CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
September 30, 2016

Strange Dreams (permalink)
From Die Muskete, 1910.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Ghostesses!"  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)
Humpty Dumpty didn't just sit on a wall, as we see in this Croatian postcard, 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)
Kellogg, Idaho, "the town which was discovered by a jackass -- and which is inhabited by its descendants."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology "Bulletin," 1938.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 turn on the night.

The Empire State Building and Television Tower, mid-town Manhatten, New York City
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A locomotive sustained by cotton thread, 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)
The Telemark canal in Dalen, Norway, ca. 1960.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
They can't all be Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth.  Here's Rattan Singh's Fountain of Water.  From Lahore by Syad Muhammad Latif, 1892.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a portrait of Los Angeles, California, from The Florists' Review, 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 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 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 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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September 29, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a haunted painting from The Eve of St. Mark, Or The Mysterious Spectre by Sarah Wilkinson, 1820.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

"It may surprise you ... how amazing it was to watch the sepia tones of Kansas become the Technicolor vistas of Oz for the first time!" —A First Step into a Much Larger World

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"I rise to do an unusual thing."  An illustration by George Hutchinson for The Idler, 1898.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to postmark this card in the mirror world.
From 1943.

Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Only a moment to spare."  From 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 "Titus the Gardener, or The Demon Gooseberry" by Charles Hooten, in The Illuminated Magazine, 1843.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
Good luck, from the late 1800s.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 scan by the Wellcome Library, London.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 My Fourth Tour in Western Australia by Albert Frederwick Calvert and illustrated by Walker Hodgson, 1897.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From 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.]
> 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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September 28, 2016

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)

The Library Shenanigans blog got the scoop on our latest collage project about “non-circulating” library books.  Most all of our pieces are set to appear in the future, but you can time travel with us and see them all here: http://www.oneletterwords.com/weblog/?c=NonCirculatingBooks&show=all

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This May Surprise You (permalink)
You knew the dove of peace could defuse a bomb, but did you know how?  From Die Muskete, 1909.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"It's not often that one's literary chickens come home to roost."  From Ghosts I Have Met and Some Others by John Kendrick Bangs, 1898.  Ghost poultry!  
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 the four seasons of bachelorhood: vinegar, pepper, salt, and mustard, 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)
"Unge Kunstneres Carneval" by Rudolf Krog, 1904.  Scanned by the Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
Undated photo by Mário Novais.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 ginger tonic promised to dispel the demons of dyspepsia, heartburn, cramps, and others.  The card is stamped "NOT PERFUMED."  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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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"Havfruer i sjøen ved soloppgang" by Fridtjof Nansen, ca. 1912.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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)
"Strolling down at midnight-tide / To the Embankment, paused to see / The two stone Sphinxes."  From The Outcast by Robert Williams Buchanan, 1891.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Staring at the Sun (permalink)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Contes De Fees, 1908.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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September 27, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's the just-out-of-bed look of 1905, from Die Muskete.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)

"It may surprise you that I'm not talking about some lofty, educational program on the History Channel or National Geographic." —5 Blind Spots

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Give of your brains" (Mark Stevens.)  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1887.  This will also be of interest: The Collected Lost Meanings of Christmas.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
By Einar Nerman, 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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Colorful Allusions (permalink)
Here's an example of how "steam cauldrons and fiery serpent flambeaux" in addition to "the happy effect of orange colored cloister lanterns" and "flaring gas and ruby steam cauldrons and torches on the tower" heighten the feeling of mystery in a courtyard at night.  From the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, 1917.  It's "a section of the Court of Abundance, showing the organ tower and Aitken fountain."
* 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 winner is "not conspicuously bruised."  From the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin, 1943.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
"Woman with a rabbit's head listening to a man with a dog's head playing a horn."  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)
"A woman with her hair dressed in an enormously high chignon looking at herself in a full-length mirror."  Coloured line block by Robé, c. 1909.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Adventures in the Wilderness by W. H. H. Murray, 1869.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Even a water witch can be a firebug, as we see in Superstitions Anciennes et Modernes, 1733.

