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Internet Oracularities #1007

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1007, 1007-01, 1007-02, 1007-03, 1007-04, 1007-05, 1007-06, 1007-07, 1007-08, 1007-09, 1007-10


Internet Oracularities #1007    (86 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 00:10:30 -0500 (EST)

To find out all about the Internet Oracle, including how to participate,
send mail to oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject
line.

Let us know what you like!  Send your ratings of these 10 Oracularities
on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
volume number to oracle-vote@cs.indiana.edu (probably just reply to this
message).  For example:
   1007
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1007  86 votes drue2 9ltm5 75rsj jxl76 6nkw5 fkvh3 d9umc 0lzo6 hnoac 49wx8
1007  3.0 mean  2.6   2.9   3.5   2.4   3.1   2.7   3.1   3.2   2.7   3.4


1007-01    (drue2 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Oh great and wise Oracle...
>
> What would "Dr. Billgates, or How I Stoped Worrying and Learned to Love
> the Bug." be like?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       It would be highly hyped, terribly expensive, about six months
} late in arrival, and leave you thinking your life was better before you
} got hold of it.
}
} You owe the Oracle the biography of Linux Pauling.


1007-02    (9ltm5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Oh most well read Oracle and pal of YHWH, please answer me this;
>
> In the Bible it states that the Queen of Sheba tried to stump Solomon
> with riddles.
>
> (1 Kings 10:1) When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon
>  and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with
>  hard questions.
>
> The Bible then goes on to say:
>
>  Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king
>  to explain to her.
>
> I would like to know what those questions were.
>
> Thank you in advance for your time oh Noble one!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, supplicant, of course I can supply a transcription of what
} traversed between the two:
}
} Sheba: How much is two plus two?
}
} Solomon: Err, umm.  Pssst... Hey God, can you hear me?
}
} Sheba: What was that?
}
} Solomon: Oh, nothing, I just tend to mumble while I think.
}        : Psst..  God, I need some help here.
}
} God, whispering: Aye?
}
} Solomon, mumbling, apparently to himself: How much is two plus two?
}
} God: Four, young Solomon.
}
} Solomon, confidently, to the Queen of Sheba: The answer is four!
}
} Sheba: Very good!  But that was just a warm-up, now for the tougher
} riddles - How do you explain female behaviour?
}
} Solomon: Oh.. err...  Wait a second, I need to brew myself some tea.
}
} Solomon, while in the kitchen: Hey, God, I need more help...
}
} And so on it went, until the fateful question:
}
} Sheba: I am extremely impressed, why, such intelligence... it is truly
} tempting... I find cerebral prowess so... stimulating.  What do you say
} we have dinner in your harem after we finish with this?
}
} Solomon: <Gulp>, of course!
}
} Sheba: Great!  We have one more question, if then:
}        How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck
}        wood?
}
} Solomon: Oh, that's easy.
} <turns away, so Sheba won't hear him>, Hey, God, How much woo-
}
} <ZOT!>
}
} Solomon: Heh, strange, a lightning in such a weather.  Anyway, God, how
} much woo-
}
} God, bellowing fuminatingly: Silence!
}
} Solomon: But... but.., oh, nevermind.
} <to sheba>: Umm, actually, I don't get that one.
}
} Sheba:
}
} Solomon: Good, so you don't mind.  What do you say we have that date
} now?
}
} Sheba:
}
} Solomon: Great!
}          Oh, you want me to carry you up?  Alright, anything for you.
}
} <after five minutes>
}
} Solomon: My, my, you are somewhat passive.
}
} God: Ahem.
}
} Solomon: Not now, God!  I'm in the middle of something!
}
} God: But.. you see..
}
} Solomon: Urf, not now, later!  I'm busy!
}
} God: Urm, as you wish.
}
} <after five more minutes>
}
} Solomon: What do you mean she's dead?!
}
} God: I mean oxygen no longer bestows its energy to her brain, her heart
} has stopped pumping and her metabolism is null.
}
} Solomon: But... for how long?
}
} God: Oh, since that Woo- Woo-, that question, damnit!
}
} Solomon: You mean since the Woodchuck question?
}
} God: Don't say that word!
}
} Solomon: Oh, vey's mir!
}
} God: Indeed.  <chuckle>.
}
} - The Bible, Book of Solomon; The Forbidden Chapters.
}
} You owe the Oracle a new kernel.


