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Internet Oracularities #1396

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1396, 1396-01, 1396-02, 1396-03, 1396-04, 1396-05, 1396-06, 1396-07, 1396-08, 1396-09, 1396-10


Internet Oracularities #1396    (46 votes, 3.3 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 07:47:34 -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:
   1396
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1396  46 votes 14chc 7dh72 2gdc3 27cdc 46gk0 09ie5 167kc 17jd6 2bjc2 2ace8
1396  3.3 mean  3.8   2.7   3.0   3.6   3.1   3.3   3.8   3.3   3.0   3.3


1396-01    (14chc dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <drnoe@adelphia.net>

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

> O omniscient Oracle, who could open a chess game with the Ware Opening
> and yet still defeat his opponent in 20 moves, please help me resolve
> the following paradox: I have heard that your IQ is more than a
> thousand points higher than the Chessmaster. Therefore, you should be
> able to beat the Chessmaster in a game; yet the Chessmaster cannot be
> beaten at chess. How would the all-powerful Oracle accomplish this
> impossible feat?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [A rocky mountain top; a grey-haired old man is seated on a rock.  The
} Oracle approaches. ]
}
} ChessMaster: You took your time.
}
} Oracle:      Yes, the directions were far from clear.  I don't know
}              why I bother to follow up on supplications that aren't in
}              text, but I am generous to a fault.  Now you know why I
}              am here; thanks to my omniscience, I can defeat anyone at
}              chess in less than twenty moves ...
}
} ChessMaster: And I am the perfect chess player, who cannot be
}              defeated.
}
} Oracle:      But if there can be no resolution, then we have a paradox.
}
} ChessMaster: I'm afraid so -- I can't compete with your omniscience.
}              And you're no match for my brains.
}
} Oracle:      You're that smart?
}
} ChessMaster: Let me put it this way: have you ever heard of
}              Capablanca, Alekhine, Nimzovitch?
}
} Oracle:      Yes.
}
} ChessMaster: Patzers.
}
} Oracle:      Really? In that case, I challenge you to a game of chess.
}
} ChessMaster: For the universe?
}
} [The Oracle nods.]
}
} ChessMaster: To the death?
}
} [Another nod.]
}
} ChessMaster: I accept.
}
} Oracle:      Good. Then I will set the board.
}
} [As the Oracle sets the pieces on the board, with the white pieces in
} front of the ChessMaster.]
}
} Oracle:      All right, the battle of wits has begun. It ends when you
}              decide which side to play and we both move, and find out
}              who is right and who is dead.
}
} ChessMaster: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what
}              I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the
}              winning pieces in front of himself, or his enemy?
}
} [He studies the Oracle now.]
}
} ChessMaster: Now, a clever man would put the winning pieces before his
}              opponent, because he would know that only a great fool
}              would reach for what he was given. I'm not a great fool,
}              so I can clearly not choose the pieces in front of
}              me. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you
}              would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the
}              pieces in front of you.
}
} Oracle:      You've made your decision then?
}
} ChessMaster: Not remotely. Because white has the benefit of the first
}              move, and so has an early initiative.  And the initiative
