CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
August 31, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Revelations of a Sprite, written and illustrated by Auber Melville Jackson, 1897.  The caption reads: "Two spiders brought her a dead fly."

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

Capital M has four legs with extraordinarily well-developed calves, from The Oxford Thackeray.

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

A class in mesmerism?  From Stories in Rhyme for Holiday Time, written by Edward Jewitt Wheeler and illustrated by Walter Satterlee, 1884.

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

Talk about cycling under the stars.  From The Adventures of Six Young Men in the Wilds of Maine and Canada by Charles Asbury Stephens, 1884.

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

"How Table Mountain got its cloud," from South Africa by Ian Duncan Colvin, 1909.

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

Death hides behind a sports mask, 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)

The last of the Graces, from Death's Doings, illustrated by Richard Dagley, 1827.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 30, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the serpent creature in Duran Duran's "Union of the Snake" video, from The Poetical Works of John Milton, 1695.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Ram Dass's "be here now," from Canadian Grocer, 1898.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"I am a terrible person when provoked," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, edited by Percy Bolingbroke Saint John, 1884.

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

Did you know that drop caps were once more difficult to work with?  From Zigzag Journeys in the Western States of America by Hezekiah Butterworth, 1884

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

From Community English by Mildred Flagg, 1921.  The text on the tree reads, "Japanese reading and writing books are odd[ly] printed.  Read from right to left.  First page is at back.  Lines run up and down.  Address is backward.  Words are painted with brushes."

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Golden Lake by William Carlton Dawe, 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)
"Nina rushed as quickly as she could from the presence of that which she truly believed to be nothing less than the spirit of her murdered friend," from Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 29, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Before the advent of e-publications, pulp and paper magazines were all the rage.
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt quips: "This early 20th-c. magazine about the pulp and paper industry was, presumably, printed on pulp paper.  Imagine how costly a subscription to Gold and Silver Magazine must have been!"
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)

"A nightmare," an illustration from Handley Cross; or, Mr. Jorrocks's Hunt by Robert Smith Surtees, 1892.

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

"Who is it?  What is it?  Who speaks?"  From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

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

Well, we know how they got to Europe: they flew!

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

"Ain't dat wonderful," from Clemson University's Taps yearbook, 1918

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

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

From Harvard Inside-Out by Elmer Elsworth Hägler, 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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 28, 2015

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Write a horror story [set in a university] about a boy who aspires to write like the writers who publish books that nobody reads.  And his parents are paying for it." —William Keckler
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
F is for "Floating Head Friday."  From La Normandie Romanesque et Merveilleuse by Amélie. Bosquet, 1845.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)

Whether particles or waves, sunbeams are carried by cherubs, as this ad from 1892 confirms.

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

"We really cannot go about 'objects,'" from The Foreign Freaks of Five Friends by C. A. Jones, 1882.

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

What's the word for being "Tired of sitting on an iron seat among the straightly-clipped boxwood trees side by side with Aunt Deb"?  From Silverton Court by Winifred Taylor, 1885.

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

When enough isn't enough, from St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.

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

Revealed: here's why swing music originated in the big city.  From The Saturday Evening Post, 1920.

> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From L'Espagne Pittoresque, Artistique et Monumeatale by Manuel Galo de Cuendias, 1848.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 27, 2015

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"On through the night and the storm!'  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1900.
*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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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Here is explained why we should behave as unreally as possible:
"We must accept the so-called reality around us, the woodlouse in the cellar no less than the evening star.  It's only we ourselves who are unreal—partly just because we are aware of the fact.  And as a result we contradict ourselves.  Would you try to build a house of sand?  You wouldn't move a finger to do so.  Because you know that the house would collapse at once.  And all that we do here is equally pointless.  It drifts away like writing in the sky.  We come from the unknown, linger a lifetime, and drift away again.  Better not to act as if we were real.  We should behave as unreally as it is possible to behave in reality. ... [I]t is we on earth who are really on the Other Side.  Because we are still on the wrong side of reality, even though it surrounds us.  That means that fundamentally we are capable of everything except being real." —Ernst Kreuder, The Attic Pretenders
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
As if in anticipation of the birth of the interrobang (‽), the exclamation point/question mark combo was laid to rest in 1836, as we learn in Prose and Verse by William James Linton.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"At least, sir, spare yourself for the present."  From By Proxy by James Payne and illustrated by A. Hopkins, 1878.