1007-03    (75rsj dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <fungaroc@gusun.georgetown.edu>

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hello >, my old friend,
} You've come to say tellme again,
} Because a moron with his brains leaking,
} Sent his mail without speaking,
} And the moron that sent you here this afternoon
} Will very soon
} Observe the sound of violence.
}
} And from my seat I went to see
} What tools where in my armory;
} 'Neath the halo of the Staff of Zot,
} I turned the dial up to Sizzling Hot
} Then my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a mighty blast
} That cooked him fast
} And launched the sound of violence.
}
} And in the afterglow I saw
} Ten thousand tellmes, maybe more.
} Supplications without a clue,
} Supplicants with nothing else to do,
} W**dchucks chucking wood, those nasty little beasts,
} So tell the priests
} To start the sound of violence.
}
} "Fools," said I, "You do not know,
} Tellmes like a cancer grow.
} Listen up once, so I might teach you,
} And then the next guy won't just repeat you."
} But my words, as if I'd said YES NO HELL,
} Just echoed
} In the wells ... for violence.
}
} And the people sent their mail
} Through the Zot Staff's flaming hail.
} And I cried out my warning,
} To the supplicants I was informing.
} And I said, "The answers to your questions
} Have all been published before.
} Just read the Digests more."
} And left them with the sounds of violence.
}
} You owe the Oracle an Art Garfunkel wig for Zadoc.


1007-04    (jxl76 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott)" <trans@lucent.com>

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

> The Oraculator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed sub-category.
> He's got esprit up to here.  Right now he is preparing to carry out his
> third incarnation of the night.  His uniform is black as activated
> charcoal, filtering the very light out of the air.  A two-by-four will
> bounce off its arachno-fibre weave like a wren hitting a patio door,
> but excess perspiation wafts through like a breeze through a freshly
> zotted forest.  Where his body has bony extremities, the suit has
> sintered armorgel: feels like gritty jello, protects like a stack of
> telephone books.
>
> When they gave him the job, they gave him a staff of zot.  The
> Oraculator never deals in cash, but someone might come after him anyway
> - might ask _the_ question, or not grovel.  The Oraculator never pulled
> the staff in anger, or in fear.  He pulled it once in Marmot Highlands.
> Some 'chucks in Marmot Highlands, a fancy ISP, wanted themselves an
> oracularity and didn't want to grovel for it.  Thought they could
> impress the Oraclator with a piece of lumber.  The 'chuck ended up
> holding a stump with milky smoke pouring out the end.  Didn't get
> nothing but trouble from the Oraculator.
>
> The Oraculator has been working this job for six months and has never
> responded to a question in more than 21 hours.
>
> Oh, they used to complain about the response times: supplicants, red-
> faced and sweaty, logged in to rhod, sharpening their ironies and
> waving at the calendar, I swear it's been a week.
>
> Didn't happen any more.  The Internet Oracle is a major industry.  A
> managed industry.  People went to Zadoc Priest University four years
> just to learn it.  The question arrives in the mail now with a little
> readout in the header telling the Oraculator how many hours have ticked
> away since the supplicant pressed the 'send' button.
>
> If the 24-hour deadline expires, news of the disaster is flashed to the
> Oracular Temple and relayed from there to the Oracle himself, who will
> be on talk(1) to the supplicant within five minutes, apologizing
> profusely.
>
> The Oraculator does not know for sure what happend to the incarnation
> in such cases.  Most supplicants send in the evening hours, which the
> Oracle considers to be his private time.  And how would you feel if you
> had to interrupt dinner with Lisa in order to call some obstreporous
> luser from Juno and grovel for a late reply?  Oh God.  It makes the
> Oraculator breathe a little shallower just to think of the idea.
>
> The Oraculator logs in, fires of one e-mail, "Please ask me," he says.
>
> The supplication arrives back from Indiana. His POP client downloads
> the question.
>
> Just as he's logging out, reading if it's an in-joke question, deciding
> if he should use Zadoc or Og, it happens.  The computer flashes red.
> *Red*.  A repetitive buzzer begins to sound.  The time readout on his
> menubar, which echoes the one in the e-mail, flashes up: 20:00.
>
> They have just given the Oraculator a 20-hour-old question.  He checks
> the references - 3 in-jokes, 2 rhod-isms and an obscure reference to
> Ukranian politics...

