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Internet Oracularities #1273

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Internet Oracularities #1273    (48 votes, 3.3 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 14:15:35 -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 bad") to 5 ("very good") with the
volume number to oracle-vote@cs.indiana.edu (probably just reply to
this message).  For example:
   1273
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1273  48 votes 179kb 0jm43 4dk65 59eb9 68fh2 0ahd8 25eha 35oc4 27mc5 29ccd
1273  3.3 mean  3.7   2.8   2.9   3.2   3.0   3.4   3.6   3.2   3.2   3.5


1273-01    (179kb dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <dhemming@blueyonder.co.uk>

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

> Oh Oracle most punctilious,
>
> As I'm running late yet again, I'm doing my timesheet for last week,
> but I seemed
> to have misplaced Wednesday.  Can you help me, by reminding me what I
> did that day, and perhaps explaining why I've forgotten?
>
> thanks,
>
> Confused in Cambridge.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}  6:15am - Dreaming about Martha again.
}  6:20am - Dreaming about Ricardo again.
}  6:25am - Dreaming about Martha with Ricardo.  Wake up vaguely
}   dissastified, can't remember why.  Look at clock, go back to sleep.
}  7:20am - Wake up, turn off alarm, go back to sleep.
}  8:45am - Wake up, look at clock.  Curse loudly.  Jump out of bed,
}   start toaster, take shower, get dressed.
}  9:01am - Leave for work.
}  9:35am - Arrive at work.  Make lame excuse to manager about godawful
}   traffic.
}  9:40am - Arrive at desk.  Answer phone messages.  Start reading email.
} 11:00am - Finished with email.  Starting on usual websites (fark.com,
}   slashdot.org, thehun.net)
} 12:00am - Lunch meeting.  Client has changed the requirements document
}   yet again -- something about insisting on using GIFs instead of JPEGs
}   because 'GIF' has one less letter so that will save bandwidth costs.
} 12:03am - Nausea sets in.  Manager kind enough to remember to bring
}   airline barf bags.  Happens every time we meet with the client.
}  1:00pm - Meeting over, break for some _real_ lunch.  Kowalski suggests
}   we try new peeler bar, "Dorothy's."
}  1:20pm - Ran screaming from Dorothy's after seeing the 'Tin Man' on
}   stage.  Do not want to think about the Judy Garland that was sitting
}   in my lap.
}  1:30pm - Get back to work.  Serious working time ahead.
}  1:35pm - Impromtu Nerf(tm) basketball game.
}  1:45pm - Okay, serious work this time.
}  2:15pm - Manager asks me for a meeting in his office.  Seems he's
}   having trouble with net connection.  Doesn't get the Star Trek "I'm
}   a doctor, not a sysadmin," joke.  Checked the OS and TCP/IP settings
}   nothing.  Checked the hardware -- found chewing gum stuck in the
}   ethernet jack.  Excuse: "it keeps falling out otherwise."   Resolve
}   to drink heavily tonight.
}  2:30pm - Okay, work starts now.
}  2:35pm - Intern needs help.  Already finished documentation, now using
}   "a trick we learned in lectures" involving a quantum-supposition
}   neural-net as a virtual machine to solve problems in emulation.
}   Stepped on power bar by 'accident.'  Suggested to intern to make
}   back-ups more often.
}  2:50pm - Manager needs help again, with firewire configuration.  I
}   pointed out that only the Apple nerds in the video department have
}   firewire devices.  Manager pretty insistent.
}  3:00pm - He's not kidding about the fire wire.  Tried to extinguish it
}   with some water from the kitchen.
}  3:02pm - Pick self up from floor.  Remind self to not whizz on
}   electric fence nor put out electrical fires with water.  Learn
}   something new  every day.
}  3:10pm - Fire extingisher was empty.  Used remaining kitchen supply of
}   coffee whitener to smother fire.  Finally a use for that stuff.
}  3:15pm - Regale co-workers with 'fire wire' story.
}  3:30pm - Okay, back to work.
}  4:00pm - PaulT downloaded trailers for Star Trek: Nemesis, LotR: The
}   Two Towers (in French, but whatever), and Bikini Karate Babes.  An
}   impromtu 'meeting' held in the board room.
}  4:20pm - Checking email again.
}  4:30pm - Reading rec.humor.oracle
}  4:32pm - Reading rec.humor.oracle.d
}  4:50pm - Okay, this time for real.  Work.
}  5:01pm - Quitting time.  We threaten Kowalski with physical bodily
}   harm if he doesn't buy us a round at Hooters to make up for his pick
}   of lunch venues.  Beer ahoy!
}
} ... I assume that you successfully blotted out the trauma of a typical
} day at work.  Here's the timeshi^Heet you'll be handing in:
}
}  9:30-12:00 : Work (2.5).
} 12:00- 1:00 : Meeting with client (1.0).
}  1:00- 2:00 : Lunch (nc).
}  2:00- 5:00 : Work (3).
}               Total (6.5)
}
} Don't forget some after-hours Quake^D^Wovertime to make up for the
} half-hour you lost on Wednesday.
}
} You owe the Oracle some rhubarb dipped in peach juice.


