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Internet Oracularities #260

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Usenet Oracularities #260    (12 votes, 2.9 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 91 09:32:30 -0500

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260   12 votes 43221 16122 11352 12423 03603 27300 11370 21234 23511 51411
260   2.9 mean  2.4   2.8   3.5   3.3   3.2   2.1   3.3   3.5   2.7   2.3


260-01    (43221 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: jonmon@cadence.com

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

> We've heard of postal letters that were mailed and didn't make it to
> their destination until years later.  Can you tell me about the record-
> setting Internet/Usenet/Milnet/Hairnet/Safetynet e-mail letter?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It's still in transit, and so the Oracle would prefer to keep the names
} of sender and recipient confidential.  It was sent over the old ARPAnet
} in 1981 and held on an intermediate machine because the delivery site
} was down.  Then a backup was done on the intermediate machine, which
} promptly crashed.  In the restore, the operator never read the last
} volume of the 1600bpi 2400' magtapes that contained the dump.  This
} contained little apart from the queued mail messages.
}
} Well, the tape's been mislaid.  In 1993, someone will find it in a
} disused office, read it on a creaky old drive just for jollies, find
} that it contains a number of queued mail messages, and dutifully send
} them on.  the message in question is (by several hours) the oldest of
} those.  It will go to its destination site, from which a forwarding
} address will send it elsewhere, from which another forwarding address
} will send it yet elsewhere.  The recipient is a prominent computer
} scientist, who will be quite amazed to get the mail message, because
} the sender is even now already dead.  So we're talking about 12 years
} and some months of delay.
}
} You see that such happenings are and will continue to be rare.  Usually
} mail is simply lost.
}
} You owe the Oracle a loving wife.  It's so lonesome!


260-02    (16122 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: sci34hub!eng3!eng3!felton@uunet.uu.net

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

> From:    VMail User
> who am i?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmm...I don't know offhand.  Let me see what I can find in here...
}
} FROM THE FILES OF INTERNET IGGY, MASTER DETECTIVE
} ---- --- ----- -- -------- ----  ------ ---------
} I was sitting in my office.  Alone.  It was as quiet as a shadow in an
} empty library.  Suddenly SHE glided in, like a paper airplane on a
} windless day.  Her figure was as curvy as an automobile test track.  My
} jaw dropped in awe.  "Who am I?" she asked.  Now, not every dame has a
} question like that.  I reached for my notepad to jot down whatever
} information (and anything else) she had to give me.  "PLEASE tell me,"
} she begged, leaning in closer.  Our faces came as close together as the
} bread in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
}
} [Juicy parts removed. --Oracle]
}
} When we were done, she sat up in bed and reached into her purse,
} searching for a cigarette.  A short note fell out.  I picked it up and
} read it.  Its meaning was as clear as bat guano at night:
}
} "From: VMail User
}  To: The Oracle
}
}  How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"
}
}
} [This isn't going anywhere.  Let's see what else I can find.  --Oracle]
}
} THE MEANING OF LIFE (VOLUME I) BY BITNET BOB, PHILOSOPHER
} --- ------- -- ---- ---------- -- ------ ---  -----------
}
} Before we discuss the Meaning of Life, we must discuss Life itself.  In
} the middle of the Circle of Existence is Man.  Thus, we must ask
} ourselves, "Who am I?"  This is a provoking question.  Who am I?  Who
} are any of us?  Am I merely a name attached to a slab of flesh or do I
} represent a higher form of Life?  Am I even here?  If I am not, do I not
} think?  What does thinking mean?  Who thinks?  If I think, am I who?  If
} not, who does?  Is my existence dependent on the being of others or am I
} an independent mass?  Somebody is not he who is I if who I am is not who
} Man is not, is he?  Who would I be if a tree fell on me in a forest?  In
} fact, would I be, and if so, who?  Given two people, neither of whom is
} in a lifeboat with a shortage of food, which should cease to exist, and
} did he ever exist?  These questions bring us to the Meaning of Life,
} which should be obvious by now....
}
} [Of course!  Of course!  I don't need to read any further.  --Oracle]
}
} I've figured out who you are!  You are Everyman.  You represent all
} mankind.  I am honored and humbled by your presence.
}
}
} You owe the Oracle your autograph.


