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Internet Oracularities #223

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Usenet Oracularities #223    (19 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 90 08:39:16 -0500

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223   19 votes 08623 25633 33562 55450 31834 17731 22663 14266 41446 07453
223   3.1 mean  3.0   3.0   3.1   2.5   3.2   2.8   3.3   3.6   3.4   3.2


223-01    (08623 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: elr%trintex@uunet.UU.NET (Unix Guru-in-Training)

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

> What do you do when some clinically insane Netter insists on flaming
> you in Email?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Having given this serious thought, the Oracle has come up with three
} distinct possiblities:
}
} 1) Flame the loser back, displaying your full wit, charm, intelligence
} and perpiscacity.  If the insane person in question is at all typical,
} (s)he will reply with the classic stinger: "fuck you, asshole."
}
} 2) Write back a long, well-reasoned, intelligent letter detailing why
} the person's argument falls apart in every standard used for rational
} discourse.  The recipient will undoubtedly savor every word of your
} brilliant letter and reply with "fuck you, asshole."
}
} 3) Save the letter to /dev/null, pat yourself on the back for being
} such a clever little net.weenie, and drink a congratulatory beer.
}
} You owe The Oracle a six pack of Rolling Rock.


223-02    (25633 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: MZINTL@vmsd.oac.uci.edu

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

> Why do fortunes from fortune cookies always seem to make more
> sense if the phrase "in bed" is added to the end?
>
> signed,
> Dong Tu Long

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You are getting very, very sleepy.
} Your eyes are getting very very heavy.
} On second thought, you are going to keep your eyes
} open, just enough so that you can read this message.
} Waves of comfort are surronding you, like a warm, soft bubble bath.
} You will not moan "Calgon, take me away," for that might be embarrasing
} enough to wake you up.
} You will believe everything I say.
} You want to go to bed.
} Nothing makes sense unless it is done in bed.
} Everything is fine in bed.
} You will shave your pubic hair, as a sign of devotion to the oracle.
} You will obey the oracle in all things.
} Rhubarb is a plant.
} The next time you eat a fortune cookie, you will have an overwhelming
} urge to get into a bed with it.
} Fortune cookies are sexy.
} You will give the oracle your solemn vow to keep this a secret.
} When you are finished reading this message, you will delete all the
} evidence.
} You will buy chinese food, find it extremely attractive, and go to bed
} with it.
} You are an eggroll.
}
} Dear Dong:
}       I haven't the slightest idea where you get these kinky notions
} about fortune cookies.  If you aren't careful, you will next be
} believing that you are an eggroll.
}       I suggest you be careful in the future.


223-03    (33562 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> My roommate and I got into a terrible argument and
> we were forced to divide our room in half.
>
> Fortunately, I got the bottom.
>
> He keeps throwing stuff on my half, and it does no
> good for me to throw it back at him.  What should
> I do?  I've considered helium balloons, but where do
> I get the helium?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmmm....  you have an odd situation, indeed!  It appears that both you
} and your roommate need to take a course in quantum physics desperately.
}
} You were foolish to get the lower half of the room...  because by
} Bubba's uncertainty principle, you will fail out of college, and life
} due to this one simple fact.
}
} Think about, silly rabbit.  All you must do is build a loft-type device
} that covers the entire room.  You will have blocked the only exit from
} the room (the door, that is) and thus will force your roommate to jump
} for his life and perish in that horrid 8-foot drop.  This, of course,
} assumes that your dorm room has a 4-foot-high door.
}
} You owe the oracle 26 sets of hinges for ceiling doors.


223-04    (55450 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> What happens when a military superpower with the ability to destroy
> half the globe is governed by a political anarchy with the inability
> to provide food for the mobs of starving raving people throughout the
> cold winter?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This is just one of those "gee, what if, no one that we know" kinda
} questions, right?  Right.  Good.
}
} Presumably, at some point, said Global Superpower will notice that
} having mobs of starving raving people, winter, summer, or otherwise,
} ruins the view and causes new elections and stuff like that, so
} will decide to Deal With The Problem.
}
} Now, as part of the statement of problem, the Superpower has ability to
} destroy half the globe, presumably with nuclear weapons (the Oracle has
} a difficult time imaging a Superpower destroying half the globe merely
} with raving people, or even a very, very cold winter).  The question
} then becomes who the nuclear weapons are to be used on.  This is
} a tricky one, because the options are:
}
} 1. Use them on the starving raving people, which solves the food supply
}    problem but is hell on property values, or
}
} 2. Use them on the other Global Superpowers that have food, the
}    problem being that the other Global Superpowers tend to also have
}    nuclear weapons, and they store both grain and missiles in silos,
}    and you need to be VERY VERY sure that you get the right kind.
}    This can be difficult if you don't speak the language very well.
}
} In either event, the result is either complete collapse of the country
} under question, or a global thermonuclear war, followed by the complete
} collapse of the county in question.  Good thing it can't happen here.
}
} You owe the Oracle a fall-out shelter, preferrably stocked with Dove
} Bars.


