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Internet Oracularities #418

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418, 418-01, 418-02, 418-03, 418-04, 418-05, 418-06, 418-07, 418-08, 418-09, 418-10


Usenet Oracularities #418    (32 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 92 08:26:29 -0500

@@@ Please note:  Although votes are not currently being tabulated they
@@@ will be saved up and counted upon the return of the great Kinzler.
@@@ (I don't think he exist either... but I do remember Lisa... :)

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418-01    (3h750 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> O wise, wonderful and truly splendiferous Oracle, answer me this:
>
> Why is that portable C is never that portable?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Perhaps you should try boiling it first. Oh, did that say `portable'?
} I thought it said `potable'. Hey, what the heck, boil it anyway, it
} can only improve C code!
}
} You owe the Oracle a brine-bath.


418-02    (45f71 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

> Oh Oracle Most Vice, please help this most unworthy being.
>
> I have planned to win the International Obfuscated C Code Contest this
> year. What kind of program should I submit?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle suggests that you submit a program written in C.
}
} But the Oracle realizes that is probably not really what you were
} asking; it is sometimes hard for the Oracle to distinguish
} between the virtually identical infinitesimal intelligence levels
} of smart mortals and dumb mortals.
}
} Extrapolating from recent trends in IOCCC winners should suggest
} several possibilities.  This year's rules, in fact, allow for
} significantly more complex programs because statement separators
} won't be counted towards your character limit in some cases.
} Here are the kinds of things you should try for, given that IOCCC
} awards have been given to increasingly amazing programs:
}
} * Ada-to-C translator/compiler
}
} * workalike VMS kernel (early versions acceptable; why make life
}   too hard for yourself?)
}
} * source code that when compiled generates a text procesing
}   utility which when applied to the source generates new source
}   that compiles into another text processing utility that when
}   applied to its source generates . . . (on and on) . . . thereby
}   recreating most of /bin.
}
} * a program that passes the Turing Test
}
} Any of these should impress the hell out of chongo and guarantee
} you a place in the awards.  The Oracle has written all of these
} programs in obfuscated C for amusement, but chongo won't accept
} entries from immortals.
}
} You owe the Oracle Stephen Bourne's obfuscated source code for
} sh.


418-03    (02ad7 dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icbm.att.com

