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Internet Oracularities #321

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Usenet Oracularities #321    (17 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 91 08:07:03 -0500

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321   17 votes 25901 04940 54422 03932 11645 30635 13832 23912 23462 21536
321   3.1 mean  2.6   3.0   2.5   3.2   3.6   3.4   3.1   2.9   3.2   3.6


321-01    (25901 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> O great Oracle, inspector of Gadgets far and wide, where did Penny
> get her Computer Book?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Computer Book is actually an AI from the future, accidentally left
} behind by the Time Patrol when they prevented the asassination of
} Hitler in 1941 (if that had gone through, the Nazis would have had the
} critical time necessary to hide the Holocaust, and would have had a
} resurgance all over the world in the '50s and early '60s, which would
} have led to the future George Orwell envisioned in 1948 when he wrote
} "1984"). It ended up in New York, where it quickly disguised itself as
} Isaac Asimov's dictionary. Later, it made its way to Hollywood (hidden
} in a shipment of autographed copies of "Foundation") where it has had
} several bit parts, including Penny's Computer Book and the Junior
} Woodchuck's Manual in Duck Tales. It is attempting to leave a record in
} kid's cartoons so the Time Patrol can find it.
}
} Unfortunately, it was never told about the purge of... well... I better
} not say anything about that.


321-02    (04940 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: alan@hercules.acpub.duke.edu (The Barrister)

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

> To the Colorful Oracle
>
> Is there really a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow...and if you
> found it, what would you do with it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} My poor friend, there has not been a pot of gold at the end of the
} rainbow for quite a number of years.  The simple fact that everyone
} knew about precluded that they move the location, even though so many
} people knew about it - few could get to it (rainbow walking is a skill
} few have mastered even today.)  I mean, leprechauns are a well-off race
} but how many pots of gold can you just give away before you've got a
} serious fiscal problem ?  The council of leprechauns decided that
} anyone who actually makes it to the end of a rainbow these days gets a
} coupon book good for a few minor lucky happenings (you will make the
} bus today, you won't lose your shirt in the football pool this week,
} your spouse will not catch you flirting at the bar this week, etc.)
} needless to say there was a bit of an outcry but since the council has
} no address reachable by human means, registered complaints have been
} scarce. Word has it that the pots are now located at the sights of
} failed S&L's, since no one would look for money there anyways...
}
} You owe the oracle a box of Lucky Charms


321-03    (54422 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> Oh wise and all-knowing Oracle, whose toe jam we humans can never be
> wonderful enough to eat, whose brain could never be on drugs, much less
> a frying pan mixed with eggs, pray, answer me this one, humble
> question.
>
> Why is it that I can't leave this computer alone.  I have called down,
> archiving your gracious oracularities and everything else.  I have had
> to call long distance in order to get such things accomplished.  What
> can I do... Hack the telephone company through BITnet?  Help.  Money is
> running scarce. You are my only hope.
>
> unknown VAX-o-holic

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Heathen! Know you not that the Oracle condones only Unix use? And yet
} you dare to call upon Me to solve your problem? Dear mortal, I AM your
} problem!
}
} --- Forwarded message from: god@heaven.com ---
}
} Dear O,
}
} It seems like the Christians are getting a tad restless Down Below ...
} as you know the Second Coming is about due, and, well, you know what
} these mortals are like, they want *results*. They don't care that I
} created life as they know it, no, that's not good enough. They want
} something spectacular, like the fire and brimstone bit. Anyway, I
} guess it's about time to give them what they want, but I thought that
} given the public reaction to my last little "intervention" and and all
} those disastrous side-effects, that a pilot study might be in order
} this time.
}
} As I recall, you owe me a favour, so why don't you try out a
} mini-Judgement Day on your followers for me, and see how it goes?
} It'll be tricky, though; it's important that your trial run doesn't
} significantly interfere with my followers and bias the results. So
} you'll have to be *discreet* for once, OK?  How about, I don't know,
} making all your non-believers, obsessed with their non-ordained
} operatinsystems. Oh, but that's right, they all are anyway. How about
} this then: make them use non-local access. Then, as M-JD approaches,
} make the obsession increase to the point where they are logged on 24
} hours a day. Their friends won't be able to get through by telephone
} since it's tied up, and the heathens won't answer the door in case it's
} a phone company bill-collector.  Keep this up for a while and soon
} everyone they know will have forgotten about them. Then, perform some
} miracle and destroy them all (I'll leave the details up to you, Orrie.)
} Measure the reactions of your followers, who will realise the heathens
} have been destroyed when they stop getting mail with stupid capitalized
} headers and "SMTP%" attached to the addresses.
}
} I'll expect a report on my desk by next Tuesday.
}
} The Big J.
}
} --- End of forwarded message ---
}
} So, heathen, your troubles are just beginning. Soon you will notice
} that your room is steadily getting hotter. Your keyboard will start
} developing small bumps on the home keys, which will grow into painful
} barbed spikes, but for some reason you won't be able to stop typing.
} Then ...
}
} But I don't want to spoil the surprise!
}
} Remember: the End of Your World is Nigh!
}
} You owe the Oracle your soul.


