CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Fine Line Between...
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Book of Whispers
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Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
August 31, 2018

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
We were delighted to spot our How to Be Your Own Cat in a wedding registry, between low-alcohol cocktail recipes and Grateful Dead lyrics, and beneath a "gun belt" of 20 bottles of herbal bitters.  Sounds about right.  Kit Kilmartin and Steven Cavagnet, may your union be blessed with nine lives.
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
After an editor's note of no fewer than 142 pages, the editor presents the book itself, saying (presumably with a straight face), "I offer no remarks on it."  From The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, 1824.
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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Wolfgang Stiller's unsettling human-faced matchstick exhibition.  From Lustige Blätter, 1917.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From L'Album Comique de la Famille, 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 L'Assiette au Beurre, 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 Judge, 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)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1902.   See How to Be Your Own Cat.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Der Orchideengarten, 1920.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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)
"Even when at the circus Willie was not happy."  From Harper's Young People, 1888.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Rire, 1910.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1935.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The old woman went out to ask the moon the way to the castle."  From Fairy Tales from the Far North by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, 1897.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Die Muskete, 1920.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"I have lived six hunded winters here, and no one hath told me of the Land of Youth."  From Old Norse Fairy Tales Gathered From the Swedish Folk by George Stephens and H. Cavallius, 1882.
How do 600 winters compare to our own age?  All is revealed in our video about how to use a haunted mirror to tell whether you're dreaming of awake.  Responding to this video, Jim writes: "Definitely by far your very best video yet... it's hysterical... it leaves you completely baffled at the end... posted it on Facebook."
Marja writes: "I can see this over and over and over.  Your story, the way you tell it, leads me away from all the ordinary things.  Love the non-ending.  Grace Jones might not be impressed.  I am.  Thank you."
J writes: "So entertaining! The 'lucid waking' premise is terrific, and I LOVE the concept of your appearing only in stained-glass lighting (and, of course, carrying the windows around!!). And then the way the hilarious recursiveness paradigm morphs into a salad bar, hahahaha! (Oh, and you're really rocking the fedora, by the way.) Bravo!!"
George writes: "What a f#$#%$g  treat this clip was!! Loved the sliding in and out of reality both in script and video. Great structure leading us in, adding the glitches that woke us up, creating the shock of a non-mirrored reflection except for the ?, and then diving into what that means and leaving us with a haunting last image. Brilliant!"
G writes: "Oh my! The visual and SFX in this are great! Loved the little echoes and jumps; timed perfectly. The mirror writing was unexpected and fun, and the ¿ definition was the perfect ending (complete with old school incremental zoom steps on your shocked face!). I love that you’re getting some good mileage out of the haunted mirror, and I enjoyed using it to reflect the window, which of course is symmetrical, so it nicely foreshadowed the ending.  Oh, and finally, the title of the video on YouTube is, of course, so up-to-date. I laughed out loud and how well, sadly, it fits into the moment.  Thanks, I enjoyed it!"
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 1931.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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)
From Lustige Blätter, 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)
From Le Journal Amusant, 1899.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

unearths some literary gems.

From The Dead Shall Be Raised, by George Bellairs:

***

He lived in the past and his memory in this respect was wide, precise and boring.

***

[Not quite a full-fledged silly name, imo, but a "slightly silly" one--along the lines of the Pythons' Slightly Silly political party.]

Mr. Benjamin Butterworth

***

Of the old firm of Butterworth, Coughey, Mills, Butterworth and Mills, Solicitors, only Mr. Simeon Mills survived. This was somewhat of a public relief, for previously, nobody had known which Butterworth was which in the firm's title and as for the other Mills, he might have been the invisible man; no-one ever knew or saw him.

***

[The residents of an insular village] spoke freely to each other, but answered "foreigners" in monosyllables, as though suspecting that any friendly gestures would result in the strangers taking the liberty of marrying into their families and removing their closely-guarded building-society deposits into alien communities.

***

She... grumbled that it wasn't long since the meter-man was there before.

"Yes. We're getting a bit ahead of ourselves at the gas-works," said Blades. "If we go on like this, we'll be meeting ourselves coming back!"

***

[Descriptions that compare people to eggs never get old for me.]

Enthroned among the rest of the customers sat a portly man, with a bald head, like an egg thrusting itself from a deep, stiff collar. He was the mortgagee of the premises and came regularly every day to eat two boiled eggs, which, in their white cups, looked like small replicas of him. Now and then, he would raise his eyes, which were like cloudy-grey poached eggs, from his plate and scan the place critically, as though putting the whole lot under the auctioneer's hammer then and there.

***

[Bonus: A reference to "flatulent Eccles cakes," which of course make me imagine an indignant reaction from the Goons (whom this book predates).]