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

> Oh Oracle, Oracle.  What can my pitiful mortalness say about you
> that has not already been expounded upon?  Your greatness inspires
> us all to simply surrender our lives, and give up this hopeless
> quest we are all on to become more like you.  I would prefer, I
> think, to have the honor of drowning in the puss that flows from
> a boil on your backside than to continue in these futile attempts.
>
> But in the interim, I seem to have another problem.
>
> Last time, you told me that I should just go up to Sally, tell her
> that I wasn't interested, and demand that she stop following me around.
> I tried that, but it only made her more persistent.  I realize that
> this must have been what you intended to have happen, so that I would
> have to try your second suggestion .
>
> When I brought out the cucumber, however, she did not shriek and
> run away.  Instead, she produced what looked like a tube of
> toothpaste, although it wasn't toothpaste, and chased me
> for some time.  She had the most peculiar look in her eye, and used
> several words that I am not familiar with.  Eventually she agreed
> to go home, although she insisted upon taking the cucumber with her.
>
> I'm sure this was all part of your plan, but I'm not sure what to do
> next.  She says that she will be over tonight, and that she will be
> bringing some vegetables of her own.  Should I buy some more salad
> dressing?  Your unworthy supplicant remains very confused.  She said
> something about being "like that", which I don't understand at all.
> Also this business with her beagle coming to dinner has me a bit
> worried.
>
> I have no doubt that we are merely actors in a play that you have
> written long ago, but I'm not sure what to do next!  I don't want
> to disappoint you.  Help!
>
> PS I hope you enjoyed those photographs you asked for last time.  I
> not only had a heck of a time finding someone who would develop them
> for me, but that stuff chafed something awful.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [A sunny beach.  White sands.  Azure waters.  Gnarly waves.  Oracle in
}  beach chair, back view.  Iced tea.  SPARCstation 6 holographic laptop
}  displaying small 3-dimensional, color, audio moving images nearby,
}  from alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.3d.av.  In a virtual window
}  floating nearby, text is barely decipherable, "> Oh Oracle, Oracle.
}  What ...". Zoom in on it so that it fills the screen for a few
}  seconds, then zoom back, but the window is clearly visible.]
}
} [The computer chimes expensively.  Oracle taps a couple keys, enabling
}  the speakerphone.]
}
} Receptionist: Sally Brown for you on line 262, your preponderance.
} Oracle: Thanks honey.  I wish that damn dog wouldn't give out my
}         number.
} R: I think he's so cuuuuuute.
} O: That's why I hired you, Rachel.  Aloha.
}
} [Oracle pushes a key.]
}
} O: (slight grin)  How'd it go with with the cuke?
} Sally: O he who's smar-
} O: Ok, right, very nice, Sally.  What's up?
} S: He wouldn't play Salad with me, so I played by myself.
} O: (chuckle) Any port in a storm.
} S: It was so tingly!  But you said he'd play with me!
} O: I know, he'll come around.  There's a box under mommy's and daddy's
}    bed.  When they're not looking, borrow the handcuffs from the case.
} S: Why do they have handcuffs under their bed?  Daddy isn't a
}    policeman.
} O: Because they like to play cops-and-robbers.  This is a fun game,
}    especially when the cops have handcuffs.  Mommy and daddy know this.
} O: I want you to play cops-and-robbers with Linus.  Make sure that
}    you're a cop!
} S: That sounds like fun!
} O: When you handcuff him, cops-and-robbers is over.  *Then* you can
}    play Salad just like I told you last time.
} S: Hmmmm...?  (pause)  Ok!
} O: There are also two little keys for the handcuffs in the box.  Take
}    one of them as well, so you can let him go when you're done.  That's
}    part of the rules.  Another rule is this game is a secret!  You
}    might not be allowed to play anymore if you get caught.  (under his
}    breath) And I might go to jail.  (louder) Underst-
} S: I have to go, here comes blockhead!
} O: You owe the Oracle a lock of naturally curly blond hair and one of
}    Snoopy's and Lassie's pups.
} S: Ok!  Byebye!
}
} [Oracle disables the speakerphone.]
}
} [Cut to keyboard.  Oracle presses the `r' key, and a second virtual
}  window fades in near the first.  The text is barely decipherable, "And
}  in response, thus ...".  Zoom in on this virtual window so that it
}  fills the screen.]
}
} [You hear a soft but very very fast tap-tapping, and the following
}  message is typed in about six seconds.]
}
} Sally sometimes plays dumb.  She might not act so strangely when you
} play more traditional games.  If you want my advice, I'd stick to such
} time-honored favorites as cops-and-robbers.
}
} You owe the Oracle a security blanket and a tube of toothpaste-not.
}
} [The Oracle chuckles softly while sipping his ice tea.  The camera
}  slowly zooms back, farther and ever farther back into oblivion.]
}
} [Naw.]
}
} [The Oracle gets up, brushes some sand off his pre-eminent butt cheeks,
}  and walks down the beach into the setting sun.]
}
} [No, wait.]
}
} [Off camera, you hear a smooth, sultry voice say, "Wanna play
}  cops-and-robbers?"]
}
} O: That one!  That one!  Um, cut to black!
}
} [Cut to black.]


418-04    (36d64 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: CLHP19@vaxb.strathclyde.ac.uk

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

> > The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
> > Your question was:
> >
> > > O Oracle most wise, Who is so great he addresses God as "Hey,
> > > Yahweh dude! want a cold Bud?" , this mortal must know:
> > >
> > >   Are sysadmins really the AntiChrist?
> >
> > And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
> >
> > } [Ungh, where the hell am I going to go with this?]
> > }
> > } Give it your best shot, Incarnation...  After all, you *did*
> > } volunteer. As I recall, `Subject: tell me, he who is gnarly with
> > } wisdom', hmmmmmm?
> > }
> > } [I'm drawing a blank.  Maybe I'll just slough it.]
> > }
> > } If you think asking a question of the Oracle is a dangerous
> > } business, think about what might happen to those who commit
> > } sacrilege in my name!
> > }
> > } [Point taken.  What should I do?]
> > }
> > } Whatever it takes!
> > }
> > } If you have to use metaphor, so be it.
> > } If you have to use pomposity, so be it.
> > } If you have to use diversions, so be it.
> > } If you have to use screenplays, so be it.
> > } If you have to use references to Lisa, so be it.
> > } If you have to use the threat of my omnipotence and libido, so be
> > }   it. [1292 sources of inspiration omitted for brevity]
> > } If you have to use tubes of jell containing a plaid-colored paint
> > }   marked "tartan-control Crest", so be it.
> > } If you have to conjure small, hermaphroditic creatures who speak in
> > }   bad verse and are armed with "Kick Me Harder" signs, so be it.
> > }
> > } I could go on and on.
> > }
> > } [You already have.]
> > }
> > } Watch it!
> > }
> > } [Sorry sir.  I can handle it!]
> > }
> > } Errr, ok.  Knock yourself out.  Or I will.
> > }
> > } [Ok, ok!  Here goes...]
> > }
> > } You owe the Oracle 1292 sources of inspiration.
>
> Mighty Oracle, this answers not my question. My disappointment has
> caused me to strike my genitals with a sledgehammer. Now i repeat my
> question....
>
> > >     Are sysadmins really the AntiChrist?
>
>                                       Signed,
>                                               A concerned User

