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Internet Oracularities #368

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Usenet Oracularities #368    (30 votes, 3.4 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 91 13:39:39 -0500

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368   30 votes 0449d 16887 2158e 044e8 17985 2a981 5c931 248b5 39576 0a767
368   3.4 mean  4.0   3.5   4.0   3.9   3.3   2.9   2.4   3.4   3.1   3.3


368-01    (0449d dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Oh Oracle, whose keyboard never sticks, whose monitor never makes
> strange whistling noises, whose hard disks never crash, whose modem
> never drops carrier, whose mouse never sticks, whose memory never fails
> a test, whose ROMS checksum, whos floppies never get left under the
> phone and then strangly fail to work forever after; why are Exams?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle remembers a day, six days and 23 hours after the creation of
} the Universe, when God was feeling bored ....
}
}     < screen wavers >
}
} God:  I'm bored.
} Oracle:       (aside) You need a new screen writer
}       (to God) Why don't you invent some other form of life.
} G:    I have already created man, so I am feeling a little depressed
}       right now.
} O:    Have another go. Lightning doesn't strike in the same place
}       twice.
} G:    Doesn't it. <ZAP> <ZAP>
} O:    OK. Don't get techincal. May be if you start man a better seed
}       s/he/it will turn out better.
} G:    Yes ... educate it ... deprive it of worldly goods and pleasures
}       for four years, six if it is really unlucky, ... I'll ... I'll
}
}     < great heavenly sounds, like streaking through billowing clouds
}       tons of other special effects too expensive for an Ocularity
}       on a tight budget >
}
}       call it a "stupid"!
} O:    A bit obvious. You are supposed to work in mysterious ways.
} G:    True. Stupid ... stupid ... I'll come back to that.
}       So, what features should this, um, stupid have.
} O:    It should not be too intelligent, for that would be a bad
}       thing. You didn't give enough to the last lot you made
}       and look what a mess they are going to make of it.
} G:    To earn the right to survive it should be made to work
}       all sorts of strange jobs, doing things even YOU would
}       consider depraving.
} O:    Speaking of which ...
} G:    ... yes. The design team is working on it.
} O:    The ability to sleep in any position, and in be oblivious
}       to background noise, would surely be an advantage.
} G:    And to forget large amounts of very important information
}       seemingly at random, to give it character.
}       It would have to live scruffly, to inspire it to get out
}       of its surrondings.
} O:    Yes ... look permanently .... dented.
} G:    The name -- how about "stupid-dented".
} O:    Too long. They would always be misspelling it. "Student".
}       Shorter, can be abbreaviated to "stu" for the really
}       dented.
} G:    The creature must have a goal.
} O:    Get drunk, get laid, make money, have a good time,
}       break into Pentagon computers, read dirty magazines.
} G:    Stop thinking about what you are going to do tonight and
}       help me!
} O:    What's a pentagon.
} G:    That's for the students to work out.
} O:    So what is this goal?
} G:    It would have to be painful, but relieving when it is all over
}       Require massive amounts of preperation, which they won't ever
}       finish. Shall appear completely pointless and will be nearly
}       as pointless. If they fail it they will be forced to stay
}       another year.
} O:    Sort of an trial.
} G:    Trial ... how about if they fail I execute them.
} O:    Too mean. You would't have any left.
} G:    I will need to see if they are still working ... to examine them
} O:
} G:    Exams! Of course. Another word they can't misspell. To be carried
}       out by an elite priest hood of ex stupids, um, students.
}
} And so it was, six days, 23 hours and fifty-seven minutes after the
} creation of the Universe, God said "Let there be students". After
} thirty seconds of drunken orgie, God said "Let there be exams" and
} the masses wept and cried and begged God for mercy. But God said
} he had spoken, and had something special to do a certain deity in
} the remaining 60 seconds before he rested.
}
} O:    Oh, btw, about that
} G:    Yes, here she is ..
} L:    Oracle!
} O:    Lisa!
} L:    Oracle!
}
}     <the following is not for the eyes of mortals and has been
}       censored>
}
} < screen wavers back to its original scene>
}
} There you are. Exams are because exams are. God has spoken.
}
} You owe the Oracle a champange breakfast on a traffic island
} (scheduled for just after the of term), a large amount of
} caffine and that missing piece of film from his archive.