}              leads to advantage in space or control of the centre, as
}              you believe you have the initiative over me.  So I can
}              clearly not choose the pieces in front of you.
}
} Oracle:      Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
}
} ChessMaster: Wait till I get going! Where was I?
}
} Oracle:      Initiative.
}
} ChessMaster: Yes -- initiative, and you must have suspected I would
}              have known about hypermodern openings that demonstrated
}              controlling the centre was not an advantage if the
}              central pawns were immobile and could be turned into a
}              target, so I can clearly not choose the pieces in front
}              of me.
}
} Oracle:      You're just stalling now.
}
} ChessMaster: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you?  You've beaten
}              Mikhail Tal, which means you're tactically strong and
}              understand that white's real advantage in controlling the
}              centre comes from the superior mobility of your pieces,
}              for instance Paul Kere's fine victories over Boris
}              Spassky in '55 or Efim Geller in '62.  So I can clearly
}              not choose the pieces in front of you. But, you've also
}              bested Tigran Petrosion which means you must have deep
}              positional understanding. And with that understanding,
}              you must have learned that *controlling* the centre does
}              not necessarily mean *occupying* the centre, as Daniel
}              Bronstein demonstrated against Frantizek Zita (Prague,
}              '46) where, as black, he made an exchange sacrifice and
}              even offered another knight in order to open up the dark
}              squared diagonals for his fianchettoed king's bishop.  So
}              I can clearly not choose the pieces in front of me.
}
} Oracle:      You're trying to trick me into giving away something --
}              it won't work --
}
} ChessMaster: It has worked -- you've given everything away -- I know
}              who the winner is!
}
} Oracle:      Then make your choice.
}
} ChessMaster: I will. And I choose -- what in the world can that be?
}
} Oracle:      What? Where? I don't see anything.
}
} [The Oracle looks over his shoulder; the ChessMaster switches around
} some of the pawns while the Oracle has his head turned.]
}
} ChessMaster: Oh, well, I-I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.
}
} [The Oracle turns to face him again; the ChessMaster starts to laugh.]
}
} Oracle:      What's so funny?
}
} ChessMaster: I'll tell you in a minute. First, let's play -- me as
}              white, and you black.
}
}                 The ChessMaster v The Internet Oracle,
}           Universe paradox resolution death challenge, 2005.
}
}                        1. e4            c5
}
} Oracle:      You guessed wrong.
}
} ChessMaster: [roaring with laughter] You only think I guessed wrong --
}              [louder now] -- that's what's so funny! I switched pawns
}              when your back was turned. You fool, you fell victim to
}              one of the classic blunders. The most famous is "Every
}              Russian schoolboy knows: in such positions you must
}              recapture with the pawn." But only slightly less well
}              known is this: "Never play the Sicilian when death is on
}              the line."
}
} [The ChessMaster's laughter abruptly stops, and he falls off his rock,
} dead.]
}
} Oracle:      Checkmate, I think.
}
} You owe the Oracle clear compensation for white against the Poisoned
} Pawn.


