CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Fine Line Between...
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Disguised as a Christmas Tree
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
August 31, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Inhabitants of the Fantom City."  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1882. 
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to see another version.

North Facade, Stanford University, California
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Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Here's an example of "the creation of mystery in the lighting of open courts," from the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, 1917.  The "third dimension in light" is achieved through a combination of white flood light and color relief light.  The scintillator and fireworks were approximately one-third of a mile in the background."
* Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour. In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes. Try to guess the exact hue of each. Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words. Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue. Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.
 
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The eclipse of August 31, 1932.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to bring on the night.

Times Square, New York City
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's an early celebrity endoresement — Father Time vouching for a pocket watch.  Circa 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson, 1898.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Zauberlinda, the Wise Witch by Eva Katherine Clapp, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Phynodderree, and Other Legends of the Isle of Man by Edward Watson Callow, 1882.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Christian Similitudes by John Warner Barber, 1866.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Fairy Foxes, a Chinese Legend, told in English by Mrs. Archibald Little, 1895.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 30, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"What a simple matter this thing of communicating with the spirits has turned out to be."  An illustration by M. L. Blumenthal for The Saturday Evening Post, 1920.  This should be of interest: The Care & Feeding of a Spirit Board.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Love's young dream.  Pleasanter to the parties concerned than to the neighbors."  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1871.   This should also be of interest: How to Be Your Own Cat.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the phenomeon of people not writing back.  Date uncertain.
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
They tell us that paisley is merely a design or a symbol, but don't believe their lies.  In this figure from Behavior of the Lower Organisms by Herbert Spencer Jennings, 1906, we see that paisley behaviour is carefully studied, if not fully understood.  The top right arrow shows the direction the paisley turns in response to stimulation, while the three interior arrows indicate the direction of the beat of the cilia.  "What form of life is paisley, exactly?" asks Jude Stewart in Salon.  Common answers include an uncurling date palm shoot, a cypress pine, a leech, a lotus, and a mango, but the truth may have us reaching for our hankies.
Meanwhile, Uel Aramchek posits that paisleys are artifacts from a parallel universe.
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
You've heard of an airplane's "horsepower," but did you know how literally to take that?  From c. 1937.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A press notice from magician Vernon S. Raymond, 1906.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From back when lead was a selling point for paint.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came 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 Emblemes, 1635.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came 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 for the Household by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by A. W. Bayes, 1889.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum, 1904.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Marian and Mr. Jugg."  From Half-Past Bedtime by H. H. Bashford, 1922.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
* There is a vast world of reality into which science can no more enter than an elf can be Santa Claus.  We regret to observe that rather than face it, and confess its inability to measure it, science turns its back upon it.  Life is not always every-day life, and the insolvable mysteries are correlated not to formal rules but to spirit and inspiration.  Are bits of wisdom liable to dwarf the subject?  Indeed — and rightly!  James Howell described the ingredients of a good proverb to be "sense, shortness, and salt."  May Howell's cry resound through this present collection of maxims on believing in one's elf.

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August 29, 2016

Separated at Birth? (permalink)
Our custom widget that checks for duplicated images suggested this pairing.  We note several similarities: pointy ears, snakes/tendrils, full moon/clock face.  Click each image for its source.
22113 26325
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Look at the 'boidy.'"  From the Arthur O'Connor scrapbook, 1949, courtesy of the NDSU Archives.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to reveal the larger version.

American Falls, Niagara Falls
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Beautiful Birmingham."  From c. 1907.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Interagency Bison Management Plan for the State of Montana and Yellowstone National Park, 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"We know that flying horses don't exist" (Bertrand Russell's Philosophy of Logical Atomism).  (Contrary proof courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Britain needs you at once."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 of "any reasonable rainbow" include "white for inside and outside."  From c. 1890.
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A Fine Line Between... (permalink)
Here's a fine line of screech owls from Bird Lore, 1919.
A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From De Kapelle der Dooden by Abraham a Sancta Clara, 1741.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came 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 Wally Wanderoon and His Story-Telling Machine by Joel Chandler Harris, 1903.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Little Tom by V. Tille, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From the Book of Heavenly Teachings by R. P. Baugh, 1912.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 28, 2016

Strange Dreams (permalink)
A nightmare involving Abraham Lincoln.  From Fun magazine, 1864.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Something, Defined (permalink)

"Everything was fitting together just right.  All of the Somethings were living things and were growing" (J.B. Symons, in something called The Turms [sic] of Peace).

