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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 End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad:

written in mysterious characters on the wall. He kept perfectly motionless for a few seconds, then got his vast bulk on to his feet so impetuously that Mr. Van Wyk was startled.

He struck first a heavy blow on his inflated chest: and, throwing out horizontally a big arm that remained steady, extended in the air like the limb of a tree on a windless day--

"Not a pain or an ache there. Can you see this shake in the least?"

His voice was low, in an awing, confident contrast with


End of the Tether
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland by Olive Schreiner:

strength together, through fallen earth and broken debris it oozed its way silently on; and it crept out in a deep valley; the mountains closed it around. And the streamlet laughed to itself, 'Ha, ha! I shall make a great lake here; a sea!' And it oozed, and it oozed, and it filled half the plain. But no lake came--only a great marsh--because there was no way outwards, and the water rotted. The grass died out along its edges; and the trees dropped their leaves and rotted in the water; and the wood dove who had built her nest there flew up to the mountains, because her young ones died. And the toads sat on the stones and dropped their spittle in the water; and the reeds were yellow that grew along the edge. And at night, a heavy, white fog gathered over the water, so that the stars could

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes:

so aptly that the peasant went along cursing his fate that he had to listen to such a lot of nonsense; from which, however, he came to the conclusion that his neighbour was mad, and so made all haste to reach the village to escape the wearisomeness of this harangue of Don Quixote's; who, at the end of it, said, "Senor Don Rodrigo de Narvaez, your worship must know that this fair Xarifa I have mentioned is now the lovely Dulcinea del Toboso, for whom I have done, am doing, and will do the most famous deeds of chivalry that in this world have been seen, are to be seen, or ever shall be seen."

To this the peasant answered, "Senor- sinner that I am!- cannot your worship see that I am not Don Rodrigo de Narvaez nor the Marquis of


Don Quixote
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 Tales of the Klondyke by Jack London:

practical breed, the men of the Northland, with a wholesome disregard for theories and a firm grip on facts. And to not a few of them Karen Sayther was a most essential fact. That she did not regard the matter in this light, is evidenced by the neatness and celerity with which refusal and proposal tallied off during her four weeks' stay. And with her vanished the fact, and only the interrogation remained.

To the solution, Chance vouchsafed one clew. Her last victim, Jack Coughran, having fruitlessly laid at her feet both his heart and a five-hundred-foot creek claim on Bonanza, celebrated the misfortune by walking all of a night with the gods. In the