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.
October 31, 2015

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

"Pity and charity may be at root an attempt to propitiate the dark powers that have not touched us yet." Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1909.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From the Tatler yearbook of Winthrop University, 1912.  See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From the Hawkeye yearbook of the State University of Iowa, 1902.  See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From the Lasell Leaves yearbook of Lasell Female Seminary, 1916.  See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From Colorado College's Nugget yearbook, 1906.  See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.


*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The History of Springfield in Massachusetts by Charles Henry Barrows, 1921.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
"They never saw their child again."  From Simple Hans and Other Funny Pictures and Stories, 1854.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)

"I there wi' something did forgather / That put me in an eerie swither."  From The Poetical Works of Robert Burns, 1871.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 entrance to 'Hell,'" from Bohemian Paris of To-day by William Chambers Morrow, 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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October 30, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1909.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Hallowe'en Festivities by Stanley Schell, 1903.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 witch with a switch from St. Nicholas magazine.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Chronicles of Crime by Camden Pelham, 1841.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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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)
"Hans howled again, finishing off with a fiendish laugh," from The Kloof Bride by Ernest Glanville, 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)
"The cabaret of Hell," from Bohemian Paris of To-day by William Chambers Morrow and illustrated by Édouard Cucuel, 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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October 29, 2015

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: "How long does it take for a voice to emerge from another voice?" —William Keckler
A: No time at all.  The phenomenon has been called "ghost voice," "third voice," and "implied harmony."  "When two people sing loudly at slightly different picthes, the frequencies can mix, causing a different tone, or third pitch" (Paul W. Zitzewitz, The Handy Physics Answer Book).
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Water is almost nothing, after all.  It is conspicuously different from air only in its tendency to flood and founder and drown, and even that difference may be relative rather than absolute." Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
Similarly:

"There isn't much difference between the fog and the sea."  A still from DVDBeaver's review of Fog and Crimes.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Precursors (permalink)

"Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives."  From The Life and Literary Works of Michel Angelo Buonarroti by Richard Duppa, 1806.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 skeleton key isn't complete without a skull. From The Stiles Family in America by Henry Reed Stiles, 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)
From The Destined Maid by George Chetwynd Griffith Jones, 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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Colorful Allusions (permalink)
"Rushing to the door he wrenched it open, and plunged forward into a red vacancy," from Ghosts, Being the Experiences of Flaxman Low by Kate O'Brien Prichard and illustrated by B. E. Minns, 1899.
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .
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October 28, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here are the imps of the punch bowl, from Mistura Curiosa by James Archibald Sidey, 1886.  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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Macramé meets the macabre in Wien im Jahre 1683 by Victor von Renner, 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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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From the Epitome yearbook of Lehigh University, 1896.  Speaking of which, what exactly are a snowball's chances in hell?  See A Snowball's Chance in Hell and How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook..

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Did you know that a jack-'o-lantern named "The Chew-Chew Man" watches how you devour shredded wheat?  "He'll get you if you don't watch out," from Rod and Gun, 1898.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Paris des Enfants by Georges C. Fath, 1869.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 lean shape with a shrunken head leapt out into the passage after him."  From Ghosts, Being the Experiences of Flaxman Low by Kate O'Brien Prichard and illustrated by B. E. Minns, 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 The Ingoldsby Legends by Thomas Ingoldsby, 1881.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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October 27, 2015

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Deprived of all perspective and horizon, I found myself reduced to an intuition." Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's sheet music for "Sounds from the Cemetery," a precursor to novelty Halloween albums, from Rhyme and Reason by Lewis Carroll (1884).
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

A drawing by Dorothy J. Hamilton from St. Nicholas maagzine, 1903.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
* There is a vast world of reality into which science can no more enter than an elf can be Santa Claus.  We regret to observe that rather than face it, and confess its inability to measure it, science turns its back upon it.  Life is not always every-day life, and the insolvable mysteries are correlated not to formal rules but to spirit and inspiration.  Are bits of wisdom liable to dwarf the subject?  Indeed — and rightly!  James Howell described the ingredients of a good proverb to be "sense, shortness, and salt."  May Howell's cry resound through this present collection of maxims on believing in one's elf.

