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Today's Stichomancy for Stephen Hawking

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

"He lives!" she screamed: "He lives! he lives!"

Then she threw her stick into the air and caught it as it came down; and she hugged herself with both arms, and tried to do a step of a jig; and all the time she repeated, rapturously:

"He lives! -- he lives! -- he lives!"

Now you may well suppose that Tip observed all this with amazement.

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At first he was so frightened and horrified that he wanted to run away, but his legs trembled and shook so badly that he couldn't. Then it struck him as a very funny thing for Jack to come to life, especially as the expression on his pumpkin face was so droll and comical it excited laughter on the


The Marvelous Land of Oz
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes:

carries me in blissful thought to the banks of asphodel that border the River of Life.

- I should not have talked so much about these personal susceptibilities, if I had not a remark to make about them which I believe is a new one. It is this. There may be a physical reason for the strange connection between the sense of smell and the mind. The olfactory nerve - so my friend, the Professor, tells me - is the only one directly connected with the hemispheres of the brain, the parts in which, as we have every reason to believe, the intellectual processes are performed. To speak more truly the olfactory "nerve" is not a nerve at all, he says, but a part of the


The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Stories From the Old Attic by Robert Harris:

pure logic."

"And it also follows," said Glubber fish, "that you must leave the pond."

"I'll die if I leave the pond," said Chirpy Bird.

"That's not our problem," said Glubber Fish.

"And it's an irrelevant objection," added Whisker Fish. The rest of the adult fish had gradually been easing forward during this conversation and now, at the direction of Glubber Fish, the whole group escorted Chirpy Bird down toward the rocky beach. In a few minutes they reached a low spot near a weeping willow, where several of the large fish grabbed Chirpy Bird and threw him

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 A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:

soundly asleep, he covered his mouth with tow, blindfolded him tightly, bound him hand and foot--'He raged, he wept blood,' my mother heard Cambremer say to the lawyer. The mother threw herself at the father's feet.

"'He is judged and condemned,' replied Pierre; 'you must now help me carry him to the boat.'

"She refused; and Cambremer carried him alone; he laid him in the bottom of the boat, tied a stone to his neck, took the oars and rowed out of the cove to the open sea, till he came to the rock where he now is. When the poor mother, who had come up here with her brother-in- law, cried out, 'Mercy, mercy!' it was like throwing a stone at a