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Today's Stichomancy for Chow Yun Fat

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pivot of Civilization by Margaret Sanger:

the burden of their ever-growing families? This question loomed large to those of us who came into intimate contact with the women and children. We saw that in the final analysis the real burden of economic and industrial warfare was thrust upon the frail, all-too- frail shoulders of the children, the very babies--the coming generation. In their wan faces, in their undernourished bodies, would be indelibly written the bitter defeat of their parents.

The eloquence of those who led the underpaid and half-starved workers could no longer, for me, at least, ring with conviction. Something more than the purely economic interpretation was involved. The bitter struggle for bread, for a home and material comfort, was but one phase

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Laches by Plato:

cross-examined the company about their past lives. Nicias has often submitted to this process; and Laches is quite willing to learn from Socrates, because his actions, in the true Dorian mode, correspond to his words.

Socrates proceeds: We might ask who are our teachers? But a better and more thorough way of examining the question will be to ask, 'What is Virtue?'--or rather, to restrict the enquiry to that part of virtue which is concerned with the use of weapons--'What is Courage?' Laches thinks that he knows this: (1) 'He is courageous who remains at his post.' But some nations fight flying, after the manner of Aeneas in Homer; or as the heavy-armed Spartans also did at the battle of Plataea. (2) Socrates wants

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Some Reminiscences by Joseph Conrad:

pride in the national constitution which has survived a long course of such dishes is really excusable. But enough of generalising. Returning to particulars, Mr. Nicholas B. confided to his sister-in-law (my grandmother) in his misanthropically laconic manner that this supper in the woods had been nearly "the death of him." This is not surprising. What surprises me is that the story was ever heard of; for grand-uncle Nicholas differed in this from the generality of military men of Napoleon's time (and perhaps of all time), that he did not like to talk of his campaigns, which began at Friedland and ended somewhere in the neighbourhood of Bar-le-Duc. His admiration of


Some Reminiscences
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 Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne:

to regain lost time.

Here, then, was Michael Strogoff, strolling through the town and quietly looking out for some inn in which to pass the night. However, he troubled himself little on this score, and, but that hunger pressed him, he would probably have wandered on till morning in the streets of Nijni-Nov- gorod. He was looking for supper rather than a bed. But he found both at the sign of the City of Constantinople. There, the landlord offered him a fairly comfortable room, with little furniture, it is true, but not without an image of the Virgin, and a few saints framed in yellow gauze.