260-03    (11352 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: The Great Squid

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

> When will pigs fly, I need to know when I'll be going on my date with
> Suzy.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Suzy sure is a smart girl, if she said that to you.  But you're in luck.
} On June 17, 1992, on a farm on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a litter of
} pigs will be born.  Due to repeated Iraqi attacks, a pregnant sow will
} be exposed to gene-altering chemicals, and her litter will be changed.
} These will be the first of the new species porcus aerialus.  These new
} porkers will resemble tremendously large dragon flies, and will be able
} to fly for short distances, in search of nearby corn fields to ravage,
} or large mud puddles to wallow in.
}
} So, you have little more than a year to wait before you can go on a date
} with your beloved Suzy.
}
} You owe the Oracle a pound of pigs wings, when they hit the market.


260-04    (12423 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: MZINTL@vmsd.oac.uci.edu

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

> Truly magnificent Oracle, please tell me what all this white stuff is
> falliom the sky.  Why is it cold?  What are those children making with
> it?  What are those things on the end of women's breasts that get hard
> after being in the outdoors?  Are they edible?
>
>      -Jimmy Vandermukk, age 4

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, finally a question from the younger segment of the population!
} (Although, I myself have had some questions about the mental age of some
} of My correspondents...)
}
} Anyway, to answer your question, Jimmy, that white stuff falling from
} the sky is nuclear fallout!  Yes, it little parts of radioactive debris
} from a nuclear detonation close to the ground!  Isn't that exciting!
} Don't touch it, though, cause it's very dangerous!  Those children are
} making "fallout"-men with it, and probably "fallout"-balls.  But these
} children won't be having kids of their own, most likely.  Also, watch
} these children well, because they will start developing strange and
} unusual things all over their bodies!  This is called mutation.  It can
} happen much more to young children, still growing, when they are exposed
} to fall-out.  It is cold because of a thing called "nuclear winter."
} This is different from normal winter, because it will probably get very
} dark and hard to breathe.  Can you say "oxygen mask," Jimmy?  How about
} "extinction?"
}
} The Oracle would love to tell you what those things on the end of
} women's breasts are, Jimmy, but you're just too young.  Let's just say
} that a lot of men spend their life trying to taste them.  (Some women,
} too, but that's a story for a later time...)
}
} Jimmy, you owe the Oracle the lovely green papers and plastic cards that
} say things like "Visa" or "Mastercard" or "American Express."


260-05    (03603 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: MZINTL@vmsd.oac.uci.edu