223-05    (31834 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: sci34hub!eng3!eng3!felton@uunet.uu.net

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

> If there are 52 weeks in a year, and 7 days in a week, why are there 365
> days in a year?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Originally, a year had 12 months with 30 days in each, 12 x 30 = 360,
} as invented by the Babylonians. Very convenient, no counting on your
} knuckles, and the calendars with scantily-clad incarnations of the
} fertility goddess (named Minimumbra) were easy to manufacture. However,
} as the Babylonians grew up to Adolescentlonians, they found out that
} with shorter months they could have more variety in those delightful
} illustrations. After a brief period with 72 5-day months, a system
} which collapsed as no-one could tell one month from another, and also
} because thier Time Managers got very confusing, they went back to
} 12 x 30. This system prevailed for quite a while, until people began to
} notice how Christmas was occuring surprisingly close to Midsummer.
} About this time, Christianity procalimed that "As the Lord created
} Heaven and Earth on six days, and rested on the seventh, so shalt thou
} work thy bum off for six consecutive days, and on the evening of the
} sixth day shalt thou drink thy wine in excess, carouse and frolic
} with thy neighbor's servant maids, whereas on the morning of the seventh
} day shalt thou have in thy head tremendous pain and repent thy sins of
} the previous night, go and confess at our Holy Church, pay a fair
} deal of thy humble income to the very same Church, and on the next
} day shalt thou again work on the fields, and so on and so on until
} thou snuffeth it." This had raised the concept of THE WEEK. And as
} the year obviously had to have a few days added to it, why not match
} it with this new invention. Abacii were brought forth, and after a few
} days of calculating it was decided to make a year 52 x 7 = 364 days
} long. A guy named Greg benevolently added four days to the almanac:
} Otter-Flinging Eve, Greg's Birthday Part II, Thirty-Fourth of Octember
} and The Great Hang-Over Recovery Day. All was well for a couple of
} years, but then some astronomy buff claimed that the sun circles the
} earth every 365.23 days, and that's what a year REALLY should be.
} So, another 1.23 days were added at the beginning of the year and named
} Zeroeth of January (Reserve Day) and Quarterday Extramorning.
} The latter, however, was removed due to severe cases of time-lag,
} bunched up and slung in every fourth year or so.
}
} You owe the Oracle the 1991 Gary Larson Calendar.


223-06    (17731 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: MZINTL@vmsd.oac.uci.edu

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

>     Why is it that I can't find a date.....ever?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}    First of all, lose those pimples next to "date"; pimples really gross
} out the Oracle.  Also, make sure you wash behind that question mark
} before you go to bed; we can smell it from here.
}    Obviously, you are intelligent enough to deserve a date of your own
} calibre.  Lesser beings ask this question in alt.romance and alt.sex,
} places where the Oracle *never* needs to go.  Besides, we have been
} watching you in the snack shop, and you have no talent for the
} suggestions they gave you last month.  Go back to the Senor Wences
} impression, but get a beter pen for drawing on your hand.  That way, it
} won't smear on your privates later in the night.
}
}    If you think about it from a global view, you will realize why you
} can't get a date, ever:  the Oracle has them all.  Why should a girl
} wait around for you to get up the courage to read her phone number out
} of her notebook, when the world's perfect computer nerd, /etc/bin/moi,
} can give her all the cycles she could ask for.  The Oracle can show her
} the world (except for Australia, which has cut the Oracles news feed.
} We are not amused.  By the way, all in-city phone calls for Melbourne
} are inexplicably getting rerouted to the bad neighborhoods of Tunis).
} The Oracle can stay up all night swapping bytes, push and pop at any
} speed up to 66 Mhz, and blow her files right into the next domain.  We
} can do this for up to 2**32 deserving women in parallel with distributed
} servers and still maintain full system integrity.  We are easy to
} understand, and have on-line help documentation for any communication
} problems.
}
}    This is the 90's, and you will have to face two realities:  at the
} end of your four years, there will be no job for you that will cover gas
} money and property taxes; and there are no decent women left for you.
}    Lower your standards.
}
}    You owe the oracle a centerfold of Rosanna Arquette in GIF format.


