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.
September 30, 2014

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
"There is a fine line between being tantalising and being tarty."
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"Rather warm," from Our New Way Round the World by Charles Carleton Coffin, 1883.
*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)
From Southerly Busters by Ironbark, 1878.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Laughing Ann by Alan Patrick Herbert (1925).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Child's Own Poetry Book by Horace George Groser (1887).  The caption reads: "We came by many a fairy nook."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 29, 2014

The Right Word (permalink)
Leigh Hunt is apparently the only person ever to have referred to an "exactitude of toe" (easiness and endlessness notwithstanding). From The Essays of Leigh Hunt, illustrated by Henry Matthew Brock, 1903.
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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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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The Right Word (permalink)
"'Rot!' I replied, with less elegance than terseness."  From Dariel by Richard Doddridge Blackmore, 1897.
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"Chased by a storm," 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 A Tramp Abroad by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1897).  The caption reads: "My picture of the Matterhorn."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 "only funny if you're kidding."
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September 28, 2014

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
There's a fine line between a non-moment and a moment.  Our illustration appears in French Language and Conversation by François Berger, 1891.  (Thanks, in a roundabout way, to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt!)
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Just place your hand upon my breast."  From The Story Hunter or Tales of the Weird and Wild by Ernest Richard Suffling, 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)

From Deux Années au Brésil by François Biard and illustrated by Édouard Riou, 1862.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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's Really Happening (permalink)
"It's really happening.  The earth is really coming back again."

The foreground of this collage is from the extraordinarily brilliant comedy series Arrested Development.
> read more from It's Really Happening . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Paradise of Birds by William John Courthope (1889).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Story of the Rear Column of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition by James S. Jameson (1890).  The caption reads: "Diagram of spiders' webs."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 27, 2014

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
"The Eldest Generosity girl bounces about a good deal on the music stool and plays wrong notes maliciously."  From The Money-Spinner by Henry Seton Merriman and illustrated by Arthur Rackham, 1896.

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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Brutal assault upon Mrs. ———."  The caption itself has the wind knocked out of it.  From Wife No. 19 by Ann Eliza Young, 1876.
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Nonsense Dept. (permalink)
An illustration from Lilliput Lyrics by William Brighty Rands and illustrated by Charles Robinson (1899).  The caption reads: "Nonsense Rhymes."
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Handy Andy by Samuel Lover (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 White Man's Foot by Grant Allen and illustrated by Joseph Finnemore (1888).  The caption reads: "'Everything is correct,' he whispered."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 26, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to either Retch or Hoik from the brilliant comedy series This is Jinsy, which we found in Carols of Cockayne by Henry Sambrooke Leigh 1874.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Bubbles from the Brunnens of Nassau by Sir Francis Bond Head, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The ram and its shadow," from Roses and Holly, 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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the 1937 film A Star is Born, from Baby's Book by Ida Scott Taylor (1898).
> read more from Precursors . . .
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The Right Word (permalink)
"In all we say we are responsible for the final human's final words." —Stein Mehren, Fire & Ice: Nine Poets from Scandinavia and the North
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September 25, 2014

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
In the famous nursery rhyme, the little lamb gets all the credit for following Mary everywhere, but this 1896 illustration sets the record straight: Mary's sheepdog deserves some acclaim for directing the action.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Passing through the door," 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)
From A Little Tour in Ireland by S. R. Hole, 1878.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
"Terrible Suspense": an illustration from Camp and Studio by Irving Montagu (1890).
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
An illustration from Helen by Maria Edgeworth, (1896).  The caption reads: "Her expertness at general answers which give no information completely baffled the two."
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Did you know that the very first joke in the great comedy film The 'Burbs occurs in the opening credits?  The typographically literate will notice that the apostrophe has been replaced with a grave accent, alluding to what the Klopeks dig in their spooky backyard.  (Film still courtesy of DVDBeaver.)


Meanwhile, here's an illustration from Across the Channel by James Crowther (1888).  The caption reads: "The opened grave."

