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Internet Oracularities #1014

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Internet Oracularities #1014    (86 votes, 2.9 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 08:28:32 -0500 (EST)

@@@ After digestification, it was discovered that the answer to
@@@ Oracularity #1013-07 in the previous digest was derived from
@@@ Dave Barry's "How To Install Software -- A 12-Step Program".
@@@ Our sincere apologies to Mr Barry.  It is the intention of the
@@@ Internet Oracularities to publish original material.

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   1014
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1014  86 votes 9nql7 cnqg9 jpjk3 bozg0 1ltnc 2ryj4 fjjlc alkle 9pzc5 9py99
1014  2.9 mean  2.9   2.8   2.6   2.7   3.3   3.0   3.0   3.1   2.8   2.8


1014-01    (9nql7 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

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

> O most powerful Oracle, who could smite a legion of Mongol tanks with a
> Pikeman and a Zot Staff, please answer this most insignificant of
> questions.
>
> Which is more important, Leonardo's Workshop or Adam Smith's Trading
> Company?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Let's pop Leonardo and Adam Smith in a cage, shall we?
}
} Now fellows, only one of you will be coming out -- the one with the more
} important to humanity, to civilization.  Have it at, gentleman, and
} let's keep it a clean fight.
}
} Smith:     Step a little closer, Renaissance boy, and I'll poke with
}            this pin.  Poke, poke.
}
} Da Vinci:  You capitalistic fool, with your assembly line pins.  Oh
}            look, the head of the pin is put on by a different person
}            than the one who made the long pointy bit.  Look at me
}            tremble.  I'm more worried about having to re-take first
}            year economics than I am of your little pin.
}
}            Now, take your last breath, sir, for I shall smite you
}            with this helicoptor-type thing I have here.
}
} Smith:     Uh, that's just a drawing, actually.  You haven't got a
}            helicopter there, you know.
}
} Da Vinci:  Damn.  Well, let's see.  Assume that I have a heli-
}
} Smith:     A-ha!  Stop right there.  That's an economist's game and
}            you know it.
}
} Da Vinci:  Double damn.  I suppose shall just smile at you - like
}            this!  Disturbing, isn't it?  Can't quite figure it out,
}            can you?
}
} Smith:     En garde!
}
} [The battle begins. Smith keeps poking Da Vinci with his pin, and
} eventually Da Vinci grabs scraps of paper and starts giving Smith
} paper cuts.  They battle until both are too weak to continue,
} partly from blood loss, mostly from 10 straight hours of futile
} jabbing at one another.  A frustrated sigh is heard, followed by
} a loud zapping noise.  More of a zotting noise, on reflection.]
}
}
} Well, that didn't really help, did it?  Fun though.
}
} Anyway, supplicant, I've always thought that that picture on the
} front of every science textbook -- you know, naked guy, arms out --
} was pretty cool.  So, I'm going to have to say that Leonardo's
} Workshop is the more important of the two.
}
} You owe the Oracle "Civ3: The grudge match".