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oraculator lets out an involuntary roar and puts the hammer down.
} His emotions tell him to go back and kill that manager, get his zot
} staff out, log back in to the server and zot the sysop. But he thinks
} the same thing when someone asks an unoriginal question, and he's never
} done it -- yet.
}
} He can handle this. This is doable. He flexes his fingers, prepares to
} type at 200 words a minute. But, suddenly, the plagiaristic analogy
} breaks down.
}
} The Oraculator considers for a moment, and begins typing out an
} imitation of the question; standard fare. He looks the question over;
} easy enough. His clock reads 20:13; more than enough time. He adds that
} bright red Siamese fighting fish can't chuck wood, that Alexandra Kelly
} wouldn't either, and an imitation of Zadoc. Clock says 20:36. This is
} doable. Just the rhod-isms and politics reference left. THUNK. The
} Oraculator looks out of his cubicle; in his distracted state, he has
} allowed his boss to sneak in an catch him incarnating. Not just some
} middle manager off in accounting, but HIS boss. The one who could fire
} him. Quickly, he says that no, Francis Scott Key wrote it, and that it
} has nothing to do with Babel fish. He side-steps around the Ukrainian
} politics, and fires off the e-mail. 20:59. Whew. Barely.
}
} You owe the Oracle an apology to Neal Stephenson and another copy of
} Snow Crash.


1007-05    (6nkw5 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Forbes, Michael Scott (Scott)" <trans@lucent.com>

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

> Do coconuts *really* migrate?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Let's find out!
}
} Here beside me is bin full of coconuts with detailed directions on how
} to grovel to the Oracle written on them. You are over there. Let's
} see...Oh look! One of the coconuts is levitating of its own free will
} and, wow, it looks like it is picking up speed and OW!  That had to
} have hurt supplicant. Well, since that coconut is over there already
} why don't you pick it up and read the directions on how to grovel? See
} the nice words, and oh! Look out!  Seems another coconut has magically
} migrated your direction. And look another one. And another. Oh how
} clever the coconuts are, you can run, but you can not hide... wow, it
} seems those first few coconuts were a tad ahead of the main body of the
} migration.  Look -all-the-rest- of the coconuts are now levitating in
} mass and preparing to migrate your way. Aren't the Natural Sciences
} soooooo exciting?
}
} You owe the Oracle a grovel.


1007-06    (fkvh3 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Daddy, what's a 'frontal lobotomy?'

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A requirement for getting an AOL or Juno account, apparently.
}
} U owE the Orakel sOme warez