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

"This hat" speaks for itself.  From London and Paris through Indian Spectacles, 1897.


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

From The Chronicles of a Garden by Henrietta Wilson, 1864.

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

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1903.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 26, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the Dial-A-Joke telephone service phenomenon.  From Athens Female College's Oracle yearbook, 1912.  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

We're more geologically agnostic, but here's a book on Skepticism in Geology from 1878.

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

"A pleasure excursion," from The Foreign Freaks of Five Friends by C. A. Jones, 1882.

*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

How to transform into an octopus, Step One (apparently).  From The Illinois Teacher, 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)
"'You were paid 200 pounds per year,' she retorted, 'for doing nothing, except keeping a door locked, and feeding a half-mad woman."  From Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Forum1919.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 25, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One, from The Career of Puffer Hopkins by Cornelius Mathews and illustrated by Halbot Knight Browne, 1842.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"He evidently thought his audience could not have enough of it," from Miss Misanthrope by Justin MacCarthy and illustrated by Arthur Hopkins, 1878.

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

> read more from How to Believe in Your Elf . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Lucifer in London, 1885.  Speaking of which, what exactly are a snowball's chances in hell?  See A Snowball's Chance in Hell.

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

"Curfew shall will not ring tonight," from Harvard Inside-Out by Elmer Elsworth Hägler, 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)

"Do not depend on the sun," from an ad in St. Nicholas magazine, 1903.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 24, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
What nobody told Facebook: "Of chance acquaintance best beware," from The Fables of Æsop by Joseph Jacobs, 1894.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Carrier pigeons get all the glory as postal carriers, but we learn here that "chicken mail" required a self-addressed, stamped envelope.  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1900.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The wine circulated languidly," an illustration from Handley Cross; or, Mr. Jorrocks's Hunt by Robert Smith Surtees, 1892.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)

"A dignitary of the church laid low," from The Foreign Freaks of Five Friends by C. A. Jones, 1882.

Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .
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Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)

As the symmetric property states, if a = b then b = a.  Antichrist the Pope of Rome: or, The Pope of Rome is Antichrist by Thomas Beard, 1625.  The math checks!

* Learn more about Presumptive Conundrums at Amazon.com.
> read more from Presumptive Conundrums . . .
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Book of Whispers (permalink)

"I shall tell you a great secret my friend.  Do not wait for the last judgement.  It takes place every day." —Albert Camus

> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fancies Free by E. L. Shute, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 23, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the film Strange Days, from an 1892 ad.

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

"I am bamboozled and led a dance."  From An African Millionaire by Grant Allen, 1897.

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

"The temple in the wood," from Ready and Willing, or Guy Powers' Watchword by J. T. Hopkins, 1885.

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

"Hot, hotter, and hottest," from an 1885 advertisement.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Temple of the Sun at Cuzco, from Die Kopien der Weltkarte des Museum Borgia, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"He groaned out, 'The curse has worked."  From Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.

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

A horse groomed by ghosts?  From The Standard Horse Book by Dennis Magner, 1895.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 22, 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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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

From Under Nordlysets Straaler by Sophus Tromholt, 1885.

*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The Assessed Taxes taking their departure," from Old Times: A Picture of Social Life at the End of the Eighteenth Century by John Ashton, 1885.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
"Wait for tomorrow," from Blasts from The Ram's Horn, 1902.  Speaking of which, what exactly are a snowball's chances in hell?  See A Snowball's Chance in Hell.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Siegfried, the dragon-killer," from The Rhine: Legends, Traditions, History, from Cologne to Mainz by Joseph Snowe, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 21, 2015

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

We presume this is what happened to the previous poacher.  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

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

This undead fisherman predates Dracula's debut in 1897.  From Holiday Handbooks by Percy Lindley, 1885.

