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Internet Oracularities #1334

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Internet Oracularities #1334    (52 votes, 3.3 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 09 Sep 2003 10:11:14 -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:
   1334
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1334  52 votes 18kf8 3bfi5 01hjf 7fgb3 4cfd8 187hj 37le7 6ehe1 06ik8 28iea
1334  3.3 mean  3.4   3.2   3.9   2.8   3.2   3.9   3.3   2.8   3.6   3.4


1334-01    (18kf8 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> I grovel before you, oh great one.  I am not fit to tie your shoes.
> (Sorry about that time you tripped and fell due to my lack of
> shoe-tying fitness.) Please answer this humble question:
>
> When will the new trailer for "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the
> King" come out?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} What do you think the first two films were?
}
} You owe the Oracle an advance screening of a sneak preview of a
} behind-the-scenes special on the making of the trailer for Matrix 3.


1334-02    (3bfi5 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

>  O Oracle most wise,
>
>  What's a good translation of these lyrics?
>
>  M-GM-1M-GM-CM-cM-[M-GM-CM-gsM-GM-^BM-b M-GM-^_M-GM-^J
>  M-GM-PM-GM-fM-eM-)M-GM-6M-G M-qM-"M-sM-`M-GM-CM-ngM-GM-^AM-G M-GM-K
>
>  M-jM-^OM-GM-4M-GM-^_M-GM-"M-GM-HM-GM-"M-GM-^BM-GM-,M-GM-}M-GM-CM-b^M-qM
>  -^GM-GM-^UM-bzM-GM-6M-GM-^_M-gsM-GM-^BM-mNM-GM-^JM-cM-^DM-GM-LM-GM-KM-m
>  NM-GM-^JM-jM-xM-GM-'M-GM-^_M-GM-"M-GM-HM-GM-CM-GM-fM-GM-NM-GM-'
>
>  M-jlM-GM-UM-jsM-GM-4M-GM-HM-qM-^GM-GM-CM-gM-aM-d'M-GM-^J
>  M-hoM-bM-TM-GM-'M-GM-1M-GM-^PM-GM-^JM-cM-XM-GM-6M-GM-HM-d'M-GM-UM-GM-;M
>  -GM-"M-GM-^GM-GM-^PM-GM-6M-gM-0M-lM-^YM-GM-       M-GM-1M-GM-CM-jM-"M-d
>  EM-GM-^AM-hIM-GM-NM-GM-'M-GM-^PM-GM-5M-GM-^_M-GM-"M-GM-^_M-GM-}
>  M-eNM-GM-^UM-`M-'M-GM-^EM-GM-HM-GM-fM-GM-NM-GM-'
>
>  M-qM-^?M-rRM-GM-MM-lM-^YM-GM-^AM-sDM-GM-5M-GM-^BM-GM-^_
>  M-GM-        M-GM-}M-GM-*M-GM-MM-GM-UM-biM-bM-lM-GM-
>  M-GM-UM-GM-;M-GM-^BM-GM-^_
>
>  M-`M-OM-GM-MM-hoM-GM-HM-nM-~M-GM-5M-GM-pM-GM-^JM-mnM-cM-VM-GM-UM-GM-}M-
>  GM-'M-kM-lM-GM-^BM-GM-;M-GM-KM-eM-fM-stM-GM-}M-eM-UM-GM-MM-GM-^_M-GM-^G
>  M-GM-fM-`M-'M-GM-fM-GM-XM-icM-GM-MM-GM-^QM-GM-"M-GM-"M-GM-@
>
>  M-jlM-GM-UM-jsM-GM-4M-GM-HM-qM-^GM-GM-^JM-rfM-GM-LM-GM-^DM-GM-M
>  M-iM-{M-GM-^JM-jlM-GM-^JM-jhM-GM-^BM-G M-GM-^GM-GM-MM-GM-J
>  M-GM-^GM-GM-^PM-GM-6M-gM-0M-lM-^YM-GM-       M-GM-1M-GM-CM-jM-"M-dEM-GM
>  -^AM-hIM-GM-NM-GM-'M-GM-^PM-GM-5M-GM-^_M-GM-"M-GM-^_M-GM-}
>  M-eNM-GM-^UM-iM-AM-GM-HM-GM-fM-GM-NM-GM-'
>
>  M-eNM-GM-^JM-eM-^^M-GM-^UM-lM-UM-GM-XM-GM-^GM-GM-^BM-GM-^_M-E@M-eNM-GM-
>  CM-hM-^QM-dM-AM-GM-  M-qM-8M-GM-5M-GM-^_
>
>  M-jlM-GM-UM-jsM-GM-4M-GM-HM-qM-^GM-GM-CM-gM-aM-d'M-GM-^J
>  M-hoM-bM-TM-GM-'M-GM-1M-GM-^PM-GM-^JM-cM-XM-GM-6M-GM-HM-d'M-GM-UM-GM-;M
>  -GM-"M-GM-^GM-GM-^PM-GM-6M-gM-0M-lM-^YM-GM-       M-GM-1M-GM-CM-jM-"M-d
>  EM-GM-^AM-hIM-GM-NM-GM-'M-GM-^PM-GM-5M-GM-^_M-GM-"M-GM-^_M-GM-}
>  M-eNM-GM-^UM-`M-'M-GM-^EM-GM-HM-GM-fM-GM-NM-GM-'

