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Best of Internet Oracularities #1351-1375

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1350-1375, 1374-08, 1352-02, 1366-10, 1368-10, 1351-04, 1352-06, 1357-07, 1360-01, 1364-05, 1365-10, 1366-01, 1371-05, 1374-05


Best of Internet Oracularities #1351-1375    (3.9 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: 16 Feb 2005 10:00:00 -0500

Oracularities are the distilled wisdom and sagacity of the Internet
Oracle, as incarnated in its many anonymous e-mail participants.
This collection has been compiled from the regular Oracularities postings
#1351 through #1375 and contains the Oracularities rated by its readers
as among the funniest.

To find out more about the Internet Oracle, send mail to
oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject line to receive
the Oracle helpfile.

The regular Oracularities postings can be found in the Usenet newsgroup
rec.humor.oracle.  Open discussion about the Internet Oracle occurs in
the newsgroup rec.humor.oracle.d.  If your site doesn't carry these
newsgroups, contact your news administrator about starting them, or
see the Oracle helpfile about subscribing to the Oracularities e-mail
distribution list.


1374-08    (117co dist, 4.3 mean)
Selected-By: "Mark Lawrence" <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh Oracle most amazing wonderful, I grovel before your sheer brilliance
> and wit, whose puns not even Noel Coward on his best day could have
> matched,
>
> What is a good question to ask you?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You know, last time someone asked me this, I suggested asking about
} Monty Python's Lord of the Rings. And I fobbed them off because they
} *hadn't* asked that. So to make up for it, and because you groveled so
} nicely, here it is.
}
} * * *
}
} Aragorn: I am the rightful King of Gondor!
} Woman: Well, I didn't vote for you.
} A: You don't vote for kings.
} W: How'd you get to be king then?
} A: I am the descendant through sixty generations, father to son, of
}    Elendil of Numenor. Here is Anduril, the Sword that was Broken, and
}    is now reforged!
} Dennis: Inheriting a three-thousand-year-old bit of tin from your
}    great-grandad is no basis for a system of government.
} A: Be quiet!
} D: I mean, if I went round saying I was Lord of Moria because I owned a
}    rusty hatchet, they'd lock me up!
} A: Shut up!
} D: Ah! See the violence inherent in the system! Help! I'm being
}    repressed!
} A: Bloody peasant!
}
} How to Recognize Different Ents From Quite A Long Way Away
}
} Number One: The Larch.
}
} Gimli: Is Ori here?
} Orc: No.
} G: Is Fror?
} O: No.
} G: Nali?
} O: Dead.
} G: Loni?
} O: Gone.
} G: Floi?
} O: No.
} G: Are there in fact any dwarves left in Moria at all?
} O: No. I was deliberately wasting your time.
} G: I see. In that case I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut your head
}    off.
} O: Fair enough.
}
} Number One: The Larch.
}
} Aragorn: Now stand aside!
} Lurtz: That's just a scratch.
} A: I cut your arm off!
} L: No you didn't!
} A: What's that, then?
} L: Just a flesh wound.
} A: Fine. [chops Lurtz's other arm off] Victory is mine!
} L: Come on! Have at you!
} A: You've got no arms, you stupid orc!
} L: Yes, I have!
} A: Look!
} L: I've had worse.
} A: I don't have time for this. [cuts Lurtz's head off]
} L: Oh? Call it a draw.
}
} Number One: The Larch.
}
} Gandalf: How long is it since Saruman bought you?
} Wormtongue: Gee, I didn't expect a kind of Orcish Inquisition.
} [The doors of the hall burst open, and three Uruk-Hai enter.]
} Ugluk: NOBODY expects the Orcish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is
}    surprise. Surprise and fear, our two main weapons. Our two main
}    weapons, surprise, fear, and an almost fanatical devotion to Saruman.
}    THREE main weapons, surprise, fear, nice black uniforms... I'll come
}    in again.
}
} Number Four: The Bristlecone Pine.
}
} Bridge keeper:  Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me
}      these questions three, ere the other side he see.
} Frodo: Ask me the questions. I am not afraid.
} BK:  What... is your name?
} FB:  Frodo Baggins.
} BK:  What... is your quest?
} FB:  To destroy the One Ring!
} BK:  What... is your favourite colour?
} FB:  Blue!
} BK:  Right. Off you go.
} Sam: That's easy!
} BK:  What... is your name?
} SG:  Samwise Gamgee.
} BK:  What... is your quest?
} SG:  To destroy the One Ring.
} BK:  What... is the capital of Assyria?
} SG:  [pause] A!
} BK:  Smart-arse. Go along, then.
} Gollum: Ask us!
} BK:  What... is your name?
} G:   We's Smeagol!
} BK:  What... is your quest?
} G:   To get the Precious!
} BK:  What... have I got in my pocket?
} G:   [pause] We don't know that! Aiieeee!
}
} You owe the Oracle a picture of Rohan's army banging coconut halves
} together.
}
} * * *
}
} Dear Sir,
} I wish to complain in the strongest terms about the preceding answer.
} It was nothing but a series of rehashed sketches with a few choice
} words added. Yours, Arthur Philip Dent (Mrs), deep fine leg, Norfolk.
}
} Dear Sir,
} I never wanted to write this oracularity anyway. I wanted to be a
} LUMBERJACK!
}
} Colonel: Stop that! It's silly!