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

Though they begin life as elders, grandfather clocks still experience a growth cycle.  Here's an embryonic grandfather clock from Vizetelly's Sixpenny Series of Amusing Books, 1885.  The caption reads, "Sneaking a grandfather's clock."

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

From The Demon McGuire, 1885.  Did you know that the idea of a frightening, disembodied giant foot traces back to the very first gothic novel, Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764)?

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Ampersands (permalink)
Here's a treble clef ampersand from The American Annual of Photography, 1892.
* A manual for typographers published in 1917 acknowledged that there are many beautiful forms of the ampersand, yet it forbade their use in "ordinary book work."  Extraordinary books are another matter.  Our lavishly illustrated Ampersand opus explores the history and pictography of the most common coordinating conjunction.
> read more from Ampersands . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"We are coming!  Clear the track!"  From Anecdotal Lincoln by Paul Selby, 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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August 20, 2015

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook.  The text reads: "A Norwegian fjord tent for the bookish.  This tent (unlabeled) appears in Norway in 1848 and 1849 by Thomas Forester."
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .
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Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)

Have you heard that there are only seven literary plots?  Yeah, there's a book on it.

> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

"There's always something real in what happens, no avoiding that." —César Aira (as translated by Katherine Silver), The Literary Conference

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

Q: Which teacup contains the tempest?  (You might wonder if it's the upside down cup, but then you might wonder whether the upside down cup is too obvious.)

A: (Highlight to reveal.)  

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Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

"She looked cheerfully from tying her laces and, apropos of nothing, said, 'Raise your hand if you don't want to die.'"
Rachel Neumann, Not Quite Nirvana

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This May Surprise You (permalink)

Did you know that the night sky features both a chair and the Platonic ideal of a chair?  Our illustration appears in St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.


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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

This is how we imagine the yearbook at the witch's coven masquerading as a ballet school in the great film Suspiria.  Here are nine surprisingly occult illustrations from the Iris yearbook of Ward Seminary, 1906.  You'll recall that the iris flower figures importantly in Suspiria.

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

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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August 19, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
The wind-up false-teeth gag, "Yakity-Yak," dates back to 1950, but here's precursor from Cham journal, 1853.
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Unicorns (permalink)
The latest review of our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound is a must-read, even if the critic (who didn't buy the book and who self-identifies as mentally ill) rated the book with a single star.  We've identified that single star as the one Sappho called "the fairest of all the stars":
I have rented this book from my local library, and attempted to read it. I was expecting some semblance of argument for the reality of Unicorns as a species, or at the very least salient information on Unicorns. Instead, it should be said that this book is a work of esoterica, and could be classified alongside books of spells or psychic channeling. The entire book consists of instructions of various places and ways to sit down in the quiet of nature, and listen. According to the author, the reader is supposed to be listening for singing unicorns, anyone availed of folkloric or mythological knowledge, will find a distinct absence of singing unicorns from the works of Pliny, the Bible, and other books considered primary sources on unicorns (unless one counts the Shadavar, which undoubtedly sings, but whose nature as a true unicorn is tenuous). I'll give you an example of my own, one night in bed, I was convinced that my tinnitus was actually the result of me hearing radio waves, needless to say I was actually mentally ill at the time. I am not accusing the author of being crazy, but I will willingly accuse him of being very separated from skepticism and reality. If you obey this book, you would be sitting out in nature meditating, which is fine, but I doubt you will hear any singing unicorns unless you mistakenly convince yourself that you are hearing them. What is wrong with communing with nature via meditation, to simply experience nature and commune with it? You need no new age or esoteric beliefs to do THAT, in fact, even Atheists often admit a reverence for nature. In the words of Carl Sagan, the garden is just as wonderful, even if it does not have fairies at the bottom of it.
> read more from Unicorns . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Curing everything," an illustration from Handley Cross; or, Mr. Jorrocks's Hunt by Robert Smith Surtees, 1892.

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

From the Milady in Brown yearbook of Belmont College, 1908.

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

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

From the Ravelings yearbook of Monmouth College, 1917.  See also our previous post about "the lecturer's audience."

