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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March 31, 2015

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

On the basis of two bits of evidence (but please send us more examples), we've determined that British humo[u]r can move any mountain (to the tune of The Shamen's "Move Any Mountain" or not).  Exhibit A: In Maurice Dolbier's Nowhere Near Everest: An Ascent to the Height of the Ridiculous, we find a character who boldly "contrived the removal of Mount Everest and the substitution of a smaller peak, in an attempt to create an international incident."  Exhibit B: In the series one, episode two of Absolutely Fabulous, a character is sued by British Heritage for shifting some ancient standing stones out of the way:

Eddie: Sued?  Why are being sued, darling?
Bubble: Well, that last fashion shoot you organised.  Apparently, someone moved a couple of rocks, or something.
Patsy: Moved a couple of old rocks?  My God!
Eddie: Stonehenge, Pats.  Anyway...
Patsy: So?  They should be glad of the publicity.

Britain's effortless ability to move any mountain through humo[u]r is unmistakable.

 

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Substitutes for Christianity here include the spiritual drugs of aestheticism, idealism, ritualism, dilettantism, and intellectualism, as well as tinctures of Plato, Kipling, Tennyson, Emerson, Carlyle, Browning, and Shakespeare.  From Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 devil takes a little sin for a ride, from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here are some good intentions from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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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March 30, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

The phrase "ghosts of dead toys" delivers just one Google result from 1908.  Our illustration appears fours years earlier, in St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.

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This May Surprise You (permalink)

You've heard of somnambulists, and you've heard of escape artists, but here's both at once.  The caption reads, "Sylvester, once more sound asleep, sets himself free."  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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This May Surprise You (permalink)

As we see in this vintage map, Florida once occupied most of North America.  But one could also make an argument that most of North America was once Scotland, just as absurdist playwright N. F. Simpson has argued that the Mediterranean could technically fall under Scottish law:

Lawyer:  It would be enough to show that it [the Mediterranean] is in what — for the present purposes — can be deemed to be Scotland, and here we might usefully explore the possibility that Scotland, as we know it, may not always have occupied the precise position north of the border that it is commonly thought of as occupying today.  We are assisted here by the known fact that the general configuration of the Earth's surface, such as it is, was not arrived at overnight.  It is the end product of a not unlengthy process involving widespread upheaval over a period of several millennia, during the course of which things were in a considerable state of flux ... and it should not be difficult to demonstrate as an a priori possibility that Scotland — or what was subsequently to become known as Scotland — might, in one of the remoter periods of geological time, have occupied, however fleetingly, and prior to making its journey northwards to the position on the map that it has occupied ever since, [the Mediterranean].  If so, there would be a strong prima facie case for a reappraisal of the whole situation with a view to bringing the whole matter fairly and squarely within the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts....
Senior:  Sounds promising.
Minister:  Yes — I think one could give voice to a tentative eureka there.
[From Was He Anyone?, first performed in 1972]

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

You've heard of being raked over the coals, but here are some rakes under the coal [we're here all night], from Purdue Debris, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"A mirror doubles the scene, confirming what is at first hard to make out and then hard to believe." —Peter Schjeldahl, The 7 Days Art Columns, 1988-1990

 

Our illustration appears in St. Nicholas magazine, 1912.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
Here's some time-bending via music, from St. Nicholas magazine.  The caption reads, "The clock seemed to go very slowly."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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March 29, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to 1939's "The Teapot Song" (a.k.a. "I'm a Little Teapot"), from The Nightingale by Richard André, 1899.

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

"Every evening at seven I ask myself: what are we to do?"
—Ernst Kreuder, The Attic Pretenders

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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
From The Maniac Father by Thomas Peckett Prest, 1850.
*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)
From Goddelycke Wenschen, 1629.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispaha by James Justinian Moirier and illustrated by H. R. Millar, 1894.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's "the end" from Sequelle, 1912.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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March 28, 2015

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

See our piece on "Prometheus Found" (as well as a bonus anagram involving a learned owl) in the premier issue of Fiddler's Green, a magazine of "art and magic for tea-drinking anarchists, convivial conjurors, and closeted optimists."

