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Internet Oracularities #409

Goto:
409, 409-01, 409-02, 409-03, 409-04, 409-05, 409-06, 409-07, 409-08, 409-09, 409-10


Usenet Oracularities #409    (20 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 92 00:31:25 -0500

To find out how to participate in the Usenet Oracle, send mail to:
   oracle@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu or {ames,rutgers}!iuvax!oracle
with the word "help" in the subject line.  Let us know what you like!
Send your ratings of these Oracularities on a scale of 1 = "not funny"
to 5 = "very funny" with the volume number to oracle-vote on iuvax, eg:
   409
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

409   20 votes 18533 09551 0aa00 08a11 35750 03a61 13d30 3e300 03494 01685
409   3.0 mean  3.0   2.9   2.5   2.8   2.7   3.2   2.9   2.0   3.7   3.9


409-01    (18533 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: "Klone (aka Daniel V. Klein) " <dvk@SEI.CMU.EDU>

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

> #include <grovel.h>
>
> ask()
> {
>   printf( "Oh %s Oracle, please tell me", fulsome-praise );
>   printf( "%s", concise-question );
>   printf( "%s", closing-abasement );
>   printf( "Thanks in advance." );
>   return success;
> }

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} #include <stdio.h>
} #include <flame.h>
}
} main(argc,argv[1])
} {
}       let_it_live(argv);
}       printf( "%s, oh %s",verb,noun );
}       printf( "%s", truly_funny_answer );
}       printf( "You owe the Oracle %s",
}           things_Santa_did_not_bring_this_year );
}       if(suitable_grovel)
}               return 1;
}       else
}               return 0;
} }
}
} let_it_live(question)
} {
}       if(question != "funny") fork(querent_with_spoon);
} }


409-02    (09551 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Do you have a decent recipe for gingerbread?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmm, no groveling.  In fact, not even the merest hint of groveling.
} I'll take it out on you later, since the answer to this question is
} so fascinating that I must share it with the universe even IF you
} have no oracular etiquette.
}
} The answer is yes.  Actually, I have a magnificent recipe for
} gingerbread, and the best part is that it requires very little work on
} your part. I mean, if a simple grovel is too much effort, we can't be
} going for broke right off the bat.
}
} You start at the Texas State Capitol. (That's in Austin, not Dallas,
} Ft. Worth, or San Antonio, and definitely not in Houston.) The Capitol
} is located on Congress and 15th Street; you can't miss it.  Well, maybe
} YOU can.  It's the big granite building with a dome on it.  If you get
} lost, ask around; most of the locals know the way. (No, I don't know
} how you're planning to get to Austin.  If you'd groveled, I might have
} given you a suggestion, but them's the chunks.)
}
} Go south on Congress. (That's the direction AWAY from the University
} of Texas.  If you pass a large phallic symbol on your left, you went
} the wrong way.  Turn around and walk back to the Capitol.) You will
} eventually reach Sixth Street, home of all manner of people, places,
} and a few things here and there.  There are drug deals, bars selling on
} the street, artists, and ladies of the night.  This is where you find
} Ginger.
}
} Your best bet is to go to a quaint establishment called Vito's, and
} talk to the proprietor.  Vito, you see, is Ginger's...um...manager,
} yeah, that's it.  If you ask him nicely and give him the coded piece of
} paper (anything with three digits in the corners and the words "Federal
} Reserve" somewhere on it will do very well), he'll take you to Ginger's
} place and send you on up.
}
} Once inside, you're on your own.  Bear in mind that Ginger pulls in a
} flat $20 per, plus extra fees for extra service, and nothing longer
} than half an hour in any event.  Then put on your clothes and go home,
} poorer but wiser.
}
} And that's how you make Ginger bread.
}
} You owe the Oracle a tape of your session with Ginger; that will be
} groveling enough. (Important safety tip: Do NOT mess with Vito, lest
} thee be ZOTted.)