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It does not translate well to English, but here is a good
} approximation:
}
}   Oh, give me a home
}   Where the buffalo roam
}
}   And the snarflez eat gnubbies all day.
}   Where hardly seldom is often heard
}
}   "Skree!  Skazzal!"
}   "Dive baby dive!"
}   And other ululating cries relating to pineal distress
}   Of tympanial origin.
}
}   Home, home on
}   Le Grange-bar over Diamond-X,
}
}   We eat fritters and sauteed dilurchean eyestalks.
}   That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh, we like them!
}
}   Pi rho delta, we hail
}   Thy blissful wail;
}   Tell true that we may ever be enlightend of our ways,
}   Why not?
}
}   Oven fires are hot, our lovers are not,
}
}   But our fires burn deep
}   With no aloe to salve our feet.
}   Eat the vermillion gharaxx!  Free the pupae slaves!  Die in vain,
}   for ours is the way.
}
} This was a hit for about 82 microseconds on pulsar 1302-635,
} but would have been better left forgotten.  You owe the Oracle
} a way to get this tune out of his head.


1334-03    (01hjf dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Great Oracle,
>
> Is there actually an image file format that can compress a picture so
> that it is no larger than a file containing 1,000 words, and if so,
> is this a 1,000 words of plaintext or of formatted text?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}     While a good picture is worth a thousand words, the reverse is
}     hardly ever true: There are very few sets of one thousand words
}     which can be adequately expressed by a single picture.
}
} Fortunately, there is a compression algorithm which can reduce any
} image file to an arbitrarily-short data string. Allow me to illustrate
} the Oracular Compression Algorithm for you.
}
} I have here a large diagram explaining the algorithm in full. As you
} can see (if you are as omniscient as I), this is a complex document,
} incorporating full 96-bit RGB color, an alpha channel, many 3-D
} sections, several dozen QuickTime movies (including an amusing out-take
} clip never before seen from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in
} which three Oompa Loompas apply a compression algorithm to Veruca Salt,
} without much success), no fewer than three score interactive Flash
} insets, and one scratch-and-sniff spot, all in an effort to explain
} this (admittedly complex) algorithm. Truly, this is a wonderful
} document, no less wonderful for its file size somewhat exceeding 500
} exabytes. Ahem.
}
} Now, in a Hofstadterian interval, please allow me to apply this amazing
} algorithm to compress its own diagram file. Forgive me, for I haven't
} yet coded the algorithm into a computer. Of course, no worthwhile
} algorithm requires a computer, for one such as I. So I'll just manually
} apply the algorithm to the data file. This will take a moment; don't go
} away.
}
}    Let's see here. Implode 781 petabytes. Carry the 23... Now
}     gzip -99. Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner-
}       ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-
}        nuk! I dropped my slide rule, bother. Still keeping
}        one principal object in view... The Shannon number
}         remains duly invariant. Re-expand these thirteen
}          megabytes. Oh, look who thinks he's Clever Dan.
}           Drop this NUL byte. Convert ASCII to UTF-32.
}             Dissociate the compression table from the
}              data. Recursively traverse the tree of
}              redundancies of this section. Now move
}               nine bytes to the northeast, fifteen
}                millimeters. Drop twenty redundant
}                 bits here. When operating System
}                  A, depress the green lever and
}                   a plastic dalkron eliminator
}                     will shortly be dispensed
}                     through the slot located
}                      immediately underneath.
}                       Simply downgrade the
}                        datastream through
}                         the infundibulum.
}                          Justly balance
}                           the megabyte
}                            reductions.
}                             Oh mygod,
}                              it'sfu
}                               llofs
}                                tar
}                                 s
}
} And there you have it! Your compressed document is as follows:
}
}                            078-05-1120
}
} You owe the Oracle the decompression algorithm.