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A commonplace amphibious young person, with no ideas beyond not dressing herself."  From In the Green Park; or, Half-pay Deities by F. Norreys Connell, 1894.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The burning ship drifted on with its dead through the night," from Valdar the Oft-Born: A Saga of Seven Ages by George Chetwynd Griffith Jones, 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)
We mustn't merely face the unknown, but escort it was well.  "Escorting the unknown in question," from The Bachelor's Christmas by Robert Grant, 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)
Mother Rigby presents her life-giving pipe to the scarecrow she has animated, from Nathaniel Hawthorne's fable "Feathertop," 1852.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
"A rolling chaos of animated rotundities," from Maid Marian, and Crotchet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock, 1895.
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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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March 27, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"He came in thoroughly washed," from Peaks and Pines: Another Norway Book by James Arthur Lees, 1899.  (We're guessing that if Jonathan Caws-Elwitt were to distill this image into one word, it would be "cleansed."  That word happens to be one of his many contributions to the Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns By Sound.)

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

Can one judge a book by its first page?  (Spoiler: we do.)  We bought Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant after reading John Pistelli's piece about it, and we'll probably try to get through it, but page one sure did leave us cold.  (That's not counting Ishiguro's blatantly misused semicolon in the second line.)  We're initially astonished over the banquet of praise the book has received.  In fairness, one can't help but to draw comparisons to John Cowper Powys' astonishing Porius, which similarly explores ancient Wales and its mythology (only Powys, under the spell of Merlin, writes sublime sentences from the get-go).  Almost more so, we're still staggering from the utter brilliance of The Attic Pretenders, which presents itself as an actual artifact of the Otherworld (and may be the only one of its kind: the phrase "artifact of the Otherworld" delivers zero Google results).  (And thanks to Writers No One Reads for putting us onto The Attic Pretenders.)  Compared to the visceral Otherworld that Attic Pretenders captures, the first page of The Buried Giant feels like a child's chalk drawing.  While we'd love for page two of The Buried Giant not to disappoint, we have entire color-coded bookshelves of vastly better-written prose.

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This May Surprise You (permalink)

The phrase "a circle isn't self-supporting" delivers zero Google results, and yet here's proof.  From The Great Hall, Winchester Castle by Melville Portal, 1899.  The caption reads, "The back of King Arthur's Round Table."

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Songs of the Immortals, illustrated by Haldane Macfall, c. 1920.  (In honor of "Floating Head Friday.")

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 William Castle's 13 Ghosts, from The Rhododendron of Appalachian State University, 1922.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The horrible devil in the valley perilous," from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile, 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 a Boston Symphony Orchestra program, 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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March 26, 2015

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

On the edge of understanding
Below, above our reason's sway
Is a ghostly world extending
Into cool infinity.
Hosts invisible protect
The path beyond the intellect.
Theodor Däubler, "The Sleep-Walker," quoted in Ernst Kreuder's The Attic Pretenders

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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the internet troll.  "I always booed, and booed, and booed," from Gleanings From Popular Authors (reprinting from Punch), 1895.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An early attempt at human cloning?  "We are the duplicates Bob means, Mrs. White!"  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1916.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
You don't have to be a lion tamer to overcome fear, doubt, and temptation, but it helps.  From Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
Ciphers must be incubated if they are to encode successfully.  From The Farm-Poultry, 1902.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Haunted Major by Robert Marshall (1902).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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March 25, 2015

Nonsense Dept. (permalink)

"Only clowns try to find suitable clothes. ... And they turn nonsense into a sacred rite. ... [E]ven Art often fails to do for us what a clown does.  Laughter and tears together. ... With his tragic clumsiness ... he lurches out over the reality that we have lost.  When he grasps for support he grasps at fantasies, and when he stumbles he falls out of the world altogether." —Ernst Kreuder, The Attic Pretenders

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Precursors (permalink)

Fans of Harry Hill's TV Burp series (and only they) will immediately recognize this precursor to the hybrid monster Wagbo.  From The Oxford Thackeray.


