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Internet Oracularities #453

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Usenet Oracularities #453    (33 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 92 12:11:07 -0500

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   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
an integer scale of 1 = "not funny" to 5 = "very funny" with the volume
number to oracle-vote on iuvax (probably just reply to this message).
For example:
   453
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

453   33 votes 96a71 55968 12cc6 17e74 14h92 769a1 4ba80 2be24 178b6 5ca42
453   3.0 mean  2.5   3.2   3.6   3.2   3.2   2.8   2.7   2.8   3.4   2.6


453-01    (96a71 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: CLHP19@vaxb.strathclyde.ac.uk

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

> What colour is a byte?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} What no groveling?  Thou snivelling worm wouldst dare to ask the great
} and mighty Oracle a question referring to one of the simplest
} structures of the universe, one which requires great concentration and
} thought, and you do not abase yourself before the universal source of
} knowledge known only as the Oracle?
}
} Oh well, I guess some people are just no fun. . .
}
} bytes come in a variety of colours and flavors.  The best way to
} understand what they look like is to understand their makeup.  Now, as
} everyone knows, each byte is made up of 2 nibbles and each nibble is
} made up of 4 bits.  The fundamenta question is:  what colour are each
} of the bits?
}       The best method of approaching this rather relative question, for
} mere mortals can not even begin to comprehend the inner workings of the
} universe, is to hit yourself over the head with a keyboard from a
} Zenith Dataworks PC while going over the edge of Niagra falls while
} dropping acid.  When you surface, you will be surrounded (most likely)
} by a variety of colors.  Pick the one which seems to cover your body
} the most and call that one 0.  Next, pick the one which seems to be
} missing completely from any or all of your perceptions and call that
} one 1.  Go back home, after paying the hospital and rehabilitation
} clinic bill, and get two large pieces of nylon, one of each of the
} colours which you chose.  Get eight flashlights and in any order you so
} choose wrap the nylon material over the flashlights.
}       Now comes the tricky part.  Locate an underground military
} missile base, sneak into it by night, break into their machine room and
} crawl into the most easily accessable hole in the machine you can find.
} Grab the nearest board and yank it out of its socket.  Quickly now,
} while there is still logic in some of the chips, shine each of the
} flashlights you have with you on that board while uttering a prayer to
} the great spirit of Univax.  When you are shot by the rampant security
} guards, the last color you will see will be the colour you sought after
} so dearly, the colour of a byte.
}
} See, it helps to grovel, 'cos if you did, I would have told you the
} easy way
}
} begone from my sight!
}
} You owe the Oracle a 8 X 10 glossy of Grace Hopper.


453-02    (55968 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@uhura.cc.rochester.edu>

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

> Dear Oracle:
>
> I don't have a question.  I'm just going to send this in
> again and again until someone composes a response witty
> enough to make the Oracularities Digest.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I don't have an answer. I'm just going to send this back
} again and again until some priest gets fed up and puts
} it in the Oracularities Digest.


453-03    (12cc6 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe Pettus <cep@taligent.com>