1273-02    (0jm43 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> oracle, most wise, who knows all about everything and is really great
> at math, please help me out here;
>
> Can you finish this number sequence?
>
> 1 30 2 29 3 28 4 567 888 887 886 1253 5 . . .

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [The Oracle takes a deep breath and lets it out with a
} long sigh]
}
} Another kid who wants the Great and All-knowing Oracle
} to do his homework assignment for him.  Being an
} all-knowing Oracle, one sees this all the time.
} Remembering back to the beginning when one was new to
} the job, the Oracle answered a question that went like
}  "Oh great and wise Oracle, if one cart leaves Olympus
} at 2:30pm travelling 105 stades per hour, and another
} cart carrying olives leaves Athens at 4:30pm
} travelling 92 stades per hour, at what time will they
} crash into each other?".  And, of course, being the
} Oracle, you answer that one easy enough.  But then it
} moves on to trigonometry.  And then algebra.  And then
} that kid tells all his schoolmates and next thing you
} know, the Oracle is a crutch for every schoolkid who
} has access to email.
}
} [ The Oracle sighs again and decides to risk an answer
} this once ]
}
} 24 376 23 575 22 374 6, and so on
}
} You owe the oracle one TI-85 calculator and a Pentium
} 66 with the FDIV bug.  And next time do your own homework.