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

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

Here's a giantess from Elsass-Lothringen by Christlieb Gotthold Hottinger, 1885.

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

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

"Insomnia, the muse with staring eyes." —Machado de Assis, Dom Casmurro

Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"'Listen!' said Molly, 'there is the ghost again."  From Three Bright Girls by Annie E. Armstrong, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 18, 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)

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

> read more from How to Believe in Your Elf . . .
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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

"I went to the window to ask of Night the reason why dreams must be so tenuous that they break and shred at the slightest opening of the eyes or turning of the body, and do not endure.  Night did not answer me straightway.  She was deliciously beautiful; low hills were pale with moonlight and the space died into silence.  As I insisted, she made known to me that dreams were no longer under her juristiction.  When they dwelt on the island that Lucian had given them, where she had her palace, and from whence she sent them forth with their faces of divers aspect, she might have given me possible explanations.  The times had changed everything.  The ancient dreams had been pensioned off, and the modern ones dwelt in a person's brain.  And these, though they tried to imitate the former, could not do it: the isle of dreams, like the isle of love, and all the islands of all the seas, are now the object of the ambition and rivalry of Europe and the United States." —Machado de Assis, Dom Casmurro

> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's an auroral serpent from Under Nordlysets Straaler by Sophus Tromholt, 1885.

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

An inkblot personified, from an ad in The Lanthorn yearbook of Susquehanna University, 1917.  See our Inkblot Oracle at http://www.oneletterwords.com/inkblot/.

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

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Air to rent," from The Up-to-Date Primer by John Wilson Bengough, 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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August 17, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"She opened a cupboard, and taking down a pack of cards, began to shuffle them in a very mysterious manner, fixing on him a scrutinising look."  From Matrimony by Mrs. Caustic, 1854.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
It's difficult for newer generations to imagine what mail delivery was like before the advent of electronic communication.  Younger folks would find the old ways quite stilted, literally.  From The Mysteries of the Court of London by George William MacArthur Reynolds, 1849.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From the Colonial Echo yearbook of the College of William and Mary, 1899.

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

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

From The Demon McGuire, 1885.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
As they say, "You should have seen the bird."  From The Story of Leicester Square by John Hollingshead, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
Lo and behold, two precursors to the dreamachine, the stroboscopic flicker device inspired nearly one-hundred years later by William Grey Walter's The Living Brain (1953).  From Punch, 1855, and from Hood's Own by Thomas Hood, 1855.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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August 16, 2015

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
As the BBC didn't caption this hilarious Scottish comedy sketch for the hard of hearing, we transcribed the script below:
You know, I never even saw his Snapchat. It was her that saw his Snapchat. He says it’s on my Snapchat, but I’d never even done a Snapchat that night. It was him that did the Snapchat, and she saw it. She took a screen grab of her Snapchat, and he tried to deny it. He was like, “I didnae like her Instagram,” and I was like, “Oh, you did like her Instagram.” And he was like, “No, I just liked the Facebook post. It was a screen grab of her Instagram. It wasnae her actual Instagram.” But Amy... Amy... a like’s a like.

Amy: A like’s a like.

I was raging! I was like, “You favorited her tweet, and you liked her Instagram by proxy by liking her Facebook post that was a screen grab of her Instagram... You shared her Tumblr, and she saw your Snapchat, she took a screen grab of your Snapchat, and she tweeted it and you favorited it.” And he was like, “No, no, listen... I only favorited her tweet because it was a screen grab of my Snapchat, no’ because it was her that took the screen grab. And I only liked her Facebook post because it was a screen grab of Instagram, and I like Instagram, no’ because I like her Instagram. I only shared her Tumblr because I like that meme, that thing frae Twitter that she’d Tumbled about.” Because earlier that day on Facebook, apparently somebody had posted a screen grab frae Instagram, and he liked it. “No’ because I like her,” ’e said. “No’ because I like her.” But Amy, what am I always sayin’?

Amy: A like’s a like.

A like is a like. Ugh! Amy, listen... Never fall in love with a liker.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The continuous roaring showed that the lions were still close at hand."  From The Young Colonists by George Alfred Henty, 1898.