223-07    (22663 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Oz

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

> What happened to Gilligan's Island?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It is a little known fact that Gilligan's Island has had a long and
} illustrious history since the seven castaways departed in the sixties.
}
} in 1973, Irwin Allen sold the property to Aaron Spelling, in return for
} future rights to Cheryl Ladd and portions of Farah Fawcett's anatomy
} that remain undisclosed to this day.  Spelling hired the Club Med
} developers to overhaul the island, and reopened it as Fantasy Island.
} After Mr. Rourke closed the island due to the increasing risk of STDs
} (greatly as a result of the bizarre nature of some of the fantasies,
} especially the ones with Tattoo and Rich Corinthian leather), the
} buildings were sold to Donald Trump for his never-completed "Trump
} Island" project, canceled due to funding problems during his shoot-out
} with Merv Griffen.
}
} The castaways returned to the island during this period, where they
} spent several years until they were again rescued in 1989.  Since then,
} it has served as a stop-off point for Asian drug smugglers, although it
} is rumored that it will soon be used for a Chinese nuclear test.
}
} As to the castaways:
}
} Gilligan is now running for Senator from Hawaii on the Republican
} ticket.  His slogan is "Vote for me, I'm even dumber than Dan Quayle"
}
} The Skipper is working for Exxon as Director of Tanker operations.  His
} last major achievement was telling the Valdez to "just hang a right".
}
} The Howells lost it all during the market crash.  They can now be found
} trying to bum bottles of imported champagne outside Yale home games.
}
} The Professor is working for Los Alamos National Labs on strategic
} applications of uranium-enriched coconut shells.
}
} Mary Ann decided to take advantage of her wholesome image, and enrolled
} in the Sally Fields School of clean-cut parts.
}
} Ginger Grant has formed a new actresses' organization with Bo Derek and
} Pia Zadora:  BOOBS (Blonds Organized to Oversee Blatant Sexism).  Their
} slogan:  "We're blonds.  We don't act.  We don't have to."
}
} You owe the oracle some french-fried couch potatoes.


223-08    (14266 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: MZINTL@vmsd.oac.uci.edu

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

> Oh great an omnipotent Oracle, capable of solving even NP-complete
> problems in constant time, answer me this:
>
> You know when you're watching the news on TV, and you see the cables
> going into the anchorperson's ear?  What does that do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It keeps the anchorperson inflated to the proper pressure and saves
} the Networks the embarrasment of showing a crinkled newsballoon. Except
} for Dan Rather. He's a self-inflating model, and needs the cable to
} drain off his excess hot air.


