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

September 14, 2016 (permalink)

From Once a Week, 1863.
#vintage illustration #full moon #night #the sea
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July 23, 2016 (permalink)

From Les Mots Historiques du Pays de France by Edouard Trogan, 1915.
#vintage illustration #full moon #seaside #clifftop #mountain #art
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June 15, 2016 (permalink)

"No thoughtful person, looking over yon spangled heaven with astrologic eye, but must see that we are living in peculiar times, and that every returning day is fraught with importance."  From The Royal Kalendar by Francis Moore, 1853.
#omen #astrology #strange days #peculiar times #weirdness #augury
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May 24, 2016 (permalink)

"Suddenly I began to see myself in the depths of the mirror, as through a mist."  From Short Stories of the Tragedy and Comedy of Life by Guy de Maupassant, 1903.  And previously, there was this item.
#vintage illustration #mirror #haunted mirror #reflection #maupassant #mirror gazing #art
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January 13, 2016 (permalink)

The text reads: "Above us the stars, dim as dust in their Babylonian multitudes, pulled through the dark along the whorls of an enormous vortex—for that is what it is, I have seen it in pictures—were invisible, and the moon was long down. —Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping"
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December 13, 2015 (permalink)

"Awake at night."  From Moral Songs by Cecil Frances Humphreys, 1889.

#vintage illustration #darkness #creature of the night #insomnia #nighttime #night person #day sleeper
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November 14, 2015 (permalink)

"All woods—woods—as far as he went."  From St. Nicholas magazine, 1877.

#vintage illustration #forest #woods #trees
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August 2, 2015 (permalink)

"With a terrified cry, she sprang out through the door and along the gruesome corridor," from Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.
#vintage illustration #darkness #blackness #the unknown
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July 19, 2015 (permalink)

"The basket sank into the abyss," from The Secret of the Magian by André Laurie, 1892.
#vintage illustration #exploration #into the abyss
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May 9, 2015 (permalink)

A Midnight Mystery by Fergus Hume, 1894.
#vintage illustration #vintage book cover #cliffs #mystery novel #vintage mystery
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April 17, 2015 (permalink)

"She could see nothing but a series of stony ledges."  From Kerrigan's Quality by Jane Barlow, 1894.
#vintage illustration #geology
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February 19, 2015 (permalink)

"The first question that every one asks on looking at the moon is, Is it inhabited?"  From Harper's Weekly, 1857.
#moon #alien #lunar beings #moon life #life on the moon
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January 24, 2015 (permalink)

Prof. Oddfellow narrowly averts self-hypnosis.  Hypno-Glasses by Accoutrements.
Marja writes: "Love the idea that you think you didn't hypnotize yourself."
#vintage illustration #hypnotism #self hypnosis #hypno glasses
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November 14, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Gulliver's Travels.  The caption reads: "I found myself within my depth."
#vintage illustration #gulliver's travels
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October 26, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The City of Gold by Edward Markwick (1896).  The caption reads: "There in the blackness of the night I saw two gleaming eyes."
#vintage illustration #darkness #night #glowing eyes
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October 23, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from On a Mexican Mustang Through Texas by Alexander Sweet (1884).  The caption reads: "Nobody had removed the relic."
#vintage illustration #hole #relic
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October 3, 2014 (permalink)

From A Thousand and One Gems of English Poetry by Charles Mackay, 1875.
#vintage illustration #demon #imp #devil #lantern #swamp #bog
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October 2, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Incwadi Yami or Twenty Years' Personal Experience in South Africa by Josiah Wright Matthews (1887).
#vintage illustration #monster #creature #maneater #mythological creature
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September 9, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Bohemian Paris of To-day by William Chambers Morrow and illustrated by Édouard Cucuel (1899).  The caption reads: "In the passage to the death chamber."

#vintage illustration #macabre #death #processional #funeral
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September 6, 2014 (permalink)

As above, so below: "Looking down into space."  An illustration from Hartmann the Anarchist by Edward Douglas Fawcett (1893).
#vintage illustration #as above so below
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