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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The Young Wizard's Hexopedia
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Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Cautious or Optimistic
King of Hearts of War and Peace
As I Was, As I Am
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Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
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Chess-Calvino Dictionary
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Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
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A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
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
Do-Re-Midi
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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Indubitably (?)
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It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
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Oldest Tricks in the Book
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Restoring the Lost Sense
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Your Ship Will Come In

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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
August 31, 2014

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

Q: "Is there a problem if more words are generated?  Is there such a thing as a surfeit?  Is existence reductive?  Should humans have settled on the 'right words' by now for everything?" —William Keckler

 
A: "There can never be too many words out there, so it follows that there can't be too many wordswordswords, either." —Verla
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
"Innocent dreams" from Roughing It by Mark Twain.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Belial's Burdens by James Frank Sullivan (1896).  The caption reads: "Elzie Sings."
[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 Gulliver's Travels.  The caption reads: "The people in the streets walked fast and looked wild."
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to The Lady Is a Tramp (1937), from The Tragedy of Ida Noble by William Clark Russell (1893).  The caption reads: "The lady was insensible."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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August 30, 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)
Fortune-telling by dissecting a Chinese character, from Social Life of the Chinese by Justus Doolittle, 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 Ask Mamma by Robert Smith Surtees (1892).  The caption reads: "A bottle of smoke."
[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 Brownies at Home by Palmer Cox (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 Story of a Marriage by Louisa Baldwin (1895).
[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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August 29, 2014

Nonsense Dept. (permalink)

This just in from Jonathan Caws-Elwitt: Harry Secombe, having described a typical warm-up routine preceding the Goon Show proper: "After that lot of nonsense the real nonsense would begin [...]"

> read more from Nonsense Dept. . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Henry Hugh Armstead, "A Dream," 1863.
[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 Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
From Red Apple and Silver Bells by Hamish Hendry and illustrated by Alice B. Woodward, 1899.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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 Hawbuck Grange by Robert Smith Surtees (1892).  The caption reads: "Flesh and blood can't stand 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration by A. Layard from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile (1895).  The caption reads: "The boar-headed bear-bodied lion-tailed 6-legged beast."
[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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August 28, 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)
"Devil Posts": an illustration from Korean Sketches by James Scarth Gale (1898).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It bears repeating, however, that to say that history shares many qualities with literature is not to suggest that it is simply 'fiction'—mythical or fanciful—but to underscore that historical facts, like literary meanings, are not inherently meaningful."
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Vikram and Vampire by Richard F. Burton (1893).  The caption reads: "He was playing upon a human skull with two shank bones."
[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 Stories from the Diary of a Doctor (1894).  The caption reads: "I am the wretched victim of a demon."
[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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August 27, 2014

A Rose is a ... (permalink)
As it turns out, a rose may be a rose, but there are arguments about certain swans.
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A practical joke," from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain, 1883.

[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)
There are several theories concerning why the British Empire failed.  We suggest adding this illustration to the set.   From Around the World on a Bicycle by Thomas Stevens (1888).
> 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 Chinaman in His Own Stories by Thomas Gunn Selby (1895).
[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)
Illustration by F. Opper from Bill Nye's History of the United States (1894).  The caption reads: "The only thing Wayne was afraid of."
[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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August 26, 2014

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but one animal of the Everglades that has the potential to cause harm is the oyster." —Paddling the Everglades Wilderness Waterway
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Cheer up," from Love Lyrics and Valentine Verses by Charles Maurice Davies, 1875.
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Misfortunes of Elphin and Rhododaphne by Thomas Love Peacock (1897).  The caption reads: "Up that image rose, and spake, as from a trumpet."

[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)
Thomas Bewick, tailpiece for History of British Birds, Newcastle (1809).  via Old Book Illustrations.
[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 King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill (1894).
[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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August 25, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Exeter Road by Charles George Harper, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From La Bulgarie Danubienne et le Balkan by Felix Philipp Jaburz, 1882.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  The caption reads: "He took out a very large bath sponge."
[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 Chief Magician": an illustration from The King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill (1894).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[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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August 24, 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)
"Oppressively sociable," 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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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Here's a proof that time is in one's head, from The Man in the Moon (1847).
> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from When Life is Young by Mary Elizabeth Dodge (1894).
*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 Humorous Poems by Thomas Hood (1893).  The caption reads: "The thing was strange."
[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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August 23, 2014

