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Today's Stichomancy for Enrico Fermi

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Edna Ferber:

figure of her husband who had just emerged from the dining room, and was making unsteady progress toward us. Herr Nirlanger's face was flushed and his damp, dark hair was awry so that one lock straggled limply down over his forehead. As he approached he surveyed us with a surly frown that changed slowly into a leering grin. He lurched over and placed a hand familiarly on my shoulder.

"We mus' part," he announced, dramatically. "O, weh! The bes' of frien's m'z part. Well, g'by, li'l interfering Teufel. F'give you, though, b'cause you're such a pretty li'l Teufel." He raised one hand as though

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:

"Well, dear idol, what would you have?" said she.

"What have I done to make her ask that?" he wondered to himself.

"Emilio, what letter was that which you threw into the lagoon?"

"Vendramini's. I had not read it to the end, or I should never have gone to my palazzo, and there have met the Duke; for no doubt it told me all about it."

Massimilla turned pale, but a caress from Emilio reassured her.

"Stay with me all day; we will go to the opera together. We will not set out for Friuli; your presence will no doubt enable me to endure Cataneo's," said Massimilla.

Though this would be torment to her lover's soul, he consented with

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:

into a realm that public opinion and ethical philosophy have long since branded as pathological, though private practice and certain lyric strains of poetry seem still to bear witness to its ideality. I refer to the consciousness produced by intoxicants and anaesthetics, especially by alcohol. The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour. Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes. It is in fact the great exciter of the YES function in man. It brings its votary from the chill periphery

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 Phoenix and the Turtle by William Shakespeare:

Neither two nor one was call'd.

Reason, in itself confounded, Saw division grow together; To themselves yet either-neither, Simple were so well compounded.

That it cried how true a twain Seemeth this concordant one! Love hath reason, reason none If what parts can so remain.

Whereupon it made this threne To the phoenix and the dove,