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Internet Oracularities #1360

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Internet Oracularities #1360    (53 votes, 3.3 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 15:36:57 -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:
   1360
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1360  53 votes 13dlf 9gg93 3chf6 15dnb 5dgd6 0abhf 27kh7 2flc3 25oe8 3dmd2
1360  3.3 mean  3.9   2.6   3.2   3.7   3.0   3.7   3.4   3.0   3.4   3.0


1360-01    (13dlf dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <dhemming@blueyonder.co.uk>

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

> Oh most superbly poetic Oracle Who could tech Erato a thing or two,
>
> For the life of me I can't seem to come up with a limerick that uses
> the words "parthenogenesis", "Hoover" and "mudpuppy". Is there any
> chance that You could be of help?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That was quite a trick, but I've got one...
}
} There once was a mudpuppy from Hoover,
} (in Alabama, not in Vancouver).
} He found an old Rhesus
} Who said "Parthenogenesis
} Requires no copulating maneuver."
}
} You owe the Oracle a haiku with the word
} "floccinaucinihilipilification."


1360-02    (9gg93 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@romaine.tssi.com>

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

> Mightly Oracle, Destroyer of Confusion, please enlighten your
> supplicant!
>
> Which is the opposite sex?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} No, Which is on third.
}
} Angelina Jolie is the opposite sex.
}
} You owe The Oracle a copy of That video, you know the one I mean.


1360-03    (3chf6 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> LAGOS, NIGERIA.
> 27-06-00
>
> ATTN: THE INTERNET ORACLE
>
> STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
>
> Dear Sir,
>
> I am Mr. Mugabwe, a senior accountant with the National Electric Power
> Authority (NEPA). I came to know of you in my search fora reliable and
> reputable institution/person who can handle a very
> strictly,confidential transaction which involves transfer of a
> reasonable sum ofmoney to a foreign account.
> Presently, there is Twelve million United States
> Dollars($12,000,000.00) only, in my department awaiting remittance.
> I was a member of the contract award committee that monitoredthe award
> and execution of a contract of  US$145M by a foreign firm,my colleagues
> and myself over invoiced this contract and declared US$145M.
> After the successful execution of the contract, and theoriginal
> contractor paid his US$145M, we now have US$12M that we can onlyclaim
> with the assistance of a foreign firm.
> I now seek if you would permit the said funds to be remittedinto your
> personal company account, so that the money so remitted willbe shared
> mutually among the parties concerned, including you.
> However, I would wish to receive your personal assurancethat you would
> not sit on the money when it goes into your account. Moreimportantly,
> you keep confidential this transaction, in order not to tarnishthe
> confidence reposed in the officials involved in this transaction,
> Tentatively, we have agreed that 70% of the money goesto the officers
> where this money originated, 20% to the owner of the account,while 10%
> would be used to defray whatever expenses that may be incurredin the
> course of this transaction.
> You are expected to forward to me through the above telefaxnumber, the
> following details:
>
> (a) Name of bank where you want the money to be transferred;
> (b) Account number and name of the account:
> (c) Bank address, telephone, fax and telex number;
> (d) Your personal telephone and fax number
>
> Be informed that on the completion of this business, Iwill use my share
> of the money to procure goods from your company or anycompany you may
> introduce.
> Do not contact your bank yet because payment justificationis going to
> be provided by the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA to your bank.
>
> Finally, on acceptance of this request, please reply throughthe above
> fax number.  This is to guarantee the confidentialityof your interest.
>
> Best regards,
>
> MR.  MUGABWE

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Mr. Mugabwe,
}
} Thank you for your message. I should be delighted to assist.
}
} I should bring some aspects of my operating procedures to your
} attention. By sending me a message, I am obligated to respond in kind.
} All my correspondence is carefully monitored by moderators known as
} 'priests'; from time to time they select exchanges of interest for
} publication. Any priest reviewing this will, of course, not breach the
} confidentiality of this transaction, provided they receive adequate
} incentive. This will, no doubt, be covered by your expense allowance.
}
} Assuredly I will not sit on the money; to help avoid detection I will
} transfer it to the accounts of my associates: Lisa, Zadoc, Kendai and
} Og. (Well, maybe not Kendai.) These have the advantage that, being
} entirely fictional like myself, they will not be subject to legal
} action if any unfortunate consequences arise.
}
} I am intrigued by your offer to purchase goods from me with your share
} of the proceeds. While my business dispenses information rather than
} physical goods, I do receive large numbers of unusual items in payment
} for my services. I would be glad to have your assistance in liquidating
} some of my less useful items, such as the forty-seven tonnes of SPAM in
} my warehouse.
}
} To improve the expediency of this transaction I will be utilizing my
} Staff of Zot. This will be used to obliterate, or at least debilitate,
} anyone who attempts to prevent the deposit of large amounts of money
} into my account, or fails to deal with me with due respect and
} confidence. I have no doubt that you will completely fulfill your part
} of this deal.
}
} The requested details will be sent to you separately. If you have any
} more concerns, feel free to contact me.
}
} You owe the Oracle $2.4 million.