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"I'm haying a ___ of a time in Coney Island."  Date uncertain.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to change the light.

Scenic Splendor on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
She Walks in Battledress.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"'Crystal Geyser' near Green River, Utah," circa 1940.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came 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 dandy skeleton," from The New Hyperion, 1875.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's some vintage pixelation from The Oölogist, 1923.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Olive Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, 1907.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
From Stories for the Household by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by A. W. Bayes, 1889.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from Andiron Tales by John Kendrick Bangs and illustrated by Clare Victor Dwiggins, 1906.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Baltimore and Ohio Employees Magazine, 1922.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 27, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's some art that's been altered to fit a room, from Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1873.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The statue of Agassiz, Stanford University after Earthquake April 18, 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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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to force a smile on this Pacific Southwest Airlines personality

Pacific Southwest Airlines
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Rodents are inextricable from mechanisms with dials.  This we know from the nursery ("Hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran up the clock") and the laboratory (Helen Hubbert's 1915 dissertation about albino rats, in which a chartometer figures).
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
From the Costică Acsinte Archive.
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the retractable dog leash, from c. 1890.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Ekko" by Theodor Kittelsen, ca, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a startling vision at the astrologer's, from The London Apprentice and the Goldsmith's Daughter of West Chepe by Pierce Egan, 1855.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
This is the best deer-headed moth flying over a donkey snail that we've seen all week.  From Quarles' Emblems, 1861.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Waldorf Family by Emma Embury, 1848.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From What Happened Then Stories by Ruth Dyer, 1918.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Echoes from the Rocky Mountains by John Wesley Clampitt, 1889.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 26, 2016

The Right Word (permalink)
Did nobody tell the LSAT writers, who "always use the literal (or dictionary) meaning of a word," that the word set alone famously has over 460 definitions?
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fun magazine, 1864.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A detail from a CB Radio card, date uncertain.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The is one of the many tools we use to insert an asterisk.  From Dreer's Garden Book, 1917.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
"We wear our years like a red badge of courage — and some of us even admit our age" (Kay Allenbaugh, Chocolate For A Woman's Blessings).  Our photo is courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Friends reduced to shadows."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From 1886. 

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Superstitions Anciennes et Modernes, 1733.  (Did you already know that "a," "aa," "aaa," and "aaaa" are all words?  They're in the dictionary of all-vowel words.)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Playroom Stories by Georgiana Craik, 1863.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Shakespeare's Comedy of A Midsummer-Night's Dream, illustrated by William Heath Robinson, 1914.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Violet 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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Precursors (permalink)

Here's a precursor to How to Be Your Own Cat.

From Love Lyrics and Valentine Verses by E. M. Davies, 1875.

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August 25, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"She felt the lust of battle and opened the game."  From English Illustrated, 1907.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to reveal the horizontal version.

Tunnel on Skyline Drive
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Hollywood isn't the only place with giant letters on a mountain.  That's W.Va. at the bottom of the postcard (its giant letters not shown).
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Biography of a Grizzly by Ernest Thompson Seton, 1918.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
The space program has long been accused of faking the moon landing, and artificially enlarging the celestial orb in photographs doesn't help their credibility.  (As any photographer will attest, the moon never looks this big in a photo without special effects.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to doctor a photo.)  Our photo is as scanned by the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives.
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Puzzles and Games (permalink)
"The new game of virture rewarded and vice punished" by T. Newton.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Jumbo the Elephant at the opera.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"An idol made of wood," from The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, 1884.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Tales of Fantasy, edited by Tudor Jenks, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The incomprehensible."  From Christian Similitudes by John Warner Barber, 1866.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 24, 2016

Precursors (permalink)
Before the lollipop was invented in 1908 and trademarked in 1931, there was a Polly Lopp in 1894.  Our proof is courtesy of English Illustrated.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's how Father Time gets around, from Fun magazine, 1864.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to introduce electricity to Palo Alto.

Palo Alto, California
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's the whole Damm family of 1905, along with their close relations with a single M in their name.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to see how Judge Paul B. Johnson, Sr.'s photographer tried to be flattering.