> read more from How to Believe in Your Elf . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From the Wisconsin Medical Recorder, 1909.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)

From Ghosts, Being the Experiences of Flaxman Low by Kate O'Brien Prichard and illustrated by B. E. Minns, 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)
An illustration from Every Day Characters by Winthrop Mackworth Praed (1896).  Illustration by Cecil Charles Windsor Aldin.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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October 26, 2015

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

Shinto abacus courtesy of Timothy Takemoto.
One is reminded of the old game, "Which number comes next in this sequence?":
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 ...
This sequence is actually a Shinto breath-counting meditation, using the traditional Japanese numbers of "hi, fu, mi, yo, i, mu, na, ya, koto, tari, momo, chi, yorozu" (as explained in The Essence of Shinto: Japan's Spirtual Heart).  But here's what no one else will tell you:
  • This sequence is a precursor to permanently erasing files from a computer by overwriting portions of the drive with numbers.  This is a meditational technique for overwriting "thought trash."
  • This sequence could be likened to the opposite of Zeno's Paradox.  Instead of making less and less progress (like Zeno's arrow that never reaches its mark), one makes more and more progress, exponentially.
  • This sequence illustrates how radically different Shinto is from Buddhism and other philosophies that seek nothingness.  With each zero added, Shinto sees not less but more — greatly more.  In its progressive optimism, Shinto uses the concept of zero to expand rather than obliterate.
  • Each of the ten zeroes stands for the fact that Shinto has no founder, no orthodox canon of sacred literature, no doctrines or precepts or commandments, no explicit code of ethics, no idols, no need for a building, no ritual of membership or conversion, no holiest place for worshippers, no defined set of prayers, and no organization or central authority.
So yes, basically.
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The Right Word (permalink)

We celebrate how Webster's dictionary used to be truly practical — back when it covered (counterclockwise from the top left) tritons, phrenology, the zodiac, the Colossus of Rhodes, satyrs, dragons, unicorns, Pan, and Atlas (the Greek god, not the maps).  Here's to Webster's Practical Dictionary, 1906, for covering topics to which we daily devote ourselves.

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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)

From The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Ghosts: Being the Bxperiences of Flaxman Low by Kate O'Brien Prichard and illustrated by B. E. Minns, 1899. The caption reads, "Eyes were looking down into his own, dark eyes full of hatred and despair."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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October 25, 2015

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:
Q: How do comic hats float?
A: To create levity, we must make light.
[For Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.  Hats off to you!]
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

We learn here that a majority of no's make a no, but a single no is a star in its own right.  From Journals of Congress, 1777.


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This May Surprise You (permalink)

If it's true that "New ciphers develop when the existing ones have been broken" (Katelyn Callahan, "The Impact of the Allied Cryptographers on World War II"), then just where does said development take place?  In cypher incubators, or course.  Our graphic is from an entire catalog of incubators for cyphers (1899). 

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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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Thackerayana, 1875.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The piper hurls the witch's hood into the stream," from The Casquet of Literature, 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.]
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October 24, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here is revealed how turtles migrate for the winter.  From Woodland Romances by Clara L. Matéaux, 1877.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Bewitched: The Witch-Wife by Sarah Tytler, 1897.

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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.


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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"For now, though, the A's move forward." —Jane Lee

(Our illustration appears in Rush-Bearing by Alfred Burton, 1891.)

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)

"The troll gives a light," from The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 1897.

> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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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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October 23, 2015

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)

From Inleyding Tot de Hooge Schoole der Schilderkonst by Samuel van Hoogstraten, 1678.