321-04    (03932 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.widener.edu

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

> Tell me, please, O ancient and honorable and trustworthy Oracle, whose
> advice has been sought after long after it was given, what chain of
> events needs to occur for Jesse Helms (R, NC) to become president of
> the United States, and how likely is it? How about Jesse Jackson?
> Or Jessie Murdoch, my wife's hairdresser?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The problem is, of course, that there is not *one* chain of events that
} is needed to occur for any of the persons you mention to become
} president, but infinitely many. Being the omniscient,
} infinite-dimensional creature I am, I can of course comprehend them all
} at the same time. Unfortunately, your tiny, mortal mind can only handle
} a finite amount of information (you pityable creature), so I'll have to
} restrict myself to giving you a small subset of the possibilities:
}
} ========================================================================
} Scenario #1:
}
} In the summer of 1991, Pres. Bush decides he has to break his holy
} promise of "no new taxes" to be able to afford sending a man to Mars.
} His advisors advise him that the new tax that would cause the least
} protests is a tax on haircuts. This so enrages hairdresser Jessie
} Murdoch, 34 (38-29-36) that she founds the American Hairdresser Party.
} The party wins a landslide victory in the next elections. In 1996, Ms.
} Murdoch decides to run for president and is elected the first female
} president of the USA.
}
} Probability: 0.0000000000000000001231 %
} ========================================================================
} Scenario #2:
}
} On Saturday, July 29, 1991, Jesse Helms goes to a fancy-dress ball in
} Washington together with some friends, dressed as Dan Quayle (much
} against his will, but the Dan Quayle costume was the only
} moderately-funny-but-still-nototally-undignified one to be found late
} on Friday night). Four hours later, George Bush's heart unexpectedly
} gives up. The Vice President's Secret Service bodyguards follow their
} secret instructions to the letter and immediately shoot Dan Quayle in
} the back to avoid a national catastrophe. On his way home from the
} party, Mr. Helms is mistakenly identified as Mr. Quayle. Having had a
} little too many martinis, he is sufficiently confused to really act
} like Mr. Quayle, and doesn't realize the mistake until it's too late
} and he has been sworn in as President.
}
} One of his first acts as president is to declare "war on all forms of
} computerized filth - in particular that blasphemous, pornographic
} peddler of filth known as the Usenet Oracle", ordering an immediate
} search of all computer disks for any indecent material, the owners of
} such to be hung, drawn and quartered.
}
} Probability: 99.87 %
} ========================================================================
} Scenario #3:
}
} On Monday, July 8, 1991, Rev. J. Jackson makes a historic...
}
} Wait - what was that? 99.87 % ? Oh dear...
}
} I'm sorry, but I can't continue - I've got more urgent things to deal
} with right now (like destroying the Oracular Archives). I'll get back
} to you later with more scenarios, if you're interested (in fifteen
} years or so).
}
} You owe the Oracle a one-way ticket to Bolivia.


321-05    (11645 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: gt2126b@prism.gatech.edu (PETROSKY,WILLIAM T)