1334-04    (7fgb3 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:

> Dear all knowing Oracle,
>
> boxers or wrestlers?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Throngs.


1334-05    (4cfd8 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> Once there was a group of three,
> young Marc, and Jan, and me.
> Down to the see we went,
> and saw a sailboat there, for rent.
> Off we took, the wind was strong,
> we were far out before too long.
> Then calmness came, the sailboat stopped;
> Marc and Jan into the greenish water hopped.
> The wind picked up again at noon
> and moved the ship away quite soon.
> I tried to turn, to no avail,
> 'twas no wonder, I can't sail.
> The Coastguard picked me up at one,
> but never found they Marc and Jan.
>
> What happened to them?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Though "one" does not rhyme with "Jan",
} Your question I'll answer, because I can.
} Marc and Jan paddled the rest of the day,
} treading water and trying to pray.
} Sharks did circle and the sun beat down,
} if not eaten they feared they'd drown.
} They swam and swam and swam some more,
} across the sea to Bora-Bor.
} They wandered through the jungle green,
} and ate dead monkeys with lima beans.
} They joined a tribe and learned how to dance,
} and now they wear no underpants.
} This is all that you need to know,
} it's been fun, but I've got to go.
} Rhyming like this can make me irate,
} each sentence has to somehow relate,
} to this silly story about a trip,
} with Marc and Jan in a rented ship.
} You were the one who left them there,
} and now I am trapped in rhyming despair.
} Alas, the Oracle will not be tricked,
} to rhyming up answers like some freakin beatnik,
} You've found your friends now go and be gone,
} you owe the Oracle a question that doesn't rhyme.


1334-06    (187hj dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <drnoe@adelphia.net>

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

> The Oracle hit the "Send" button and leaned back. He poured himself
> some red wine and let the questions of the past few hours pass before
> his inner eye.
> They had been good questions - some of them had taken a long time to
> answer, but he liked it when they were challenging.
> Like the one with Commander Gies from Tribe 2. That question had taken
> nearly one hour to answer. Partly because he didn't know heck about
> Tribe 2 and partly because of the washing he'd hung up while developing
> an answer. Had cost im a dollar in fees, but it was worth it.
> Or the one with the evil secret societies spying on the supplicant.
> He'd been amazed at just *how many* of them had set their eyes on the
> poor fellow.
> It was getting dark outside. Petty, really, the Oracle thought. It had
> been a beautiful late summer day but he had spent it inside, blinds
> closed, doing ask me's.
> Ah well, the Oracle thought. Perhaps he'd get digested this time. If
> that happened - well it was definitely worth all those sunny afternoons
> he'd spent indoors writing answers. And if not in 1334 than perhaps in
> 1335. The Oracle was patient.
> But one thing remained to do. At last a question to ask himself: what
> should he have for dinner?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It was then that the Oracle noticed that Lisa was nowhere to be seen.
} "Lisa?" he called out.  "Where's dinner?"  He paused.
}
} There was no reply.
}
} He shrugged and began to search around and was surprised to find that a
} layer of dust had settled upon the temple.  That lousy Zadoc, the
} Oracle thought, He knows that keeping this place clean is his duty.
} Indeed, the Oracle noticed, even the floor, usually polished to a
} healthy glow by Zadoc's knees had taken on a scoop of the unsanitary
} dust.  He began to quiver: was it possible that something had happened
} to all of the standard injokes?  "Og?  Thag?  The SPCA?  Tim Chew?" he
} called out in rapid sequence, each time getting only his own echoing
} voice throughout the cavernous chamber as an answer.
}
} He flew back to his terminal and began sifting through his sent mail.
} A quick egrep confirmed it: there wasn't a single reference to an
} injoke in the entire day's batch!  He frowned, wished for anything to
} end this, even a woodchuck question that he could ZOT away.  And then
} he stopped cold: for the Staff of Zot was gone too.
}
} Warily he turned around, and scanned the walls.  But this wasn't his
} temple at all: it was much too small, and all of the walls were padded.
} How could this be?  Where was his temple?  Where was Lisa?  Where was
} his Staff?  And most importantly, where was his dinner?
}
} ---
} Meanwhile, some distance away, watching on a closed circuit television
} set:
}
} Lisa frowned sadly.  "That poor man," she said.  "He's still reliving
} it, isn't he?"  Next to her, Dr. Ribol nodded.  He put his hand on her
} shoulder comfortingly.
}
} "Yes," he told her.  "And it's possible he always will: he was lucky to
} survive that blast that took out the ethernet connection in his temple,
} but he can't face that everything else was destroyed.  Look at him,
} playing with his mashed potatoes as if they were a keyboard, staring
} intently at his jello as if reading... He doesn't even realize that it
} is all over."


