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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Earthquakes by Arnold Boscowitz (1890).  The caption reads: "Child crushed during the Viège earthquake."
[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 Sociable Ghost by Olive Harper (1903).  The caption reads: "They had evidently found the buffet."
[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 Bogey Competition: an illustration from an 1894 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 30, 2014

Book of Whispers (permalink)
An illustration from A Thousand Miles Up the Nile by Amelia Blandford Edwards (1889).  The caption reads: "Each must interpret for himself."
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1887 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.  The caption reads: "Twelve hundred Elfin knights and more were there in silk and steel arrayed."
[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 "Sound funny? Only if you don't live with him."
The Ladies' Home Journal (1977)
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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May 29, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the Bonnie Tyler song 'If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man),' from Gryll Grange by Thomas Love Peacock (1896).  The caption reads: "If you were a bachelor, and I were a maid, I should not trust myself to be your aga—aga—."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from an 1887 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.  The caption reads: "Billings adjusted the glass to his eye and looked again. 'By Jove, it's a horse-race!'"
[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)
How consciousness bends the body: an illustration from The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindel, 1911.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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May 28, 2014

Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from A Frenchman in America by Max O'Rell (1891).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1885 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.  The caption reads: "The irate woman pitched him head first through an open window."
[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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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: Why did the British monetary system undergo decimalization?

A: (See illustration.)

The caption reads, "One and ninepence-halfpenny, and sixpence, and ninepence-farthing [from which we subtract one and fivepence]."  From The Quiver, 1892.
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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May 27, 2014

Book of Whispers (permalink)
"Standing stones, of course, are not literally people, but we gain merit by knowing about them."

Prof. Oddfellow communes with a standing stone in Avebury, England.
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Stupidity in Europe": an illustration from Following the Equator by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1897).
[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)
Is Francophobia a voluntary condition?  Consider this illustration from The Quiver, 1872.  The caption reads: "I shall hate everything French."
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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May 26, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
For your comfort, here's what the Beyond looks like.  From Songs of the Dawn by Charlotte Murray (1887).
[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 Sociable Ghost by Olive Harper (1903).  The caption reads: "Did you say that to me?"

 

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt notes, "'Did you say that to me?' makes me realize that even being dead doesn't prevent one's making the occasional faux pas!"

[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 1860 issue of Arthur's Home magazine.  The caption reads: "A jar—not of honey."
[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, 2014

Unicorns (permalink)
Animals drawn from memory (apparently), from Bibliophile (1908).  The caption reads: "Hec animalia sunt veraciter depicta sicut vidimus in terra sancta."
> read more from Unicorns . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Good for Evil": an illustration from an 1885 issue of Little Wide Awake 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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 by Ernest Favenc (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 Past, Present and Future by James E. White (1909).  The caption reads: "Table lifted from the floor without hands."
[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 1901 issue of The Lady's Realm 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, 2014

Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from On a Mexican Mustang Through Texas by Alexander Sweet (1884).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The lost art of mirror dipping, from The Saturday Evening Post (1914).  The caption reads: "'One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six — Dip!' said Mrs. Drum, and did it."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "And I—confound you—have to blow my nose."
[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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Under a Strange Mask by Frank Barrett (1890).  The caption reads: "'There it is again,' she cried."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from an 1887 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.  The caption reads: "The rain came on so suddenly, and there I was on the tower, amid the wet ivy, with that stupid boy, who couldn't be made to understand a thing."
*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 an 1876 issue of Little Wide Awake 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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
We like the editorial exclamation point in this illustration from B. C. 1887: A Ramble in British Columbia by Walter J Clutterbuck (1888).  The caption reads: "The Road (!) from the South Fork."
[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 an 1894 issue of The Quiver magazine.  The caption reads: "Making the best of it."
*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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Strange Dreams (permalink)
An illustration from an 1877 issue of Little Wide Awake magazine.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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May 20, 2014

Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)

An illustration from La Vie Américaine by Paul de Rousiers (1892).  The caption reads: "L'Abus des Diamants."

> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1885 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours 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)
Death tips his hat to his bleed-through, from The Tomahawk (June 1870).
[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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Ominous birds of yore": an illustration from Peter Ibbetson by George Du Maurier (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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Don Telesforo de Trueba y Cozio and his shadow, depicted in The Museum of Foreign Literature and Science, vol. 21, October (1832).
[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 Invitation to Ascend": an illustration from an 1852 issue of The Leisure Hour 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 18, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from A Century of Ballads by John Ashton (1887).
[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 Haunted Photograph by Ruth McEnery Stuart (1911).  The caption reads: "Do I look strange, I wonder?"
[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 1902 issue of The Lady's Realm 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 17, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Mere smoke rings were for amateurs in Loose Rein by Wanderer and illustrated by G. Bowers (1887).
[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 Sing Song: A Nursery Rrhyme Book by Christina Georgina Rossetti (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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Precursors (permalink)
A precursor to Barbara Streisand from The Lady's Realm (1900).  The caption reads: "'Down on your bended knees, then, and adore me,' said Babs."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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May 16, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Cured by an Incurable by Philip Bennett Power (1888).  The caption reads: "Miss Gribble had 'gone off.'"
[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 1887 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours 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 1907 issue of The Reader magazine.  The caption reads: "May the journey you take to-night have no ending at all."
[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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Following the Equator by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1897).  The caption reads: "What the sailors believe."