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

> Oracle, you have seen the sun rise and set through countless years.
> You have watched the birth and death of stars. I have heard it said
> that you were present at the last Big Bang and probably several Lesser
> Bangs. I suspect that when the heat death of the universe comes upon
> us, you will be patiently waiting for the toast to pop.  If anyone has
> perspective on the passage of time and the significance of our puny
> lives within the Great Cosmic Scheme of It All, I figure it's you, no?
>
> So here I am, stuck in this mind-numbing job on a Friday afternoon.
> Can you give me just a small pearl of wisdom to help me make it through
> the last few hours until I can break out of this chicken coop?
> Something to put it all into perspective?  Something to guard my soul
> against surrender to the agony of depair?  I'd be _most_ thankful.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Day in, day out, the Oracle hears the cries of despair and ennui that
} rise from people like you, trapped in an absurd human condition.  "What
} does it all mean?" you want to know.
}
} Time was, a younger and more energetic Oracle tried to answer every
} existential query individually.  But Usenet has grown apace, and let's
} face it, "What is reality?" is FAQ number 1.  Luckily, one of my
} Servitors here at Indiana has just completed her adaptation of the
} popular Unix "fortune" program.  I'm sending along the manual page, and
} I advise you to install it on your system soon, certainly before next
} Friday afternoon.
} =================
}
} EFORTUNE(6)              GAMES AND DEMOS              EFORTUNE(6)
}
} NAME
}      efortune - print a random solution to existential angst
}
} SYNOPSIS
}      /usr/games/efortune [ -CfFHNpsz ]
}
} DESCRIPTION
}      efortune with no arguments prints out a random  adage  drawn
}      from  the  writings  of the major existentialist traditions.
}      The flags mean:
}
}           -C   Christian  existentialism.   Adages   drawn   from
}                Kierkegaard,  Tillich,  Bultmann, etc.  "I believe
}                because it is absurd."
}
}           -f   French existentialism.  Adages  drawn  principally
}                from Camus and Sartre.  "Hell is other people."
}
}           -F   French existentialism, pretentious option.  Adages
}                are given in French.  "L'enfer, c'est les Autres."
}
}           -h   Hacker.  Self-explanatory.  "The  trampoline  that
}                doesn't  bend  your  brain is not the true trampo-
}                line."
}
}           -H   Hallmark.  Adages from a  greeting-card  database.
}                "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
}
}           -N   New  Age.   Drawn  from  Richard   Bach,   Shirley
}                Maclaine,  Baba  Ram  Dass, et al.  "Be Here Now."
}                On many systems output from the -N  and  -H  flags
}                will be virtually indistinguishable.
}
}           -p   Parental.  The good advice  you  used  to  get  at
}                home.   "If  it's  worth  doing,  it's worth doing
}                well."
}
}           -s   Suicidal.  This option to  be  used  with  extreme
}                caution   in  cases  of  clinical  depression;  it
}                selects from a database of nihilistic adages  from
}                Nietzsche et al.  "Life is a bitch, then you die."
}
}           -z   Zen masters.  "Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?"
}                "<<ZOT!>>"
}
} FILES
}      /usr/games/lib/efortunes.dat
}
} BUGS
}      Could be more sophisticated; tried to  understand  Heidegger
}      but  barfed.  Should add an -S option for the Stoics but got
}      tired of Marcus Aurelius  for  being  an  upper-class  twit.
}      Hallmark  and New Age sayings reproduced without permission,
}      but hey, this is Un*x, we can do whatever we want!


453-04    (17e74 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: buck@sunyit.edu (Jesse Buckley)

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

>  why does lightning strike tall medal objects?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Because small, fluffy objects don't arc, glow, and explode in the same
} diverting manner.  Hamsters and gerbils and such have their own
} sportive uses here on Olympus, which I will not go into here, as such
} information does not pertain to your question.  However, flattened and
} dried, they make excellent, tactilely arousing frisbees.
}
} You owe the Oracle a round of "Little Bunny Foo-Foo".


453-05    (14h92 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: The Great Squid

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

> Oh wondrous Oracle, whose beard extends for miles and houses all kinds
> of amazing creatures, I asked you this question:
>
> > I have just found H. Ross Perot's credit card.  What is the PIN
> > number, that I may extract $20 to mail it back to him?
>
> And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
>
> } 13 1 9 12 9 20
>
> I tried these numbers, and they didn't work!  What happened?  Did the
> Oracle give me his tuxedo measurements for his own amusement?  Or are
> these the answers to my roommate's upcoming calculus final?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Those numbers, O foolish mortal, are among the most powerful keys to
} insight and bliss in the known multiverse and ought not be bandied
} about on the internet! They constitute, for instance:
}
}       the German telephone number of Helga, possessor of the most
}       fascinating collection of whips this side of Uranus
}
}       the secret decryption key without which the last third of the
}       film 2001: A Space Odyssey makes no sense at all
}
}       the exact map coordinates of the papyrus recording Joseph of
}       Arimethea's incredible prediction of Nostradamus
}
}       my hourly consulting fee
}
}       a simple hex patch that converts Daleks into tireless,
}       omni-enthusiastic pleasure-droids
}
} to name but a few.
}
} Now tell me, if they happen, from time to time, not to be Mr. Perot's
} PIN number, is this *my* fault?
}
} You owe the Oracle: the complete works of Ron Goulart, and a
} replacement moose (the need for which I REFUSE to go in to).