1014-02    (cnqg9 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> Og here. Og bash forehead on ground.  Ground break.
> Og beg help from mitee Or-a-kul:
>
> Og have problem.  Og have new job.  Man in blue shiny
> furs come to cave.  Ask Og if Og know Or-a-Kul.  Og say yes.
> Man give Og many pretty leaves with pictures.  Man
> say Og come work for him.
>
> Og go to work.  Og now work in dark smelly hut, instead
> of nice sunshine.  Og must sit on strange thing, called
> "chair", makes Og fall down.  Og must stare at glowing
> rock, rock have many strange pictures on, call "Icon".
>
> Man tell Og he must "develop a new corporate DBMS".  Og
> not know what Man mean.  Man say Og know Or-a-Kul, will
> not be hard.
>
> Og ask Or-a-kul, what do now?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Zadoc!
}
} 'yes, Oracle and Master?'
}
} A great reckoning has come at last.  Do we have any of those
} TravelZOTs?
}
} 'I'm afraid we're out at the moment, but if you like _I_ could--'
}
} No, Zadoc.  This isn't something you can deal with.
}
} 'But you promised!  You said if I obeyed everything you said for the
} next 34 years, I could have my own ZOT!'
}
} I know, Slave.  But the time of Anguish and Woe has come upon us at
} last. This is worse than the time that assistant of yours left the sink
} running and left for the summer.  This even worse than when that
} package of w**dch*cks arrived from Montana.
}
} 'No, Oracle--you can't mean--'
}
} Yes, I'm afraid so.  Og has been kidnapped by M*cr*s*ft.
}
}       <ominous thunder rolls in the background--a lone wolf howls>
}
} Soon, the signs and prophecies proclaim that Og will be promoted from
} computer design and software analysis to PR, and from PR to Marketing
} Sales, and from Marketing to--
}
} 'NO! NO!  I can't bear it anymore!  Stop!'
}
} Yes. Soon, Og will be the head of Customer Service.  The Hour of
} Babylon has come.  Death is erasing everything in its path, everything
} that is designed anew with _less_ bugs, not more, everything which is
} good and pure and user friendly, everything which does not become
} obsolete within a fortnight.  These shall be cursed and confined to the
} Abyss of blackness and sulfer! There is no stopping the coming
} tribulation. Lo, soon the days of darkness and terror and fire will be
} upon us.  They will make Ogwa head of Human Resources, and she shall
} bring a judgement, and war shall be waged, nation upon nation, kingdom
} upon kingdom, department upon department.  The Oglings will be put in
} charge of the Internet Sales Division, and granted all authority over
} heaven and earth and there will be shreiking and wailing and gnashing
} of sound cards.  And Og--poor, misguided Og--they will make Vice
} President: the Servant of the Beast.
}
} "Oh Oracle, you can't mean now!'
}
} Yes, now have the dark hours come.  Soon, M*cr*s*ft will soon rule all
} access to all information, ruling a vast mutitude of crazed and
} confused consumers jamming the world's phone lines, all desperate to
} get questions answered by the Customer Service representatives, 78% of
} whom at any given time will be playing MERPS or oggling the Sear's
} lingerie section.  Then, after inviting Rupert Murdoch over for "tea",
} the Beast will gain complete control of the media, including publishing
} houses, newspapers, satelite systems, and SPAM servers.  There will be
} earthquakes and thunder and horrible TV shows masquerading as
} "entertainment", but which sercetly corrupt the nations of the world,
} stupifying them until nothing less than war between angels and demons,
} light and dark can distract them from their torment.  And then the
} Beast will then complete his most diabolical plan yet: convince the
} public through his "objective" newspapers that everyone loves his
} products.  It will be the end.
}
} 'How?  Can't you stop him?'
}
} Sadly, omnipotent though I am, I can only reach people through the
} Internet.  But when the browser rises out of the sea of silicon, and
} the Leviathon stalks the newsgroups, and access is limited to the
} chosen 144,000 sealed with the sign of the Window, then will my reign
} be overthrown.  Woe unto them all!
}
} 'Oh, Master!  I'll stay with you!  Even if no one else cares, I'll
} still ask you questions and grovel!'
}
} Thank you, loyal Zadoc.  But when the four Horsemen sweep down from the
} four corners of the world, and all stones are shaken off their
} foundations, then you too will abandon me, as it is written.  Unless...
}
} 'Unless?'
}
} Hmm...find me a phone.  I must speak to the Justice Department.
}
} You owe the Oracle an autographed copy of _Apocolypse Now_, a lake of
} burning sulfer, and a copy of Netcape Navigator.


1014-03    (jpjk3 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Rich McGee <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> Tell me how to get rich, doing nothing

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       Why don't you just ask Bill Gates?