Wagbo escapes from its cage on the set of Harry Hill's TV Burp.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The parrot philosopher, from A String of Chinese Peach-Stones by William Arthur Cornaby, 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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to reruns of Quincy, M.E., from Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, 1900.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a vintage cue card from The Protestant by William M'Gavin, 1835.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 spotted that black devil," from Tales from the Veld by Ernest Glanville, 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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March 24, 2015

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)

"Why shouldn't I tell you the whole truth?  I really hope that one day I'll be able to see Time itself.  Not actually there on the face of the watch of course.  But one day I do hope to see how to see Time.  It'd be a discovery with quite unpredictable consequences." —Ernst Kreuder, The Attic Pretenders

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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
"Even if you can't face the music or find it in you, carry a tune with you." —Bob Ripley

Our illustration appears in The Choice Works of Thomas Hood, 1881.
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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 Fringilla by Richard Doddridge Blackmore and illustrated by John Linton, 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)

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 Kulturgeschichte by Friedrich Anton Heller von Hellwald, 1896.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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March 23, 2015

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

On being bogged down in the superstition of our so-called scientific age:

"'Does anyone know how to tell fortunes?' asked Waldemar.  Nobody did.  'Or read a horoscope?  No?  How extremely backward.  How deeply we're all bogged in the superstition of enlightenment.'" —Ernst Kreuder, The Attic Pretenders (and thanks to Writers No One Reads for directing us toward this delightful book!)

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"She was not reading," from In Deacon's Orders and Other Tales by Walter Besant, 1895.  (And 26 years later, she's still not reading in St. Nicholas magazine, 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)
"Watch, and I will reveal the terrible power of Eblis that hath been imparted unto me!"  From Zoraida by William Le Queux, 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)
"The 'Sirius' ... boldly outlines against the sky."  From Fifteen Hundred Miles an Hour by Charles Dixon, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

This sounds disconcertingly familiar: "I bewailed my fate, and then sunk down exhausted," from The Casquet of Literature, 1895.  Illustration by W. H. Overend.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 Life of the Moselle by Octavius Rooke, 1858.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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March 22, 2015

Puzzles and Games (permalink)

Futility Closet published an old riddle (dating back to the late 1700s) that has remained unsolved to this day.  We suggest that the answer might be hiding in plain sight.  Here's the riddle:

In the morn when I rise, / I open my eyes, / Tho’ I ne’er sleep a wink all night;
If I wake e’er so soon, / I still lie till noon, / And pay no regard to the light.

I have loss, I have gain, / I have pleasure, and pain; / And am punished with many a stripe;
To diminish my woe, / I burn friend and foe, / And my evenings I end with a pipe.

I travel abroad. / And ne’er miss my road, / Unless I am met by a stranger;
If you come in my way, / Which you very well may, / You will always be subject to danger.

I am chaste, I am young, / I am lusty, and strong, / And my habits oft change in a day;
To court I ne’er go, / Am no lady nor beau, / Yet as frail and fantastic as they.

I live a short time, / I die in my prime, / Lamented by all who possess me;
If I add any more, / To what’s said before / I’m afraid you will easily guess me.

Here's our answer, in black text on a black background.  Highlight to view:  

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The flat-faced folk, from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile, 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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
An illustration by Walter Frame for St. Nicholas magazine, 1912.
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Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
I dreamed of the evolution of the exclamation mark.

—Ohio University's Athena, 1893.
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's an http error-message precursor.  It appears in The Jingle Book by Carolyn Wells and illustrated by Oliver Herford, 1899.  (Thanks, Jonathan!)

