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Internet Oracularities #1324

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Internet Oracularities #1324    (59 votes, 3.3 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 16:51:55 -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:
   1324
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1324  59 votes 18ct9 09pj6 56eld 48kk7 48cpa 2ihe8 59igb ghd85 35gjg 3ajed
1324  3.3 mean  3.6   3.4   3.5   3.3   3.5   3.1   3.3   2.5   3.7   3.4


1324-01    (18ct9 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Oh Oracle most wise, please tell me:
> Why is always after the washing-up one single teaspoon left?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, Supplicant! What an excellent question!
}
} The answer lies in the mysteries of our universe's quantum nature.
} You may have heard that nature abhors a vacuum. It certainly does!
} But what REALLY flies up nature's nose and twists is a clean kitchen.
} It took quantum physicists awhile to take notice of this phenomenon
} for several reasons, not least of which is that quantum physicists
} tend toward the lazy end of the continuum when anyone can manage to
} get a lousy erg of physical labor out of them at all.
}
} The second reason is more interesting. They, like you assumed the extra
} teaspoon was Left Over!  Nothing could be further from the truth.
} It wasn't left over; it was created to counterbalance the quantum
} pressure generated by the precarious and unnatural state represented
} by a clean kitchen.  As I said before, Nature really cannot tolerate
} a clean kitchen.
}
} You can easily perform the experiment. Count your spoons before supper.
} Afterwards, clean up REALLY well. (Of course, you're too wise to
} expect any help from the physicists here). Drain the dish water,
} wipe up the counter-tops sweep up and mop, and when you find the
} "left-over" spoon, go count the rest of them. See?
}
} The folks of the Oneida community in Iowa have historically been so
} obsessive-compulsive about washing up that they've called whole lines
} of flat-wear into existence. You can buy them at Dayton's.


1324-02    (09pj6 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

>  "Two beer or not two beer" (by Shakespeare), why he using this drink
>  in his classical phrase, may be better'll be if he use wine or vodka.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, vodka wasn't available in England in
} Shakespeare's day, and if he'd used "wine" the line
} would sound like "to whine or not to whine", and that
} would just sound silly.
}
} Anyway, here's how the first draft of the scene went:
}
} HAMLET: Two beer, or not two beer, that is the
} question.
}
} BARMAN: Nay! Thou canst bugger off, thou niggard!
} For thy tab hath not been paid these three months.
} Three pounds and ten thou owest, and I have not
} received a single farthing.
}
} HAMLET: My good man,
} Prithee show patience. I expecteth some money
} Next week, and verily, then thou will be paid.
}
} BARMAN: Thou hath promised me payment many times,
} And naught hath thou provided. Thou must seek
} Some other place, for here thou shall get naught.
}
} Then somebody told Bill he really shouldn't write
} after he'd been drinking.
}
} You owe the Oracle two beers.


1324-03    (56eld dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Mark Lawrence" <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

