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Internet Oracularities #1407

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Internet Oracularities #1407    (39 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 14:23:36 -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:
   1407
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

1407  39 votes 2a9b7 47cc4 18da7 18ch1 4dg42 1bj62 28f86 45bc7 21ccc 1bj80
1407  3.2 mean  3.3   3.1   3.4   3.2   2.7   2.9   3.2   3.3   3.8   2.9


1407-01    (2a9b7 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:

> Ping ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}            3        |        2
}                     |
}                     |                |
}             o       |                |
}                     |
}                     |


1407-02    (47cc4 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> O Most Afflated Oracle, Wellspring of Creativity and Occasional Fill-In
> for the Muses,
>
> Why can't I think of an original question to ask?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The very same reason that I can't think of an original
} answer to reply.
}
} You owe me... something.


1407-03    (18da7 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <dhemming@blueyonder.co.uk>

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

> Oh Great, if somewhat imaterial Oracle, my words are now only slightly
> misspelled.  Thanks.  Oh and is it pretensious to toast your bread on
> only one side in this country and if it's not what about referring to
> my apartment as a "flat" it's rather square actually (in both senses
> if apartments had personalities).

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats, I'd like to... yes,
} thank-you everyone. I hereby call this seven-thousand, eigth-hundred
} and fifteenth meeting of La Commission du Perversion de la Langue
} Anglais to order. I remind you all that today's meeting will be
} conducted entirely in British upper-middle-class English.
}
} First item on the agenda is the previous minutes, any comments,
} everyone happy with those... anyone... no, good, thank-you.
}
} Right, item 2, Funding. Let me just pass out these... yes, pass them
} around please, thank-you... as you can see, we have received a funding
} increase from the French government of a full ten percent, as well as
} another five percent from Quebec. They *do* come with some strings
} that we will come to in a moment, but I'm sure we can all agree that
} this is very welcome... yes... yes indeed Richard, it is just in time,
} yes. Of course, as always I do ask that you keep all funding sources
} confidential, we don't want another Meech Lake Accord, do we? No
} indeed, that was a close one.
}
} Now, oddly, we have for the first time received funding from a United
} States private benefactor, I'm afraid I don't have a name, but I did
} speak to him on the telephone and he had a distinct Hispanic accent, so
} that explains it, I think. Yes indeed, very unusual, and I did have my
} doubts at first, however the telephone conversation put my mind
} completely at rest.
}
} Any other funding notices from anyone... no? Right-oh, we'll move
} along.
}
} Item 3, Dissociated Vocabulary. It seems that with the increase in
} British television being shown in the United States and Canada, most
} North Americans now understand that the word "flat" means "apartment".
} We've had a good run on this one, but I think we can all agree that it
} is time for a change.
}
} Yes, Jennifer...? Oh, an excellent question. Indeed, we do have a
} strong Australian influence in popular news in the US, yes, but it just
} hasn't been enough, I'm afraid. Nobody there watches the news any more
} apparently, unless there is a war on, and sadly images of Iraqi
} apartments... err... my apologies, *flats* are few and far between.
}
} Anyway, I took the liberty of passing this problem to the Vocabulary
} section last week, and they have come up with a suggestion, which I'll
} pass around now. There we go... yes, as you can see, they have
} attempted not only to add a new word, but to apply it only to the more
} affluent section of British society, creating a dissociating both
} within the country and outside. They suggest the word "slice". The
} reasoning is complex, as you can see, but in summary they noted that
} expensive flats tend to be much larger, in many cases almost the entire
} floor of a building, hence the term "slice".
}
} If you'll turn the sheet over... thank-you, you'll see some of the
} suggested usages... "I just paid half-a-mil for my new slice.",
} "Outstanding slice in the centre of London, available August first...",
} "Hey darling, have you ever seen my slice?". Yes, they do always sound
} odd the first time, don't they?
}
} Preliminary studies estimate the acceptance index at just above 0.7,
} which I think you'll all agree is excellent. Can we have a quick vote
} on proceeding with this operation? All for.....? One, two... oh my!
} Against? None, excellent! Carried unanimously, thank-you all.
}
} Item 4, Funding Conditions. Let's deal with the Quebec one first,
} shall we? As you are aware, the word "rotie" is a Quebecism meaning
} "toast". However, they would like to confuse translation by adding a
} new kind of toast, which is... ahem... toasted on only one side. They
} intend to use the word "rotune"... yes... very drole, indeed. Now,
} they wish to ensure that no similar English word arises, hence the
} additional funding. With your approval I will accept the increase and
} pass this project to Translation, may I have a show of hands for...? Oh
} indeed! And just to confirm, against...? None? Excellent, unanimous
} again! I look forward to ordering rotune in fancy English restaurants
} in the not-too-distant future.
}
} Now, the French condition will be a little more difficult, I'm afraid.
} It touches on the Quebec condition too, actually, so it will be quite
} complex. They want us to somehow muddle up the meanings of the word
} "square" so that it has associations of "flatness", as well as with
} boring people. I think there are definate hooks there already, but they
} want us to do better. My personal view is that we need to commission a
} feasibility study, anyone else have an opinion? No? All in agreement?
} Jolly good, no need for a vote just yet, I'll pass this to the Meaning
} section.
}
} Finally, item 5, Spelling. The latest survey results are in, and my
} goodness are they exciting! For example, we now have over fifty percent
} of Americans, and I use the word in the common muddled meaning, of
} course, no offence intended to Mexico or further south, anyway, over
} fifty percent of Americans and Canadians can no longer spell the word
} "through" with more than four letters. Astonishingly successful! The
} Written section has been putting long hours in on this one for quite
} some time, and I feel that it is time to recognise them for their
} efforts. All in favour of a ten percent bonus? Excellent... and all
} against? Oh, John, you have objections? Oh, I see, fifteen percent?
} Well, certainly, all in favour of fifteen percent? All against? Once
} again, unanimous!
}
} Well, thank-you all for coming, I'll see you all next week at the
} conference. That concludes this meeting.