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} And now, please turn to Computations I:1
}
} 1. In the beginning there was only vast expanses of vacuum tubes. The
} research teams looked at the tubes and it was good.
} 2. Then, on the 2nd project, the teams said, "Let there be a firmament
} in the vacuum," and they created the chips and the circuits, and it
} was good.
} 3. The teams looked at the computer and said, "Let the box be filled
} with all manner of processes that fork and multiply," and it was. And
} it too was good.
} 4. Then a lot of other things happened that weren't quite documented
} correctly and lost when the last hard disk backup was destroyed in a
} freak electrical storm one nig%^#%#^]^]\&$#%*!^)!^* NN* !^?^?^}\0\0\0\]
} 56. and Gabriel said unto the programmers, "Let the operators be
} banished from the Computation, and Mefistopheles shall no longer
} control the job runs."
} 57. And so it was that Beezlebup had a devil put aside for me. For ME!
} 58. And the processes were free to run and multiply as they wished, and
} the operators were relegated to the ranks of sysadmin.
}
} We need read no further. I believe that answers the question.
}
} You owe the Oracle a prayer.


418-05    (4c961 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> #include <std_grovel.h>
>
> Have you ever considered doing a guest shot on Star Trek: The Next
> Generation?  They already have an omnipotent character named 'Q', but I
> imagine you'd be far more entertaining than him.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Thank you, no.  I got my fill of showbiz on the old Star Trek, on which
} I was a frequent co-star.  I recall with particular pleasure my
} masterly portrayals of the time-travelling portal, Rejek the Homicidal
} Computer Virus, and the macro-cellular mind/flying omelets that suck
} out your brian throught he back of your neck and then force you to
} build them luxury condos, but are allergic to sunlight.  Thin material,
} but acting to make you cry, wouldn't you say?
}
} Well???
}
} You owe the Oracle a rave review.


418-06    (38b46 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Karyanta

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

> Oh Oracle most wise, whose belly-button lint I am not worthy to remove,
> My Macintosh keeps crashing when I program it.
>
> I would like to know what the proper sacrifices would be to the Mac to
> get it to work...

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} First, my child, you must abase yourself and pray to the universe's
} second greatest god, Wozniak the Magnificent (after whom Wednesday was
} named).  This must be done in your garage by the light of a single
} incandescent bulb.
}
} Second, you must file a look-and-feel lawsuit against a major
} competitor of Apple, preferably IBM or Microsoft.  Be sure to push it
} to the limit...the Apple gods are fickle at best, and may well sue you
} for having a trashcan in your back yard.
}
} Third, you must write to the suppliers of all your programs and ask for
} upgrades that will run under System 7.  You must pay all fees with nary
} a complaint or expectation of reimbursment.  You must also fill out the
} warranty card with green ink.
}
} You owe the Oracle a good reason for using a Mac in the first place.


418-07    (24j52 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: engel@sj.ate.slb.com (Mike Engelhardt)

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

> Oracle, master, your slave questions...
> In a 400-500 word essay, describe a place that you've been do which has
> held a particularly special meaning.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} place that I've been do that- hmm.. must mean been to.  oh well.....
}
} <The oracle sits at his desk and begins writing at a somewhat leisurely
}  pace. As he's putting on the finishing touches to the essay, a large,
}  well musceled man with long red hair and a beard walks in.>
}
} "Oracle, Ho.  'Sup buddy?"
}
} Oh, hi, Zeus.  Not much.  Just finishing up an essay for a supplicant
} here.
}
} "An essay for a supplicant?  What, are you out of your mind???  You
} start doing that, and the next you know they'll expect you to perform
} miracles for them!"
}
} Now see here Zeus, you have no right to talk to me like that in my
} temple!
}
} "I'll talk to you any damn way I please, you half-rate excuse for a
} deity!"
}
} <The oracle stands up suddendly, anger in his eyes>
}
} I think you'd better leave now Zeus.
}
} "Leave?  I'm just warming up.  Try this on for size, you panty-waist"
}
} <Zeus hurls a massive lightening bolt at the Oracle, who responds with
}  a tremendous ZO- *****CENSORED*****
}
}        *************************************************************
}        *  The resulting  orgy of violence has been  censored  in   *
}        *  accordance  with  numerous  regulations  maintained by   *
}        *  assorted agencies that  acts of  excessive violence or   *
}        *  sex  be  blacked out  so as to retain a  proper family   *
}        *  atmospher on this computer network.  Thank You.          *
}        *************************************************************
}
} And if you ever come back here again acting like that, I'll do worse
} than *BLEEP* your *BLEEP* off, you  *BLEEP* *BLEEP* *BLEEP* *BLEEP*
} *BLEEP*, you *BLEEP* nincompoop!  Oh pardon me, I seem to have lost my
} composure.  I've got your essay right here....
}
} <The oracle looks down at the smoulding remains of his desk, and your
} essay>
}
} Oh well... I wouldn't have been able to print it here anyway.  You see,
} it was about this nice little secluded beach cove on Antares V where
} Lisa and I *BLEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
} EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-
}
} You owe the Oracle a censor without so many inhibitions and a 1000 word
} essay on why we should elect Jello Biafra for president