>      * * * * * * * * * * E = MCC * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>
>                Welcome to the Mr. Wizard Show!
>      Where each week we explore the exciting world of Science
>
>      * * * * * * * * * * E = MCC * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>
> Mr. W. - Today we're going to explore the exciting world of - Mirrors!
> And, we have six-year old Timmy visiting with us today.
>
> Mr. W. - Timmy, do you know what a mirror is?
>
> Timmy - Yea, you look at it, and it looks back at you; plus they're fun
> to break with rocks!
>
> Mr. W. - Oh Timmy!  You should NEVER break a mirror; you could get a
> piece of glass in your eye and go blind.  Besides, it gives you seven
> years of bad luck.
>
> Timmy - You don't actually believe that seven years of bad luck crap do
> you?
>
> Mr. W. - Well, no.  That's just folklore, and I'm a Scientist!
>
> Timmy - A scientist?  You're a dumb old fossil!
>
> (Mr. W. bends over and whispers in to Timmy's ear so the camera can't
> hear it) - I was educated at Harvard University you little smart-ass.
>
> Timmy - So what?  That don't mean nothin'.  We covered mirrors in class
> last year.  What do you wanna' know about 'em?
>
> Mr. W. - Look at the mirror Timmy.  Do you see how every thing is
> reversed?
>
> Timmy - Every thing isn't reversed.
>
> Mr. W. - Yes it is, see how left and right are reversed?  Look, you
> move your right arm, and it looks like your left arm is moving in the
> mirror.  See?
>
> Timmy - Yea, what about top and bottom?  They're not reversed.
>
> Mr. W. - What?
>
> Timmy - Left and right are reversed, but top and bottom are not.  How
> does the mirror know to reverse left and right, and not reverse top and
> bottom?
>
> Mr. W. - Hummmm... (long pause, then Mr. W. tries to change the
> subject)...  Now let's see what happens when we bounce a laser off a
> mirror!
>
> Timmy - Hold it right there you phony.  I want an answer to my
> question! How does the mirror know to reverse left and right, and not
> reverse top and bottom?
>
> Mr. W. - Look kid; I've studied all of the greatest minds in Science -
> Newton, Edison, Babbage, Einstein, even Steven Hawkins; they ALL say
> that everything is reversed in a mirror.  Here... look.  (Mr.W. quickly
> fumbles through an encyclopedia, then proudly pointing at an entry he
> says)  Here!  See?  It says right here that EVERYTHING is reversed in a
> mirror!
>
> Timmy - I'm not arguing whether a bunch of men who died in antiquity
> said that or not; or if that's what the encyclopedia says.  I simply
> look at the mirror and observe that everything is reversed in the
> horizontal plane, NOT in the vertical plane; then I ask "WHY?"
>
> Mr. W. - So you're saying they're all wrong?  All the greatest minds of
> Science - wrong?
>
> Timmy - I didn't say that - yet.  I examine the evidence and go where
> it leads me.  If it turns out that 1000 years of Science is wrong, then
> so be it.  A true Scientist doesn't come to a conclusion, then interpret
> the evidence to fit that conclusion.  A true Scientist takes an unbiased
> look at the evidence, THEN comes to a conclusion based on the evidence.
> (Timmy rotates the mirror 90 degrees to one side.)  Hummm... it still
> reverses left and right, and not top and bottom... must have something
> to do with the molecular crystalline structure of the reflective coating
> on the converse side of the glass substrate.
>
> Mr. W. - Molec... cryst...what?  (Mr. W. tries to save face and cover
> his ignorance.)  So then, what is your conclusion?
>
> Timmy - That you're an idiot.
>
> Mr. W. - No, I mean about mirrors?
>
> Timmy - Oh.  I'm coming to the conclusion that 1000 years of Science is
> wrong.  Mirrors do not reverse everything, only left and right.  Look
> Mr. Harvard educated Wizard, I'm just a six-year-old kid and you're
> SUPPOSED to be so smart - HOW does a mirror know to reverse left and
> right, and NOT reverse top and bottom?
>
> Mr. W. - (pause, Mr. W. doesn't know what to do, so again he tries to
> change the subject)  Ughhhh...  We'll be right back after this
> commercial.
>
> (As soon as the camera cuts away, Mr. Wizard wipes the sweat off his
> brow.  He's never been stumped before, especially not by a six-year-old.
> During the commercial, Mr. Wizard frantically asks the scriptwriters,
> and the on-site Scientific Consultant, but they don't know the answer
> either.  Finally in desperation, he tries a few Scientific web Sites,
> and gets some hits.)
>
> Mr. W. - Welcome back.  I was just showing little Timmy here that
> mirrors don't reverse left and right, they reverse in and out.  Here
> Timmy, I found some Web sites that PROVE that I'm right!  See, these two
> pages right here explain that mirrors don't reverse left and right, they
> reverse in and out.  (Mr. W. knows full well that he wasn't saying that
> before the commercial, but he HAS to do something to save face.)
>
> Timmy - No they don't.
>
> Mr. W. - Yes they do! And it says so right here in these Web pages!
>
> Timmy - Those Web pages are wrong.
>
> Mr. W. - No, these Web pages are right.
>
> Timmy - No, they are wrong, and I can prove it.  When you're driving
> your car and you look in the rear-view mirror and see an ambulance; when
> it is closer it looks closer, and when it's further away it looks
> further away.  How about that, you dumb old geezer!  Proof that mirrors
> don't reverse in and out like those Web pages claim.
>
> Mr. W. - Ummm, well... you do have a point there.
>
> Timmy - AND if you look in your rear-view mirror you can read the word
> "A M B U L A N C E", but if you look right at it you can't read it
> because it's backwards!  The letters are not upside-down, just reversed
> left to right.  PROOF that mirrors reverse left and right, and NOT up
> and down! It also proves that you and those stupid Web pages are WRONG,
> WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, W R O N G!!!
>
> (Mr. Wizard is thoroughly stumped; he's speechless.  His whole
> self-image has been crushed by this bratty little six-year old. Mr. W.
> thinks to him self - "How can this happen?  To ME of all people?  I was
> the Valedictorian of my graduating class!  This can't be real... but it
> is!  What will my teachers think?  What will my Mother think?!?!?!  I'll
> never be able to face my friends again.  I'd rather die than be trumped
> by a six-year old.  Oh my God, it's on TV, in front of EVERYONE! I will
> never be able to show my face again; anywhere!"  A full minute goes by
> while Mr. W. just stands there doing nothing but staring in to space.
> Finally... he snaps out of it and tries to recover.)
>
> Mr. W. - Um... Welcome back.  Next we're going to see how mirrors are
> used in telescopes!
>
> Timmy - Wait!  You haven't answered my question you stupid imposter!
> You wanna' be.  You ain't no scientist; you're not even a good actor!  I
> demand to know...  How does the mirror know to reverse left and right,
> and not reverse top and bottom?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Mr W. - But wait!  We have a special Guest Star who can answer this
} question.
}
} Timmy - Yeah, right.
}
} Mr W. - But we do and here he is - THE USENET ORACLE!!
}
} <camera switches to angle looking behind side-curtain, focuses on The
} Oracle talking to a pretty redheaded p.a.>
}
} Oracle - ...but it's not just the tongue.  Sure, you get a reaction
} licking around the edges, but you have to occasionally suck at the c -
} oh, hey, the mike's gone live.
}
} Mr W. - And here's the Oracle.
}
} Oracle - Let's see, mirrors...
}
} Timmy - No, you can keep on with your other conversation if you want.
}
} Oracle - Won't help you, Timmy.  You're going to die a virgin way
} before puberty.  Oh, drat, I wasn't supposed to tell you that.
}
} Mr W. - Umm...
}
} Oracle - Mirrors!  Ah yes!  Timmy, are you cold and rigid?
}
} Timmy - No...
}
} Oracle - Well, not yet anyway.  Yet your "reversed self" in the mirror
} is.  Why?
}
} Timmy - Well, it's just an image, isn't it?
}
} Oracle - That's right.  So you're not reversed in a mirror - the image
} the mirror shows is reversed.
}
} Timmy - But why?
}
} Oracle - Why what?
}
} Timmy - Why is the image reversed?
}
} Oracle - Timmy, which is your right arm?
}
} Timmy - This one.
}
} Oracle - And which is my right arm?
}
} Timmy - That one.
}
} Oracle - But you just pointed at different sides.
}
} Timmy - Yeah, but *my* idea of right is *your* idea of left because
} you're facing me.
}
} Oracle - Just like the image in a mirror is facing you, right?
}
} Timmy - Yeah!  No, wait a minute.
}
} Oracle - Gotta go.
}
} Timmy - Hey, that doesn't work!
}
} Oracle - Places to be.
}
} Timmy - Hold up, you're wr-
}
} Oracle - Byeeeeeeee...
}
} <Oracle vanishes>
}
} Timmy - What a crock of s-
}
} <Oracle reappears>
}
} Oracle - Nearly forgot.  Keisha, here's my phone number.  Gimme a call
} if you want a practical demonstration.
}
} <Oracle gives business card to pretty redheaded p.a. and vanishes while
} Timmy is still spluttering>