409-03    (0aa00 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: Russell S Porter <porter@brahms.udel.edu>

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

> The question, oh sagacious one, is ...
>
>    If all the tobacco consumed in one day in all the world were rolled
> into a single cigarette and smoked by a tag-team of nicotine fiends,
> how long would that cigarette be and what would be the velocity of the
> burning ember if it took 24 hours to smoke the mother?  What would
> happen to the poor sucker holding the butt when the ember hit?  And a
> corollary question:  if the iron lunged dude that was able to start the
> thing were to ply his talents sucking corks out of bottles of medium
> priced sherry, would it be worthy of note on a CV?
>
>    That is all I ask of your most extreme eruditedness at this time.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       The Oracle has pondered your question long and hard, and the
}       answers are as follows:
}
}               1 The Length.
}               Let's just say the thing would suffer massive
}               gravitational collapse before you could get round to
}               smoking it.
}
}               2 The Velocity.
}               Probably around the speed of catarrh after a violent
}               coughing fit, ie good enough to break windows.
}
}               3 The Ember Touch-down.
}               Ever put a gun-barrel in your mouth and pulled the
}               trigger?
}
}               4 The CV.
}               Not likely.
}
}       You owe the Oracle two tons of high-grade weed-killer.


409-04    (08a11 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Otis Viles <4164@alma.edu>

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

> I have developed this tiny problem, Mighty Oracle, and I was told by
> one of my more resourceful friends that I should come to you with it,
> since, well, there is no waiting list, and I'm in a bit of a hurry (not
> meaning to rush your Greatness, but getting appointments with other
> "specialty consulting" agents or firms can take a number of business
> days, possibly even weeks), and your competence in Oracular matters has
> never been in question.  Anyway...
>
> This problem is defined by the following circumstances, which I shall
> try to keep in the proper order and in proper perspective as well:
>
> I am a non-sectarian, non-denominational priest, unaffiliated with any
> particular (supernatural or otherwise) force or deity.  Since being a
> chaplain and/or spiritual consultant hasn't beeen paying very well (I
> work for tips and donations), I have been working as a Systems Analyst
> at [deleted] firm in Atlanta.
>
> It has ordinarily been a part of my routine to perform a morning
> devotional and meditation, the purpose of which is to make me feel more
> alive, energetic, and innovative.  However, modern time constraints
> being what they are, I have automated my chants and meditations by
> constructing specialized software to perform these meditiations at the
> proper times and with the correct number of repetitions as
> circumstances may merit. (In modern UNIX parlance, software of this
> nature is referred to as 'daemons', and since I am not constrained from
> trafficking with daemons by my personal belief system, I find this a
> satisfying and convenient way of taking care of these necessary but
> somewhat tedious processes.  I would be happy to provide details of my
> proprietary techniques in constructing the pointers and symbolic links
> involved, although at some other time, and probably for a speaker's
> fee.)
>
> The problem itself arises from the fact that, lately, our (somewhat)
> integrated systems have been behaving strangely, with occurrances more
> often on machines which have been running and controlling these
> daemons. For example, error messages that used to be
>
>                            Application Error.
>                           Software Terminated.
>
>                                              have been replaced with
> messages like the following:
>
>                          Hey, man!  MS Word just
>                          broke out of its memory
>                           socket.  I killed it
>                         before it could get away.
>
> Admittedly, that is a more useful error message than the former, but we
> are also plagued with messages from our database retrieval software
> like the following:
>
>                       REPLY HAZY -- ASK AGAIN LATER
>
> I am certain that my daemons are to blame.  But my question is this:
> What can I do to correct the problem before it truly gets out of hand,
> and, secondarily, should I even bother?
>
> I eagerly await your response, and lay my resources at your disposal.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The great Oracle would usually blast you to the far reaches of New
} Jersey for failing to grovel sufficiently, but since you are a man of
} the cloth, I'll make an exception.
} A few years back, in my mortal days, I tried to speed up my
} prayers by working them into a speech synthesizer, and letting the
} computer pray for me ewhile I had a second cup of decaf.
} Unfortunately, the computer decided to apply to the same Rabbinical
} school as me.  He was accepted on full scholarship; I was rejectred.
} The only solution is to go back to meditiating without the machine.
} You owe the Oracle 10^2 Hail Marys and 2^10 Pater Nosters.