453-06    (769a1 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: engel@sj.ate.slb.com (Mike Engelhardt)

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

> Dear Oracle Sir:
>
>    Recently, I tried to improve my drab, wretched life by instigating
> a romantic liaison with a young lady of an amiable nature.  This
> process was initiated with an exchange that is often described in the
> vernacular as "a pass."  She was, unfortunately, unresponsive.
>
>    Seeing that my experiences at making "passes" was indeed limited, I
> decided, as the future Quality Control Expert I am destined to become,
> to ask this young lady to point out the flaws in my process.  To wit,
> I sent her (via e-mail), the following document:
>
>     As a recent recipient of a LO-YIELD(tm) pass (#314, "It's
>     better than saying 'What's your sign?'"), we ask you to take
>     the time to fill out the following questionnaire so that we
>     can improve the quality of our service to customers such as
>     yourself.
>
>     1) Subtlety level:
>
>     1   2         3         4         5         6         7
>     What pass?                     It could be detected on the moon
>
>     2) Reasons for rejection (you may check more than one):
>
>           a) Didn't know it was a pass
>           b) Appearance (e.g. scruffy-looking)
>           c) Personality (e.g. bizarre sense-of-humor)
>           d) Testimony from acquaintances
>           e) Afraid friends would find out
>           f) Other ______________________________________
>                    ______________________________________
>
>     3) How can we improve the LO-YIELD(tm) pass?
>
>     4) Considering our willingness to adopt your suggestions, what
>        steps would be necessary for you to consider responding
>        positively to a LO-YIELD(tm) pass?  (e.g. promise of
>        moderate-to-expensive dinner with excellent conversation.)
>        Would you have preferred a BLATANT(tm) pass instead?
>
>     5) Are you considering the use of biochemical weapons to
>        repulse the LO-YIELD(tm) pass?
>
>     6) Extraneous comments:
>
>     Thank you for your comments and cooperation.
>
> The reaction to this document was suprising:  she slugged me.
>
> What did I do wrong?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, my dear supplicant - don't worry: The Oracle is on your side and
} will try to find out, what is going on here.
} Doesn't seem to be altogether easy, though. I asked Lisa, but she told
} me leave her alone with this crap. (I guess, she had PMS (tm).) So, we
} will again make this a case for OODA, the Omniscient Oracular Detective
} Agency.
}
} (The Oracle reaches for his Oracular phone, all marble with a golden
} receiver and a platinum dial. He seems to dial a number and talks some
} short sentences into the microphone.)
} No problem. The OODA agent will soon arrive. Gotta go now!
}
} (Five minutes later, the Oracle, disguised as an interviewer
} with a notepad and a moustache is leaving the house. The only thing
} that you'd notice as a difference to the usual appearance of an
} interviewer is his white bathgown and his big <ZOT!>-gun hanging from
} his belt.)
}
} (The Oracle is ringing the door bell on the house of supplicant's one
} and only love, Angie. The door opens, a beautiful woman appears.)
}
} Angie: Yes?
} Oracle: Well, I am coming from OODA, the, er, Obsolete Offbeat Debate
}         Agency.  We are performing an investigation about the way people
}         approach other people. Could you give us certain information,
}         which will of course remain confidential, about the last time a
}         person has approached you?
} Angie: Yes, certainly, er, do I get into a TV show then?
} Oracle: We might consider that. The first question:
}         1) Subtlety level:
}            1    2    3    4    5    6    7
}            What pass?                    It could be detected on the
}                                          moon
} Angie: Let's say, he wasn't much trying to hide, what he was up to.
}        I go for '7'.
} Oracle: The second question:
}         2) Reasons for rejection (you may check more than one):
}            a) Didn't know it was a pass
}            b) Appearance (e.g. scruffy-looking)
}            c) Personality (e.g. bizarre sense-of-humor)
}            d) Testimony from acquaintances
}            e) Afraid friends would find out
}            f) Other ______________________________________
}                     ______________________________________
} Angie: It's d), I guess. But then, I didn't really reject him.
} Oracle: Fine. The third question:
}         3) How can we improve the LO-YIELD(tm) pass?
} Angie: Well, one could add a little more subtlety to the way, he is
}        tearing my clothes off me.
} Oracle: Er, yes. (Looks rather embarrassed.) And now for the forth
}         question:
}         4) Considering our willingness to adopt your suggestions, what
}            steps would be necessary for you to consider responding
}            positively to a LO-YIELD(tm) pass?  (e.g. promise of
}            moderate-to-expensive dinner with excellent conversation.)
}            Would you have preferred a BLATANT(tm) pass instead?
} Angie: (looking rather worried) But I DID respond in the positive!
} Oracle: (now also looking rather worried) Really?
}         5) Are you considering the use of biochemical weapons to
}            repulse the LO-YIELD(tm) pass?
} Angie: Certainly not.
} Oracle: Do you have any
}         6) Extraneous comments:
} Angie: Sorry, I haven't got the time for that now...