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

Here's a Cheshire cat from the Milady in Brown yearbook of Belmont College, 1908.

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

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

Here's the art and seance of table levitation from Mysterious Discovery of Nature, Shown in a Dream to Dr. P. Polack, and Relating Directly to the Question of the Discovery of the North Pole by Peter Pooley, 1910.  This should be of interest: Seance Parlor Feng Shui.

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

Here's a picnic illustrated by John Leech, from Pictures of Life and Character, 1886.

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

Here's a precursor to Wikipedia: 1921's self-revising encyclopedia.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Father!  Stop!  Enough!"  From The Secret of the Magian by André Laurie, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 15, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Long before Eat, Pray, Love, the formula was "Rest, Pray, Sleep."  From The Book of Dene, Deane, Adeane, 1899.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

 Here's light on an important subject, from an 1893 advertisement.

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

From the Milady in Brown yearbook of Belmont College, 1908.

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

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

Here's a scarecrow on a rainy day, from A Zigzag Journey in the Sunny South by Hezekiah Butterworth, 1887.

*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)
Some ancient druids from Ripon Millenary, edited by William Harrison, 1886.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 14, 2015

Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From the Colonial Echo yearbook of the College of William and Mary, 1899.

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

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

"Monsieu Vadevant leads the concert with a warming-pan," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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

"God alone knows the power of an adjective, especially in new, tropical countries." —Machado de Assis, Epitaph of a Small Winner

> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Colorful Allusions (permalink)

You knew that a rainbow can cast a shadow, but did you know that a shadow can also cast a rainbow?  We find the proof in Ceylon in the “Jubilee Year” by John Ferguson, 1887.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's some truly biting satire 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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion's changing portraits, from The Maid of London Bridge by Somerville Gibney, 1892.  The caption reads, "Ah! thou are right, Lucy, it is changing, and growing stern and angry."
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August 13, 2015

Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

Q: What would Endora do?
[If you know your Bewitched, you might guess our answer]:
A: [Highlight to view]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Crockett Almanac, 1841.

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

"The invocation," from Seonee, or, Camp Life on the Satpura Range by Robert Armitage Sterndale, 1887.

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

"Gaze on the sun; the shadow-time is past," from The Lily and the Cross by Edith Nesbit, 1887.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

We sometimes speak of "what might have been," but here's what it looks like, as we learn in Guy Rayner's My Lady's Novellettes, 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
A reflected beard will spread in the water.  From The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by James Justinian Morier and illustrated by H. R. Millar, 1895.
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August 12, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the song "Marshmallow World," first a hit for Bing Crosby (1950).  From Lovel the Widower by William Makepeace Thackeray, 1861.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the mechanical pencil — the mechanical quill.  From Penman's Art Journal, 1898.


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

Tomorrow?  From Busyman's Magazine, 1906.

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

"Goativity," from Stock Designs of Book Division Inserts, 1922.

> read more from The Right Word . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.

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

From My Boy Jack by Ernest Warren, 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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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)

"Their torches flashed luridly in the blackness of the night."  From The Madeira Islands by Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, 1896.

> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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August 11, 2015

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Courtesy of literary scalawag Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:



 
(Literary humorist Jonathan Caws-Elwitt's plays, stories, essays, letters, parodies, wordplay, witticisms and miscellaneous tomfoolery can be found at Monkeys 1, Typewriters 0.  Here you'll encounter frivolous, urbane writings about symbolic yams, pigs in bikinis, donut costumes, vacationing pikas, nonexistent movies, cross-continental peppermills, and other compelling subjects.)
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)

From The 'Loil' Legislature of Alabama by Benjamin Screws, 1868.

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

> read more from How to Believe in Your Elf . . .
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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

Just as diving into water is to seek life's secrets, and immersion in water is to purify or be reborn, "crossing the waters is to effect a transformation from one state to another" (El Palacio, 1992).  If so, then what state has jurisdiction over the crossing of lakes Eerie and Ladoga?  Answer: Freedonia, under the rule of Rufus T. Firefly.