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

> Oh dear, and benevolent Oracle, why is it that my cat has a foot
> fetish?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} First of all, you have to consider the natural affinity of cats to feet
} (affinity... afelinity? afootiny?) behold: cat -> cOat -> coOt -> Foot.
} But seeing as how your cat doesn't understand english, let alone silly
} word games, chances are that isn't the reason.  Let's turn to our
} resident expert in deviant cat behavior, Dr. Sigmund Snowdrop, on his
} daytime show, Cat Counsel...
}
} Jingle Singers  : If you have a crazy cat,
}                    That don't know just where it's at,
}                   If your kitty's sort of dense,
}                    Morose, twitchy, kinda tense,
}                   If it tries to eat your mop,
}                    It's a job for Doc Snowdrop!
} Dr. Snowdrop    : Hello, I'm Doctor Snowdrop, and I'd like to welcome
}                   you all to the show.  Today we'll be discussing cats.
} JingleSinger #1 : But you always talk about cats.  Always!
} JingleSinger #2 : Couldn't we talk about the sexual mores of budding
}                   muscians who sell out to become members of some stupid
}                   chorus whose only purpose for existence was to let
}                   people know the point of the show like they couldn't
}                   just look it up in their local cable guide?
} Dr. Snowdrop    : JingleSinger #2, you're fired.  Now are we ready to
}                   take the first call?  Okay. {Starts to pick up phone.}
} Voiceover       : Hello, Dr. Snowdrop.  This is the Oracle.
} Dr. Snowdrop    : What the [bleep] is this?  Where is that voice coming
}                   from?
} Voiceover       : It's a special effect.  Look, all your phone
}                   lines were busy, and I had a question.  This was my
}                   best way to get through?
} Dr. Snowdrop    : How the [bleep] do you do that? Mike, how the [bleep]
}                   is he doing that?  Why can't I do that?
} JingleSinger #2 : Because you're a mo-ron!
} Dr. Snowdrop    : You're fired!  This time I really mean it!
} Ex-JingleSinger : Oops.
} Voiceover       : You think this is impressive, hang on.  I'll ask my
}                   question while drinking a glass of water.
} Ex-JingleSinger : Roll me over in the clover roll me over lay me
}                   down...
} Voiceover       : Brurb blubb lubb flurb.  Gurblub flub.  Fub
}                   lub.
} JingleSinger #1 : Hey, it's like the mystery of the Glub Blubs all
}                   over again!
} Dr. Snowdrop    : What the [bleep] is going on here?  Mike,
}                   cut this before
}
} And now, a brief word from our sponsors.
} We asked 200 cats which pain reliever they'd rather have if stranded on
} a desert island.  Four out of five cats surveyed said they'd rather
} have a boat.  Most of the rest asked us to repeat the question.  But
} one of the remaining cats said something that sounded a little like
} "Byar" Bayer Aspirin.  If cats ask for it by name, shouldn't you?
}
} Dr. Snowdrop    : Now that things are a bit more undercontrol, could
}                   the caller please repeat the question, this time
}                   without the water?
} Voiceover       : I've heard of a cat with a foot fetish.  What do you
}                   suppose could cause the cat to develop such a
}                   tendency?
} Dr. Snowdrop    : It's because cats are stupid.
} Voiceover       : No, really.
} Dr. Snowdrop    : Also, cats are very snotty and conceited. They
}                   despise humans. Cats have more feet than humans.
}                   Thus, the cat no doubt is attracted to feet, as they
}                   are more of a kittish nature than human.  Is the cat
}                   attracted to human feet?
} Voiceover       : Uh, I don't know - I could find out, but...
} Dr. Snowdrop    : Anyhow, cats are filthy creatures.  It probably likes
}                   feet because it's hoping to pick up some disgusting
}                   disease from whatever you've stepped in.
} Voiceover       : See here, do you even like cats?
} Dr. Snowdrop    : Actually, it's contemplating gnawing through your
}                   ankles, so that you won't be able to escape, and then
}                   it will creep closer, closer, with that grin that
}                   knows you can't drag...
} Voiceover       : Does this man have something against cats?
} Ex JingleSinger : Not really.  He always acts that way whenever he
}                   figures someone's pressuring him on the answer.  You
}                   see, he's never seen a cat.
} Voiceover       : How come he sets himself up as such a big authority?
} JingleSinger #1 : He went to some Cat Social Workers Vocational School.
}                   How come you're an Oracle if you've got to go to
}                   consultants for all the tough questions?
} Voiceover       : Er. But how do they teach anything at the school if
}                   they don't have any cats?  How did he graduate if he's
}                   never seen a cat?  How did...
} ExJingleSinger  : It's me and my crew and we're here for a screw,
}                   called Bar...
} JingleSinger #1 : Well, they used a virtual cat.
} Voiceover       : I don't think I want to hear about this one...
} Ex JingleSinger : You ain't kidding.
} JingleSinger #1 : No, really, it's just like ELIZA, you know?  You sit
}                   in front of this terminal and type in what you want to
}                   say to the cat.  And the computer answers back just
}                   like a real cat would.  And it can simulate cats with
}                   all sorts of nervous disorders.
} Voiceover       : Maybe this is what I'm looking for.  Thanks, and good
}                   afternoon.
} {static/noise}
} BEGIN GRATUITOUS UNIX INTERACTION HERE
} prompt% man vc
}  NAME                                       vc(1)
}      vc - version control program
}  SYNTAX
}      vc [-a] [-t] [-cchar] [-s] [keyword=value... keyword=value]
}  DESCRIPTION
}      The vc command copies lines fro^C
}
} prompt% man cat
}  NAME                                       cat(1)
}      cat - concatenate and print data
}  SYNTAX
}      cat [-b] [-e] [-n] [-s] [-t] [-u] [-v] file...
}  DESCRIPTION
}      The cat command reads each file in sequence and displays it
}      on the standard output.  There^C
} prompt% man cat-cam
}  NAME
}      cat-cam - cat counseling and mentatics
}  SYNTAX
}      cat-cam -aailment
}  DESCRIPTION
}      The cat-cam command sets up an interactive shell. Here you will
}      be able to interview a virtual cat.  If you wish your cat to
}      suffer from any one of a standard set of neuroses or psychoses,
}      use the -a flag with the appropriate ailment.  Use the RANDOM
}      ailment to select a random affliction - after your interview, the
}      ailment will be revealed, and you can see if you diagnosed corr^C
} prompt% cat-cam -afoot_fetish
} > here kitty kitty
} Segmentation Fault
} (core dumped)
} prompt% rm core
} END GRATUITOUS UNIX INTERACTION HERE
} Just be glad it doesn't have an eyelid fetish.  As it is, I would
} guess that your cat has just discovered that feet are just your
} "Friendly pedes pals that're fun to be with," as the ancient Romans
} would have put it.  Or not.
}
} You owe the Oracle some kleenex


