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 OneLetterWords.com.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.

Temporal Anomalies

Chronologicians discover weirdnesses in time and seek the disruptive sources.

November 18, 2019 (permalink)

We noted an air of timlessness at Aldridge Gardens in Birmingham, Alabama.  As chronologicians, we investigated the area for the cause, and (as per usual) it was virtually staring us in the face — a giant frozen pendulum.  Say what you will about modern art, this piece sure does the trick in terms of manifesting and maintining a temporal anomaly.


#temporal anomaly #pendulum
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November 11, 2019 (permalink)

We encountered and determined the cause of a temporal anomaly in the mountain town of Trinidad, Colorado.  A clock on a funeral parlor displays an incorrect time (four hours early, plus the shadows of the clock's hands depict a bonus time five minutes later).  As constant investigators of such phenomena, we saw the source of the problem with a mere turn of the head.  Directly across the street is an historic gothic house, the Bloom Mansion.  That haunted relic from 1882 is the cause of the funerary clock's error, the effect compounded by the existence of a mini version of the mansion in the form of a Little Free Library (boosting the disruptive signal, as it were, from the macrocosm into the microcosm).  Though the cause is simple enough, great mysteries yet abound, for does a fourth-story widow's walk have the power to disrupt the flow of time?  By the way, as we walked toward the Bloom Mansion on the day of our investigation, our progress was delayed by an improbably long funeral procession that passed in front of us.  As plutocrats of the supernatural, we expected nothing less.

#time #temporal anomaly
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October 18, 2019 (permalink)

We encountered and determined the cause of a temporal anomaly in the town of Clayton, New Mexico.  A streetside clock displays faces with no hands, bizarrely distorted numbers, as well as incorrect times.  As constant investigators of such phenomena, we diagnosed the source of the problem at a glance.  Directly below the troubled timekeeper is an old sculpture of a dinosaur.  That relic, itself conjuring a past that is forever timeless, is the cause of the pole clock divergence, magnified by the site's proximity to the extinct volcano Capulin.  Though the cause is simple enough, great mysteries yet abound, for precisely how and why do relics have the power to disrupt the flow of time?

#time #dinosaur #new mexico #temporal anomaly
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October 4, 2019 (permalink)

We encountered and determined the cause of a temporal anomaly in the scenic city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  A clock at the old train station (transmogrified into a hotel) displays an incorrect time.  As constant investigators of such phenomena, we saw that the source of the problem was adjacent to the clock.  The famous Chattanooga Choo Choo itself, now permanently inoperative and displayed as a monument, is the cause of the station clock's inaccuracy, the effect being magnified by another nearby train car (converted into an escape room) with the emblazoned words "Can you escape in time?"  Though the cause is simple enough, great mysteries yet abound, for how could a frozen train, formerly famous for keeping to timetables, be so disruptive?

#time #anomaly #chattanooga #chattanooga choo-choo
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March 3, 2016 (permalink)

"I hate that whenever you look at a clock, it shows a different time.  What's the use of knowing what time it is, if it's already changing?  And it's always later!"
Pictured, tapestry figures look at the faceless grandfather clock at Packwood House (England).

#grandfather clock #out of time #tim powers #timelessness #packwood house #faceless clock #no time #temporal anomaly
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May 28, 2015 (permalink)

We can now reveal that giant, elaborate, even architectural clockwork has always been the engine that generates fairy tales, and our modern age of disenchantment is directly attributable to newfangled flat clocks and (horrors!) portable digital timepieces.  In a nutshell, one can't measure "once upon a time" by a microchip.  Begin contemplating where all the giant clocks are, (recalling that Germany's fabled Black Forest contains the vast majority of the world's largest cuckoo clocks), then contemplate the sources of your favorite fairy tales, and a bell will resound in your head.  Contemplate also why California's Disneyland is better than Florida's Magic Kingdom (recalling that the elaborate facade behind Disneyland's It's a Small World ride is an enormous, elaborate clock with animated figures emerging to mark the hours).  Now you'll have guessed the reason for our pilgrimage last year to the 14th-century fortified East Gate of the town of Warwick, still a working clock tower.  Google Earth imagery of the clock tower verifies that the spot violates the laws of space/time.  The top of the clock tower is revealed to be ethereal (see first and second pictures below).  It's an English version of a "Castle in Spain."  At least equally intriguing, an additional warp in space/time is verified: the yellow line that Google overlays to show the route of street traffic bends upward into space as it nears the clock tower.  This anomaly isn't a one-off but rather appears in multiple photos and angles (see pictures three and four below).  In our final picture, taken more recently by Google's spy cameras, note the optical illusion in the clock tower's windows.  We've paired it with an optical illusion by Gary Barwin, to clarify the exact phenomenon (see picture five below).  Windows begin as glass and end as stone, and vice versa.

