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.

Today — January 22, 2020 (permalink)

Ten years before the Pac-Man arcade game was developed, here's one of the ghosts.  From Morris Harvey's 1969 yearbook.
#vintage photo #pac-man #vintage yearbook #pac-man ghost
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January 17, 2020 (permalink)

Before the rivals of Madonna,* there was The Rivals of Madonna
*Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Cyndi Lauper, Janet Jackson, Belinda Carlisle, and Whitney Houston are the most-often cited rivals of Madonna.
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January 15, 2020 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the video game Tokyo Jungle, in which animals inherit the Earth.  From Weird Tales, 1946.
#vintage illustration #vintage magazine
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January 13, 2020 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Obi Wan deactivating the tractor beam on the Death Star to help Princess Leia escape (nearly a quarter century before Star Wars debuted).  From Super Science Stories, 1951.
#vintage illustration #star wars #death star
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January 12, 2020 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to robot priests, like this one who runs a 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, and this one in Germany that bestows blessings in five languages.
From La Colotte, 1908.
#religion #vintage illustration #robot #robot priest
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January 9, 2020 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to overlaying album covers and photos onto other scenes.  From La Colotte, 1907.
#religion #vintage illustration #overlay
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January 5, 2020 (permalink)

Did Billy Idol foresee Uber Eats 31 years in advance of its debut?  Of course he did!  In the bridge of 1983's "Rebel Yell," Idol sings:
He lives in his own heaven
Collects it to go from the 7-11
Well he's out all night to collect a fare
Just so long, just so long it don't mess up his hair
#billy idol #uber eats #takeout
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January 4, 2020 (permalink)

The invention of the insta-print camera (with self-developing film) is credited to Edwin Land in 1948.  But you knew we'd find a precursor, and here's one from 1932.  From Nebelspalter, 1932.
#vintage illustration #giant #photography #camera #instant camera #self-developing #polaroid
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January 1, 2020 (permalink)

No one needs to be told that this is a precursor to the crew of the Falcon at the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars.  From Planet Stories, Fall 1943.
#vintage illustration #science fiction #star wars
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"You're not the first one to develop a bug powder problem" (the film adaptation of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch).  From Nebelspalter, 1933.
#vintage illustration #exterminator #insecticide #bug spray #bug powder
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December 26, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to one of Penn and Teller's elaborate "Is this your card?" revelations.  From Nebelspalter, 1930.
#vintage illustration #playing card #nine of hearts
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December 23, 2019 (permalink)

Eight years before the debut of the Mary Poppins books, here's a lady with an umbrella flying weightless.  From Nebelspalter, 1926.
#vintage illustration #weightless #mary poppins #the people could fly
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December 22, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to people disrupting daily life with their "comfort animals."  From Nebelspalter, 1929.
#vintage illustration #pets #comfort animal #streetcar
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December 21, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the Grinch giving back to the tiny folk of Whoville all the presents he stole.  From Kladderadatsch, 1933.
#vintage illustration #art #grinch #santa #how the grinch stole christmas #weird christmas #christmas spirit
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December 20, 2019 (permalink)

Holidays collide -- a skeleton at Christmas, precursing The Nightmare Before Christmas.  From Volshebnyi Fonar', 1906.
#vintage illustration #death #skeleton #art #nightmare before christmas
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December 18, 2019 (permalink)

Four years before Smokey Bear first cautioned against being a firebug, there was this donkey singing from "The Firefly."  From Centenary's 1940 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #anthropomorphism #vintage yearbook #musical animal #donkey #no smoking
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December 17, 2019 (permalink)

Unusual to see an artist's palette as a saucer.  This musical teacup appears 20 years before Disneyland debuted its Mad Tea Party ride.  From New Jersey State Teachers College's 1935 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #palette #teacup
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December 15, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Annie Dillard's classic Teaching a Stone to Talk:
An illustration from a 1907 issue of McClure's magazine.  The caption reads: "'I love her more every minute,' he informed a large boulder."
#vintage illustration #teaching a stone to talk #boulder #talking to rocks
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December 7, 2019 (permalink)

From Le Journal Amusant, 1898.
Jonathan notes: "I'm guessing it's a sort of sendup of the 'bicycle craze,' but it's funny how some of the items pictured probably anticipate backyard children's vehicles and amusement-park cars of the late 20th c."
#vintage illustration #silhouette #art #animal car #rabbit car #giraffe car #turtle car #unusual cars #unusual vehicles
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December 6, 2019 (permalink)

Ah, the classic circling of the obvious anomaly, a practice as old as anomalies themselves.  From Lumières Dans la Nuit, 1980.
#vintage illustration #ufo #red circle
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