This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
From In a Sea Bird's Nest by Frances Clare, 1896.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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)
"He felt stuffy," from Following the Equator by Samuel 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The Voyage of the Escargot": an illustration from Across France in a Caravan by George Nugent Bankes (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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Precursors (permalink)
In 1894, nickel beer was actually $1.37, adjusted for inflation.  From Bill Nye's History of the United States.  The caption reads: "Where beer was only five cents per glass."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
His face had been white as a ghost for weeks, but no one had given it a second thought. From The Letters of Charles Dickens (1893).  The caption reads: "The dying clown."
[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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August 22, 2014

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
We're pleased to offer an Internet first, having painstakingly transcribed a subtitle track for the brilliant absurdist comedy film One-Way Pendulum by N. F. Simpson.  The film is not currently available on DVD, though gray market copies are available.  (The YouTube upload of the film does not feature subtitles.)  If you procure a gray market DVD, play it on your computer via VLC or Plex and put the .srt file in the same folder with the same name as the video file.

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)

A Retroactive Lifetime Goal*: we've been dubbed "the patron saint of 'going with it'"!

*The phrase "Retroactive Lifetime Goal" appears courtesy of Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.


Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .
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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
"Sally looked out across the world," from Sebastiani's Secret by S. E. Waller, 1897.
[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)
From 1674, reproduced in Monographien zur deutschen Kulturgeschichte by Georg Steinhausen, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from When William IV Was King by John Ashton (1896).
*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)
"The Bogey-Owl": an illustration from The Young Pretenders by Edith Fowler (1895).   Perhaps the best way to combat the bogey owl is to be your own cat: How to Be Your Own Cat.
[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 Gulliver's Travels.  The caption reads: "Squeezing my legs together, he wedged them into the marrow-bone."
[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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August 21, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Oracle of Baal by J. Provand Webster and illustrated by Warwick Goble, 1896.
[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 Novels of Captain Marryat (1896).
[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 "Name that Kitchen Utensil" game, from 1895.  The caption reads: "'Butter cooler,' I observe."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Belle and the Dragon by Arthur Edward Waite (1894).
[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 Bid for Fortune by Guy Newell Boothby (1895).  The caption reads: "The black cat looked through the smoke at the three men."
[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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August 20, 2014

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"Such a dreadful broiling morning!"  From Emma by Jane Austen and illustrated by Hugh Thompson, 1896.
*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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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
"The well of fate," from Following the Equator by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1897.
[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)
"The magician has found I have escaped," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.  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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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 . . .

Nervous by Zane

For as long as I could remember, I had always been nervous.  Nervous about school.  Nervous about friends.  Nervous about relationships with men.  Even nervous about talking to my own mother.  I don't know whether it was something deep-rooted inside of me from an early childhood experience or whether it was something that was just meant to be.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.

(Thanks, June!)
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The "Wood Devil": an illustration from Travel and Adventure in Northern Queensland by Arthur Bicknell (1895).
[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 Anthropological Series by Frederick Starr (1894).  The caption reads: "Fig. 2 — Pictograph at Tule Reservation, Cal."
[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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August 19, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Mrs. Forster uttered a hideous yell, and threw the animal at the heads of the spectators."  From Newton Forster by Frederick Marryat and illustrated by E. J. Sullivan, 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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Nonsense Dept. (permalink)

"Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding [1918] establishes a nonsense tradition in Australia."  —Historical Dictionary of Children's Literature (via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.)

> read more from Nonsense Dept. . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from The King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill (1894).  The caption reads: "People whose brains are softening."
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"A surprising truth is, that the 'value of money,' in fact, is in no way affected by a change in the quantity." —Money: A Free Magazine and Forum (1921)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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August 18, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the "EAT MOR CHIKIN" cows of Chick-fil-A billboards.  The caption reads, "The More Pork bird."  From Adventures of a Gold-Digger by John Sherer, 1856.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
This caption, "He did not give me time to feel frightened," recalls the movie gimmick king, William Castle, who might have promised horrors filmed "faster than the speed of fright."  From Jenny Jones and Jenny by William Edwards Tirebuck, 1896.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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A Rose is a ... (permalink)
Lancaster RoseA rose may be a rose may be a rose, but its "loss" can take a variety of strongly divergent forms.
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"The Washoe zephyr," from Roughing It by Mark Twain.
*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 Land of Rip Van Winkle by A. E. P. Searing (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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the film The Science of Sleep, from A String of Chinese Peach Stones by William Arthur Cornaby (1895).
> read more from Precursors . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
The reason cats dart is revealed in this illustrarion from Phantastes: A Faerie Romance by George MacDonald (1894).
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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August 17, 2014

