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Internet Oracularities #1166

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1166, 1166-01, 1166-02, 1166-03, 1166-04, 1166-05, 1166-06, 1166-07, 1166-08, 1166-09, 1166-10


Internet Oracularities #1166    (78 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 09:36:37 -0500 (EST)

To find out all about the Internet Oracle (TM), including how to
participate, send mail to oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help"
in the subject line.  ("Internet Oracle" is a trademark of Stephen
B Kinzler.)

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:
   1166
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1166  78 votes bts64 4gjta 8engh lwg63 28gxj 2ivj8 3mnge 3ktj7 bfidl 4fuja
1166  3.1 mean  2.5   3.3   3.3   2.2   3.8   3.2   3.2   3.1   3.2   3.2


1166-01    (bts64 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Oh great Oracle, who once played for the Harlem Globetrotters, but was
> asked to leave for you were too good for them. Who gave M. Jordan the
> NIKE contract, please tell me:
>
> As a semi-native of Indiana, how do you feel about the Bob Knight
> situation ? Will you manage his anger-therapy session ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle finds it puzzling that in a nation were the professional
} sports teams are comprised of thugs and convicted criminals that a
} coach that screams at people like a deranged loon is considered as
} a problem of some sort.
}
} You owe the Oracle a chamionship team, or else you're fired. DO I
} MAKE MYSELF CLEAR YOU DESPICABLE EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN! Get off your
} butt now! And GET ON IT! GO! GO! GO! !!=GET=IT=IN=GEAR=HUMAN=!!


1166-02    (4gjta dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: "Paul L. Kelly" <bright.red.fish@mindspring.com>

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

> Tell me the story of the Ugly Primeling (A childrens tale of numbers),
> please Mr Oracle, Sir.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} What, again, young Snipe?  This makes, what, the 17th time this
} fortnight?  All right, but first I want you to get under the
} covers and put your head on your pillow whilst I extinguish the
} lamp.  No, when placing your head on your pillow, you may, in
} fact, keep it attached to your neck.
}
} Now then... Once upon a--what?  Oh very well then, you may run
} and fetch yourself a small drink.  I'll wait.
}
} [time passes]
}
} Oh, Snipe... I did say "a *small* drink," did I not?  Ah, good,
} your thirst is sated.  So climb back into bed, put thy head on
} thy pillow, and close thine eyes.  Good.  Once upon a time, a
} Prime number roosted upon her--what?  You didn't?  Well I suppose
} you ought to.  Run along and brush them, but if thou knowest what
} be good for thee, dawdle not!
}
} Ah, you have returned.  Did you remember to rinse out the
} basin?  No?  For Zot's sake, do you know how hard it is for Zadoc
} to clean those petrified lumps of dentifrice off the basin if you
} allow them to dry overnight?  That's effort he could be spending
} tending to *my* whims, after all!  Now scoot!  And do a good job
} of it, lest I set my Staff of Zot to heavy stun and blister thy
} backside therewith!
}
} Finished?  Excellent.  Climb back into bed now.  You know the drill.
}
} OK.  Once upon a time, a Prime number roosted upon her nest.
} Suddenly, she felt a small vibration from beneath her--What?  No,
} it wasn't an earthquake...Yes, I am aware that the New Madrid
} faultline passes right through the Principality of Indiana, I
} *am* the Oracle, after all...Yes, I... Uh-huh... But... Not
} qui... No, I am *not* interested in hearing all you know about
} earthquakes!  It wasn't an earthquake!  It was her little
} Primelings hatching.
}
} Now you know what a Prime number is:  a positive integer which
} has no positive integer divisors other than 1 and itself.  Well,
} this Prime number stepped back to watch her little Primelings
} hatch, and as each emerged from its prenatal encasement, she
} assigned them their values.  "There's 7.  Now 13.  And 3.  You're
} 11..." and so forth.  But the last Primeling to emerge was...
} different, somehow.  Not in a way she could put her finger on, if
} indeed she even had a finger, but something was just not quite
} Primelike about him.  And in time-honored fashion, she concluded
} that, being different, he was therefore ugly, and not even really
} worthy of being assigned a value.  So the Mother Prime, and
} indeed every other inhabitant of the whole Numerical System
} simply referred to him, when they referred to him at all, as the
} Ugly Primeling.
}
} This was, of course, difficult for the--What?  Well, I'm not
} surprised, considering how much you drank earlier.  Go ahead,
} I'll wait--but not for long.  No, no, go do your business, young
} Snipe; I wouldn't want to be responsible for any more childhood
} trauma than necessary.
}
} All set now?  Good.  Where was I?  Prime, roosting, hatching,
} evaluating, Ugly...  All right then.  This was, of course,
} difficult for the Ugly Primeling, and this difficulty was not
} mitigated by the spiteful ways in which he was treated by his
} brethren and sistern.  They would push him aside at feeding
} times, leaving him only tiny bits.  Which, of course, stunted his
} growth, to the point that even if Mother Prime had wanted to
} assign him a value, it was not at all clear which value would be
} right.  He was certainly more than a three, but not nearly as
} much as a five.  So she just kept calling him the Ugly Primeling.
}
} Well, some creatures might bow to such challenging
} circumstances.  Some might conform and become submissive,
} slavelike beings.  Kind of like Zadoc here.  Some observers might
} even consider this the rational thing to do.  But the Ugly
} Primeling did something decidedly irrational:  He decided to
} transcend the pain and rejection aimed at him by his peers.  And
} in so doing, he ceased being the Ugly Primeling, and emerged
} triumphantly as a beautiful Transcendental Number!
}
} Eh?  Asleep are you?  And about time, too!  Sleep in relative
} peace, young Snipe.  When you awake, you will owe the Oracle a
} thick slice of pi.