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 24, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"I want to go home," from The Innocents Abroad 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Yes or no—speak!—Is there another life?"  From The Wooing of Malkatoon by Lewis Wallace and illustrated by John Reinhard Weguelin, 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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Precursors (permalink)
Are they Watson and Crick on the double staircase?  From A Handbook of Tamworth, Its Church & Castle by Thomas Cooke, 1876.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Lilliput Lyrics by William Brighty Rands Illustrated by Charles Robinson (1899).  The caption reads: "The rising, watching moon."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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)
By jingo, that's Jingo himself on the right.   From Poems by Louisa Shore (1897).  The caption reads: "Tracts, by Jingo."
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Nonsense Dept. (permalink)
"The divine gift of purely nonsensical speech and action is in atrophy." —Edmund Crispin, The Case of the Gilded Fly
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September 23, 2014

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


The text reads: "In the garment district, the silkworm never sleeps.*  Likewise, the silkworm moth's eyes flutter but never close."
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to "Toxic Waste" sour candy, from Royal Society of Health Journal, 1814.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"We shall have little better than a hurricane," from Masterman Ready by Frederick Marryat, 1897.
*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 A Fatal Fiddle by Edward Heron Allen (1890).  The caption reads: "He had seen the hand on the former occasion—there it was—wandering from shelf to shelf."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Modern Utopia by H. G. Wells (1905). Illustration by Edmund Sullivan.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 22, 2014

Nonsense Dept. (permalink)
The night belongs to nonsense.
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Colorful Allusions (permalink)

Here are the most colorful three lines of dialogue possible.  The scene involves a couple planning a holiday.  Reggie B. yearns for the ocean, but Em is a hydrophobic.  We join them as Reggie B. hesitatingly hands Em a surfing brochure:

Reggie B: [pleadingly] Sea, Em?

Em: [exasperated over Reggie B.'s insensitivity to her irrational fear of water] Why?

Reggie B. [acquiescing, though aqua-effing under his breath] 'Kay.

We abbreviate the title of the dialogue as CMYK, and we do believe it covers the entire spectrum.

> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .
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Staring at the Sun (permalink)
"By some means, however, they got to the sky, / And found the Sun throned in his palace on high."  From Thoughts and Fancies by John Cotton, 1897.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Struggle and Adventures of Christopher Tadpole by Albert Richard Smith and illustrated by John Leech, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"The waning polar day, 22nd September 1893. Pastel sketch. (The original was injured by damp.)" From Farthest North by Fridtjof Nansen, 1897.
*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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It's Really Happening (permalink)
"You're not having some mystical out of body experience up there.  What's happening is real.  It's really happening.  You've got to stay with it." —Clown Through Mask

The foreground of this collage is from the extraordinarily brilliant comedy series Arrested Development.  The background is by DistrictAliens and is entitled "Out of Body Experience."
> read more from It's Really Happening . . .
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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Chicken Road "It's only funny if it's a little thing, not a life and death matter."
The Healing Is Mutual by Schwarz Hirschhorn
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September 21, 2014

Uncharted Territories (permalink)
"A sort of phantom limb sensation motivates me to draw closer to the (        ) which interests me most. We think we feel ourselves where we can't possibly be, an extension of our body. We go to examine the sensation, and discover the absence of ourselves. But there is something there. There is still a tingling. We know it is a lie, but we want to believe it is an extension of us. When and where did we lose this limb, that we feel a hankering after it? What battle occurred in time immemorial or before our conscious existence?" —William Keckler
> read more from Uncharted Territories . . .
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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)
"All the arts by God forbidden, all the knowledge hid in darkness, I reveal!"  From The Devil's Case by Robert Williams Buchanan, 1896.  Speaking of which, what exactly are a snowball's chances in hell?  See A Snowball's Chance in Hell.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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)
York RoseA rose may be a rose may be a rose because a lawyer says that only a rose can solve our problem—therefore we have a rose.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Last Voyage by Baroness Annie Brassey (1889).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 The Kitchen Maid by J. Bernard Partridge (1896).  The caption reads: "Quick and light, hop! goes the Fairy!"
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September 20, 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)
"'If—if you are alive,' he whispered, 'speak to me: don't look at me so—don't!'"  From The Lights of Sydney; or, No Past is Dead by Lilian Turner, 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but I also can see what is coming, and I am not at all sure that I like it." —Achim Zahren, The Last Polar Bear
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from In the Forbidden Land by Arnold Henry Savage Landor (1898).  The caption reads: "Thus elapsed twenty-four terrible hours."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Comic History of Greece by Charles Snyder (1898).  The caption reads: "Ulysses invokes the shades."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 1905 issue of Wide World magazine.  The caption reads: "'Now,' said I, 'Here's a ghost.  I'm sure of so much.'"
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 19, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From One in Charity by Silas Kitto Hocking and illustrated by Gordon Browne, 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)
"I saw Effie's wicked intentions and did my best to thwart them," from The Romance of Mary Sain by C. H. Cochran Patrick, 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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Strange Dreams (permalink)
From Southerly Busters by Ironbark, 1878.
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 Echoes from the Rocky Mountains by John Clampitt (1889).  The caption reads: "A night of terror."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Man in the Moon, February (1848).  The caption reads: "One of Mrs. Butler's 'Oh—oh's.'"
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Antiques Roadshow, from A Tramp Abroad, Etc. by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1897.

