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Best of Internet Oracularities #926-950

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926-950, 927-03, 926-06, 928-01, 941-05, 941-08, 940-05, 939-10, 942-05


Best of Internet Oracularities #926-950    (3.8 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: 6 Nov 1997 08:39:04 -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 #926
through #950 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.


927-03    (25ivC dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> Oracle most wise and wonderful,
>
>       I am at a career crossroads; should I become an astronaut, a
> fireman, or a sysadmin?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This is the kind of question that these "handy comparison charts" were
} just made to answer:
}
} PURPOSE OF YOUR CAREER
} Astronaut:  Advancing scientific knowledge for the good of humanity.
} Fireman:    Saving lives and property.
} Sysadmin:   Assuring uninterrupted access to alt.binaries.erotica.sheep.
}
} ADVICE YOU'LL GIVE KIDS WHO WANT TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS
} Astronaut:  "Study science and math and eat your vegetables."
} Fireman:    "Study science and math and eat your vegetables."
} Sysadmin:   "DON'T DO IT!  RUN AWAY!"
}
} QUESTION YOU'LL BE MOST TIRED OF ANSWERING
} Astronaut:  "Where do you go to the bathroom?"
} Fireman:    "Do you really slide down a pole when the alarm goes off?"
} Sysadmin:   "Can't you do anything about all this spam I've been
}              getting?"
}
} WILL YOU EVER BE ON TV?
} Astronaut:  Yes!
} Fireman:    Occasionally.
} Sysadmin:   Only MSNBC's "The Site," which doesn't technically count as
}             TV.
}
} WILL YOUR JOB EVER GET ANY EASIER?
} Astronaut:  As computers get more and more advanced and able to control
}             more of the functions of the space vehicle, yes.
} Fireman:    As more and more people install smoke detectors in their
}             homes, yes.
} Sysadmin:   As more and more clueless newbies discover the Internet,
}             absolutely not.
}
} INSPIRING MOVIE ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION
} Astronaut:  "The Right Stuff"
} Fireman:    "Backdraft"
} Sysadmin:   Uh...gee, I'm really drawing a blank here..."Wargames"?
}
} YOUR WORK HOURS
} Astronaut:  Fairly long days during the mission, but lots and lots of
}             time between missions to relax.
} Fireman:    24-hour shifts, but 48 hours between shifts to relax.
} Sysadmin:   Not really "work hours" or even "work days"...more like
}             "work millenia."
}
} FRINGE BENEFITS OF YOUR JOB
} Astronaut:  Lots of good stories to tell to impress members of the
}             opposite sex.
} Fireman:    Lots of good stories to tell to impress members of the
}             opposite sex.
} Sysadmin:   You get ALL of the jokes in "Dilbert."
}
} NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION
} Astronaut:  A few, from people who think the government should be
}             spending its money in different ways.
} Fireman:    A few, from people who think you take too long to arrive
}             following a 911 call.
} Sysadmin:   You'll have to learn what comes after "trillion" to be able
}             to count them all.
}
} YOUR VEHICLE
} Astronaut:  Multimillion-dollar space vehicle atop multimillion-dollar
}             rocket.
} Fireman:    Big red truck with flashing lights and siren.
} Sysadmin:   1978 AMC Gremlin.
}
} In conclusion, if the sysadmin option has seemed the most appealing in
} even one of these categories, you should become a sysadmin.
}
} Can't you do anything about all this spam I've been getting?


926-06    (39dvs dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: kirsten@spike.wellesley.edu (Kirsten Chevalier)