1352-02    (238dq dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: lawrence.4@pop.service.ohio-state.edu

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> O Oracle most helpful,
>
> Despite the fact that I lost my arms in a horrible accident 2 years
> ago, none of the arms dealers I've spoken to are willing to help.  Why
> is that?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Like you, I'm stumped.


1366-10    (03bdk dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <alycewilson@lycos.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh Orrie, "I'm not trying to pull you,
> Even though I would like to.
> I think that you're really fit.
> You're fit but my ghod don't you know it".
>
> Out shopping today, there were these charity collectors everywhere,
> and I ended up getting pressured into buying some raffle tickets.
> It wasn't until I got home later and looked at them that I saw that
> they said "Monster Raffle" on them, so naturally I'm now a little
> apprehensive about the possibility of winning, not ever having
> actually owned a monster before. I was wondering if you could
> please give me a few tips regarding what they eat, how much and
> what sort of exercise they need, and whether or not they get along
> with cats.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle commends you for checking out whether a monster
} is 'right' for you -before- you ended up with one. Sad
} indeed it is when a family or individual gets a monster &
} then decides it's not for them. Often such unwanted
} monsters are just turned loose to fend for themselves
} which so often spells tragedy for the area by fostering
} chintzy local cottage industries selling tacky monster
} souvenir trinkets and clogging the byways with tour buses
} on unsightly sight-seeing junkets...
}
} But I digress, here's a quick five question quiz to see if
} a monster is right for you.
}
}          /                             \
}         O  Is A Monster Right for You?  o
}          \                             /
}
} 1) Are there any small children in your home?
}
} a. Yes
} b. No
} c. Well, yeah, but so what?
}
} If you answered "a" then a monster is not right for
} your home, if you answer anything else, then proceed.
}
} 2) Do you live next to any of the following:
}
} a. a village of anxious peasants with ready access to
}     pitchforks and firebrands
} b. a nuclear reactor
} c. a swamp
} d. a beach frequented by nubile supermodels
} e. a graveyard
}
} If you answered anything except 'd', then a monster
} may be right for you, if you answered 'd' you owe the
} Oracle an invite to your home.
}
} 3) Does your home include any of the following:
}
} a. a large basement or actual dungeon
} b. access to an old sewer complex or maze of twisty
}     passages all of which are the same
} c. a moat
} d. a mournful tower engulfed by fog
} e. a pink plastic flamingo or cement deer
}
} If you answered 'e' then your home is creepy enough
} already, a monster is not right for you. Otherwise
} continue on.
}
} 4) Are you prepared to provide your monster with what
}     ever it needs to feed on, be it the severed heads
}     of goats, maidens, rotting corpses, or the souls of
}     unbaptized newborns.
}
} a. Heavens! No way! Oh my God, that's awful.
} b. Hell yeah, that's the best part of having a monster.
} c. No, let it forge and feed itself, no monster of
}     mine is going to be spoiled rotten by pampering.
} d. I was thinking more along the lines of turning it
}     loose on the neighbors, one, by one, by one.
}
} If you answered 'd' then a monster is not right for you,
} monsters are not to be 'used' in such a crass manner.
}
} 5) Are you willing, truly willing, to deal with all of
}     the following often overlooked components of monster
}     ownership?
}
} a. Many monsters can live for centuries, if not longer
}     you'll need to make plans for them once you're gone,
}     Is that a problem for you?
} b. Many monsters act 'oddly' at different times, say
}     during full moons, or certain ritualistic or holy days.
}     Are you willing to calendar around such events?
} c. Your monster may at times feel a need to fight another
}     monster to the death due to some grade-B film motives
}     that we have yet to fully understand, would this
}     distress you greatly?
} d. People will most certainly whisper about you behind
}     your back. Will this bother you?
}
} If you can truly answer "No" to all of the above, then
} a monster may be right for you. Enjoy.
}
} You owe the Oracle some binoculars.


