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Internet Oracularities #479

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479, 479-01, 479-02, 479-03, 479-04, 479-05, 479-06, 479-07, 479-08, 479-09, 479-10


Usenet Oracularities #479    (37 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1992 13:15:56 -0500

*** A summary of the results of the Usenet Oracle users survey has been
*** posted to rec.humor.oracle.d and sent to the Usenet Oracularities mail
*** distribution list today.  It's also available in the Usenet Oracle
*** archives (see the help file about accessing the archives).  Thanks to
*** everyone who completed the questionnaire and to David Sewell for doing
*** and compiling the survey.

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   oracle@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu or {ames,rutgers}!iuvax!oracle
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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:
   479
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

479   37 votes 449g4 47c86 7aa55 3be63 85ab3 5be61 45g93 7638d 6cb71 16cc6
479   3.0 mean  3.3   3.1   2.8   2.9   2.9   2.6   3.1   3.4   2.6   3.4


479-01    (449g4 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icbm.att.com

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

> Help!  I'm trapped in a computer factory!!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well hit your [escape] key, you fool!


479-02    (47c86 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Mark J McCafferty <markm@hew.mincom.oz.au>

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

> O Great Oracle, who can tell when politicians are lying even when their
> lips aren't moving, please help me with this political puzzle:
>
> Here in Australia we like to have things spelled out clearly for us in
> politics.  Until recently, our Prime Minister's name was Hawke and the
> Opposition Leader's name was Peacock.  These names aptly described both
> the men and their styles of leadership.  Now the new Prime Minister's
> name is Keating, and the Opposition Leader's name is Hewson.  What do
> these names mean?  How are we supposed to decide between them if we
> don't know?
>
> Yours etc,
> Deeply Confused.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Keating Powder is a preparation used to repel lice and bedbugs and the
} like. "Hewson" means either a son of a woodcutter, or someone who kills
} his children with an axe.
}
} Hope this helps.


479-03    (7aa55 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> O wonderful and witty Oracle - when I read news, sometimes I get this
> message:  Skipping unavalible article...
>
> This happens pretty often in alt.security,
> alt.sex.bondage.hampster.duct-tape, nsa.soviet.communiques, and certian
> others.
>
> Just why doesn't my newsreader want me to see these things?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   <skipping unavalible article>


479-04    (3be63 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: DAVIS@licr.dn.mu.oz.au

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

> Merlin utters the words, "gufitaarar".
>
> Merlin the Ultra-Mage smirks as the fireball hits you in the face!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle utters the words "Tax Audit".
}
} The Oracle, wisest Entity in the known world, smirks as Merlin is
} billed for Excalibur's assessed worth.
}
} You owe the Oracle - oh heck, you've got nothing left, have you ?
} *SMIRK*


479-05    (85ab3 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: gt2126b@prism.gatech.edu (PETROSKY,WILLIAM T)

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

> Oho Oracle, who sees all, hears all the gossip, and knows everything
> before he even knows he knows it - I have a question.
>
> If oranges were red, would they still be called oranges?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Who cares?
}
} Oh, OK, I know *you* do, or at least you think you do.
}
} Well, the reality of it is..., well it's like I once told this guy
} called Bill, from London, a few hundred years ago, "Bill, if the name
} of the damn flower was 'Dog Shit' it would still smell the same
} wouldn't it?"  Of course, at the time I hadn't installed Oracular
} Copyrights so he felt free to use the idea in some of his scribblings.
} As punishment to his species I made his work popular and kids have had
} to study that dribble for centuries!  That'll teach 'em.
}
} But I digress.
}
} It's all a word game. Unfortunately you, like a huge majority of your
} kind, have a very centralized view of your world, with the center point
} on your immediate culture.  It's forgivable but you should be aware
} that there are thousands of other cultural perspectives on things.  For
} example and with regard to your question; your neighbors to the south
} refer to the "orange" as "naranja" but of course, it still looks,
} tastes, and exists just as...
}
} LISA: Ah, Orrie, babe...  I'm sorry for looking over your shoulder but
}       I think you're answering the wrong question...
}
} Oracle: What are you talking about?
}
} Lisa: Look, this supplicant asked, "If Oranges were red, would they
}       still be called oranges?"  He's asking if the physical appearance
}       of the orange were different, would it have the same name?
}       You're answering the question: "If the Orange had a different
}       name would it still be the same thing?"  You see, dear?
}
} Oracle: ...err... yeah...  Of course I knew you were there all along
}         babe. I was just seeing if you were paying attention. Yeah,
}         that's it...
}
} Lisa: Why don't you just answer this guy's question and come to bed?
}       You know better than to answer supplicants after a hard day of
}       boozing with Thor and the boys.
}
} Oracle: OK, that's easy.
}
} OK mortal, the answer is yes, if the orange were red it would still be
} called the orange.  However, the color you call red would be called
} orange and what you call orange would be called Xenenitalioca and can
} you imagine how tough that would be on little Suzi-first-grader?  Geez,
} even I had to look that one up in my Webster's Alternate Reality
} Dictionary (ask for it wherever fine paper backs are sold.)  If that
} were the case, the Crayola people would have never been able to market
} their line effectively, which means that over time, millions of people
} would not have had a job and little Danny Quayle would never have
} impressed his kindergarten teachers by coloring to the far right of the
} lines.  This of course means that he would never have reached the
} enviable post of VP and thus hundreds of working comedians (and
} would-be comedians) wouldn't have him as the best source for their
} material.  Thus, during the heart of the miserable economic conditions
} that the US now finds itself in, you wouldn't have as much humor in
} your lives.
}
} Isn't it a good thing that I thought of all this when I told Zeus,
} "Make 'em orange, OK?  Just trust me on this one."
}
} You owe the Oracle an alternate reality thesaurus.


