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Internet Oracularities #309

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309, 309-01, 309-02, 309-03, 309-04, 309-05, 309-06, 309-07, 309-08, 309-09, 309-10


Usenet Oracularities #309    (18 votes, 2.9 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 May 91 18:58:25 -0500

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309   18 votes 5a120 05850 45540 22941 25164 15624 24930 01791 07920 16713
309   2.9 mean  2.0   3.0   2.5   3.0   3.3   3.2   2.7   3.6   2.7   2.9


309-01    (5a120 dist, 2.0 mean)
Selected-By: Russell S Porter <porter@brahms.udel.edu>

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

> If three men all have equal amounts of money, and they go to a bar and
> order drinks, and if each drink costs 2 dollars, and if the bartender
> is Spanish, and if the Fed lowers the prime lending rate half a
> percent, and if Jesse Jackson announces his 92 campaign, and if each
> man knows only two others at the bar, and if the Atlanta Braves stay
> in first place, and if the bar runs out of swizzle sticks, and if
> nothing else happens, THEN WHAT???

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Then the Seattle Mariners will win the world series.


309-02    (05850 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: well!well!ewhac@apple.com (Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab)

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

> I'm bored, tell me a story.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "Tell me a story"?  "Tell me a story"?  Such a request from a mere
} mortal!  You are not even worty to touch my smallest circuit.  But a
} story...this could be interesting.
}
}                       Why the Shmanka-bank-bank is Such
}                               a Groovy Guy!
}                       by the USENET Oracle (that's me!)
}
}       The stranger stood upon the small rise overlooking the small
} vlage.  It all appeared the same.  The same at it had for centuries.
} But he had the feeling that something would happen today.  Something
} wonderful.  Something to praise.
}
}       Steve looked up from his keyboard at the person in the
} doorway.  "Whatd'ya want, dammit!?"
}       "Steve, the boss wants to see you," said the sultry voice
} belonging to the overweight secretary.  "NOW!"
}       "Yeah, yeah," Steve replied.  Same old thing as everyday.
} "The boss wants this", "the boss wants that."  Yeah, whatever.  Steve
} had his own problems.  These shitheads didn't know what the hell they
} were doing, but he did.
}
}       A little while later, his boss entered, turned on the lights,
} and looked behind the door.
}       "Steve.  I want to know what the hell is going on.  Your
} current process, this AnswerQuestion, is just taking too much damn
} processor power.  You're going to have to shut it down.  And what about
} the molecular modeling lab I had you working on?"
}       Oh great.  Here it goes again.  "Look Mr. Shmanka-bank-bank, I
} don't need your shit.  The lab is done.  I promise.  Really.  Look
} here's a picture of some output."  Steve scrounged around in his
} latest issue of Chemistry Today (hey, it's free!), and found a
} picture.  "Here.  How's that?"
}       Mr. Shmanka-bank-bank took the photo.  "Hmmm.  Looks kinda
} like the output Mike down the hall gave me.  In any case, keep working
} on it, and shut down AnswerQuestion!"  The boss guy stormed out.
}       Steve slinked down the hall, staying against the walls and in
} the shadows.  He ducked into Mike's office, turned on the lights, and
} looked behind the door.
}       "Mike.  Look, I got this great program I'm working on.  It's
} called AnswerQuestion, and it's the greatest thing since vi."
}       Mike grabbed his vi puke bucket and ralphed away.  After he
} recovered, he looked up and said, "That good, eh?"
}       "Yeah.  It's great.  But it's pretty CPU intensive, and the
} boss man wants it shut down.  Besides I'm supposed to be working on a
} molecular modeling program."
}       "You too?" Mike replied. "We've been working on that for the
} past 6.2462 years.  Just show him a picture out of Chemistry Today.
} You get a free subscription."
}       "I did.  I think he might be catching on."
}       "Great.  Now what are WE supposed to do."
}       "Look Mike, I don't care.  But I want to keep AnswerQuestion
} running.  It's the greatest thing since VMS!"
}       Mike grabbed a bucket with no writing on it.  He quickly
} scribbled "VMS Puke Bucket" on a PostIt note and stuck it on the
} bucket.  "Just till I can get something more permenant," he said.  He
} then proceeded to manufacture copious amounts of Technicolor belches.
}       Upon completion, he said, "Look Stever, just rename the
} process.  Name it something like Q&A, or maybe, maybe Oracle!  Yeah,
} that just might work!  Besides, there's already a commercial product
} under that name."
}       "Thanks Mike!  That's a great idea!"  Steve ran down the hall
} back to his little hovel.  He sat in his old duct-taped repaired
} chair.  He felt the tape stick to the patches of hair on his scrawny
} legs, and he sighed with comfort.
}
}       And THAT is how I got my name.  I know, I know, it has little
} to do with the title, but that's ok.  I mean, I'm the Oracle, dammit!
}
} (Hey Steve, no offense.  No, hey, don't touch that!  Don't tou..