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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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"If you were a waffle."  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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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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September 26, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Die Muskete, 1909.  This should also be of interest: How to Believe in Your Elf.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
You've heard of (and perhaps even seen) castles in the air, but did you know they're supported by dirigible airships?  From Die Muskete, 1909.
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The most dangerous words ever to be spoken: 'I do not believe in faeries.'" —Kate O'Hegarty, Mieradome
Here's our explanation of why those are the most dangerous words ever:
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Puzzles and Games (permalink)
"What an intriguing, fun, lovely book with Oddfellow's usual quirky, oblique poetic, metaphysic dry humour and bibliophillic joie de livre. " —Gary Barwin, author of Yiddish for Pirates
This Book is a Cactus turned out to be the most difficult project we've ever tackled.  We wanted to recreate the very first computer game we programmed, from back in the 1980s—the Tamagotchi precursor of a virtual flower—but this time in book form.  What we ended up with is a combination choose-your-own-adventure and puzzle book; it's a surrealistic virtual reality experience you hold in your hands, as the book is also a cactus that you attempt to keep alive.  A hybrid cactus-book.  Each page is like a square on a game board.  You make decisions and solve riddles, and your choices/answers lead to different squares.  Math puzzles, word puzzles, logic puzzles, and riddles appear at intervals within the fractal storyline.  
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

"It may surprise you at the amount of information that flows through Twitter as well as the relationships that are forged with those 140 characters." —The Everything Wedding Book

If you fled Twitter like we did, let's all just blame the evil "Commander," as portrayed by Saiki Shigeru in Kanpai Senshi After V.


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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1871.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a prediction of spy drones in the year 2000.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Illuminated Magazine, 1843.  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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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
Clive Bell suggested that "Art transports us from the world of man's activity to a world of aesthetic exaltation.  For a moment we are shut off from human interests; our anticipations and memories are arrested; we are lifted above the stream of life" (Art, 1914).  Our photo is courtesy of the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's the phantom of coughs, colds, and consumption, 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)
"Treat 'em rough.  Join the tanks."  By August William Hutaf, ca. 1918.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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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 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 Rübezahl Erzählungen by K. A. Müller, 1800.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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September 25, 2016

This May Surprise You (permalink)

"There are eight degrees between warm and cold." —Michael Paterniti, Love and Other Ways of Dying

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1887.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
"Strange folk riding on fish," from A Traveller's True Tale by Alfred J. Church and illustrated by C. O. Murray, 1880.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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)
Who says fortune tellers give vague predictions?  These postcards from the mid-1930s even show a photo of one's future spouse, and they're brutally honest (down to the monkey child one might be destined to raise).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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Staring at the Sun (permalink)
"I had to make my getaway between two suns.  There was no other horse nor time," said Billy the Kid (The West of Billy the Kid by Frederick Nolan).  Here's what a horse of two suns looks like, from Archiv für Physiologie, 1877.
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to change the ink.

Copley Square showing Hotel Westminster and Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts
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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)
A ghostly sighting from 1899, from the National Archives U.K.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 "spirit of Mooseluckmeguntic," from The Adventures of Six Young Men in the Wilds of Maine and Canada by Charles Asbury Stephens, 1884.  
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From More Mittens by Aunt Fanny, 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 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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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
From Tales of Fantasy, edited by Tudor Jenks, 1902.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"The sea is a cruel mistress. Yet again the sea has behaved unconscionably. It's time to address this terrible problem that is the sea." —Captain Neddie, from the hilarious BBC series Broken News
> read more from This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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September 24, 2016

Only Funny If ... (permalink)
Some gallows humor from Die Muskete, 1906.
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1887.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"For all you know — I may be dead!  Why don't you call me?"
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 for a different incarnation.

Zara, Viale Tommaseo
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
You've heard of those "starry apple orchards that bloomed perenially under the lime-light" (Willa Cather, Youth and the Bright Medusa).  Here's what a starry apple looks like, from the J. Van Lindley catalogue, 1899.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
Here's aviation pioneer Louise Thaden as painted by Edward Lester.
Click to see the photo that inspired the portrait.