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

Q: Is it morally wrong to have two separate photo albums for "Relatives Who Have Not Yet Peaked" and "Relatives Who Have Already Peaked?" (asks William Keckler)

 
A: "The intelligent, free, permanent, predominant action of the will and the heart, in which the agent electively prefers some object or end inferior to the highest wellbeing of all as his supreme object or end, and which is thus fitted to prevent this end and to promote its opposite, the highest misery of all, is morally wrong action, and the only morally wrong action." —Nathaniel Taylor, Lectures on the Moral Government of God
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)

From Le Chemin des Écoliers by X. B. Saintine, 1861.

> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Land of the Sphinx by Georges Montbard (1894).  The caption reads: "Rest in peace on your laurels."
[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 Phantastes: A Faerie Romance by George MacDonald (1894).  The caption reads: "One of their number began to sing."
[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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August 16, 2014

Something, Defined (permalink)
"'Give me the life I love,' said Mr. Plumstead, 'let the something go by me, tum-te-tum-tum-tum, and the something nigh me.'" —Edmund Crispin, Love Lies Bleeding
> read more from Something, Defined . . .
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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)
"A most extraordinary change seemed to come over it," from the Works of Charles Dickens, Household Edition.
[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 Home Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow (1891).  The caption reads: "I never meet my equal, nev-ar!"
[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 Comic History of England (1894).
[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 Belle and the Dragon by Arthur Edward Waite (1894).
[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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August 15, 2014

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
We're reminded that "The first thing to keep in mind about finding the right coat is that coat styling goes through phases" (Allison Kyle Leopold & Anne Marie Cloutier, Short Chic, 1984).

Our illustration is from The Captive of Pekin by Charles Hannan, 1897.  The caption reads, "Yet again he threw the coat."
[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)
Here's a seance from Roughing It by Mark Twain.  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 Two Girls on a Barge by Cecil Cotes (1891).  The caption reads: "The awful black goat."
[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 1895 illustration from the Irish fairy legend of Daniel O'Rourke.  The caption reads: "'Good morning to you, Daniel O'Rourke,' said he."
[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)
"The Electric Boots": an illustration from The Children's Fairy Geography by Forbes Edward Winslow (1879).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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August 14, 2014

A Rose is a ... (permalink)
Lancaster RoseA rose may be a rose by any other name, but a mutual fund by a different name or classification can be misleading.
USA Today, 1995
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .
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Book of Whispers (permalink)
"Diagram: Interior of a tower of silence," from Letters from India and Kashmir by J. Duguid, 1874.
* 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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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Badminton has always been big in Nyangwe. From Across Africa by Verney Lovett Cameron (1885).
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The "eye of the tiger" is in actuality a bullseye. Our illustration is by F. Opper, from Bill Nye's History of the United States (1894).
[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)
"Who-hoop!": an illustration from Handley Cross; or, Mr. Jorrocks's Hunt by Robert Smith Surtees (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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August 13, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"It seemed to cling to the wall, then to spread over it," from Ghostly Tales by Wilhelmina Fitzclarence, 1896.
[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)
"As she did this a bright flash, blinding as lightning, shot through the chamber."  From The Eye of Istar by William Le Queux, 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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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"The storm increased," from Roughing It by Mark Twain.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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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Precursors (permalink)
There's some small comfort in the knowledge that people have been feeling 'out of it' since at least 1889.  Illustration from Neighbours by Mrs. Molesworth (1889).  The caption reads: "She and Cathie sat in a corner beside Lavinia feeling 'out of it.'"
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Sing Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1893).  This should also be of interest: How to Believe in Your Elf.
[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)
Fans of William Burroughs' Naked Lunch will recognize this as a precursor. From The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib by Sara Duncan (1893).  The caption reads: "It's just the place for centipedes."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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August 12, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Female medium between the living and the dead," from Social Life of the Chinese by Justus Doolittle, 1867.  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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Nonsense Dept. (permalink)
"Nonsense is not a toy." —Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
> read more from Nonsense Dept. . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
An illustration from Drawing Room Plays by Adelaide Cadogan (1888).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile by Sir John Mandeville (1895).  The caption reads: "The knight saw her in that form so hideous."
[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 Ghostly Tales by Wilhelmina Fitzclarence (1896).  The caption reads: "My name is—Satan!"
[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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August 11, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the German concept of the welfare state (Sozialstaat, coined in 1870), from The Upper Rhine by Henry Mayhew, 1858.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Danmarks, Norges og Sverigs Historie by Niels Bache, 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)
From Folk Songs edited by John Williamson Palmer, 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)
"Third trip of the unabridged [dictionary, pictured flying through the air]," from Roughing It by Mark Twain.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It bears repeating that many of the toys kids play with today stir their imagination, but not their creativity."
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Bill Nye's History of the United States (1894).  The caption reads: "The more I regret that I was not born a foreigner."
[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 Phantastes: A Faerie Romance by George MacDonald (1894).  The caption reads: "I saw the strangest figure."
[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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August 10, 2014