1360-04    (15dnb dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <alycewilson@lycos.com>

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The supplicant shut the blinds tight.  Fifteen
} countries in under a month, and somehow the Oracle had
} found him again.  This time, as he stepped out of the
} hotel shower, it had been written out in the
} condensation of the mirror.
}
} "THE INTERNET ORACLE REQUIRES AN ANSWER TO THIS
} QUESTION"
}
} In Paris, it had been a note slipped under his door.
} Tangiers had seen it scrawled in graffiti across a
} wall.  Somehow it was the headline of the The Guardian
} in London, though only in the copy he had bought from
} the newstand.  In Washington, "THE INTERNET ORACLE
} REQUIRES AN ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION" had scrolled
} across the bottom the screen as he watched CNN.
}
} It had been a simple tell me.  A question about his
} love life, nothing complicated.  The answer hadn't
} been anything he didn't know: "you must face adversity
} together before you can know how to face joy."  A bit
} serious, perhaps, but the price was high.  The
} question that he had to answer came back, a similar
} type question: "What is it women want?"  He had toyed
} with a long Freudian analysis, and rejected it.  He
} had half started a dialogue between Lisa and the
} Oracle, and it had degenerated into one giant in joke.
}
} Then the reminders started coming into his email.
} Fair enough, the 24 hour rule seemed to have expired.
} He sat and thought about Zotting the question, but
} somehow he knew that it wouldn't suffice.  Especially
} when he called his bank to check his account balance,
} and was informed that they couldn't respond to his
} query because the Internet Oracle Required a Response
} to This Question.
}
} It had seriously gotten out of hand when he went to
} work the next day.  Memo after memo from his boss
} asking where the Internet Oracle's response was.  The
} printer started malfunctioning with page after page of
} "THE ZOT IS COMING.  THE ZOT IS COMING.  THE ZOT IS
} COMING."
}
} So he ran, and maxed out his credit cards in an
} attempt to throw the Oracle off the trail.  Now,
} finally in Vancouver, out of cash, out of ideas, out
} of hope, and with the vending machine down the hall
} dispensing only ZOT Cola, he was cornered at last.
} But there was no good response to question.  He had no
} idea what women wanted.  Unless...
}
} He grabbed the hotel phone and dialed.  There was
} Marie, the woman he had asked about all those days
} ago.  "What is it you want?" he asked.  And she told
} him.
}
} Then, not quite understanding but knowing it was
} enough, he booted up his laptop.


1360-05    (5dgd6 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:

> Oracle, most...you know, that word that begins with 'i', the one that
> means smart...who knows all and sees all, including that word that
> means eating fancy food, that one that begins with 'd'.
>
> How do I make better my...that word that begins with a 'v', means the
> words you know...oh, yeah, vocabulary. How do I make my vocabulary
> smarter?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY
}
} 1.    Get a dictionary.
}       You can go over to your local Buns & Noodle and get a
} brand-new shiny Webster's dictionary, but I'll let you in on a secret:
} the English language has not changed much in the past 100 years, and a
} dictionary from 1940 will suit you just fine (granted, it may not
} mention that "uranium" is radioactive, but when was the last time you
} found big jars labeled "uranium" just lying around?).  Because of
} this, I recommend you find a nice used bookstore and get an old used
} dictionary for a significant discount.
}       Now, we need structured method for transferring the knowledge
} stored in the dictionary into your head.  You could just start reading
} the dictionary from "A" onward, but that would get boring quickly, and
} you don't really need to know what "absinthe" is.  Ideally, we want a
} method that is helpful (so that you can use the new words you learn),
} and that is enjoyable (so that you can stick with it).  This leads us
} to...
}
} 2.    Get some reading material that you want to read *and* which is
} just a little above your reading level.
}       If you get something too easy to read, like "The Very Hungry
} Caterpillar," you won't see any new words, and you won't need to look
} these words up in the dictionary.  On the other hand, if you get
} "Chaos: The Making of a New Science" by James Gleick, you'll be
} overwhelmed with new words, and you'll be too discouraged to continue.
} So get something in between, like "Isle of View" by Piers Anthony, or
} even a nice Donald Duck comic book, if "Isle of View" is too difficult
} or boring.
}
} 3.    Read the reading material, and look up the words you don't
} understand.
}       It's deviously simple.  Suppose you're reading something, and
} suppose you care about what you're reading, and then you see a word
} you don't understand.  You look it up, re-read the sentence, and it
} makes sense, and you move on.  Easy!  Soon, you've read the entire
} piece, and maybe you have filled your world with an aspect of wonder
} and whimsy that you never knew before; but also, you have learned some
} new words.
}
} 4.    Go to step 2. and repeat until your vocabulary is smart enough
} for you.
}       It sounds boring, doesn't it?  I mean, you're looking at this
} e-mail, and you think: "Why would I want to do this forever and ever?
} What's the point?"  And that's the second deviously simple part of
} this plan: it's *fun*.  You'll start reading a book like "Hearts In
} Atlantis" by Stephen King, and someone will offer you free donuts or
} something, and you'll be *so involved* in reading the part about the
} little boy and the 3-card Monte scam artist, that you'll *put off* the
} reward of delicious donuts for the opportunity to finish that exciting
} part of the story.  You'll find yourself sitting in a chair for hours
} and hours, just reading.  You'll miss your bus stop because you were
} so excited about what was happening in the story!
}
} Helpful Hints:
}
} 5.    Don't watch TV.
}       TV is a thief of time.  It's like a drug that slowly makes you
} stupid.  Instead of watching TV for an hour, go to a nice quiet room
} (use earplugs if necessary, they are available for cheap at any gun
} range) and read something for an hour.
}
} 6.    Make a movie in your mind.
}       When you read a book, imagine you're directing a movie in your
} mind.  If the book has a character who is a nice old, grandfatherly
} guy, imagine Wilford Brimley is that character.  If the guy is from
} Eastern Europe, imagine it's Bela Lugosi -- even though the real Bela
} Lugosi is actually dead, you can imagine him saying the words and
} doing the things the character in the book is saying and doing.  You
} pick the actors!  You design the sets!  Then the whole thing can "come
} alive" in your mind.
}
}       You owe the Oracle a good book.


1360-06    (0abhf dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

> Mr. Oracle? Mr. Internet (alias Usenet) Oracle?
>
> I'm afraid I'm going to have to arrest you for murduring humor.
>
> Sergeant! Cuff him and take him away to be punished.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh, 'tis a fair cop, Cop.  I was already under investigation
} by the House Punamerican Activities Committee.  I have always
} been an incorrigible punster, and my only defense is that my
} parents incorriged me.  I throw myself on the mercy of the
} court because, though some call a pun the lowest form of wit,
} poetry is often much verse; and when puns are outlawed, only
} outlaws will be punished.  But I suspect M'lud will decide
} that I must be drawn and quoted.  If so, my dying words will
} be that if puns were deli meat, this last one was my wurst.
}
} You owe the Oracle some off the cuff remarks.


1360-07    (27kh7 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:

> Almighty Oracle, whose Jenga stack I am not worthy to knock over...
> whose cruel idea was it for the word "Lisp" to have a "S" in it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Said "S" survives at the sufferance of the Society for the
} Socialization of Slip-shod Speakers and Solipsists, sorry to say.
} Sadly, Samantha Snead, Secretary of the Society, who in the seventies
} swore such sappy spelling should suffer suspension, suffocated in her
} sleep. Her successor as secretary, Soupy Sales, supports said sappy
} spelling, screaming surreal statements at any who say such an "s"
} should be suspended, until such a spelling supporter should be
} silenced.
}
} You owe the oracle a recording of you reading the above seventeen times
} fast. (That'll teach you to knock over my Jenga!)