1396-02    (7dh72 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Oh most chatty, cogent, copious, cursive, declamatory, disputatious,
> easy, effortless, effusive, eloquent, facile, flowing, garrulous, glib,
> liquid, loquacious, mellifluent, mellifluous, natural, persuasive,
> prompt, quick, ready, running, silver-tongued, smooth, smooth-spoken,
> talkative, verbose, vocal, voluble, well-versed, wordy Oracle....
>
> What is the correct grammatical usage of the semi-colon?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In this century, at least, the semicolon has only three common uses.
}
} *** USAGE 1: Separate the items in a list after a colon:
}
} This seems obvious enough:
}
}    The following books will be covered on the midterm: the Odyssey,
}       through book 12; passages from Ovid's Metamorphoses; and the
}       selections from Chaucer.
}
} *** USAGE 2: Separate two independent clauses in one sentence:
}
}    Shakespeare's comedies seem natural; his tragedies seem forced.
}
} A simple test for this use is: if you can use a period and a new
} sentence, you can also use a semicolon. In this use, the semicolon can
} always be replaced by a period and a new sentence:
}
}    Shakespeare's comedies seem natural. His tragedies seem forced
}
} is correct, so a semicolon can be used.
}
} It's unsafe to use a semicolon anywhere else.
}
} Semicolons help you connect closely related ideas when a style mark
} stronger than a comma is needed. By using semicolons effectively, you
} can make your writing sound more sophisticated.
}
} Use a semicolon to combine two independent clauses with no connecting
} words. For example:
}
}    Pam is going to school; she plans on staying there.
}    My truck broke down; it should be fixed in a week.
}
} A semicolon can also be used when joining two independent clauses
} together with one subordinating conjunction.  Subordinating
} conjunctions are words such as:  moreover, however, therefore,
} consequently, otherwise, nevertheless, and thus.  For example:
}
}    Pam is going to school; moreover, she plans on staying there.
}    My truck broke down; however, it should be fixed in a week
}
} Do not join independent clauses by a comma! If two or more clauses,
} grammatically complete and not joined by a conjunction, are to form a
} single compound sentence, the proper mark of punctuation is a
} semicolon.
}
}    Stevenson's romances are entertaining; they are full of exciting
}       adventures.
}    It is nearly half past five; we cannot reach town before dark.
}
} It is of course equally correct to write the above as two sentences
} each, replacing the semicolons by periods.
}
}    Stevenson's romances are entertaining. They are full of exciting
}       adventures.
}    It is nearly half past five. We cannot reach town before dark.
}
} If a conjunction is inserted, the proper mark is a comma (Rule 4).
}
}    Stevenson's romances are entertaining, for they are full of exciting
}       adventures.
}    It is nearly half past five, and we cannot reach town before dark.
}
} Note that if the second clause is preceded by an adverb, such as
} accordingly, besides, so, then, therefore, or thus, and not by a
} conjunction, the semicolon is still required.
}
}    I had never been in the place before; so I had difficulty in finding
}       my way about.
}
} In general, however, it is best, in writing, to avoid using so in this
} manner; there is danger that the writer who uses it at all may use it
} too often. A simple correction, usually serviceable, is to omit the
} word so, and begin the first clause with as:
}
}    As I had never been in the place before, I had difficulty in finding
}       my way about.
}
} If the clauses are very short, and are alike in form, a comma is
} usually permissible:
}
}    Man proposes, God disposes.
}    The gate swung apart, the bridge fell, the portcullis was drawn up.
}
} *** USAGE 3: Control colon diseases
}
} In the field of human health care, there exist several diseases of the
} colon. These are considered immunity-system diseases, because they all
} affect the body's ability to protect itself from airborne virii. The
} semi-colon can help protect the colon from some of the worst colon
} diseases, such as Ulcerative Colon, or Chron's disease.
}
}    After his colon got an ulcer, many people viewed it as a semi-colon.
}
} Note: Do not confuse Irritable Bowel Disease with Ulcerative Colon.
} While the symptoms of both diseases are similar, they respond very
} differently to treatment. Your doctor should begin by running tests to
} properly diagnose your disease.
}
} [Incarnation AllanW]
}
} You owe the Oracle a barf bag.