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

"When the rope burns close to his toe, he will wake up quickly enough," from St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

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

"And the only fool is the one who can prove that death is a blank nothing or something less than life." —Helga Sandburg, A Great and Glorious Romance: The Story of Carl Sandburg (1978)

(Our blank page appears in The Family Bible, 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)

"I never expected to see two Harriets!"  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

"The bean-pot comet," from The Argonauts of California by Charles Waldo Haskins, 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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October 22, 2015

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

From Die Puppenspiele des Grafen by Franz Pocci, 1909.

*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

"There is dark, and there is light": a musical Yin/Yang from Beauty and the Beast: A Humorous Cantata by Edmund Rogers, 1882.  Note how the sharp and double-sharp symbols offer shimmers of light.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 dead drummer" from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

"The wondrous effect of a piper's pipe of tobacco," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

"Pen hears himself in print," from The Oxford Thackeray.  Indeed, print is not only a visual medium.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 The Land of Ram and Other Tales by H. Rose, 1890.

   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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
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October 21, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to VeggieTales, from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 1904.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

René Magritte's "The Treachery of Images" reminded us that "Ceci n'est pas une pipe," but c'est la vie:

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The International Studio, June 1915.

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

"With what grace she pumped," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 silver lining."  From The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (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)

The Gentleman Who Vanished: A Psychological Phantasy by Fergus Hume, 1890.  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.]
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October 20, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The odious race of the unappreciated," from Miss Misanthrope by Justin MacCarthy and illustrated by Arthur Hopkins, 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)

"Not pictured, yet his presence is implicit." —Thembisa Waetjen, Workers and Warriors

Here's a portrait of a certain Mr. Gudge by John Leech (some of his subtlest work), from The Struggle and Adventures of Christopher Tadpole by Albert Richard Smith, 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)

Whistling past the graveyard, hair standing on end.  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

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

From The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 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.]
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How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
* There is a vast world of reality into which science can no more enter than an elf can be Santa Claus.  We regret to observe that rather than face it, and confess its inability to measure it, science turns its back upon it.  Life is not always every-day life, and the insolvable mysteries are correlated not to formal rules but to spirit and inspiration.  Are bits of wisdom liable to dwarf the subject?  Indeed — and rightly!  James Howell described the ingredients of a good proverb to be "sense, shortness, and salt."  May Howell's cry resound through this present collection of maxims on believing in one's elf.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Land of Ram and Other Tales by H. 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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October 19, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the "Superflat" portmodern art movement founded by Takashi Murakami, from Mémoires Historiques sur la Louisiane, 1753.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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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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Call it a Hunch (permalink)

"Don't call it a hunch, or a spooky sensation.  Call it reality."
—Simon Spurrier, The New Pulp

> read more from Call it a Hunch . . .
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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 man-trap and the skeleton of a man," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

"'What an abominable day!' I said crossly, by way of pleasantly opening the conversation."  From As In a Looking Glass by Francis Charles Philips, 1889.

*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 harvest fairies from New Pictures in Old Frames by Gertrude M. Bradley, 1894.  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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October 18, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

You've heard of "turning it up to eleven," but here's what happens when you do.  From Psychical Research and the Resurrection by James H. Hyslop, 1908, from the Harry Houdini Collection.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Confessions of a Caricaturist by Oliver Herford, 1917.

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

There is a "time of awkward silences," as Suzanne Brockmann has noted in Tall, Dark and Dangerous.  Our illustration appears in St. Nicholas magazine, 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)

"And he felt so well only just now!"  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

"I converse with them at least fours hours every day," from Gulliver's Travels, via Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

From The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 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 May Surprise You (permalink)

We learn that "There isn't anything beyond Wales — only a lot of sea" (sorry, Ireland!) in the "Roots" Christmas special of Are You Being Served?


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October 17, 2015

A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
"(there's sometimes a fine line between a weed and a coveted side dish)" —Jennifer A. Jordan, Edible Memory (2015)

"Edible Cobblestones (with growth)" by Omid Tavallai.
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

It seems that Horace Scudder compiled fables from A to ... well, from A to Æ, as it turned out.  But as Hannah Arendt reminds us, the "absolute lies in the very act of beginning itself."