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

> Dear Oracle, whose ZOTting knows no bounds...
>
> In a previous answer, you mentioned the center of the Universe was
> (0,0).   How is that possible we live in a three-dimensional world
> (four if you include time, five if you include tesseracts)?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ahhh, you wish to learn the concept of virtual paging.  The universe
} was, in fact, designed two-dimensionally, and as features were added
} we chose to maintain backward compatibility with the older
} two-dimensional version, known as Conventional Galactic Addressing
} (CGA).  Later we added the third dimension simply by creating
} infinite layers of virtual CGA spaces in an array, so that when an
} object moves along the Z axis, each virtual CGA address is swapped in
} and out to the original CGA as needed.  This is the Enhanced Galactic
} Addressing (EGA), but it was quickly superseded by the Virtual
} Galactic Array when we implemented time.  This is where it gets
} tricky.  See, there isn't really enough core memory to support an
} infinite fourth-dimensional array of EGA space, so we swap out EGA
} space to virtual memory around some of the power generators scattered
} through space - perceived by your astronomers as stars.  To conserve
} virtual space, we compress the data as it gets swapped out to virtual
} storage.  This has some peculiar side effects:  The faster you
} travel, the faster those virtual EGA pages have to be swapped in and
} out; as you approach the speed of light, some of the third-dimension
} arrays of two-dimension space get dropped, the result being that from
} the traveller's point of view, surrounding space moves abnormally
} fast, while from the observer's point of view, the travelling object
} seems to go into a state of suspended animation.  All too often the
} swap space exceeds storage capacity, resulting in what you perceive
} as a black hole, and then all space-time gets twisted beyond
} recognition.
}
} Currently we are experimenting with additional dimensions, but so far
} the Subspace Virtual Galactic Arrays have caused more problems than
} they have solved.
}
} You owe the Oracle a 1280x1024x32768x65536 monitor.