> read more from Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
If you land a hand and realize it's just a baby's, or it's not in season, here are tips for throwing it back:
1. Don't wear it out by playing with it too much before you land it.
2. Leave it in the water and never touch it with dry hands.
3. Gently remove the hook so as to prevent crushing.
4. Cut the line if the hook won't come out.
5. Don't actually throw it back, as that may cause harm or even kill it.  If it is in shock from being caught, gently move it back and forth in the water to help the fingers to spread.
Our illustration is from Lustige Blätter, 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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What I Now Know (permalink)
"Knowing what I now know, he left out some crucial information of the events of that morning."
> read more from What I Now Know . . .
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August 30, 2018

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Perhaps Archie McPhee might revive this classic trend: gargoyle tongues and shaggy mustaches as anklets.  From Encyclopédie Méthodique, Recueil d'Antiquités, Deuxième Partie, 1804.  Courtesy of La Biblioteca Universitaria de Sevilla.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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What's In a Name (permalink)
You already knew "there's no i in team."  But did you ever notice the i in me?  The I In Me by Cynthia Cox, 2011.
> read more from What's In a Name . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 1915.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Krokodil, 1926.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Judge's Library, 1905.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Der Orchideengarten, 1920.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
Pigs doing everything.  From Fliegende Blätter, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From a bookplate found in Hieroglyphics by Arthur Machen, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Rire, 1910.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Old English Fairy Tales by Sabine Baring-Gould and illustrated by F. D. Bedford, 1895.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 1935.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"A fairy palace, with a fairy garden; inside the trolls dwell, working at their magic forges, making and making always things rare and strange." —Charles Kingsley
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The boy flying away in the moonlight."  From Autumn Leaves by Christie Crust, 1875.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 1908.   For a non-alcoholic window into the world of the wee folk, see 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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 1906.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Burelom, 1905.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Journal Amusant, 1898.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Fighting off the grim reaper with an umbrella.  From Satirikon, 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)
From Lustige Blätter, 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)
If I had a nickle for how many times she … "Often speaks of those years spent amongst the peasantry."  From The Idler, 1894.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 29, 2018

The Right Word (permalink)
A snore, done in by a slipper thrown at a nose, turns into a ghost and cries, "Ce-ce-guggle-glug!"  From Sayings and Doings in America by Costard Sly, 1834.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Reblog to wish this tree a viridescent spring.  From Lustige Blätter, 1915.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Judge's Library, 1895.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 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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Strange Dreams (permalink)
From The Emerald Wreath by Caviare, 1964.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Rire, 1910.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1935.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Kladderadatsch, 1935.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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)
Here is revealed the secret of how we get our very own books (see the list here) to look so fabulous.  From Jugend, 1929.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Then suddenly something came flopping down."  From Fairy Tales from the Far North by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, 1897.

[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Weird phantoms of the air."  From Popular Mechanics, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 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)
"The haunted bachelor."  From Welcome Guest, 1860.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Le Journal Amusant, 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)
"He alone knows where the fairies keep babies for sale."  From Over the Hookah by George Frank Lydston, 1896.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 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)
From L'Album Comique de la Famille, 1903.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 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)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 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)
"Love—the gateway to happiness or misery.  They did not understand why they were unhappy."  From The Judge, 1922.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From La Baïonnette, 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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August 28, 2018

Strange Dreams (permalink)

From the remarkable Caws-Elwitts:

Hilary dreamt that she had a dentist appointment in Skaneateles (a place we've never been in real life). While trying to find the office she ended up in a parking garage, where a security guard yelled at her for walking down the automotive ramp. But then they became fast friends, she met his whole family, and he politely corrected her pronunciation of "Skaneateles."

I dreamt that Edgar Allan Poe carried a small red volume of his poetry with him when he was a dinner guest. He was (in the dream) an expert on silver spoons, and he would sometimes absent-mindedly place one of the hosts' little spoons that he'd been examining inside his poetry book in the midst of conversation, and innocently walk off with it. There were known to be several real-life (in the dream) "mysteries" of missing spoons that had later been accounted for by scholars familiar with Poe's habits.

Hilary also dreamt:

1. She was walking around brainstorming a novel, carrying a "plagiarism bucket." This was an orange-colored receptacle into which she would toss each new idea (on a slip of paper on which she'd jotted it down); inside the bucket, the paper would turn a particular color, litmus-style, if she had inadvertently lifted that particular idea from a pre-existing work.

2. Someone (who was possibly Julian Barnes) was friends with both me and Hilary but for some reason insisted on socializing with us separately. So he would have lunch with me at a restaurant, after which I would leave and Hilary would take my place. JB (or whoever) would then eat a second lunch with Hilary.

If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Rollerblades have been traced back to 1819, but this illustration may spur you to consider an even earlier origin.  From Nebelspalter, 1958.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Lustige Blätter, 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)
Cascading elephants.  From Le Journal Amusant, 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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Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

unearths some literary gems.

From The Case of the Dangerous Dowager, by Erle Stanley Gardner:

***

"I've already been employed by some client whose interests are adverse to yours. If you don't tell me anything, you won't have anything to regret later on."

"Spoken like a gentleman," Duncan said.

"No," Mason corrected, "spoken like a lawyer."

> read more from Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Courrier Français, 1890.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From L'Album Comique de la Famille, 1903.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1921.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
From The Judge, 1922.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
By Roberto Valturio, 1532.  Courtesy of the Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
"Just look at that window!"  From Judge's Library, 1903.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Der Orchideengarten, 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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Strange Prayers for Strange Times (permalink)
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
INSTRUCTIONS: Play a tune on the sax.  From Kladderadatsch, 1931.