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

> O Oracle, whose lumbar vertebrae never ache,
>
>    Would the weekend after next be a good time to head South?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Seeker of wisdom and weather reports--
}       Consider.  It is nearly February, and we Northerners are just
} about due for the worst month of weather in the entire calender year.
} The oracle HIGHLY recommends any kind of road trip to lands sunnier,
} happier, and drunker than our own (although this third stipulation may
} be difficult to find).  However, the oracle does have strong opninions
} on where in the South to visit.
}       Let's start in the United States...
} The Blue-Ridge Mts.--This is a part of the world where certain people
} are, through legal technicalities and in-breeding, their own
} grandparents.  The oracle recommends staying away from here unless you
} have a penchant for crumpled, stained Playboy magazines and Beverly
} Hillbillies re-runs.
}
} Anywhere along the Southeastern coast--You're talking one of the most
} gorgeous places on the face of the earth.  Watching the sun rise over
} the South Carolina coast is among the most deeply moving of the
} oracle's memories.  Of course, the oracle personally has known females
} to return from such places with other people's chromosomes in their
} bodies (nudge, nudge...).
}
} New Orleans--Sultry nights and steaming cool jazz.  This is the
} oracle's idea of a vacation.  Even the food is sensual.
}
} Alabama--See "Blue-Ridge Mts."  Much of the same applies.
}
} Texas--This is where "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" took place.  Chew
} on that.
}
} Tennesee, Mississippi, Kentucky--Nice, but they have that funny
} accent.  The oracle finds particularly annoyance in the way they say
} "Opry" instead of "Opera."  Also, some people in this areaa think they
} can make Italian food.  As this particular writer is of that heritage,
} he can attest to the fact that they can't tell prosciutto from
} provolone.
}
} Graceland--Elvis, contrary to popular belief, is dead.  Very dead.
} Anyone who believes the National Enquirer article that he's living in
} seclusion among the Pueblo Indians should be sent out on a solo
} mission to rescue Gilligan, the Skipper, the millionaire and his wife,
} the  movie star, the professor, and Mary Ann.  Besides, the oracle has
} strong aversions for greasy hair and weepy middle-aged women.
}
} Niagra, Canada--Now here's a spectacular place.  Strip joints like you
} wouldn't believe and the legal drinking age is only 19.  So, if you're
} looking for...(oops, sorry.  The oracle started onto one of his
} phallic tangents.  It won't happen again. Well, it won't happen again
} in Canada).
}
} MEXICO (esp. Tiajuana, or is it Marijuana?)--Mexico, where the
} prostitutes are ever-affordable and the tequila floweth freely all day
} long.  If the oracle were headed South, this is where he'd be.  The
} oracle has a place in his heart for tequila.  But then again, he also
} has a hole in his liver due to it...
}
} Other Latin American countries--they make Mexico look like the epitome
} of well-being and civilization.  Don't even bother.
}
} And for the finale...
} if by "South" you mean: way the hell out of anyone's reach, they can't
} get me by television, telephone, fax, even the Pony Express can't come
} close.
} Well, then there's the South Pacific.  The oracle himself has never
} seen this place, but from the looks of all the women in Gaugin's
} paintings, it would appear very inviting.  The oracle once had a
} homosexual physics teacher who would frequently take off for Tahiti.
} (This IS the truth).  I imagine that these lovers must have found it a
} stimulating and erotic environment.
}
} You owe the Oracle: A bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila, the AAA triptiks
} for: Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Tennesee, and Louisiana, a
} National Geographic article on the Mezcal worm, and a copy of _The
} Accidental Tourist_ by Ayn Rand.


260-06    (27300 dist, 2.1 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> Oh almighty and confusing Oracle,
> I'm one of your incarnations and just don't know how  to deal with
> this one question.
> Can you help me ?
>
> > We've heard of postal letters that were mailed and didn't make it to
> > their destination until years later. Can you tell me about the record-
> > setting Internet/Usenet/Milnet/Hairnet/Safetynet e-mail letter?
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Joe the Unbelievable,
> Oracle Incarnation, stbret.
>                     ^^^^^^ soon to be retired.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hum, a tricky one! This is very unusual that an Oracle Incarnation has
} trouble to answer one question. My guess is, as the oracle is
} omniscient, that the current incarnation didn't answer on purpose.
}
} First of all, let me explain for you mortals how the oracular
} incarnation stuff work. At the begining the Oracle was infinitely wise
} and had an infinite knowledge but couldn't speak to humans, mostly
} because they wear digital watch and partly because he didn't have a
} direct phone line to earth. So the great Oracle created Steve Kinzler,
} wich looks like a Human but was made of a i386 chip. This first
} incarnation of the oracle did a lot of good job but, eventually the
} silly humans where asking more and more silly questions so he had to
} fork() himself. At first Steve wanted to call these incarnations
} Kinz/885120/ but he though it would be more fun to give them human names
} and exec() process that simulate human life. One of these incarnation is
} now known as Lisa. In fact this is the first and only oracle failure,
} because Lisa never managed to answer correctly a question for the
} oracle, so the oracle decided that he will not fork() himself into a
} female any more.
}
} Now to come back to your question : if the last oracular incarnation
} didn't answer it I certainly shoudn't do it. There are things that we,
} oracle incarnation, are not allowed to reveal. The answer to your
} question is printed in a book called "The secret and sexual life of
} electronic mail" wich is classified and shall not be delivered to human
} before 2023. But it is possible that you find some clue to your question
} in a book called "The best Dan Quayle jokes" by  Dan Rather.
}
} You don't owe the oracle anything. Oracular courtesy. But a Ninja-Turtle
} T-shirt would be greatly appreciated.