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September 18, 2014

Book of Whispers (permalink)
"The golden secret is told," from The Trail of the Serpent by M. E. Braddon, 1861.
* 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The big sky-man that makes the moons," from Red Apple and Silver Bells by Hamish Hendry and illustrated by Alice B. Woodward, 1899.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
An illustration from The Comic History of England by Gilbert Abbott A'beckett (1897).  The caption reads: "Reading the Dream."
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the 1920's idiom 'down for the count,' from The Jorrocks Edition by Robert Smith Surtees (1892).  The caption reads: "The countess was down."
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Marvels Over Our Heads by Georg Hartwig (1888).  The caption reads: "Cave in dream lead mine, near Wirksworth, Derbyshire."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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)
"Here we see it in this picture.  It looked as if the waves were angry."  From Chambers's New Geographical Readers, 1891.

   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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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September 17, 2014

Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
From The Innocents Abroad by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1869.
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
"The snoring match," from Backsheesh by Thomas Wallace Knox, 1875.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Baby's Museum by Uncle Charlie, 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 Stanley in Afrika's Donkere Wildernissen by Henry Morten Stanley (1890).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Legal and Other Lyrics by George Outram (1887).  The caption reads: "Oh! what a deevil, &c."

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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)
"That sail will never put you under the water again."  Or, to quote Jeremiah 21:10, "And he shall burn it with fire."

From Gryll Grange by Thomas Love Peacock, 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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September 16, 2014

This May Surprise You (permalink)
Here's how to imbue majesty into something as ordinary as a library stamp.  (We find this majestic library stamp in the Commercial Intelligence Journal, 1921.)

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Puzzles and Games (permalink)
Gary Barwin reports:

Aaron Tucker has created this amazing site, Chessbard which translates chess games into poetry. You can play classic games, play a game against a chessbot, or modify games. The site then 'translates' the game into poems: both a White poem and a Black poem. Aaron has also written an essay about the project and its development.

I was delighted to be able to contribute to the site. I created some poems (by modifying a classic game) and wrote a discussion about what I did and about chess in general. Read it here.

Really fascinating.

And while you're thinking about chess, definitely check out the very lovely, Calvino-Chess Dictionary by Craig Conley. You can buy the book or read it online. I'd recommend the book!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The turquoise skull was on the table, and seated before it was my poor friend—dead!"  From The Dwarf's Chamber and Other Stories by Fergus Hume, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
From Pictures of the Chinese, Drawn by Themselves, by Robert Henry Cobbold, 1860.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"If round my footsteps dwell unholy sign or evil spell," from The Misfortunes of Elphin by Thomas Love Peacock, 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)
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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September 15, 2014

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
"It was Edward ..." but now it's Mister Ed, eh?  From Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, 1896.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Pyrenees by Henry George Blackburn, 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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No News Is Good News (permalink)
"She could not utter a sound," from The Devil's Shilling by Campbell Rae Brown, 1897.
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"Doing Skye": an illustration from Our Journey to the Hebrides by Joseph Pennell and Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1890).
*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)
"Life's Mystery": an illustration from The Works of Henry Rose (1890).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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Book of Whispers (permalink)
"Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world?  It is that we have only known the back of the world.  We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal.  That is not a tree, but the back of a tree.  That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud.  Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face?  If we could only get round in front." —G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday
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September 14, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the puppet that lives within us all, from Modern Magic by Professor Hoffmann, 1885.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Matthew Flinders by Robert Thynne, 1896.  The text reads, "Behind this hand neither land nor strand.  Jim's discovery in the ice plain."  
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Poems by Charles Rosher (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)
An illustration from The Sphinx-like Head by J. Harry Sugden (1896).  The caption reads: "With a loud shout of joy from me, and a despairing shriek from her, I hurled her down the crater."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Burgess Nonsense Book (1901).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 13, 2014

