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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Found 17 posts tagged ‘cactus’


December 15, 2020 (permalink)

From Tulane's 1916 yearbook.  See This Book is a Cactus.
> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #cactus #watering can
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October 9, 2020 (permalink)

From Le Chariviari, 1884.  No pricks: This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #egypt #cactus #cactus head #cactus hair
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December 8, 2019 (permalink)

From Fliegende Blätter, 1924.  See the astonishing This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #cactus
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October 8, 2019 (permalink)

From Fliegende Blätter, 1925.  See This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #cactus
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February 2, 2019 (permalink)

Cards from a hitherto unseen Cactus Tarot appear in the choose-your-own-adventure puzzle book entitled This Book is a Cactus.   Indeed, a tarot reading got planted among prickly logic puzzles, riddles, mathematical conundrums, and word enigmas.
---
Thank you Adam, who writes: "And what a fun book this is! It’s great exercise for the brain to participate and interact with something that doesn’t require batteries or an internet connection. Oddly, I still haven’t killed my cactus. Though I have been tempted a few times. Ha ha ha…"


> read more from Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore . . .
#tarot #cactus #cacti
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January 16, 2019 (permalink)

From Jugend, 1919.  Speaking of which, see This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #art #cactus #prick
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December 15, 2018 (permalink)

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#cactus #irony
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May 15, 2018 (permalink)

From Fliegende Blätter, 1927.  See This Book is a Cactus, about which Adam McFarland writes: "For anyone who remembers what it was like to have fun without technology, this book is for you. Wait... This cactus is for you... I have managed, so far, to keep my Cactus alive. It is a bit trickier than it sounds. But it is the most fun I've had in a long time that didn't require charged batteries."
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #anthropomorphism #art #faces in things #cactus
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May 2, 2018 (permalink)

From Ulk, 1929.  See This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #art #cactus
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August 15, 2017 (permalink)

From Die Muskete, 1932.  Speaking of which, see This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #art #cactus
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March 20, 2017 (permalink)

Hairdressing cacti, from Mocca, 1931.  Previously, we saw a cactus shaving itself.  Cactus lovers will also be interested in This Book is a Cactus.  
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #art #barber #cactus #hairdresser #cacti
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March 16, 2017 (permalink)

From Die Muskete, 1922.  Speaking of which, see This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #art #cactus #money bags
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February 24, 2017 (permalink)

From Die Bühne, 1925.  See also This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #art #cactus #shaving #prickly
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October 28, 2016 (permalink)

An initial reaction to our puzzler This Book is a Cactus by Bob Neale, author of This Is Not a Book: "One very sneaky treatise.  Actually, it is blatantly intellectual as much as it is absurd.  And I even wonder if it is a guide to spiritual meditation.  But I have a way to go with it to come to any conclusion.  Right now, I just know that there is a hell of a lot more in it than I can comprehend."

> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .
#cactus #puzzles
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October 17, 2016 (permalink)

We were delighted by this 5-star review of our own This Book is a Cactus:
The enjoyably surreal experience of reading a book that is in process of being a cactus
This Book is a Cactus is something quite unique. A friend recommended it to me, and as I have coworkers that I enjoy discussing interesting books and puzzles with, I picked up a copy and did not regret it.

For those wondering about the format of the book, since the description mentions a 'virtual game board', the most similar concept (familiar to most people who grew up in the US after the 1970s) would be a 'choose your own adventure' book with more puzzles (not the content, only as a format reference).

Initially, my interest in the book was in the overall concept and the puzzles, but quickly I found myself drawn to the prose. It may be a matter of personal taste, but from my perspective the writing and pacing of this book is brilliant. For something that is broken up by decision trees and puzzles, the vignettes and more narrative text joining things together flow incredibly well, but strangely work well as discrete passages. It’s fairly difficult to describe, but it can work as a semi-long form experience, and also as series of short entries (similar to a chapbook of poems) that although are not always dependently connected to the next section of text, did keep propelling me forward. I would read a few (more than I had planned to) ‘pages’ or ‘make a few decisions’ each night before sleep and it would put a healthy amount of strangeness into my subconscious.

As a game, I’m not convinced that there is much ‘replay’ value in the book after you have encountered each of the pages or puzzles in a few different orders. As a mix of narrative and puzzles, replay value is largely irrelevant for the genre. As a work of art, ‘This Book is a Cactus’ is a real achievement. Aesthetically, this needs to be a physical book and the excellent illustrations accompanying the text fit perfectly. Conley’s writing has a unique tone that can mix warm humor, surrealism, literate references, with a touch of gray metaphysical and esoteric mystery. If I can employ a less-literary comparison, the feeling I was struck with when reading much of this book, was similar to viewing the first scene in episode 8 of Twin Peaks. It doesn’t shift into the wacky or caustic styles of some other texts dealing with the esoteric. ‘This Book is a Cactus’ employs a calm wit, for a warm mystery, in a foggy, endless bookshelf that might be a greenhouse or more.

I foresee and predict that after finishing each page that I will, every now and then, down the road, spot this book on my shelf and pick it up and explore again. By ‘explore’, I mean to give my cactus life.
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .
#cactus #puzzle book #word puzzles #math puzzles #logic puzzles
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September 26, 2016 (permalink)

"What an intriguing, fun, lovely book with Oddfellow's usual quirky, oblique poetic, metaphysic dry humour and bibliophillic joie de livre. " —Gary Barwin, author of Yiddish for Pirates
This Book is a Cactus turned out to be the most difficult project we've ever tackled.  We wanted to recreate the very first computer game we programmed, from back in the 1980s—the Tamagotchi precursor of a virtual flower—but this time in book form.  What we ended up with is a combination choose-your-own-adventure and puzzle book; it's a surrealistic virtual reality experience you hold in your hands, as the book is also a cactus that you attempt to keep alive.  A hybrid cactus-book.  Each page is like a square on a game board.  You make decisions and solve riddles, and your choices/answers lead to different squares.  Math puzzles, word puzzles, logic puzzles, and riddles appear at intervals within the fractal storyline.  
> read more from Puzzles and Games . . .
#cactus #cacti #puzzle #choose your own adventure
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May 8, 2016 (permalink)

From Into Mexico and Out by Joseph Steffens, 1916.  Speaking of which, see This Book is a Cactus.
[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.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .
#vintage illustration #death #art #mexico #u.s. intervention #cactus
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Original Content Copyright © 2019 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.