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Today's Stichomancy for Donald Rumsfeld

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells:

an apparatus as he had devised might rise with frame exhausted and balloons expanded to a considerable height, might then contract its balloons and let the air into its frame, and by an adjustment of its weights slide down the air in any desired direction. As it fell it would accumulate velocity and at the same time lose weight, and the momentum accumulated by its down-rush could be utilised by means of a shifting of its weights to drive it up in the air again as the balloons expanded. This conception, which is still the structural conception of all successful flying machines, needed, however, a vast amount of toil upon its details before it could actually be realised, and such toil Filmer--as he was accustomed

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:

but still immensely impressed.

"What would you think of such a thing happening on board your own ship? I've had the Sephora for these fifteen years. I am a well-known shipmaster."

He was densely distressed--and perhaps I should have sympathized with him if I had been able to detach my mental vision from the unsuspected sharer of my cabin as though he were my second self. There he was on the other side of the bulkhead, four or five feet from us, no more, as we sat in the saloon. I looked politely at Captain Archbold (if that was his name), but it was the other I saw, in a gray sleeping suit, seated on a low stool, his bare feet close together, his arms folded,

The Secret Sharer
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Pathology of Lying, Etc. by William and Mary Healy:

Protestant family, he delighted to draw Catholic insignia and embroider religious characters. He finally entered the university, always lying and stealing. At the end of three months he was taken home in debt 2000 marks. He later became a Catholic. Outside of normal expense he had cost his father 28,000 marks. By the time he was studied he had already taken opium for four years, having started because of neuralgia. There had been a severe operation on account of some trouble with the teeth. It was discovered that there was contrary sexual feeling in this case also. The patient had a great inclination for doing woman's handwork. Delbruck again considered the early appearance

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Case of The Lamp That Went Out by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:

Then he stretched out his hand toward the revolver.

The sand came rattling down upon him, the thistles bent over creakingly and two figures appeared beside him.

"There's time enough for that yet, Mr. Thorne," said the man at whom the painter gazed up in bewilderment. And then this man took the revolver quietly from his hand and hid it in his own pocket.

Thorne pressed his teeth down on his lips until the blood came. He could not speak; he looked first at the stranger who had mastered him so completely, and then, in dazed astonishment, at the woman who had sunk down beside him in the sand, clasping his hand in both of hers.