309-03    (45540 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> Oh, most wise oracle....how can I banish SPICE from this world so my
> life would be simpler?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Banish SPICE from the world? Why would you want to? I mean, SPICE is
} the variety in life, or so they say. I happen to be rather found of
} SPICE myself! Nothing like a good dash of garlic in the old pasta to
} heat it up a bit!
}
} Still, you asked how you might be able to banish it. Technically, you
} can't. Mostly because there are so many SPICEs in the world today, most
} of which are naturally occuring. To banish all the SPICE in the world
} would require the all out destruction of many plants and we know the
} Eco-Nuts won't go for that. No, at best, you can attempt to banish
} SPICE from your own life.
}
} To do so, first round up all the SPICE in your kitchen and throw it all
} away. Then buy only food you know will taste like wet cardboard that
} has been nuked repeatedly until it was approved for use on humans.
} Quite often these products go by names such as "The Poor Man's Buffet"
} in an attempt to make you feel that, although you are broke and can't
} afford real food, you've at least got some class. To be certain that no
} SPICE enters your life you should be certain to double check all of the
} labels on all products you buy and avoid anything that even hints at
} being a SPICE. MSG, by the way, could almost be considered a SPICE, but
} is generally looked down apon by the TRUE SPICEs in the world. Lastly,
} never eat out at any resturaunts again as you never know if the cook
} has spit in the house dressing, let alone put any SPICEs into your
} food.
}
} If you follow the above guidelines, you will find that life has become
} one major pain in the tuckas. So as you can no-doubt see, banishing
} SPICE from your life won't make it easier, but actually more of a
} problem. I suggest you go into counseling to try and overcome your
} hostility to cooking seasonings.
}
} You owe the Oracle a spaghetti dinner with heavy garlic and a breath
} mint.


309-04    (22941 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> O `egrep know|wise|wisd /usr/dict/words` Oracle!
>
>       Is there a god?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} If there's one thing I _can't_ stand, it's syntax errors.
} In addition to always checking your spelling, you must check your
} command syntax.  In the future, please use this:
} egrep "(know|wise|wisd)" /usr/dict/words
}
} Let's see what happens when we do this:
} oracleCray# egrep "(know|wise|wisd)" /usr/dict/words | colm
} acknowledge      knoweth          nowise           wisdom
} acknowledgeable  knowhow          otherwise        wise
} bitwise          knowledge        pairwise         wiseacre
} clockwise        knowledgeable    piecewise        wisecrack
} counterclockwise known            sidewise         wisenheimer
} crosswise        lengthwise       stepwise
} edgewise         likewise         unbeknownst
} know             marketwise       widthwise
} oracleCray#
}
} Hmmm... "O lengthwise Oracle!"  "O stepwise Oracle!"
} "O wisenheimer Oracle!"  If I weren't in such a good mood, I'd
} hurl a 50,000 volt lighting strike at your pet walrus.
}
} Another thing I can't stand is a vague questions.  "Is there a god?"
} Of _course_ there is _A_ god!  There are lots of gods:
}
} Some monowordiatics:
}
} oracleCray# egrep god /usr/dict/words | colm
} demigod   god       godfather godkin    godmother godsend   godwit
} ergodic   goddess   godhead   godlike   godparent godson    pagoda
}
} Not to mention some polywordiatics:
}
} oracleCray# find /usr/oracle/phrases/human -exec egrep god {} \; | colm
} sex god               math god              technical support god
} love god              physics god           ohmi god
} badger god            science god           swearto god
} rap god               sales god
}
} Of course, you were probably thinking of "God", in the sense of
} something unique, powerful, and totally spiffy.  If you had asked "Is
} there a God?" the list would be different:
}
} oracleCray# egrep God /usr/dict/words | colm
} demiGod   God       Godfather Godkin    Godmother Godsend   Godwit
} erGodic   Goddess   Godhead   Godlike   Godparent Godson    paGoda
}
} oracleCray# find /usr/oracle/phrases/human -exec egrep God {} \; | colm
} sex God               math God              technical support God
} love God              physics God           ohmi God
} badger God            science God           swearto God
} rap God               sales God
}
} I hope this answers your question.
}
} You owe the Oracle a `egrep rigol /usr/dict/words`


