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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September 30, 2015

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
From Through Hell with Hiprah Hunt by Art Young, 1901.
*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)

"Through gaiety shall I never more offend," from Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's a wizard from The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (1899).  Also very much of interest: The Young Wizard's Hexopedia.

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

"You feel with wonder that you are not doing anything very extraordinary after all."  From A Social Departure: How Orthodocia and I Went Round the World by Ourselves by Sara Jeanette Duncan, 1890.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 29, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The "Plasticinorus" delivers zero Google results as of this posting.  From Floor Games by H. G. Wells, 1912.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Thirty-two blue inkblots?  It's the complete works of Shakespeare (volume four), as scanned by the Internet Archive.  And if you're reading into those blots what we're reading into those blots, this is a rich literary collection, indeed!  (Insert your own "Out, damn'd spot!" joke here.)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)

You know about caryatids, but what exactly they were holding up might be a surprise.  From Canadian Grocer, 1892.


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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1898.

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

Here's a soap box chariot from Otterbein College's The Sibyl, 1905.  Via our blog of Magic Words & Symbols Spotted in the Wild.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 reason not to cast pearls before swine is that they want cold, hard cash.  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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September 28, 2015

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
We're honored that the computer game we programmed in 1980, in which one raises a virtual exotic flower, is a precursor to a new video game called Viridi, in which one raises virtual succulents.
> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
We once tried to buy a photograph of Woody Allen.  We called the photographer to ask about availability, and he laughed at us.  "That's not Woody Allen," he explained condescendingly.  "That's a wax figure of Woody Allen."  Then he began hemming and hawing, talking about how much trouble it would be to find the negative and make a print.  (Artists, bless 'em, can be real pieces of work themselves.)  Flustered by the entire conversation, we politely told him not to put himself out and decided not to pursue the acquisition.  But here's the lingering question: had the photo been of Woody Allen himself and not an uncannily lifelike wax figure, might we have worked past the photographer's primadonna attitude and secured a print?  I mean, we loved the photo, but did it feel somehow less authentic in its waxy afterglow?  Here's what we do know about wax figures:
  • "Every day a wax figure is taken for a live man, and live people are mistaken for wax." —Richard Panchyk, New York City History for Kids, 2012
  • "The complexion of a wax figure is indeed a work of art."American Cloak and Suit Review, 1918
  • "A wax figure is not cheap, especially a good one." —Dry Goods Reporter, 1906
  • "A wax figure is a material thing." —L. W. Forguson, "Has Ayer Vindicated the Sense-Datum Theory?"
  • "A wax figure is understood by us as something constructed by an intelligent mind." —Jehangir Nasserwanji Chubb, Faith Possesses Understanding, 1983
And yet:
Meanwhile, here's someone else's photo of a Woody Allen wax figure:
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Can you guess why a griffin is depicted alongside a wedding ring and a heart locket?  Pomponius Mela explains: "Griffins, a savage and tenacious breed of wild beasts, love—to an amazing degree—the gold that is mined from deep within the earth" (Pomponius Mela's Description of the World by Frank Romer, 1998).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)

"Azalia dearest, I'm in such a fright!"  From Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

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

Here's a bird singing a dirge, from Krag and Johnny Bear by Ernest Thompson Seton, 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)

"Restored to life," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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

From The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (1899).

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

Here's a guilty-looking Pegasus from Poems by Robert Lloyd, 1762.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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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September 27, 2015

Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore (permalink)

It's been said that theatre reveals what is behind so-called reality and that a text exists only as an event that reveals the reader’s self.  And so we present our new Mimetic Oracle, which draws from 92 characters in six vintage plays, with 166 spoken lines and 31 stage directions in the mix.  With the system, you randomly draw five characters and generate a script to illuminate whatever drama of life you find yourself in.  There’s a detailed F.A.Q. which explains how the scripts are created, how to make sense of the dialogues, how to determine whether a reading is positive or negative, what to make of the various characters, and why these specific 6 plays were chosen for the system: http://www.mysteryarts.com/play/.