1334-07    (37le7 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Kirsten Chevalier

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

> Dear all knowing Oracle,
>
> today I went down to mess hall for the first time to get some food
> locally and not having it delivered by Domino's and the like.
> There I came upon something called "salad", a somewhat slimy or oily
> green mass. Yuck! A revolting look, really. So I stuck to what I knew
> and got myself a mars bar and a coke.
> But I'm curious: what *is* this salad thing? What is it made of? What
> company does produce it? And can I safely eat it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} 'Salad' is derived from an ancient mesopotamian word, 'Seyllidhaimos',
} meaning 'Star Demon'. These revolting masses fall to the earth from
} time to time, as the Earth passes through a cloud of proto-organic
} particulate. Salads are aggregations of the corpses of a variety of
} simple space lifeforms, such as the green, lettuce-leaf like
} Stylommatophora Stellaris (Space Slug), the white eggs of the so-called
} 'Space Chicken', the avocado like Ahuacatli Vacuus (Vacuum Avocado),
} the bitter tasting, olive like Olea Asteroeides (Asteroid Olive,
} actually an animal) and often the orange, twiglike Daucus Carota Asteri
} (Star Carrot).
}
} The mass, when collected, is often covered in an oily slick, known as
} the 'dressing'. This is actually the cellular cytoplasm ejected from
} the ruptured epidermi of the various lifeforms upon impact with the
} ground, composed principally of acetic acid, various liquid oils and
} the chive-like defense corpuscles of the Asteroid Olives.
}
} But yes, they're safe to eat, as long as they have been cooked
} thoroughly. (You don't want a baby Vacuum Avocado to burst out of your
} chest or anything.)
}
} There you go! That's what a salad is.
}
} You owe the oracle a space chicken's tooth.


1334-08    (6ehe1 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo L. Schwab" <ewhac@best.com>

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

> Wise and wise and wise Oracle,
>
> whatever happened to those dreadful weresquirrels that once populated
> the New Forest?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} One night, when the moon was full, they decided to go en masse and
} attack a cave bear.  There were no survivors.  Except the cave bear, of
} course.
}
} You owe the Oracle an answer to the question: "How much wood would a
} werewoodchuck wear if a werewoodchuck could and would wear the wood
} that the werewoodchuck could and would not chuck?"


1334-09    (06ik8 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:

> Wise Oracle,
>
> so the chicken did cross the road. What road? Where? In which city?
> One-Way? Highway? Interstate? Australia?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Once, there was a great competition between the animals.  For they had
} seen the mighty Highway of the Internet, and each was sure that he
} alone could claim mastery of the other animals by getting to the other
} side. So intense did this speculation become that the animals finally
} agreed to a test of their skills and nerves.
}
} Now, you must remember that this was some time back, before the
} Internet was flooded with all of the garbage that flows through it in
} the present, so the possibility of making it across did indeed look
} achievable.
}
} First, Pam the pig stepped up to the Highway, and then bravely dashed
} across the road.  After crossing no more than the first two lines,
} however, he was hit by a passing packet and scrambled up.  And thus was
} spam born.
}
} Second, Ginny the pussy cat vaulted into the stream of packets and
} dodged her way across line after line, until a speeding ICMP Echo
} request collided, spewing her everywhere.  And thus was low quality
} Internet porn born.
}
} Third, Bill the chicken decided to try his own luck.  And lo! through a
} combination of deft footwork and occasional short flights, the chicken
} was able to cross the mighty Internet Superhighway, and there was much
} rejoicing among the other animals, for the chicken had completed his
} task and had crossed the road with no desire but to get to the other
} side, and for this, the animals did make him their king.  And thus,
} MSIE was born.
}
} You owe the Oracle a parable that explains the foundation of AOL.


1334-10    (28iea dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: MVSOPEN@aol.com

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

> Oracle of the Past, Present and Future,
>
> I flipped a coin 50 times, and 47 times it landed on the ground.
> Isn't this against the laws of probability or something?
>
> My math teacher said I should ask you, and I'd get the answer I
> deserve.  What did she mean by that?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In the case of you against the laws of probability, you lose.
}
} Your math teacher is right.  And one man's mean is another
} man's poisson.


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