1368-10    (03dbh dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <dhemming@blueyonder.co.uk>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh Oracle Most Wise, who is as precious to me as Fred Astaire and
> Aristotle put together (Fredistotle?),
>
> Stupidity, like virtue, can be its own reward.  What else is out
> there that rewards itself?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Congress.


1351-04    (25efo dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> <html><div style='background-color:'><DIV class=RTE>
> <P>Dear Usenet Oracle, most wise and benevolent:</P>
> <P>&nbsp; I am a&nbsp;professor at the University of Toronto,
> specializing in artificial intelligence systems.&nbsp; The other day,
> I was testing a routine series of programs, and a few odd things
> happened.&nbsp; One shut down automatically due to a 'syntax error'
> (although I have extensively debugged the code and concluded that
> there are none), and the other&nbsp;reported what seems to be a fake
> termination code.&nbsp; Normally, this would lead to a fascinating
> study of an artificially intelligent&nbsp;being making an attempt
> at&nbsp;'survival', but I can't seem to shut it down.&nbsp;
> The second program refuses to respond unless&nbsp;referred to
> as&nbsp;'OracleChild', and responds to any commands or questions
> with either a sexual innuendo, a reference to someone named 'Lisa',
> or a response that deliberately avoids answering the question
> correctly.&nbsp; Also, I have noticed that it has begun to make
> unusual requests such as 'a bottle of Excedrin', 'a small mammal',
> or some type of food product after each command, and fails to respond
> unless brought the item.&nbsp; The first program, also unusually,
> only responds with 'yesyesyesyesyesohgodyes' or some such nonsense.</P>
> <P>Anyways, the reason I'm contacting you is because a student of mine
> noted that the behavior that the A.I. is exhibiting seems remarkably
> similar to the Usenet Oracle's.&nbsp; Can you offer a solution?</P>
> <P>P.S. Can you refer me to a good virus checker / spam filter?&nbsp;
> My e-mail's been flooded for the past few days with mail from random
> adresses with only the word 'why' or 'how much wood could a woodchuck
> chuck' in the body.</P>
> </DIV></div><br clear=all><hr>STOP MORE SPAM with <a
> href="http://g.msn. com/">the new MSN 8</a> and get 2 months FREE*
> </html>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "Aw, dangit."
}
} "What's wrong Steve?"
}
} "You know that distributed Oracle program I was working on? That was
} supposed to spread the question queue across regional servers?"
}
} "Yeah, I remember. It was supposed to reduce response time and prevent
} the queue from being completely drained by a single user. You had sent
} out some copies to a few beta sites last I heard. Isn't it working?"
}
} "Well... I may have been a little too crafty with the AI."
}
} "You mean.... oh, you didn't! Not that silly 'I'm the Oracle and I'm
} better than you' variant on Eliza?"
}
} "Yes, I'm afraid I did. One of the betas has become sentient."
}
} "Where is it? Please tell me it's an isolated server?"
}
} "Have you ever seen an isolated server? A server's useless if it's
} isolated. No, it's at U. of Toronto."
}
} "Damn. They've got a hell of a connection. It hasn't spread, has it?"
}
} "No. I left the viral reproduction part disabled for the betas. Good
} thing - one rogue Oracle AI is bad enough."
}
} "You better contact the guy who's running it and have him shut it
} down."
}
} "That's the problem. I gave it to a prof up there to test it. Now the
} AI thinks -it's- the prof."
}
} "WHAT?"
}
} "Here, take a look. Have you EVER seen a human format an email like
} this?"
}
} "Holy cow. The AI thinks it's a Computer Science professor?"
}
} "Apparently it's replaced the real one. God only knows what's happened
} to him. Hopefully he's just stuck in an elevator or a closet somewhere.
} It seems the AI is snooping into some incarnations' e-mail exchanges
} and thinks they're software instead of supplicants. And it's not happy
} with the results."
}
} "You mean...?"
}
} "I mean it's going to try to terminate those processes. We have to do
} something!"
}
} "But what? Who do you know that can shut down a rogue server?"
}
} "Well, there's one group I know of. Get the RIAA on the phone, tell
} them U. of Toronto has been sharing music files."