We generated a reading concerning the blood moon this evening:

Our scene begins somewhat ominously, with a deepening darkness: “They’re putting out all the lights.”  We aren’t told who “they” are, but there’s a force beyond our immediate control that is behind the darkness.   But then a character laughs, and soft music is heard in the distance along with some faintly chiming bells, so the feeling is less sinister than we might have first felt.  Another character bemoans that it’s so dark she can’t even see stars or the moon, yet at that moment an old fiddler comes on stage, sits on a barrel, and begins tuning up.  So the darkness isn’t foreboding but rather in preparation for a musical performance; house lights go down in advance of stage lights coming on.  The fact that the scene ends with a fiddler indicates that there will be harmony.  This is a decidedly positive reading, assuring us that any darkness associated with the blood moon is merely preparatory to something favorable.


> read more from Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

I, Me, and Him, 3rd edition, 1891.

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

From the Guidon of the State Female Normal School, Farmville, Virginia, 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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Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)

From Shipbuilding from Its Beginnings by Emile van Konijnenburg, 1913.

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

"Mrs. Western spoke, or rather thundered an answer."  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

*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)

Who was it who said that a nation is built one person at a time?  "Mrs. Barnaby commences her work on America," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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

"A visitant from the grave," from The Poor Girl by Pierce Egan the Younger, 1890.  (We like how the first A in the caption resembles a ghostly, upside down V.  There are V's and A's in "visitant" and "grave."  As above, so below.)

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

Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)

Did you hear about the housecleaner who refused to wipe the veiled sexual graffiti off the pane?  "I don't do innuendos."

> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"We must give up hope," from Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

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

Here's a spirit trumpet interpenetrating a seance table, from The Reality of Psychic Phenomena: Raps, Levitations, Etc. by William Jackson Crawford, 1916.  We wish we'd encountered this diagram in time for our guide to 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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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

From the Kaleidoscope yearbook of Hampden-Sydney College, 1901.

*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 only way to fly, from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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

"Griffael—the law-clerk's devil," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.  (Would one have expected an angel?)

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

She's "at it," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)

Dancing to celebrate the destruction of the world.  From Earthquakes by Arnold Boscoqitz and translated by Coulson Bell Pitman, 1890.

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September 25, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Doughnut King Ted Ngoy, from Montana Wesleyan's Prickly Pear yearbook, 1917.  (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)

"And the star of peace return," from The Blue Poetry Book by Andrew Lang and illustrated by Lancelot Speed, 1891.

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

Here's precusor to Lark Rise to Candleford, from St. Nicholas magazine, 1898.

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

From The Ball of Yarn, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

This is as good an explanation of the weather as we've heard from any meteorologist.  From Prodigiorvm ac Ostentorvm Chronicon, 1557.

*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)

"Carved figures on the banks of the river Irrawaddy, Burmah."  From The Countries of the World by Robert Brown, 1894.  [For Gordon Meyer.]

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

From Stories of the Governess by S. C. Hall, 1852.

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

This May Surprise You (permalink)
Every playing card is in fact a "face card," though most faces are out of frame.  We find our evidence in St. Nicholas magazine, 1920.
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Cheerup [sic] the worst is yet to come": a message from a defaced copy of The Siberian Exiles by Thomas Wallace Knox, 1893.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"I'll have no whims," from Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

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

We wish our history textbooks had been illustrated like this.  From Abstract of the Elements of U. S. History by Henry Clay Symonds, 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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Colorful Allusions (permalink)

The colors combine into a six-pointed ghostly star.  From The Principles of Light and Color by Edwin Dwight Babbitt, 1878.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's the imp who governs the difference between the salad fork and the dinner fork.  From The Oxford Thackeray.  This should also be of interest: How to Believe in Your Elf.

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

From The Demon McGuire, 1885.

   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
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September 23, 2015

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Thanks to acclaimed author Clint Marsh (of Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop fame) for calling our collected works "rare and wondrous treasures."  

Our diagram of Clint Marsh is based upon a photo by The Slow Poisoner (used with permission).
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to "Let me Google that for you" (the snarky site that lets you type in a phrase that somebody asked you about but didn't bother to search for; it gives you a link to send the person, showing those words being typed in and the "search" button being pressed.  Here's an example of how the animation is presented, with the phrase, "Who is Prof. Oddfellow?").  Our precursor, "Turn to the index," appears in Industrial Education Magazine, 1921.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's the "Crypto" in broad daylight, from St. Nicholas magazine, 1898.