From Kladderadatsch, 1931
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
They grow on trees.  From New Adventures of Alice by John Rae, 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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Rire, 1899.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1935.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Kladderadatsch, 1937.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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)
"'Now you've cheated me,' said Death."  From Fairy Tales from the Far North by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, 1897.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 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)
From Krokodil, 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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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August 27, 2018

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to Henry from the comics.  From Lustige Blätter, 1917.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Sealing a book like this is crucial to two of the mind-bending experiments described in Machinarium Verbosus: A Curiosity Cabinet of Gadgets to Transform Any Book & Reader, To Be Sure.  From Zritel', 1905.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
You've heard of a story within a story.  From Satirikon, 1909.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
At first glance, we thought it was the old "stick of dynamite disguised as a cigar" gag, but in this case he's smoking a candle.  From Lustige Blätter, 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)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1921.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Why miss half the fun in life?  From The Judge, 1922.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Pomegranates and spaghetti.  From Kladderadatsch, 1926.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 La Broma: Órgana Política Liberala, 1881.  Courtesy of La Biblioteca Universitaria de Sevilla.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Fliegende Blätter, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Le Rire, 1910.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Beauty and the Beast by Gordon Frederick Browne, 1887.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Ulk, 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)
From Jugend, 1929.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
Sea troll by Theodor Kittelsen, 1887.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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)
From Fairy Dreams by Jane Goodwin Austin, 1859.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Jugend, 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)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1902.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Krokodil, 1957.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Your Ship Will Come In (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 1907.
* Our printed collection of vintage nautical postcards is entitled Your Ship Will Come In and is available from Amazon.com.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Journal Amusant, 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)
From L'Album Comique de la Famille, 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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August 26, 2018

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)

Revealed:
The Secrets to
the Spontaneous Expansion
of One's Quivering Entangled Vibrations

 

[For Clint Marsh.]

In 1929, the occult Welsh novelist John Cowper Powys, who wrote his magnum opus on Myrddin/Merlin (Porius), revealed his mystical secrets for the spontaneous expansion of one's quivering entangled vibrations.  We say "revealed," but these secrets are actually hidden and dispersed within the novel Wolf Solent.  For the first time, the varied elements of the technique are here coalesced and adapted for present-time adventurous spirits who wish to direct their own inner lives in their own peculiar fashions.

This technology is best practiced in the countryside, leisurely, from the passenger seat of a moving automobile, train, bus, or mountainside gondola.

Preliminarily (root word limen, "threshold"), stare through the open window and allow the passing telephone poles or trees to induce a mild hypnotic state.  Allow yourself to feel indulged by the peculiar pleasure in this luxury of simply taking in the environs.

The first step, when you're ready, is to imagine yourself to be a prehistoric giant running alongside your vehicle with effortless ease.  Leap over hedges, ditches, lanes, streams or ponds.  Let the noisy mechanical vehicle be deftly rivaled by the silent, natural-born speed of your giant.

Second, watch this other self, this leaping giant, with "the positive satisfaction of a hooded snake," as Powys put it, "thrusting out a flickering forked tongue" from coils that shimmer in the sun.

Third, notice that your real self is neither the giant nor the snake but rather that tree over there, "still in the rearward of its leafy companions," whose hushed grey branches throw such contorted shadows.

If you happen to see a cow eating grass in a churchyard, watch it for a quarter of a minute as it gathers to itself "such an inviolable placidity" that its feet seem "planted in a green pool of quietness" older than life itself.

If you happen to see a church tower, wonder whether the religions of the world are "nothing but so many creaking and splashing barges," whereon the souls of humanity ferry themselves over "lakes of primal silence," disturbing the swaying water lilies that grow there and frightening away the timid waterfowl.

If you happen to notice that a bluebottle fly is your traveling companion, fix your gaze upon it as it cleans its legs and wonder whether from church tower to church tower there might be sent, on "one gusty November night, a long-drawn melancholy cry, a cry heard only by dogs and horses and geese and village-idiots, the real death-cry of a god—dead at last of extreme old age!"

Whatever you happen to see, draw into your lungs the lovely breathings from damp mosses, cold primroses, hazel wood, or whatever foliages in question, breathings that seem to float up and down valleys on airy journeys of their own.  

And then begin the practice of "sinking into the soul," a device that supplies one with the secret substratum of one's whole life.  This is accomplished by summoning-up to the surface of your mind a subconscious magnetic power from your early days, from that time when you watched the glitter of the sun or moon on the waters—a power that seems prepared to answer such a summons.  Allow a bit of arrogance, the idea that you are taking part in some occult cosmic struggle, between what you like to think of as "good" and "evil" in those remote depths.  See the magnetic impulses as resembling great vegetable leaves over a still pool of blue-green water, "leaves nourished by hushed noons," as Powys put it, "by liquid, transparent nights, by all the movements of the elements—but making some inexplicable difference, merely by their spontaneous expansion, to the great hidden struggle always going on in Nature between the good and the evil forces."  Let the worries of daily life become faintly-limned images in a mirror.  Let the true reality exist in your mind, "in these hushed, expanding leaves—in this secret vegetation—the roots of whose being hid[e] themselves beneath the dark waters" of your consciousness.

When you're ready, feel your body in that water, like the body of a tree or fish or animal.  Feel your hands and knees "like branches or paws or fins."  Notice that floating around your body is a thought, "'I am I' against the world."  Let this "I am I" include a new purpose and include your will toward this new purpose.  Contemplate Powys' contention that there is no limit to the power of the will as long as it is used for two purposes only: to forget and to enjoy.  "The stream of life is made of little things. … To forget the disgusting ones and fill yourself with the lovely ones, that's the secret."