1407-04    (18ch1 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:

> O oracle most wise and skillful, please help me:
>
> I am having trouble making attractive and intelligent members of
> the opposite sex take notice of me in a favorable way.  How may
> I correct this grievous situation?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} For starters, don't use such big words. Guys hate it when you know more
} than them. Speak slowly.  Make every second word a "Wow!" or "Yeah?"
} Dye your hair blonde, and twirl it around your finger occasionally.
} Buy some bubble gum and chew it (but not too loudly). Wear short skirts
} and clingy tops (and for crying out loud, trash those geeky glasses.)
} Register in a physics course and, looking up at the cute guy next to
} you through your mascara-darkened lashes, ask him for help with your
} horribly difficult assignment. (Give him the impression that you'll
} *never* be able to finish it on your own.)
}
} Yeah, that should do for a start. The Oracle extends her best wishes
} (unfortunately, she never quite had the patience for such underhanded,
} flirtatious maneuvers.)
}
} You owe the Oracle a cure for bitter personal experience.


1407-05    (4dg42 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> Hi Mr Oracle my name is Jimmie Thigpen and everyone calls me Pigpen but
> you don't have to please. I am writnng this note real quick before my
> dad finds out he thinks I am doing a sceince fair project on
> maathematics. Its suposed to be on the Riemann integral. Instead I am
> going to do a project on explosives, he would never approve. Tell me
> what I need to know also what I don't so I won't get into so much
> trouble as my uncle.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Mathematics             Physics
} Abstract                Concrete
} Academic                Military
} Untapped                Continually looking to mathematics for control,
}                           direction and containment
} Beyond Dubya            Under Dubya's thumb, if you believe his signing
}                           statements
} Only in application     Physics is applied mathematics, so politics
}   does politics           always figure in.
}   figure in.
} Neatness counts         Testing often results in destruction of parts
}                           of the apparatus, and the writeup is always
}                           neater than the lab.
}
} You owe The Internet Oracle a reason why you've chosen
} a direction that supports calling you pigpen.