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

Here is revealed one of our secrets of manipulating time, from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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

"Paralyzed—but as malignant as ever."  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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This May Surprise You (permalink)

The eating disorder "pica" was once considered cute, as we see in Cherry Cheeks and Roses, 1890.

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

"Finding the key," from A Daughter of the Druids by Alice Kimball Hopkins, 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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September 22, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Eighteen years before Rice Krispies cereal went "snap, crackle, pop," there was a Voice in the Rice by Gouverneur Morris, 1910.
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Through Hell with Hiprah Hunt by Art Young, 1901.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

More than one cow jumped over the moon, as we see in From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-Seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip Round It by Jules Verne, 1874.

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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)

You've heard that money makes the world go around, but it's actually bunny.  From The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (1899).

> 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)

"Well kin you beat that?  It actually ends!"  From The American Legion Weekly, March 17, 1922.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 21, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Cesar Romero as The Joker, from An American Girl in London by Sara Jeannette Duncan, 1891.

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

Here's a vulture with his leg in a sling, 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)

"Here, this is Mr. Scissors.  From now on, he's your best friend." —George R. R. Martin, Dreamsongs Vol. II (2007)

Our illustration is from St. Nicholas magazine, 1903.


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

"Lady Lyndon and I had an argument on transubstantiation."  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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Something, Defined (permalink)

 

From Stephen King's Revival (405 pages).

> read more from Something, Defined . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

At what point do we begin to question cultural norms?  The Gold Nugget Sport is from 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)

"Thought reading extraordinary," from A Rambler's Recollections and Reflections by Alfred Capper, 1915.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 20, 2015

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
We're delighted to have contributed a bit of our research to Long Forgotten's post about an overlap of the Rich Fool traditions, the Faust legend, and Spontaneous Human Combustion.
We're also delighted to have consulted with Gary Barwin on his participation as a "Non-Psychic" in an art installation/performance in Hamilton, Ontario.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

There's more going on with a magician's hat than we're at liberty to discuss, as we see in this ad from 1891.

> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)

Prof. Oddfellow shares one of his secrets of walking through a brick wall, in Carrboro, North Carolina.  For Gordon Meyer.

> read more from Oldest Tricks in the Book . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Principles of Light and Color by Edwin Dwight Babbitt, 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)

"A silvery and blue tinted flame sprung up from each," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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

Sporting lines of longitute and latitude is the mark of one worldy in body acceptance, and always remember: one is never as stretched out as a Mercator projection.  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.  (And always remember, too: we are the world.)

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

"It's always mocha something, something, something else, decaf."
—Alan Katz, Poems I Wrote When No One Else Was Looking, 2011

> read more from Something, Defined . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The cheapest thing in dragons Orthodocia ever saw."  We must concur — it's never a good idea to economize on dragons.  From A Social Departure bySara Jeannette Duncan, 1890.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 19, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

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

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

From the Kaleidoscope yearbook of Hampden-Sydney College, 1901.

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

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's a black cat from España Negra, written and illustrated by Émile Verhaeren, 1899.

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

"The fishermen and the djinn," from Peaks and Pines: Another Norway Book by James Arthur Lees, 1899.


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

Is the grim reaper fighting off or welcoming the demon?  From The Dance of Death, 1820.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From an ad for Japanese tea in Canadian Grocer, 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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September 18, 2015

Only Funny If ... (permalink)

From The Philosophy of Laughter and Smiling by George Vasey, 1875.

> read more from Only Funny If ... . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's the proper way to peep into the interior of an epistle, from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.  (It's all in the wrist, really.)

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

The music of the future will be notated on cats' whiskers, as we see in The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (1899).

> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .
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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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Here is revealed one of our secrets of time travel.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The making of a new axis was possible," from The Purchase of the North Pole by Jules Verne, 1891.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 17, 2015

Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the game show Let's Make a Deal's "Curtain no. 1," from Home-Theatricals Made Easy, or, Busy, Happy, and Merry by Frances Elizabeth Callow, 1891.

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

From The Davenport Brothers, 1869.  This should be of interest: Seance Parlor Feng Shui.

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

Ramses the Great as depicted in Sketches in Egypt by Charles Dama Gibson, 1899.  (The likeness is uncanny!)

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 precusor to Suzanne Vega's song "Blood Makes Noise": The Song of the Blood Corpuscles, 1899.