This May Surprise You (permalink)
You've heard of magic dust, woofle dust, pixie dust, fairy dust, and foo foo powder, but these aren't mere figures of speech, as we see in the Catalogue of Sharp & Smith, 1889, p. 670 — a genuine magic atomizer.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The butter flies," from Virginia Illustrated by David Hunter Strother, 1857.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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)
"'You are making phantoms to frighten yourself with,' he exclaimed."  From A Neglected Privilege by Maggie Swan, 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 An African Millionaire by Grant Allen (1897).  The caption reads: "Césarine returned with a full, true, and particular list."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Shafts from an Eastern Quiver by Charles Jodrell Mansford (1894).  The caption reads: "Within the transparent rock we saw the form of a woman."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 12, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the Swedish band The Mourning Mosquitoes, from Ellington 1918.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"The sea had always possessed my thoughts": an illustration by Austin Osman Spare for Behind the Veil by Ethel Wheeler (1906).
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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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Staring at the Sun (permalink)
> read more from Staring at the Sun . . .
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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
An illustration from The Nightingale Dished Up on China Plates by Richard Andre (1899).
> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Around the World on a Bicycle by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1887).  The caption reads: "A Quarry of Startled Dears."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 James and the Giant Peach, from The Oxford Thackeray.
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September 11, 2014

Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)
Which is funnier: a mastodon or a pterodactyl?

Clue: This is according to absurdist playwright N. F. Simpson.

Answer: pterodactyl (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)

Citation: N. F. Simpson, One-Way Pendulum. In Simpson's original version, the protagonists' daughter had changed herself into a mastodon on a whim, but in his film adaptation, Simpson revised the mastodon to a pterodactyl.
(Thanks to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt for inspiration!)
> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Ventilating engines, commonly used at close ends in metal mines," from Frost and Fire by John Francis Campbell, 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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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"The heart of the typhoon," from A Diplomatist's Wife in Japan by Mary Crawford Fraser, 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 Messiah by Samuel Johnson.  The caption reads: "For the black bat, Night, has flown."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 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 Humorous Poems by Thomas Hood (1893).  The caption reads: "He saw a sailor mixing his grog."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 10, 2014

Strange Dreams (permalink)
"Look at your hands to dream lucidly."  [For Gordon Meyer.]

Pictured: Prof. Oddfellow.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Jimmy and his friends discover the jewelled skeleton," from An Ocean Outlaw by Hugh Saint Leger, 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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Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
Write a novel about a geneticist who discovers the secret of cellular immortality.  And she makes a cat immortal.  Then she destroys her notes.  And nobody can figure out how she made the cat immortal for another seven hundred years.  Maybe she was going through a bad breakup at the time and took it out on humanity.  Or she just didn't have much hope for people. —William Keckler
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Nonsense Dept. (permalink)
"I had no idea what she was talking about. But I was used to that. I love Adrienne madly, and when her eyes glimmer that way she can speak nonsense or Old Norse, and I won’t mind." —Jeremy Edwards, Spark My Moment
> read more from Nonsense Dept. . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
This 1884 illustration from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works is a precursor to Freud's 1895 discovery of 'anxiety neurosis' syndrome or 'stage fright.'"  The caption reads: "My performance will be a failure."
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Illustrated Penny Tales From the Strand Library (1894).  The caption reads: "It was a terrible position."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 9, 2014

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
Sometimes folderol can use a good whack, as we see in this line from 1823.

> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The night that changes not," from Songs of Love and Death by Margaret Armour, 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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Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier (permalink)

"[It] doesn't have to be pickles, but pickles are funnier." —Jonathan Caws-Elwitt, context unnecessary

> read more from Puzzles and Games :: Which is Funnier . . .
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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)

An illustration from Bohemian Paris of To-day by William Chambers Morrow and illustrated by Édouard Cucuel (1899).  The caption reads: "In the passage to the death chamber."

[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Star of the Sea by N. Gregor (1897).  The caption reads: "Sometimes he was heard returning to this world, shrieking in his passage through the air, and reascending to the skies again."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 8, 2014

Only Funny If ... (permalink)
It's only funny if you knock 'em dead, from Basile the Jester by Joyce Emmerson Muddock, 1896.  The caption reads, "He lay stunned."
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"She clung to the bedpost with her claw-like hands," 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)

The pen is mightier than the [s]word-smith.  From Le Chemin des Écoliers by X. B. Saintine, 1861.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Paris Depuis Ses Origines Jusqu'en Ll'an 3000 by Léo Claretie (1886).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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No News Is Good News (permalink)
An illustration from Home Theatricals made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow (1891).  The caption reads: "Have you not a tongue, madam?"
> read more from No News Is Good News . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from A Bid for Fortune by Guy Newell Boothby (1895).  The caption reads: "Tell me what we are to do!"
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 7, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Arrested Development's Lucille and Buster on the cover of the Balboa Bay Window, from St. Nicholas magazine.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Wrestling in darkness of soul," from Kate Carnegie by Ian Maclaren, 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)
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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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
An illustration from The Man in the Moon, February (1848).
> 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 Fair Diana by Wanderer, illustrated by Georgina Bowers (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 Sing Song 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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September 6, 2014

This May Surprise You (permalink)
It's been said that "writers lose themselves in their words, carefully woven into sentences" (Jason Skinner), but did you know that each letter of those words is a carefully woven tapestry in itself?  We find our proof in Oracles from the Poets: A Fanciful Diversion for the Drawing Room by Caroline Howard Gilman, 1845.

> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to shadow puppetry, from The Art of Projecting by Amos Emerson Dolbear, 1877.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"They each sat watching their money."  From The Phantom Ship by Frederick Marryat and illustrated by H. R. Millar, 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 Jack in the Box by Robert Ellice Mack (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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The Right Word (permalink)
"Weltschmerz."  From Peter Ibbetson by George Du Maurier (1892).
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
As above, so below: "Looking down into space."  An illustration from Hartmann the Anarchist by Edward Douglas Fawcett (1893).
[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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September 5, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the dancing ostriches in Walt Disney's Fantasia, from St. Nicholas magazine.  We've previously noted precursors to Fantasia's glamorous hippos and the sorcerer's apprentice's enchanted broomsticks.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"These experiments re-invoke puppetry's recurrent philosophical issues: what constitutes a puppet?  What is human agency?" —The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance, 2014

Our illustration is from Popular Electricity Magazine in Plain English, 1912.

[For David at Up In Arms.]
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
"[At the] centre of the dark vault of heaven this glittered," from It Is Never Too Late to Mend by Charles Reade, 1856.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)

From La Vie à Montmartre by Georges Montorgueil and illustrated by Pierre Vidal, 1899.

> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A comprehensive yawn" from A Tramp Abroad 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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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
From an 1890 advertisement.  The caption reads: "They fain would hide their faces."
> read more from Everybody's Doing This Now . . .
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September 4, 2014

Precursors (permalink)
Two years before the birth of the Elephant Man, we find the Elephantine Brothers.  From The Timely Retreat by Rosalind Harriet Dunlop, 1858.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
"The self and the other are just two sides of the same coin."
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The fourth of September, by André Gill," from Paris Herself Again by George Augustus Henry Fairfield, 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)
"It was the cat": an illustration from A Tramp Abroad by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1880).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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)
Every nightingale has a colon, which absorbs water and electrolytes.  From The Nightingale by Richard Andre (1899).
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
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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September 3, 2014

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Alone in the ruin of her world," from There Once Was a Prince by Mary E. Mann, 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)
"Sejanus— 'Great and high, / The world knows only two, that's Me and I."  From Tommy Toddles's Comic Almenak, 1862.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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 Cat People, from Travels in Africa During the Years 1875-1878 by Wilhelm Junker (1890).  The caption reads: "A leopard in our bedroom."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Number Six and the iconic penny farthing of the cult television series The Prisoner.  From Two Trips to the Emerald Isle by 'Faed' (1888).  The caption reads: "Decimal Six."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
"The only way to insure that your ship will come in is to send out many ships and not to just rely on one."
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
> read more from Your Ship Will Come In . . .
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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: "Risen from the dead.—'And while, in horror unutterable, I stared, to those decaying jaws was borne a voice: 'William, I will wait for you—they wait.'"
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  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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September 2, 2014

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Funny Books for Boys and Girls, 1856.  Also very much of interest: The Young Wizard's Hexopedia.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Hanuman moving the mountains," 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"As I looked something dark and formless seemed to rise from the crock; but I saw nothing distinctly."  From The Birthright by Joseph Hocking, 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)
An illustration from Charles O'Malley by Charles James Lever (1892), illustrated by H. K. Browne.  The caption reads: "'Come forth, ye demons of the lower world,' 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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It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It bears repeating that suicide is never the result of just one stressor."
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .
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September 1, 2014

Nonsense Dept. (permalink)
Jack. Oh, that’s nonsense, Algy. You never talk anything but nonsense.
Algernon. Nobody ever does.
—Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt)
> read more from Nonsense Dept. . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
*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 Lion Gate from Pen and Pencil Sketches, Being the Journal of a Tour in India by Godfrey Charles Mundy, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
This ornate capital S appears in The Virginians by William Makepeace Thackeray, 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"A book is a myth we believe in when we're young.  We stop treating it seriously as we get older." —The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973, Poland)

> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"He liked clocks": an illustration from A Tramp Abroad Etc. by Samuel Langorne 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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Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Chicken Road "Humor can be a great defuser, but be careful; it's only funny if everyone laughs."
> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.