Judge Paul B. Johnson, Sr.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A. Staal. War monument, Rotterdam, 1946."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Read the other side."  A patent medicine trade card, c. 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Belle à la mécanique. (A rink wrinkle)."  From Punch, or the London Charivari.
Jonathan writes, "Note the Moebiuslike paradox of an image from the era that the steampunk phenomenon retroactively took inspiration from precursing steampunk itself."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Something, Defined (permalink)
Here's what something something had to do with the moon landing, from Mark Kelly's Astrotwins: Project Blastoff.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kinder und Hausmarchen by the Grimm Brothers, 1910.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An ermine and a brownie from The Peacock and the Wishing-Fairy by Corinne Ingraham, 1921.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Keep in touch," from Bell Telephone Magazine, 1972.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"What's keeping me back?"  From Ambition magazine, 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.]
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August 23, 2016

Separated at Birth? (permalink)
Our custom widget that checks for duplicated images suggested this unlikely pairing.  Click each image for its source.
27298 26351
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

A book is a cactus.

[That's a Googlewhack, with or without the word "like."]
  Book
Cactus
most have spines (sometimes very fine) x x
often given at Christmas x x
classifying is difficult; divided into several categories x x
cultivated x x
often ornamental x x
prized in botanical gardens x x
crossed the Atlantic on European ships trading
between South America and Africa
x x
prone to over-collection x x
may be eaten by bugs x x
found in dry environments x x
occur in a wide range of sizes x x
quickly absorb water x x
roots with Latin and Greek nomenclature x x
long dormancies x x
may cause changes in mood, perception and
cognition through their effects on the brain
x x
essential for dating non-literate cultures   x
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On One Condition (permalink)
From "As the Sparks Fly Upward" by Polly Bruce, in English Illustrated, 1896.
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
"We can none of us ... escape what frames us" (Michael Joyce, Moral Tales and Meditations).  Photo courtesy of the Standford Archives.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"How we do things in Allegan, Mich."  From 1913.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
The problem with meteorology exposed: weather satellites are set to receive elk transmissions.  Image scanned by the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From c. 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
Three angels arise from the smoke of braziers.  Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Chronicle of the Valiant Feats, 1845.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From En Avant, l'Arche! by Marc, 1921.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Cuchulain, the Hound of Ulster by Eleanor Hull, 1910.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
* There is a vast world of reality into which science can no more enter than an elf can be Santa Claus.  We regret to observe that rather than face it, and confess its inability to measure it, science turns its back upon it.  Life is not always every-day life, and the insolvable mysteries are correlated not to formal rules but to spirit and inspiration.  Are bits of wisdom liable to dwarf the subject?  Indeed — and rightly!  James Howell described the ingredients of a good proverb to be "sense, shortness, and salt."  May Howell's cry resound through this present collection of maxims on believing in one's elf.

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August 22, 2016

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to a new car behind Curtain Number One, 13 years before the game show Let's Make a Deal.  "Coming soon, something new in style and beauty," from 1950.  Speaking of Let's Make a Deal, see our previous refutation of the "Monty Hall Problem" of probability theory.
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Two Sides / Same Coin (permalink)
Glimpsing "the truth that lies on the other side of common sense."  A still from the insightful and funny series Ie Uru Onna (家売るオンナ).
* Inspired by Jeff Hawkins.
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Precursors (permalink)
"The doomed tenth": a precursor to Agatha Christie's "ten little Indians" mystery formula, from Pearson's, 1913.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Show them what occultism can do."  From English Illustrated, 1907.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to shift time and update the cars.

Jefferson Davis Hotel, Montgomery, Alabama
> read more from Postcard Transformations . . .
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
Every writer has experienced this: "When the weight of the paper equals the weight of the room, we'll spin-up!"  Astronaut training photo with speech balloon as scanned by the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Mary had a little lamb, but in Bethel, O. we like goats."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Wear celluloid collars and cuffs," c. 1890.  This should also be of interest: How to Believe in Your Elf.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Tales of Terror, 1808.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Picture Fables by Wilhelm Hey and illustrated by Otto Speckter, 1858.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Tales of the Punjab by Flora Steel and illustrated by John Lockwood Kipling, 1917.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Monkey island."  From Half-Past Bedtime by H. H. Bashford, 1922.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here are some nesting soap bubbles from St. Nicholas magazine, 1900.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 21, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a pipe reflecting the King of Spades.  From English Illustrated, 1894.  Ce n'est pas un moyen de tricher aux cartes.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The Queen of Hearts rides a feather, as we learn in Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1883.  See also our Heirs to the Queen of Hearts: Tracing Magical Genealogy.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

Secrets of Alchemy for Modern Whizzes

The wizards of old were "freelance intellectuals whose main stock in trade was good advice" (as historian John Michael Greer puts it).  In the 1920s, a master alchemist called Fulcanelli shared priceless advice for novices -- guidance that also applies to anyone seeking to be a whiz at anything.  In his book proving that gothic cathedrals aren't churches but rather elaborate stone books communicating the coded secrets of alchemy (Les Mystère des Cathèdrales), Fulcanelli spells out his formula for learning the greatest mysteries.  Shall I stop or go on?—I hesitate.  Perhaps I'll paraphrase from his final chapter, though I'll preserve the slightly antiquated tone of Fulcanelli's prose.