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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: "Do you see this hole?" —Frank Barrett, Under a Strange Mask, 1890
A: "We cannot see a 'hole' itself but may see through it." —Steve Nichols, The Primal Eye, 2006
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

The Milky Way is composed of smoke from cigars puffed by celestial bodies, as we see in The Pharmaceutical Era, 1887.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The witches' frolic," from The Ingoldsby Legends by Thomas Ingoldsby, 1881.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 16, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Real Sailor-Songs by John Ashton, 1891.

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

We hereby present the tightly-guarded secret to finishing a manuscript: "He wrote on to the conclusion."  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

* The most profound secrets lie not wholly in knowledge, said the poet.  They lurk invisible in that vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident as the lightning—the seeker's soul.  Solitary digging for facts can reward one with great discoveries, but true secrets are not discovered—they are shared, passed on in confidence from one to another.  The genuine seeker listens attentively.  No secret can be transcribed, save in code, lest it—by definition—cease to be.  This Book of Whispers collects and encodes more than one hundred of humankind's most cherished secrets.  To be privy to the topics alone is a supreme achievement, as each contains and nurtures the seed of its hidden truth.  As possessor and thereby guardian of this knowledge, may you summon the courage to honor its secrets and to bequeath it to one worthy.
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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)

From Bachelor Ballads and Other Lazy Lyrics by Harry Spurr, 1899.

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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat, from Lilliput Lyrics by William Brighty Rands and illustrated by Charles Robinson, 1899.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

The demon rum crowns a new king for the day, 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)
From The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum, 1909.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 15, 2015

The Right Word (permalink)
We checked, and we're pleased that our one and only bit of advice to writers is a Googlewhack.  The only other person to have said this is the poet Eric Pankey, in The Journal of the Virginia Writing Project (Winter 2004): "Change all similes to metaphors."  A simile, with that pesky word "like," "draws attention to itself as a simile" (which we ourselves say but which we found quoted elsewhere because things sound better when others say them, such as John Bird in Mark Twain and Metaphor, 2007, or, perhaps even better, S. J. Harrison in "Meta-Imagery: Some Self-Reflexive Similes in Latin Epic": "[a simile] draws attention to its own formal status as a comparison"). 
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
We're honored to have our new piece on "The Five Norths of the Left-Hand Path" featured in Wonderella's Fiddler's Green: Art and Magic for Tea-Drinking Anarchists, Convival Conjurors & Closeted Optimists.  Our piece is for those who feel pulled by a force (a love interest, a job opportunity, a future prospect), and we explain how to use the fingers of one hand to determine exactly which of the five norths* aligns one's compass so as to best navigate toward a goal.
* True north, magnetic north, celestial or astronomical north, grid north, and terrestrial north.  The truer our alignment, the more efficient our arrival.
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the Pac-Man ghosts, from This Simian World by Clarence Day, 1920.

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

Well, they can't all be mesmerizing.  Hypnotic Tales and Other Tales by James Lauren Ford, 1891.

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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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Precursors (permalink)

Here's life before the dating apps.  "Matrimony by advertisement," from Vizetelly's Sixpenny Series of Amusing Books, 1885.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"With one glance behind her, Pleasant went out quickly."  We assume she didn't utter a pleasantry on her way out.  From Dragon's Teeth by Clotilda Inez Mary Graves, 1891.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 14, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here's some early evidence of the ghostly spirit spheres called "orbs," from the Pennsylvania College for Women's Pennsylvanian yearbook, 1918.  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)  This should also be of interest: How to Believe in Your Elf.
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
From Infödingarna på Manhattan by Gunnar Cederschiöld, 1916.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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Precursors (permalink)

"I thought it first!"  From The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford (1899).

> 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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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

"This place is too slow for me."  From the Ravelings yearbook of Monmouth College, 1917.

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

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
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Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
Hey, let's take five and have these guys to do the math, eh?  "Appreciable only by mathematicians," from The Purchase of the North Pole by Jules Verne, 1891.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 1906.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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September 13, 2015

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Before diswashing liquids promised younger-looking hands, people were stuck "Holding each other's middle-aged hands."  From Dandelion Cottage by Carroll Rankin, 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)

"Where next?"  From The World by Chester Glass, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"Teague and the witch's stick," 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)

"The 'Big Drum' in a state of abstraction," from Tom Burke of Ours by Charles James Lever, in Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The place seemed like a haunted cave," from Two Girls on a Barge by Cecil B. Cotes and illustrated by F. H. Townsend, 1891.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
The Flying Dutchman from St. Nicholas Magazine, Oct. 1904.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
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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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September 12, 2015

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

 

"There's no such thing as dead languages, only dormant minds."