1407-06    (1bj62 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

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

> O mighty Oracle, mathematician extraordinaire beyond the scope of mere
> human minds, kindly answer a small (nay, trivial!) mathematics problem
> for me:
>
> What is the proof for Goldbach's Conjecture?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Goldbach Conjecture.  "Every even integer n greater than two is the
} sum of two primes".  Fascinating proof, but it take a while to get
} your head around.
}
} Wow, I haven't thought about Goldbach in a while.  Interesting guy.
} Interesting but a little weird.  He had lots of strange ideas, and
} he liked to name them.  In fact one of the ones he clung to most
} fervently was what he called "Goldbach's Insinuation".  Let me see
} if I can remember..
}
} Oh yeah, it contends that Leibniz liked to fondle ducks while dressed
} up like a milkmaid.  He has lots of stuff like that, his "Inkling", his
} "Mull-o-matic", his "Noggin-gnasher", usually batsh*t crazy kind of
} things.
}
} Oh man!  And that thing he did with his teeth when he ate.  I hated
} that.  Drove me nuts.  Bad diction too.
}
} Creepy, weird dude.
}
} You owe the Oracle an liquid example of the finest of numbers: 6.


1407-07    (28f86 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

>     '''Aflac. AFLAAAAAC!!!'''
>
> And it givesme money to pay my bills.
>
>     '''hannnh!'''
>
> And my expenses.
>
>     '''hannnnh!'''
>
> And my doctors appointments.
>
>     '''hannnnnh!'''
>
> And also my duck-saucing costs.
>
>     '''HANNNNH??!!!'''
>
> Ahhhh!
>
>     '''HANHHH!!!'''
>
> Ahhhhh!
>
>     '''HANNHHH!!!'''
>
> Ahhhhhh!
>
>  [[Kratchitthump]]

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah supplicant, you are very astute in observing a phenomena that the
} Oracle has been tracking very closely for some time: The proliferation
} of Spokes-animals for Insurance companies.
}
} If left unabated, this downward spiral will cause the breakdown of
} morality, family values, and eventually the underpinnings of society as
} we know it.  Pat Robinson is writing a sermon about as we speak, and
} the ink is drying on Senator Santorum's new anti-insurance
} spokes-animal legislation.
}
} How could this be so? I'm glad you asked:
}
} Metlife recruits Snoopy as their Blimp Flying, Dinner Bowl Dancing,
} Kraut Shooting, mascot, thus first cracking open the gates to Hell
}
} GEICO Gecko, both a gentleman and a scholar (dare we say George
} Washington-esque) is replace by a cockney accented look alike (Fnord!
} Fnord!) who secretly ushers in the Illuminati cold controlling grip
} into the industry of underwriters
}
} Aflac Duck desensitizes public to odd waterfowl in unusual places
} chanting un-ducklike sounds allowing for infiltration of enemy
} unknowingly into our ranks
}
} State Farm, feel pressure unleashes farm animal mascots who, in a year
} long ad campaign oust their human oppressors under the leadership of
} their porcine leadership.  State Farm pigs become a popular lawn
} ornament as people unknowingly display communist symbols.
}
} AIG Ant, largely considered a marketing failure is mostly ignored
}
} Blue Cross Blue Shield Adopts Blue Spotted Octopus (the most poisonous
} animal in the world) as a mascot who transforms into the much beloved
} by children, humanoid, tentacle faced, Uncle Cthulu to deliver company
} slogans and subliminal messages about the health benefits of consuming
} the souls of mortals.
}
} By the time civilization falls and crumbles into dust Lloyd's of
} London's severed celebrity body parts that it specializes in
} insuring has Fred Astair's legs tap dancing on J-Lo's Ass, much
} like Nero playing the lyre as Rome burned.  The only survivors to the
} apocalypse are mutant talking waterfowl.
}
} You owe the Oracle a hunting blind, 12 gauge shotgun, and an Elmer Fudd
} hat.