1007-07    (d9umc dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

> O Most Supreme Telephonic Oracle whose address book
> contains the private numbers of all the major deities,
> how did the cold-call salespeople get hold of mine?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} SCENE: A dark night somewhere in the cornfields of Indiana. A huge
} temple looms in the distance, the temple of the Internet Oracle. In the
} basement of this temple, next to the pool room, down the hall from the
} olympic swimming pool, mini-gym and massage parlor, last door before
} the lower kitchen, nowhere near a bathroom, is a smoke-filled room
} where four chairs sit around a small card table. A large oak bar sets
} the backdrop with a hundred or so empty wine bottles scattered about.
} One man is at the bar, three others occupy chairs around the table. One
} chair remains conspicuously empty.
}
} As the lights come up it we see that the man at the bar is in fact
} Bacchus, god of wine. The two large figures at the table are the
} Internet Oracle and the Oracle of Delphi. With them is Zadoc, high
} priest in the Internet Oracle's temple. Most, no, all, of the poker
} chips sit in front of the Internet Oracle. The Oracle of Delphi speaks:
}
} OD: Bacchus! More wine!
}
} BACCHUS: I think you've had enough.
}
} OD: C'mon, Dio! You can spare a little for an old friend!
}
} B: Don't call me that. It's Bacchus, not Dionysus. You're getting on my
} nerves.
}
} INTERNET ORACLE: Yeah, Del. Leave him be. You've had enough wine.
}
} OD: Sure, Usie. Pick his side.
}
} IO: Damn it, Del, I'm the Internet Oracle now. How many times do I have
} to tell you?
}
} OD: So what do I call you? Innie? Nettie? (snickers)
}
} ZADOC: We generally refer to him as 'Orrie', Del.
}
} OD: SHUT UP YOU WHIMPERING SOT! HE IS NOT THE ONLY ORACLE IN THE
} WESTERN WORLD! YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ORACLE IN THE WESTERN WORLD! THERE
} ARE OTHER OMNISCIENT BEINGS IN THIS UNIVERSE!
}
} IO: OK, OK, calm down now buddy. I know I'm not the only Oracle in the
} universe but face it: I'm the only one with a net connection. Get a
} grip, man, the world is changing. And let's not get into that
} discussion about whether a valuable question requires heroic effort to
} ask. It's not worth it. Now are you gonna play cards?
}
} OD: I'm busted. Listen, can I put up a bit of collateral? I've got this
} golden fleece...
}
} IO: No, no thanks. Not again. I've got one of those and I regret ever
} taking it. Kendai washed Lisa's car with it and it did a number on the
} paint job. You think the kid would realize the difference between
} sheepskin and steel wool. At least I hope he does before gets a
} girlfriend. Anyway, I'll spot you a hand double or nothing.
}
} (Zadoc shuffles the cards and, while dealing, speaks)
}
} Z: Hey, where'd Father Tiresius get off to?
}
} IO: He left to find the bathroom, didn't he?
}
} Z: Yeah, but it's been a while.
}
} OD: You know, he gets confused, what with having been a woman like the
} earth and a man like the ocean a little bit of wine can really mess up
} your perspective. Pretty soon he'll drop his trousers and figure out
} which door. Don't worry about it.
}
} Z: It's a unisex bathroom, Del. There's only one door to choose. This
} isn't a Moose Lodge, it's a private residence. So where is he?
}
} OD: Well, you know, with all the parties you throw I figured you'd have
} better facilities.
}
} IO: Yeah, and have six bathrooms just for the alternate genders of the
} galaxy next door. Yeah, right. (pauses) Did you hear something?
}
} OD: No, no. Certainly not.
}
} Z: Yeah, I hear a voice. Is that your Mac?
}
} OD: Damn it! That old blind man's using my computer again! I forgot all
} about that old speech driven console in the back wing. What's on that
} machine again?
}
} Z: Oh, nothing important. Just some old supplicant files. A bunch of
} demographic information for stupid mortals. No one would want them.
} Names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail accounts.
}
} (With that the Oracle of Delphi throws the card table over and dashes
} from the room. Bacchus awakes from his slumber and snags the Oracle of
} Delphi's cloak as he tries to escape.)
}
} B: None of that sneaking out! Pay your tab before you leave!
}
} IO: Um, Dio, buddy, it's my wine cellar. No waitresses. No jukebox. No
} tab. Think before you attack people!
}
} B: Jeez. Excuse me. Instinct. Sorry.
}
} IO: Anyway, Delphi, what have you been up to? You've been stealing my
} supplicant files, haven't you? What, are you planning on getting a
} WebTV and setting up electronic shop?
}
} OD: No, no, nothing like that, I swear! I just, well, I...
}
} IO: Say it, slimeball!
}
} OD: I needed money. Orrie, man, this gambling's been killing me. I've
} been stealing your supplicant files to make a buck. That's all. No
} one's been hurt. Business has just been so slow for the last couple
} thousand years.
}
} IO: You haven't! You've been selling my supplicant files to Cyberpromo!
}
} OD: No, no! Just telemarketers and cold callers. I'm sorry, man...it's
} a cry for help, you know...help me, man, help me! I can't shake it.
}
} (Fade to black as the Oracle of Delphi drops to his knees, sobbing.)
} ---
}
} So there you go, Supplicant. That's how the cold callers got your
} number. I'm sorry, but I tend to trust other deities. Maybe a little
} too much. Every once in a while, ya know, a guy can get desperate. You
} understand, don't ya? They'll stop calling soon enough. A couple
} thousand years or so.
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of _Twelve Steps to the Temple Door:
} Addiction Recovery for Deities_.