321-06    (30635 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Karyanta

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

> Ho Oracle, most wise and watchful tell me this ...
> Two witches watch two watches, each witch watches a watch, which witch
> watches which watch?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} One witch watches watch one while one witch watches watch two. Now,
} which watch is watch one, and watched by witch one? Watch one is what
} watch which whooshes whenever wind wheedles where willows waver,
} whelp.


321-07    (13832 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: mzintl@plasma.ps.uci.edu (Michael Zintl)

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

> I beseach thee, all knowing, most wise, and so antagonistic Oracle,
> who was the greates boxer of all time?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Antagonistic?  Methinks you need a new dictionary.  Surely you meant
} antediluvian, anabatic, Anacreontic, anadromous, anaerobic, analeptic,
} and not antagonistic.  I'm sure it was an honest mistake, so on to your
} question.
}
} The greatest boxer of all time was Vera Ptwalski who worked on the
} production line at Kellogg in Battle Creek, Michigan.  That girl could
} fill a box of cereal in two seconds flat without spilling a flake.
}
} You owe the Oracle a family-sized box of Rice Krispies.


321-08    (23912 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Dear Oracle on High, whose personal Yellow Pages are like
> unto the Book of Life Itself,
>
> I need your divine assistance Immediately.  I am Dying
> of an Incurable Disease, and have but Eighteen Months in which
> to bring my Life to its Close.
>
> My Dream is to achieve the office of the Presidency of
> the United States.  Please tell me how I can accomplish
> this, my Last Deed on Earth.
>
> Failing that, I would be Satisfied if I could manage my own
> Dairy Queen Brazier, but I Really Really want the Presidency
> thing.  Thanks a million in Advance.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You are in luck, oh unfortunate mortal, for the qualifications for
} the Presidency and for the managership of a Dairy Queen Brazier are
} remarkably similar.
}
} The only real snag standing in your way is that of time itself -
} with eighteen months to live, you will survive to see the next election
} but not the inauguration.  Due to the greater level of organization
} within the Dairy Queen organization, however, you may be appointed to
} manage an outlet at any time.  So there are definite advantages to your
} second choice, despite its much lesser potential for damage.
}
} Firstly, you must establish a record of corruption, prejudice, and
} mental ineptitude (this is for the office of President; these sterling
} qualities, while they place you in the fine company of many great
} statesmen of the past, are in fact liabilities within the private
} sector) and then do your very best to hide it.  Money is helpful here.
} Then, you must register as a candidate in one of the two political
} parties which are sanctioned to operate in this free society.  I'm told
} the Democrats are looking for someone.  After that, it's just a simple
} matter of bringing more attention to your opponents record than he
} manages to bring to yours.  Money is again useful here.  Remember that
} you will not live to take office, so your selection of a running mate
} is critical if you are to achieve your dream, even vicariously.  Then,
} when the time comes, stuff all the ballot boxes you can find.
}
} Assassination, while not too useful a tactic in gaining political
} office these days, is absolutely essential in gaining managership of a
} fast food outlet if you are in too big of a hurry to go the normal
} route. Get a job at any nearby establishment, and then use the tools
} you find at hand to food-poison your way right to the top.  If you are
} not careful, you may get caught; however, this may actually help your
} bid for the Presidency.  And if you are successful, you can point to
} your experience as a leader of the men and women of your Brazier when
} establishing your qualifications for leadership of the U.S.
}
} The Oracle could continue, but believes you have enough to get a start
} with, and finds that his dinner is burning, so for now he will leave
} you with this advice and will be ready with more when your decision
} is made.