368-02    (16887 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Oh most way cool Oracle, whose nose I am unfit to pick, whose sexual
> prowess exceeds Clarence Thomas's, whose VCR clock never flashes 88:88,
> answer me my pitiful, insignificant, and downright stupid question.
>
> Where does yellow come from?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       Funny you should ask that.  The Oracle was just watching a
} documentary about that.  Let's watch...
}
} [TITLES:  Mutual of Omaha Presents:  Where Yellow Comes From.  DRAMATIC
} MUSIC]
}
} FADE TO:  Exterior, jungle.
}
} VOICEOVER (Marlin Perkins):  Jim and I are here in the Amazon rain
} forest stalking the elusive pigmented sloth.  This solitary creature is
} the sole source of many of the world's colors.  What are we after
} today, Jim?
}
} ENTER Jim
}
} Jim:  We're after a yellow sloth, Marlin.  Pigmented sloths come in
} three colors, all of which include yellow.  The orange sloths live up
} in the highlands over there, while the green sloths are more or less
} aquatic. They've been domesticated by Brazilian farmers and are now
} being raised on commercial pigment farms.  But the yellow sloth is
} found only in the wild.
}
} CAMERA FOLLOWS Jim THROUGH RAIN FORECT
}
} Jim:  Last week, we tagged a baby yellow sloth with a special radio
} transmitter on a plastic collar.  With this recieving unit, we should
} be able to trace him anywhere.
}
} VOICEOVER (Marlin):  How big do these sloths get, Jim?
}
} Jim:  Oh, in their mature stage, they can get up to seven feet tall and
} nearly a thousand pounds.  They're known maneaters when they get that
} big, but there's no need for us to worry about that.  The one we tagged
} was just a baby, maybe fifty pounds at most.  Say, he should be just
} beyond those bushes.
}
} VOICEOVER (Marlin):  Oh, Jim, I forgot to tell you that in close
} proximity to plastic, a yellow sloth can reach full maturity in just
} four days?
}
} Jim:  What?
}
} VOICEOVER (Marlin):  Yes, and there's the yellow sloth uprooting trees
} in a playful mood as he comes to see what that beeping sound is.  Maybe
} he'd like to taste the tracer?
}
} Jim:  I'm going to get you for this, Perkins!!
}
} Jim BUSTS A MOVE FOR THE HORIZON. Sloth EATS CAMERAMAN.
}
} VOICEOVER (Marlin):  That's all for today.  Join us next week on Mutual
} of Omaha's Wild Kingdom!
}
} You owe the Oracle a life insurance policy.


368-03    (2158e dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: "Klone (aka Daniel V. Klein) " <dvk@SEI.CMU.EDU>