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's a man in the moon with a Mona Lisa smile, from St. Nicholas magazine, 1898.  Recall our previous proof that the Mona Lisa's facial features correspond to the lunar landscape.

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

"O Queen of Earth and Heaven!  O Peerless among Women, the dreaded day hath dawned!"  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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"A puzzle for the Devil," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

"The sorceress divines Faustine's fortune by poisoning a young slave girl," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

Here's a drop of beer magnified, from The World's Temperance Reciter by Joseph Malins, 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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October 16, 2015

Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Here are the colors of "Charles B. Stilz, President," which we acquired from nine ink stamped signatures in the Journals of the Common Council of the City of Indianapolis, 1912.
> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .
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The Right Word (permalink)
"The king of shadows loves a shining mark."  From A Practical Grammar by Stephen Watkins Clark, 1847.
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)

Someone should write a book on unconscious eating, as so often people eat in trances. —William Keckler

> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

Early models of the "bicycle built for two" betrayed a hierarchy of wealth and power.  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me."  From Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, via Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

From The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 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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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From Purdue University's Debris yearbook, 1902.  See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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October 15, 2015

Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)

"I hope you don't take this the wrong way.  I know you're running from something, something that terrifies you."
—Linda Broday, Twice a Texas Bride

> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"A messenger of evil," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

"And crawled beneath the sofa in despair!"  From The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (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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Only Funny If ... (permalink)

It's only funny if the joke speaks for itself.  Here's "the autobiography of a good joke," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, edited by Percy Bolingbroke Saint John, 1884.

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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to David Copperfield's talking necktie illusion, from The Last of the Nine, 1890.  The caption reads, "'Don't touch that woman!' said a voice, 'It is the command of the black tie!'"

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

From Leslie's Fate, and Hilda, or the Ghost of Erminstein by Andrew Charles Parker Haggard, 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.]
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Strange Dreams (permalink)

From Hysteria and Certain Allied Conditions by George Junkin Preston, 1897.

If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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October 14, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Davenport Brothers, 1869.  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)

"The curse," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Something, Defined (permalink)

 

From Meet Me in the Moon Room by Ray Vukcevich.

> 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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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From the Peace Institute's yearbook The Lotus, 1921.  See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's a banshee from The World of Romance, 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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October 13, 2015

It's Really Happening (permalink)
"The thing everybody was worred would happen, happened!"  A still from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger episode 45 (top) and a collage from Arrested Development (bottom).
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Always Remember (permalink)

"What is this love that must always remember, holding fast to dim touches of earliest grace?"
William Peter Blatty, I'll Tell Them I Remember You

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"'A miracle!  A miracle!' they cried."  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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.]
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How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
* There is a vast world of reality into which science can no more enter than an elf can be Santa Claus.  We regret to observe that rather than face it, and confess its inability to measure it, science turns its back upon it.  Life is not always every-day life, and the insolvable mysteries are correlated not to formal rules but to spirit and inspiration.  Are bits of wisdom liable to dwarf the subject?  Indeed — and rightly!  James Howell described the ingredients of a good proverb to be "sense, shortness, and salt."  May Howell's cry resound through this present collection of maxims on believing in one's elf.

> read more from How to Believe in Your Elf . . .
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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)

Here's a classic sheet ghost from Buffalo Bill's Rough Riders, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

The Milky Way, from Finland in the Nineteenth Century by Leopold Henrik Stanislaus Mechelin, 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.]
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October 12, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Flowery Republic, written and illustrated by Frederick McCormick, 1913.  (For those intrigued by Janus-faced deities, after a decade out of print, our Oracle of the Two-Fold Gods is finally available again, and the first 57 pages are viewable here.  [Note that the preview may take a few moments to load.])

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Fear and doubt, the twin cats that scratch their way into the hearts of the weak, and abide there forever." —Out West magazine, 1901

Our illustration of twin cats appears in Woodland Romances by Clara L. Matéaux, 1877.