A Rose is a ... (permalink)
York RoseA rose may be a rose may be a rose, but not so sludge.
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .
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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)
"The Piasa": an illustration from Mr. Eagle's U.S.A. as Seen in a Buggy Ride of 1400 Miles from Illinois to Boston by John Livingston  Wright (1898).
[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 Artful Anticks by Oliver Herford (1894).
[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 Memoirs of Bartholomew Fair by Henry Morley (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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August 9, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Ingoldsby Legends by Thomas Ingoldsby and illustrated by George Cruikshank, 1866.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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A Rose is a ... (permalink)
Lancaster RoseA rose may be a rose, but a movie with an inappropriate title may be a loser because of that title.
Filmmakers, 1978
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Star of the Sea by N. Gregor (1897).  The caption reads: "All the little images were smashed to pieces by the chief idol, which had never been known to have moved its 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 The Evil Guest by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1894).  The caption reads: "My father, pretending to show me heaven knows what from the 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from A Ramble Round the Globe by Baron Dewar (1894).  The caption reads: "The effect was awful."
[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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August 8, 2014

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

We offered Dutch wonderworker George Parker a sneak peek at our latest  book project, and he tickled us with this summation: "fun, pun, and profundity."  Our book is entitled Hexopedia, and here's George's take on it:

Craig Conley is a word-goldsmith. Or a word-alchemist. He mixes fun, pun and profundity in an imaginative way, thereby opening your mind like nasal spray opens up your sinuses. In this book he guides young wizards through the initial chaos of magic with amazing clarity and coherency. You won't read this book cover to cover. You will dive in wherever you like and be sure you will learn a little something that you won't forget for the rest of your life, simply because you will put it to use. Whatever that use may be. Lie down in your hammock and gently sway between the magic of imagination and reality while you utter magic words to prevent yourself from falling out when your world is rocked by this book. —George Parker, author of The Big Book of Creativity (2004)

> 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 Children's Fairy History of England by Forbes Edward Winslow (1889).  The caption reads: "Did you ever?"
[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 Goblin Market 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Votive Hand": an illustration from Byeways in the Southern Alps by Edwin Josiah Miles (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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"The Clerk of the Weather": an illustration from Sedbergh School Songs by Ralph St. John Ainslie (1896).
*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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August 7, 2014

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Thanks to USA TODAY's 10Best for featuring two of our photographs of La Cañada's Descanso Gardens.  (See larger versions of the shots here and here.)
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the macabre orgy scene in The Loved One (1965) from The Cat of Bubastes by George Alfred Henty, 1896.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
"But what if life were all a dream?"  From The Heart of Princess Osra by Anthony Hope, 1896.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"A Rocky Mountains' postman going his rounds," from America Revisited by George Augustus Henry Fairfield, 1882.
*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 Man Made of Money by Douglas William Jerrold (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)
An illustration from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile (1895).  The caption reads: "There fled out an head right hideous."
[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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August 6, 2014

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
Voice talent Jonathan Caws-Elwitt (of Silly Pillows fame) offers this mad-as-a-hatter rendition of our song about one-letter words (along with a few clever verses of his own). Give it a listen and we can compare laughs!



Jonathan Caws-Elwitt as the Statue of Frivolity.
"One-Letter Words”

One-letter words,
oh what I'd give for
a de-cluttered phrase.

To hear those
one letter words,
that's all I'd live for
the rest of my days.

And the feelings in my heart,
they tell sincerely.
No other words can tell it
half so clearly.

One-letter words,
twenty-six letters
which simply mean 'I love you.'

One-letter words.
Though I may stutter
or sound quite verbose,

I use those
one letter words,
lest I should utter
a phrase grandiose.

And the feelings in my heart,
they tell sincerely.
No other words can tell it
half so clearly.