(Our image appears in The British Isles, translated from Nouvelle Géographie Universelle by Ernest Georg Ravenstein, 1887.)  

> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's an oldschool Dutch space warp from St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"'Read!' commanded the Angelic Being," from Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

One of the secrets of a magician's top hat.  From The Forfar Directory and Yearbook, 1900.

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

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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August 10, 2015

Nonsense Dept. (permalink)

Why is a jester associated with a cone?  We find our answer in Percy Bysshe Shelley's Oedipus Tyrannus, in which Swellfoot says, "Sustain the cone of my untroubled brain, / That point, the emblem of a pointless nothing!" (I.i.).

Our illustration is from an advertisement c. 1872.

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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

In the key of F, presumably.  From A Little Tour in Ireland by Samuel Reynolds Hole, 1892.

> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"By the window, full in the cool moon-rays, sat [the ghost of] a young girl."  From Under One Cover, Eleven Stories, 1898.

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

"Presumption of brains," from The Penman's Art Journal, 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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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)

Q: How many times can you chase a ghost and not become one yourself? —William Keckler

A: The popular answer is "13," but the true, chilling answer is: .  (The answer is in black text on the black background. Highlight it to view.)

> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"A strange procession began slowly to descend," from The White Man's Foot by Grant Allen and illustrated by Joseph Finnemore, 1888.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"'Why, C-A-T, to be sure,' replied Facey, laughing."  From Mister Facey Romford's Hounds by Facey Romford, 1865.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 9, 2015

Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"By peace plenty.  By wisdome peace."  From The Complete Works of Edmund Spenser, 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)

Did you know that humble pie is traditionally cooked in a cauldron?  From Cinderella: A Fairy Opera in Four Acts, composed by J. Farmer & Henry Sambrooke Leigh, and illustrated by Heywood Sumner, 1882.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The opening of the Blue Chamber," from Bluebeard or Fickle Fatima and the Fatal Key, An Operatic Burlesque Extravaganza in 4 Acts, written and illustrated by Edmund Arthur Ponsonby Hobday, 1888.

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

"Make for daylight in close order," from Springhaven by Richard Doddridge Blackmore, 1888.

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

"And we went forth," from Cleopatra by Henry Rider Haggard and illustrated by R. C. Woodville, 1889.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"What was that white silent figure?"  From The City of the Just by Thomas Terrell, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 8, 2015

Colorful Allusions (permalink)

"I see that the whole world looks gray," from St. Nicholas magazine, 1909.

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

"I am Atam-Or, the man of light," from A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille and illustrated by G. Gaul, 1888.

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

This is how to spell coyote.  From B. C. 1887: A Ramble in British Columbia by James Arthir Lees. 1888.

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

A Charge from the Grave by Somerville Gibney, 1889.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A ghostly visitant" from Jethou by Ernest Richard Suffling, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Pillars of sand," from The Wonders of The World in Nature and Art by Henry Ince, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 7, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Rachael: Do you like our owl?
Deckard: It's artificial?
Rachael: Of course it is.
Deckard: Must be expensive.
Rachael: Very.
Our precursor appears in The Book of Days by Robert Chambers, 1864.
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It Bears Repeating (permalink)

"It bears repeating that yes, Virginia, cheerleading is a sport."
—Pat Lenhoff, Chicago Tribune

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Dragon of the North by E. J. Oswald, 1888.

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

"With one hand I clung to the stiff mane of the monster; with the other I held Almah."  From A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille and illustrated by G. Gaul, 1888.

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

From In Chains of Fate by John Max, 1889.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"From the midst of it issued an old woman," from The World of Romance, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Captains All by William Wymark Jacobs, 1905.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 6, 2015

Puzzles and Games (permalink)

Apparently he only rolls his own.  From Memoirs of Bartholomew Fair by Henry Morley, 1892.

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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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Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)

From Old Father Christmas by Lizzie Lawson, 1888.

* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to The Mirror Has Two Faces, from Pictures and Songs for Little Children, 1888.  The text reads, "The face in the hollow.  The face in the spoon back."