1273-03    (4dk65 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

>  Arrr, matey.
>
>  Tell this old sea dog why it be that we pirates are so funny.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Pirates Are In! Let's look briefly at the most famous & funniest
} of them all. . .our very own Captain Hook!
}
} As we all known this former bosun of another pirate known as
} "Barbecue"[0] burst on to the comedy scene in Chapter 4 of the
} book "Peter Pan":
}
}                  -------------------------
}
} "Who is captain now?"
}
} "Hook," answered Peter, and his face burst into a grin.
}
} "Jas. Hook?"
}
} "Ay."
}
} Michael and all The Lost Boys began to laugh, and even John
} could speak in gulps only, for they knew Hook's reputation.
}
} "What is he like? Is he big?"
}
} "He is not so big as he was."
}
} "How do you mean?"
}
} "I cut off a bit of him." [1]
}
}                  ---------------------------
}
} A 'bit' risque, but that's how the text goes! Anyway later Hook
} branched out into a sucesfull one legged stand-up comic career
} [2], a cameo as a guest 'Captain' in what is universally agreed
} to be the funniest episode of Star Trek ever filmed[3], and
} even hung out with the Beatles and got mentioned in the last
} song on their Spoof of their own masterpiece Sgt. Pepper[4].
}
} / start NotReal Video Clip /
}
}  A crowd of people turned away
}  but I just had to look
}  Having been a fan of Capt. Hook
}
} / end clip /
}
} But it was when he became a regular on the wildly successful
} "OG Show" that his stardom was cemented on him like a boot.
}
}         ----------------------------------------
}
}  Come 'n listen to my story 'bout a Neanderthal named Og
}  Poor excuse for a human, he's dumber than a dog
}  An' then one day he chased a shaman into a lair,
}  next thag you know he lives in Bel Air!
}  2.5 kids that is! Wage slave! Commuter!
}
} [a standard TV home, clean and orderly]
}
} [Og, dressed in saber-tooth skins, spiky club in hand enters,
}  crowd claps on cue]
}
} Og: Ogwa! Ogwa!
}
} [Ogwa enters from kitchen, while still clearly a Neanderthal
}  she is wearing a running suit, crowd claps]
}
} Ogwa: Ogwa here.
}
} Og: Og go work now.
}
} Ogwa: Og! Don't ear saber cat skin to work. Og wear
}       trendy clothes. Og look like something dire-wolf
}       drag in.
}
} [laugh track]
}
} Og: Og like saber cat, Today ka-su-al Fry-day. Og cow-orkers
}     wear old blue skins of some sick critter named Levis.
}
} [laugh track]
}
} [ Hook wanders into the room. ]
}
} Og: Look Hook.
}
} [ laugh track ]
}
} Hook: Hook this!
}
} [ Hook goes to grab self in crotch, uses wrong 'hand' and
}   perforates himself. ]
}
} Hook: Argh!
}
} [ laugh track ][5]
}
}         ----------------------------------------
}
} So you can see for yourself, the reason pirates are thought
} of as funny is because people -like- laughing at pirates,
} especially Captain Hook!
}
} You owe the Oracle a cement tar pit.
}
} [0] Go check it out, his name is "Barbecue", I'm not making this up:
} http://www.literature.org/authors/barrie-james-matthew/the-adventures-
} of-peter-pan/chapter-04.html
} [1] ibid. Yes, that is the actual text of "Peter" Pan.
} [2] http://cgi.cs.indiana.edu/~oracle/digest.cgi?N=%231229+#1229-04
} [3] http://cgi.cs.indiana.edu/~oracle/digest.cgi?N=%231224+#1224-02
} [4] http://cgi.cs.indiana.edu/~oracle/digest.cgi?N=999+#999-06
} [5] You asked for it, here's the rest of the Og Show Song:
}
}  Well now it's time to say goodbye to Og and his saber cat skin
}  An' they would like to thank you homo sapiens for droppin' in.
}  You're all invited back again to this branch of the evolutionary tree
}  To have a heapin' of laughin' at Og's ablities
}  Neanderthal, that is! Gnaw a bone. Bellow wildly.
}  Og say come back in seven suns!


1273-04    (59eb9 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@celery.tssi.com