223-09    (41446 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Oz

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

> do Russians celebrate thanksgiving?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} And here we are, coming at you LIVE from the streets of Moscow, in the
} yoo ess ess aargh, to answer the age-old question, "Do Russians
} celebrate Thanksgiving?"
}
} "Excuse me, Sir.  Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?"
} "What's Thanksgiving?"
} "I see."
}
} "How about you, Madam?  Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?"
} "Well, if there was any food in the shops to be thankful for, I might
}  consider it.  But Mista Gorbachev's Perestroikering is not putting the
}  food into the mouths of my thirty-seven children, so what is there to
}  give thanks to?"
} "Thank you, Madam, for your time."
}
} "How about you, Sir.  Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?"
} "What's with the camera and sound equipment?  Are you a KGB agent?"
} "No, Sir, I am not."
} "In that case, I celebrate Thanksgiving: I give thanks to my lucky stars
}  that you are not the KGB."
} "Thank you, Sir, for your time."
}
} "Excuse me, Sir.  Sir?  SIR?!"
}
} "Excuse me, Sir.  Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?"
} "Why, of course I do!"
} "And why do you celebrate Thanksgiving?"
} "Because I live in Boston.  I'm on vacation in Russia."
} "I see.  Thank you for speaking with us."
} "Could I just say 'Hi' to my Aunt Hilda in New Jersey?"
} "Yes, sure."
} "Hi there, Aunt Hilda.  Look, I'm sorry I couldn't give you the money to
}  buy that turkey, but I sort of ---"
}
} "Excuse me, Madam.  Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?"
} "Who are you, to go around with a camera asking strange questions to
}  strangers? Go away, before I get angry."
} "But...."
} "Go away!"
} "I see."
}
} "Excuse me, Sir.  Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?"
} "What, that American holiday that falls on a Thursday in November, that
}  is celebrated by pigging out on turkey and lots of other foods, that
}  celebrates the landing of the Pilgrims?"
} "Yes, Sir."
} "Well, I ain't heard of it."
} "Thank you, Sir."
}
} "Psst."
} "Who, me?"
} "Yes."
} "What do you want?"
} "Who was that gentleman who spoke to you just now?"
} "I don't know.  Just a passerby."
} "We believe he's an enemy agent.  I'm from the KGB, and we're
}  confiscating your film."
} "Oh no, you're not."
} "Yes, we ---"
}
} "I'm sorry about the blood.  I hope you can clean it off when you get
}  the equipment home.  Oh, you can't?  Really?  Oh, well.  Anyway, this
}  is the Oracle Outdoor Broadcast Unit, coming at you LIVE from Moscow,
}  signing off."
}
} And thank you, from Dan Oracle in Moscow.  Do Russians celebrate
} Thanksgiving?  Well, the results of the poll suggest that they probably
} don't, seeing it's an American holiday.  Anyway, we'll be right back
} after this word from our sponsor....
}
} You owe the Oracle a turkey, and a book about the Pilgrims.


223-10    (07453 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> O, most omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnimagazine
> Oracle:
>
> If I go to Heaven when I die, will I be able to get
> Usenet access?  What about Purgatory?  Is it true that
> in Hell you can only get an account on an IBM System 360?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As with all mere mortals, you have no concept of the true nature
} of the afterlife. You operate under false assumptions.
}
} Heaven, Hell and Purgatory are not places you "go" when you die.
} It's more like a LAN (to put it into terms that your mind may
} at least feebly understand; the reality is much more complex).
} In your mortal life you must strive to convince the sysadmins
} of the afterlife to grant you execute access, later read access,
} still later write permission, and finally limited root privileges.
} This is accomplished through the various activities in your life,
} and apply to the multitude of systems on the LAN. Putting on your
} deodorant, a minor sacrament for instance, gets you a login on an
} additional system. Brown-nosing your boss, a major sacrament, might earn
} you write access to the Hack save file directory on a small system.
} Perhaps you now have a glimpse of why your daily life seems so boring
} and repetitious.
}
} In a sense you stumbled onto a cosmic truth in your question; but
} the point is not that you only get accounts on a 360 in Hell. Rather,
} Hell IS an IBM 360 (with plans to upgrade soon to an 8086-based
} windowing system, once funding is in place), whose sysadmin is known
} as BIFF. Purgatory corresponds in very vague mortal terms to a device
} hooked only to /dev/null, with a sysadmin named Minas. Heaven is
} naturally a CRAY Z-MP (we get prereleases of EVERYthing here), and
} only modesty prevents me from revealing the identity of its sysadmin.
}
} It has never been the intention of the  Powers Who Be that Heaven
} should remain at the top of the heap. Several prototype systems
} are in the works. I know of an AI-based system named Cate0, and
} a massive-parallel one named Cantorset_Cube, but both have a
} significant number of bugs and aren't expected to be in full
} production mode for a millenium or two. So for the time being, Heaven
} remains the place to be, although there are plenty of nice client
} systems that share fileservers with Heaven so that it's not necessary
} to be logged in there all the time.
}
} As to USENET, again your question borders on the irrelevant, not to
} mention irreverent and iridescent.  USENET is available throughout the
} After-LAN.  It's just that the Hell system is always so short of disk
} space (there being so many more users there than anywhere else) that
} your .newsrc file gets trashed every second time you access the news
} reader.  So, I recommend you keep your write-access on the Heaven system
} up to date, so that this doesn't happen to you.
}
} You owe the Oracle an account on your system.


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