309-05    (25164 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: mzintl@plasma.ps.uci.edu (Michael Zintl)

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

> man lisa

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} % rm -r ~supplicant/genitalia
}
} Thou shalt not grep the Oracle's private man pages, let alone his
} personal domain!
}
} You owe the Oracle 100 laps around the Acropolis.


309-06    (15624 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> Oh Secure Oracle, who needs no ass kissing from me in order to answer
> my question, how is it that I can pick my nose for hours and hours and
> still be pulling out nuggets?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Obviously there is a misconception at work here,foolish mortal. The
} Oracle you see, must be given an offering of ass kissing, otherwise he
} is freed from his pledge to give even a truthful answer. This is why
} almost nobody has gotten a serious answer from the Oracle yet. You know
} all those times I've said,"Oh,very well,foolish supplicant. I should
} turn you into a fivtoed muck wombat for not laying on the praise,but
} I'll answer you just this once." and then I've gone on to give them
} some advice which leads to them (1) looking quite silly,(2) ending up
} dead,or (3) both of the above? You think it just an ACCIDENT???! Of
} course, the times when people died have been few and far between and
} the Oracle has gotten his hand slapped for them, so I don't do it
} anymore. The last time was when I told Paris he should just elope with
} Helen of Troy (snicker.) and just look what THAT led to. And now I
} shall give you one of the same answers. Of course, it won't be proper
} at all for you to know that this is the way the Oracle really works, so
} how about if I just overwrite your memory of the last few minutes,eh?
}
} <* * * * * K A - Z A R R R R R R R R K ! ! * * * * *>
}
} There we are. Oh, hello, mortal supplicant. You know, normally I don't
} answer people who don't give praise at the beginning of their
} questions... but I really like you! You're not bad for a mortal. Now
} then, to answer your question, you can pick your nose for hours upon
} end and still keep getting nuggets, because a hyperdimensional gateway
} has been created in your skull, linking your left nostril to a vein of
} gold in California during the late 1840's. Yes, your nose is reaping
} the gold that was found in Sutter's Mill. Yes, I know that they still
} look like boogers. But that's just a layer of snot on the actual gold.
} What you have to do is start collecting these nuggets, and when you've
} got a few pounds, take it to the nearest gold exchange. It will make
} you rich beyond your wildest dreams!!! Trust me!
} [next the Oracle writes something in fine print so small that it can
} easily be mistaken for a speck of dust in the lower corner of the
} monitor] [When examined with an electron microscope five years after
} this incident, it will be discovered to have said," Oh, but be careful!
} The warp could close at any moment... and then you'd really just be
} taking boogers to the exchange  (snicker,chuckle,guffaw!)"]
}
} You owe the Oracle a green dragon. If green dragons are not available,
} you can just paint some other-colored dragon.


