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Today's Stichomancy for Robert Oppenheimer

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Duchesse de Langeais by Honore de Balzac:

But now surround this picture by the Mediterranean, and a burning sky, imagine a few palms here and there, a few stunted evergreen trees mingling their waving leaves with the motionless flowers and foliage of carved stone; look out over the reef with its white fringes of foam in contrast to the sapphire sea; and then turn to the city, with its galleries and terraces whither the townsfolk come to take the air among their flowers of an evening, above the houses and the tops of the trees in their little gardens; add a few sails down in the harbour; and lastly, in the stillness of falling night, listen to the organ music, the chanting of the services, the wonderful sound of bells pealing

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:

yet upon them will depend, more than once, the very life of the ship.

An anchor is forged and fashioned for faithfulness; give it ground that it can bite, and it will hold till the cable parts, and then, whatever may afterwards befall its ship, that anchor is "lost." The honest, rough piece of iron, so simple in appearance, has more parts than the human body has limbs: the ring, the stock, the crown, the flukes, the palms, the shank. All this, according to the journalist, is "cast" when a ship arriving at an anchorage is brought up.

This insistence in using the odious word arises from the fact that


The Mirror of the Sea
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas:

"Well, you shall have your five hundred francs," said Andrea; "but it is very hard for me, my poor Caderousse -- you take advantage" --

"Bah," said Caderousse, "when you have access to countless stores." One would have said Andrea anticipated his companion's words, so did his eye flash like lightning, but it was but for a moment. "True," he replied, "and my protector is very kind."

"That dear protector," said Caderousse; "and how much does he give you monthly?"

"Five thousand francs."


The Count of Monte Cristo