someone should publish a Best American Kvetching annual anthology.  And a companion volume: Best American Kvelling annual anthology.
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from Carrageen and Other Legends by K. M. Loudon (1892), drawn by Edith Scannell.  The caption reads: "And the snow fairies came and covered them both."
*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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"According to the Gnostics, we are already dead and living in Hell right now." —Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, The Laughing Jesus
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February 6, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
The unshakable Jonathan Caws-Elwitt discovered a precursor to the twelve British meals as depicted in the hilarious series Look Around You (2002).  Below are the twelve meals, followed by an account from Frank Sullivan's In One Ear (1933), including the succession of "bites" called tiffin, miffin, hiffin, and giffin.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Please don't take this the wrong way, but I've never seen you this disorganized and I'm really concerned."

Photo by MANICxIDI0T.
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Divine Seal by Emma Louise Orcutt (1909).  The caption reads: "A few feet away ... stood Ozomoth."
[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 5, 2014

Precursors (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt shares a precursor from "A Trip to Hollywood," by Frank Sullivan. Cf. Python's famous "I'd like to have an argument, please" sketch.

"I am here to see the sights, and I have read so much in the papers about the famous arguments that you and Mrs. Weissmuller have, that I was hoping to see one before I left."

"I'll see if I can fix it," Mr. Weissmuller said pleasantly. . . . "Lupe! Lupe!"

[...]

"What you want now, John-ee?" she exploded. "Always you call, 'Lupe, Lupe, Lupe.' Why do you not leave me alone?"

"This gentleman wanted to see you and me have a little spat."

"I am beezy sweeming," stormed Miss Velez. "I have no time to spat wiz you."

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Hitting the Dark Trail Starshine Through Thirty Years of Night by Clarence Hawkes (1915).  The caption reads: "Writing a new animal biography."
[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 the listener gets the punch line by seeing in a flash of insight how a completely new interpretation of the same set of facts can incorporate the anomalous ending." —V. S. Ramachandran, Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind (1999)
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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February 4, 2014

Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from The Land of Thor by J. Ross Browne (1870).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Oh Mary, Be Careful! by George Weston (1917).  The caption reads: "'Oh, dear!' she thought in sudden alarm, 'what's he doing that for?'"
[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 Philo Gubb, Correspondence School Detective by Ellis Parker Butler (1918).  The caption reads: "Mr. Winterberry did not seem to be concealed among them."
[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 3, 2014

Unicorns (permalink)

Michael Red.
We're overdue to mention the tribute song to our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns By Sound, by Michael Red, who creates esoteric soundscapes for art gallery openings and low-speed chases.  Here's the track over at Amazon.  Here it is over at SoundCloud, and here it is at YouTube.

Meanwhile, thanks to Ben Denison for proclaiming the unicorn guide as "One of my favourite books."
> read more from Unicorns . . .
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Puzzles and Games :: Letter Grids (permalink)
Today's puzzle grid, an Emily Dickinson quotation, appears over a dear reader's bookcase.

There's an 8-letter word that means unconfident.
There's a 9-letter word that refers to plants with four petals.
There's a 7-letter word that refers to fig trees, and another that belongs in the kitchen.

• 7-letter words: 15
• 8-letter words: 6
• 9-letter words: 1

All letters in the word must touch (in any direction), and no square may be reused.

Click to display solutions

> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Letter Grids . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"The problem is articulate: how to keep from the sea's relentless taking what life builds on its uncertain shores."
—Dermot McCarthy, Poetics of Place: The Poetry of Ralph Gustafson
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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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February 2, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The White Wife by Cuthbert Bede (1865).
[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 Carrageen and Other Legends by K. M. Loudon (1892), drawn by Edith Scannell.  The caption reads: "In another moment they would have seen 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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February 1, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Encyclopedia of Death and Life in the Spirit World by J. R. Francis, vol. 2 (1906).  The caption reads: "Seances for the advancement of spirits in darkness."  This should be of interest: Seance Parlor Feng Shui.
[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 Bachelors Club by Laurel Zangwill (1891).  The caption reads: "I met him in the Atlantic and congratulated 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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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.