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"I was lowered bodily into those sacred depths," from Cleopatra by Henry Rider Haggard and illustrated by R. C. Woodville, 1889.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

The man in the moon, from The Choice Works of Thomas Hood, 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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August 5, 2015

Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

Here's how to harness the power of an asterisk, from How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.


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

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

"Waking up the ancient Britons," from The Children's Fairy History of England by Forbes Edward Winslow and illustrated by E. Marillier, 1889.

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

"Our first mesmeric séance," from The Children's Fairy History of England by Forbes Edward Winslow and illustrated by E. Marillier, 1889.  This should be of interest: Seance Parlor Feng Shui.


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

"Rising, she threw away the knife," from Ghostly Tales by Wilhelmina Fitzclarence, 1896.

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

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
For an upcoming book, the artist Jim Girouard depicts Prof. Oddfellow listening to a mysterious whisper in a liminal zone between Portmeirion, Wales and a museum of the weird.  We made an animated gif of sketches he sent throughout the creation of the piece.

> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to both In the Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.  It's from "Teddy Boy and Teddy Bear" by Pauline Frances Camp, in St. Nicholas magazine, 1907.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
* There is a vast world of reality into which science can no more enter than an elf can be Santa Claus.  We regret to observe that rather than face it, and confess its inability to measure it, science turns its back upon it.  Life is not always every-day life, and the insolvable mysteries are correlated not to formal rules but to spirit and inspiration.  Are bits of wisdom liable to dwarf the subject?  Indeed — and rightly!  James Howell described the ingredients of a good proverb to be "sense, shortness, and salt."  May Howell's cry resound through this present collection of maxims on believing in one's elf.

> read more from How to Believe in Your Elf . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

The reason feta cheese is so divine is that goats are milked by angels.  From The Illustrated Companion to the Latin Dictionary and Greek Lexicon, 1849.

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

"Still as death sat Alice in her terror gazing into the sightless face of this woman," from The Wyvern Mystery by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, 1889.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's an illustrator of invisible radiations from The Health Guide by Edwin D. Babbit, 1874.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 3, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Before VHS tapes there were VHS books, as we see with Valparaiso High School's Vee Aich Ess yearbook, 1916.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


The text reads: "The pipes in pipe dreams are made from gold.*  It's all the stops that keep things in the realm of wishful thinking."

*as discovered by Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.

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

Here's a precursor to what CharlieJuggler calls "Growing a circus and planting it in pastures new."  From Practical Hints on Camping by Howard Henderson, 1882.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)

"Am I myself?  Dreaming?  Or is it insanity?"  From Gwen Wynn by Mayne Reid, 1889.

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

A Ghost's Philosophy by Jane Isabella Stuart, 1889.

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

Proto-hipsters(?) from To Call Her Mine by Walter Besant, 1889.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to The Flying Nun, from Fate in Arcadia, written and illustrated by Edwin John Ellis, 1892.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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August 2, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the pushpin marker in Google Maps, from Millsaps College's Bobashela yearbook, 1905.  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)

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

"Don't look inside," from Nearly Three Hundred Ways to Dress Show Windows, 1889.

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

 

From Coincidence Engine by Sam Leith.

> read more from Something, Defined . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)

From Phosphor by Friedrich Freksa, 1912.

If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)

The Siren of Warmington by John Collett and illustrated by Lancelot Speed, 1889.

   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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)

"This gradually condensed and took at length a human shape."  From The Conquest of the Moon by André Laurie, 1889.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
"With a terrified cry, she sprang out through the door and along the gruesome corridor," from Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.
[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .
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August 1, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Our Artist in Cuba by George Washington Carleton, 1865.

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

Snow White was only half the story: here are 14 drawfs, illustrated by Donn P. Crane (whose little-known history is profiled here).

> 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)

"Exactly what I am after," from Busyman's Magazine, 1907.

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

Was this her practical joke?  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1904.

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

"We both gazed for a few moments upon the calm, still face of the dead man," from Raymi, or the Children of the Sun by Clive Holland, 1889.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
There's a fine line between gold and tinsel.  From Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .
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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.