It is not enough to be studious, active and persevering, if one has no firm principles, no solid basis, if immoderate enthusiasm blinds one to reason, if pride overrules judgment, or if greed expands before the prospect of a golden future.

[There's a mighty oak tree of wisdom contained within that acorn of a sentence.  But Fulcanelli has more.]

The mysterious science [of whatever happens to be one's passion] requires great precision, accuracy and perspicacity in observing the facts, a healthy, logical and reflective mind, a lively but not over-excitable imagination, and a warm and pure heart.  It also demands the greatest simplicity and complete indifference with regard to theories, systems and hypotheses, which are generally accepted without question on the testimony of books or the reputation of their authors.  It requires its candidates to learn to think more with their own brains and less with those of others.  It insists that they should check the truth of any principles, the knowledge of any doctrine and the practice of any operations from Nature, the mother of us all.

Devotees will derive greater benefit from their studies provided they do not despise the works of the old Philosophers and that they study with care and penetration the classical texts, until they have acquired sufficient perception to understand the obscure points of the practice.

No one may aspire to possess the greatest secret, if they do not direct their lives in accordance with the researches they have undertaken.

By constant exercise of the faculties of observation and reasoning and by meditative contemplation, novices will climb steps leading to:

KNOWLEDGE.

A simple imitation of natural processes, skill combined with ingenuity, and the insight born of long experience will secure for them the:

POWER.

Having obtained that, they will still have need of patience, constancy and unshakeable will.  Brave and resolute, they will be enabled by the certainty and confidence born of a strong conviction to:

DARE.

Finally, when success has crowned so many years of labor, when their desires have been accomplished, the Wise Ones, despising the vanities of the world, will draw near to the humble, the disinherited, to all those who work, suffer, struggle and weep here below.  As anonymous and mute disciples of eternal Nature, as advocates of eternal Charity, they will remain faithful to their vow of silence.

In Science, in Goodness, one must evermore

KEEP SILENT.

[About the illustration: Alchemy has been called "an infinite regression of mirrored mysteries.  And so, if we are not careful, we end up finding only the face of our own bias.  The secret protects itself, even when it is displayed in plain sight" (Jay Weidner and Vincent Bridges, Monument to the End of Time, 1999).  Our illustration appears in Le Vray et Methodique Cours de la Physique Resolutiue, Vulgairement Dite Chymie by Annibal Barlet, 1653.]

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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
A World War I-era postcard by Arthur Thiele.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here are some giant noses from Cassell's, 1885.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
From the Costică Acsinte archive.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From 1886.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The umlaut over the second O is here revealed to refer to rabbit ears.  From The Oölogist, 1896.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said by Padraic Colum, 1918.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From A Great Emergency and Other Tales by Juliana Ewing, 1886.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Adventures of Peterkin by Gilly Bear and illustrated by Helen E. Ohrenschall, 1916.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The explosion."  From The King of Gee-Whiz by Emerson Hough and illustrated by Oscar E. Cesare, 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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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)
From The Forester yearbook of Lake Forest University, 1911.

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

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August 20, 2016

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
"Let us forget about the past life in darkness and look forward to walking through light." —Andrew Pappachen
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Admittedly, his complexion is rather pasty.  "I don't want a papier-mache husband."  From English Illustrated, 1894.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1871.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Say do you believe all that about the Devil?"  "No, don't let them kid you.  That's just like Santa Claus, it's your old man."  A postcard from Hell, Michigan, date uncertain.  Speaking of which, what exactly are a snowball's chances in hell?  See A Snowball's Chance in Hell.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to see the painting inspired by this photo of Chuck Yeager.

Chuck Yeager
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to bring on the day.