309-07    (24930 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: jonmon@cadence.com

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

> Why did my emacs just crash leaving me all alone and desolate?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Whoa there, little doggie!  Are you sure that it's YOUR emacs?  Have
} you noticed an increase in its usability, or friendliness lately?
} Yes?  FINALLY!  I have found my emacs!
}
} You see, it ran away, skipping across the Internet the other day.  And
} thanks to you, I have found it!
}
} Obviously, it crashed because it got homesick.  And hey, look how
} skinny he's looking!  Did you forget to feed him?!  You slimy bastard!
} Looks like I'll be calling the computer program rights activists.  I
} hope your boss LIKES having his building picketed.
}
} You owe the Oracle a picket sign bearing the phrase "Emacs's are
} people, too!"


309-08    (01791 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: The Wumpus <jim@oasis.icl.co.uk>

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

> What is the greatest invention of all time?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Far, far away in an average sized spiral galaxy there lies a small
} cluster of stars, known as the Small Boring Group of Faint Stars.
} Circling one of these suns is a world known to its inhabitants as
} 'Dirt'.  These beings, who are small, grey-orange, and have two heads
} have cultivated a technical civilisation, centred on the invention,
} production and marketing of new devices to the other worlds circling
} the other suns in the Boring Group, for which they get in exchange
} small lumps of yellow metal.
}
} All went as normally happens on these sorts of worlds.  Machines were
} invented.  Machines were sold.  More and different machines were
} invented when the novelty of the old ones wore off.  This pattern of
} events continued for some time, even though nobody could see the point
} of it all.
}
} Until the ninety-fourth day of the sixteenth year of the reign of
} Bognos the Purple-faced, seventy-fourth Emperor of the Nsmog Dynasty.
} On this day, Namrof the Inventor invented 'a most wondrous machine.'
} This machine could do anything, absolutely anything at all.  It could
} work out income tax, both actual and claimed.  It could make dark brown
} beverages with caffeine in them.  It could count to nineteen without
} resorting to the use of genital appendages.  It could forecast the
} weather.  It could play Megachess, both the board version and the
} body-contact version.  It could scarf a family-sized pizzafrisbee
} without slicing it.  In short, it could do absolutely anything at all.
}
} Namrof was well-pleased.  The machine was bound to fetch a good bounty
} from the Emperor.
}
} But all was not well.
}
} First, the patent laws of Dirt were incredibly torturous, and made it
} difficult for Namrof to specify precisely the function of the said
} machine. Also, there were legal challenges from others who claimed that
} the invention infringed on their patent.  Who cares, this happens all
} the time, no matter what the invention is.
}
} Then the Inventor's Union threatened to blacklist, lynch, hang, draw,
} quarter and stomp to bits Namrof, because if his invention could
} _really_ do anything, then it could invent, and they would be out of a
} job.
}
} The Emperor refused to pay a bounty on the machine, because he found
} the idea of a machine shaped like a slightly outsized garbage bin
} somewhat unappealing.  Even if the shape of the thing was acceptable,
} he continued, nobody could possibly want a machine painted that
} particular shade of chartreuse and purple.
}
} Finally, it turned out that one of the disregarded 'Infringement of
} Patent' notices was in fact from God, and that Namrof would be struck
} down by lightning.
}
} /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ** ZOT ** \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
}
} Just before he died, Namrof asked the machine to destroy itself.
} So the machine went to Galactic MacChucks, gorged itself on ninety-four
} MacBurgers, and exploded.
}
} So as you can see, dear supplicant, the greatest invention of all time
} was one that could do anything.  But it was invented on a world that
} couldn't handle it.
}
} It's a pity, too, since I was going to split the proceeds fifty-fifty
} with the late and lamented Namrof.
}
} You owe it to the Oracle to keep very quiet about this before God finds
} out, because he'll be very sore with anyone inv-------
}
} /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ** ZOT ** \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


309-09    (07920 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:

> O wise and ever expanding Oracle, whose dimensions are well nigh
> infinite and all encompassing, I am having a problem.  I have a
> two-dimensional friend [and no, I am not predjudice because I consider
> him my
> two-dimensional friend and not my friend, since it is relevant to my
> question], who I want to explain the game of bowling too.  He doesn't
> understand how one cannot get a strike, since in his world [a plane]:
>
> ball thrown --->     O             ||||||
>                     ball            pins
>
>                                    O//|||
>                                  ball hits pins
>
>                                    _ _ _ _ _ O
>                                  ball knocks all pins down
>
> It is the same every time.  So, my friend doesn't see the point to the
> game.  How can I explain volume to him so that he can understand that
> not all the pins will necessarily be hit in bowling in my dimension
> [three of space and one of time +/- whatever niggling hangers on from
> the big bang]?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The first thing you should do is get a copy of the excellent little
} book, "Stringland."  It tells the story of Mr. A-Line and his one
} dimensional universe.  Your two-dimensional friend should be able to
} extrpolate what a three dimensional world would be like by putting
} himself in the shoes of Mr. A-Line.  If he can see how Mr. A-Line
} would view a two-dimensional world, then he should be able to see a
} three-dimensional one, at least in a crude way.
}       Or you might try presenting him with the concept of bowling,
} viewed from above:
}
}                                o o o o
}                                 o o o
}                                  o o
}                                   o
}                                  ^
}                                  |
}                                  O
}
}       Or you might want to talk to the INS and see if you can get
} him a three-month pass into this dimension, so he can actually try
} bowling himself.
}       Or you might just want to forget the little bugger and get
} on with your life.  No reason to obsess about it.
}
} You owe the Oracle a hyper-shpere, a four-dimensional bowling ball.


309-10    (16713 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: jonmon@cadence.com

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

>       O wise Oracle, forgive me for such a trivial question, but:
>
>       Today, I thought about Casper The Friendly Ghost and was suddenly
> siezed with a desire to know:  Where do you suppose they buried Casper
> The Friendly Dead Kid (and how was he killed)?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} What an amazing coincedence that you should happen to ask that question
} just ask ole Casper is taking a tour of the facilities. Hold on a
} minute, and I'll get him to type the answer in his own words...
}
}   <soothing music, including the Monster Mash, and best of the Grateful
}   Dead>
}
} Here he is. Off you go, Cas!
} ....
} .....
} Um, there seems to be a problem here. Ole Casper never learned how to
} write as a kid, and since he's incorporial, he can't even use the
} keyboard. Guess I'll just have to do it myself...
}
}                       The Friendly Life and Tragic
}                           Death of Casper the
}                                 Ghost
} (As told to the Oracle)
} Fust of all, I don' want you givin' me that 'friendly ghost' crap, hear
} me? That waz my agent's idea, and, hey, it got me da gig, right? Plus I
} get ta woik wit that built broad Wendy...an she's got some great bones,
} lemme tell ya! Now, lesse. I was born Jack Casper Fenugliato in
} Brooklyn, NYC. At da age of five, my fatha trew me outa da house, an' I
} joined up wit da Friendly Spirits, a group o' fun-loving guys who got
} together an' did friendly things together. Like fer instance we'd visit
} the local greengrocer and--real friendly-like-- comment on how nice his
} shop was, an' what a shame it'd be iffen it got burned to the
} ground-like, know what I mean? Bein' da friendly sort himself, he'd
} give us 100 bucks an' we'd go be friendly wit the chicks downtown.
} Round about the time I toined seven, seems one o' the friendly
} shopkeepers forgot to unload his shotgun an' I ended up Jack Casper da
} Ghost. Not wanting ta have my less than working remains 'round his
} shop, he gave da boyz another 100 bucks ta put it under an ole
} abandoned building over on Flatbush, where it lies today. I haunted
} 'round there fer a couple a years 'till I met my agent Manny who got me
} da 'Friendly Ghost' gig. Lemme tell ya--death ain't so bad when you're
} pullin' down 5 g's an episode! Dat's about all dere is to it.
}
} ...
} Well, there you have it. Aren't you glad you asked?
}
} You owe the Oracle some more childlike illusions, and a better Brooklyn
} accent.


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