1324-04    (48kk7 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "Welcome back, you're listening to Oracle Radio.
} Hello, you're on the air."
}
} >
}
} "Hello? Are you there?"
}
} >
}
} "Hello?"
}
} >
}
} "Nobody there. <click> Hello, you're on the air."
}
} >
}
} "Anyone there?"
}
} >
}
} "Try speaking into the mouthpiece."
}
} >
}
} <click> "Fine. Third time lucky... Say something."
}
} >
}
} "Ye gods, why did I take the midnight-to-dawn shift?"
}
} >
}
} "Last chance."
}
} >
}
} <click> "Zadoc, are you scaring off the callers?"
}
} "N-no, sir. They were here a minute ago."
}
} "You've got their numbers?"
}
} "Yes, sir."
}
} "Good. Add them to my 'To ZOT' list. Try line four."
}
} >
}
} "Come on, ten bucks if you say something."
}
} >
}
} "Oh, forget it. <click> One more try and then I'm
} giving up. Talk to me or else."
}
} > "Hi, Orrie!"
}
} "Thank God!!! Finally, a real caller! Do you have a
} question?"
}
} > "How much wo-"
}
} ZZZZZZZ     OOO     TTTTTTT   !!!   !!!   !!!
}       Z    O   O       T      !!!   !!!   !!!
}      Z    O     O      T      !!!   !!!   !!!
}     Z     O     O      T      !!!   !!!   !!!
}    Z      O     O      T      !!!   !!!   !!!
}   Z       O     O      T      !!!   !!!   !!!
}  Z        O     O      T       !     !     !
} Z          O   O       T
} ZZZZZZZ     OOO        T       !     !     !
}
} "Right, I'm packing it in for the night. Play last
} week's show, or something. I'm going to have a drink.
} What time is it?"
}
} "Eight past twelve."
}
} "Great. We'll catch the end of Letterman."
}
} You owe the Oracle a better time-slot.