 
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt writes, "So, if I understand correctly, sailors believe that traveling couples sneak past contented cats with uncannily humanoid faces?"
[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 a 1905 issue of The Quiver magazine.
[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Pumpkin head from an 1877 issue of Little Wide Awake 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 14, 2014

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from A Tramp Abroad Etc. by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1897).  The caption reads: "Turn on more rain."
*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 an 1897 issue of The Quiver magazine.  The caption reads: "Tormented by the family pictures."

(We submitted this one to Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion, which features it in a lively discussion of eerie portraits.)
[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've heard lots of limericks."
Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell (2007)
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May 13, 2014

It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It bears repeating that bears climb trees!"

The printer’s device of Mathias Apiarius (c. 1500-1554).
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Sociable Ghost by Olive Harper (1903).  The caption reads: "The dance and cake walk."
[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 1853 issue of Punch magazine.  This should be of interest: The Care & Feeding of a Spirit Board.
[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 12, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Lay of the Last Minstrel by Sir Walter Scott (1887).
[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 1867 issue of The Quiver 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 1904 issue of The Reader magazine.  The caption reads: "The figure calmly and slowly went towards the wall and passed into it."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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May 11, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[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 Haunted Major by Robert Marshall (1902).  The caption reads: "Executing the most extraordinary fandango of delight."
[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)
"Afraid of Thunder": an illustration from Our Young Folks (1873).
*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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May 10, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The Huntsman Hunted": an illustration from The Oxford Thackeray.
[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)
"Indisputable materializations": an illustration from an 1875 issue of Wide World 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 1904 issue of The Reader magazine.  The caption reads: "Doomed to haunt the scene of her crime."
[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, 2014

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Momus suggests that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out.'"
Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

Three women step off a plane.  It sounded like the start of a joke.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.

(Thanks, June!)
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from Terres lointaines by Paul Seippel (1897).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1860 issue of Arthur's Home 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 8, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
A precursor to the Death Star's approach to Alderaan? From The Deer Smellers of Haunted Mountain by John J. Meyer (1921).  The caption reads: "Approaching the perfect world."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1900 issue of The Lady's Realm magazine.  The caption reads: "Nethersole aspired to being sporty."

[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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Animal Magnetism": an illustration from an 1841 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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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "'Who be they, mother?' asked the child in an awed whisper."
[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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May 6, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The classic 'Oh, look at that peacock' ruse for changing the subject dates back to 1889.  From Cathedral Bells by Vin Vincent (1889).  The caption reads: "'What?' asked Ina.  'Oh look at that peacock.'"
[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 1887 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours 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 1884 issue of Little Wide Awake 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, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Autour de la Mediterranée by Marius Bernard (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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Shadow or Substance?": an illustration from an 1888 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours 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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Puzzles and Games (permalink)
"The Heart of the Mystery": an illustration from a 1902 issue of The Reader magazine.
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .
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May 4, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
A precursor to the poster for the Finnish film Sisko Tahtoisin Jäädä (2010) is, of course, Twin Peaks.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Peter Penniless Gamekeeper and Gentleman by George Christopher Davies (1884).
[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 1908 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "The supernatural is a cul de sac of the intellect."
[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, 2014

Book of Whispers (permalink)
One of the secrets of timelessness is to throw a shadow on the clock face. From Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1898).  The caption reads: "So as to throw the shadow on the clock face."
* The most profound secrets lie not wholly in knowledge, said the poet.  They lurk invisible in that vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident as the lightning—the seeker's soul.  Solitary digging for facts can reward one with great discoveries, but true secrets are not discovered—they are shared, passed on in confidence from one to another.  The genuine seeker listens attentively.  No secret can be transcribed, save in code, lest it—by definition—cease to be.  This Book of Whispers collects and encodes more than one hundred of humankind's most cherished secrets.  To be privy to the topics alone is a supreme achievement, as each contains and nurtures the seed of its hidden truth.  As possessor and thereby guardian of this knowledge, may you summon the courage to honor its secrets and to bequeath it to one worthy.
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
An illustration from an 1844 issue of Punch magazine.

> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
A Saint Bunkum from The Tomahawk (June 1870).
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .
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May 2, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
It's true that "Some bristle at the mere mention of the word 'conscience' because of its overtones of moral censure" (Guilt: The Bite of Conscience, 2010).  We also bristle because conscience wields a broom, as we see in our illustration from A History of the Cries of London, Ancient and Modern by Charles Hindley, 1884.

Why does Conscience wield a broom?  We learn that "a guilty conscience sweeps most of the boys out" (Roaming With Reta: Trolling for Salmon and Keeping Up with Affairs on Shore with Commercial Fishermen Working the Northwest Waters by William-Frederick Press, 1954).
[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 Sociable Ghost by Olive Harper (1903).  The caption reads: "Don't rouse the sleeping lion."

 
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt writes, "My tastes don't run to the macabre, but there's something about a jaunty skeleton carrying its own skull under its arm that always makes me smile. But wait, there's more! This particular j. s. with o. s. under its a. is giving advice—unsolicited and unwanted advice, from the looks of it—to another skeleton. Tip of the skull to Professor Oddfellow for (wait for it) unearthing this!"

Harold Lee replies, "I see your interpretation, but I'd like to think the inquiring skeleton is making the skeleton-equivalent request of, 'Lemme try on your hat.'"
[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 a 1908 issue of Windsor magazine.
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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May 1, 2014

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
In the Medieval English, "Sumer is icumen in!"  In the dialect of P.D.Q. Bach, "Summer is a cumin seed."

> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Dancing around the May-day queen in the village green, from The Quiver, 1873.
> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .
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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.