Louise Thaden, painted by Edward Lester
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Don't hello at me. I'm not a telephone."  A card for the musical comedy "Cheek."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 selection of good luck charms used by soldiers during the First World War.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
Here's a jester as a snail, 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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
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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September 23, 2016

The Right Word (permalink)
Here's some maledicta from Hearst's Magazine, 1913.  How many can you decode?  We've translated them as follows:
The circle overlapping an asterisk, followed by three exclamation points, means "asshole."
The D with a period means "damn."
The lopsided M with its four strokes means the four-syllable "motherfucker."
The lopsided H with its long cross stroke is a very cross "Hell."
But what about the I and question mark?  We couldn't find a single list of swear words that included any beginning with I.  Yet the letter I is in itself a swear word.  "'I' is a curse: 'I' is the labeled 'I' of oppression and condemnation.  'I' feels itself superior to other 'I's" (Lily Splane, "Elegy for the 'I,'" Quantum Consciousness).
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A brownie throws all the crockery on the floor, from Once a Week, 1859.  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 Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1887.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
I dreamed a friend and I went fishing.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Does Traverse City look dry to you?"  From 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)
From The Illuminated Magazine, 1843.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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The Right Word (permalink)
As Selwyn Eagle has said, "Sometimes the most unlikely sources can be the most useful."  Also, we recall that "In a sense 'English' is a bit of a fiction.  There is no one English, no one monolithic entity with a fixed, unchanging set of linguistic features.  Rather, the label 'the English language' is a convenient shorthand for what is a remarkable assortment of different varieties" (Borjars & Burridge, Introducing English Grammar, 2013).

Correctly English in Hundred Days.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"St. Jacob[']s oil conquers pain."  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)
Here's a "Pluto Water" baseball spinner, ca. 1895.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
Dreamland in History by H. D. M. Spence, Dean of Gloucester, 1891.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Anybody feel a draft?"  From Illinois Agricultural Association Record, 1945.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 dragon discomfited."  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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a sketch sealed in a black envelope, encased in an ebonite box, and photographed in a darkened room.  It's a testament to how difficult it is to get one's art seen anymore.  From The Evolution of Forces by Gustave Le Bon, 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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September 22, 2016

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
A violin in the graveyard: a ghost from A Book of Ghosts by S. Baring-Gould, 1904.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From back when politicians were called on their broken promises, in Grip, 1884.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Non-Circulating Books (permalink)
Non-circulating book.  See our artist’s statement here: http://www.oneletterwords.com/weblog/?c=NonCirculatingBooks.  (Individual cards are available from Zazzle, and deep discount bulk orders of 10 or more are available from Vistaprint.)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here is revealed why we find so many pennies lying in the street.  They're sloshed.  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1880.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 tinted version.

Chicago Marshall Field Building
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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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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
If you love your margarine like you love being enveloped by steam from a train on a Norwegian fjord at dawn with your loved one, then Mustad's Margarin is apparently for you.  By Othar Holmboe, 1905.  Scanned by the Nasjonalbiblioteket
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 spider and the tiger," 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)
"Advertisement for the Antikamnia Chemical Company established around 1890.  Depicts the skull-headed company icon 'Funny Bones,' wearing glasses, attired in a suit, holding an 'AK' tablet in his hand, and shrugging.  Antikamnia (opposed to pain) was a toxic and addictive medicine often mixed with codeine and quinine.  Funny Bones was designed by pharmacist and doctor Louis Crucius."  
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 Rosa Lambert by George W. M. Reynolds, 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 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.]
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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)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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September 21, 2016

Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
"The newest thing in freak photgography: sitters posing for their portraits in sphinxes and a mummy-case, in Egypt.  Our illustration shows visitors to Egypt being photographed in model sphinxes and a mummy-case, in a desire to possess curious—if somewhat gruesome souvenirs of their wanderings by the Nile.  The mummy-case and the sphinxes are of cardboard, and, as may be seen, a hole is left for the face of the sitter."  From The Sketch, 1908.
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Rhetorical Answers, Questioned (permalink)
"There is a splendid statement in one of Herzog's films.  The main character asks himself a question and then says, Who will answer this answer?  Actually, there is no question, answers are all one ever answers.  To the answer already contained in a question (cross-examination, competition, plebiscite, etc.) one should respond with questions from another answer.  One should bring forth the order-word of the order-word.  In the order-word, life must answer the answer of death, not by fleeing, but by making flight act and create.  There are pass-words beneath order-words.  Words that pass, words that are components of passage, whereas order-words mark stoppages or organized, stratified compositions.  A single thing or word undoubtedly had this twofold nature: it is necessary to extract one from the other—to transform the compositions of order into components of passage."  —Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The best toast metaphor we've seen all week: "I'm not on your side—the buttered side.  I'm on the under side where there isn't any butter."  From Hearst's Magazine, 1912.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

"It may surprise you that equal amounts of sand and salt are fairly close in weight or mass." —The Mineral Book by David McQueen

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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to change the mood.

East Arcade and Memorial Court, Stanford University, California
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Illuminated Magazine, 1843.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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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Staring at the Sun (permalink)
"The eclipse of the sun" on Sept. 21, 1922, from The Queenslander.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The imp of the bubble wand touts business card cigars, 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)
"Seascape with upside down view," scanned by the Wellcome Library, London.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
"No more, thank you; I couldn't!"  From Camp and Studio, written and illustrated by Irving Montagu, 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 Contes Mauves de ma Mère-Grand, illustrated by Maurice Lalau, 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 Fortunate Days by Ethel Gate and illustrated by Vianna Knowlton, 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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September 20, 2016

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the film Mannequin, drawn by Dudley Hardy for The Sketch, 1903.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Suddenly he fell awry into the half-standing, half-lolling position of a puppet whose wires have been cut."  From Scribner's, 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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Yearbook Weirdness (permalink)
From Hunter College's Wistarion yearbook, 1921.  See How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

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

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The Right Word (permalink)
Here's the Bhutan word for "entering the mouth of one's own accord," just as these two are voluntarily stepping into a giant mouth at The Enchanted Forest in Oregon.
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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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The Right Word (permalink)
"The letter that I didn't write is here," altho' it's only a wish.  From 1911. 
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Yes Hubby I recognize your dear voice," from an ad for Wilson's Syrup of Tar, 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)
"A Blast Furnace" by Clive Gardiner, 1927.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 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.]
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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 Joyeuses Histoires et Images Drolatiques by Pierre L'Ébouriffé, 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)
An illustration from Rhyme and Reason by Lewis Carroll (1884).
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
* There is a vast world of reality into which science can no more enter than an elf can be Santa Claus.  We regret to observe that rather than face it, and confess its inability to measure it, science turns its back upon it.  Life is not always every-day life, and the insolvable mysteries are correlated not to formal rules but to spirit and inspiration.  Are bits of wisdom liable to dwarf the subject?  Indeed — and rightly!  James Howell described the ingredients of a good proverb to be "sense, shortness, and salt."  May Howell's cry resound through this present collection of maxims on believing in one's elf.

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September 19, 2016

Separated at Birth? (permalink)
Our custom widget that checks for duplicated images suggested this unlikely pairing.  Click each image for its source.
18539 32802
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
We're often asked how and where we find the unusual imagery we post.  This photo reveals all.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The Demon Fog has usurped the sky."  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1887.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to tint the scene.