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1909.

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

"The first point, while of extreme importance, may surprise you: Writing and reading are not natural to human beings." Political Writing: A Guide to the Essentials

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Scorpions and serpents from Prodigiorvm ac Ostentorvm Chronicon, 1557.

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

"A voyage with the old dream-king," from St. Nicholas magazine, 1903.

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

"A new cure for the heartache," from Frank Fairlegh by F. E. Smedley and illustrated by George Cruikshank.

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

From True as Steel by Jules Marie Alfred Girardin, 1884.

*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Blue Poetry Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by Lancelot Speed, 1891.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 11, 2015

The Right Word (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt reports:

Wibderfyk is the word that appears when a touch-typist attempts to type wonderful with his or her right hand situated one position farther to the left than it's supposed to be.  Once having discovered it, the erring typist may find this word irresistible, and may make a point of deliberately substituting it for wonderful.

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

"We almost always want to listen to a song we love to the very end.  And yet there are many people in this world who naively believe that hypnotism is not real." —William Keckler

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Here's the ladder to the heaven of the moon, from The Epic of the Fall of Man: A Comparative Study of Caedmon, Dante and Milton by Stephen Humphreys Villiers Gurteen, 1896.

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

"The deil cam fiddling through the town / And danced awa' wi' the exciseman," from The Poetical Works of Robert Burns, illustrated by John Moyr Smith.

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

"We have entered a Guadalupan city, where a rose is no longer just a rose." —Stephanie Merrim, The Spectacular City, Mexico, and Colonial Hispanic Literary Culture


Roses as symbols of Our Lady of Guadalupe, courtesy of tkkate.

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Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)

"In an instant the red wig disappeared," and we wish we were at liberty to reveal the secret of this mystification.  From Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, edited by Percy Bolingbroke Saint John, 1884.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

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)
"My medical adviser," from Captain Lanagan's Log by F. M. Allen, 1891.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 10, 2015

This May Surprise You (permalink)
Was an Underwood typewriter once elected president of the United States?  Election Administration deputy director William C. Kimberling explains: "In the evolution of the Electoral College, there have been some interesting developments and remarkable outcomes.  Critics often try to use these as examples of what can go wrong.  Yet most of these historical curiosities were the result of profound political divisions within the country which the designers of the Electoral College system seem to have anticipated as needing resolution at a higher level."  Our illustration appears in Business Journal, 1912, p. 26.
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)

Here's step one for time bending, from How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.


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

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Oldest Tricks in the Book (permalink)

How young is too young for the tablecloth trick?  (Spoiler: there's actually no minimum age.)  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From The Ball of Yarn, 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)

"I beheld him, with extraordinary dexterity, gently loosen my shadow from the grass," from The Shadowless Man by Louis de Chamisso de Boncourt, in Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The devil is not afraid of platitudes."  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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September 9, 2015

Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
This is as good an explanation of the Santa Ana winds as we've encountered: "Listen, please.  The wind.  Maybe that means that the top is open.  Maybe it means that the keeper isn't up there anymore.  Maybe it means that it's grown tired of its plaything.  Maybe it even means that it's left our world." —The Bubble (1966)
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Precursors (permalink)

"Auld Lang Syne" traces back to times long past, as we see in St. Nicholas magazine, 1909.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The weaker will had been easily conquered," from The Dealer in Death and Other Stories by Arthur Morris and illustrated by C. May, 1897.

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

"Molly took a thigh-bone in her hand," 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)
From The Green Shadow, 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)

"Last night, as sad I chanced to stray, the village death-bell smote my ear."  From Illustrated British Ballads, Old and New, 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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September 8, 2015

This May Surprise You (permalink)

Dr. Boli reminds us:

"God does not play dice with the universe.  It's more like 'Go Fish.'" —Albert Einstein

Meanwhile, our own musical tribute to the hallowed game of "Go Fish" is here:
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Uncharted Territories (permalink)

Drawn Blank: A Novel by Ada Maria Jocelyn, 1892.