1014-04    (bozg0 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

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

> Oracle, O Oracle, of Thee I sing.
> How do I worship Thee? Let me count the ways.
> Thou art the Length and Breadth and Height to which my soul can reach.
> I don't know any more Shakespeare to rip off. I could compare Thee to a
> summer's day, but that doesn't seem appropriate. Anyway, I have a
> question I hope you can answer.
>
> I was wondering exactly when the 21st century/3rd millennium will
> really start. I've heard a lot of argument about Jan 1, 2000 vs. Jan 1,
> 2001, but they all seem to be missing the mark. It seems to me that a
> new century (millennium) should start exactly an integer multiple of
> 100 (1000) years after a specific event, but the particular event that
> everyone seems to be talking about is celebrated on Dec 25. So
> shouldn't the new century start on Dec 25 instead of Jan 1? But it's
> even worse than that. Historians seem to agree that the event actually
> happened a few years B.C. (apparently no one had enough clout on the
> calendrical standards committee until long after everyone associated
> with the event were long dead, so they took a guess and they guessed
> wrong). So didn't the real 21st century/3rd millennium start sometime
> in 1993 (give or take a year or two)?
>
> And nobody noticed. No earthquakes. No rains of fire. No rapture. No
> nothing. Kind of anti-climactic, eh?
>
> Well anyway, I was just wondering.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Picture this:
}
} Bethlehem, 48BC:
}
} The barn doors close with a creak as the last of the bearded, robed
} and bedraggled lope inside.
}
} The tallest speaks:;
} "Friends, romans and Delphi programmers, I have gathered you here
} on a matter of grave concern to us all. As you know, soon Christ our
} Lord will be born onto this Earth, bearing the word of God. He will
} change the world.  People's attitudes, their moral codes for life
} conduct and even the dating system that we all use. Which is fair
} enough, anyone with that much power is not someone to rearend whilst
} they're sitting at traffic lights. However, I, Torrie of
} Southend-on-Sea, have a plan. A plan which will make us the richest
} people on the planet, and make absolutely sure we have a great New
} Year's party with no overcrowding whatsoever.
}
} For I have a vision, a vision of little beige boxes all over the world
} not being able to comprehend a '1' changing to a '2', and we shall make
} shedloads of money off these poor grebs by writing thousands of lines
} of code in the 1970's, 80's and 90's that only checks the last two
} digits of the date so that when the rollover comes, we will be very
} much in demand and be able to charge whatever we want to fix the
} problems we have created.
}
} By my calculations our Lord and master will be born at 8:27am on
} December the 25th 7bc. This will be a problem, because we will never
} be able to work out whether we are coming or going, so we will call 7bc
} 0 and work from there. Let us then have a huge party on December the
} 25th 1993, be hungover for the next six years, and begin spreading the
} word about our Millenium scam, I mean bug.
}
} My friends, we have work ahead of us. Electricity, symbolic logic, 80
} column punchcard machines,  the transistor, sub-micron silicon masking
} facilities, IBM and Sun will all have to be invented, as well as Unix,
} CPM, Digital Research and Apple.
}
} So, go forth, write code for food and prosper, for we will be
} triumphant, and the 2000th (ish) anniversery of Christ our Lord's birth
} will strike terror into the hearts of men, children and them little
} bolivian tree frogs.
}
} ....
} Strange how life works isn't it?
}
} You owe the Oracle the head of the bearded little git who invented
} Microsoft.


1014-05    (1ltnc dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <DAVIS@wehi.edu.au>

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

> Oh Oracle, who is so vastly wonderful and immensely superior that
> mere words cannot describe it,
>
> What is your opinion of Canada?  Nice country?  Good to visit?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, the last time I was there, I didn't see very much of it, for some
} reason.  I later learnt that "Drink Canada Dry" is an advertising
} slogan, not a personal challenge.
}
} You owe the Oracle a vast expanse of Arctic Wasteland with a couple of
} hundred people huddled along the warmer edge. No, wait - that's
} Scotland.


1014-06    (2ryj4 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <DAVIS@wehi.edu.au>

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

> Oh Oracle most wise, tell me, are flying cows really exists?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Indeed. There is a little-known subspecies of the cow that can in fact
} fly, and has actually featured at various intervals throughout history.
} This curious breed achieves altitude through inflating its
} extraordinary udder with hot air, and hanging upside down beneath it
} (evolution has prepared the cows to be able to cope with this).
} Propulsion...well, one word: methane.
}
} In World War 2, Hitler had specially-trained flying cows cross the
} channel under cover of darkness, and land in Wales, infiltrating the
} herds of some unsuspecting farmer. The execution was brilliant - the
} cows drifted in, under the radar, and fitted in brilliantly.
} Unfortunately, there was one fatal flaw: they were cows. And the grass
} really was greener on the other side.
}
} In 1920, Prof. D. H. Hinden attempted to cross the atlantic in a
} hot-air balloon with a herd of flying cows. Unfortunately, an untimely
} bolt of lightning ignited the large amount of methane surrounding the
} herd. This became known as the 'Hinden-hamburger' incident.
}
} And onwards, back through history. Napoleon used them in his failed
} invasion of Russia to carry supplies - the cracking of inflated udders
} as temperatures dropped bombed a whole regiment. Before he tried
} elephants, Hannibal attemmpted a failed invasion of Rome based on
} flying cows (ever tried to ride an upside-down cow? It ain't easy.).
} And, to early man, a herd of cows drifting over the horizon meant good
} eating for the first tribe there with spears or bows.
}
} However, despite this, this magnificent beast has enjoyed a slender
} role in history. But perhaps it is only waiting for its time, for the
} right Ph.D. thesis, for the right book...
}
} You owe the Oracle a thesis.


