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Today's Stichomancy for Robert Oppenheimer

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Some Reminiscences by Joseph Conrad:

beastly thing gone to?" ungracious spirit. Where indeed! It might have been reposing behind the sofa for a day or so. My landlady's anaemic daughter (as Ollendorff would have expressed it), though commendably neat, had a lordly, careless manner of approaching her domestic duties. Or it might even be resting delicately poised on its point by the side of the table-leg, and when picked up show a gaping, inefficient beak which would have discouraged any man of literary instincts. But not me! "Never mind. This will do."

O days without guile! If anybody had told me then that a devoted household, having a generally exaggerated idea of my talents and


Some Reminiscences
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Royalty Restored/London Under Charles II by J. Fitzgerald Molloy:

Shrewsbury had accepted my Lord Arran's attentions without encouraging his. For Henry Jermyn, by virtue of the fascinations he exercised and the consequent reputation he enjoyed, expected to be wooed by such women as desired his love.

But when, later on, Lord Arran's devotion to the lady was succeeded by that of Thomas Howard, brother to the Earl of Carlisle, and captain of the guards, Jermyn was thoroughly incensed, and resolved to make an exception in favour of the countess by beginning those civilities which act as preludes to intrigue. My lady, who was not judicious enough to be off with the old love before she was on with the new, accepted Jermyn's

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Koran:

'Ad called the apostles liars, and how was my punishment and my warning?

Verily, we sent on them a cold storm wind on a day of continuous ill-luck!

It reft men away as though they had been palm stumps torn up!

We have made the Koran easy as a reminder- but is there any one who will mind?

Thamud called the warnings lies, and said, 'A mortal, one of us, alone, shall we follow him? then indeed were we in error and excitement!

'Is the warning cast on him alone among us? nay, he is an insolent


The Koran
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 Peter Pan by James M. Barrie:

then they put a door on top of it, the whole thus becoming a table; as soon as they cleared away, they sawed off the trunk again, and thus there was more room to play. There was an enourmous fireplace which was in almost any part of the room where you cared to light it, and across this Wendy stretched strings, made of fibre, from which she suspended her washing. The bed was tilted against the wall by day, and let down at 6:30, when it filled nearly half the room; and all the boys slept in it, except Michael, lying like sardines in a tin. There was a strict rule against turning round until one gave the signal, when all turned at once. Michael should have used it also, but Wendy


Peter Pan