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March 21, 2015

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

Q: Why, in the apparition at Fátima in 1917, did the Virgin Mary predict a war with Russia, when such information implanted that idea on a mass scale, with tremendous authority behind it, and went on to foster a World War?  Why didn't she predict world peace for thousands of years into the future? —Jim

A: The philosophy of Humanitism, outlined in Machado de Assis' novel Epitaph of a Small Winner, suggests that every man is Humanity in miniature, so no man can fundamentally be opposed to another, however much appearances may suggest the contrary.  "Envy is nothing but a fighting admiration, and, as fighting or struggle is the great function of the human race, all bellicose feelings tend toward its welfare.  ...  [W]ar, which to many persons seems to be a calamity, is really a desirable activity—a snap of Humanity's fingers, so to speak.  ...  The main thing is to fight.  Life is a struggle.  A life without fighting is a dead sea in the universal organism."

> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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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 they saw an owl above him," from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Solar flares are just the sun pulling his hair out.  From Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina, 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.]
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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.]
> 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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March 20, 2015

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

(This is our submission to Writers No One Reads, which is where we first learned about our very beloved The Secret Service by Wendy Walker.)

No one reads fine artist Rhea Sanders' guidebook to the fictional Fire Gardens of Maylandia or Sweetwilliam's Folly (The Tradd Street Press, Charleston, SC, 1980).  The author respectfully dedicates this wryly humorous, meticulously envisioned oddity to "the virus which gave me the fever which gave me the hallucination which gave me the idea for this book."  The reader of the deadpan guidebook is presumed to be a tourist to the state of Maylandia, in possession of a working knowledge of local attractions, so the mysterious nature of the fantastical fire gardens is revealed in subtle tidbits as the site's colorful and often controversial history is explored.  We learn that the gardens were conceived in 1720 by the first royal governor, Ferdinand Mayland, "during one of his annual bouts with a local fever."  The author dryly recounts how the governor persuaded the indigenous Changapod tribe to relinquish their sacred plains of flaming shale at the foot of the mountain they called "He Who Waits": "Since all objected, all were done away with.  This is indeed a sad episode, but it is well to remember that the Changapods had owned this territory for centuries, and had done nothing with it, whereas Governor Mayland imagined a work of art.  There were in any case only 370 Changapods."  As the history progresses, we become privy to intimations of "fireworkers" in possession of "the knowledge" -- carefully guarded secrets of controlling the shape, movement, and color of fireballs, handed down from father to son over generations.  We learn of figures with oddly Francophilic inclinations, such as the Governor's London-born wife Marguerite, who "spoke only in French, for reasons which have not come down to us."  We learn of the possibly addictive tea leaves that grow near the fire gardens and seem to treat the blue skin condition resulting from exposure to the natural gasses.  ("And why should everyone be either black, white, red, or yellow?")  We learn of several possible murders along the way, all unsolved, including one in 1927 -- the winner of a contest to name a new garden to express the spirit of the age.  A certain Billy Jackson's entry, "Jazz Baby," earned him a $5,000 check, though he was shot and killed on his way home and the check stolen.  "We in Maylandia often point to Mr. Jackson's Jazz Baby Garden when outsiders ask us about the minorities in our midst.  For what could be a more beautiful testimonial to our treatment of minorities than this Garden?"  We learn of tea plantation heiress Angela Longleaf MacDowell, who stood six feet tall and boasted, "No man on earth or beneath the sod has ever kissed the lips of Angela Longleaf MacDowell."  It was she who envisioned, in a dream, the memorial fire garden for famed local poet Cassius Augustus Robertson ("the story of Robertson's mysterious death at the age of 99 is too well known to be recounted here").  Profusely illustrated by the author, The Fire Gardens of Maylandia is a charming, deeply funny, and thought-provoking relic from an alternate reality just a little bit more smoldering than ours.  (Profuse thanks to Hilary Caws-Elwitt for recommending this book.)