479-06    (5be61 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.cs.unlv.edu>

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

> Oh, Most Groovy Oracle...
> .... whose bellbottoms encircle the globe,
> .... who knows every variation to "The Hustle,"
> .... who was responsible for Donna Summers' ecstacy in "Love to Love
>       You, Baby"
>
> please tell me:
>
>       Whatever happened to the Village People?
>
> and, if you will forgive this supplicant for a two-part question:
>
>       Will disco ever return?
>
> My booty is shaking in anticipation of your response....

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, my polyester-blend follower, I see you pose a question about the
} altogether "lost" decade, the 1970's.  Truly a strange ten years they
} were and, until the Nedrebian 22030's, will hold the Planetary Title
} for Most Completely Embarassing Decade in History.  Congratulations.
}
} The Village People were, upon their graciously under-publicized
} breakup, dispersed throughout the globe by us, the DAATs.  (Dieties
} Against Abject Tastelessness.)  The locations of most of the members
} are, alas, still classified, and will remain so until We decide to
} release them, or until Oliver Stone gets wise to Our case.  I *can*
} tell you that the Policeman is currently slinging drinks in a trucker
} bar in the Yukon, and the Indian is terrorizing small children at Euro
} Disney.
}
} As for the disco aspect of your question, We, the proud DAATs are
} working diligently to try and prevent another such resurgence of utter
} grossness in motion.  Public Whim and Nostalgia are two forces very
} difficult to predict and control, so We can't be totally sure that all
} Our work isn't in vain.  We are trying to adjust key minds, however,
} such that the current nostaligic trend (somewhere in the mid-to-late
} 1960's) will accelerate rapidly through the Disco Era, so that the
} entire thing will have passed by next Thursday.  This, unfortunately,
} will leave the entire world stuck in an extra decade 80's nostalgia,
} including yuppies, Reaganomics, and the PTL.  If you play your cards
} right, I'd say that your nostalgia cycle should even itself out in
} about 40 or 50 years.  'Til then, remember, "Greed is Good."
}
} You owe the Oracle a signed copy of "YMCA"


479-07    (45g93 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Women appear to have assumed a useful place in the world's community,
> but just between you and me, if it weren't for sex, they'd be barefoot
> in the kitchen where they belong, right?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Mortal, your query contains 3 glaring errors.
} I shall adress them each, in order of increasing importance.
}
} Error1:
} You seem to believe that women have achived some level of importance.
} This is incorrect.  The truth is that NO mortal, male, female or
} otheriwise has advanced far enough to be of any real importance.  While
} they may appear to have some influence in their respective societies,
} their cosmic significance is, obviously, nonexistant.
}
} Error2:
} Your use of the phrase "barefoot in the kitchen where they belong," is
} a corruption of two other phrases, namely "barefoot and pregnant", and
} "in the kitchen where they belong."  Rewording your query, we arrive at
} one of the following:
}
} [1]  Without sex, women would be barefoot and pregnant.
}
} [2]  Without sex, women would be in the kitchen.
}
} Statement [1] can expressed as the union of:
}
} [1a]  Without sex, women would be barefoot.
}
} [1b]  Without sex, women would be pregnant.
}
} While statement [1b] is clearly nonsense, [1a] bears some discussion.
} Through negation, the statement implies that women wear shoes whilst
} having sex.  Although this is sometimes true (indeed, in the depraved
} world of your fantasies women are constantly having sex in and around
} some quite startling footware.  But, I digress), the Oracle has _many_
} examples of sex without shoes.  As statement [1] is riddled with
} contradictions, we shall move to statement [2].
}
} [2]  Without sex, women would be in the kitchen.
}
} Again, using negation, we arrive at:
}
} [~2]  With sex, women would not be in the kitchen.
}
} Which again is clearly false.  Why just the other day, Lisa was making
} a banana split when she commented on the size and shape of the bananas,
} one thing led to another and..., But I digress.
}
} Error3:
} No Grovel.  <ZOT!>
}
} You owe the Oracle a proof, in symbolic logic, that barefoot sex in the
} kitchen does not violate state board of health standards, and a dozen
} bananas.