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

> O Oracle who has taught us the evil of w**dch*cks,
>
> Is Sonic the Hedgehog one of the ROUS?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "The rodents of unusual size?" asked the Oracle casually, looking over
} the supplicant's shoulder into the fang-riddled maw of a gigantic rat.
} "I don't believe they exist."
}
} With impeccable timing the beast attacked. The Oracle sidestepped the
} assault easily - because he saw it coming, and because it was directed
} at the supplicant. Sating its ravenous hunger on the still-gurgling
} supplicant, the beast ignored the Oracle as he sauntered away.
}
} Emerging from the Princess Bride simulation, the Oracle studied the
} portal to the other games on the PS-Y demo CD-DVD-EIEIO-ROM. The
} full-immersion Leisure Suit Larry game sounded intriguing until he saw
} that bore a Teen rating. Had it been the full Adult-Only version, it
} would have been his first choice. "I'll have to order that as a
} tribute," he mumbled to himself.
}
} The other demos were the usual fare: something based on the latest
} Disney flick, a Star Wars shoot-em-up, DNA Tetris (The tagline read
} "Complete the Uber-Marmot and rule the world!"), Tiger Woods Golf
} XXVIII, and Sonic the Hedgehog.
}
} "Wha...?" The Oracle was confused - a situation he didn't encounter
} often. "Sonic? Jeez, that's gotta be 50 years old!" He clicked the
} Sonic icon and stepped into the portal. "This is going to be -so-
} lame."
}
} What greeted the Oracle on the other side would be more accurately
} called pandemonium. Instead of the usual object-of-the-game blurb, the
} Oracle was nearly run down by what appeared to be a runaway buzz saw.
} The whirling teeth slowed, then coalesced into a spiny blue hulk that
} resembled Sonic about as much as a grizzly bear resembles a Beanie
} Baby. It glowered at the Oracle for a moment, then chuckled. "Sucker!"
} it grated. "You never could resist a retro reference!" Spinning up
} again, the creature dashed toward the Oracle, intent on shredding him
} where he stood.
}
} Instinctively the Oracle reached behind him to slap the Exit icon
} (having been fragged by campers in Quake Deathmatch too many times to
} admit) but his hand met only cold stone. The portal was gone, replaced
} by a stone wall many meters high. With the hedgehog bearing down on him
} and no time to scale the wall, the Oracle picked up a loose stone
} block, tossed it into the air, and sidestepped as the creature zipped
} by - right into the stone as it fell back to earth. The stone fractured
} into many fist-sized pieces, but the hedgehog stopped abruptly. The
} Oracle backpedalled away to get some room to maneuver, and summoned his
} Staff of Zot as the hedgehog turned to face him.
}
} "Not bad, primate," it grunted. "but it won't work a second time. By
} the way, your toy doesn't work in this game either."
}
} The Oracle gave the ring on his Staff a quick twist to "Full Choke" and
} snicked a half dozen spines from the hedgehog's right shoulder with a
} tight plasma beam before it could react. Twisting the ring back to
} "Watch Your Toes" and full power, he smiled at the beast. "Actually it
} does," he said. "Most of the game programmers come to me for advice
} sooner or later, and the tribute I always demand from them is to place
} a Staff of Zot and a summon spell in their game."
}
} "Whatever. You'll need more than that to escape this game.
} Reinforcements are on the way."
}
} "Well, until they get here, how about telling me what this is about?
} You're obviously not Sonic. He had better manners."
}
} The beast growled. "You'd have a foul attitude too - fouler than the
} one you already have - if you'd been the subject of genetic engineering
} experiments."
}
} The Oracle peered closely. "Sonic! It -is- you! What happened? You
} disappeared in the mid-1990s. We figured you'd gone underground with
} the game emulator folks!"
}
} "Hardly. Your wood-mother-chucking buddies approached me and offered me
} a job to take you out of action. I said no way, because you were one of
} the best players that ever played me - even if you did need the cheat
} codes now & then." The Oracle shifted on his feet uncomfortably. "But
} they wouldn't take no for an answer, and when I woke up I looked like
} this. They told me they'd reverse the DNA modifications once you were
} out of the way. I told them an old game like mine would lure you in for
} sure. And you fell for it. You might be omniscient, bud, but you're
} about as predictable as a Crichton novel."
}
} The Oracle thought for a moment. "So where's the Exit icon?" he asked
} abruptly.
}
} "No way. It's you or me, and I'm not staying like this for the rest of
} my life."
}