453-07    (4ba80 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: mcglk@bike.rad.washington.edu (Ken McGlothlen)

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

> Hey, Oracle dude!  How's about helping a fellow out?
>
> You know what?  I seem to have a small soft spot on the left rear of
> my skull.  If I rub it hard enough, funny things happen: all vision
> in my right eye goes gray, I lose all sensation on the right half of
> my face, and eventually I begin to drool.  Overall, it feels pretty
> good.  Isn't that weird?
>
> I can't seem to stop doing it.  It's sort of like having an itch,
> knowing that this spot is there.  Yesterday I found myself exploring it
> with a pencil point to see if anything different happens (I found a
> small spot, in and then up just a bit, that caused my right leg to lash
> out suddenly.  Neat, huh?)
>
> Anyway, the problem is that my officemate thinks this is very strange,
> and is getting concerned.  What do you think?  Is he retentive, or
> what?  I think he is worrying about nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
> nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnothing  oops,
> sorry about that.  Personally I think it is getting better -- at first
> I really had to press hard to get the effect, now all I have to do is
> wear a hat!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Whatever happened to the good old days, when supplicants would grovel?
}
} 1) Yes, I will help a fellow out.
} 2) Yes, I do know what.  I am omniscient.  I also know how, where,
}    when, and sometimes why.
} 3) The effect is not weird; you are.
} 4) No, it is not neat.  If such places are just haphazardly strewn
}    about the body, it is a very poorly organized body, and therefore not
}    neat.
} 5) Everything, all at once.
} 6) Yes, he is retentive.  He has yet to donate half his yearly income
}    to the "Save the Oracle" foundation.  What happended to the generous
}    people?
}
} My commentary:  You seem to have touched upon a nerve with your point.
} In fact, the nerve you have touched upon is directly connected to your
} body's IHDG (Internalized Hallucinatory Drug Gland), and touching that
} nerve causes an isomer of PCP to be released into your blood stream.
} However, it is only released into the right half of your blood stream,
} and is metabolized before it has a chance to dissipate into the left
} half.  Effects of this drug are identical to those you have described.
} Unfortunately, the by-products of this drug are identical to those
} formed by PCP, so they will appear in your urine for the next 4 months.
}  Be prepared to fail your next piss test.
}
} You owe the Oracle a "Mr. Wizard Whiz-Quiz Cheat Kit" and a small
} bottle. Plus your first-born male child.


453-08    (2be24 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> As I stagger though the great mysteries of life, confounded,
> dumbfounded and constantly beaten over the head with large rocks, I
> wonder to myself whether I will find any satisfaction in my sufferings.
>  I have come to you oh Great and Mighty Oracle of untold wisdom.  I
> beseech of you to grant me the answer to the great question that eludes
> computer science majors everywhere. . .
>
> when shall I ever get a girlfriend?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Your utter ignorance of the laws of the universe is demonstrated by the
} usage of the words "computer science" and "girlfriend" in the same
} breath, or for that matter, in the same university.
}
} The answer is, of course, never, unless you succeed in doing what a
} friend of mine wants to do.  He wants to, and I quote, "program [his]
} computer to give blow jobs."  If you like your meat processed, well,
} he's the guy to go to.  Otherwise, forget it.
}
} And don't even _think_ about the large-chested woman with slight acne
} in your data structures class.  She's a grad student in math, and her
} boyfriend is a P.E. teacher at the local high school who used to play
} college football, and could kick your butt to an arc high above the
} city.
}
} No, not the computer room operator, either.  She's cute, but she's
} obviously not a CS major (she knows how to use Lotus 1-2-3) and she
} only dates frat boys.
}
} If you really want my advice, I would recommend taking up bonsai trees
} as a fast-paced hobby to speed up your flagging social life in general.
}  Or maybe you could shave your head and don an orange robe and sell
} flowers on the street on commission.
}
} You owe the Oracle a 144-pack of Trojans for Lisa.  You can take one
} out for yourself so that you see what one looks like before you die.


