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Today's Stichomancy for Oliver Stone

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Economist by Xenophon:

Soc. How better than by lifting up and lightening the soil?

Isch. Yes! and that other portion lying naked to the roots and defenceless, how aid it?

Soc. Possibly by mounding up fresh earth about it.[16]

[16] "Scraping up a barrier of fresh earth about it."

Isch. And what when the weeds spring up together with the corn and choke it? or when they rob and ruthlessly devour the corn's proper sustenance, like unserviceable drones[17] that rob the working bees of honey, pilfering the good food which they have made and stored away with labour: what must we do?

[17] Cf. Shakesp. "Lazy yawning drones," "Henry V." I. ii. 204.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Mountains by Stewart Edward White:

travel at an altitude of about ten thousand feet, where the snow lies in midsummer; where there is no feed, no comfort, and the way is strewn with the bones of horses. This is known as the "Basin Trail." After taking it, you prefer the others--until you try them.

The finish of the second route is directly over the summit of a mountain. You climb two thousand feet and then drop down five. The ascent is heart- breaking but safe. The descent is hair-raising and unsafe: no profanity can do justice to it. Out of a pack-train of thirty mules, nine were lost in the

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:

a common soul in him, he had a subtle something that somehow anomalously did its duty. What that was, whether essence of quicksilver, or a few drops of hartshorn, there is no telling. But there it was; and there it had abided for now some sixty years or more. And this it was, this same unaccountable, cunning life-principle in him; this it was, that kept him a great part of the time soliloquizing; but only like an unreasoning wheel, which also hummingly soliloquizes; or rather, his body was a sentry-box and this soliloquizer on guard there, and talking all the time to keep himself awake.

CHAPTER 108


Moby Dick