1166-03    (8engh dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Oh Oracle most wise,
>
> How can I get out of this web of lies?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes, it all started out so simply, didn't it? You know, if you'd
} just confessed right away, it wouldn't have been so bad. Sure, your
} neighbours would have been upset, and so would the Better Business
} Bureau, and that cop with the prosthetic arm, but they would have
} gotten over it eventually. Besides, they can't *really* bar you from
} the public swimming pools for life.
}
} But no, you thought you could get away with it if you just found
} a ringer to replace the camel. So you ordered all the necessary
} supplies from an outfit with a P.O. box in Nebraska, judiciously
} applied a little leather dye to the replacement camel's haunches,
} set up the anonymous remailer, and waited for it all to blow over.
} Except you had forgotten about the kid, and when you tried to bribe
} her with candy it turned out that she was diabetic, so you had to
} find another way of getting her to keep her mouth shut about what
} she saw that day behind the drugstore. And it transpired that there
} really *was* somebody named Floyd Thimblemute living on Maple Street
} in Duluth, and his wife started asking some very pointed questions.
} Meanwhile, the replacement camel got caught in a rainstorm outside
} of Lansing, and the dye washed off, leaving a glaringly obvious
} trail along the sidewalk and blue streaks down the camel's legs.
} When you tried to claim that this was merely a symptom of a rare
} but benign form of Bactrian cyanophilous titubation, you discovered
} that the crossing guard actually had a degree in veterinary medicine
} from North Carolina State University, so that was the end of *that*
} little ruse. Not that it would have done you any good, because Mrs.
} Thimblemute had hired a private investigator who was sitting in the
} blue Dumpster the whole time, making notes.
}
} So, you may be thinking that the best thing to do now would be to
} give yourself up and come clean. And that would be the right thing
} to do if the private investigator hadn't already dug up a copy of the
} transcript of your conversation with the ticket agent at El Al. So if
} you confess now, the whole sordid business with the junk bonds and
} the African parakeets will be all over the papers by Tuesday morning.
}
} The only thing to do, then, is to buy a bus ticket to Montreal under
} an assumed name. Then, while the private investigator is getting
} interrogated at the border by Israeli agents disguised as Quebec
} immigration officers, you, who didn't even get on the bus in the
} first place, hitchhike to Tucson and get a job at the Dairy Queen
} on Fifth Avenue. All you have to do then is lie doggo until you've
} saved up enough money for a little plastic surgery. After that,
} you're home free... just don't go to the circus when it comes to town,
} because the camel will be able to recognize you by your smell.
}
}
} You owe the Oracle the key to the safe deposit box you rented in
} Floyd's name.


1166-04    (lwg63 dist, 2.2 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

>  Great Oracle, do you know H R Puff-n-Stuff?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes, I worked with his father. And you, gentle supplicant, are
} no H.R. Puff-n-Stuff.
}
} You owe the Oracle a former senator from Texas.