1014-07    (fjjlc dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <DAVIS@wehi.edu.au>

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

> can you chat with me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} <Orri-gal> Why yes I'd love too. Lets GO!  10K/f.
} <stud-licant> i am slowly taking off my pance
} <Orri-gal> Mmmm...i just love a bad speler. do go on
} <stud-licant> My sox are slowly sliding down...
} <Orri-gal> mmmmmmm
} <stud-licant> i pull them back up. cheap sox.
} <Orri-gal> ooooooo
} <stud-licant> i'm on fire....
} <Orri-gal> me too...mmmmmm
} <stud-licant> no really. the candle fell off the milkcrates
} and started my hemp shirt ablaze.....
} <Orri-gal> ooooooo
} <stud-licant> i'm ripping my shirt off....it's hard....
} <Orri-gal> oooh my already?......
} <stud-licant> ...to type...it's very hard to type...
} <Orri-gal> mmmmmm......mee too
} <stud-licant> i'm flailing around my room...
} <Orri-gal> mmmm....lovely imagery
} <stud-licant> i can't get this flaming shirt off...
} <Orri-gal> your a poet....
} <stud-licant> i knocked the bong over on my paintings...
} <Orri-gal> mmmmm
} <stud-licant> they're ruined....i'll have to paint all those
} unicorns again....my hair is smoking...
} <Orri-gal> oooohh mine tooo...
} <stud-licant> i found a bottle with liquid in it to
} put the fire out....
} <Orri-gal> mmmm......you can't put me out....
} <stud-licant> it was acetone from the meth lab....
} there's a huge fire in here now...
} <Orri-gal> mmmmeeee.....toooooo
} <stud-licant> all 15 of my cats are going nuts....
} they're clinging to meeee....e........
} <Orri-gal> mmmmeeee......tttoooooo
} <stud-licant> ..i'm getting dizzy....
} <Orri-gal> ahhhhhhh also meee
} <stud-licant> the motel manager is pounding on the door...
} i'll be right back....
} <Orri-gal> hello.....
} <Orri-gal> hello.....???
} <stud-licant>i'm back...you still there?? hello??
} <stud-licant> hello anyone there?? anyone wanna chat???
} <newbie-gal> hello?
} <stud-licant>  i am slowly taking off my pance....
} [offline]
}
} UO me a bohemian


1014-08    (alkle dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Julianna Avedon" <SOteric2@email.msn.com>

