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Internet Oracularities #1054

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Internet Oracularities #1054    (85 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 13:04:29 -0500 (EST)

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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:
   1054
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1054  85 votes 9msj7 khli9 5qDf0 9bvig 8tri3 5fprd 6ewmb 3eIg8 4hmqg asuc5
1054  3.0 mean  2.9   2.8   2.8   3.2   2.8   3.3   3.2   3.1   3.4   2.7


1054-01    (9msj7 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Oh, great Oracle, who always knows where the TV remote is,
>
> What would a Babylon 5 episode written by William Gibson or Stephen
> King be like?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Stephen King: Sheridan would start seeing strange things which nobody
} else could see, and his sanity would be questioned.  Only Delenn
} would believe him -- though her belief would be tinged somewhat with
} doubt -- but she would be killed early on in the episode, and return
} in spectral form to blame him for her death.  The whole episode would
} build up to a dramatic conclusion -- and bear a remarkable resemblance
} to some classic horror novel or movie -- but end disappointingly when
} they discover that it was all being caused by something lame, like a
} giant psychic cockroach.  Or possibly a spider.
}
} William Gibson: Everyone would get cyber-interface implants, and the
} episode would focus mainly on how the implants work.  Lots of eye candy
} as the characters explore cyberspace, and lots of technical doubletalk,
} but no real substance, plot or characterization -- the protagonists
} would be turned into two-dimensional caricatures.  In other words, it
} would be mistaken for an episode of Star Trek.
}
} You owe the Oracle a date with Lyta.  Preferably while her eyes are
} solid black.  For some reason, I find that really sexy.


1054-02    (khli9 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: MCHEVALIER@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Hehe, let's see you finish this one, Mr. Smarty-Oracle!
>
> There once was an Oracle from Valhalla....

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} There once was an Oracle from Valhalla....
} Who's poetic syllables were incorrect
} They neither did rhyme
} Or make anyone impressed
} Because he was just a fake


1054-03    (5qDf0 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

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

>  Oh Oracle omniscient, who's shoes I am not worthy to spit shine,
>  please deign to answer this humble supplicant's insignificant
>  question:
>
>  According to the cover article of the July, 1931 issue of Popular
>  Science which I found in my attic this afternoon, we should have
>  all been flying autogyros and speaking Esperanto by now.
>
>  What happened?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Unfortunately, that issue of Popular Science was written well before
} I came on staff with the magazine. Therefore, any predictions made in
} it have no basis in actual Oracular foresight and instead are there
} to create the impression that the writer had some special knowledge
} which he was gracious enough to share, while really he was as clueless
} as everyone else (except me of course) and was just spouting off.
} After all, the writer of that article is probably dead now (figuring
} about 25-30 years of age at the time of article and counting on the
} three-score and ten principle) so what does he care that someone has
} found that his prediction was a hoax sixty years after the fact.
} Now, if I had written that article, I could have told you that at
} this time in history you would be driving your exhaust-belching tank
} of a car to a dismal office where you sit in microscopic cubicles
} e-mailing questions to the Oracle while your boss dozes. Fortunately,
} I don't die, so you can call me to account with my next prediction --
} I foresee that in the year 2060 we will all be flying autogyros and
} speaking Esperanto.  How's that for going out on a limb?
}
} You owe the Oracle all your back-issues of Popular Science.


1054-04    (9bvig dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

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

>     To Orrie, on Going to Get Some Work Done
>
> Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind
>   That from the comedy
> Of thy keen wit and brilliant mind,
>   To work I now apply.
>
> To a new master I must sing:
>   My boss (his name is Bob),
> And do all my best groveling
>   If I'm to keep this job.
>
> Yet this inconstancy is such
>   You surely must desire.
> I could not send thee mail so much
> If I were to get fired.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}     To a Supplicant, on His Return from the Rat Race
}
} Oh, where have ye been, young supplicant mine?
}   Oh, where have ye been, my fellow so fine?
} I have been at the office; Orrie, answer me soon,
}   For I'm utterly knackered, and I fain would lie doon.
}
} Oh, what did ye do, young supplicant mine?
}   And why are ye blue, my fellow so fine?
} I wrote lots of code; Orrie, answer me soon,
}   For my carpals are tunnelled, and I fain would lie doon.
}
} Oh, what did ye eat, young supplicant mine?
}   Some nice healthy treat, my fellow so fine?
} I had pizza and coffee; Orrie, answer me soon,
}   For I've got indigestion, and I fain would lie doon.
}
} And what of your boss, young supplicant mine?
}   Why was he so cross, my fellow so fine?
} He found all my JPEGs; Orrie, answer me soon,
}   For I'm oh so embarrassed, and I fain would lie doon.
}
} Oh, I fear he has sacked ye, young supplicant mine!
}   Without even a thankye, my fellow so fine!
} Yes, I got the big elbow; Orrie, answer me soon,
}   For tomorrow I sign on, and I fain would lie doon.