When you're ready, look above the surface of the pool, over the high tops of the trees, until your gaze loses itself in the blue sky.  "Millions of miles of blue sky," Powys said; "and beyond that, millions of miles of sky that could scarcely be called blue or any other colour—pure unalloyed emptiness, stretching outwards" from where you sit, "to no conceivable boundary or end!"

And, as you exhale into that vastness, say aloud, "Not dead yet!"  And then recite this passage from Wolf Solent: "Good is stronger than Evil, if you take it on its simplest terms and set yourself to forget the horror!  It's mad to refuse to be happy because there's a poison in the world that bites into every nerve.  After all, it's short enough!  I know very well that Chance could set me screaming like a wounded baboon — every jot of philosophy gone!  Well, until that happens, I must endure what I have to endure!"

---

See John Cowper Powy's Wolf Solent (Simon and Schuster, 1929) and Janina Nordius' "I Am Myself Alone": Solitude and Transcendence in John Cowper Powys (Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1997).

---

—Craig Conley is author of HarperCollins’ One-Letter Words: A Dictionary, Weiser Books’ Magic Words: A Dictionary, and The Young Wizard's Hexopedia.  His more arcane publications include A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound, a guide toSeance Parlor Feng Shui, and a manual on The Care & Feeding of a Spirit Board.  He is co-author of New Star Books’ Franzlations: The Imaginary Kafka Parables.  His work has been profiled in the New York Times, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News, Publishers Weekly, The Associated Press, and dozens of others.

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 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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Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

unearths some literary gems.

From The Blatchington Tangle, by G. D. H. and Margaret Cole:

*** 

...a nervous-looking pale woman of about thirty-five, who was addressed as Miss Winter, but commonly without result.

***

He had a wild idea of trying to pump Wicks Ellis; but how could one pump a mechanism which emitted a perfectly steady stream without any pumping at all?

***

[P.S. The Coles are now (counting them as one!) the fourth author in whose work I've encountered a bandbox in the past couple of months--having never, as far as I can recollect, encountered the word prior to that.]

[Also: This is the second book I've recently read (not by the same authors) in which the surname Porteous appears.]

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 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 Le Journal Amusant, 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 May Surprise You (permalink)
You've heard of the "top of the morning," but did you know that the last cubic inch of it sits upon a crest of ether?  From Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake.
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
From La Baïonnette, 1916.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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 Judge's Library, 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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This May Surprise You (permalink)
A hat made entirely of candy.  From Illustrated World, 1920.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Swinton's Book of Tales, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Rire, 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 Fairy Tales of the Slav Peasants and Herdsmen by Alexander Chodźko, 1896.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 1937.
   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(   ,(
`-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `-' `
"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 Jugend, 1929.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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)
From Plays for Poem-Mimes by Alfred Kreymborg, 1918.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"'This is a case which can only be settled on the spot itself, my dear dragon,' said the fox."  From Fairy Tales from the Far North by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, 1897.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 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 Fliegende Blätter, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 L'Assiette au Beurre, 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 Krokodil, 1957.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 25, 2018

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
An ardent (from the Latin root "to burn") collector of our books received a strangely warm package in the mail.  He said that by the time he dropped it, "the package had gotten really hot and sort of burst open on its own and was emitting a bright creepy light."  Indeed, this is not unheard of when How to Believe in Your ElfMagic Archetypes: The Art Behind The Science Of Conjuring, and Puzzling Portmeirion: An Unconventional Guide to a Curious Destination come into close contact and are also inverted (the collector lives Down Under, you see, where everything is upside-down).  "I was guessing that there are either some pretty powerful secrets in Magic Archetypes," the collector wrote, "or perhaps these sinister books of yours really are forbidden in Australia."
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
You've heard of streets paved with gold, but there are also bridges supported by gold girders.  From Lustige Blätter, 1915.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The light of prophecy, from Rightly Dividing the Word by Clarence Larkin, 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 Kladderadatsch, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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)
Vikings sailing up the river to Paris.  From Barbarian and Noble by Marion Florence Lansing, 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)
The feast of the Yokai.  From Tales of the Samurai, Oguri Hangwan Ichidaiki by James S. De Benneville, 1915.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Rire, 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)
"He said farewell to the sky country and let himself down to earth—by one of his own strands of yarn."  From Canadian Fairy Tales by Cyrus MacMillan, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1934.

*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 1929.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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)
"Fog-bow among the mountains."  From The Dew-Drop and the Mist by Charles Tomlinson, 1847.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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)
"Pulled a feather out of farmer Weatherbeard's head."  From Fairy Tales from the Far North by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, 1897.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 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)
From Kladderadatsch, 1931.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 L'Assiette au Beurre, 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)
"With the Blue above, and the Blue below."  From Quips and Cranks by Thomas Hood, 1861.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 1906.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1921.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Krokodil, 1926.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Le Journal Amusant, 1898.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Judge's Library, 1895.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 24, 2018