1396-03    (2gdc3 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <alycewilson@lycos.com>

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

> Mighty Oracle,
>
> What's up -- or rather down -- with my ISP's intermittent
> connectivity problems?
>
> A. Supplicant

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Certain "scientists" would claim that high sunspot activity can affect
} electronic circuitry thus interferring with your ISP's connection can
} causing the problems you are expriencing.
}
} Learned people, however, know that there is a species of slug (limax
} datumphagiae) that feeds on data packets by attaching themselves to
} the wires that connect your house to the outside world and sucking the
} information out of them.
}
} Call an exterminator.
}
} You owe the Oracle a side of beef and half an ice-cube.


1396-04    (27cdc 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:

> How does food become poo?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} FOOD
} FOOT
} MOOT
} MOOR
} POOR
} POO?
}
} That is how FOOD becomes POO? in only 5 steps. See if you can do
} better.
}
} You owe the Oracle a way to go from NUTRIMENT to EXCREMENT.


1396-05    (46gk0 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Oracle, you know what it's like to have acne.  Pimples.
> Complexion problems.  Even though you prombly don't have
> them yourself.
>
> My face is a sea of pimples.  No matter what I do or don't.
> I've tried giving up chocolate.  I've washed and washed.
> I've tried tying one hand behind my back.  I've tried
> prayer.  Now I'm writing to the Internet Oracle.
>
> The Junior Class Midwinter Carnival Dance is coming up
> December 10th.  Yes, I know that the day is not yet winter,
> but that's what the Dance Committee (I'm not on it) wants
> to call it.  My problem is Harriet Phuwmbacker.  I want to
> ask her to the dance, but I'm afraid she'll find my face too
> repulsive.  Is there some method better than wearing a
> Halloween mask (they're cheap right now) or a paper bag
> on my head, to keep me from looking so hideously ugly?
> Or some words I can use that'll charm Harriet into feeling
> that it's ok to kiss a toad because he might someday turn
> into a handsome prince?  Harriet herself is no beauty, but
> in my eyes she is just fine because she is so good at
> mathematics.  She knows integral calculus better than our
> teacher.  She enjoys writing programs in sed, which marks
> her as a programmer's programmer.  And when she writes
> short essays for English class, she always turns in a
> translation into Latin, as well.  Or occasionally Greek.
> What a joy just to know she exists!
>
> Please help me.  I don't dare approach her without your
> advice.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Don't even bother. Harriet is obviously quite a nerd. Why would you
} want to date a nerd? Are you crazy? No, there's no hope for the two
} of you. I suggest avoiding her at all times.
}
} You owe the Oracle Harriet's phone number...umm...so I
} can...umm...conduct a follow-up survey?


1396-06    (09ie5 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Oracle, I'm not feeling well.  I went to see the doctor
> and he gave me some medicine.  He told me to take it
> religiously, so I say an Our Father and three Hail Marys
> whenever I take the medicine.
>
> It's not working.  I still feel awwwful.  Is my religion
> wrong?  Should I invoke Cthulhu instead?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   Your religion is not wrong per se, but is far from being the
} wisest choice for medical purposes. For starters, you need a
} much higher dosage for it to have effect, especially if you
} don't pray in proper Latin. If it does have effect, it it more
} likely to be in the form of spontaneous bleeding from certain
} points over the body.
}
}   Cthulhu would be an even worse choice, since your rituals will
} only have effect after a few strange aeons, and you'll probably
} have forgotten all about your sickness by then. The ultimate
} effect will make your current pain insignificant in comparison,
} and should you have survived long enough to witness it, your
} life expectancy will be ridiculously small.
}
}   As for other religions:
}
}   Judaism will make you suddenly realize that you have countless
} other ailments that you had, strangely, never noticed before.
} You will be occupied in seemingly endless rants about them until
} mealtime, during which your health (at least your appetite) will
} be restored. Then you'll have indigestion to add to your list.
} The good news is that you'll be too busy babbling to notice the
} pain.
}
}   Islam will bring you to the conclusion that your suffering is
} nothing but the divine will, which is of course incurable. You
} will still be in pain, but you will feel a lot better about it.
} That is, of course, until you meet a patient from a different
} Islamic stream who will claim your pain is the wrong kind and
} it does not please Allah like his own pain does, and will inflict
} a holier kind of pain upon you.
}
}   Zen will make you question whether you are feeling pain or not.
} That will lead you to ponder whether you feel anything at all.
} From there you will be asking whether you are there to feel any
} pain, and if you take a pill and have no disease there to cure,
} will you still get the icky side effects? Your meditation will
} only be disturbed by the sound of your condition evolving into a
} peritonitis.
}
}   With Rastafarianism, your health condition will not improve, but
} you will feel goooood, man.
}
}   The list could continue endlessly, but that would serve no purpose
} (except for showing off my omniscience, which I always do anyway).
} The right religion for your problem is, definitely, Rhodism (refer
} to Oracularity #996-07 for details). Faithful and zealous practice
} of this religion will bring you knowledge to find the right cure,
} and of course laughter which everyone knows is the best medicine.
}
}   You owe the Oracle a lifelong vow to renounce woodchucks, 10% of
} your crops or nearest equivalent, and one of those fancy MD diplomas
} to hang on his wall.