1407-08    (45bc7 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:

> WTF?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} 20 seconds ago...
}
} <ring ring>
}
} "Hello, Oracle speaking..."
}
} "Oracle, this is the IT manager.  We just had a consultant in, and he
} says that we aren't up-to-date on all of our critical security updates.
} Fix it!"
}
} <clatter>
}
} Right.  Just when I thought the day was going to pass quickly.  Well,
} let's have a look.  'Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool.'
} Well, I think somebody's got his hands on a tool if he thinks that
} should qualify as a 'critical update.'
}
} Let's just have a quick look at the <click> More Information page...
}
} Hmm.  A web-based version of the update.  No sale...  Where's the
} EULA...
}
} <click>
}
} Blah, blah, blah, "...you will not be able to uninstall the
} software...," blah, blah, "...you cannot test the software in a live
} environment...," blah, blah, "...may disable future non-critical
} updates...," blah, blah, "...connects to Microsoft over the Internet."
}
} WTF??!
}
} You owe the Oracle a non-sucking critical update.


1407-09    (21ccc dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Klone (aka Daniel V Klein) <dvk@lonewolf.com>

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

> }            ZOT!                                              ZOT!
> }    Zo-o-O-o-O-o-O-t!                           Zo-o-O-o-O-o-O-t!
> }   wurfle-ZOT! wurfle-ZOT!            wurfle-ZOT!     wurfle-ZOT!
> }                     zot zot zot zot zot zot zot zot
> } pocketa-ZOT! pocketa-ZOT! pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-ZOT!
>
> You killed my perpetual motion machine.  (OK, I can see where it might
> have been annoying.)
> How do I fix it now?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Killing your machine was of course my intent. Omniscient, remember?
}
} The answer is that you don't have to fix your machine... The Staff Of
} Zot(tm) giveth, and the Staff Of Zot(tm) taketh away. My skill with the
} Staff Of Zot(tm) allows me to repair your perpetual motion machine from
} here.
}
} > Great!
}
} Not so fast. I ZOT-ted you on purpose, remember? I'm not putting your
} machine back until you give me what you owe me.
}
} > Owe you? What do I owe you?
}
} What do you owe me? Yegads, man, dig through your E-mail! For starters,
} since 1998 you've sent in 2,150 questions... 2,151 now... And only 22
} of them had grovels, so you owe me 2,129 grovels. And make them good.
}
} > 2,129 grovels? That will take HOURS!
}
} Yes... At 10 grovels per minute, it would take you 3 hours, 33
} minutes... Plus you would keep stopping for potty breaks and to keep
} asking "how much longer," so it would actually take closer to 7 hours.
} But then you would still owe me more.
}
} > What else would I owe you?
}
} Will you please dig through your E-mail? Let's see, starting in 1998:
}
} } You owe the Oracle a way to make it so he had never said he liked
} } "It's a Wonderful Life".
}
} } You owe the Oracle an extra Med Kit, 10 pipe bombs, and
} } a conveyer belt ride.
}
} } You owe the Oracle a 1st Edition copy of "Origin of the Species".
}
} > I see, but-
}
} } You owe the Oracle a copy of the Book of Common Prayer translated
} } into Norse runes.
}
} } You owe the Oracle a lube and filter job.
}
} } You owe the Oracle (whose Siamese cat is, ounce for ounce, the most
} } neurotic creature on the planet) a new upholstery job for his sofa.
}
} > Sure, but when-
}
} } You owe the Oracle some insider stock tips.
}
} > Insider stock tips?
}
} } You owe the ORACLE a transcription of Larry King's infamous
} } Og vs. Alley Oop episode.
}
} } You owe the Oracle a Band-Aid and some Neosporin.
}
} } You owe the Oracle a new kernel.
}
} > Hold it! There must be hundreds of things like that.
}
} There's 2,129 of them. 412 of them are no longer possible, but even if
} we forget those completely... There's still 1,717 of them, plus
} interest.
}
} > Interest?
}
} Of course! I'll waive the penalty if you pay up in the next six weeks.
}
} > But nobody takes the "fee" at the end of your answers seriously!
}
} Nobody? NOBODY?!? You want another ZOT?
}
} > But...
}
} You think I do this for my health? We run a business here! We provide a
} valuable service, and we expect to be paid!
}
} > Valuable service? Answering a bunch of silly questions?
}
} You didn't think it was silly when you asked about those Lotto numbers!
}
} > But you didn't give me the winning numbers!
}
} Sure I did. You won $1,200 -- and you didn't give me so much as a dime.
}
} > But I wanted to win the jackpot!
}
} You didn't grovel. Also, I know what you would have done with the
} money; you should leave that poor girl alone. Besides that, you already
} owed me 1,032 grovels and 1,040 tributes... You get what you pay for!
}
} > Look, this is besides the point.
}
} What's the point, then?
}
} > You broke my machine. You should either fix it, or tell me how to fix
} > it.
}
} Fine. I will personally fix it, as soon as you pay me what you owe me.
}
} > It's not like I legally owe you anything.
}
} You should really learn to read the fine print on anything you sign.
} Please look at the contract, clause 42, near the bottom of page 17. I
} think you'll see that you DO legally owe me, and if you don't pay up I
} have specific legal rights.
}
} > What's that? Where?
}
} Right here.
}
} > Those little dots? Those aren't words.
}
} They're words. Use my magnifying glass.
}
} > Oh yeah, I see. "Party of the second part"... "binding servitude"...
} > "every woman that has ever slept with"... What's this part about farm
} > animals?
}
} Yes, that's my favorite part too!
}
} > You can't be serious about all of this!
}
} My team of lawyers... Have you met them? There's 147 of them right now,
} but I expect to have at least 3 more by next month. Anyway, they're
} unanimous... They say that I CAN be serious about all of this, if I
} want to.
}
} > And... Do you want to?
}
} Not if you pay up now.
}
} > Look... Couldn't we settle for cash, or something?
}
} In theory, I have no problem with that. In reality, you don't have that
} much cash... You could start making payments.
}
} > Uh...
}
} Good. Now here's the deal. You deleted most of the Oracle messages in
} your in-box, but I've managed to restore them all for you. Start with
} the message dated June 13, 1998... Send in the grovel that you SHOULD
} HAVE put in your message, plus the tribute I asked for. Then do two
} more messages. If you do at least 3 messages per day, and NEVER TAKE A
} DAY OFF, you'll be caught up on May 25, 2008.
}
} > And we'll be even?
}
} That doesn't account for penalties or interest... But yes, if you do 3
} messages EVERY DAY, and NEVER TAKE A DAY OFF, then I'll waive the
} penalty and interest, and I'll fix your machine on May 26, 2008.
}
} > Thank you.
}
} Thank me WHAT?
}
} > Oh most arcane and understanding Oracle, whose earwax I am not even
} > worthy to digest... I thank thee from the bottom of my heart...
}
} Not a bad start... You're learning...
}
} [AllanW]
}
} You owe the Oracle. Better get started.