1360-08    (2flc3 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <alycewilson@lycos.com>

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

> THE ZOMBIES are out! Free to find their own suppers!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Really, supplicant. Why should I be bothered about the sexual
} orientation of the average zombie. In fact, the majority of zombies
} are, if anything cranisexual, given their lust for
} "Brrrrrainnnnnssss!!".
}
} As to finding their suppers, there are many fried delacacies from the
} local chipper that they will find enticing.
}
} Fish supper: Not really enticing to the zombie.
} Sausage supper: The more dubious contents of the sausage should satisfy
} the zombie's hunger for a short while but we can do better than this.
} Red pudding supper: a truly offal offering. even more dubious than the
} average sausage as nobody really knows what it is.
} Mock chop supper: For the toothless zombie- equivilent of spam. Very
} nasty. Black pudding supper: More for the vampire, containing as it
} does more blood than brain. can be crunchy if overcooked.
} Meat pie supper: The gristly contents and the rock-hard casing make
} this supper a good replacement for the human head. extra points for
} brown sauce. Haggis supper: The peak of the zombie chip-shop
} experience. every kind of offal under the sun, even contains brains if
} from a dodgy enough establishment.
}
} If you see someone enjoying the fabled haggis supper, you may not be
} confronting a zombie. You may in fact be confronting a scotsman, in
} which case you should perform the following test. Stare at the owner of
} the greasy fried treat for a total of 10 seconds and see what response
} you get. Zombie: Will shout "Braaaaainnnnnsssss!" and lunge for your
} skull. Scotsman: Will shout "Hey-fityoolookinatyeweegadgiegetyer
} haunsaffmeehag'saforeaychibyewanyewenedye". Less harmful than zombie.
}
} You owe the Oracle a deep-fried mars bar.


1360-09    (25oe8 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <drnoe@adelphia.net>

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

> Oh Oracle Most Wise and Superhuman,
>
> Who is the next comic book hero we will see a blockbuster
> movie made about?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Voiceover: In Troubled Times...
} (Crane shot panning over people sitting at computers in cubicles)
} Voiceover: The World looks for...
} (camera pans over the exterior of a huge marble temple)
} Voiceover: A HERO!
} (Sunrise over the mountains, the shadow of a man in a robe)
} (fast music)
} (Montage: a mass of woodchucks growling/a puny man in a purple robe
} groveling/a caveman looking confused/a scruffy man running/a computer
} room/a staff swinging through the air/a lighting strike)
} (cut to black/single drumbeat)
}
} T.I.O.
}
} Coming soon to a theatre near you.
}
} (many woodchucks were harmed in the making of this movie)


1360-10    (3dmd2 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:

> Great Oracle, whose knowledge of trivia is anything
> but, please tell me:
>
> How do your various incarnations feel about getting
> small glimpses of various supplicants lives, and
> always wondering "What happened next?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As with everything, the answer to this question lies in The Fall by
} Albert Camus, an excellent author for a mortal, but not even close
} to the immense writing talent of The Internet Oracle.
}
} On pages 38-41, Jean-Baptiste Clamence explains to his unnamed friend
} of a time when he stood on the Pont des Artes in Paris, a small island
} which he felt he dominated merely by standing on it. Suddenly, he heard
} a howling, jolly laugh break out behind him, shattering the silence.
} He reeled about quickly, unable to find the source of the sound.
} The laughter continued, beginning to sound further and further away,
} eventually disappearing.
}
} Instead of concerning himself with trivial, mortal things as you do,
} such as "What happened next?", he went home, seeing himself smile in
} the mirror, and the smile seemed "double" to him.
}
} Later, on pages 69-71, Clamence explains to his nameless companion of a
} time he was walking across a bridge in Paris, and came upon a rather
} pretty woman dressed in all black standing at the edge, starting
} down at the water. He, being a noted casanova, considered "picking
} her up," as you mortals say, but instead walked on to get home.
} After crossing the bridge, he heard a sound of a body striking the
} water, and repeated cries fading downstream, then ceasing. He felt
} shocked, and trembled for a bit, straining to listen, but he assures
} that it was because of the cold. Then, he walked home.
}
} Did he worry about "What happens next?" No, you fool! He avoided the
} newspapers for the next several days, and informed no one.
}
} So, I suppose that is your answer, mon cher compatriote. When I get a
} glimpse of a supplicant's life, I simply walk home, avoid the papers,
} and give the mirror a double grin.
}
} Whatever that means.
}
} You owe the oracle a guide to interpreting French philosophical
} literature.


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