1324-05    (48cpa dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Oh Oracle Most Wise,
>
> as N increases, the number of possible factors
> of N also increases, and thus the probability of it being
> a prime number decreases.
> For very large values of N, the probability of it being prime
> thus approaches 0.
> So, what is the largest prime number?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       _________
}      /         \
}     /   ______  \
}    |   /      \  |
}    |__|        | |
}                | |
}                | |
}               / /
}              / /
}             / /
}            / /
}           / /
}          / /
}         / /
}        / /
}       / /
}      | |
}      | |___________
}      |             |
}      |_____________|.
}
} You owe the Oracle n pizzas, for very large values of n.


1324-06    (2ihe8 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Oh Oracle Most Wise,
>
> twist and shout !

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} All right...
}
} *****YYYYYEEEEEOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!*****
}
} My back! My poor back! Oh, gods, the PAIN!
}
} ***groan***
}
} You owe the Oracle the number of a good chiropractor.


1324-07    (59igb dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Ingenious and expedient Oracle,
>
> How does a Dark Tower differ from a spider filled tunnel?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In more ways than you'd think. It's probably easiest to explain using
} an example. Here's the poet Robert Browning, looking for inspiration.
}
} - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -
}
}   There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
}   To view the last of me, a living frame
}   For one more picture! In a sheet of flame
}   I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
}   Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
}   And blew. "Childe Roland to the spider filled tunnel came."
}
} Hey, not bad! Oh no, wait a minute - one, two, three, four... Dammit!
} It doesn't scan. Okay, what can we put in it's place...
}
}   And blew. "Childe Roland to the slug filled cave came."
}
} Better. Now, how does that read? There they stood, blah, blah, blah,
} sheet of flame, blah, blah... Dammit! I used slug on the previous line.
} Think, Browning, think! It had to be gloomy, menacing,
} spine-tingling...
}
}   Childe Roland to his local Starbucks came.
}
} Dammit! Dammit! DAMMIT!
}
} "Robert, I'll thank you not to use such ungodly language in this
} house!"
}
} But it's this stupid poem, Elizabeth darling. It's not working!
}
} "If you cannot keep a civil tongue in your head, I suggest you find
} some other form of recreation."
}
} But...
}
} "No more buts. Or I shall be forced to take the same drastic measures
} as last time."
}
} (gulp!) Yes, my angel. Hmmm...
}
}   Childe Roland to his wife's chamber came.
}
} Yeah, right - only if I want to die slowly and painfully. Wait a
} minute, though, I think I've got something there. Child Roland to the
} Evil Chamber came. No, the Grim Chamber. The Dank Chamber. The DARK
} Chamber! No, even better - the Dark TOWER!
}
}   Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
}   And blew. "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came."
}
} That's it! It's bloody brilliant! I'm a sodding genius!
}
} "Robert, your language is uncouth beyond words! Very well, you've been
} warned - I hereby revoke your conjugal rights for a whole fortnight!"
}
} - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -
}
} So you see, Supplicant, the difference between a Dark Tower and a
} spider filled tunnel is five dammits, one bloody, one sodding and 14
} nights no nookie.
}
} You owe the Oracle a lark on the wing, a snail on the thorn and a reach
} that exceeds his grasp.