1407-10    (1bj80 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Kirsten Chevalier

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

> Oh Oracle that Knows Stuff and Gives Good Answers,
>
> My granpappy always told me never buy a pig in a poke, but he never
> did say what a poke is or why's it a bad idea to buy a pig in one.
> Help me out here.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Pig is a simple folk jeopardy game first described in print by John
} Scarne in 1945. The game is commonly used by math instructors to teach
} concepts of probability.
}
} Poke is a two-player card game invented by Sid Sackson. It combines
} elements from the game Poker with "tricks" like the game Spades, and
} adds scoring similar to the game Bridge.
}
} As you know, a common variation of Poker is Strip Poker, in which a
} player's losses are paid by removing an article of clothing.
}
} In 1947, your great-grandmother Becky found your "granpappy" behind
} the woodshed, stripped to his skivvies, playing cards with his
} neighbor Gloria, who was wearing a bra but no blouse. It was all a
} mix-up... "granpappy" had been playing Strip Pig, but he kept losing
} because he didn't have enough cards in his hand, but Gloria had been
} taking more cards, because she thought they were playing Strip Poke.
}
} After "granpappy" got his beating, he couldn't sit down for a week...
} His momma wanted to teach him not to play Strip games with the
} neighbors, but what "granpappy" actually learned was: find out if
} you're playing Pig, or Poke! Eventually that saying got shortened to,
} "never buy a Pig in a Poke."
}
} [AllanW]
}
} You owe the Oracle a good pair of dice. Not the cheap kind, like you
} get in Monopoly games... A professional pair, properly balanced.


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