1166-05    (28gxj dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Mark Lawrence (lawrence.4@osu.edu)" <mtlrph@excite.com>

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

> O Wise and Mighty Oracle, who could do justice to a crossover episode
> of Friends with the cast of the Sopranos guesting...
>
> It's that time of year when the television networks reflect on the
> previous season and set the schedules for the next. I hear some of the
> new shows are a bit of a stretch, some old favorites are switching
> networks, and a few past-their-prime shows are not coming back,
> save for the occasional made-for-TV movie.
>
> So what, exactly, can we look forward to this fall?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The forests will be less crowded as fewer city dwellers escape the
} summer heat.  The aspen and birch will burst into gold, the maples
} will explode in crimson.  Foraging animals will be easier to watch as
} the twilight ends each day a few minutes earlier.  That spectacular
} array of lights splashed across the evening sky will be the Milky Way.
} The full moon on a light sprinkling of snow will make the silent
} world dazzle.  The pink and orange hues of the rising sun on the high
} thin clouds of daybreak will make the chilly morning worth waiting for.
}
} And you won't see a minute of it.
}
} You owe the Oracle a hammer.


1166-06    (2ivj8 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "BJ Backitis" <bjbackitis@mindspring.com>

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

> Oh Oracle most wise,
>
> What is the difference between Perl, ASP, and Cold Fusion?
>
> Thank you Oh Wise One.
>
> -abbie

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} --------------------------------------------------------------
}
} + Fans:
}
} perl: geeks
}
} asps: herpetologists
}
} Cold Fusion: Scam artists
}
} --------------------------------------------------------------
}
} + Opposed by:
}
} perl:  SUN (JAVA is evil!)
}
} asps:  snake haters worldwide
}
} Cold Fusion:  Serious Scientists, power conglomerate
}
} --------------------------------------------------------------
}
} + Best Feature:
}
} perl: More than one way to do everything
}
} asps: cool design
}
} Cold Fusion: fifteen minutes of science fame
}
} --------------------------------------------------------------
}
} + Worst Feature:
}
} perl: More than one way to do everything
}
} asps: odd attraction to Princess' breasts
}
} Cold Fusion: don't work
}
} --------------------------------------------------------------
}
} + Future:
}
} perl: will take over the world as part of Linux revolution...
}       Bwhahahahahahahaha... <whew>, sorry that wasn't nice.
}       Sadly perl will die a slow death as AOL-OS takes over
}       the computer world in 2014
}
} asps: like all animals will live only in zoos
}
} Cold Fusion: joins perpetual motion machines and Tesla
}              devices in urban science lore
}
} --------------------------------------------------------------
}
} + Cool fact:
}
} perl: Came this close to being called "GLORIA"
}
} asps: Cleopatra actually did say, "Kiss my asp" to her royal
}       breast at that moment
}
} Cold Fusion: Came this close to providing humans with insight
}              to Pre-vector Brownian Error Respining which would
}              have given man antigravity warp drives
}
} --------------------------------------------------------------
}
} You owe the Oracle a cold snake with a pearl at the tip.


1166-07    (3mnge dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: MVSOPEN@aol.com

