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.

Found 104 posts tagged ‘magic’


October 15, 2020 (permalink)

How a theatrical ghost walks.  (But no mention of how ectoplasmic perambulation occurs.)  From Spook Crooks by Julien J. Proskauer, 1932.
[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 #ghost #vintage diagram #magic #hallowe'en
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August 2, 2020 (permalink)

From Vampir, 1906.
[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 #wizard #magician #art #architecture #magic #magic trick
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May 3, 2020 (permalink)

Flanked by imps while reading a book of magic.  From Princess White Flame by Gertrude Crownfield, 1920.  See The Pencil Witch.
[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 #imp #fairy tale #magic
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April 18, 2020 (permalink)

From Monmouth's 1910 yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #magician #magic #vintage yearbook #hat trick
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November 27, 2019 (permalink)

From Judge's Library, 1904.
[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 #magician #art #dog #magic #people who look like their dogs
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October 18, 2019 (permalink)

From Le Journal Amusant, 1912.
[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 #fairy #magician #art #vintage magic #magic
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August 21, 2019 (permalink)

With that exclamation point, "Couldn't this be magic" isn't a question.  But Gene Wolfe, in his utterly spectacular Book of the New Sun, notes that "Words are symbols.  [One] chooses to delimit magic as that which does not exist, and so it does not exist.  If you choose to call what we are about to do here magic, then magic lives while we do it."  Possibly related is Maxim Gorky on the divine: "If you believe in Him—He exists.  If you don't—He doesn't" (The Lower Depths).
From Pembroke's 1978 yearbook.  (With a bonus "Believe it if you need it" from American University's 1974 yearbook.)
> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#magic #clown #vintage yearbook
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July 27, 2019 (permalink)

Commenting on our video about the weird secret of rolling blank dice, George Parker (author of The Little Book of Creativity) said: "Great piece! Thanks. My mind went to two places. Well actually a million places but the two that passed: I will start to look at coins as two-sided dice and metal disks as a two-sided blank dice. The other one was triggered when you talked about how blank dice may call out occult, as in hidden, powers. Since 5% of the universe consists of things we can observe, with and without instruments, and the rest is hidden (27% dark matter, 68% dark energy -- and we have little clue about what it even is) we should throw blank dice way more often."

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#magic #blank dice
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July 3, 2019 (permalink)

"Blind to the magic and deaf to the melody."  From the 1921 Southwestern yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #art #butterfly #magic #vintage yearbook
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July 2, 2019 (permalink)

"Mighty the wizard who found me at sunrise sleeping and woke me and learned me magic."  From the 1921 Southwestern yearbook.  See The Young Wizard's Hexopedia and Magic Words: A Dictionary.
> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #wizard #occult #art #magic
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June 29, 2019 (permalink)

University of Massachusetts Boston yearbook, 1978.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #art #magic #vintage yearbook #top hat
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June 5, 2019 (permalink)

"Treat the Master and sweet the Magic."  From the 1921 Southwestern yearbook.  See Magic Words: A Dictionary and The Young Wizard's Hexopedia.
> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#vintage illustration #art #magic #vintage yearbook
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May 1, 2019 (permalink)

The magic art of the Great Humbug.  An illustration by W. W. Denslow from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, 1900.
[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 #magic #wizard of oz #humbug
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March 17, 2019 (permalink)

There's an ironic subliminal message in this book cover — the middle of the word "exposed," "pos," is highlghted by the box behind it, suggesting "positive."  Spirit Rapping Exposed by John Henry Anderson, 1860.  See Seance Parlor Feng Shui.
[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 . . .
#demon #imp #necromancy #magic #spiritualism #seance #vintage book #spirit rapping
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March 16, 2019 (permalink)

"I now call upon the spirits."  From Gilbert Chemical Magic by Alfred Carlton Gilbert, 1920.
[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 #spirits #necromancy #occult #art #magic #magic trick #holy smoke
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February 25, 2019 (permalink)

Before "Peace, Love, Mickey," there was "Magic, Love, Leprechauns."  And, to this day, it's a Googlewhack.  From National-Louis's 1975 yearbook.

*For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.

> read more from Yearbook Weirdness . . .
#love #magic #vintage yearbook #leprechaun
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January 29, 2019 (permalink)

From Le Journal Amusant, 1903.
[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 #magician #art #levitation #vintage magic #magic #weightless #stage magic
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January 27, 2019 (permalink)

"Caused him to be clothed in the royal vestmentrs."  From The Arabian Nights Entertainments, 1899.
[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 #magic #dwarf #arabian nights
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January 23, 2019 (permalink)

From The Fashionable Science of Parlour Magic by John Henry Anderson, 1860.  See Seance Parlor Feng Shui.
[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 #magic #spiritualism #seance #table tipping #faces in things #spirit rapping #table turning
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January 2, 2019 (permalink)

Our planet's spokeswizard, Cyril the Sorcerer, honored us with an invitation to formulate a magical coin.  We jumped at the prospect of alchemical metallurgy, but this wizard added the twist that he wished to work with precious woods, not metals.  He sought something less silver than sylvan.  For his coin design, I was inspired by the wizard's remarkable eyeglasses.  They have marvelous loops at the ends of the ear pieces.  I overlapped those loops, like linking rings, to form a third eye of wizardly wisdom.  The lens pieces are emblazoned with the two heavenly luminaries most associated with our planet.  The coin's other side depicts an open hand reaching for a star, surrounded by Cyril's teaching that "the magic is in your hand."  What a privilege to be a part of our planetary spokeswizard's enchantment!
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .
#magic #coin
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Original Content Copyright © 2019 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.