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, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, 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
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I Found a Penny Today, So Here’s a Thought

March 9, 2020 (permalink)

Labeling things one doesn't understand "Nazi" is nothing new.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1988.
#ufo #vintage headline
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March 6, 2020 (permalink)

Interesting to see how the topics of UFOs and Bigfoot/Yeti/Abominable Snowman sometimes merge in news articles.  In these three random examples, we find references to "UFO 'Snowmen'" and UFOs that "left nothing but their 'footprints.'"
From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1971, 1974, and 1984.
#ufo #yeti #vintage headline #abominable snowman
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March 5, 2020 (permalink)

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March 2, 2020 (permalink)

We love how the desperate explanations to demystify UFO sightings tend to be nuttier than anything.  We actually embrace this idea of wormpickers triggering UFO phenomena, because it's extraordinarily surreal.  When one begins to catalog all the things the skeptics think are populating the sky (fireballs, hang gliders, blimps, enough weather balloons to blot out the sun), it's clear that some people are hallucinating—just not necessarily the UFO spotters.  Funny how we've never personally seen fireballs in the sky, or weather balloons, or hang gliders (aside from a sort of kite glider pulled by a speedboat at the beach), and the golden age of blimps is long, long past — perhaps we simply can't detect reality with the "rational" eyes of skepticism.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1975.  
#ufo #skepticism #vintage headline
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The very best thing is:
  • good talk.
  • being done.
  • Hallowe’en.
  • to answer not a word.
  • an all-over bath with cool, not cold, water.
  • an old-fashioned anise-seed tea.
  • to go away from here.
  • to be literary.
  • just going to sleep.
  • to begin again.
  • not having to go to school.
  • to do nothing.
  • unencumbered, untrapped, unchained.
  • that it will happen again tomorrow.
  • that which must remain unwritten.
[Snippets gathered through the course of our research.]
#best thing
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February 28, 2020 (permalink)

The famous six-word story popularly attributed to Hemingway, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," pales in comparison to this six-word headline: "Man on lonely beach sees UFO."  While the Hemingwayesque story is tragic, it's excruciatingly mundane.  Yes, life is fragile—welcome to reality.  We can see why Hemingway got credited with this six-word story — he wrote about how The Sun Also Rises and how it rains in spring, other excruciatingly ordinary topics.  Mortality, sunrises, and rainfalls aren't interesting.  Granting that the headline recalls The Old Man and the Sea, the flash of extraterrestrial mystery saves it from humdrum existence.
We spotted a sort of follow-up headline, from six years later.  Another man on a lonely beach (at 2:30 a.m.) saw a UFO float in with the tide.
Headlines courtesy of UFO Newsclipping Service, 1975, 1981.
#ufo #vintage headline
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February 27, 2020 (permalink)

"No secerts any more" -- from back in 1965.
#vintage headline #privacy #secrets
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February 26, 2020 (permalink)

We applaud this headline (finally, news we can believe!) and also the portrait for depicting the thrice great Charles Fort with a halo.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1990.  The headline reads, "Fortean followers are keeping spirit of the weird alive."
#vintage illustration #weird #vintage headline #fortean #Charles Fort
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February 25, 2020 (permalink)

From an era when journalism still had integrity: "Something strange is going on."  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1993.
#weirdness #vintage headline #strangeness #something weird #something strange
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February 22, 2020 (permalink)

With the advent of political correctness, physicists no longer stomp on tiny space aliens, not even with scientific rigor.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1970.  The headline reads, "U.S. physicist steps on little green men."
#ufo #vintage headline #spacemen #little green men #space aliens
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February 21, 2020 (permalink)

From The Judge, 1916.
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February 19, 2020 (permalink)

Those fun moments when pretzel knots impersonate Aztec glyphs.  Pretzel knot diagrams from "Hyperbolic Pretzel Knots" by Jeffrey Meier.
#vintage illustration #pretzel #diagram #aztec #mathematics #knots
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"Snicker if you like but [cryptozoologists] don't care."  They write stuff like How to Spot the Loch Ness Monster Every Time and A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.
From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1989.
#vintage headline #cryptozoology
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February 18, 2020 (permalink)

"Functionally a library … spiritually a sanctuary." —Louis I. Kahn

#library #sanctuary
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February 11, 2020 (permalink)

"Dope, booze, stuff, swill and hate -- and you will have it all right!"  From The Doctors, A Satire in Four Seizures by Elbert Hubbard, 1909.
#booze #dope #hate
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February 10, 2020 (permalink)

Jonathan shares: This is one of the best errata I've ever encountered.  I mean, how often does one see a punctuation erratum?  And just imagine the overexcited typesetter reaching automatically for the exclamation point, instead of the question mark!  If it's any consolation, it's correctly punctuated with the question mark on the half-title, on the front cover, and of course in the Shakespearean epigraph whence the phrase is sourced.

#punctuation #erratum
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February 7, 2020 (permalink)

"Stars are falling."  A headline from the Muhlenberg Weekly, 1939.
#comet #shooting star #falling star #vintage headline
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February 4, 2020 (permalink)

Here are the marvelous first two pages of an appreciation of our 21st cousin, Emily Dickinson, from The Procession of Masks by Herbert Gorman, 1923.  Gorman suggests that Emily's poems themselves are recluses, that they are unpremeditated footnotes to Emily's solitary life, that they are strange jewels set upon the unobtrusive thread of her days, and that they possess an inborn natural magic that no practice can make possible, since they are "flashes struck into existence by by the contact of an extraordinary mind with life."
#emily dickinson
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February 1, 2020 (permalink)

If only everyone would just …

  • let me get on with it.
  • do as they say.
  • mind their own damn business.
  • stand in silence and let the waves settle to flatness.
  • forgive, the world would be a much better place.
  • take care of themselves and let me live my life.
  • think more clearly about what they are doing.
  • pretend all is well and fine.
  • relax, slow down and take it easy.
  • sit down and talk, things could be settled.
  • say "Yes" to whatever is before them.
  • occasionally consider using the brake pedal.
  • love everybody, these age-old riddles would be solved.
  • wake up out of their bad dream.

[Tidbits gathered through the course of our research.]

#if only
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January 29, 2020 (permalink)

It may be statistically true that one isn't the target audience for anything one encounters, but Statistics is pseudoscience (the bad kind; the good ones are the ones ostracized for audaciously resisting the sacred dogmas of Big Science), plus it's a highly alienating philosophy.  A more interesting approach to life would be to consider oneself the target audience for everything and evaluate from there.  The image is from You Are Not The Target Audience by William Gillis (undated).
#target audience
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