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.
Staring Into the Depths

March 20, 2019 (permalink)

From Le Charivari, 1846.
#vintage illustration #stars #starry night #night #stargazing #look up #staring into the depths
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May 10, 2018 (permalink)

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March 1, 2018 (permalink)

"Pious miners worship at depth of 500 feet."  From Popular Mechanics, 1914.

#religion #vintage illustration #church #cave #underground #vintage headline #subterranean
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December 7, 2017 (permalink)

"No matter how far one looked, one saw a shimmering, a sparkle."  From "The Desert" by Raymond S. Spears, in Scribner's Magazine, 1922.
#shimmering #sparkling
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November 30, 2017 (permalink)

From Die Bühne, 1925.
#vintage illustration #night sky #starry night #telescope #stargazing #astronomer
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"A night for wide-awake dreaming," from The Index, 1908.
#vintage illustration #ghost #spirit
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November 12, 2017 (permalink)

A diagram by Homer B. Sprague for Milton's Paradise Lost (1886).  Speaking of which, what exactly are a snowball's chances in hell?  See A Snowball's Chance in Hell.
#chaos #vintage diagram #hell #milton #vacuum of space #paradise lost
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July 17, 2017 (permalink)

Light in the Gloaming, 1882.
#vintage illustration #vintage book cover #gloaming #old book
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June 18, 2017 (permalink)

"'You'd think there were people hiding there, wouldn't you?'  She pointed to a cluster of black, bare trees."  From English Illustrated, 1899.
#vintage illustration #spooky #darkness #night #dark woods
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June 15, 2017 (permalink)

"I looked up the chimney, but impenetrable darkness met my gaze."  From Harmsworth Magazine, 1900.
#vintage illustration #darkness #fireplace #chimney
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May 22, 2017 (permalink)

"Mars and the Earth side by side."  From Popular Science Monthly, 1921.
#vintage illustration #earth #mars #mountain climber
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April 15, 2017 (permalink)

From Jugend, 1910.
#vintage illustration #night sky #stars #starry night #rooftop #art
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April 14, 2017 (permalink)

As above, so below: Looking Skyward and the Earth by Isaac Newton Snyder, 1911.
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April 13, 2017 (permalink)

From Ambition magazine, 1911.
#vintage illustration #mountaintop #vantage point #two men #don't jump
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January 1, 2017 (permalink)

"I caught him thus, staring into the red-plumed west with eyes of a man whose brain is running down."  From Pearson's, 1910.
#vintage illustration #staring into space
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December 28, 2016 (permalink)

"She wanted to clear her mind there and then."  From Pearson's, 1908.
#vintage illustration #meditation #clearing the mind
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November 15, 2016 (permalink)

Here's a character looking through an ornate capital O that begins a chapter in The Man from Manchester by Dick Donovan, 1890.
#vintage illustration #ornate capital #capital o #letter o #opera glasses #binoculars
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October 25, 2016 (permalink)

"Look!  There it goes."  From When the Birds Begin to Sing by Winifred Graham, 1897.
#vintage illustration #boat
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October 16, 2016 (permalink)

#vintage illustration #cliffside #ocean
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October 7, 2016 (permalink)

#vintage illustration #lantern #night sky #starry night
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