260-07    (11370 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: jhm@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Were the corners of his
> mouth turned upwards more than they usually were?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes, but not for the reasons which you assume.  He was just barely
} able to suppress a grin after he realized that his coyness routine
} was beginning to pay off.  At that instance he knew he could have
} you anytime, anywhere.  It was obvious that you're hooked. Now
} he's just biding his time, making you sweat it out before he feeds
} you a little more attention, secure in the knowledge that he can use
} and abuse you on a whim.  He's played it just like the scouting
} report from the SMS (Secret Male Society) said to and now you're his.
} Since the SMS reports started coming out, your kind are falling like
} Christmas tree needles in February.  If I remember correctly, your
} report was particularly detailed, especially the part about your...
}
} Message from casanova@misogyny.sms.org at 16:17...
} Hey Oracle!  Have you forgotten that vow of secrecy
} you made!  Wouldn't it be a shame if Lisa found out
} all about the reports YOU'VE been getting???...
} EOF
}
} <Gulp>... On second though, I was wrong.  He loves you.
}
} Gotta Go. Bye.
}
}
} You owe the Oracle a mood ring.  (A real one, no dime-store phony.)


260-08    (21234 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: well!well!ewhac@apple.com (Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab)

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

> TELL ME, OH WISE ONE, HOW TO ACHIEVE GREATNESS.
>
>                                        RESPECTFULLY YOURS,
>
>                                             POND SCUM

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Use lower case.


260-09    (23511 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: well!well!ewhac@apple.com (Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab)

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

>                   Oh Oracle
>         (Sung to the tune "O Tanenbaum")
>
> Oh Oracle, oh Oracle, how lovely are your synapses;
> Oh Oracle, oh Oracle, how infrequent are your lapses;
>
>         Your wisdom and omniscience
>                are more than just coincidence;
>
> Oh Oracle, oh Oracle, how enlightening are your answers.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oracles, you will often find,
} Often will spend their time
} Writing the answers
} To poetic free-lancers
} Who have no conception of rhyme.
}
} Actually, I'm quite flattered... Few people take the time to thank
} the Oracle for the time and effort he puts in to these answers.
} A song like that can really lift the spirits of a dicouraged
} Oracle.
}
} You owe the Oracle another verse.


260-10    (51411 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: jonmon@cadence.com

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

> Is the human body a phallic symbol?
>
> [forwarded by His Reticence, The Blue Moon Cafe Underoracle]

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle starts by pointing out that "phallic symbol" can be
} rearranged to spell "phallocy sblim," a truncated form of "phallocy
} sblim'nal," which is a corruption, through the use of pidgin Schweitzer
} Deutsch, of "fallacy subliminal." This, in itself, is proof enough that
} you have been possessed by the ghost of Sigmund Freud, who is delivering
} to you subliminal messages about the human body being a phallic symbol.
} These messages are, as is indicated by both the phrase "phallocy sblim"
} and the pidgin Schweitzer-Deutsch proverb "Keine Sheep ist fuer dem
} Heart gut!" ("He who wishes wisdom should consult the wise, all-knowing
} Oracle at once!"), completely fallacious.
}
} However, the oracle suspects you want further proof.  Consider the
} following proposition:
}
} P: The human body is a phallic symbol.
}
} Following from the Schweitzer-Deutsch Handbook of Applied Mathematics
} (S.H.A.M), theorem 2962.7 corollary three, we have:
}
} Q: The petunias growing on the porch have been carefully watered today.
}
} which seems to be a logical conclusion.  However, we also have from
} axiom 647423.5, paragraph 7 subsection a (S.H.A.M), that "If Q follows
} from P as per theorems 2947.2 - 3017.6a, then (P and Q) implies that the
} asserter of proposition P (a) is not possessed by Sigmund Freud, and (b)
} will never turn to the Oracle for help."
}
} And since the Oracle carefully watered the petunias on the porch for
} Lisa today, you personally cannot assert P without implying that (a) and
} (b) are true.  But (a) and (b) are both false, with the direct
} consequences being that your assertion of P would cause the entire
} modern mathematical system to fall apart, ultimately causing the
} universe to collapse in on itself and/or dissolve no later than a week
} from Thursday.
}
} Thus, it is proven that the human body is not a phallic symbol.
}
} You owe the Oracle an explanation of where you got the title
} "underoracle," a new Schweitzer Deutsch-English dictionary, and a
} watering can for Lisa's petunias on the porch.


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