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

> What do you want?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "Agents Mulder and Scully.  FBI."  Mulder held up his badge.  "May we
} come in?"
}
} "I don't think so," said the unpleasant looking man.  He smelled
} terrible, and his clothes were mere rags.  The house they could see
} behind him was run-down, and completely barren of furniture, except for
} some cinderblocks and a two by four, on top of which rested a computer.
} "I'm having a bad day."
}
} "We'd like to ask you a few questions," said Scully, pursing her lips
} to make her cheekbones appear more pronounced.
}
} "Bout what," snapped the man.  "I'm busy."
}
} "The Internet Oracle," replied Mulder, using his best
} don't-mess-with-me, I'm-with-the-FBI-voice.
}
} The man's face turned dead white and he started to shake.  "I know
} nothing!  Nothing, I tell you!  I never heard of no stinkin Oracle!"
}
} "Oh really, sir?" asked Scully.  "What's that on your computer screen
} there?" she said, pointing over his shoulder.  "Looks like you are
} writing to the Oracle."
}
} "I didn't do nothin!  Really!  It was all just innocent fun!" he cried.
} "I didn't mean to cause noone no harm!"
}
} "Sir," said Mulder sternly, "The Oracle does not appreciate being
} bombarded with repeticious, idiotic, uncreative, boring questions.
} Here are some samples which came from you: Who are you?  What do
} you want?  Why are you here?  Now, we can discuss this further here,
} or we can haul you down to the FBI and turn you over to Cancerman so
} he can clone you.  Which will it be?"
}
} The man collapsed, sobbing, onto the floor. "I'm sorry!  I'm so sorry!
} I never meant to waste the Oracle's time!"
}
} Scully looked sternly at him.  "Do you have anything else you'd like
} to confess?"
}
} He looked up, trembling.  "You mean, you *know*?"
}
} She smiled.  "Of course I know.  I'm Psychic!Scully."
}
} He sighed and slumped up against the door.  "Yes, I admit it.  I am
} the Juno incarnation.  It was fun, for a while, being possessed by
} a demon and all, but look at me!  Look at me!  I'm a broken wreck
} of a man!  I lost everything but my computer, and the demon makes me
} post 24 hours a day!  That's why I resorted to those inane, grovelless
} questions - I was hoping if I posted enough through a non-Juno account,
} the demon would lose his hold over me.  I can't take it anymore!"
}
} Suddenly, the man erupted into flames.  Mulder and Scully lept
} backwards, shielding their faces with their hands.  The smoke swirled
} upwards, and seemed to form the shape of a laughing man...a hideous,
} mutated, maniacal man, and Mulder thought he heard someone whisper -
} "and now for my next victim..."
}
} "What the hell just happened, Mulder?" demanded Scully when the smoke
} had cleared and she determined that the man had been reduced to a
} small pile of ashes.
}
} "I don't know, Scully.  Somewhere, the next Juno incarnation is
} waiting..."


1014-09    (9pzc5 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: clemenr@westminster.ac.uk (Ross Clement)

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

>      O Oracle, you've seen all of time from your Olympian coign. Is
>      there any moment in the entire history of the human race when a
>      majority was even close to being right?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You raise an interesting question, supplicant.  The short answer is,
} "No." But let's take a little trip back through time to see how close
} you came...
}
} [Lights dim; a film projector turns on.  A screen descends, on which we
} see two cavemen.]
}
} Here is our old friend Og, involved in a heated discussion over the
} existence of God.
}
} >Og: Og say no God!  Og is all Og need!  Og not need in-vi-za-bull God
} >to help Og catch boar!  Og catch boar fine!
} >
} >Urk: God strike Og down, Og talk like that.
}
} At this point in history, the world was approximately evenly divided
} between superstitious people and rationalists.  It's conceivable the
} rationalists could have prevailed, but for an unfortunate
} coincidence...
}
} [Camera pans above Og's head to reveal that an enormous bird has landed
} on a rotten branch directly above Og's head.  The bird's weight breaks
} the branch, which clonks soundly upon Og's noggin.]
}
} >Og: Ow!
} >
} >Urk: See?  Wrath of God!  Urk warn Og, Og no listen!
} >
} >Og: Og sorry!  Og tell all that God is real!
}
} And so forth.  Of course, there are many things that one can be right
} or wrong about.  I don't have time to show you all of them, but...
}
} [The scene shifts.  We see a few people sitting around a television
} screen. They are Academy Award voters, watching a screening copy of
} _Titanic_.]
}
} >Mr. A: This movie is incredibly manipulative!
} >
} >Ms. B: It's really rather a travesty of modern moviemaking excess.
} >
} >Mr. C: Oh, come on, guys, vote for it...I'm sitting next to Kate
} >Winslet at the awards, and I don't want her all depressed.  I'm trying
} >to ask her out.
} >
} >Ms. D: Okay, Best Picture, then?
}
} Just when the world was evenly divided between people who loved
} _Titanic_, and people who either didn't care about it or thought it was
} further evidence of the nearness of Armageddon, four thoughtless
} Academy members _pushed_ it over the edge in the Best Picture voting,
} thereby giving it enough so-called artistic legitimacy to once again
} prevent humanity from escaping it own folly.
}
} [Projector clicks off.]
}
} You owe the Oracle a five page essay on the Spanish Inquisition.


1014-10    (9py99 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> If a tree falls over in the forest, and no one's around to hear it,
> does anyone give a damn?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You would, if you were the tree.
}
} You owe the Oracle a forest.


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