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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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
I Found a Penny Today, So Here’s a Thought

October 28, 2019 (permalink)

"We are made plutocrats of the supernatural. ... Others have money ... or power ... or strength and courage. ... We have gods and ghosts."  —Gene Wolfe, Lake of the Long Sun
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October 24, 2019 (permalink)

#devil #mephisto
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October 19, 2019 (permalink)

"Is the belief in Hell passing away?"  From The Literary Digest, 1900
#hell #vintage headline
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October 13, 2019 (permalink)

Photo of Larry Hass by Justin Fox Burks, with permission.
#magician #larry hass
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October 9, 2019 (permalink)

What is it I hold, while there is still time?

—Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

#philip k. dick #man in the high castle
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October 3, 2019 (permalink)

We may never understand …

  • what happened and why.
  • why dogs whine on car rides when they're the ones who begged to go.
  • the senseless violence.
  • if love just happens or is planned.
  • the ultimate action of this or that agent.
  • the religious and philosophical significance of the Japanese flowering cherries.
  • all the details.
  • the principle of universal love.
  • the private logic behind Judy's behavior.
  • how we will be changed by our long travels.
  • why others treat us unfairly.
  • how we arrived at our present condition.
  • the deeper story, yet we know there is one.
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October 1, 2019 (permalink)

"And what of the dead?  I own that I thought of myself, at times, almost as dead.  Are they not locked below ground in chambers smaller than mine was, in their millions of millions?  There is no category of human activity in which the dead do not outnumber the living many times over.  Most beautiful children are dead.  Most soldiers, most cowards.  The fairest women and the most learned men – all are dead.  Their bodies repose in caskets, in sarcophagi, beneath arches of rude stone, everywhere under the earth.  Their spirits haunt our minds, ears pressed to the bones of our foreheads.  Who can say how intently they listen as we speak, or for what word?" ―Gene Wolfe, The Citadel of the Autarch

#the dead #gene wolfe
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September 30, 2019 (permalink)

Who Lifted the Lid Off of Hell? by Elbert Hubbard, 1914.
#hell #old book
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September 28, 2019 (permalink)

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September 23, 2019 (permalink)

We, too, believe in the ellipsis.  From I Believe In ... by Norman Snaith, 1949.  See Annotated Ellipses.
#vintage book #ellipsis
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September 22, 2019 (permalink)

“Haunted houses were the quietest of all, until the ghost walked.“ —Gene Wolfe, Nightshade of the Long Sun
#ghost #haunted house
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If you could use a hand, here's one.  From Here's a Hand by Wallace Bruce, 1892.
#hand #old book
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September 21, 2019 (permalink)

The truth is that …

  • even granite changes over time.
  • if it were easy, everyone would do it.
  • life itself is music.
  • I was never that girl in the hallway.
  • learning to laugh at yourself can help you.
  • there is no "right" age for being who you are.
  • there are so few who know where Burma is.
  • a journey is an extension of the human personality.
  • our body is in many ways like a robot.
  • none of us has reached that exalted position of perfection.
  • mind and matter are complementary to each other.
  • sometimes what is supposed to be observable is lost in our focus on the flame.
  • there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else.
  • your death would be something to fear only if you could survive it.
  • teams often create negative synergy.
  • it is okay for one or a few people to pee in a river, as the river's ecosystem can cope with that amount of pollution quite easily.
  • the horse may be thirsty but not have the will to drink.
  • everyone who trusted Jesus in the first century A.D. died.
  • no one has a clue.
  • love is the greatest thing upon this earth.
  • there never is just one truth.

[Tidbits gathered during the course of our research.]


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September 20, 2019 (permalink)

"The good die young or else outgrow it."  From The Judge, 1920.
#vintage illustration #skull #art #quotation #only the good die young #early death #good die young #truism
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September 13, 2019 (permalink)

"Yiddish is not dead," from The Justice newspaper (Brandeis), 1992.
#vintage headline #yiddish
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September 12, 2019 (permalink)

"Suppose you be, not merely seem!"  From The Fra, 1911.
#quotation #advice
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September 11, 2019 (permalink)

The best thing to do right now is to:

  • get yourself a cookie
  • proceed antisystematically and aphoristically, or lyrically, or musically
  • keep together
  • turn to page 8 and get an idea
  • lay low for a bit and let the heat die down
  • hold the nerves in, keep cool and let the fish take the line for a run
  • bite the bullet and show up
  • rest for a little bit
  • keep quiet
  • get away from the monkeys
  • sit down, relax, have some lunch
  • go for a swim
  • build a fort
  • give these people a chance
  • get out there as quickly as possible
  • just watch what he does
  • learn how to cope on your own

[Snippets collected during the course of our research.]

#advice #survival #what to do
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September 10, 2019 (permalink)

"There is no limit to stupidity.  Space itself is said to be bounded by its own curvature, but stupidity continues beyond infinity." —Gene Wolfe, The Citadel of the Autarch
#stupidity #gene wolfe
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September 1, 2019 (permalink)

It's a good question.  What does the gauzy realm use to distinguish bridal veils from regular ghostly attire?  From General William Booth Enters Into Heaven, and Other Poems by Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, 1913.
#vintage illustration #ghost #art
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August 30, 2019 (permalink)

"God knows where we are, the real us.  Heaven or hell, I suppose, or simply gone."
—Tim Powers, Expiration Date
#quotation #tim powers
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Original Content Copyright © 2019 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.