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

> O Oracle, greatest of the great, wisest of the wise, who knows how many
> seas a white dove must sail before she sleeps in the sand, I beseech
> thee to answer the following question:
>
> When will there be an important third political party in the USA?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} There's a few ways I could answer your question, depending:
}
} 1) Well, what do you call the Democratic Party?
} 2) Well, what do you call the Republican Party?
} 3) Considering how similar these two partys are, don't you think a more
}    accurate question would be "When will there be an important second
}    political party in the USA?"
}
} But I think I understand the question that you wanted to ask.  It's
} basically too late for the coming elections, but in 1996, after the big
} blow-up, there will be a few 'alternative' party choices:
}
} Socialists:     Will be unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight when Dan
}                 Quayle accidently marks their bubble when applying to
}                 run for office.  "These guys are really gracious," the
}                 bemused candidate will be quoted as saying.
} Monster Truck
}     Coalition:  These guys have surprised UC Berkeley students with the
}                 (if you will excuse me) inroads they've made into
}                 campus politics.  They will rise to national prominence
}                 by killing then-president Bush by running over his
}                 motorcade in 1995.  The coalition won't be too
}                 successful on the national level after this move, as
}                 popular sentiment will hold that they should have
}                 squished Quayle first.
}
} Party3.0:       In a surprise move, Bill Gates will announce that he is
}                 running for office under his own party. "Microsoft has
}                 barely managed to keep its head above water in this
}                 hostile market- we were forced to take over Apple, IBM,
}                 and Intel, but even that was not enough. I decided that
}                 the American people deserved better."  Political
}                 Analysts are still trying to figure this statement out,
}                 but insiders report that Phillipe Kahn wall have long
}                 since moved to Canada.
}
} Calvin Party:   Though popular at first, this party will be plagued by
}                 infighting as Calvin and his runningmate Hobbes argue
}                 over just who will get to be president and who will
}                 have to be veep.  Finally, both will be disqualified
}                 when it is pointed out that (a) Hobbes is a tiger (b)
}                 Calvin is underage and (c) they're both Canadians.
}
} SAG:            Stupid voters trying to regain "the Reagan magic" will
}                 press the Screen Actor's Guild for more candidates.
}                 Bruce Willis will almost be put forward as a possible
}                 candidate, but the CIA will request that its leaders
}                 stop being promoted out of the department.  Bill Cosby
}                 will be their final candidate, but no one will vote for
}                 him, believing him to be fiction.
} Euthanasia
}      Party:     This short-lived (ahem) special interest party will put
}                 forward George Washington as their candidate (Abe for
}                 Veep), but will be disqualified when it is pointed out
}                 that their candidate has already been president for two
}                 terms.
}
} Oracle Party:   Fed up with the pork-barrel fed regular parties and
}                 intrigued by the idea of an omniscient leader, the
}                 American Public will vote Oracle in a big way in 1996.
}                 The Oracle will in fact WIN, which will then cause all
}                 manner of problems when it is revealed that no one
}                 actually knows exactly who the Oracle is. In the end,
}                 all citizens will be given e-mail accounts, and each
}                 presidential decision to be made will be written up and
}                 sent to a random person. At the same time, the Oracle
}                 will be expected to keep up the old duties, leading to
}                 problems since it will often be hard to tell whether a
}                 query concerns someone's personal life, philosophy, or
}                 national policy.  "So what do I tell the big guy?"
}                 could be diplomat wandering what the official policy
}                 towards Lichtenstein was going to be, a regular Joe
}                 worried about meeting his maker, or just someone who's
}                 worried about being sat upon.
}
} You owe the Oracle Canadian citizenship.  Fast.


368-04    (044e8 dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oh most wise one, Tell me what would happen if all the workers at the
> M&M (tm) factory all decided that the M's were W's and all the M&M's got
> thrown away.  While we're on the subject, What would be the social,
> political economical, moral, and ethical impacts be?  (just another
> curious question, how would Sadaam Heusien take the bad news too?)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Good question!  The consequences would indeed be grave.  So grave, in
} fact, that this scenario received special attention during the most
} recent set of wargames held in the Oracle Timespace Situation Room.
} You see, some might naively assume that M&M's are of significance only
} as sources of chocolate that won't melt in your hand and get your
} trigger finger all sticky.  In truth, they are much more.
}
} M&M's are the primary source of the letter "M" in your demention,
} excuse me, in your DIMENSION.  They are also a vital secondary source
} of ampersands, commonly used in legal partnerships.  Without M&M's,
} vast sections of the economy would collapse.  Heck, you couldn't even
} SPELL econowy mithout thew.  Fortunately, the Oracle Ewergency
} Pre-Response Teaw has developed a plan to safeguard against such a
} calawity.
}
} Er, excuse we.  Me seew to be having a tewporary problew here.  Me
} should be able to ... dawwit ... this thing's medged again.  Better
} reboot mhile I still can ... I'll explain it to the Big Guy later.
} He'll understand.  *gulp*  I think.
}
} SHUTDOMN wessage frow user ORACLE at TSPACE$OPA0:  17:25:03
} EARTH mill shut domn in 0 winutes; back up via autowatic reboot.
} Please log off node EARTH.
} Reason for shutdomn: EWERGENCY WAINTENANCE
}
} %SHUTDOMN-F-BADSTUFF, unable to cowplete shutdomn procedure
} -DCL-E-OPENIN, error opening SYS$WANAGER:SHUTDOMN.COW as input
} -RMS-F-DEV, error in device nawe or inappropriate device type for
} operation
}
} ^B
} >>>HALT
} (*thud*)
}
} You owe the oracle source listings for the earth in BOOKREADER format.