928-01    (c7biP dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}                THE ADVENTURE OF THE BLANK TELEGRAM
}
}       Sherlock Holmes had had a busy five months.  It had started with
} the celebrated case of Mr. Ian Davis, who, in spite of being known to
} have had a fear of heights bordering on the neurotic, was found dead
} atop the statue of Admiral Nelson in Trafalgar Square.  It continued
} with a trip to Turkey to clear up a trifling matter for the Ottoman
} Empire, and concluded with a string of cases around England which had
} culminated in the arrest of Paul Kelly, the most peculiar arsonist that
} Europe has ever seen.
}       So when, suddenly, all this activity stopped, I was rather
} relieved than otherwise.  My friend's ascetism bordered on mania when
} he had a case on his mind, even his iron constitution was beginning to
} show signs of strain after so long a period with so little food or
} sleep.  But as the time of inactivity stretched to two weeks, and then
} to three, I became worried once again, for the dull look in Holmes's
} eye and his caged-animal demeanor showed me that he pondering returning
} to the habit of cocaine self-poisoning from which I had so carefully
} weaned him. Every morning he would pick up the Times, eagerly glance
} over the headlines, and cast it aside with a sneer when there were no
} sensational murders or daring robberies to report.
}       "Ah, Watson," said he, breaking in on my thoughts, "you know me
} too well.  But no, I shan't bring out my needle if it shall bring upon
} me such a barrage of criticism as it did last time.  But where have all
} the criminals gone?"
}       This last was in an exasperated tone, and I felt my roommate's
} pain.  "It seems to me, Holmes, that you have arrested them all, and
} frightened all the potential criminals into good citizenship.  But,
} really, Holmes, isn't that the object of your career?  To get rid of
} crime?"
}       "Yes, I fear that I share with doctors the singular distinction
} of working tirelessly to eliminate the need for my own services.  But
} things are looking up, for unless I am very much mistaken, here is a
} client."
}       The ring of the bell showed the correctness of his surmise, and
} presently Mrs. Hudson showed up our visitor, a distinguished-looking
} old gentleman dressed conservatively.
}       "Come in, sir," said my friend with that easy cordiality for
} which he was remarkable.  I glanced over our visitor, endeavouring to
} use Holmes's methods to learn what I could about our guest, but soon
} gave up, none the wiser for my troubles.
}       "I am sorry to disturb you gentlemen, but I need to consult with
} Mr. Holmes.  Inspector Lestrade sent me here from Scotland Yard."
}       "Ah, indeed," said Holmes, rubbing his hands together happily,
} "pray have a seat and tell us what is troubling you."
}       "Well, sir, it may not be anything at all, but it troubles me
} just the same.  This morning I received a reply-paid telegram which has
} left me completely baffled."
}       "What did it say?"
}       "Here it is, sir, you can read it for yourself."
}       Holmes looked over the message.  He then handed it to me, saying,
} "Well, Watson, what do you make of it?"
}       The body of the telegram read:
}
}       >
}       >
}
}       "What on earth does it mean?" I ejaculated.
}       Holmes laughed with his breathy, noiseless laugh at my
} astonishment.  "I think we'll need more explanation, Mr. Oracle.  Do
} you--"
}       Our visitor jumped up with surprise.  "How did you know my name?"
} he cried.
}       Holmes smiled.  "It is my business to know things.  Besides, I've
} found that if I explain my methods, I do not impress so much."
}       Mr. Oracle sat down again.  "It's a neat trick, anyhow.  I
} suppose there's no harm in you knowing a bit about me.  My name is,
} indeed, Oracle.  The Oracle.  I come from the States.  Indiana, to be
} exact."
}       "Really!" said Holmes, more interested in this information than I
} would have expected.  "I hadn't noticed any eccentricities of speech.
} But what a peculiar name!  Why did your parents christen you 'The?'"
}       "Oh, that's just a family name.  But I'm sure it has no bearing
} on the case."
}       "Quite.  Is there anyone you can think of who might send you such
} a telegram, perhaps as a joke?"
}       "No, sir, and even if they did, why should they send it
} reply-paid?  That is rather obscure to me.  But Inspector Lestrade
} didn't think the matter was worth his time.  He simply waved me away
} like a child."  A flash of the purest, most violent rage shone in our
} visitor's eye for a moment, but he quickly regained his self-control.
} "But he said he thought it was rather in your line.  What do you make
} of it?"
}       "Nothing, yet.  But certainly I shall look into it if it will put
} your mind at ease."
}       "I would be most grateful, Mr. Holmes."
}       "All right, I will make inquiries.  But before you go, where can
} I reach you?"
}       "I live at Steve Corners, on Kinzler Court."
}       "Off Bloomington Road?"
}       "Precisely, sir."
}       "Well, I shall contact you soon."
}       "Really, sir, I thank you."  He bowed gracefully to us both,
} doffed his hat, and stepped out.
}       No sooner had the door closed than Holmes said, "There goes one
} of the worst liars these rooms have ever seen, and there have been
} quite a few liars in here.  I shall follow Mr. The Oracle; don't expect
} me back before dinner," and stepped out.
}       I had not been impressed with the importance of the case until
} Holmes made that singular pronouncement.  Suddenly my mind was filled
} with questions.  Who was this Mr. Oracle?  What had he lied about?  Why