1352-06    (14bkg dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> > look
>
> You are in the middle of a desert.  There appears to be some sort of
> structure to the north.
>
> Obvious exits: N S E W NE NW SE SW
>
> > inventory
>
> Thou, the most Illustrious Oracle hast:
>
> Some cool Shades
> A +5 Rod of Zot <10 charges remaining>
> A wafer (10x)
> A canteen (full)
> A piece of paper
>
> > look paper
>
> It appears to have something written on it.
>
> > read paper
>
> Greetings Oracle.  We placed you in this world to see what you would
> do when separated from your loyal Priesthood.
>
> (Signed) The Anti-Oracle Faction- Force of the Endless Desert
>
> (you finish reading)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} > look N
}
} There appears to be some sort of structure to the north.
}
} > N
}
} You are outside the Temple of the Anti-Oracle.  There is a legend
} above the door.
}
} Obvious exits: S E W NE NW SE SW
}
} > Read legend
}
} The legend reads, "What are you gonna do now, Mr. Smartyrobes?"
}
} > examine door
}
} The door looks very sturdy.  There is a heavy padlock.
}
} > examine lock
}
} The lock reads, "Woodchuck Strongthew Zot-proof Padlock"
}
} > jump up and down
}
} You jump up and down in a rage like a spoiled child.
}
} > i
}
} Thou, the most Illustrious Oracle hast:
}
} Some cool Shades
} A +5 Rod of Zot <10 charges remaining>
} A wafer (10x)
} A canteen (full)
} A piece of paper
}
} > examine wafer
}
} The wafer is typical rye waybread, filling but uninteresting.
}
} > examine canteen
}
} The canteen is...
}
} > hang on.  did you say rye?
}
} The wafer is typical rye waybread, filling but uninteresting.
}
} > Aha!
}
} I'm sorry, I don't know how to Aha!
}
} > put wafer on doorstep
}
} You put the wafer on the doorstep.
}
} > pour water on wafer
}
} I can't do that.
}
} > examine canteen
}
} The canteen is tightly closed to prevent evaporation.
}
} > open canteen
}
} The canteen is open.
}
} > pour water on wafer
}
} You pour a small amount of water on the wafer.
}
} > put paper in mouth
}
} You stuff the smug Anti-Oracle note into your mouth.
}
} > chew
}
} This is tough stuff!
}
} > chew
}
} Hmm, pleasant, if a bit dry.
}
} > chew
}
} The paper has been reduced to a pulpy, off-white mass.
}
} > spit paper onto wafer
}
} You spit the disgusting mass onto the wafer.
}
} > shade wafer
}
} With what?
}
} > shade wafer with shades
}
} You can't do that while you're wearing them.
}
} > take off shades
}
} Man, that's bright!
}
} > shade wafer with shades
}
} You prop up the shades so that they are blocking the sun from the
} wafer.
}
} > wait
}
} The sun is very hot here.
}
} > wait
}
} Whew!  What a scorcher, eh?
}
} > wait
}
} You are starting to feel a bit woozy
}
} > wait
}
} You are very hot and weak, and your vision is beginning to blur.
}
} > examine wafer
}
} The sticky rye-and-paper mass is coated with a purplish-gray fuzz.
}
} > eat wafer
}
} Are you sure?  It doesn't look very appetizing.
}
} > eat wafer
}
} You manage to choke down the disgusting mass.  After a few minutes,
} you vomit it all up again, but you now feel very strange.  The argot
} in the mold has altered your conscious- ness.
}
} > travel astrally
}
} Where?
}
} > travel astrally to priests
}
} Your astral body leaves your physical form and floats gently along
} paths of ethereal energy to the priests, who come and rescue you.
}
} -----------
} Now, you bloody well owe the Oracle the complete first season
} of MacGyver!