1324-08    (ghd85 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Mark Lawrence" <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> Oracle, most pop culturally attuned,
>
> Who is Orrie Soze?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} An unusual suspect.
}
} You owe the Oracle a promise to be less verbal.


1324-09    (35gjg dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

>  Bless the Oracle who gives straight judgements to strangers and to
>  the men & women of the land, and goes not aside from what is just.
>  And lucky those who mind the words of the Oracle, their cities
>  flourishes, and the people prosper in it: Peace, the nurse of
>  children, is abroad in their land, and cruel war against them
>  happens not.
>
>  How does an orc differ from an Oakland Raiders fan?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Orcs                        Oakland Raiders fans
} -------------------------   --------------------------
}
} Ugly, smelly, human-like    Ugly, smelly, human-like
} creatures                   creatures
}
} Use the foul Black Speech   Use foul language
}
} Prone to acts of violence   Prone to acts of violence
} and destruction, enjoy      and destruction, enjoy
} violent sport               violent sport
}
} Live in Orcland/Auckland,   Live in Oakland,
} New Zealand (No, wait.)     California
}
} Team colours: black, red    Team colours: black and
} and white                   white
}
} There you go. The difference is in the team colours.
}
} You owe the Oracle two tickets to the Uruk-Hai
} Warriors - Oakland Raiders match.


1324-10    (3ajed dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Tim Chew" <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> On Fri, 13 Jun 2003, The Internet Oracle wrote:
> > The Internet Oracle is pondering your question.
> >
> > Expect an answer in a day or two.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} ATHENS, Greece (AP) Fighting broke out today at the Temple of
} the Internet Oracle on Mount Olympus as incarnations from several
} Oracular denominations struggled for control of the question queue.
} Witnesses claim that several incarnations were badly beaten and may
} have been killed before the Oracle Himself appeared and restored order.
}
} Unrest has been growing between different factions of Oracle devotees
} since control of the queue was taken over by a NATO peacekeeping force.
} NATO Headquarters in Brussels has never given a clear reason for the
} need to take control of the queue, but insists that it is necessary
} to "maintain peace and stability among followers of the Oracle."
} This has drawn harsh criticism and confused looks from such widely
} varied administrations as the Vatican and IBM.
}
} "The Oracle's faithful have never, to my knowledge, shown any sign
} of unrest," said Rupert Wilhelm, a political analyst with IBM's
} European headquarters. "They seemed to be capable of maintaining
} their own peace and stability. Sending in a peacekeeping force was
} not at all necessary."
}
} Commanders of the peacekeeping force believed that they would
} have been overwhelmed by the mob had it not turned against itself.
} "We were preparing to withdraw as they approached," said one officer,
} "until one group chanting 'tell me, tell me' was attacked by another
} group chanting 'ask me, ask me.'"
}
} As fighting drew the mob away from NATO positions, the Oracle emerged
} from His temple to survey the commotion. He turned briefly to the NATO
} commander, mouthed the words 'I told you so,' and dispersed the crowd
} with pyrotechnics from His staff. Afterwards he approached several
} bodies lying on the ground and, with a wave of his staff and a kick
} to the ribs, caused them to jump up and run away.
}
} Local hospitals report only minor injuries, primarily torn hair and
} cracked ribs. The NATO commander said he'd take that into account
} the next time Oracular incarnations attack. "The Oracle is certainly
} a force to be respected," he said."But I guess His followers are a
} bunch of wimps after all."


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