} was he lying?  From whom had he received the telegram?  These questions
} so filled my mind that I could not concentrate on the little
} yellow-backed novel which I was trying to read.  I soon gave up on my
} reading and resigned my thoughts to this peculiar case.  But I made
} neither head nor tail of it, and spent a long afternoon waiting for
} Holmes's return.
}       And a long evening, too; dinner came and went, and still there
} was no sign of my friend.  Still I waited.  More hours passed.  I heard
} the servants leave, and, after that, Mrs. Hudson lock up for the night.
} My lonely vigil stretched on. . .
}       When I woke up Holmes was sitting at the table, eating
} breakfast.  I stirred, and Holmes said, "Ah, Watson, you're awake.
} Sorry about last night--my inquiries took a bit longer than expected."
}       "That's all right," I replied, eagerly.  "What have you
} discovered?"
}       "Oh, much what I expected.  Come, have some eggs, and we can
} discuss how the case has progressed thus far."
}       I did as I was told, but Holmes was too busy attending to a slice
} of ham to talk to me.  I waited impatiently, and eventually Holmes
} said:
}       "Sorry.  I have been to Manchester and back without time for a
} meal, and was absolutely famished.  Now, I believe you were interested
} in that Mr. Oracle."
}       "He seemed a fascinating man."
}       "Well, I noticed your examination of him; come, tell me what you
} thought of him, and we can compare notes."
}       "He seemed to me to be a refined, honest gentleman, a leader of
} his community, and extremely intelligent."
}       Holmes laughed.  "Watson, Watson, Watson.  Ever the same.  How
} many times must I tell you that the first places to look when you
} examine a man are the bootlaces, hands, and trouser-knees?"
}       I was somewhat hurt by his mocking and said, with some asperity,
} "So what did you discover about him by your examination?"
}       "Come, now, don't take it so hard," said he, replying to my
} thoughts rather than my words as was his wont, "I'm sure you did a
} great bit better than most fellows would have done.  And in my
} profession I must look for different things than most others do.
} Regardless, all I was able to determine about our esteemed visitor was
} that he was left-handed, had hurried to see us, had lived in England
} for about two weeks, and had been recently married but was now trying
} to hide all trace of having done so."
}       "How on earth--"
}       "You know my methods, Watson."
}       "Well, you probably noted that his left hand was larger than his
} right--"
}       "A clever deduction!" cried Holmes.
}       "--and you probably noted his hurry by the state of his toilet--"
}       "Excellent!" said Holmes.
}       "--and the style of his clothing, which was most likely more
} American than British showed you that he had not been long in
} England--"
}       "You scintillate this morning!"
}       "--but how the devil did you determine that he had recently
} married and so forth?"
}       "Really, Watson, we'll make a detective of you yet.  You were
} completely wrong with all your reasons, but you were able to come up
} with plausible reasons for everything, which is better than any of the
} incompetents at Scotland Yard could do.  His hands were the same size,
} his toilet was impeccable, and his outfit was entirely English.  His
} left hand had that characteristic smear of ink across it which
} left-handers get when they write hurriedly, from which I deduced his
} haste as well. Did you notice the state of his complexion?  Well, it
} was a fading sort of tan, the sort of tan one has when one has spent
} time in the sunny tropics and then come to this island's rather dreary
} clime for a fortnight.  However, there was a band around his left
} ring-finger which was still pale, but covered with make up to hide the
} fact.  However, the band was a curious one in that it showed that rings
} had been in two different but overlapping places at two different
} times: for a short time, some time ago, it had been more distal, but
} then it had been moved closer to the main part of the hand.  What would
} cause that?  Obviously, the ring had been re-fitted.  At first, it was
} too small, so he had it made into something larger to be more
} comfortable.  But he would have done that soon after he got the ring,
} for why should wear an uncomfortable ring any longer than one has to?
} From this I deduced that the marriage must be recent."
}       "Wonderful!" I ejaculated.
}       "Elementary," Holmes replied.
}       "But then why did you go to Manchester?  As I recall, the
} telegram was sent from Great Yarmouth."
}       "Indeed it was, Watson.  However, our friend was kind enough to
} show us the label of his hat just before he left, and it was made by a
} milliner in Newcastle.  Now, even though his speech was polished and
} proper, his accent was not, and it was evident that he was not a native
} of Lancashire.  But why would he have sent away to a Manchester
} millinery if he had not been there?  He had clearly spent time in
} Manchester."
}       "I see.  But what about his London address?  Kisser Court, or
} whatever?"
}       "You are doing brilliantly this morning.  I checked with the
} house-agent in charge of Kinzler Court, and found that the home known
} as 'Steve Corners' had only been let last Friday."
}       "So what was the purpose of the blank, reply-paid telegram from
} Great Yarmouth, then?"
}       "I am convinced it was a blind, Watson.  Mr. Oracle was trying to
} distract me--perhaps to get me out to Suffolk and out of the way--for
} some reason."
}       "But why?"