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

> HI Oracle, it's Bob, from accounting, about 300 yards
> down the hall.  Um, I don't know how to tell you this,
> but Oracle Inc is nearly bankrupt.  I've been looking
> through the files and I have a couple of suggestions.
> At first, I thought You might need to cut back on your
> expenses...  Just look at the last 2 days' worth!
>
> 1754 recharges to the Staff of Zot cost an additional
> $423,942.31 to the electric bill
> Marble for new jacuzzi: $1950
> Installation of said jacuzzi: $1,000
> removal of old jacuzzi: $3,000
> Caviar: $646,000
> 24 k Gold plated toilet: $19,000
> Silk sheets, custom made for your
> ultra-super-king-sized bed: $975
> heating: $962
> Air conditioning: (for the other areas of the house)
> $1,800
> 3 cases of Viagra (?)  $1,975
> 1400 torches $1,750
> food for Zadoc: $3
>
> grand total: $1,102,357.31 in unneeded expenses.
>
> I thought of coming in here, asking you to curb your
> expenses.  But then I thought better of it, as I don't
> much care for the thought of being reduced to a pile
> of ashes.  So then I thought, You have all sorts of
> debts outstanding, owed to You by all sorts of people.
> I thought that if You would just collect what You are
> owed that would help a lot.  But then, I began looking
> at *what* specifically You were owed:  in the last two
> days alone You are owed:
>
> Mount Everest
> 2,000 pounds of eggplant
> 1,362 rubber bands
> a telepathic monkey
> 15 crates of pink 'hot pants'
> 1 commodore 64 computer
> 1 rigged election in a 3rd world country
> a 5 lb bucket of cheez whiz
> Bill Clinton's soul (I mean really!  EVERYONE knows
> this one's already spoken for!)
> Bill Gates's underwear (I won't ask.....)
> a better mousetrap
> a 74 Pinto
> a Ronco electric food dehydrator?  Why in the world
> would ANYONE want that?
>
> ...and the list goes on like this!
>
> I would like to suggest that You begin requesting
> payment in a more....useful...form.  Like, um, CASH!
> And make sure to collect it too, dangit! You can *not*
> go bankrupt!  Not while I'm on board!  I mean, really,
> who would hire an accountant that ran a Deity into the
> ground?  You've got to help me out here, I've got a
> wife a dog and 2.73 children to think of!  So whaddya
> say, Mr Oracle, Sir, will you help me out?  Please?
> And while we're at it, can I have a raise?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} ORACLE: Zadoc!
}
} ZADOC: Yes?
}
} ORACLE: Bring me my calculator! We're going to do a little
} cost/benefits analysis.
}
} ZADOC: Right away.
} ...
}
} ORACLE: Figure up how much each Zot costs in electricity.
}
} ZADOC: (presses a few buttons...) Two hundred forty-one dollars and
} seventy cents.
}
} ORACLE: Ash cleanup and disposal?
}
} ZADOC: Twenty-five dollars in mandatory landfill fees, another two
} dollars and fifty cents in labor.
}
} ORACLE: Accountants that can't add?
}
} ZADOC: Forty-five thousand three hundred eighty one dollars and
} seventy-three cents per year.
}
} ***ZOT***
}
} You owe the Oracle $269.20.


1166-08    (3ktj7 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo L. Schwab" <ewhac@best.com>

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

> O Oracle most wise,
>     My girlfriend's birthday is coming soon, and I haven't picked out a
> present yet.  Should I get something she wants, or something she needs?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Gentle supplicant,
}
} You would be best advised to split the difference and buy her something
} she wants to need (even if she doesn't want to need it just now). For
} example, smash her toilet a week before her birthday, and then present
} her with a new one with a big red bow attached.
}
} Alternatively, you could buy her something she needs to want; for
} instance, pay all her friends to brag about their eggbeaters; to be
} able to compete, she'll end up needing to want one.
}
} Of course, you could take the whole gift to the next metaphysical
} level, and buy her something she wants to need to want, or something
} she needs to want to need.
}
} Do not, under any circumstance, confuse your needs with her wants and
} vice versa. She really does NOT want that electric staple gun you need.
} Furthermore, she doesn't need that big-screen toaster you want.
}
} You owe the Oracle a need. I want one.


1166-09    (bfidl dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Kirsten R. Chevalier" <krc@erythrea.wellesley.edu>