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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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)
"Are you magnetic north, geodetic north, grid north, or astronomical true north?" [we imagine her asking], from Goddelycke Wenschen, 1629.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)

We found proof that Robert De Niro is a time traveler, in Colección de Hierros de Santiago Rusiñol by Antonio Garcia Llansó, 1910.  See also our proof that Gene Wilder is a time traveler.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
A little sin from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.  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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Sir Herbert alarms Scrimp with the ghost story," from Phoebe or the Miller's Maid, 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.]
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March 19, 2015

This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Each of the letters [of the alphabet] kills the thing it has replaced." —Peter Lamborn Wilson, Abecedarium
> 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The witch Thurid cuts a charm on the log."  From The Book of Romance by Andrew Lang, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
"In at the windows, and in at the door, and through the walls by thousands they pour."  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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Strange Dreams (permalink)
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
From Public Documents of the State of North Carolina, 1889, scanned (as is) by the Internet Archive.

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March 18, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Sign of the three keys, from Post Office Edinburgh and Leith Directory, 1846.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Phynodderree, and Other Legends of the Isle of Man by Edward Watson Callow, 1882.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Passing through ghostly villages." From A Wheel to Moscow and Back by Robert L. Jefferson, 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
The alphabet of the leg goes only to H and I, hence the expression "thigh high."  Our proof appears in the Medical Directory of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, 1899.

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March 17, 2015

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
Yesterday's weather is brought to you by the letter K.  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1916.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Goddelycke Wenschen, 1629.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
"Over the strange, fantastic outlines my eyes travelled," 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.]
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Nonsense Dept. (permalink)

Don't forget Horse Nonsense, the Sellar & Yeatman book.
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

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On One Condition (permalink)
Yes, you may . . . on one condition:

"I want to know who Frankenstein is and why we're following him." —Chris Priestley, Mister Creecher
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Poets' Wit and Humour by William Henry Wills, 1882.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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March 16, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Its huge scaly carcase," from Fifteen Hundred Miles an Hour by Charles Dixon, 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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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

From the Kaleidoscope yearbook of Hampden-Sydney College, 1910.  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)

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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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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The Right Word (permalink)
"His saul abune the moon," from Gryll Grange by Thomas Love Peacock, 1896.
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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March 15, 2015

Only Funny If ... (permalink)

"Do not laugh again in France."  From First Impressions of Europe by Joseph Whitmas Bailey, 1908.

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A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
There's a fine line between imaginary divisions, as we see in Dental Electro-Therapeutics, 1918.

A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"In digging his grave finds hid treasure."  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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"We were absolutely bewildered by the sight that met our gaze."  From Zoraida by William Le Queux, 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 an ad in The Saturday Evening Post, 1839.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The moon is on the wain," from Hood's Own by Thomas Hood, 1855.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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March 14, 2015

This May Surprise You (permalink)

This illustration of a human sole (from History of the County Buildings of Northamptonshire by Christopher Alexander Markham, 1885) begs the question: what are the differences between the soul and the sole?  Remarkably, there aren't any:

  The Human Soul The Human Sole
Remains unconscious of everything that happens on the earth below, as per Rudolf Steiner. x x
Is not what God is, as per Saint Augustine. x x
Potentially separable, as per Thomas Aquinas. x x
Perishable, as per Aristotle.  x x
Imprinted with a certain quality, as per Marc Cogan. x x
Divided into three parts, as per Plato. x x
Can survive without the human body, as per Thomas Aquinas. x x
Governed by wants in life, as per Hinduism. x x
A principle of movement, as per Thomas Aquinas. x x
Too much under the influence of the body's sensory and instinctual compulsions, as per Gerard Dorn. x x
A unity of functions on different levels, as per the Neoplatonists. x x
A kind of substance, as per Thomas Aquinas. x x
Not outwardly visible, as per Rudolf Steiner. x x
A touchstone for American youth, as per Patricia Lyons. x x
Rooted in the untrammelled realisation of its powers, as per Isaiah Berlin. ? ?
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"I assure you I feel it exceedingly."  From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and illustrated by Charles Edmund Brock, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An unexpected arrival, from Master and Man by T. Crofton Croker, reproduced in Gleanings from Popular Authors, 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)
A baby is about to experience the miracle of flight in The Trail to the Woods by Clarence Hawkes, 1907.  Previously, we discovered a precursor to the film A Cry in the Dark (1988): a dingo takes a baby in an illustration from The Wide World Magazine (1900).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
"I should call it a deliberate —."  From Kate Carnegie by Ian Maclaren, 1896.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Poets' Wit and Humour by William Henry Wills, 1882.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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March 13, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's our question: If there were Ten Thousand Wonderful Things in 1890, how could there be only 14,000 Things to Be Happy About a hundred years later?  We're gaining only forty new wonderful things per year?  Let's add that sad fact to 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Religion is here depicted as a cloak for greed, falsehood, and dishonesty.  From Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
*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)
"And there's always the fossilized faculty read to 'suppress' for any or no reason." —Francis Charles MacDonald, Princeton Alumni Weekly, 1931

Our illustration appears in Athena of Ohio University, 1893.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
From Rhymes of the States by Garrett Newkirk, 1896.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Robert Greene: His Life and Words by Nikolai Il'ich Storozhenko, 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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March 12, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Satan and Divine."  From The Living Monument by N. Svensen, 1919.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the levitating beer bottle illusion, from The Choice Works of Thomas Hood, 1881.

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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
"The powder in the eyes, mouth, and ears of the idol blew up."  From The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, 1895.
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The new San Francisco," from Review of Reviews and World's Work, 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 lecturer's audience," from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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March 11, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here are two precursors to Citizen Kane.  The first caption reads, "'Who is Rosebud?' he asked" ("A Treacherous Calm" by Thomas Keyworth, in Cassells, 1887). The second caption reads, "It was only when he had opened the door that he realized what he had lost in his broken Rosebud" (Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892).
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Precursors (permalink)
Emoticons were modeled in the 1890s, as we see in Practical Electricity in Medicine and Surgery, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
How to become a demigod, from A String of Chinese Peach-Stones by William Arthur Cornaby, 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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 holy hermit and the monster," from The Marvellous Adventures of Sir John Maundevile, illustrated by Arthur Layard, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kings of the Platform and Pulpit by Melville D. Landon, 1900.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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March 10, 2015

This May Surprise You (permalink)

Did you know the everyman John Doe shortened his name when he immigrated (as did John Q. Public, who was originally of the proud Publicus line)?  We find John Doughgob's original signature in The American Legion Weekly, Dec. 23, 1921.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

The largest crystal ball we've encountered, from The Saturday Evening Post, 1839.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Unicorns (permalink)
Here are some vintage unicorn aficionados rom Notes, Critical, Illustrative, and Practical, on the Book of Job by Albert Barnes, 1849.  This should be of interest: A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Form your own opinion and hold it. ... We disappear out of each other's lives for ever."  From A Veldt Official by Bertram Mitford, 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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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the Pez candy dispenser, from Nouveaux Voyages en Zigzag à la Grande Chartreuse by Rodolphe Toepffer, 1854.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from The Blue Poetry Book by Andrew Lang (1891).  The caption reads: "Or is that sound, betwixt laughter and scream, The voice of the Demon who haunts the stream?"
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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March 9, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the 1927 film It, with Clara Bow as the "it girl."  Our illustration is by L. Hurley for The Echo yearbook of Greensboro College, 1921.  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)

> read more from Precursors . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

The alphabet departed this life on May 15, 1898, as we learn in Out-of-Door Memorials: Mausoleums, Tombs, Headstones and All Forms of Mortuary Monuments, 1898.

