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, 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.
Images Moving Through Time

March 10, 2014 (permalink)

Here's an owl border we salvaged and restored from an 1860 issue of Arthur's Home Magazine.  For re-sizing convenience, we created an EPS version for downloading.



August 6, 2013 (permalink)

We're glad to have contributed a photograph to "Imagination Made Real," an article about the architecture of Portmeirion, Wales.

July 26, 2013 (permalink)

One of our best-kept secrets: the other half of our daily blogging is over at our

Borgesian Circulating Depository.


July 3, 2013 (permalink)

She's been "waiting and watching" a long time, indeed. To date, she's been vigilant for:



May her unflagging alertness be a source of comfort, an example to us all.


From The Quiver, 1886.

June 25, 2013 (permalink)

Here's an 11:07 from 3:10 to Yuma.

(Film still courtesy of DVDBeaver.)



June 17, 2013 (permalink)

We're delighted to see our photo of the 600-year-old Yamashiro Pagoda (the oldest structure in America) illustrating a Tahoe Trader article about the value of the Yen.



June 9, 2013 (permalink)

We're honored that How-To-Geek used our massive panorama view from the Saint Augustine lighthouse to demonstrate how to create a photo planet.  They took our original photo:



and transformed it:




December 31, 2012 (permalink)

Did you know that Santa, back when he was svelte, used to deliver presents on New Year's Eve and not Christmas Eve?  This illustration is from The Family Magazine, 1840.



December 12, 2012 (permalink)

Bleeding ink and Google's scanning machine combine to form an aptly titled "Pairing."  The illustration is from Peterson's magazine, 1877.



July 24, 2012 (permalink)

Whimsical electrical poles then and now: the first image is from Punch, 1849, and the second is by Choi+Shine Architects (see photos of their stunning "The Land of Giants" electrical pylons on the Iceland landscape). Truly, "electricity dances in the air here" (Timothy Brown, Temple of the Troll God, 2001).



© 2011 Choi+Shine Architects.  This image appears here for historical commentary.

June 9, 2012 (permalink)

A ready-made collage courtesy of Google Books:  from an 1898 issue of Munsey's magazine.



December 20, 2011 (permalink)

"What is the present but the sum of the past in a moment of consciousness?  And because the spirit can call upon this consciousness — this recall — at will, so the present is ever there in the stream of time and the flowing weave can become a broad tapestry spread out for me to contemplate; and I can point to the spot where a particular thread in the weft marks the start of a new design in the pattern.  And I can follow the thread, knot by knot, forwards and backwards; it does not break off, it carries the design and the meaning in the design; it is the essence of the tapestry and has nothing to do with its temporal existence."
—Gustav Meyrink, The Angel of the West Window

October 9, 2011 (permalink)

"Is it the dead who bring our memories back to life when they want us to feel their presence?  Do they cross the stream of time to reach us by turning back the clock within us?"
—Gustav Meyrink, The White Dominican

June 23, 2011 (permalink)

Prof. Oddfellow found his ideal of a wonky homestead: the Carpenter's House (1908), now part of the Dow Museum's preserved city block in the heart of St. Augustine's historic district.  There's no lens distortion in the photo — the house really is that lopsided. 



June 22, 2011 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Dedicated to Alayna Williams, of course.

June 5, 2011 (permalink)

Prof. Oddfellow offers this free collection of vintage frame clip-art, culled from 110-year-old issues of Cosmopolitan Magazine and painstakingly restored to their original glory.  The frames are available for download in high-resolution GIF and vector EPS formats.  See samples of the corners below:

Vintage Frame #1 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #2 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #3 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #4 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #5 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #6 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #7 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #8 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #9 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #10 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #11 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #12 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #13 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #14 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #15 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1901)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #1 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1906)
GIF | EPS
Vintage Frame #1 from Cosmopolitan Magazine (1914)
GIF | EPS


May 19, 2011 (permalink)

"Bearing some well-fingered letters of introduction . . ."
James Shreeve, The Neandertal Enigma (1996)

We were surprised to notice some finger prints we picked up in the field.



April 24, 2011 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:

This collage is in honor of Emily Dickinson, our beloved 21st cousin.



April 15, 2011 (permalink)

We're delighted to illustrate a piece about Disneyland's history with our photo of a remnant of Nature's Wonderland.

March 12, 2011 (permalink)

Our 9th cousin, the visionary Dr. John Dee (adviser and tutor to Queen Elizabeth I) is here beautifully celebrated by the artist Sev.





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