418-08    (5c861 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <sgccmmc@citecuc.citec.oz.au>

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

> Oh magnificent oracle, whose glory radiates vibrantly from, yea, even
> under the penumbra of thy foulest excreta, grant me this boon.
>
> In Joseph Heller's profound and witty novel of bomber pilots during
> WWII, _Catch-22_, there are several scenes describing the military
> briefings conducted by the command staff for the pilots and crews.
> During one of these briefings the command staff foolishly accepts
> questions.  Among the questions, many and good, shouted from the floor
> were "ho-ho", "berri-berri" and "balls!"
>
> Mr. Heller's narrator informs us that these are indeed good questions,
> but they never seem to be answered, doubtless due to pressures arising
> from editorial or narrative issues.
>
> Lo these many years since high school I have pondered and fretted over
> these questions.  Are they good questions?  What do they mean?  Are
> they answered in the novel in some obscure manner that I have missed?
> If not, can your omniscience reveal the answers at last?
>
> I will gladly pay with a pair of apples from Orr's cheeks, and if
> necessary even with some flies from Appleby's eyes.
>
>   -- my roomies call me Yo-Yo
>   -- somewhere in Scandinavia

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh excrementally challenged one, I shall answer your question.
}
} In the early days of the republic, young one, books were fairly
} straighforward.  The Bible, as we all know, was essentially an allegory
} about the debate about the silver and gold standards.  Macbeth was a
} tome about transsexuality and bestiality.  And even though I don't
} really have to remind you, The Great Gatsby argued the case in favor of
} the designated hitter rule.
}
} And then those deconstructionists came.  You don't understand, they
} said. The Bible is a story about God.  Gatsby deals with the maturation
} of a nouvearich adult in the New York area.  And A Clockwork Orange is
} about drinking milk.
}
} You see, their problem, as well as yours, is that you look too hard at
} the subtexts as well.  You may read into the book that it's a story of
} the idiocy of the military, but in doing that, you're reading way too
} much into the book. In Heller's first book, Catch-21, which you
} obviously haven't read, he begins in the preface by saying "Look!  I'm
} just talking about Freud's auxilliary constructions and delusional
} realities, nothing else.  But that's our secret." Unfortunately, only
} 50 copies of the book were printed, leaving the rest of you clueless.
}
} So the answers to the questions were, in the following order:
} -By crossing a potentate and a hottentot
} -Burundi, 1925
} and
} -36, but 40 if you include his album with Blind Faith
}
} You owe the Oracle your ripeness, which, as we know, is all.