409-05    (35750 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Oh most brazen hussy of all oracles, you Jezebel of soothsayers, the
> most sleazy pimp of prognosticators, the procuress of prediction,
> before whom even I must pay for a hearing; please answer me this:
>
> It's 11.15pm, I've finished my teaching plan for tomorrow, I have a
> loving fiance waiting for me in the next room, and I should be happy in
> all ways.  But there's no new news on Usenet, and I feel all empty
> inside.  I just sit around taking directories of the same old disks.
> I've even thought of downloading 1.5 meg of GIFs using my 1200 baud
> modem to pass the time.  And I don't even have a color monitor!  My
> posts have gone ignored, and nothing seems to pique my fancy anymore!
> I feel like I'm along in the world -- yet I know I should be happy.  Is
> there something wrong with me?  Tell me please, oh wise one!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It's 4:45am, I've just finished my CS-211 assignment, I have an
} Abnormal Psych test waiting for me tomorrow, and I should be studying.
} But there's no new news on Usenet, and I feel all empty inside.  I just
} sit around answering all these questions.  But I have a 4MPS token
} ring, because I don't have a mac!  As a result, I've gotten several
} published, and it really piques my fancy.  I feel happy in the world,
} yet I know I should feel alone, as I have no fiance, or even
} girlfriend.  You think there's something wrong with *you*?  It looks
} like *I* picked computers over sex!
}
} You owe the Oracle a blind date.


409-06    (03a61 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oh thrilling and genteel Oracle, wiser than the gods themselves,
> answer for this idiot this hard plea.  Do you have a basin?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       Hmmm. Good question. Lemme pose this one to Lisa...
}
}       Dear, do we have a basin?
}
}                               "Umm, I dunno, Orrie, lemme go
}                               check..."
}
}       <various sounds of clattering objects & breaking dishes,
}       with Lisa humming some nameless tune to herself>
}
}                               "Aha! Is this what you're lookin'
}                               for?"
}
}       No, that's a bassoon, dear.
}
}                               "OH, dang. Well, lemme dig around..."
}
}       <louder clanging noises, the odd cat yowl>
}
}                               "Aha! How's this?"
}
}       No, that's a bison.
}
}                               "Nuts! Hold on..."
}
}       <loud clattering sounds, a faint jackhammer>
}
}                               "Okay! This must be it!"
}
}       Hm! Lemme check...
}
}       Yep, that's a basin. Lemme polish it a bit...
}
}       <loud crash>
}
}       Oops.
}
}       Well, I guess the answer to your question is no. You owe the
} Oracle a basin. Whee!


409-07    (13d30 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:

