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Today's Stichomancy for Jay Leno

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Euthydemus by Plato:

ideas of space, time, matter, motion, were proved to be contradictory and imaginary; in which the nature of qualitative change was a puzzle, and even differences of degree, when applied to abstract notions, were not understood; in which there was no analysis of grammar, and mere puns or plays of words received serious attention; in which contradiction itself was denied, and, on the one hand, every predicate was affirmed to be true of every subject, and on the other, it was held that no predicate was true of any subject, and that nothing was, or was known, or could be spoken. Let us imagine disputes carried on with religious earnestness and more than scholastic subtlety, in which the catchwords of philosophy are completely detached from their context. (Compare Theaet.) To such disputes the

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

double meaning marred its charm; its keenness was not perifidious, its humor seemed kindly, and no trace of remorse disturbed its equanimity.

He sat down to the card-table. Adelaide took side with the painter, saying that he did not know piquet, and needed a partner.

All through the game Madame de Rouville and her daughter exchanged looks of intelligence, which alarmed Hippolyte all the more because he was winning; but at last a final hand left the lovers in the old lady's debt.

To feel for some money in his pocket the painter took his hands

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Edna Ferber:

opened and closed upon them.

Then--well, it was just another newspaper story. It made a good one. That evening I told Frau Nirlanger about it, and she wept, softly, and murmured: "Ach, das arme baby! Like my little Oscar he is, without a mother." I told Ernst about him too, and Blackie, because I could not get his grave little face out of my mind. I wondered if those who had charge of him now would take the time to bathe the little body, and brush the soft hair until it shone, and tie the gay plaid silk tie as lovingly as "Daddy" Arnett of the Detention Home

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 Odyssey by Homer:

blow as it chose; but it all came to nothing, for we were lost through our own folly.

"Nine days and nine nights did we sail, and on the tenth day our native land showed on the horizon. We got so close in that we could see the stubble fires burning, and I, being then dead beat, fell into a light sleep, for I had never let the rudder out of my own hands, that we might get home the faster. On this the men fell to talking among themselves, and said I was bringing back gold and silver in the sack that Aeolus had given me. 'Bless my heart,' would one turn to his neighbour, saying, 'how this man gets honoured and makes friends to whatever city


The Odyssey