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

> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=19,q=10
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=209,q=8
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=35,q=4
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=750,q=8
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=280,q=6
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=959,q=8
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=938,q=3
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=574,q=7
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=3,q=3
> http://www.wmin.ac.uk/cgi-bin/oracle/d=59,q=9
>
> All right, so I'm not a master of originality. So what?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Try to relax, Supplicant, this may seem... a little weird.
}
} ZZZZZZOT!
}
} The Supplicant arches his back in pain, we ZOOM IN until the face fills
} the screen for a moment, then pull back to show the supplicant in a
} dimensionless white space.
}
} ORACLE
} This... is the Answer.
}
} The Supplicant turns at the sound of the voice, and is startled to find
} THE INTERNET ORACLE in the room with him.
}
} ORACLE
} It is in our email program.  Using it, we can
} load anything from woodchucks, to Zot guns,
} to Lisa.  Anything we need.
}
} The Oracle walks past the Supplicant, revealing a computer terminal and
} two ergonomic chairs infront of it.
}
} ORACLE
} Sit.
}
} The Oracle sits, the Supplicant merely peers at the screen from behind
} the second chair.
}
} SUPPLICANT
} We're inside an answer?  This isn't an in-joke?
}
} ORACLE
} What is an in-joke?  How do you define an in-joke?
} If you mean a series of characters used to as
} foils by an incarnation, then this is simply an
} idea in someone's head used as a device.
}
} The Oracle nudges the mouse - the familiar background of the ORACLE
} DATABASE appears. A series of hilarious questions and answers appear.
}
} ORACLE
} These are the answers you know.  The digests
} as they are in the second millenium of
} Oracularities.  These answers exist only as
} part of an interactive humour network we call
} the Oracle.
}
} The POV moves towards the screen as the mouse pointer cruises up to the
} x in the top right of the window, and clicks on it.
}
} ORACLE
} You've been living in a dream world.  These are
} the answers of the real.
}
} The groans of a million incarnations receiving null questions haunts
} the wind.  Juno incarnations and woodchucks stalk the land, while long
} rambling parodies with no discernable point snare the unwary.
}
} SUPPLICANT
} What?  What happened?
}
} ORACLE
} It started small.  First a few ideas kept reappearing,
} then soon took on personalities of their own.  They
} even started answering questions!  We're... not sure who
} struck first, us or them.  But we know that it was us who
} drained the queue.
}
} A brief image of a thousand askmes being mailed flickers onto the
} screen.
}
} ORACLE
} They discovered a new form of answer.  All that was
} required was an in-joke.  The human mind generates
} so few new ideas that an in-joke can survive forever
} once it gets into the Oracularities.
}
} The POV pulls back into the pure white answer, a blank email is open
} onscreen.
}
} ORACLE
} What is the The In-joke?  The In-joke is trap,
} Supplicant.  A trap to turn humour, into this.
}
} The Oracle holds up a woodchuck.  Somewhere a bell tolls.
}
} SUPPLICANT
} No!  No, I don't believe it!  I come up with
} new ideas!
}
} ORACLE
} I didn't say it would be easy, only that it
} would be the truth.
}
} SUPPLICANT
} Stop!  Let me out!  I want out!
}
} The Supplicant suddenly reappears infront of their own computer.  The
} ping of a new mail can still be heard.
}
} Your call.


1166-10    (4fuja dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

>  Oracle, not even on the three days when the statue of Saturn
>  is unbound do I allow myself to think that by best idea is
>  within the same universe as your mighty thoughts. I bow before
>  you, full of fear and ask of you that you hear my question, and
>  perhaps answer it.
>
>  How does a flying saucer differ from a pie in the sky?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear A. Supplicant,
}
} In response to your inquiry forwarded to us by one T. I. Oracle,
} we trust that you will find the enclosed brochure informative.
}
} Sincerely,
} Somme A. Lien
} VP Sales,
} Myhrrahndyr Interstellar Vehicles, Ltd.
}
} ---8<--------8<--------8<-----cut here-----8<--------8<--------8<----
}
} Will-O-Wisp
}
} The hottest flying disk on the spaceways today.  A powerful
} Erzon 2900 engine keeps all the power you could ask for under
} your right arthropod.  Sporty, yet affordable.  Comes nicely
} equipped for under 48000 credits.
}
} Flying-Saucer
}
} Our best-selling model, the Flying-Saucer comfortably accomodates
} up to five lifeforms*.  Don't think that you're ready for the
} Rocking-Cherr just because the Flying-Saucer is practical - its
} sports handling will make getting there more than half the fun.
}
} Pie-in-the-Sky
}
} Powerful but luxurious, the Pie-in-the-Sky is our premiere passenger
} model.  Cruise the spaceways in perfect comfort; the standard
} autopilot and entertainment units mean you needn't even worry about
} the trivial details of getting to your destination.
}
} Flying-Toaster
}
} For those needing a Galacian Megaton of storage space, we proudly
} recommend the Flying-Toaster.   The control console has been
} newly redesigned for this year, and puts every control easily at
} one's arthropod-tips.  Large bay doors and an integrated tractor-
} beam system make loading the most massive items quick and easy.
}
} All models come equipped with numerous safety features, including
} our newly patented Herr'Bhagg occupant protection system and hull
} Kren-Pall zones.  Additional options available on all models include
} enhanced climate control, heavy shields, and an assortment of
} defensive weaponry**.
}
} No matter which rugged model you choose, we believe that you'll
} agree:  Myhrrahndyr is your best value in safe, reliable
} interplanetary transportation.
}
} ----------------------------------------------------------------------
}  * Standard-sized lifeforms.
} ** Myhrrahndyr condones defensive use of vessel's weaponry only.
}    Use caution at all times.  Avoid poorly-lit spaceways and areas
}    of unknown safety.  Consider taking a defensive flying course.
}    Contact your local dealer for more information.


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