Precursors (permalink)
At first glance, we thought these were ancestors of the Sea Monkeys.  From Lustige Blätter, 1917.
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
When the occasional hater leaves us a bad review of one of our books or other creations, we're left seeing stars — literally!  We were recently given "two stars" by someone we've never heard of, for the extraordinary non-gimmicked magical card deck we created for Las Vegas headliners who seek to leave people with genuine wonderment.  (You can read about the deck here.)  At first those two stars left us astonished.  Then we realized: those two stars are "Azha Al Naam," meaning "Ostrich Nests."  There are dual luminaries in the legs of Sagittarius, one of which the Arabic astronomers of old said was an ostrich going to water, and the other an ostrich returning from the water.  The neighboring two stars are the ostriches' nests.  This constellation is described in the nearly forgotten book Urania: Or, a Compleat View of the Heavens (1754).  So, yes — our remarkable card deck is indeed a cosmic ostrich nest.  But we didn't tell that to our critic, figuring that if she didn't have eyes to see the self-expanding wisdom of the cards, how could she discern ancient ostrich nests in the heavens?  Her third eye perhaps sensed those glimmers, but had she been consciously aware of them, she'd have then seen more stars in a grander constellation.  Instead, realizing that our critic was admitting to be cut off from deep intuitive understanding, we gave her a wish by way of E. E. Cummings: "Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
Previously, in a review of our Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound, we identified a single star as the one Sappho called "the fairest of all the stars."
If you'd like help identifying the constellations of your own product reviews, let us know!

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What I Now Know (permalink)
"Whatever I may suffer, I think it a cheap purchase to know what I now know by this means."
A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanors From the Earliest Period to the Year 1783
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Strange Dreams (permalink)
A dream of living in a house made of cereal while cream rains down and collapses the walls.  From The Judge, 1912.
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Kladderadatsch, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Fliegende Blätter, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 look into the future."  From A Journey in Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor, 1894.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Rire, 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 Dutch Fairy Tales for Young Folks by William Elliot Griffis, 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)
"The woman was raking the fire with her nose, it was so long."  From Fairy Tales from the Far North by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, 1897.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The shooting stars."  From Beyond the Mountain by Sarah Stokes Halkett and illustrated by Katharine Pyle, 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 Die Muskete, 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 Judge's Library, 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 Le Journal Amusant, 1933.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan (permalink)

Jonathan Caws-Elwitt

unearths some literary gems.

From The Mummy Case, by Dermot Morrah:

***

[Nonsense dept.]

"Mutton!" replied Considine briefly.

***

[Said of a character with a particularly off-putting manner.]

"He'd have put an oyster's back up."

***

[Tweedledum/dee dept.]

It seemed the twins always spoke alternately, and hence a question addressed to the one was generally answered by the other.

***

"We've got to catch the Laconic from Southampton."

[N.B. This is a different author from the one who gave us the S.S. Pedantic etc. previously!]

[P.S. "Funny fictitious ship names are the new funny fictitious musical-comedy titles"?]

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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 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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I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Esoteric students everywhere understand that California is one of the occult eyes of the world, because it still retains the magnetism of prehistoric times, never having been visited by the ice ages or flood, and only in recent geological reckoning being partially purified by fire.  Its Sancrit name is Kali (time) and purna (fulfillment)."  From Yermah the Dorado by Frona Eunice Wait, 1897.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Le Journal Amusant, 1898.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 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 Le Journal Amusant, 1896.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
As opposed to running with them: promenading with scissors.  From Les Hommes du Jour, 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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August 23, 2018

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
We're deilghted that the latest review of our Magic Words: A Dictionary calls the book a "critter"!  This is a Retroactive Lifetime Goal!*  "This critter will definitely expand your vocabulary and repertoire."  Thanks, Amazon Hall of Fame reviewer Bernie (Xyzzy)!
Our illustration is from Kosa, 1906.
*The phrase "retroactive lifetime goal" is used with the kind permission of Jonathan Caws-Elwitt.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1931.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Kladderadatsch, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Le Rire, 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 Indian Fairy Tales by Mary Hazelton Blanchard Wade, 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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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
> read more from Yesterday's Weather . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 1929.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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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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 Jugend, 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)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1928.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Le Journal Amusant, 1931.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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)
Caressed by a porcelain hand.  From Lustige Blätter, 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)
Best skull-decorated tree we've seen all week.  From Burelom, 1905.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Reblog if you would test drive a dragon car.  From Le Journal Amusant, 1898.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Precursors (permalink)
 Here's why you shouldn't get big-headed when you discover How to Be Your Own Cat.  From Lustige Blätter, 1908. 
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 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)
The ghosts of old dances.  From The Judge, 1912.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Der Orchideengarten, 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)
Reblog if everyone outside seems to be yelling "No!" and you're just trying to keep a positive attitude and get some rest, but a bear wakes you up just the same.  From Nebelspalter, 1885.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
You've heard of "diplomatic channels," but did you know that it's national mascots who deliver communiqués?  From Lustige Blätter, 1915.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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August 22, 2018

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
It's been said that animal attacks can take many forms.  From Nebelspalter, 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)
The only way for Cupid to rest is upon a hammock of roses held by monkeys.  From Satirikon, 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 Lustige Blätter, 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)
A web foot for a swimming rooster.  From The Judge, 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 L'Assiette au Beurre, 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 Fliegende Blätter, 1931.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Kladderadatsch, 1928.
If you've ever sensed something in the darkness, please check out my YouTube channel and subscribe!
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Le Rire, 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 Fliegende Blätter, 1935.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Kladderadatsch, 1936.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let 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 Jugend, 1929.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Yesterday's Weather (permalink)
"In memory of a day when the west wind and the rainbow met."  From the dedication in Keynotes by George Egerton, 1893.
*Inspired by the world's only accurate meteorological report, "Yesterday's Weather," as seen on Check It Out.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"The exact shape of a bright black heart."  From The Flint Heart by Eden Phillpotts, 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 Jugend, 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 L'Assiette au Beurre, 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 Krokodil, 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.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"I fled like a madman from the accursed house."  From The Strand, 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 Le Journal Amusant, 1931.  See Seance Parlor Feng Shui.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Shoemaker's Apron, A Second Book of Czechoslovak Fairy Tales and Folk Tales by Parker Fillmore and illustrated by Jan Matulka, 1920.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Lustige Blätter, 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 Le Courrier Français, 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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August 21, 2018