418-09    (157d6 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> You da Oracle?
>
> I gotta shipment forya from da Supplicant Clearing House. Dey said
> sumpthin' about past due offerings and C.O.D.
>
> Accordin' to dis invoice, I got:
>
>       A chocolate bunny wid an arrow through it (Dat's sick),
> somebody's thumbs (Gross), 37,230 copies of "Green Card", a book of
> Sufi poetry, a jug of wine (It was delicious), a Short Nubile Teen
> Fanatic (She was delicious too), a case of Pepto-Bismol, a jumbo bag of
> plant fertilzer, an English-Sanskrit dictionary, 50 megatons of Motrin,
> a copy of Miss June Dally Watkins Manners Guide, a copy of "Our Bodies,
> Ourselves", an unabridged dictionary of American Slang (What, you can't
> read Penthouse?), a recipe collection, a case of Ben-Gay, a home
> version of "Stump the Oracle", a buncha diplomas, a case of oranges, a
> GIF of the Cat in da Hat, a case of Advil, a videotape of some sicko
> sexually assaulting a chicken, a leather purse, a Playboy tarot deck,
> and about 40 cents in loose change.
>
> Whattya want me ta do with dis junk?!?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Just put it in the large cabinet behind the door.  Thanks.  You can
} keep the loose change as a tip.
}
} You owe the Oracle sixteen clips of ammunition for an AK-47; two
} tablespoons of enriched uranium; a bucket of live squid; David Duke's
} autographed copy of "Mein Kampf"; seven thousand Macedonians in full
} battle array; a Julia Roberts look-alike, but without the birthmark; a
} full set of first editions of "The Hardy Boys" with moustaches drawn on
} all the faces; enough honey to paint Altoona; a brick;
} seventy-three-and-a-half miles of the westbound lanes of Interstate 90,
} preferably not in Minnesota; a chocolate malted milk shake with mint
} chocolate chip ice cream, heavy on the malt; four gallons of Winsor &
} Newton Chinese Red ink; a dog named Boo; the truth about Jack Kennedy;
} one of those really cute shirts with the little polo player on the
} breast, infested with fire ants; 500 shares of AT&T; the complete "My
} Mother the Car"; the phone number of anyone who actually believes
} anything that Pat Buchannan says; a lifetime subscription to "Screw"
} magazine; a good name for a drink made of vodka, grenadine, and
} Fizzies; two first-class round-trip plane tickets from Chicago to
} almost anyplace; Santa Claus' fax number; everything you ever wanted to
} know about sex but figured was geometrically impossible; a perfect
} vacuum; a universal solvent; a perpetual motion machine; the
} Philosopher's Stone; the Maltese Falcon; Godot; the Cask of
} Amontillado; the treasure of Sierra Madre; and something that goes well
} with three-week old mushroom pizza.


418-10    (25d75 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> Oh omniscient one, I think I have found the place where all
> of the socks go that come up missing in the dryer--millions
> and millions of them.  What kind of price should I ask for
> returning these personal effects?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Child.  Come and listen.  Come and learn.  Verily I say unto thou:
} For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The cosmos,
} shall we say, is in a state of perfect harmony.  Now I don't mean to
} say that your little life is in a state of perfect harmony, but the
} big picture, viewed by one (ahem) who is capable of viewing the big
} picture, is in harmony.
}
} I'm going to let you in on a secret (cross your heart and promise not
} to tell):  for one seeking the answer to harmony in the universe, go
} not the path well-trodden, the path of protons, ions, muons, Grand
} Unification, Cosmic strings, etc, etc.  Why not choose the other path?
} Yes - stray socks.
}
} Therefore, what you are asking then, is, For what price is harmony?
} For what price is equilibrium in the Universe?  How much should I
} charge to screw up the BIG EVERYTHING?  Frankly, I'm aghast.  You ask
} me to be an accomplice to the rape of mankind.  I am aghast, but on the
} other hand, one should not be too quick to judge.  Every idea, no
} matter how bad, has some merit.  Maybe we can deal?  Hmmmmm.
}
} Ok.  Here's the bottom line.  I'll tell you the fair price for the sock
} stash.  But I'll also tell you the ramifications for screwing with the
} harmony of the universe.  If the price justifies the burden on your
} soul, I say go for it.  If, on the other hand, it does not, well then
} forget you even thought of it.
}
} Ramifications:
} Men will get a period once a month, but women will have to shave.  Dogs
} will understand what you say to them and will be able to talk back
} (they don't like liver either).  Noses WILL grow when someone is
} telling a lie, or even a slight falsehood.  Children will live with
} their parents until the age of 35, at which time they will be able to
} get a driver's license and vote.  People will constantly be in a state
} of drunken stupor, and will sober up ONLY by consuming alcohol.
} Youngsters will not be allowed to nap, but people with jobs will get a
} mat with cookies and milk every day at 2:00 PM and will get to sleep
} for 1 hour.  Basketball rims will be set at 18 feet, and football
} fields at 300 yards.  Virtual time will be installed, that is the hour
} between 9:00 and 10:00 AM will only take 5 minutes of real time, but
} the hour from 8:00 to 9:00 PM will take 1 hour and 55 minutes. And
} finally, there will be no Geraldo or Oprah or anyone else that that has
} been on the cover of a supermarket tabloid.
}
} There you have it.  Not all good, not all bad.
} The sock stash is worth about $400.00 (US).  It would be worth less,
} but fortunately they've all been laundered.
}
} So harmony of the universe is in your hands.  Do with it what you will.
} In any event, you owe the Oracle a black and yellow argyle (size 9-11),
} and a white tube sock with red stripes.


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