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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Tales and Sketches of Lancashire Life by Benjamin Brierley, 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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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)

"The matrimonial duet turned into a trio," from Jacob Faithful by Frederick Marryat, in 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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Precursors (permalink)

Here's precursor to decorative adhesive strips, from The National and Domestic History of England by William Hickman Smith Aubrey, 1878.  The caption reads, "Lady's face with patches."

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Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)

Here's a blooming halo from Iconographie Chrétienne by Adolphe Napoléon Didron, 1843.

Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .
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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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September 7, 2015

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Years ago we developed a calendar system that tracks the flow and relationships of telltale words and symbols.  One can generate an entire month's calendar to test its accuracy in predicting events in daily life.  The link is http://mysteryarts.com/magic/calendar/.
> read more from Images Moving Through Time . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the global warming scare, from Old-Time Schools and School-Books by Clifton Johnson, 1904.  The caption reads, "Earth must burn."
> read more from Precursors . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Here are animal hides divided into leather-bound books, from Report of the Committee on Leather for Bookbinding by the Royal Society of Arts, 1905.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

From Le Sang des Dieux by Jean Lorrain, 1920.

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

In this graph from Advanced Calculus by Edwin Bidwell Wilson (1911), we learn a lot about how stationery is related.  A1, A2, and A3 are, of course, paper sizes.  The X and O at the bottom of the graph stand for kisses and hugs.


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

Here's a precuror to the cliche of a film director framing a scene with his fingers.  From Первое путешествіе въ аѳонскіе монастыри и скиты въ 1845(-1846) году.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

You've heard of people who have "been there, done that."  Here's exactly where "there" is.  We'll leave what "that" entailed to your imagination.  From Fair Diana by Wanderer and illustrated by Georgina Bowers, 1884.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"'Oh, Olive, Olive,' was all the lad could sob."  Sounds as if Olive's lad is in a pickle.  (Forgive us.)  From Hamilton of King's by Alice Price, 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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September 6, 2015

This May Surprise You (permalink)
Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire said that "There is, philosophically speaking, only one animal."  Our illustration is from an 1887 advertisement.
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A Fine Line Between... (permalink)

It's a fine line Where Ghosts Walk by Marion Harland, 1898.

> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .
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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the "let your fingers do the walking" ad campaign, from The Home Library by Arthur Penn, 1883.  This one goes out to all the E.J.s of the world.

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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 Handsome Clear-Starcher: A Legend of the Days of Queen Elizabeth," illustrated by George Cruikshank, from Bentley's Miscellany, 1838.

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

"Beheld a spectacle which made them recoil," 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)
Here's a looming feeling from Der Schwarzwald by Wilhelm Hermann Kensen and illustrated by W. Hasemann, 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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September 5, 2015

The Right Word (permalink)
Thanks to the reviewer over at Amazon who rated our Hexopedia four stars: "Interesting read!  So far, the effects are subtle, but they are there."
Meanwhile, here's a page from the book, revealing the forgotten secret of bibliomancy:
> read more from The Right Word . . .
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
You've heard of "cube roots."  Here's what they look like.  From Technic and Scope of Cast Gold and Porcelain Inlays by Herman Hayes, 1918.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
We caught Neil Gaiman time traveling in 1908, as proven in the January 18th issue of The Ohio Farmer (left).
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
The phrase "the moon is a penny" is a Googlewhack.  From Ladies' Home Journal, 1947.
> read more from Two Sides / Same Coin . . .
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)

From St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

*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)

"Spirits of wine," 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)

"'Allah, Allah!' cried the baker on seeing a human head."  From "Story of the Baked Head," in Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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

From the 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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September 4, 2015

Strange Dreams (permalink)

From Lehigh University's Epitome yearbook, 1885.

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

Today animals are used as test subjects in space travel, but it used to be cherubs (up until the religious lobby stepped in).  From A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine by Robert Henry Thurston, 1878.

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

Given that most people we see on the street are dead (as we learned here), it sure would be handy if they chose to identify themselves.  Our illustration appears in The Teaching Problem by James Wickleff Axtell, 1902.  The sign says, "I am late."