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

For Mystics and Skeptics Alike:
Real Tools for Disenchanting
Our Ghost-Ridden Existence

 

Whether or not we define ghosts as living memories that share the circulations of our bodies (though why not?), we are all of us, no matter how skeptical or credulous, haunted.  We are perhaps more haunted and overburdened by ghosts than we care or dare to face.  But there are physical tools, not merely placebos or talismans, not devices of the imagination, that verifiably repel ghosts, disenchanting us from oppressive hauntings.  Advertisers and major corporations employ such tools to magnetically draw clients, dispelling the old ghosts so as to clear the way for new charms and jingle-borne incantations.  Yet anyone can wield these tools to battle restless nights with ever-greater peace of mind.
In 1901, Alfred Noyes offered evidence that we are all haunted people, mystics and skeptics alike.  His substantiations are so compelling that we can't resist quoting a few of them.  He said that all of us haunted folk have heard strange things in music, in the wind, and in the dead stillness of the night.  "It may be that all the great sages, the great world-poets, Aeschylus, Job, Isaiah, Dante, Shakespeare, have been haunted men; for they, too, tell us what they heard in music, in the wind, in the dead stillness of the night, in the revolving years; and they, too, seem often strangely and bitterly eager to cast away their memories and their delusions."  Noyes noted that we all are poets nowadays, seeing "a thousand million apparitions, woven from such stuff as dreams are made of, walking the earth openly at noontide; surely we are all haunted."  Some of us, he explained, "are haunted by the sound of one set slow bell, tolling, a great way off, in the spiritual forests that beset all pilgrim souls."  Others of us "struggle in the shadowy places of despair with the clutching white fingers of a decayed ancestry, the ghosts of sins that are visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation."  Still others are "haunted by the homeless cry of the sea, the cry that is like the voice upon the wintry mountains uttering the old Promethean moan of man.  Night and day that cry goes up to heaven so long as the universal sea breaks itself against the iron shores of time."  Noyes grants that some of us "are only haunted at certain times and seasons, or at the performance of certain rites."  We'll come back to that shortly.  ("The Romance of Christmas," Literature: Christmas Supplement, Dec. 7, 1901.)
Looked at another albeit more horrific way, we are all haunted because "the dead are all around us, in substance and in spirit," as Brian Stableford proves.  "Every breath we take draws in carbon atoms that were once incorporated into the bodies of other men; with every mouthful of food we engulf the remains of our ancestors.  As we devour them they devour us, fueling the slow fire of life—the fire whose ashes are absorbed, in the end, into the earth and her fruits, or lost on the wings of the wind.  Our inescapable fate is to be eaten and breathed in our turn."  Stableford adds that "Once we are conscious of the everpresence of the dead we can easily feel their nearness.  To see them, and to hear their voices, is only a little more difficult."  (The Haunted Bookshop and Other Apparitions, 2007).
So, if we're all haunted and all eager to cast away our ghostliest memories and delusions, what technologies are available to us?  Indeed, there's an entire doctor's bag full of tools.  It's worth mentioning that a "doctor's bag" is appropriate, since ghosts and gauzes seem inseparable.  The poet-novelist Gary Barwin, in a work-in-progress, explains that ghosts are associated with gauze because memories are living wounds, and haunting ghosts are symbiotic dressings to those wounds.  First, Barwin notes that "The remembering mind [is] a kind of ghost, drifting, no longer bound by time or gravity, as if twilight or reality had gathered into a cloud."  Barwin imagines a ghost returning to the place where it once lived: "That place would seem a ghost to that ghost.  Nothing the same.  Everything haunted.  As if seen through gauze.  Of course it would seem that way: it’d be seen through a ghost.  But gauze is apt, for a ghost’s past is a wound and the ghost is a dressing, a consolation, instead of us returning with no veil, the past in full colour."  Barwin notes that though a haunting may be unsettling, it does not excoriate (in the medical sense of a stuck bandage removing part of the skin) in the way that imaginative reliving does.  He suggests that the gauze of a haunting memory is more akin to a skin graft than a bandage, as it "shares a circulation with the body, with the lived life, with the present."  ("Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted," an excerpt from a novel-in-progress, 2018.)
Yes, we need a doctor's bag of tools, and such tools are revealed by Tim Powers in Alternate Routes (2018).  Though Powers' book is presented as fiction, we're reminded by E. M. Forster that "fiction is truer than history, because it goes beyond the evidence, and each of us knows from his own experience that there is something beyond the evidence" (Aspects of the Novel, 1927).  Let's look at each tool in turn and explore why each is obviously valid and crucial to bring into play.
Mathematics.  Recite the multiplication tables or even simple addition in a loud voice to repel ghosts.  As Tim Powers notes, "Math is deterministic, and ghosts are an effect of possibility extended beyond reason."  You might recall that since ancient times in Japan, the mantras of Shinto meditation have involved reciting numbers in order.  Similarly, a Catholic's rosary beads might be compared to an abacus.  In both religious systems, counting is used to engender peace of mind.  Mathematics dispels the ghosts of irrationality.  If a ghost approaches, Powers suggests saying this: "Six and six is twelve, squared is a hundred-and-forty-four, squared is twenty-thosand-seven-hundred-and-thirty-six!"  If that isn't immediately effective, say, "One from one is nothing.  Don't take my word for it, do the math.  Nothing."  Though Powers doesn't mention it, another mathematically-based ghost-neutralizing tool is Feng Shui's bagua, festooned with eight trigram figures from the iChing (having binary values).  If mathematics is not your forte, reciting metered verse will be efficacious.