1054-05    (8tri3 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <drnoe@primenet.com>

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

> Oh, infinitely complex and intergrally undifferentiable Oracle who
> knows no bounds, real or imaginary!
>
> My combinatorial theory textbook says the only prerequisite to studying
> combinatorial theory is that one has reached a state of "mathematical
> maturity." They suggest that this sort of maturity is attained by the
> study of calculus and linear algebra. This smells to me more like the
> journey to buddahood than the preparation for a math class, you know, e
> is for enlightenment and all. What is mathematical maturity and do I
> have it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       In fact, the two (mathematical maturity and buddahood) are one
} and the same, although it is not yet commonly known.  Here is a brief
} timeline of upcoming developments on this topic:
} 2014: Dr. Bud Hah succesfully proves that 0=1
} 2019: Dr. E. Lightenment finds a mathematical description of buddahood
} 2046: Dr. Nerf Vanna demonstrates that the limit of the enlightenment
} of any person as their age approaches infinity is equal to buddahood.
} 2047: Dr. Nerf Vanna announces (while floating over Stanford
} University) that he has demonstrated that anyone who can understand the
} mathematical description of buddahood achieves it.  He refuses to
} explain why, insisting that anyone who understands the equation will
} see why (and achieve buddahood.)
}
}       As for your having, asking the question denies your own
} mathematical maturity.


1054-06    (5fprd dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> ] > |> <grovel et al. snipped>
> ] > |>
> ] > |> > What is your favourite letter of the Cyrillic alphabet?  I
> ] > |> > personally prefer zh, though shch will do in a pinch.
> ] > |>
> ] > |> And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
> ] > |>
> ] > |> } Since the Cyrillic alphabet originates in the greek alphabet I
> ] > |> } would prefer the old alphabet used in greece.
> ] > |> }
> ] > |> } You owe the oracle a ticket to greece.
> ] > |> } _________________________________________________________
> ] > |> } DO YOU YAHOO!?
> ] > |> } Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com
> ] >
> ] > What I wouldn't *give* to send that incarnation to Greece, where
> ] > s/he would presumably not have computer access.
> ]
> ] And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
> ]
> ] } P
>
> At least it was a relevant response; I suppose I should resist the
> temptation to go on the trip to Greece with those incarnations and push
> them off the plane somewhere over the Alps.  Or should I?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} From the Casebook of T.I. Oracle, P.I.
}
} It was a file I hadn't looked at in a long time.  The question
} seemed simple enough.  "What is your favourite letter of the
} Cyrillic alphabet?"  But one of my zany incarnations had seen fit
} to answer with a serious response.  It was ugly.  The supplicant was
} not satisfied with the answer, and wrote back expressing a desire to
} rob the incarnation of his computer access by sending him to Greece.
} The response had been even worse, a snide comment meant to belittle
} the supplicant while at the same time mocking all other incarnations.
}
} It was horrible.  My partner was the supplicant that night.  He ended
} up dead and I ended up with four shots in me.  One of them was lead,
} the other three were whiskey.
}
} What had gone wrong?  There must have been something that we missed.
} Something we weren't meant to see. But what was it?
}
} Suddely, my eyes scanned across the page and landed on the relevant
} line.  Shaking, I reached for my yellow highlighter and slowly drew
} a line of color across the words....
}
} "DO YOU YAHOO!?"
}
} Of course!  The supplicant's answer had been another question!
} The supplicant took that as a cue to reply.  But why the dead partner,
} then?
}
} Because the supplicant's response was obviously a statement, not a
} question.  And my partner, in all his glorious stupidity, had replied
} with yet another question.  "Or should I?" A code!  The supplicant
} was an agent, seeking confirmation. The Cyrillic alphabet, Yahoo,
} constant references to Greece, they all started to tumble together
} in my head.  Or should I?  What could have set someone off about it?
}
} Quickly I racked my brain, trying to figure out the code.  Greece.
} Cyrillic.  The key had to be in there.  I photocopied the page and
} held it up to the light.  Yes.  It was in there somewhere.  Greece.
} Cyrillic.  Why not a simple conversion code?
}
} I took the first letter of every word and converted it to its Greek
} phoenetic equivalent, then numbered them off by their place in the
} Greek alphabet.  I then totaled the numbers, divided by Jon Bon Jovi's
} underwear size, tripled the resulting number, translated it into base
} 4 numbers, and then divided by twenty-six.  The answer was plain for
} anybody to see.
}
} "Where should I drop the bird off, Mugsy?"
}
} And the reply from the first incarnation, a traitor in my own
} organization!
}
} "Take the last train to Clarksville and I'll meet you at the station."
}
} So why the dead partner?  There had to be something more.  Perhaps my
} partner had stumbled onto something?  Maybe his message had been in
} the code by accident?
}
} Trembling, I quickly translated the final question.  There it was,
} in all its horrible glory.
}
} "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck...."
}
} Poor Sam.  He brought it all down on himself.
}
} I closed the case of Call and Response, never to re-open it.