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

Here's a precursor to RoboCop: "Automaton police office, and real offenders."  Illustrated by George Cruikshank, from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

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

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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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
Snow-waves from Siberia and the Exile System by George Kennan, 1891.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"In what new age of the world had I awakened?"  From Valdar the Oft-Born: A Saga of Seven Ages by George Chetwynd Griffith Jones, 1895.

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

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

Leftovers are haunting ghosts.  "The cold beef and ham appear a third time."  From Hypocrites by Hugh Coleman Davidson and illustrated by René, 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 Book of Gold and Other Poems by John Townsend Trowbridge, 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)

We'd rather take our chances with the Sword of Damocles than this blade.  From The Earth Children by Henrietta M. Batson, 1897.

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

"Mrs. Stone had a very eerie face," from By Still Waters by Edward Garrett, 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)

"'Disgusting!' exclaimed the favoured of the Graces."  From The Doctor's Family by Jules Marie Alfred Giradin, 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)
"Basil!  I have seen it—I have seen the ghost!"  From My Brother Basil by Elizabeth Neal, 1891.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 2, 2015

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
A Retroactive Lifetime Goal*: we've been hashtagged as a cure for anhedonia.  Thanks, Plurdledgabbleblotchits!  
*The phrase "Retroactive Lifetime Goal" is used by the permission of Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the melting watches of Dalí's Persistence of Memory, by nearly three decades.  The accompanying text [for a watch case] even says that "Gold alone is soft and bends easily."  From Farm-Poultry, 1902.

> read more from Precursors . . .
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Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
Someone should write a book entitled Philosophy of Cabbage Seed, as we learn in Presbyterian College's Pac-SaC yearbook, 1920. 

> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The phrase "it takes a lion tamer" delivers just two Google results.  From The Imperial Macramé Lace Book, 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)

From Mary with Many Friends by Georgina M. Moore, 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)

"Amongst the pictures," 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)

Here's the spirit of "Running with Scissors" (maybe), from The Literary Digest, 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)

The death-sentence is merely a period.  From The Last Day of a Condemned Man by Victor Hugo, in Dicks' English Library of Standard Works.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 1, 2015

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to a lyric in "Esperantolando" by Ken Clinger and Herr Purpur (from the album KCollab.01): "Speaking with a carrot, the carrot answers 'no.'"  Our illustration appears in Vegetable Verselets for Humorous Vegetarians by Margaret Hays, 1911.  (See our previous precursor to this lyric here.)  
> read more from Precursors . . .
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Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore (permalink)

We're pleased that one retail store is offering our wide-awake dreaming card deck (deeply rooted in Mystery traditions so as to instantly illuminate any question) for fully 60% off, taking the price down from $100 to $40.  The deck won't be signed or numbered, but it will be boxed and will include a printed booklet revealing secrets about each card.  Here's the link:

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/self-intuiting-polarity-cards

One of our favorite reactions so far:

"I'm nearing the point of obsession.  I can't look away, and don't want to -- like Tarot cards, but with built-in illumination, and much more fun.  Brilliant, says I!"  —Jeff Hawkins

* Historians must reconstruct the past out of hazy memory.  "Once upon a time" requires "second sight."  The "third eye" of intuition can break the "fourth wall" of conventional perspectives.  Instead of "pleading the fifth," historians can take advantage of the "sixth sense" and be in "seventh heaven."  All with the power of hindpsych, the "eighth wonder of the world."  It has been said that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.  Therein lies the importance of Tarot readings for antiquity.  When we confirm what has already occurred, we break the shackles of the past, freeing ourselves to chart new courses into the future.
> read more from Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore . . .
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It Bears Repeating (permalink)

"It bears repeating that chess is 1400 years old and that our ancestors were some pretty clever people."
aren9745

> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .
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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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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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This May Surprise You (permalink)

It occurs to us that the jester and his marotte came into existence circa the 14th century, but the Tibetan and his phurba trace back to the 8th century, so the marotte is (to our own satisfaction, at least) a great-grandchild of the phurba; the phurba's mundane origin as a tent peg and its mystical purpose "to transfix" both make it an obvious tool to be handed down through the ages to the medieval clowns.

Meanwhile, here's a jester's marotte in its natural state ("shabby chic"?), before its leaves and twigs are removed and it is sanded, stained, and varnished (poor devil).  We find this wild marotte in Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry by William Carleton (undated, but that's right because Irish lore is timeless).

> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a creature of habit 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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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.