The uncanny valley.  Mannequins, waxworks, robots, CGI characters -- when artificial faces look too realistic, when they seem genuinely human but you can sense that they're not, the creepy feeling is called the "uncanny valley."  Ghosts are repelled by the contradiction.  Powers doesn't mention the obvious, that advertisers and retail stores bank on this phenomenon.  When you approach a clothing store's display mannequin, you're meant to associate the sudden feeling of inner peace with the need to purchase those clothes.  But it's not the clothes that do the trick -- it's the mannequin.  You'll apprehend all the other ways this technique is used in sales; it's why the models on magazine covers are airbrushed into oblivion; it's why Disneyland (brimming with uncannily lifelike animatronics) is called "the happiest place on earth."  Wear a necklace or carry a keyring featuring a lifelike figurine.  Put stickers on your car or bicycle or skateboard that sport realistic but artificial faces.  Collect mannequin heads as bookends.
Spirit level stars.  Powers suggests using a hot glue gun to arrange eight spirit levels (also known as bubble levels, the sealed glass tubes partially filled with liquid that reveal whether a surface is plumb) like spokes on a wheel, upon a circle of cardboard.  More than a talisman, the confusing readings of the levels will induce a negating z-axis spin in an attentive ghost.  You may wear a spirit level star as a necklace.  Powers says that if you are approached by a ghost, hold up the star and ask, "Why are you tilting?"  Again, a tool with a similar purpose is Feng Shui's octagon-framed concave bagua mirror, which warps and thereby neutralizes poisonous energies from one's home.
Fixed compass.  A pocket compass, equipped with a magnet on the back, will have its needle in a fixed position.  "Swing the compass around in a circle," Powers suggests, "and the apparent shifting of north might induce a terminal y-axis spin in a ghost."
Personal aspects.  Change personal aspects that ghosts of your past might recognize.  Powers recommends parting your hair on the other side or, if you aren't bald, shaving it off.  Reinvent your fashion sense, especially with used/vintage clothes.  Alter your jewelry, your scents.  Wear a watch on the other wrist.  While eating, teach yourself to hold cutlery in your non-dominant hand.  Change your shoes regularly. Wear your clothes inside out and/or backwards.  Hop on one foot whenever possible.  The point of all these techniques will be fairly obvious -- by getting out of your habits, you can escape cul-de-sacs of life in which ghosts accumulate.  Hopping on one foot may sound silly, until one recalls the hops, skips, and jumps of carefree childhood; children at play instinctively perform rituals that dispel ghosts.  Backwards clothing may sound silly, too, but recall that Chris Kelly of the hip-hop band Kris Kross wore his pants back-to-front every day from 1991 until his sudden death in 2013.  He revealed in an interview, "Even if I put on a suit, I put my suit pants on backwards.  It’s just a way of life for me."  It seems that celebrities and personal demons go hand in hand.
Temporal anomalies.  Sporting the wrong time, Powers says, is good for confusing ghosts.  Set your watch, computer, phone, and household clocks to different time zones.  This technique also happens to be good for keeping you alert, as you'll need to calculate the correct time with every glance at a clock face.  Yet, just because it might be happy hour in France, don't imbibe.  (See next item.)
Teetotaling.  Ghosts tend to miss alcohol and are drawn to the smell of it.  That's why Powers cautions one to avoid all liquor.  You know about alcoholics who fall into the "sad drunk" cliché, but consider whether it might not be the alcohol that's the problem as much as the ghosts drawn to that alcohol.  So many miserable drunks are overwhelmed by spirits of another sort.
Alkalinity.  Because ghosts are compatible with alkaline bloodstreams, Powers suggests, an acidic diet is recommended: coffee, roasted nuts, blueberries, prunes, pickles, chocolate.  This insight would appear to be rather little-known.  Yet on a microscopic level, there is a connection between alkaline blood and transparent cellular "ghosts" (that's the scientific term, used by hematologists).  Presumably, as in the microcosm, so in the macrocosm.
Garden decorations.  We've all seen and presumably visited peaceful gardens.  Envision one that you particularly liked.  Did it happen to feature a little statue (like a gnome or a saint or nature deity), perhaps a pinwheel or other wind-driven spinning object, a reflective sphere, or dangling prisms that cast rainbows?  Powers identifies such objects as spirit distractors, protecting the garden from unwanted hauntings.  Tools like these have been known for centuries upon centuries to dispel dark energies; they are vital components of the sense of peace that the garden engenders.  Peacefulness doesn't merely happen of its own accord.  Indeed, an unequipped garden can feel quite ominous, unwelcoming, or otherwise disconcerting.
Headed metronomes.  Powers recommends using metronomes affixed with heads as ghost detectors and traps.  The head should be of an organic material (for example, bone, wood, or even a pine cone) and should be painted with a human face.  Fatigued spirits, inhabiting the head so as to rest, will find themselves trapped and will cause the metronome to tick back and forth, thereby alerting you of their capture.  Though Powers doesn't refer to it, in the traditional folkways of Japan, a different sort of headed doll is employed.  The "teru teru bozu" ("shine shine monk") is a handmade doll constructed of white paper or cloth that is hung on a string by a window.  The doll is inhabited by a wandering spirit, and a chant is spoken, essentially a contract: if the "monk" ensures good weather, it will be allowed to remain and will be soaked with alcohol as a reward, but if the weather turns foul, its head will be cut off as punishment.