321-09    (23462 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: The Wumpus <jim@oasis.icl.co.uk>

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

> Oh Oracle splendid and vast,
> who leaves lowly mortals aghast,
> This question I pose
> 'Cause only you knows:
> How long does true love last?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear supplicant, you did ask
} How long indeed does true love last?
} Love that's gentle, love that's true
} Love that's not cheapened by movies blue
} Love that's genuinely divine
} Not the kind that's made by wine
} Love that is not what you see
} In Hollywood or on cable T.V.
} The kind of love 'tween man and wife
} That is kept the entire life
} Love that's committed, yet not forced
} The kind that will never see divorce
}
} That kind of love divine, my friend,
} That kind of love will never end.
}
} You owe the Oracle an oral reading of the First letter of Paul to the
} Corinthians, chapter 13.


321-10    (21536 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: The Wumpus <jim@oasis.icl.co.uk>

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

> From: PYTHON, MONTY C.
>
> Lemon curry?
>
> PYTHON, MONTY C.
> Student

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}    Oh jeez, not again.  Call security, somebody broke out of the
} alt.fan.monty-python ward again.  You know, you can still become a
} productive member of society, it's not too late.  Where the hell
} is security....Ah, here he comes now.
}
} [Man dressed in RAF uniform enters]
}
} "Roight, where is the miscreant?"
} Over there, now please hurry.
} "Uh, oh.  You didn't tell me he was armed."
} What are you talking about?
} "E's got a banana."
} Jeez. [Oracle walks over to supplicant and grabs banana]  There.
} "Now eat the banana, thus disarming him."
} Wait a second, you're one of those Pythonites too, aren't you?
} "No."
} Are you sure?
} "Yes, I've been deliberately wasting your time."
} OK, get over there with him then.  Well, where's the real security
} if that wasn't him.  Oh, here he is.
}
} [Man enters in knickers, moustache, and a knotted handkercheif]
}
} "Oracle...Oracle...Oracle!"
} Yes, yes, over here.  Now these two are loonies, and you need to...
} "Are...you..the Oracle?"
} Yes, yes, now as I was saying, these two..."
} "My brain hurts."
} Stop it! [Pushes Gumby over with supplicant and RAF officer]
}
} Help, security, over here.
} [Enter two pepperpots]
} "Ooh, isn't he a clever little boy, such a clever little boy"
} [sighing] Over there with the rest of them then.  Come along.
}
} <Several hours later, the crowd has grown, so that it contains:
} one supplicant, an RAF officer, seven pepperpots, three Gumbys,
} One man with a fake elephants nose, two Hitlers, one lumberjack,
} eleven constables, all saying 'what's all this then', and Cardinal
} Ximinez of Spain.  The Oracle is standing apart from them looking
} very frazzled and tired.>
}
} <Finally a man enters, dressed in a three piece suit.>
}
} "Ah, excuse me, are you that Oracle chap?"
} Yeeeeesssss...
} "My name is Mr. Teabag, I'm Minister for Applied Silliness.
} No your not.
} "Excuse me?"
} I've seen that episode, you're the 'silly walks' guy.
} "No, he was my brother."
} No he wasn't
} "My sister perhaps?"
} GET OVER THERE!!!!!   ALLRIGHT!  THE NEXT PERSON TO SAY OR DO
} ANYTHING FROM A MONTY PYTHON SKETCH GETS IT!
}
} [A voice speaks up out of the crowd] "I never wanted to be in this
} reply anyway, I wanted to..."
} THAT DOES IT! [The Oracle pulls a lever, and a 16 ton weight falls
} on the lumberjack]
}
} Who's next?  Hahahhahahahahaha!  Right, I'm next then.
}
} You owe the Oracle spam, spam, eggs, sausage, bacon, and spam.


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