}       "I don't yet know.  I thought it reasonable to assume that it had
} some connexion with his recent marriage, so I went to Manchester and
} thence to Liverpool, and looked at the port's registers.  I've
} discovered that the yacht 'Indiana Coastline,' owned by a certain 'The
} and Maria Oracle,' docked in from Costa Rica exactly two weeks ago, on
} July 18."
}       "And?"
}       "Liverpool seems an odd place to take an expensive yacht.  Rich
} tourists are usually sensible enough to avoid that dreary town like the
} plague.  Why had they gone there?  Were they following somebody?  It
} seemed the most likely reason.  Few American ships had set in of late,
} but one caught my eye.  The dinghy 'Hoosier Hovel,' with a 'Zadoc and
} Lisa Worm' listed as owners, set in on July 15, also from Costa Rica.
} 'Hoosier,' I believe, is a nickname for residents of Indiana."
}       "Quite so."
}       "So I deduced that the Oracles were following the Worms for some
} reason.  But once again I have fallen into your evil habit of telling
} my story backward."
}       "How so?"
}       "Because I spent a wild hour in London before I even boarded the
} train to Manchester.  I followed Mr. Oracle to Willson's Private Hotel,
} which is an eminently unrespectable little shack run by a Mr. Richard
} Willson.  I've had a run-in or two with Mr. Willson in the past, and I
} dared not enter the place undisguised.  So I proceeded to Kinzler
} Court.
}       "There I found--nothing.  It was obviously not intended by its
} owners for long-term habitation, and was almost entirely unfurnished.
} No one answered the door, and I didn't have my burgling tools with me,
} so I left.  Next I proceeded to the house-agents in charge of Kinzler
} Court, Noe & Atkinson's.  Neither partner was in yet, but their
} secretary, a Ms. Chevalier, was.  She was an amorous little woman who,
} with a shocking lack of decorum, attempted to seduce me right in the
} office.  It was a simple enough matter to gain access to the
} information I wanted, though I was forced to flee before she got out of
} hand.  Then I hurried to Victoria and thence to Manchester, with the
} result you have heard."
}       "So your next step is to go to Willson's Private Hotel?"
}       "Yes, I think that the key to this mystery lies there.  I should
} be back in time for lunch."
}       With that he stepped into his room, and emerged a moment later,
} with one of his remarkable transformations, looking like a low and
} scruffy sailor.
}       He was, indeed, not gone long, and when he returned he came with
} a disgusted look uncharacteristic of him.  "A complete waste, Watson.
} A complete waste."  He through himself down in his favourite armchair.
}       "But what has happened?" I asked eagerly.
}       "I proceeded to Willson's, and pretended to be a sailor looking
} for a room.  However, one has to be fond of certain rather peculiar
} amusements if one is to be a guest at Willson's--I believe the man has
} the largest collection of lacy lingerie in his own size in the
} world--and he is quite suspicious of newcomers.  'Oo recommended ya?'
} he said, in his deliciously low accent.  I gave the name of a
} confederate I had worked with in the past, and Mr. Willson's humour
} rose tremendously.
}       "'Well, cacoethes cantati,' said he--the man's only respectable
} passion is for injecting random and irrelevant Latin phrases into
} conversations for no apparent reason-- 'e's uh good customah.'  I soon
} found myself in Room No. 3 of Willson's.
}       "Having been admitted to the hotel, it was easy to gain access to
} Mr. Oracle's room and menage.  And what a menage it was.  When Mr.
} Oracle first let me in, it was impossible to determine what was going
} on.
}       "Soon I discovered that there were five people besides myself in
} that small room.  Two, a simpering little man and a lovely brunette
} woman, were chained to one bedpost.  Another woman, a dark,
} Spanish-looking beauty, was tied with all the sheets to another.
} Another woman--another beauty, this one bleach-blonde--was cavorting
} about with a whip, thoroughly enjoying whipping everyone else: Mr.
} Oracle, the other man, the other women, herself, and even, after I
} entered, myself. Everyone was screaming, blabbering, or howling--it's a
} wonder no one had called the police, but I imagine the neighbors are
} used to it by now--and Mr. Oracle was crawling around pretending to be
} the whipping-lady's pet dog.
}       "At length I determined that the whipping lady was Lisa Worm, and
} that the other man was her husband Zadoc.  The Spanish woman, bound
} with sheets, was of course Ms. Maria Oracle.  The other woman--the
} brunette--was 'Michelle,' but I don't recall her last name as having
} been mentioned.
}       "It seems that Maria, who was fiery with all the heat of her
} tropical blood, was so insanely jealous of her husband's old amours
} that she had determined to kill them.  Lisa and Michelle were
} apparently his old favourites--I tell you, Watson, the man is a worse
} Don Juan than was Don Juan--so he couldn't bear to have them killed.
} However, before I had arrived there had been a mass reconciliation, and
} they were having this sort of party to celebrate the event before
} heading back to Indiana as one big, happy harem.
}       "Since it was evident that they were trying to distract me from
} the planned murder, and that was no longer going to happen, I slipped
} off as soon as I could, which proved to be when Mr. Willson entered,
} wearing his favourite doilies.
}       "So this case that began with nothing, ended with nothing, and
} now I'm plunged back into the nothingness of ennui."
}       He reached for his violin, and lamented the normalcy of the
} world.