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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
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No News Is Good News (permalink)
"Sir Anthony looked despairingly at the telephone."  From Tom Chester's Sweetheart by Joseph Hatton, 1895.
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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March 8, 2015

This May Surprise You (permalink)

At the end of The Maltese Falcon, the priceless statuette is at large.  But did you know it ended up at stately Wayne Manor?  Our proof appears in episode 22 of Batman.  This is perhaps not so very surprising, as "the world of The Maltese Falcon is similar to that of the TV version of Batman and Robin" (John Docker, Postmodernism and Popular Culture, 1994).


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Puzzles and Games (permalink)

"Yes, an entire picture comes forth as you connect the dots." —Daveta Brown, Are You Ready for the Frontline?

 
Our illustration appears in Domestic Animals by Richard Lamb Allen, 1858.
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Precursors (permalink)
The visual gag of dashing out slathered in shaving cream has literary origins, as we see (for example) in Travel and Adventure in Northern Queensland by Arthur C. Bicknell, 1895.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Alone in space."  From Fifteen Hundred Miles an Hour by Charles Dixon, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a buzzard from The Adventures of Bob White by Thornton Waldo Burgess, 1919.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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.]
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March 7, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the Aerosmith song "Love in an Elevator," from The Dove's Nest and Other Tales, 1886.  The caption reads, "Love in a lift."

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

There's a longstanding rumor that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" hails Satan when played backwards.  What could be more natural?  A fall from heaven is the equal and opposite reaction to an ascent to heaven, as we see in this card from a magic deck that the eminent mentalist Kenton Knepper commissioned of us.


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Precursors (permalink)

Potatoes from heaven, apparently, and a precursor to this 1949 story of firefighters in the Sierra Nevada Mountains who dumbfoundedly watched as a supply plane dropped a hundred-pound sack of potatoes directly atop a full-sized iron stove that had been carried by mules to the peak.  Our heavenly potatoes illustration appears in Prodigiorvm ac Ostentorvm Chronicon, 1557.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The Devil and Medusa dancing the Cachuca, from A Fortnight in Ireland by Francis Bond Head, 1852.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)

A combination bar and courthouse?  From Mountains and Molehills by Frank Marryat, 1855.

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

These visionary potatoes appear in 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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March 6, 2015

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

Q: Is the categorization of literature by race and gender identity good or bad for literature as a whole? —Dr. Boli, who explains the nature of his question at length here.

A: "Good" and "bad" are black-and-white terms, and blacks and whites are only for arranging one's books by color.

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The Right Word (permalink)

This David Lynchian Ricky Board is in honor of Gary Barwin, author of Yiddish for Pirates (Random House Canada, 2016), though it is technically a self-portrait by proxy.  We'll include Lynch's instructions for making a Ricky Board below (and yes, we realize we violated Lynch's size constraint).


—How To Make A Ricky Board—

by David Lynch

This board can be any size you want.

The proportions are dictated by four rows of five rickies.

Each ricky is, as nearly as possible, exactly the same as every other ricky.

The ricky can be an object or a flat image.

The thing about the rickies is you will see them change before your eyes because you will give each ricky a different name.

The names will be printed or written under each ricky. Twenty different names in all.

You will be amazed at the different personalities that emerge depending on the names you give.

Here is a poem:

Four rows of five

Your rickies come alive

Twenty is plenty

It isn’t tricky

Just name each ricky

Even though they’re all the same

The change comes from the name

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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 The Work of the Open Court Publishing Co., 1908.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
"Out of the ether," from Ellington, 1918.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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March 5, 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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)
"The oldest trick in the book. . . . All they've got to do is get a picture of him in the act, whatever it is, threaten to leak it to the Press, and they've got him.  Nobody wants to see a picture of himself splashed all over the front of the paper with his socks off having his corns . . ." —N. F. Simpson, The Cresta Run
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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)
"'Jingle,' said that versatile gentleman, taking the hint at once, 'Jingle—Alfred Jingle, Esq., of The Hall, Nowhere."  From Pictures from Dickens with Readings, 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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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From Kaleidoscope yearbook of Hampden-Sydney College, 1910.  See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.