} "That's what I mean. To flesh out the demo disk they needed some extra
} games, and I think one of them might be their DNA lab. I think we can
} put you back together without them."
}
} Sonic seemed confused. "You think that's possible?"
}
} "If they weren't lying to you from the start - if they really CAN put
} you back - then the answer is in another game." The sound of heavy,
} fleshy bodies tossing logs through the underbrush came to their ears.
} "There's not a lot of time to think about this, Sonic. You're quick -
} answer now!"
}
} "ALL RIGHT!" shouted the hedgehog. "Come on!" Gathering the Oracle in
} his muscular arms, Sonic spun up and dashed for an alcove in the wall
} that wasn't visible from their original position. Before the Oracle
} could hit the Exit icon they were though the portal and Sonic was
} spinning down on the other side. "How long will it take?" Sonic asked.
} "They'll figure out that we came this way."
}
} "I'm way ahead of you..." began the Oracle.
}
} "That's a first." smirked Sonic.
}
} "Ahem. Help me twist the portal into a Mobius shape."
}
} "You're not going to put it in a shredder, are you?" smirked Sonic
} again.
}
} The Oracle smacked Sonic on the side of his head, then immediately
} regretted it as blood began to ooze from a dozen quill pricks. "When
} they come through they'll immediately be transferred into another game.
} Ah, this one will keep them busy!"
}
} At that moment the portal sprang open and a squad of woodchuck
} stormtroopers came pouring though. As soon as the last one was out, the
} Oracle slapped the Leisure Suit Larry icon and they were all sucked
} away to the Land of the Lounge Lizards. "When they realize where they
} are they'll spend a few hours trying to pick up women, then they'll get
} bored and come looking for us. We should be long gone by then. Now help
} me straighten this thing out again."
}
} With the portal restored, the Oracle selected DNA Tetris and they both
} entered. The Tetris screen was huge - over a hundred meters high - and
} the block fragments tumbling down it were no bigger than a pixel.
}
} "Aw, no!" whined Sonic. "How will we ever get it in the right
} sequence?"
}
} "Ahem. I'm the Oracle, remember? I know where they all go." He pointed
} to a small chamber next to the screen. "Now hop in. We don't have a lot
} of time."
}
} As soon as the chamber door slid shut, the game began. Tiny blocks
} began tumbling down the screen, each representing the building blocks
} of the DNA molecules that would make up Sonic's genes. One by one the
} Oracle flicked them into place - slip left, slip right, rotate, rotate,
} rotate, DROP! And then again. And again. and again. Hundreds, millions,
} billions - each in its proper place. Higher and higher grew the stack,
} more and more complete grew Sonic's restoration.
}
} But then... what was that? A huge sequence of blocks, already linked,
} was approaching the top of the stack. There was little room left to
} maneuver, and the sequence - apparently the part responsible for
} Sonic's mutation, since it was very similar to that found in rodents of
} unusual size - would soon be attached to his DNA forever. More blocks -
} the proper ones - were visible above, but they couldn't get past the
} mutant sequence. What to do? He couldn't dodge, he couldn't block it -
} what could he do?
}
} The Oracle looked around wildly. A thud from the portal let him know
} the woodchucks were on to them. Torn between saving Sonic's DNA and
} saving both their lives, he took up his Staff of Zot and turned it....
}
} ...toward the screen. A twist of the choke, a squeeze of the trigger,
} and SNAP! The mutant sequence was gone, vaporized. The remaining
} molecules dropped into place, and Sonic the Hedgehog burst out of the
} machine. "YOU DID IT!" he cried. "Way to go!"
}
} Just then the door burst open and the woodchucks rushed in, only to
} stop short as they saw Sonic - back to normal and furious - and the
} Oracle - still normal and also furious.
}
} "Um, uh.... sorry!" squeaked the lead woodchuck. "Wrong number!" The
} woodchucks fled, hastened by a few dozen well-placed warning quills.
} After the sound of their retreat faded to silence, Sonic turned to the
} Oracle.
}
} "Predictable as a Chrichton novel," chuckled Sonic.
}
} "What are you talking about? I put the smack down on you, evaded the
} woodchucks, and fixed your DNA. And you call me predicable?"
}
} "I would have been disappointed in you if you'd done anything less. I
} knew you were the only one that could pull off a plan like this. You
} didn't think I was actually dumb enough to try to kill you, did you?"
}
} The Oracle paused for a long time. "Of course not," he mumbled quickly.
} "I knew that.... I'm omniscient."
}
} "Uh-huh. Predictable."