368-05    (17985 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU

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

> I need an answer to this question, oh mighty soothsayer.  I have
> pondered this question for years; have consulted with intellectuals
> from all over the United States and many countries in Europe.  Please,
> I humbly beg of you, Oh mighty oracle "How did fried onion rings get
> their name??"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}  The answer, oh humble supplicant, is this:
}
} Many years ago there was a travelling monk who was morbidly afraid of
} catching a cold. To ward off the germs he wore circles of onion around
} his body, and for this reason he was known as the Onion Friar. Whenever
} he came near a village, all the villagers would burst into tears, and
} so they decided he was a witch and must be burnt at the stake. This was
} duly accomplished. When the time came to remove the charred body from
} the ashes, it was still rather hot to the touch, and one of the
} villagers was obliged to snatch back his hand hastily and put it in his
} mouth. Doing this, he realised that the Onion Friar's rings were very
} tasty. Thenceforth they were known as Friar Onion Rings, until it was
} found that they could be cooked far more conveniently without the monk.
} People then forgot the origin of the name and the first word was
} "corrected" to Fried.
}
} You owe the Oracle an invitation to yr next barbecue.


368-06    (2a981 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oh great and senile Oracle, whose liver I am too humble to perpetuate,
> whose grocery clerk marries the CIA, all-seeing, do tell me this,
> please.  Am I really a maniac?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} ORACLE CENTRAL:       Oracle...Oracle...Wherefore art thou Oracle? We
}                       have a question for you...
}
} ORACLE RECEPTIONIST:  Will you please hold while I attempt to summon
}                       his great, huge, wise, wonderfulness?
}
}                       (Speaking into etherial tranceiver headset...)
}                       Groveler...Come in Groveler!...This is Marge...
}                       We got a live one...Alert the Big Guy!
}
} GROVELER:             Oh, no! He's in there with one of the Oraclettes,
}                       and He's got the "Do not disturb my omnicient
}                       immensity with mundane trivialities" sign out.
}                       Oh well, here's for it...
}
}                       (Groveler knocks softly at the immense golden
}                        door and opens it slightly. High pitched giggles
}                        and squeals are heard along with "Oh yes! your
}                        wise and wonderful, omnipotent immensity, you
}                        foresee my every desire...Ahhhh..." In a
}                        monotone whine Groveler begins.)
}
}                       Oh great, wise and wonderful Oracle, from whose
}                       lips all truth and profundity flows like honey. A
}                       mortal awaits the shining of your blinding insigt
}                       to provide revelations unthinkable by mundane
}                       minds. Line three.
}
} ORACLE:               Hmmm... Yes...It's coming in now...liver?...CIA?
}                       why how these mortals dare!...maniac? What?
}                       That's it? By definition, all mortals are
}                       maniacs. But I doubt that will satisfy this idle
}                       mind.
}
}                       (Speaking into the air...)
}                       Marge, take a response.
}
} ORACLE RECEPTIONIST:  Yes sir, your pomposity. Forsee away.
}
} ORACLE:               Oh mortal, your mind wanders as the butterfly and
}                       alights briefly upon my windowsill. Your wings
}                       flutter as if to ask a question.
}
}                       The oracle, patient and wise, views your
}                       spectacle and responds: GET A LIFE. YOU'VE
}                       OBVIOUSLY GOT TOO MUCH FREE TIME.
}
}                       Ponder this message, and join the wise in
}                       bliss...


368-07    (5c931 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oh Oracle most wise, powerful, and infinitely optimised,
> whose source code should be engraved on stone tablets
> to enlighten the masses, I crave a moment of your time.
>
> When will humanity be rid of Fortran? The computers I
> help administer are of the most modern design, with
> X and GUIs and PostScript, yet are used  by heathen
> ex-VAXers who write 100,000 line DO loops and think
> that 'F7.2' is the answer to life, the universe, and
> everything.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I, the all-wise and omniscient Oracle deign to answer your question.
} Though it might seem surprising, the answer is to be found in theology.
}  For Fortran, like bad domestic beer and those haircuts that are shaved
} on the sides, long in the back, and spiked on the top, is in fact a
} product of original sin.  Every universe has its imperfection, and the
} universe of computers is no exception.  Only when those infected with
} original sin (in this case, a marked prediliction for obscure computer
} languages) pass from the scene will the joyful day of liberation come
} when a user can do his thing with a GUI and not be jeered at by
} propellerheads.
}
} You owe the Oracle one copy of Thomas Aquinas's _Summa Theologica_ on
} CD-ROM.