1396-07    (167kc dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <alycewilson@lycos.com>

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

> Oh most wise and spacious Oracle, please tell me:
>
> In physics, what is the string theory?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} String theory proposes that elementary particles are one-dimensional
} 'strings', as opposed to zero-dimensional points.  Basically, when you
} look on the most fundamental level, the universe would be somewhat
} analogous to a very convoluted ball of yarn, which is constantly being
} played with by a gigantic space cat, whose size is several orders of
} magnitude beyond the comprehension of you mere mortals.
}
} We here call him Zippy.
}
} You owe the Oracle 5.7*10^4523478 cans of tuna.


1396-08    (17jd6 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

>   A little girl walks up to the Oracle. She carries a balloon
> and some chocolates. "Thank you for being such a nice Oracle
> and answering all our questions, uncle Orrie." - says the girl
> as she presents the balloon and chocolates to the Internet
> Oracle. "You're the best!" - she adds, and kisses the Oracle's
> cheek before skipping out of the Temple.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oracle: Come in, supplicant.
}
} Supplicant 1: Why is the sky blue?
}
} Oracle (aside): No grovel. I guess I have to answer it though.
}
} Oracle: Because it would look stupid if it were pink.
}
} Oracle: Next!
}
} Supplicant 2: I'm having friends over for dinner and I burnt the pie I
} was making. What should I do?
}
} Oracle (aside): Again no grovel. Where's the respect?
}
} Oracle: Tell them it's a new carbon topping.
}
} Oracle: Next supplicant, please.
}
} Supplicant 3: Great Wise Almighty Oracle, I am unfit to smell your
} feet. You are the master of all knowledge, and know more answers than
} Deep Thought.  Your radiance illuminates us in our darkness of
} ignorance. Though I am not worthy of speaking with Your Greatness, I
} beg you to answer one question for me.
}
} Oracle (aside): That's more like it.
}
} Supplicant 3: H*w m*ch w**d w***d a w**dch**k ch**k if a w**dch**k
} c***d ch**k w**d?
}
} Oracle: GET OUT OF HERE!
}
} Oracle: That's it. I'm quitting this stupid job. I get no appreciation
} around here.
}
} Supplicant 4: Oracle, if you have a moment?
}
} Oracle: I guess. What is it?
}
} Supplicant 4: Thank you for being such a nice Oracle and answering all
} our questions, uncle Orrie. You're the best!
}
} The Oracle owes you a hug, an apology for being grumpy, and his thanks
} for making all that he does worth while, and realizing that it is not
} praise that the Oracle desires most, but love. And chocolate.


1396-09    (2bjc2 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Oh, great Oracle, why do people dislike mice since they are the
> smartest animal in the kingdom -after whales of course. why do people
> dislike mice?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Unknowingly, supplicant, you have already hit upon the answer:
}
} Mice are disliked *because* we--I mean, they--are so smart (much like
} geeks). Smart enough to get into the houses and food supplies and
} closets of humans.
}
} That, and when a mouse crawls into a closet and chews up someone's
} favorite outfit and makes a nest in it, that mouse looks so much cuter
} in it than the owner ever did even though it's many sizes too big.
} This helps explain why women like mice even less.
}
} You owe the Oracle some extra-sharp cheddar cheese and cheese-flavored
} saltines.


1396-10    (2ace8 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <alycewilson@lycos.com>

