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Today's Stichomancy for John Von Neumann

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:

so that they might know how to order a dinner and scold a cook with due knowledge. They knew nothing of the pleasures of the world; and, seeing how their parents spent their exemplary lives, they very rarely suffered their eyes to wander beyond the walls of their hereditary home, which to their mother was the whole universe. The meetings to which family anniversaries gave rise filled in the future of earthly joy to them.

When the great drawing-room on the second floor was to be prepared to receive company--Madame Roguin, a Demoiselle Chevrel, fifteen months younger than her cousin, and bedecked with diamonds; young Rabourdin, employed in the Finance Office; Monsieur Cesar Birotteau, the rich

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum:

"Why do you want me?" asked Eureka, disturbed by this threat.

"You must go to Princess Ozma. She wants to talk to you."

"All right," returned the kitten, creeping out. "I'm not afraid of Ozma--or anyone else."

Dorothy carried her in her arms back to where the others sat in grieved and thoughtful silence.

"Tell me, Eureka," said the Princess, gently: "did you eat my pretty piglet?"

"I won't answer such a foolish question," asserted Eureka, with a snarl.

"Oh, yes you will, dear," Dorothy declared. "The piglet is gone, and you ran out of the room when Jellia opened the door. So, if you are


Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dust by Mr. And Mrs. Haldeman-Julius:

wonder what he was about in his play. During these moments she would feel normal, but some object catching her eye would jerk her back to the present and the cruel truth. She and Martin had less than ever to say to each other, though in his own grim way he was more thoughtful, giving her to understand that there were no longer any restrictions laid upon her purchasing, and even suggesting that they remodel the house; as if, she thought impassively, at this late day, it could matter what she bought or in what she lived. His one interest in making money, just as if they had some one to leave it to, puzzled her. Always investing, then reinvesting the interest, and spending comparatively little

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 Edition of The Ambassadors by Henry James:

him bespeaking a room "only if not noisy," reply paid, was produced for the enquirer at the office, so that the understanding they should meet at Chester rather than at Liverpool remained to that extent sound. The same secret principle, however, that had prompted Strether not absolutely to desire Waymarsh's presence at the dock, that had led him thus to postpone for a few hours his enjoyment of it, now operated to make him feel he could still wait without disappointment. They would dine together at the worst, and, with all respect to dear old Waymarsh--if not even, for that matter, to himself--there was little fear that in the sequel they shouldn't see enough of each other. The principle I have just mentioned as