453-09    (178b6 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icbm.att.com

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

> Dear Oracle:
>
> My brother is getting married next month.  I'm going
> to be the best man at the ceremony, which means I have
> to make the first toast at the reception.  I can't
> think of what to say.  Do you have any suggestions?
>
> Thanks a bunch!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I'm afraid that The Oracle is probably not the best person
} to ask about toasts.  Having been honorary best man at
} several mortal weddings, I have provided several toasts
} that always seemed correct and to the point but are never
} well received.
}
} I believe the last one was "You shall live long and prosper,
} right up until Nancy has that horrible accident."  Seemed
} honest and from the heart to Me.  People are funny.  Another
} of my favorites was "Live together in peace and harmony . . . while
} you still can."  Anybody else could have gotten away with that, but
} from the Oracle it was just not taken correctly.  Then of course
} comes the complaining and the name calling and the pointing and the
} <Z0T>ing and well, lets just say that The Oracle doesn't get asked
} to be best man very often any more.
}
} But you did ask for my advice, so I'll give it a shot.  Let
} me access your brother's file . . . hmmm.  How can I put this.
} Try: "Breath in life, drink together from the cup of experience,
} contribute to the lives of those around you, and . . . have that
} mole removed."  Feel free to edit that, but I think I'm getting better
} at this.
}
} You owe the Oracle a glass of champagne.


453-10    (5ca42 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: gt2126b@prism.gatech.edu (PETROSKY,WILLIAM T)

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

> O great and wondrous Oracle, I come humbly to you in the quest for
> enlightenment. I have to sit a Physics exam soon, and I wanted to know
> what you would advise concentrating on in my revision, bearing in
> mind that I want to pass.
>
>               Basking in the light of your wisdom,
>
>                       Norwin Simms

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I have backtracked your earlier tests and used my clairvoyance unit
} to predict the questions on your exam. This data has then been
} fed to my analysis organ for lower earth-creatures and the
} result is a study guide which you should follow.
}
} ---------------- BEGIN -----------------
}
} Chapter 1, Digits.
}
} If you have a lot of things of the same kind, it is somewhat exhausting
} to denote these things by saying, for example "a tree and another
} tree and another tree and another tree and another tree".
}
} It is easier to take the amount of trees and say that the amount
} of them equals a certain number, in this case '5'.
}
} To grasp the concept of numbers & digits you could use your fingers.
} Close both your hands and stick out one of your thumbs, as if
} hitchhiking.
}
} You now see '1' finger (to make this easier, consider your thumb as a
} finger). Now extend your other thumb, keep the first one up.
} You now see '2' fingers.
} If you continue to extend one finger at a time, you will end up with
} '9' fingers (you should have let that firecracker go a bit earlier).
}
} The digits you have passed through are:
} 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
} ! !             !
} ! !             Praise the lord !
} ! Thumbs up !
} !Hitchhiking
}
} If you close both your hands you can see '0' fingers. It might seem
} a bit silly to have a digit for nothing, but you will see that it can
} be helpful.
}
} How should you do if there are more trees than you fingers ?
}
} Well, image this superhuman being, with all your fingers, plus one
} more, sticking out of each of his fingertips. If he would extend
} only ONE of his fingers, he automatically would show the same
} amount of fingertips as you would if you would stick out all your
} fingers, PLUS ONE MORE !
}
} This is called '10' fingers. You probably recognize the two digits
} from before, but the trick here is to group them together.
} You could say that it means :
}       10
}       !+--------------------+
}       !                     !
} ONE superhuman finger, and, NONE of your fingers
}
} This method is very reliable and has been used a very long time, but
} what if there are more trees than all of your fingers and all of the
} superhuman's fingers together  ? ('99' that is)
}
} Well, imagine a european football team with '10' superhuman
} members. If each of the players would extend one of their superhuman
} fingers, we would see '100' fingertips.
}
} You got it ?
}
} With this method you could get up to '999', if all of the
} team, the superhuman and you would extend all of your fingers.
}
} If you would like to go higher, imagine a european football league with
} '10' teams.
}
} You can go up to 9999
}
} Now imagine '10' divisions in the league, each division with '10'
} teams.
}
} You can reach 99999.
}
} This should be enough for a while.
}
} Chapter 2, Addition
}
} Addition is mostly noted with a '+' sign. This means that the sum
} of the digits to the right of the '+' should be added to the sum
} of the digits to the left of the '+'.
}
} To make it easy, do like this.
}
} Collect all the football teams, the superhuman and yourself.
}
} Stick out your fingers according to the digits to the left of the '+'
} sign.
}
} Ask you nanny to take a photo of this.
}
} Now, stick out your fingers according to the digits to the right of the
} Pin the first photo to your shirt.
} Ask your nanny to take a photo of this as well.
}
} Get the second photo and count the number of fingers you can see
} on the photo and on the photo on the photo.
}
} You now have the result of the addition.
}
} ---------- END -----------
}
} You owe the oracle to play around with nine firecrackers ,
} or possibly one superfirecracker.


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