Shooting the Chutes, Coney Island, New York
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Ernest Verebes.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
Arthur Edward Waite, Songs and Poems of Fairyland, 1888.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Colorful Allusions (permalink)
From c. 1890.
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Precursors (permalink)
"Dr. Snore" is a precursor to the "Dr. Dream" of the Thompson Twins song "Don't Mess with Doctor Dream."  From a vintage holiday card scanned by the Wellcome Library, London.  This will also be of interest: The Collected Lost Meanings of Christmas.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A mighty shout greeted the appearance of our effigy."  From Chums by Harleigh Severne, 1878.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here is revealed how to use divine light to burn things up.  Please use this knowledge wisely.  From L'Ame Amante de Son Dieu, Representée dans les Emblémes de Hermannus Hugo Sur ses Pieux Desirs, 1717.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 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 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)
"There came a sudden darkness over Achilles' eyes," from Achilles & Hector by Agnes Gale, 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 Curiosités Médico-Artistiques by Lucien Nass, 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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September 18, 2016

This May Surprise You (permalink)
There's disagreement about which drag queen first made the cover of a magazine, but here's Dan Leno way back in 1903.  Also, Dan Leno put the "y" in "hys" long before the "y" in "womyn," as we see in his autobiography of 1899.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Hidden by the eight pages which were to him as wonderful and ever new a daily occurrence as is dawn to worshippers of the sun."  From Scribner's, 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's a prophetess 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)
La Sousa Clown Band at Luna Park, 1909, scanned by the Seattle Municipal 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's a prediction of seagull fishing in the year 2000.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 are precursors to what Edward Abbey called "a feathered exclamation point" (Cactus Country, 1973).  From Archiv für Naturgeschichte, 1912.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
It's difficult to imagine any product advertised this way today.  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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Everybody's Doing This Now (permalink)
Photo by Leslie Jones, date uncertain.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Pekka, the reindeer dog" (for the Mirror) by Raymond Sheppard.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
"Mid-day occupation," from My Fourth Tour in Western Australia by Albert Frederwick Calvert and illustrated by Walker Hodgson, 1897.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"What species of fish is this?"  From Pinocchio, illustrated by Maria L. Kirk, 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 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 Street Railway Review, 1893.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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September 17, 2016

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the Tin Man of the Wizard of Oz (1900), from Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal (1887).
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The pace that kills," c. 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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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Click to paint the postcard.

Zara, Viale Tommaseo
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Illuminated Magazine, 1844.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
An autoharp puts lions to sleep, 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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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Some declare that the photographer is trying to imitate the painter, and the result is something between a photograph and a painting — a spurious art, neither photography nor painting. ... This means that everything that tends to make photography 'pictorial' is effected by painters' methods." —Dr. W. Warstat, "Photography and Painting," Photo-Era Magazine, 1916
Our illustration is a Portrait of King Olav V in the studio of painter Agnes Hiorth.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Songs of the Shining Way by Sarah Noble Ives, 1899.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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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)
"There was the door — in her hand the key."  From "The Door in the Book by Charles Barnard and illustrated by Mary A. Lathbury, 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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September 16, 2016

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"'You will think I am mad, but I know that the soul of my husband lives in that little beast, Koko.'  … Gregory had a feeling that they were both mad.  Two mad figures, and the monkey, with its brilliant eyes, in a room of shadows."  From Hearst's International, 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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The Right Word (permalink)
Here's the only instance of "jiggswiggered" we have found in print, from "The Sinfulness of Skippy" by Owen Johnson, in Hearst's International, 1922.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"It won't be so bad after all."  From The Sketch, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This May Surprise You (permalink)

"It may surprise you, but many students do not develop good study skills." —Child and Adolescent Development in Your Classroom

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Simple Answers (permalink)
"[A] really simple answer: 'Because you don't let me go deeper than that.'" —Hanna Brencher, If You Find This Letter
If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here are three blacks of good luck, staring at a field of green.  A detail of a postcard from c. 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)
"And peace on you too," from the Sam D. Heron collection of the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
"If our wives only knew the trouble we're in."  A card for the Harrison-Gourlay Company's humorous play "Skipped by the Light of the Moon."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
You've heard of putting the cart before the horse, but here's what it looks like.  From Beskrivelse over Finmarkens Lapper deres Tungemaal, 1767.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 sheepish question from Agricultural Societies Newsletter, 1989.
Some other sheepish questions:
"Is this thing on?" —Bill Morris, Saltwater Cowboys, 2004
"What do you think about it all?" —Darby Hauck, The Death Cry, 1917
"How is life?" —The Other Isreal newsletter, 1995
"But why not?" —Cora Jarrett, The Ginko Tree, 1935
"Will we get our money back if we leave?" —Meg Wolitzer, Surrender, Dorothy, 2010 [paraphrased]
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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 In a Car of Gold by P. L. Gray, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
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 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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September 15, 2016