One-letter words,
six vowels for vowing
my unfettered love for you.

One-letter words:
Compact concordance
To passions so strong

I can find no better words
Hence the importance
Of singing along!

And though the lingo of my love
Is alphabetic
Don’t ever think that I am
Apathetic

One-letter words
Words of one letter
That spell out my love for you!

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Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
"A closing cadence ... is the oldest confidence trick of them all — knowing all the time, as one does, that there is scarcely a statement one can make that does not slip bit by bit with every word further and further from what to begin with showed every promise of encompassing some simple, serviceable truth." —the hilarious N. F. Simpson in his spoof interview with The Transatlantic Review (Summer 1966) [via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

We're always happy to see the Queen of Hearts step out.  From Los Ingleses Tales Como Son Carácter, Leyes, Usos y Costumbres del Pueblo Inglés, y Todas Sus Extravagancias by Tomás Bertrán Soler, 1858.

 
[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)
"Cold and raw the north winds blow," from The Baby's Museum; or, Rhymes, Jingles and Ditties, Newly Arranged by Uncle Charlie, 1882.
*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 Maid Marian and Crotchet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock (1895).  The caption reads: "The devil in the likeness of a tall friar."
[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 Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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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August 5, 2014

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)

"'Are you ready for some footb--' (gunshot)." —Alex Baze

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Nonsense Dept. (permalink)

According to my dictionary, "tommyrot" comes from "tommy" meaning "fool" and "rot," of course, meaning "nonsense."  So tommyrot is a high-grade, real fool's nonsense, and not just any old generic, amateur nonsense.  Similarly, I suppose, "tomfoolery" would be first-class fool's foolery, as distinct from your basic layperson's foolery. —Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

> read more from Nonsense Dept. . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
The theory that Humpty Dumpty was pushed is nearly as old as the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum, but we finally lay the matter to rest with this evidence of the culprit, from The Baby's Museum by Uncle Charlie, 1882.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Calton Ballads by Catter Thun (1898).

[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 Ramble Round the Globe by Baron Dewar (1894).
[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)
"The surprising truth is, a more diverse, bountiful natural environment exists within the city and county limits of Los Angeles than within perhaps any other city in the United States." —Wild L.A.: A Celebration of the Natural Areas In and Around the City
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August 4, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Stephen Fry's "tremulously at first and then with mounting heat and passion."  The caption reads, "slow and timid at first, but quicker and firmer presently."  From Jacques Hamon or Sir Philip's Private Messenger by Mary Emily Ropes, 1896.  [For Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Book of Days by Robert Chambers, 1864.
[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 Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894).  The caption reads: "He deliberately knocked the whole thing over."
[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 owls come to supper with her. From Mum Fidgets by Constance Milman (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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August 3, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Swirling mist is a precursor to the Hollywood cliché of the camera circling two people kissing.  From Mr. Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat, 1896.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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No News Is Good News (permalink)
An illustration from The Crisis of the Revolution by William Abbatt (1899).
> read more from No News Is Good News . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Things haven't changed much in the last 120 years. From Stories from the Diary of a Doctor (1894).  The caption reads: "The contents of the paper puzzled 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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August 2, 2014

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

We do believe this bit of Twin Peaks trivia is an internet first:

Using a secret technique of stage magic, we have determined the phone number for Black Rose O'Reilly, the madam of One-Eyed Jacks, and it doesn't follow the Hollywood cliché of beginning with 555.  Blackie's number is 613-2639.

(Our illustration of Blackie is from the Twin Peaks tarot deck, which we own and recommend highly.)
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from Japan and its Art by Marcus Bourne Huish (1889).  The caption reads: "A sudden squall. After Hokusai."
*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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's the original 'Twinkle Toes.' From Plain or Ringlets by Robert Smith Surtees (1892).  The caption reads: "Prince Pirouetteza."
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August 1, 2014

Puzzles and Games (permalink)
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov calls chess "a human activity which brings together the human brain and the competitive spirit."  But we humbly beg to differ and cite The History of Egypt from the Earliest Times till the Conquest by the Arabs A.D. 640 by Samuel Sharpe, 1859.  See If a Chessman Were a Word: A Chess-Calvino Dictionary.
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
An illustration from The Capitals of Spanish America by William Eleroy Curtis (1888).
*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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the deadly salmon mousse in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, from Humorous Poems by Thomas Hood (1893).  The caption reads: "Don't sup on that 'ere Cod."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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