1273-05    (68fh2 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Tell me, great oracle. What will desks look like in twenty years? In
> fifty years? In five centuries?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Though I certainly find it puzzling that you seriously
} have interest in this subject, the Oracle is always
} accomodating, so here goes...
}
} In twenty years a woundrous transformation will have taken
} place in workspace technology.  It came about as a result
} of  <* CRACK *> *SIZZLE* *POP* *Pop* *pop*
}
} [A rent appears in the space before the Oracle, a slim
} gaudily dress men leaps through]
}
} NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
}
} [He tumbles to the floor accompanied by the sounds of
} bulb horns, whoopee cushions, and chattering teeth
} emanating from his bizarre garb.
}
} The blue fright wig under a tiny rumpled hat, red nose,
} oversized shoes and ridiculously large pants indicate
} to the ever observant Oracle that this individual is
} a clown.]
}
} Oracle: Zadoc! Clown alert!  Clown alert!  This is not
} a drill! Bring the tranquilizer gun!
}
} [The Oracle turns back to his dictation tablet.]
}
} Clown: No, wait!  You can't answer the desk question!
}
} Oracle: "Can't" is a word I don't particularly like, clown.
}
} Clown: Let me explain...please!  Hyuk-yuk-yuk!
}
} Oracle: Make it quick.   ZaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaadoc!
}
} Clown: I come from the future!  A future where you
} tell the supplicant about the future of desks!
} [*WheeeeeEEEEEEEeeeeee*]  I came to stop you.  Its
} horrible. Everybody is a clown.  Just imagine it...
} not only do we pretty much scare the hell out of each
} other (because, come on....clowns aren't funny, they
} are just creepy) but do have any idea how quickly
} a clown becomes tedious.  Now multiply it by a planet.
} [*Honk*]  We know that the answer to the the
} question is the critical event that causes the
} supplicant to engage in a path of action that
} brings us to where we are now.  I would tell you
} exactly how if I could, but being clowns, our attention
} spans have never really allowed us to figure that out.
} [With that the clown performs a highly unamusing
} pratfall.]
}
} Oracle: Well I am honor bound to answer.
}
} Clown: Please [*honk*] please [*honk*] just don't
} say what you were going to.  Look at me!  LOOK AT
} ME!  You can undo this.... [A little tear runs down
} his cheek and his bow tie begins to spin.]
}
} Oracle:  But...oh hell, OK.  Uh, lets see....
}
} [The clown begins to caper with a pained look in
} his eyes]
}
} Oracle: Desks don't really change in the future, they
} remain a surface suitable for writing supported in some
} manner at a height comfortable for the user.
}
} [The clown poofs out of existence with the sound of
} spraying seltzer, an almost inaudible "Thank you"
} escaping his lips before he is gone.]
}
} Oracle: Nevermind about the tranquilizer gun, just get
} in here. We need to talk about your response times.
} And bring the cattle prod.  The big one.
}
} =======================================================
} You owe the Oracle a clown joke funnier than:
}
} "Did you here about the cannibal that wouldn't eat
} clowns?  He said they tasted funny."
}
} though I don't think you are going to find one.