How to Believe in Your Elf (permalink)
There's little difference between "myself" and one's "myth[ic]elf."  For instructions on how to believe in your elf, see How to Believe In Your Elf.  Our text clipping appears in Hunting, Shooting, and Fishing: A Sporting Miscellany, 1877.

* 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
You guessed it: the top image, of the diameter of the Sun as seen from both Mercury and Earth, lines up exactly with the Mandelbrot fractal.  The top image is from Celestial Scenery by Thomas Dick, 1838.
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Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: "A question for the Darwinians.  If nature develops limbs and faculties in response to the demand, why isn't a Dutch hound provided with feed amidships?" —Grip, 1891.
A: Ask again once the Darwinists account for that pesky organism that hasn't evolved for over 2 billion years (beyond desperately calling it the exception that proves the rule).  (And don't bring up the horseshoe crab's 450-million recess from evolution.)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"He taught me a thing of two about speeding that night."  From Scribner's, 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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Postcard Transformations (permalink)
"The names and the faces may change, but the game is still the same"
(W. A. Sabit, The Anatomy of Change, 2012).
Click to change just the face.

The names and the faces may change, but the game is still the same
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From the Jerome B. Rice & Co. seed catalog, 1899.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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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 the Zoological Society of London: "The python swallowing the boa at the zoological gardens."
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Here's how it works.  From Regula Emblematica Sancti Benedicti, 1780.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
Excalibur returns to the mere, from The Book of Romance by Andrew Lang, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
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 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)
From Mental Philosophy by Thomas Wirgman, 1838.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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September 14, 2016

Non-Circulating Books (permalink)
Non-circulating book.  See our artist’s statement here: http://www.oneletterwords.com/weblog/?c=NonCirculatingBooks.  (Individual cards are available from Zazzle, and deep discount bulk orders of 10 or more are available from Vistaprint.)
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
"You're nothing but a few chemicals!—Why worry about the general election?  You may 'go off' by spontaneous combustion."  From The Sketch, 1910.
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Precursors (permalink)

The Sphinx Thinx

 

Here's the earliest "sphinx/thinx" pun we've been able to dig up: ""The mysterious sphinx: who know what he thinx?"  From Grip, 1891.
But there have been some echoes along the way:
The reporters go up to the sphinx
And demand to know just what it thinx
     Of the Philippine Isles;
     But the sphinx only smiles
And replies: "That's a secret, by jinx!"
The Indianapolis News, 1900
That granite-faced dub called the Sphinx
Has missed many thousands of drinx,
     But equals, perhaps,
     A great many chaps,
In the number of thunks that he thinx!
Even the enigmatic old sphinx winx as he thinx of the most exhilarating of drinx.
The Capuchin Annual, 1949
The toffy head waiter with the face of a sphinx
These are a few of my least favorite thinx.
Bulletin with Newsweek, 1981
The Publisher mysterious enigmatic Sphinx.
The Editor in oracles of rejection thinx.
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Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
From Once a Week, 1863.
[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 on earth is that thing?"  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1887.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"We will turn Time's Glass — and then / Bind his Scythe in elation."  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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Livet paa Mars / Life on Mars" by Severin Heiberg Segelcke, 1904.  Scanned by the Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to 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)
"We must make the best of that which is, and must believe it best for the present, and accommodate ourselves to it" (Matthew Henry, An Exposition of the Old and New Testament, 1839).  (Photo courtesy of the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives.)
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A fear of cows, bovinophobia or taurophobia, is promised to be cured via Carter's Little Nerve Pills, 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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