Two radios.  Play two radios simultaneously, each tuned to the same station.  Powers notes that any desynchronization of the audio will be instantly noticeable and will alert a disturbance in the field.  If you play digital music on a laptop through your stereo system's speakers, set your music player to also play through your laptop's speakers.  There will be times when the audio in one set of speakers begins to pop, cut out intermittently, or silence altogether, and that's your early warning to be on your guard.
Artificial trees.  As they abhor mannequins, ghosts abhor the contradiction of artificial evergreens.  Powers mentions this in passing, but we can extrapolate from that a useful tool: install a year-round aluminum ornament tree in your living space.  A great many people who celebrate Christmas avoid artificial trees as archetypes of soullessness, as not only poor substitutes for the original concept but also as perversions of tradition, because the inorganic aluminum is felt to lack a "spiritual content" and therefore reflects an environment of alienation (George Nash, Old Houses, 1980).  An organic ornament tree draws spirits to it, which is why the age-old Christmas ritual creates an atmosphere of homecoming, gathering as it does the ghosts of lost loved ones.  Such spiritual homecomings, of course, are also why so many people find Christmas a melancholic or even depressing time.  Importantly, in his essay on "The Romance of Christmas," Noyes wrote that between the moonlight and fire in a winter twilight, when the shadows come out to dance upon the walls and ceilings, everyone is haunted by the ghosts of Christmastide.  As modern poets, Noyes said, whatever our views of finite faiths may be, and no matter how many years have rolled away with crumbling creeds and dogmas, we poets have "looked into the fundamental paradox" and have "understood that everything is true, everything exists, and the earth is only a little dust beneath our feet."  Noyes explained that "the crude spiritualism of the ancient season of Christmas is dead; yet agnostic and scoffer, Pre-Raphaelite and Impressionist, ascetic and mystic, are all alike taking up and fulfilling the prophecy of Matthew Arnold concerning poetry [replacing religion], and the whole of the West is looking towards the light that never was on sea or land."
Self portraits.  A self portrait allows a wandering spirit to remain anchored on this side, Powers notes.  When you encounter a "selfie," you've likely encountered a ghost.  Researchers at Ohio State University, Nottingham Trent University, and other institutions linked selfie-taking to narcissism, psychopathy, and anti-social behaviors.  Consider how a narcissist's inflated self-image and low self-esteem are, like a bulging balloon, evidence of an insubstantial interior.  Selfie-takers' self-objectification is very literally that -- objectifying in a desperate measure to physically exist, to have proof that they were here, regardless of what form it took.  A psychopath's lack of empathy is additional evidence of ghostly inhumanity.  To avoid more ghosts, prevent exposure to selfies.
If it's true that the spirit of our age is one of transformation, "our imperative is to think anew, to disenchant ourselves" from lost relics and illusions, and to enchant ourselves once again with aspirations of progress (Patrick J. DeSouza, 2000).  Oliver Optic once said that if it is hard to enchant others, it is still more so to disenchant ourselves; for although we stand out in bold relief, and our faults are glaring, we too rarely introvert our gaze or hold a mirror (except for vanity's sake) before our faces; and so, for the most part, we are invisible to ourselves.  Optic noted that most of us practice some sort of disguise or pretense to cover up our motives, while others carry out our machinations in the dark or beneath a cloak of hypocrisy.  With our eyes in our heads, we can but look outwardly, and we are thus conscious of everything but that which is passing within.  It seems to require some magic to endow us with that self-knowledge, Optic suggested, without which all other knowledge may avail nothing.  We must learn to gauge or measure our own capacities, to probe our own motives, and to understand the principles by which we act.  As in the classic story of the shepherd Gyges who found the magic golden ring of invisibility, we must turn the bezel so as to be no longer invisible to ourselves.  (Oliver Optic, "The Ring of Gyges," Our Boys and Girls Magazine, 1867.)
> read more from Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The man in the moon rides a brookstick.  Moonbeams from the Larger Lunacy by Stephen Leacock.
For fellow lunatics: my collection of vintage moon imagery is waxing.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
In many ways, it's easier to make new friends today than it was in 1915.  From Lustige Blätter, 1915.  
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From L'Assiette au Beurre, 1903.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Fliegende Blätter, 1931.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have 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 Le Rire, 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 English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs, 1890.  See 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 Jugend, 1929.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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Images Moving Through Time (permalink)
"Chickens exposed to natural hair beard on mannequin."  From "Microbiological Laboratory Hazard of Bearded Men" in Applied Microbiology, 1967.
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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From Jugend, 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 Judge's Library, 1905.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
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Restoring the Lost Sense