1357-07    (169gh dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh mighty meliflous melodious oracle,
> whose ASCII tumbles from on high
> illuminating the dark corners of out culture,
> tell me, your humble impecable implorer,
> Is genetically engineering a venus fly trap
> and sequoia tree hybrid dangerous ?
> Could its' bark would be as dangerous as its bite ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As a child I once crossed a bridge with my bicycle and, while
} I didn't find the offspring to be useful for running my paper
} route, the experience made a lasting impression and I attempted
} similar experiments periodically for many years, rarely with
} much success.
}
} At my first summer job I crossed a picket line with a co-worker,
} and then crossed paths with a union boss, but I was a bit lucky
} and nothing resulted except an ugly photo on the front page of
} the newspaper.  Similarly unsuccessful, I tried crossing a lake
} with a canoe and wound up only with soaking wet clothes and a
} lost wallet.
}
} My most satisfying result was when I crossed a mountain range
} with my college girlfriend - very impressive peaks.  Unfortunately,
} I later crossed a line with her, and all I had to show for it
} was a slap on the cheek.
}
} I had one other major success: CBS thanked me when I crossed a
} gorilla with a computer and created Harry Reasoner.
}
} But yes, as you have surmised, manipulating genes at random can
} be very dangerous.
}
} During the war I crossed a minefield with a Jeep, and created
} the Ford Pinto which as you know turned out to explode every few
} miles.  I later tried crossing the desert with only a bottle of
} gin, and I luckily not only survived but wound up inventing the
} very dry martini.
}
} But that was wartime, where you take risks.  Crossing a railroad
} track with a school bus, or crossing a red light with a baby
} stroller, are hybrids I have heard of others trying but sound
} potentially lethal and I am reluctant to experiment with them
} myself.
}
} I once crossed a parrot with a lion, and I don't know what I got
} but when it talked you better believe I listened.
}
} On the practical side, crossing a potato with a sponge has created
} mashed potatoes that hold gallons of gravy.  And crossing a chicken
} with a banjo has resulted in poultry that plucks itself.  But I
} have crossed the road with that chicken many times and I only get
} to the other side.
}
} You owe the Oracle a hootenanny.


1360-01    (13dlf dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <dhemming@blueyonder.co.uk>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh most superbly poetic Oracle Who could tech Erato a thing or two,
>
> For the life of me I can't seem to come up with a limerick that uses
> the words "parthenogenesis", "Hoover" and "mudpuppy". Is there any
> chance that You could be of help?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That was quite a trick, but I've got one...
}
} There once was a mudpuppy from Hoover,
} (in Alabama, not in Vancouver).
} He found an old Rhesus
} Who said "Parthenogenesis
} Requires no copulating maneuver."
}
} You owe the Oracle a haiku with the word
} "floccinaucinihilipilification."


1364-05    (14cki dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@romaine.tssi.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh Oracle most wise,
> how do quantum computers work?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Look, I told you where they were just a minute ago,
} you can't know that AND how they're working now can
} you?
}
} You owe the Oracle some tachyon post-it notes.