Beach Boulevard and Seawall, Showing Hotel Galvez, Galveston, Texas
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Third quarter," circa 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The mysterious interview in Hyde Park."  From Auriol, or, the Elixir of Life by William Harrison Ainsworth, 1875.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Iconologia, 1764.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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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
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Légendes Valaisannes, illustrated by Eugéne Reichlen, 1919.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Story of a Candy Rabbit by Laura Lee Hope, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 19, 2016

Uncharted Territories (permalink)
"'Well, the map ends,' Jamie said, exasperated. 'I can't tell you what to do, the map ends.'" —Kate Ledger, Remedies
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

Here are cut-out paper spectacles for seeing more than is readily apparent in any book.  They're from our Machinarium Verbosus: A Curiosity Cabinet of Gadgets To Transform Any Book & Reader, To Be Sure.  But please note that Machinarium Verbosus is a book for the few—the very few.  If it's important to one's psychological well-being that the machinations of the Universe be neat and tidy and wholly comprehensible by the human mind, then absolutely do not proceed with this book's experiments.  Let this constitute a very serious warning: do not take these experiments lightly, as any one of them may induce an existential crisis.

Cut out and don these transformative specs before you read.  (Wear them along with your prescription glasses, if necessary.)  Reading offers "new lenses for seeing [one]self and the world in different ways.  Reading transforms [oneself]" (Jeffrey Wilhelm, Action Strategies For Deepening Comprehension, 2002).

Why symbolic glasses?  Symbols invite us "to see more than is readily apparent, to intuit something other than the obvious" (Krzysztof Kieslowski).

"You can learn to keep the lenses of your symbolic glasses fairly free of the dust of ignorance, the grease spots of prejudice, the grime of hatred and fear.  You can learn to bend and stretch the frames if they don't fit comfortably; but you can never take the glasses off" (Lew Sarett, Basic Principles of Speech, 1958).

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"It's the going out I dislike."  From English Illustrated, 1894.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fun magazine, 1864.  This should also be of interest: How to Be Your Own Cat.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The Yukon mosquito (date uncertain).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A giant monkey tramples elves in this trade card from 1896.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers by Robert Williams Wood, 1917.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum, 1908.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Phynodderree, and Other Legends of the Isle of Man by Edward Watson Callow, 1882.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum, 1904.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From the North Carolina Christian Advocate, 1912.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Night Thoughts by Edward Young, 1798.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jane Brightwell by James Malcolm Rymer, 1848.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 18, 2016

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
Someone should write a book with all the important details (exact coordinates and times) of famous photos, so that time travelers can plan how to photobomb them with anachronisms.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"By means of her Ouija board Miss Thill has worked her way right into the highest intellectual circles of spirit society."  An illustration by M. L. Blumenthal for The Saturday Evening Post, 1920.  This should be of interest: The Care & Feeding of a Spirit Board.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to shift between the painting and the photograph.

Albion Hotel, Eastbourne
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A dancing chicken, date uncertain.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Eyes of the night."  From an ad for Philidyne bicycle lights.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Scanned by the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"H. Th. Wijdeveld. Ontwerp voor een badmuts, 1932."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Not dead but weary," 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Little Blossom's Reward by Laura Winthrop Johnson, 1854.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Légendes Bretonnes, illustrated by Maurice de Becque, 1921.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Heart of Oak Books, Vol. III, 1910.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 17, 2016

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to The Flying Nun series: Why Is a Nun? (1959).
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Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:
"A rainbow spans the horizon for as long as your heart needs to reconcile itself to life." —Michel Tournier (as quoted in A Thousand Plateaus by Deleuze & Guattari).
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .
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Precursors (permalink)
You've seen the comic panel in which a receptionist tells her boss, "I've got New York on the line," as a silhouette of the state of New York patiently holds a phone receiver.  Here's a precursor to that, with Siberia making … ahem … a cold call.  From English Illustrated, 1894.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"No! no! don't come down please, your Majesty.  You've done quite enough mischief where you are."  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1872.  Previously, we found another vintage example of the Queen of Hearts stepping out of her card: http://www.oneletterwords.com/weblog/?id=10579
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Four incarnations of the same scene.  (Click four times.)

Old Town Hall and Village Pevensey
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Is the stick of slapstick a stick of butter?  This "butter slip" seems to register a pratfall.  From Creamery Butter-Making by John Michels, 1911.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a spider from c. 1900, Australia.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
There's wizardry in those pocket watches.  Circa 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Too late?"  From Illinois Agricultural Association Record, 1949.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Neues Deutsches Märchenbuch by Ludwig Bechstein, 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Violet 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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Rhetorical Answers, Questioned (permalink)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 16, 2016