1054-07    (6ewmb dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> "The question is, gentlemen, can Linux Pauling find the cure for
> Microsoftia Windosa?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Sure.  Vitamin C++.


1054-08    (3eIg8 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <fungaroc@gusun.georgetown.edu>

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

> Oh most kinetic king of the keyboard, have you ever made a typo and
> smitten someone with something really wild, like the "Staff of Zit" or
> the "Staff of Zog" or the "Starr of Xor"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Numerus times, actuially.
}
} Note the following examples:
}
} Staff of Zit: supplicant wound up with a severe case of acne.  Not
} pretty.
}
} Staff of Zorg: Remember the ZF-1 from The Fifth Element?  that's it.
} The replay button got jammed, and I'm still working on repairing that
} wall I took out.  I know many things, but how I used that one I have no
} idea - I must've been drunk at the time.  The supplicant, however,
} never recovered from the holes.
}
} Staff of Zor - The supplicant I used this one on started talking like a
} badly English-dubbed Japanese animated TV show.
}
} Staff of Aot - One of the semi-positive ones.  Supplicant learned how
} to code a.out executables for Unix in C, however couldn't use the u or
} period.
}
} Staff of Zort - one word: Pinky.
}
} Staff of Zpt - Three words: Bill The Cat.
}
} Staff of Zlt - Supplicant had asked a rather surreal question, and as a
} result of this typo, he turned into a zymurgy lettuce and tomato
} sandwich.
}
} I try avoiding using those staves, but sometimes they're rather
} entertaining.
}
} You owe the Oracle 100% accuricy.


1054-09    (4hmqg dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> What's all this fuss about the American President?  In Japan, they
> knew he was "erected" for two terms.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}     Top Ten Reasons Why Asking M*n*c* L*w*nsk* Questions Should
}   Replace Asking Woodchuck Questions as the Most Zottable Offense
}   ---------------------------------------------------------------
}
} 10. You don't hear people blathering about woodchucks every f--king
}     time you turn on the television.
}
} 9. Similarly, you don't hear everyone else who thinks they have a
}    sense of humor telling endless strings of boring jokes where the
}    punchline is always "woodchuck."
}
} 8. M*n*c* L*w*nsk* is much more unattractive than most woodchucks.
}
} 7. So much more unattractive, that Joel Furr might mistake her for a
}    lemur and start using the Oracle again.
}
} 6. Most Oracle incarnations spend too much time in front of their
}    computers to know enough to say anything funny involving sex.
}
} 5. While the woodchuck question involves a stupid pun a single word,
}    it is impossible say _anything_ regarding the M*n*c* L*w*nsk*
}    matter that doesn't allow for a mind-numbing variety of bad puns,
}    I.E. "She really is open to him coming clean about this mess; you
}    can see it on her face."
}
} 4. The National Marmot Preservation Society is threatening to sue
}    and/or throw red paint at me, while nobody would actually care if the
}    whole M*n*c* L*w*nsk* matter "mysteriously" vanished one day.
}
} [Unfortunately, I was forced to delete the remainder of this list, as
}  recent scientific studies have shown that listening to eight or more
}  consecutive statements involving American politics may increase one's
}  risk of uncontrollable vomiting, seizure, and internal hemorrhaging
}  by up to 165%. While you clearly deserve this for not groveling, I
}  would like to spare the priest(ess) who has to read this from such a
}  fate.]
}
} You owe the Oracle a version of V-Chip that censors out everything
} involving Billygate (both the presidential scandal and the
} Antichr^H^H^H^H^H^H^HMicrosoft chairman), and a better grovel.


1054-10    (asuc5 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> O Oracle Most Wise,
>
> why is a captain in the navy a much higher rank than a captain in the
> army?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It's all about the toys.  A captain in the army has some men, a gun for
} each man and maybe a radio.  A captain in the navy has about the same
} number of men, a ship, usually some pretty big guns, and a complex
} communications and threat detection suite.  The things he commands are
} just of more importance.
}
} You owe the Oracle Super Soaker 2500CPS.  I need toys, too...


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