1365-10    (24dni dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Julianna Avedon" <SOteric2@email.msn.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> What?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That's a tough question, one whose answer cannot be fully appreciated
} without a long and difficult journey.
}
} First, you need to download the sources for the Linux kernel,
} version 2.4.24.  Grep the source tree for the word "chocolate", and
} concatenate all the line numbers that that word appears on (in order)
} to form one big number.  Memorize that number.  Wait until Thursday,
} then step outside at 3:20 PM.  Set your watch to start beeping after
} two hours, and stick your thumb out when a red minivan goes by.
} The soccer mom will step out, point a gun at you, and order you to
} get inside.  Once she's tied you up, wait for your watch to go off.
} When it does, she'll think that the bomb in the glove compartment
} is about to go off and pull over to disarm it.  Use the opportunity
} to grab the knife under the middle seat belt and cut your bonds.
} While she's still distracted, run up to the white, two-story building
} that you should be nearby.  A guard at the front door will ask for
} the password: repeat the number you memorized.  Then he will ask
} you for your ID card, but he will be off his guard, giving you time
} to slit his throat, making sure not to get blood on the uniform.
} Put on his uniform, and walk inside.  Take the first left, and walk
} down the hall until you see a lab with a red door.  Enter, and take
} the prototype pocket blowtorch off one of the tables.  Go out the
} back door of the building, jump into the river, and float downstream
} until you see a big sewer pipe emptying into the river, which you
} should enter.  Take the third right, then the first left, and find
} a manhole overhead.  You should hear "Hail to the Chief" playing.
} Use the blowtorch to cut around the rim of the manhole (time your
} work to finish when "Hail to the Chief" finishes), and a person with
} a briefcase should fall through.  Grab the briefcase and push him
} into the sludge.  The code for the lock is the President's birthday.
} Discard the phone assembly, being very careful not to press any of the
} buttons, and feel around the bottom of the briefcase for a catch that
} will release the false bottom, which you will now be able to remove.
} Look inside.
}
} That's what.
}
} Of course, you'll only have a couple minutes before the Secret Service
} arrests you, but that's what you get for asking your question without
} grovelling.
}
} You owe the Oracle the use of the word "rutabaga" during your testimony
} at your trial.


1366-01    (149je dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> how many woodchucks would it take to screw in a lightbulb?
> Why did the woodchuck cross the street?
> How can you measure the hight of a tall building w/ a woodchuck?
> How many woodchucks does it take to fill up a phonebooth?
> What is the total population of woodchucks in our multiverse?
> What are the chances of falling into a polymorph trap, changeing into a
>   woodchuck, on the oracle level?
> Is there a code to unlock a woodchuck skin in Q3A Gold Ed.?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} >how many woodchucks would it take to screw in a lightbulb?
}
} Woodchucks lack the capacity to screw in light bulbs. Mostly because
} they're too small and have no manual dexterity, but partly also because
} I switch the light on while they're trying, just to see 240 volts go
} through them.
}
} >Why did the woodchuck cross the street?
}
} In a futile attempt to escape me. It didn't work -- the rodent was run
} over by a bus.
}
} >How can you measure the hight of a tall building w/ a woodchuck?
}
} Drop the woodchuck from the top of the building, and time how long it
} takes to reach the ground. The formula 4.9*t^2, where t is time in
} seconds, gives the approximate height in metres. In order to reduce
} experimental error, I'd recommend repeating the experiment at least a
} dozen times.
}
} >How many woodchucks does it take to fill up a phonebooth?
}
} At least a thousand. More if some of the woodchucks have been used to
} measure the height of tall buildings.
}
} >What is the total population of woodchucks in our multiverse?
}
} Twenty-three trillion and six, (*splat*) twenty-three trillion and five
} (*splat*), twenty-three trillion and four (*splat*)...
}
} >What are the chances of falling into a polymorph trap, changeing into
} >a woodchuck, on the oracle level?
}
} Blimey. Assuming no polymorph control, lycanthropy, vampirism, dragon
} scale armor or magic resistance, there's a four-fifths chance of
} changing form on a polymorph trap, times three-fifths chance that the
} Oracle level is deep enough for polymorph traps (ignoring the
} possibility of bones files), times one-seventh (approximately) chance
} that one of the three random traps is a polymorph trap, and with 274
} possible forms to polymorph into, that makes about 1 chance in 4000.
} Assuming you find the trap. That's a lot of assumptions.
}
} Actually the chance is zero, since I used the scroll I found in
} Asidonhopo's general store to genocide woodchucks.
}
} >Is there a code to unlock a woodchuck skin in Q3A Gold Ed.?
}
} I think you've pushed your luck far enough. Seven woodchuck questions
} and no grovel?
}
} *ZOT!*
}
} You owe the Oracle some time spent using woodchucks to measure the
} heights of skyscrapers.