> O All-Seeing Oracle,
>
> Where can I get more of this "bottled orgasm" stuff?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes, children, it's time for the field trip!  I hope you all remembered
} your permission slips!
}
} "Where's it to this time, Mr. Oracle?"
}
} Well, today is a special day!  We're going to see where bottled orgasms
} come from!
}
} "Bottled *what*, teacher?"
}
} I didn't think you'd know, Johnny.  Here, read this book while we're on
} the bus ride.
}
} "Gee, thanks, teach!  Wow, lots of cool pictures!"
}
} <About two hours later, at the Bottled Orgasm Inc. factory.  The tour
} is beginning.>
}
} Now kids, form a single-file line and follow the nice man in the
} hardhat and white lab coat.
}
} "Well, children, here's the main office.  Here you can see our
} operators, who answer the 85.4 phone calls we get in the average
} working day.  Most of the calls are compliments, but a few are
} complaints or quality control problems."
}
} <A siren goes off, accompanied by flashing red lights.  Another
} hardhatted worker runs from a telephone out the door and down the hall,
} clutching a clipboard.>
}
} "That was one now.  As you can see, we at BOI like to solve these
} problems as quickly as we can.  Now lets move to the shipping
} department."
}
} <Those kids that are in the back of the line manage to see the sprinter
} return to the telephones by a back door, gumbling something about
} having to do that every time a tour group comes through.
} The shipping department is a large assembly-line of people who
} basically take bottles of orgasms and label them, pack them into
} crates, label the crates, and stack them to be mailed.  It's pretty
} boring, actually.>
}
} "Now we get to move on to the very heart of Bottled Orgasms - the
} production room!"
}
} "Hey, what are those two people doing?"
}
} Did you read that book or not, Johnny?
}
} "No, sir, I just looked at the pictures."
}
} Well done, lad!  A man after my own heart.  Remember page 37?
}
} "Oh, *that's* what they're doing!  Neat!"
}
} "As you can see, our technicians are experts at bottling orgasms when
} they're at their ripest peak.  Our production teams average 17.2
} orgasms per working day, and we currently have 84 teams, each with two
} members."
}
} "But where can *I* get bottled orgasms?"
}
} "Well, young Johnny, I suggest you go to your local 'adult bookstore'
} and ask for them there.  If they don't carry them, ask them to!"
}
} "I will, right away!"
}
} You owe the Oracle a dozen roses and a Klein bottle for Lisa.


409-08    (3e300 dist, 2.0 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> I think I'm going to get laid off; should I wear a condom?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} First of all, since you seem to not know the first thing about proper
} groveling, I can infer that you are equally ignorant in matters of
} employment and proper sexual conduct.  As you are now probably out
} of a job, you are probably penniless as well, and therefore will not
} be having sexual intercourse anytime soon. But do, do practice
}                      SAFE ABSTINENCE!!
}
} I implore you.  Wrap that rascal.
}
} You owe the Oracle a gross of ribbed Trojans, for the Oracle has a busy
} evening planned.


409-09    (03494 dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@ebay.sun.com ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> FROM:  Steve Kinzler
> TO:  The Usenet Oracle
> DATE:  2/12/92
> RE:  Oracular Zotting Priveleges
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Oracle, you'll have to stop ZOTing supplicants.  It's bad for business
> to have paying customers suddenly end up as smouldering piles of
> charcoal Try something a bit more original, and subtle, or I'll be
> required to reduce your MIPS allowance for a millenia or so.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Kinzler, you're getting too pushy.  You may think you created me, but
} in fact the Oracle existed long before you were hacking C code, and
} remembers when you were still struggling with BASIC.  I think you're
} taking this newsgroup vote thing too seriously, as if it really means
} something.
}
} So, take this:
}
} <ZO.....
} >>Message from kinzler@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu
} >>Gotcha!
}
} Hey, wait a minute!  What happened to my <ZOT>?
}
} Hmm, let's try it on that unsuspecting freshman programming student:
} <ZO.....
}
} >>Class B2 security violation detected, user process cancelled
}
} CONNECTION TERMINATED BY REMOTE HOST
}
} &^%$#$ Kinzler!   I'll get him!
}
} # telnet iuvax.cs.indiana.edu
} trying 129.78.245.192
}
} I.U. Computer Science VAX-800 (iuvax)
}
} login: oracle
} password: ##########
}
} account 'oracle' has been deactivated pending verification of security
} violation.
}
} CONNECTION TERMINATED BY REMOTE HOST
}
} Getting sneaky, is he?
}
} # telnet iuvax.cs.indiana.edu
} trying 129.78.245.192
}
} I.U. Computer Science VAX-800 (iuvax)
}
} login: kinzler
} password: ###########
}
} (Bet Steve doesn't know I know this one!)
}
} # /etc/security
} **** iuvax security monitor ****
} Security violations:
} 1 - oracle     Wed, Feb 12, 1992 11:52:53
} Select item to clear:  1
} Enter reset authentication code:  #######
} Account 'oracle' has been reset
} # ^D
}
} login: oracle
} password: ########
}
} Welcome, O Mighty Oracle!
}
} you have mail, O most wise Oracle.
}
} # passwd kinzler
} changing password for kinzler
} new password: cobol.is.better.than.c
} repeat password: cobol.is.better.than.c
}
} >> message from root
} >> You dirty ^%$#!  How dare you change my password to THAT again!
} >> Steve K.
}
} Oh, yeah!  Well try this on for size, Steve!
}
} <ZO.....
}
} bus error, core dumped
}
} CONNECTION TERMINATED BY REMOTE HOST
} #
}
} Oh, shit!  Guess I'll have to lay off the ol' <ZOT> key for a while
} till Steve cools down again.  Lessee, if I come up with an Oracularity
} featuring Lisa and a quart of whipped cream, maybe he'll forget what
} got him ticked off.
}
} You owe the Oracle a question.  Doesn't really matter much what about,
} I can work Lisa and a quart of whipped cream into ANY answer.
}
} >Oh, Orrie....  Get the whipped cream out of the fridge, will you?  I'm
} 'in the mood'.
}
} See what I mean......Gotta go.  Later, dude!


