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.
It's a bizarre and wonderful phenomenon that whenever you see rows of asterisks in a book, they invariably illustrate the text either following or preceding them. Here's a great example, in which the asterisks are sparkling stars in a cloudy sky, from The Will-o'-the-Wisp by Marie Petersen, 1874.
[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost
sense of immediacy. We follow the founder of the Theater of
Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then
flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free. The images
we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
Here's a precursor to the Seinfeld episode "The Contest," which features the euphemism "master of my domain." The text reads, "As he lay down in his bed he exclaimed, under his breath, 'Master of the Situation!'" From Once a Week, 1870.