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

> I just got this e-mail from a friend. It read...
>
> "Moofle badgers squirrel nosefeathers w00t w00t underpants"
>
> What on earth does it mean, oh Oracle so wise in the ways of the
> random and strange?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As the Oracle finished reading the question, he turned around
} and spoke to one of the columns in the Temple.
}
} "I know you're there. You can come out now."
}
} The Oracle's words were met by silence. The Oracle sighed and
} addressed the column again:
}
} "Put that shuriken down and come out quietly. If you look behind
} you you'll see my priest Zadoc pointing a staff of miniZOT at you.
} I believe you will be more reasonable knowing this."
}
} Zadoc couldn't be happier. Following his Master's instructions, he
} disguised himself as a statue of Thag, stood in the spot the Oracle
} had told him, and lo and behold, now he had nothing less than one
} of the feared Trojan Ninjas on the business end of a staff of miniZOT
} (not the full ZOT effect, but a nice deterrent anyway). And he hadn't
} botched it! His Master would be so pleased that maybe tonight he
} wouldn't have to sleep in a cardboard box. Or at least he'd get some
} duct tape to patch it. The ninja stepped out from his hiding place
} behind the column and stood where the Oracle could see him.
}
} "Well done, Zadoc. I'll take it from here. You can go back to
} cleaning the cesspits."
}
} "But, Your Undecidability! What if this felon... ?"
}
} "Zadoc... ?" - the Oracle said as he raised an eyebrow.
}
} "Y... Yes, Master. Thank You, Master" - Zadoc bowed and left
} hurriedly, leaving the ninja alone in the mighty presence of
} the Oracle.
}
} "You needn't tell me who sent you; " - spoke the latter, "It
} was *them*, of course. None else would be stupid enough to
} send a stealth assassin in order to take out an omniscient
} (not to say immortal) entity. Now, if you were a Spartan
} Samurai, at this point you'd be ripping your bowels open with
} your own hands. Your kind, however, is far less reluctant when
} it comes to switching sides, should the offer be good enough..."
}
} "What's your deal?" - asked the ninja, in a tone that hardly
} showed any emotion.
}
} "My part consists in getting a new agent for dealing with
} stuff I wouldn't want to see my name involved in. Your part
} consists in not being ZOTted, and as you can see, my staff
} isn't 'mini'. Don't bother to say you agree - I already know
} that you do. Now come here and take a look at this."
}
} The Trojan ninja did as commanded and read the words on the
} Oracle's terminal. Under his mask, he turned pale.
}
} "You recognize it, don't you? 'Moofle badgers squirrel
} nosefeathers w00t w00t underpants'."
}
} "It's..."
}
} "Trojan cypher, I know. Humour me and translate it, please."
}
} "'Release queue vampires at 12'. What does it mean?"
}
} "It means that you have work to do." - The Oracle produced a
} map on his computer and marked a spot with a red dot. "Those
} damn rodents have been busy breeding an army of bots, capable
} of launching a distributed askme flood and draining the queue
} dry. The implications if they succeed would be... horrible."
}
} "You would have no questions to answer? The w**dch**ks would
} keep the grovels and tributes?"
}
} "Oh, considering the stupid questions and lame-to-inexistent
} grovels I get at times, that would'nt be too bad. No, what I
} mean is far worse: the w**dch**ks will be able to give _answers_.
} Sooner or later, some supplicant will ask *that* question,
} and then they will give *their* answer. If that happens, all
} will be lost."
}
} "So that was their plan... They sent me to keep you occupied
} while they had the vampires ready?"
}
} "Exactly. So it will be delightfully ironic to send you to
} exterminate all the queue vampires. Start at the house
} marked in the map. It's the supplicant's friend's house;
} he's one of theirs. Eliminate him."
}
} "Is he a Trojan ninja too?"
}
} "No, he's just a message relay. Doesn't know the codes, so he
} can't read them."
}
} "Then why eliminate him?"
}
} "He deserves it - his day job is being a spammer. That's how he
} ended up sending this message to the supplicant by mistake. In
} his house you'll find directions, in Trojan cypher, of the
} locations of the vampires. Return when they're all destroyed."
}
} The ninja nodded before vanishing in a horse-shaped cloud of smoke.
} The Oracle stared blankly at the terminal for some moments. Were
} the woodchucks (being alone, he could speak freely) really so
} stupid to think that such a plan would work? Or maybe... no...
} With a pressing sense of urgence, he typed the following reply to
} the supplicant's question:
}
} } Either you will know what it means by tonight, or by tomorrow it
} } won't be important at all.
} } You owe the Oracle a shift of queue patrol. Make sure to be
} } carrying a good supply of wooden stakes.
}
} The Oracle thought for a second before hitting Send. He suddenly
} felt he needed to do something right, and that he wouldn't have a
} lot of chances to do it in the near future.
}
} } Oh, and a cardboard box. In good condition.


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