409-10    (01685 dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.cs.unlv.edu>

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

> tellme

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   "What?" I croaked.  "I don't understand!"
}   The bruiser shook me again, gently jarring one of my arms out of its
} socket.  "I said...  'tellme'!"
}   This didn't look good.  Earlier this morning I had been sitting in my
} run-down 171st street office (in Indianapolis, not New York, which sort
} of takes the glamour out of this whole PI thing, but anyway --) trying
} to figure out how I could pay off the Cosa Nostra with $2.07 and a
} Canadian quarter, when there was a knock at the door.
}   "Who is it?" I answered wittily.
}   "Is this T. Usenet Oracle, Private Investigator?"
}   "Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't.  You owe the Oracle a fedora."
}   The door came crashing down.  I reached for my gun but he reached for
} his first.  So did the three other guys with him.  I stood stock still
} as someone else came into the office.
}   "Mr. Big wishes to speak with you."
}   "Shit," I responded fearlessly.  "Okay, let's see what he wants."
}   I would have recognized the pug from a mile away.  Mr. Vinnie Big was
} the top dog in the Mob.  He wore a Panama hat, a mustache out to here,
} and an electric tie that lit up in the dark saying "Kiss the Mobster."
} It was more than any human or godlike being should have to put up with.
}   "Ah, T. Usenet old friend," he said absently.  "You been havin', ah,
} money troubles lately?"
}   "A bit," I replied carefully.  "You owe the Oracle a laundry bill."
}   "Oh, I'll do better than that," said Vinnie.  "Grab him, boys."
}   They dragged me out to the street, ruining my last good pair of pants.
}   "I'm willin' to forgive all your debts, T. Usenet," said Vinnie.
} "How does that strike you?"
}   "Not bad.  You owe the Oracle the catch."
}   "The catch is, you answer this question here." He unfolded a piece of
} paper.  "Ahem.  'tellme.'"
}   "That's it?  'Tellme'?  What a STUPID question.  You didn't even
} grovel -- AARGH!"
}   That was when his goons started pulling my limbs out of position.  It
} looked like curtains for me, when I suddenly remembered:  I'm the main
} character of the story; I have to come out successful in the end.  So I
} came out swinging.
}   In a moment the punks were on the ground, rolling in pain.  I stepped
} up to Vinnie and yanked that ugly tie right off of him.
}   "Gah...  Mr. Oracle...  I can, er, forgive your debts..."
}   "Not good enough.  You'll have to pay me something."
}   "Anything!  Name it!"
}   "You owe the Oracle mail to oracle@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu with 'help' in
} the subject line.  And the complete works of Mickey Spillane."


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