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Today's Stichomancy for David Letterman

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:

trace of fertility may be detected, by the pollen of one of the pure parent-species causing the flower of the hybrid to wither earlier than it otherwise would have done; and the early withering of the flower is well known to be a sign of incipient fertilisation. From this extreme degree of sterility we have self-fertilised hybrids producing a greater and greater number of seeds up to perfect fertility.

Hybrids from two species which are very difficult to cross, and which rarely produce any offspring, are generally very sterile; but the parallelism between the difficulty of making a first cross, and the sterility of the hybrids thus produced--two classes of facts which are generally confounded together--is by no means strict. There are many


On the Origin of Species
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:

The changeless gaze of those accusing eyes frightened him; he closed them hastily, as he would have closed a loose shutter swayed by the wind of an autumn night. He stood there motionless, lost in a world of thought.

Suddenly the silence was broken by a shrill sound like the creaking of a rusty spring. It startled Don Juan; he all but dropped the phial. A sweat, colder than the blade of a dagger, issued through every pore. It was only a piece of clockwork, a wooden cock that sprang out and crowed three times, an ingenious contrivance by which the learned of that epoch were wont to be awakened at the appointed hour to begin the labors of the day.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Virginibus Puerisque by Robert Louis Stevenson:

I have heard her say she could wonder herself crazy over the human eyebrow. Now in a world where most of us walk very contentedly in the little lit circle of their own reason, and have to be reminded of what lies without by specious and clamant exceptions - earthquakes, eruptions of Vesuvius, banjos floating in mid-air at a SEANCE, and the like - a mind so fresh and unsophisticated is no despicable gift. I will own I think it a better sort of mind than goes necessarily with the clearest views on public business. It will wash. It will find something to say at an odd moment. It has in it the spring of pleasant and quaint fancies. Whereas I can imagine

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 Rinkitink In Oz by L. Frank Baum:

"But why has Your Majesty so few attendants? Is it not dangerous for the King of a great country to make distant journeys in one frail boat, and with but twenty men?"

"Oh, I suppose so," answered King Rinkitink, with a laugh. "But what else could I do? My subjects would not allow me to go anywhere at all, if they knew it. So I just ran away."

"Ran away!" exclaimed King Kitticut in surprise.

"Funny, isn't it? Heh, heh, heh -- woo, hoo!" laughed Rinkitink, and this is as near as I can spell with


Rinkitink In Oz