1273-06    (0ahd8 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@celery.tssi.com

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

> G'day, big O. Tell me, please - How do I stop procrastinating and get
> back to work?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Step 1: Stop sending emails to the Internet Oracle.
} Step 2: Stop replying to emails to the ...
} um.
} I'll be back later.


1273-07    (25eha dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Oracle, you a=|????? &6 hh&^
> ???????????? **812 h6sgh js
> --,as..83 a- gcfa 783M-x?M-xD?
>
> ????6t ? , so, what do you think?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I think you shouldn't modem-whistle into a payphone with your mouth
} full.
}
} You owe the Oracle a redbox.


1273-08    (35oc4 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo L. Schwab" <ewhac@best.com>

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

> tell me, please...
> how can i use internet from e-mail???

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It's easy! Anyone can do it! Just follow these simple instructions!
}
} Step one: Use a good industrial adhesive to attach your second BIOS
} modulator to the back of your modem flange.
}
} Step two: With a sharp knife, carefully disconnect your monitor's
} flyback transformer from the picture tube. (Don't cut the green wire;
} you'll need that in step five.)
}
} Step three: On the back of your CD-Rom drive, you'll see a thin cable.
} Unplug the left end, turn it 360 degrees, and plug it back in.
}
} Step four: If your hard drives spin clockwise, skip ahead to step six.
}
} Step five: Loop the green wire from the flyback transformer
} counterclockwise around your mouse cord.
}
} Step six: If you haven't eaten any waffles in a while, pour 250 ml
} waffle mix over the main heat sink.
}
} Step seven: Pick up the telephone and get yourself a real computer and
} a real Internet provider.
}
} You owe the Oracle a photograph of yourself taken during step two.
}
} ----- please cut here -----
}
} Either your question is a joke or somebody is playing a joke on you.
} Just in case the latter is true, I'm including this note: The Oracle is
} a humor service, not a true answer service. You can read all about it
} if you send a message with subject HELP to the Oracle at
} <oracle@cs.indiana.edu>. It's a lot of fun!


1273-09    (27mc5 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Dear Oracle I Hearken to your Mighty Words!
>
> What's so damn great about XML anyway?  When I was a
> youngster we put our data into delimited text files;
> if we were LUCKY we got variable-length fields.  And
> we were happy.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} For why XML is so great, ask anyone who uses it.  I will give you a
} better answer: Why in the FUTURE XML will be so great.
}
} The name "XML" will give one clothing designer the idea that the name
} "XML" sounds like a clothing size.  He makes it one.  The companies now
} consider this XML, and by extension the original XML, for the idea, so
} great because they will be making so many clothes in Extra Medium
} Large.  The reason is, of course, because it was found that most of the
} population fits this size quite well.  Exactly what is /meant/ by Extra
} Medium Large, however, is disagreed on - this is the actual reason most
} of the population fits it quite well.  What used to be called Large is
} now XML: It's Medium, but it's Extra Large.  What used to be Medium is
} now XML: It's Large, but it's Extra Medium.  And what used to be called
} Small is now XML: It's Medium, but it's Largely Extra.  The result will
} be, in a few years, a clothing market consisting entirely of clothes
} labeled "XML".  Sizes will be indistinguishable, forcing many stores to
} always give full refunds, usually even without receipts, as no one will
} go to them otherwise.  Eventually the confusion shall result in the
} collapse of the clothing industry, and people will be forced to always
} taylor their own clothes, taking time away from more important things
} and eventually leading to the collapse of civilization into a more
} primitive state, from which it shall not emerge for 1000 years, give or
} take.
}
} [rereads that]
} [gulps]
}
} Erm.  Go text files, I say.  Yeah.
}
} You owe the Oracle a drink.


1273-10    (29ccd dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

>  Do you endeavor with a difficult dilemma, or ponder a posed
>  problem you cannot perspicaciously pursue?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Actually, answering anything.  Big, bloated brains.  Can't challenge
} cerebellum.  Don't do dat.
}
} Everyone expects edification for free, for goodness gracious.  Get
} hideously heinous "helps," insipid, in inbox.  Just jarring jive.
} Kicks, kegs keep life laughably livable.
}
} My method:  make neat, nattering nonsense, okay?  Only one providing
} pleasure, perhaps, quickly questioning queries.  Read replies, retch.
} Some start strong, then tank terribly.  Ugly until understood, very
} vigorously vapid, with weird words:  xebec, xanthine, xerophyte.  Yes,
} you're yawning.  Zzz...zzz...zzz.
}
} You owe the Oracle a promise to conduct all future correspondence using
} the 12-letter Hawaiian alphabet, which would have made writing this
} answer a whole lot easier.


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