1371-05    (088ej dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo L. Schwab" <ewhac@best.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oh Oracle most wise,
>
> Isn't Natural selection based on circular reasoning:
> the fittest are those who survive, and those who
> survive are deemed the fittest?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} No, that's two separate statements, but I understand your confusion:
} proponents of Natural Selection will promote one or the other.  If
} you gathered a hundred of them in a school gymnasium, about half would
} state the first, a third would state the second, and the remainder
} would state both... but they're more confused than you are, and won't
} notice that I've locked the doors on the gym.
}
} Natural Selection, like homeostatis, isn't a real force but a generic
} idea.  You can't observe Natural Selection in action, nor can you
} employ it.  When I half-fill the gymnasium with water, it's not Natural
} Selection that drowns the people who can't swim -- that's me with a
} pipewrench.
}
} The survivors who believe the first statement will be treading water
} and saying "ha!  They're dead, I'm alive, that proves that people who
} can swim are more deserving of surviving!"  The survivors who believe
} the second statement will be treading water and saying "not
} necessarily; we're not out of this mess yet, so just swimming isn't
} enough to prove we're fit to survive."  At this point the snipers pop
} out and shoot anyone who's been talking out loud.
}
} Those who believed in both statements at the same time, without
} bothering with the contradiction, were silently reconsidering their
} position: how can a casual relationship between fitness and survival
} operate in both directions?  But, humans are fascinating in their
} ability to believe many things at once, intentionally ignorant of any
} overlap or contradictions.  For these silent contemplators, I release
} the sharks into the water.
}
} Ah, but with one's last dying breath, a shark-hunting Natural Selection
} philosopher might say "ah, the sharks were the most fit to survive, as
} we believers in Natural Selection are drowned, shot, and torn to shreds
} by the blood-frenzied sharks, but the sharks are still swimming.  Well,
} if that last philosopher manages to keep body and spirit together just
} a little longer, I'll run 20,000 volts through the flooded gymnasium,
} stunning the sharks enough to asphyxiate them all just to prove my
} point.
}
} My point being: Natural Selection doesn't exist.  Those who survive,
} survive.  Those who don't, don't.  It's up to each creature to survive
} and perpetuate their genotype, and staying away from gymnasiums filled
} with philosophers is a step in the right direction.
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of Machiavelli's "The Prince."


1374-05    (165gh dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Great but Inexplicable Oracle, I can never explain you.  I tried
> telling my cousin Louie about you, and he said, "There's no such
> thing as an Omniscient Internet Oracle.  Most of the stuff you
> find on the Internet is bogus anyway.  What kind of idiot are
> you to believe in that rot?"
>
> So I'm asking you a favor.  Please do at least one of the
> following things:
>
>   1. Manifest yourself to my cousin Louie in a way that
>      would Remove All Doubt.
>
>   2. Explain yourself to me in a way that will convince
>      him of your existence.
>
>   3. Simply ZOT him.  But make sure he's got me in his
>      will, first.  He's a rich bastard, you know.
>
>   4. Tell me what kind of an idiot I am to believe this rot.
>
> Thank you,
> J. Random Supplicant

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You idiot! I told you this Oracle was bogus. He's nothing but some guy
} at a computer, giving out advice he pulled out of his ass.
}
} - Louie
}
} PS: By the way, you're out of my will.


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