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

"An unexpected rainstorm may surprise you." Nick Mezins, The Tidings

> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 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)

"Exorcising a spirit," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Hey up the chimney!  Hey after you!"  An illustration by George Cruikshank from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)
"His face was full of hate as he leered down at them," from Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

From The World's Inhabitants by George Thomas Bettany, 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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October 11, 2015

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Our photo of an unusual Welsh dogs' cemetery is the final illustration to a BuzzFeed piece by Tom Rokins entitled "Is Portmeirion the Weirest Place in the British Isles?"
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Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)

You knew that everything is just a little bit better in Scandinavia, but here's why: How "No. 1" Became "1 1/2" in Norway by J. Maitland Stuart, 1891.  Now it becomes clear — when Norwegians "turn it up to eleven," it's a bigger deal.

* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .
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Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

"(Apropos of nothing, I suppose, I feel that I should report that in some buildings, the walls are a full four feet thick.)"
Charles House, One with the Fox

> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's a lion's wish fulfillment dream from St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.  The caption reads, "Red lion!  Red lion!  Come out of your den."

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 starry-eyed wizard from an ad in Canadian Grocer, 1910.  Also very much of interest: The Young Wizard's Hexopedia.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 ghost's narrative," from The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

"Dry haze," from Tropical Nature, 1876.

*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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October 10, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's an illustration of something to do from What Shall We Do Now? by E. V. Lucas, 1904.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
Tomato soup cans in pop art?  Here's one from 20 years before Andy Warhol's famous example. From The Ladies' Home Journal, 1948.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"I'll let you feel my foot if you don't look out," from Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.  It's The Man in the Check Suit by T. W. H. Delf, 1897.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

We made an animated gif of these smiles and frowns from Crickety Cricket, written and illustrated by Douglas Moffat, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The spectre of Tappington," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.  Compare to this other depiction of the same scene.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Something, Defined (permalink)

 

From "The Modern Pastoral Elegy: A Tick-Where-Appropriate Template" by Conor O'Callaghan, in A Companion to Poetic Genre.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Isn't it delightful to be sitting on an American stump of one's very own?"  From A Social Departure by Sara Jeannette Duncan, 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.]
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October 9, 2015

Uncharted Territories (permalink)
Scholar Doug Howick has pondered the mysterious dots in the Scale of Miles on the blank map in Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark.  Howick writes, "The sequence of dots on the scale has always intrigued me. The original has a '22132' arrangement, but I have been unable to make anything of that.  I've also wondered whether it was a message in Morse code, which had been invented by Samuel Morse in 1844.  If so, it would spell 'IIESI,' which doesn't make any sense to me either."
We might suggest that the dots are "blind spots" indicating the "forgetfulness of antecedent spatial configurations," the "discrepancies and approximations" which cannot be obliterated (as per José Rabasa's critical reading of Mercator's 17th-century Atlas).  And/or, the scholar of silliness and its metaphysics, Nina Lyon, writes of how a place inevitably becomes a metaphor, "an elastic description of its describable characteristics as required to illustrate a point plucked from the mind's ether."  She writes about how the bumps of a terrain's anatomy become apparent "only with movement" as one repositions oneself in time and space so as to perceive "the multiplicity of it.  The many bits of detail, those many geographical features marked out in contour lines and dots of scree on maps, all unfold from the single furrowed surface of the earth upon which your feet continue to move, with slow determined pace. ... The features exist for as long as you can see them, and then you keep on moving and they fall back into where they were before, into the mass again.  What seem to be individual entities all fall back into one thing in the end.  They are merely attributes of it.  The one is ontologically prior to the many."  Yes.
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Strange Dreams (permalink)

From The Blue Poetry Book by Andrew Lang and illustrated by Lancelot Speed, 1891.

If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

You've heard of "a little night music," but here's how it's properly notated.  From Очеркъ тысячелѣтней борьбы Балтійско-Полабскаго Славянства съ Нѣмцами до возрожденія Сербо-Лужицкаго племени, 1897.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The incantation," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Let no bell toll—lest her sweet soul should catch the note" and drift into the afterlife.  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

"On that key of hopelessness she ended," from Hamilton of King's by Alice Price, 1890.