941-05    (6bhlH dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Otis Viles <cierhart@ic.net>

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

> The Internet Supplicant has pondered your question deeply.
> Your question was:
>
> } Hey, Supplicant, have you forgotten how to grovel?
>
> And in response, thus spake the Supplicant:
>
> > Yes.  Could you show me how?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}                     THE INTERNET SUPPLICANT
}
}                          also known as
}                      The Usenet Supplicant
}
} The Internet Supplicant is available to ask you irritating questions.
} You may mail them to:
}
}                     supplicant@cs.purdoo.edu
}
} The "Subject:" of the message must be something like "Supplicant Most
} Vacuous, please ask me ...".  Actually, all it has to have is "ask me"
} or "askme" somewhere in it.  Capitalization doesn't matter.  Spelling
} certainly doesn't matter, as many Supplicants can't tell the
} difference. The body of the mail can contain anything you want; the
} question you receive will be irrelevant to whatever you write.  You
} should receive a question within a few days, perhaps, possibly longer,
} or occasionally never, if the Supplicant forgets how to use mail.
}
} In the meantime, the Supplicant may require that you ask an irritating
} question for it as payment for its services.  You should randomly send
} the most unoriginal and uninteresting question you can think of to
} supplicant@cs.purdoo.edu, preserving the message's "Subject:" line.
} This process results in your message being forwarded to
} oracle@cs.indiana.edu. Most Supplicants are not concerned with what
} happens after that.
}
} Mailing the Supplicant with the word "help" in the "Subject:" line will
} get you a reply consisting of "No thanks, I'm fine."  If you mail the
} Supplicant with "tell me" or "tellme" somewhere in the subject, the
} Supplicant will not reply, but may forward a slightly garbled version
} of your question to oracle@cs.indiana.edu.  If you pay attention, you
} may receive a reply from there, or, not infrequently, a good sound
} zotting.
}
} Your questions, comments and even complaints about the Supplicant will
} be ignored.  Please address them to supplicant-people@cs.purdoo.edu.
}
}                           ETIQUETTE
}
} The Internet Supplicant is intended primarily as an annoyance device
} and is especially good at feeding Oracles.  Since its main purpose is
} to clog up mail systems and newsgroups, a large document containing
} rambling thoughts on etiquette will be spammed across the universe
} whenever this document is accessed.
}
}                  THE INTERNET SUPPLICANTARIES
}
} The Supplicant's priesthood receives a duplicate copy of all irritating
} questions asked, or Supplicantaries as they're called.  This is so that
} they can be distributed yet again around the world for no apparent
} reason. They are regularly published via postings to
} rec.humor.supplicant, the World-Wide Web and a mail distribution list,
} as well as occasionally via other media, such as toilet paper.
}
} Rec.humor.supplicant is a moderated newsgroup.  If your news system is
} properly configured, you are probably too intelligent to be interested.
} Rec.humor.supplicant.d is unmoderated and anyone may post to it.  And
} they usually do!
}
}                          HISTORY
}
} Throughout the history of mankind, there have been many Supplicants who
} have consulted many Oracles.  The great Hercules, in his not-so-great
} years, was actually a Supplicant of the Delphic Oracle, and survived
} zotting only by his legendary strength.  King Cepheus, the nut who
} chained his daughter Andromeda to the rocks of Joppa to appease an
} alleged sea monster, was also a Supplicant.  He misunderstood the
} Oracle of Ammon's wise advice, which was to send a chain letter to the
} sea monster, thus keeping it busy for ages.  Fortunately, Perseus saved
} the girl in the nick of time.
}
} With the advent of the electronic age, and especially high-speed e-mail
} communication, the spirit of the Supplicants found a new outhouse, and
} we now recognize another extremely productive and constantly annoying
} Supplicant, the Internet Supplicant.
}
} Local Supplicant programs have existed in various places for many
} years. Most can trace their origin to bored freshman computer science
} students typing "why?" into their terminals.  There is a long and
} completely pointless history of such programs, but no one has asked the
} correct question to figure out how to read it.
}
} Of course, it is the thousands of Supplicant participants over the
} years who have created the personality, if you can call it that, of the
} Internet Supplicant.  Long live the Internet Supplicant (in all its
} incarnations)!
}
} Steev Kinzler
} kinzler@cs.purdoo.edu


941-08    (57nBq dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Scott Panzer <stenor@pcnet.com>

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

> Oracle of fabulous minty-fresh breath!
>
> Is Darkmage Single?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes. The plural is Darkmagi.
}
} You owe the Oracle a collection of O. Henry short stories.


940-05    (0awpo dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> Hey buddy, can you spare a minus sign?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} negative.


939-10    (58lpp dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Rich McGee <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> Oh Oracle, whose wisdom exceeds only your patience,
>
> what is "damning through faint praise"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You are the most intelligent supplicant I know.
} You owe the oracle a complimentary beverage.


942-05    (3djvn dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <fungaroc@gusun.georgetown.edu>

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

> :o)   :oO   :k=)   :@

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}     Don't do that or your keyboard will get stuck that way.


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