1007-08    (0lzo6 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@serv.net>

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

> Why didn't Karl appear in any of the Marx Brothers' movies?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, Karl, being the firstborn, was always more serious than the other
} brothers.  His work was just never as funny as the younger Marxes', and
} his untimely death 40 years before the brothers' first movie just made
} things worse.  There were a few attempts to combine the work of all the
} brothers, but after a few films like "Animal Crackers Of The World,
} Unite," "Oppressed Proletariat Families Wait In Line For Duck Soup,"
} and "A Night At The Capitalist Bourgeoise Event Burdening The Backs Of
} The Masses," the efforts were abandoned.  Even the
} wild-hair-and-googly-eyes Karl Marx gag glasses never caught on like
} the Groucho ones.  And so the world was left with a sadly divided
} family.
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of "Das Kapital:  I've had a perfectly
} wonderful political theory, but this wasn't it."


1007-09    (hnoac dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Who is this Liv/Zempel guys?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} .
}
} You owe the Oracle a way to uncompress the answer.


1007-10    (49wx8 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Rich McGee <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> What is the element of surprise?
>
> I looked all thru the Periodic Table of Elements but couldn't see it
> anywhere!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, you don't think they named it Surprise for nothing, do you?  As
} with many of the recently discovered heavy elements, Surprise has many
} strange and startling properties.  Here is what science knows about
} Surprise to date:
}
}     Symbol:         Su
}     Atomic Number:  variable
}     Mass:           variable
}     Melting Point:  variable
}     Boiling Point:  variable
}     Isotopes:       oodles
}
} Undoubtedly the most unpredictable of all the elements, Surprise takes
} on so many isotopes and forms that it is impossible to describe it
} generally. Here are just a few of its forms:
}
}     Surprise-1:     Often characterized by a brownish stain
}     Surprise-2:     Sometimes similar in appearance to Su-1,
}                     at other times pink, flaccid, and quick-moving
}     Surprise-3:     Almost always a blush red color
}     Surprise-69:    Hot pink, pliable, unstable and prone to
}                     rapid combustion
}
} Surprise can also be seen occuring in various stages:
}
}     Surprise-5:     Large, goofy, purple and green appearance
}     Surprise-16:    Often metallic, with wheels
}     Surprise-21:    A foul-smelling liquid with toxic effects
}     Surprise-40:    A sour, slow-moving solid
}     Surprise-80:    Inert
}     Surprise-100:   Rarely found, often volatile, sometimes accompanied
}                     by a card from the President or Willard Scott
}
} So, as you see, Surprise has presented a unique challenge to scientists
} over the years.  Don't worry about its place on the periodic table ...
} it will show up there when you least expect it.
}
} You owe the Oracle a cologne based on the Surprise-69 isotope.


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