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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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October 8, 2015

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Mary E. Brzustowicz answers, "Where were you raised, a barn?" over at her Keep Mary Out of the Kitchen blog.  (via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.)
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Before Tammy Wynette's hit song "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," there was R-E-M-O-R-S-E in The Sultan of Sulu, a Musical Comedy by George Ade and Alfred G. Wathall, 1902.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Thanks to poet William Keckler for saying, "Craig Conley's web incarnation, with its meta-dance moves, can always take me from a blue funk to a pink tipsiness in a matter of minutes."
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Q and U are associated through a mentor/protege contract, as we learn in St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

It turns out that the man in the moon is actually a little girl called Hippety-Hop (who suffered from what we now call nervous leg syndrome) who just kept going.  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1876.  To our eye, the little girl transformed into a Kanji character.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Under the spell," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"As I never turned from the living, the dead shall never turn me from my path."  From Montebello the Magnificant, 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.]
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A Fine Line Between... (permalink)

The following quotation does not [technically] relate to the diagram: "The goal is to let the sense lines sing themselves by letting them ride on a line of breath that does not die out before the end of the thought has been reached.  Imagine an arrow of breath that you are directing to that target" (Kathleen A. Harmon, The Ministry of Cantors, 2004).  The diagram appears in Health in Home and Town by Bertha Millard Brown, 1912.


A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
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October 7, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the horror film The Others, from Hughes High School's annual, 1918.  The caption reads, "There were •others•."  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Our One-Letter Words: A Dictionary is one of twelve books hand-picked to represent "wit in writing" over at Scribd.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
You've heard that when you're in love, the whole world is Jewish.  Meanwhile, "In the middle of the night, we are all Fellini" (Barbara Kantrowitz, "What Dreams of Made Of").
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's an L crossing a waterfall, from Seen in an Old Mirror by Mary Bathurst Deane, 1891.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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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)

No one practices "fulosphy" anymore.  It's very nearly a Googlewhack.  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Here is a pin; stick it into this wax, man."  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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"He divined of a sudden, my magic lore," from The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (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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October 6, 2015

Uncharted Territories (permalink)
The artist of this blank map, David Waywell (a.k.a. Stan Madeley), admits that "some people might say that it's a bit obscene."  Almost by way of apology, he notes "how much skill was involved in drawing licorice with white ink." 
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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

"I'm/he's sole captain of this fine vessel.  Blow, my bonny boys, blow."  From Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

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Strange Dreams (permalink)
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"There are negatives and positives to every move, but hopefully they will settle into a realistic acceptance that everything will work out just fine." —Sammie Stevenson

Our illustration is from The Decorative Periods by Chandler Robbins Clifford, 1906.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"'Help me, somebody!' said I, taking up a large fish."  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.  As Lioness Magazine says, "Be careful how much you take on."

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"From this eyrie, in the warm night, one hears the heart of Calcutta beating."  From The City of Dreadful Night and Other Places by Rudyard Kipling, 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.]
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How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
* There is a vast world of reality into which science can no more enter than an elf can be Santa Claus.  We regret to observe that rather than face it, and confess its inability to measure it, science turns its back upon it.  Life is not always every-day life, and the insolvable mysteries are correlated not to formal rules but to spirit and inspiration.  Are bits of wisdom liable to dwarf the subject?  Indeed — and rightly!  James Howell described the ingredients of a good proverb to be "sense, shortness, and salt."  May Howell's cry resound through this present collection of maxims on believing in one's elf.

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Precursors (permalink)

This sounds like another precursor to the "Fusilli Jerry" episode of Seinfeld.  (We noted the "Macaroni Man" precursor here.)  It's The Fantoccini Man by Warren Townshend, 1890.