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

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Strange Dreams (permalink)
"The beautiful star-queen waves her wand," from St. Nicholas magazine.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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March 4, 2015

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


The text reads, "There are two major forces in society: love, which multiplies the species, and the nose, which subordinates it to the individual.  Procreation, equilibrium." —Machado de Assis, Epitaph of a Small Winner

Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
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The Right Word (permalink)

We encountered a window into the world as it was before National Grammar Day.  The caption reads, "Speak out, and don't bother about grammar."  The title of the book speaks for itself: A Deplorable Affair by William Edward Norris, 1893.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[For Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.]  "What is it, Pickle?"  From A Waif of the Waves by Sydney Watson, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Where scarce was footing for the goat."  From The Lady of the Lake by Walter Scott, 1853.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
"He clambered forward in the boat, and stared at the passing multitude."  From The Marriage of Esther by Guy Newell Boothby, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Ah, for an age when medical journals sported dragons.  From The Corpuscle of Rush Medical College, 1893.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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March 3, 2015

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

"Greeks enjoying themselves."  And if the boat begins to sink, would they need to be bailed out?  (Ooh!  Topical!)  From Around the World on a Bicycle by Thomas Stevens, 1887.

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This May Surprise You (permalink)

There is a way that a writer can make a reader disappear like magic, but this secret is not for general knowledge (and is, indeed, meant for the "maybe five" readers that Machado de Assis expected to discover his novel Epitaph of a Small Winner).  And so we will present the secret in black text over a black background, to be highlighted by and thereby revealed to only a select few:

"The book must suffice in itself: if it please you, excellent reader, I shall be rewarded for my labor; if it please you not, I shall reward you with , and good riddance to you."  (Translated from the Portuguese by William L. Grossman.)

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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Historically, a person could not take umbrage just anywhere. From The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste, 1846.
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
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`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the internet: "The web of uncertain quality," from Canadian Grocer July-Dec. 1896.

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

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

We are at rest five miles behind the front.  Yesterday we were relieved, and now our bellies are full of beef and haricot beans.  We are satisfied and at peace.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.

(Thanks, June!)
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March 2, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A bell ringer from Ballads of Bravery by George Melville Baker, 1877.  [For Gordon Meyer.]
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
"We're just ordinary people who don't have any supernatural powers ... and don't want any."  A still from William Castle's 13 Ghosts.
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)

Here's an illustration by Georges Roux, from Maître du Monde by Jules Verne, 1902.

   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Come in; I'm expecting ye," from God's Winepress by Arthur Jenkinson, 1896.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
"Dancing Dervishes": an illustration from Across the Channel by James Crowther (1888).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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March 1, 2015

The Right Word (permalink)

The Dictionary of American Slang traces "disco" back to the 1960s, but here's the "entrance to the music hall, disco" from 1887's The Sea: Its Stirring Story of Adventure, Peril & Heroism by Frederick Whymper.

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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)

Here's the patron saint of slippery slopes, from Lead, Kindly Light by John Henry Newman and illustrated by Frank Dadd, 1887.

Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
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It's Really Happening (permalink)
"It's actually happening as opposed to not actually happening, which is not nearly as useless as it sounds."

The foreground of this collage is from the extraordinarily brilliant comedy series Arrested Development.  The background is courtesy of Jes.
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The Right Word (permalink)
"Dash it, don't you mean a hurdy-gurdy?"  From The Works of William Makepeace Thackeray, 1869
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"March. /"  From The Complete Works of Edmund Spencer, 1882.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Princess Leia of the Star Wars universe, from Preadamites by Alexander Winchell, 1880.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.