#medieval #clockwork #timepieces #clock tower #warwickshire #east gate #fairy tales #spatial anomalies #temporal anomaly
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May 4, 2015 (permalink)

How Every Floor is the 13th and Why Every Clock Tells the Correct Time

Our latest investigation into timelessness was inspired by Francis Ford Coppola's Twin-Peaksian film Twixt.  The film features a very strange town with a very strange clock tower -- seven clock faces, no two hands alike, thereby making it impossible to measure time, à la Marquez.  In the film, the tower chimes pretty much continuously, which is so lovely.  We got to wondering whether it was possible for seven mismatched clocks to chime continuously or whether it was all a bit of movie magic.  To get a sense of the durations of the chimed melodies for first quarter, half-hour, third quarter, and full hour, we timed a recording of Big Ben in action.  We decided not to count reverberations after the numbered hour strikes, just to keep the data tidy.  In a twelve-hour period, there are 20 minutes and 51 seconds of chiming (if each chimed note of melody and each hour-counting chime were played continuously).  Divided among seven clocks, there's almost 3 minutes of silence between soundings.  So yes, the continuous chiming in the film is courtesy of Hollywood.

So we're in the midst of programming a widget in which one adjusts the hands of eight (or more) clock faces in an attempt to achieve continuous chiming.  One recalls Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach's proverb, "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day," and we conclude that eight mismatched clocks ... [drumroll, please] ... give the correct time constantly.  Every clock, even a broken one, tells "the time," and what we do with that information is our own concern.  Even the atomic clock gets adjusted occasionally with a leap second because even the earth's rotation isn't a reliable timepiece.  One reason we're trying to determine the proper settings for continuous chiming is that we're envisioning an entire wall of clocks that ever-signal that "the hour is nigh."  And we wish to discover how that might affect one's metabolism of time.

Somehow related to a broken clock being "right," the last time we were in a hotel, our room was on the floor labeled 14 because the building had no 13th floor.  We imagined that there must be some folks who want to be on a 13th floor.  We concluded that anyone can be on the 13th floor by installing a small plaque that says, "Thirteenth Floor."  Sure, Hyman Ruchlis totes the party line: "Painting the number 14 on floor 13 doesn't change it from being the thirteenth floor" (How Do You Know It's True?, 1991).  But we suggest that painting the number 14 absolutely makes it the fourteenth floor, for such is the floor's official name.  "In a nominal scale, each number refers to one thing but the numbers are arbitrary" (Daniel T. Willingham, Why Don't Students Like School, 2009).  And it goes without saying that the Brits call the first floor the ground floor and the second floor the first storey.

So, we are simply saying that every floor is the 13th and every clock tells the correct time.

#chimes #silence #time #clock tower #timelessness #temporal anomaly #coppola #Twixt #Twin Peaks
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January 16, 2015 (permalink)

"To his extreme horror finds every watch, every clock, and every chronometer pointing out a different hour; so that all the information he can get is, that the time is something between 12 o'clock to-day and 12 o-clock to-morrow."  From The Man in the Moon, Volume V.
#clocks #temporal anomaly
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August 23, 2011 (permalink)

Prof. Oddfellow shares his secrets to longevity:

Delay your mid-life crisis.  As per Zeno, if you never reach your mid-point, you'll never reach your end.

Abhor setting your clocks to atomic time.

Learn to take long-exposure photographs at night.  Long exposures open a hole in the fabric of Time.  The click of the camera extends from a moment into minutes.  Try it and you'll instantly feel how you stop aging.  (If not, ask a doctor to accompany you on your night walk to monitor your eleven medical symptoms and signs of aging as you take long-exposure photographs.)

To mark off days on a calendar is to ensure that your days are numbered.  Never ever cross off a day, no matter how loathsome.

Eschew wearing a wristwatch; a wristwatch leaves a mark — the mark of Time.

Investigate adjusting your circadian rhythm to a 25-hour day.  Make every day count that little bit extra.  Indeed, have "two Saturday nights in a Friday night, if you know what I mean" (as John Michael Higgins says in Best in Show).

Spend more time at the beach.  It's a fallacy that the ocean makes one feel insignificant; on the contrary, one small step over tiny shells (each a life story) and ancient grains of sand (each an entire world, as per the immortal William Blake) is one giant leap for mankind.


Prof. Oddfellow reads his sundials at night.
#sundial #long exposure #cathedral #longevity #oddfellow #night photography #st. augustine #temporal anomaly
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Original Content Copyright © 2019 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.