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October 5, 2015

Uncharted Territories (permalink)
A "retroactive lifetime goal"* is having our own Carte Blanche Atlas [of Blank Maps] referenced by a Lewis Carroll expert as "amazing" and "a reliable source of information ... without errors."  Scholar Doug Howick even quotes our nine crucial differences between a blank map and a blank page.  (Those nine differences are listed here as well.)  It's all in the Knight Letter of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, and a pdf of the issue is available via Archive.org.  (Granted, this is technically news from 2011, but we blog years in advance as part of our ongoing time-bending experiments.)
*Phrase courtesy of Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Em or Spells and Counter-Spells by Mary Bramston, 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.]
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The Right Word (permalink)

Here's one simple way to change a negative outlook into a positive one, as revealed in The Carolyn Wells Year Book of Old Favorites and New Fancies for 1909.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

The emperor Caligula is no longer believed to have married his favorite horse, but we'll always have Denise and Ned Toodles.  From St. Nicholas magazine, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Naturalist in La Plata by William Henry Hudson, 1922.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

"The World's Umbrella" (obviously), from St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.

*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)

"The seer," from Traditions of Lancashire by John Roby, 1879.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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October 4, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Did'st ever see a finer?"  From Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 the spirit of burning the midnight oil, whose mantra is perhaps "Just one more page" or "Why not finish this chapter?"  From Csataképek a Magyar Szabadságharzból by Mór Jókai, 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)

"To the wolf at the door," from The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (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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The Right Word (permalink)

Here's one way to diagram a sentence about a fairy-like creature emerging from a portal.  From Community English by Mildred Flagg, 1921.

> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Death by tennis is obviously a much underrated crime." —David Smith, Death in Leamington, 2015

"Could slay any member of the family with a tennis-ball at a hundred yards." —Sara Jeanette Duncan, A Social Departure: How Orthodocia and I Went Round the World by Ourselves, 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)

"Analysis of the perspiration of a brain-worker shows the amount of brain effort by the volume of little particles of Phosphate of Potash thrown off by the brain when working."  From an ad for Grape-Nuts in St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.


> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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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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October 3, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
You've heard of the 23 Enigma, but here's the phrenology of it, from The Illustrated Self-Instructor in Phrenology and Physiology by O. S. Fowler, 1859.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)

We tend to appreciate palindromic book titles.  Here's This and That, and That and This by Charles Josiah Adams, 1919.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Stanley was removed from the room," from The Woodleighs of Amscote by Frances Collins, 1881.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Tom and Jerry, from St. Nicholas magazine, 1898.

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

"It was a human skull," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

"There's a dead body walking about the room!  One?  No!  It is not one; it is five hundred!"  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

Here's a bartender as a wicked spider, from The World's Temperance Reciter by Joseph Malins, 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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October 2, 2015

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Thanks to poet, author, and visual artist Amanda Earl for calling our Abecedarian site "wondrous"!  The phrase "it takes a wonder to know one" delivers zero Google results, but that doesn't mean it's not true.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Blue Poetry Book by Andrew Lang and illustrated by Lancelot Speed, 1891.

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

We know from the rhyme that the cow jumped over the moon, but here's the view.  From Síḋeóga ag Obair by William Patrick Ryan, 1903.

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

"Wooden shoes" is an anagram of "one swooshed."  From St. Nicholas magazine, 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 by George Cruikshank from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

"He moved his walking-stick repeatedly through the phantom," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 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)

Our favorite sort of lineup: "Executioner, Lord High-Keeper-of-the-Candy-Box, Lord High-Thinker, and Jester," from St. Nicholas magazine, 1903.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Plunge Into Space by Robert Cromie, 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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October 1, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Before the smiling Cheshire cat from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) there was this laughing cat in Christmas Cheer by Angus Reach, James Hannay and Albert Smith, 1856.
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

A detailed explanation of our play-creating "Mimetic Oracle" is over at Thematic Tarot.  
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

 

"In the book business, you can't even trust the index."

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's a toast to "A jay [who] screamed out from the topmost pine."  From Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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