368-08    (248b5 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: starkesw@sage.cc.purdue.edu (Scott W. Starkey)

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

> Lookit!  Lookit!  I'm standing on my head!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Really cute, but you shouldn't have chopped it off--it makes it too
} easy, too messy, and you can only do it once.
}
} You owe the Oracle John the Baptist.


368-09    (39576 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Klone (aka Daniel V. Klein) " <dvk@SEI.CMU.EDU>

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

> Oh Oracle who is indeed very *very* oracular please enlighten my
> dim dark mind and tell me; are magic noodles really magic??

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Preliminary report: On the magical properties of magic noodles
} Author: The USENET Oracle
} Project number: #23a-k-114-93
}
} Synopsis:
}       Allegations have been made as to the so - called 'magical'
} properties of a certain kind of noodles, known as 'magical noodles'.
} This preliminary report discusses the impact of the presence of these
} implements on two well - know magical phenomena, coming to the
} conclusion that further study is necessary in these fields.
}
} Main Text:
}       Magical phenomena have long been observed in different fields;
} however, the environment of these observations has been detrimental
} to regular scientific observations, because the performers of these
} magical feats usually have refused closer examination.
}
}       In this study, it was felt that the best way to observe magical
} phenomena is to restrict the field in such a way that statistical
} observation becomes meaningful.  The way chosen was to test wether
} the - easily observable - presence of certain 'magical' implements,
} i. e. noodles,  has a statistically meaningful impact on the
} spontaneous occurrence of magical phenomena.  Studied were
}
}  - the frequency of finding rabbits in hats (denoted f(h) in this
}    article)
}
}  - the frequency of spontaneous recombination of a female of the
}    species 'homo sapiens' after sawing her in half (denoted f(s))
}
}       Preliminary lab tests showed no significant deviation in these
} two rates when magic noodles were present.  It was suggested by a
} member of the team, however, that this might be due to an 'unmagical
} atmosphere' in the laboratory, probably some kind of air pollution
} specific to scientific institutions.  Acting on this, the testing
} equipment was removed to a beach near Miami, Florida, USA.  Results
} there showed that f(h) showed a marked increase when 'magic noodles'
} were present; f(s) could not be tested because of difficulty in
} aquiring the necessary number of test subjects.
}
} Further testing was then carried out on a beach mentioned by Adams /1/
} in the Bahamas; there, both f(h) and f(s) showed an increase when
} magical noodles were present which was significant to 95%.
}
} Furter studies, for which additional funding will be needed, are
} planned in
}
}  - St. Tropez, France
}
}  - St. Moritz, Switzerland
}
}  - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
}
} for which a staff of two (the author and his assistant, Lisa) will be
} sufficient.
}
} The author would like to express his thanks to the National Science
} Foundation for their continuing support.
}
} -----
} /1/ Adams, D.: Dirk Gently's Holisic Detective Agency


368-10    (0a767 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Why am I so depressed? *sigh*

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Ten Most Important Reasons You Are So Depressed *Sigh*
}
} 10- You have a medical disorder in which the shorter days of
}     Winter allow less light to strike your retinas causing
}     a chemical imbalance in your brain resulting in depression.
}
} 9-  You have a psychological disorder in which the increased
}     amount of clothing worn by the opposite sex in Winter causes
}     a chemical imbalance in your brain resulting in depression.
}
} 8-  You live in the Southern Hemisphere and have a psychological
}     disorder in which the decreased amount of clothing worn by
}     the opposite sex in Summer...   naah...
}
} 7-  You are the leader of a former world superpower and your vacation
}     to the beach was a real bummer this year.
}
} 6-  You invested your Mother-in-law's retirement fund in Lincoln
}     Savings and now Charles Keating has arranged for her to stay in
}     your extra bedroom.
}
} 5-  Spock is back.
}
} 4-  Your personal sense of self-worth comes from ranting about the
}     environmental effects of the oil fires in Kuwait and the last one
}     was just extinguished.
}
} 3-  You are George Bush's cardiologist and it's still a year until the
}     presidential election.
}
} 2-  You live in New Jersey.  (yes, even the omnieverything Oracle takes
}     a cheap shot now and then).
}
} And now the number one reason you are so depressed *sigh*
}
} [drum roll]
}
} 1-  You spend too much time sitting in front of that terminal.  There
}     are birds chirping and flowers growing and little children playing
}     and singing and clouds drifting and suns shining and here comes
}     Lisa and


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