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
You've heard that "a horse is a horse, of course, of course."  But here's our explanation of why a racehorse is less like a workhorse than a workhorse is like an ox (as per Deleuze & Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus).  The science of ethology doesn't define a body by species or genus but rather counts affects.  Hence, workhorses and oxen are similar in that they both pull heavy burdens, are dirty, are tethered, move slowly, work long days, and are crucial to farm production.  A racehorse is none of those things: it is unburdened, clean, untethered, can gallop, works short days on the track and not the field, is well-groomed, and wins trophies.  How does all this relate to being one's own cat?  A cat-person is more like a Persian cat than an indoor cat is like an alley cat.  For further explanation, easy tips, and immediate results, see How To Be Your Own Cat.  (And yes, we really did go to all this trouble to justify a tie-in to our book.  That's how important it all is.)
Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
If you've seen the immortal Peter Sellers in Lolita, you'll know what what it looks like to put some "extra business" into a dance.  The caption reads, "Forgive me for this extra business."  From Pearson's, 1911.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
One of the only differences between a roulette table and a cathedral is where the croupier sits.  We recall that "Religion is a gamble" (Michael Demers, Becoming Adam) and "Gambling is a religion" (Jason Mandryk, Operation World), that "The casino is a church" (Donald Patrick Redheffer, Streams of Thought) and "The church is a gambling house" (Hiley H. Ward, Understanding Reality Religion), that "Faith is a gamble" (Lucian Phoenix-Wolf, The Spiritual Truth Series) and "Gambling requires faith" (Mike Wojniaj, "Listen to Your Heart").  
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Presumptive Conundrums (permalink)
"If AC are the same, and B is nowhere, unless he is in the other place, wouldn't this style of features make a lovely design for a bronze knocker?"  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1872.
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Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
The piano playing duck (not shown).  Date uncertain.
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
You've heard of remaining calm in the midst of turmoil.  Here's what it looks like, courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum archives.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From c. 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Alter Ejusdem by James Archibald Sidey, 1877.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Young Nimrods in North America by Thomas Wallace Knox, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Doris and St. Uncus."  From Half-Past Bedtime by H. H. Bashford, 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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)

"The standing stones of Lundin," from The Shores of Fife by William Ballingall, 1872.

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

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August 15, 2016

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)

We're glad to have spotted this review of our Young Wizard's Hexopedia:
5 stars.  "Whether it be mage or sage, philology or philosophy, Craig Conley's Hexopedia is an splendid source for the young scholar beginning an interest in the intricacies of the language arts or the aspiring practitioner attracted to the allure of the magic arts, and a recommended reference for the most eclectic collection of sorcerer and student alike. Hexopedia is an excellent example of the dynamic of the power of language through spells, spelling, speech and sound interacting with thought-provoking imagery to intrigue the imagination, mystify the mind, and guarantee to make this wonderful work one to re-read." —Joshua Sprouse
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Life, as I've often remarked, is an elevator."  The speaker doesn't so much mean that life has its ups and downs but rather that one gets smacked into reverse repeatedly ("biff!" and "boomp!").  His companion replies that most well-conducted elevators have somebody inside to keep them "from biffing and boomping up and down to no purpose."  The answer: "There ain't in life.  Or if there is, he's drunk most of the time.  Or else crazy."  (From Pearson's, 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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The Right Word (permalink)
A whole constellation of asterisks from "The Land of the Whopper" by Elizabeth Frazer, in The Saturday Evening Post, 1920.
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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)
"Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus.  [Julius Caesar.]"  From Hunter College's Wistarion yearbook, 1931.

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

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
This vintage headline is so old-Hollywood — once a dreamboat makes his entrance, a happy ending is inevitable.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to bring on the night.

Times Square, New York City
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From c. 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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Strange Dreams (permalink)
From A Child's Dream of a Star by Charles Dickens, 1871.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting, 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.]
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
From Christian Similitudes by John Warner Barber, 1866.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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)
From Goaks and Tears by M. Quad, 1875.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From La Normandie Romanesque et Merveilleuse by Amélie Bosquet, 1845.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 14, 2016

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
"Another belated shot resounded."  From Pearson's, 1911.
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Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
"Talk about falling up.  But that's for another book" (Star Jones, You Have to Stand for Something, Or You'll Fall for Anything).

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's the serpentine head of a homunculus, from an 1865 issue of Fun magazine.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The great lozenge-maker."  From Punch, 1858.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a "Chicken Inspector" quiz from 1914.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
"Adrian Rathbun and John Gzowski comparing socks in Deseronto, Ontario, 1909."
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"My eyes — here's the owl man," 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
From the Illinois Agricultural Association Record, 1923.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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