479-08    (7638d dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.cs.unlv.edu>

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

> How many whales could a humpback hump if a humpback could hump whales?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "How many whales could a humpback hump if a humpback could hump
} whales?"
}
} Since I've mellowed, and don't Zot all the supplicants who fail to
} grovel ( _you_, for example ), the punishment for most non-grovelers
} is that they get an inferior answer from a Priest instead of a
} superior answer from Me.
}
} I decided to answer this one myself in order to settle this question
} once and for all.
}
} First of all, there is not just one form of the WQ.
} One may enumerate:
}
} WQ1:
}       "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck
}       could chuck wood?"
} WQ2:
}       "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck
}       could chuck wood?"
} WQ3:
}       "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck
}       would chuck wood?"
} WQ4:
}       "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck
}       would chuck wood?"
}
} The GQ series can be equated with the WQ series, inasmuch as both
} "woodchuck" and "groundhog" are synonymous colloquial terms for the
} beast properly known as Marmota Monax, whose most famous
} representative is Punxsatawney Phil.
}
} The 4 forms of these queries differ in the use of "would", used in
} the first instance merely as a conditional modifier, and referring
} in the second case to the volition of the rodent, and "could",
} referring in both instances to the mammal's ability.
}
} WQ1 is fatuous and inane; it implies the inability
} of the creature to perform the task at hand, and then requests
} quantification of the stated impossibility. It is like asking
} "if pigs had wings, how many wings would they have".
}
} WQ2 is the poorest version; it asks the same question as WQ1, but
} lacks the poetically satisfying repetition of the word "could" or
} "would".
}
} WQ3 is the version that makes the most sense: "if it wanted to do
} so, how much would it be able to do?" Unfortunately, the terms of
} the question are vague -- "how much wood" cannot be answered without
} further information:
}
} a.    If you mean firewood, the answer must, by Pennsylvania state law,
}       be expressed in cords. Pennsylvania is the appropriate
}       jurisdiction because Punxsatawney is in that state.
}
} b.    If you mean lumber, the answer must be expressed in board-feet.
}
} c.    Timber is measured in tons.
}
} d.    Kindling is measured in bushels or faggots.
}
} e.    For veneer, square inches are used.
}
} f.    For baseball bats, ounces are preferred when referring to the
}       physical objects, but when "wood" is used metonymically, either
}       RBI's, slugging average, or number_of_feet_the_ball_traveled.
}
} g.    I shall not bore you by enumerating the special measures used
}       for toothpicks, balustrades, masts, keels, splinters, and the
}       like. Sufficient to say that the query "how much wood" is
}       meaningless without furher context.
}
} WQ4 is the most poetic form, and the most satisfying with regard to
} Poe's theory that poetry need not make sense if it touches you at an
} emotional level. None of the WQ4 questions make sense, and they
} certainly touch this reader, for one, at an emotional level; the
} Oracle is always irked by this question. Perhaps I shall *ZOT* you
} after all....     No, I have stifled the impulse. For the moment.
}
} Herein lies the major difference between GQ4 and WQ4: GQ4 lacks the
} poetry, and is therefore inferior.
}
} However, the GQ series has another attribute, one that the WQ series
} lacks: both "ground" and "hog" can be used either as verbs or as
} nouns.
}
} Nota bene, the NQ series also has this attribute; therefore, the
} variant
}
} >     "How much net could a network work if a network
} >     could work net?",
}
} which you cite as "nonsense", makes just as much sense as
}
}       "How many hogs could a groundhog ground if a groundhog
}       could ground hogs?".
}
} ( Although we have established that none of the questions makes
} sense in the larger sense, it is nonetheless true that they are
} syntactically "sensible", that they can be parsed and can be
} construed to have a meaning ( unlike your life )).
}
} It is clear, then, that a large number of questions may be
} constructed along similar lines; for example:
}
} EQ:
}       "How much work could a network net if a network
}       could net work?"
}
} In fact, for every word compounded of two other words, where one
} word is a noun and the other is a verb, and if both words can be
} used either as nouns or as verbs, 64 queries are  possible:
} AABBABBA[1-4], AABBABAB[1-4], BABAABBA[1-4], BABAABAB[1-4],
} AABAABBA[1-4], AABAABAB[1-4], BABBABBA[1-4], BABBABAB[1-4],
} AABBABAA[1-4], AABBABBB[1-4], BABAABAA[1-4], BABAABBB[1-4],
} AABAABAA[1-4], AABAABBB[1-4], BABBABAA[1-4], and BABBABBB[1-4].
}
} For example, BHQ1: "How much blood could a bloodhound hound if a
} bloodhound could hound blood?"
}
} In sum, both the NQ and GQ series of queries are merely subsets of a
} large collection of nonsensical queries following a strict format;
} and the format is important!
}
} Observance of the Oracular ritual IN ITS PROPER FORM is perhaps the
} only thing a pondscum such as you can do to justify your miserable
} existence. In your Query, you deviated from the ritual in two
} important ways:
}
} 1. You failed to grovel, and
}
} 2. Your Question was not in the format described above.
}
} Think of the opportunity you have lost!
} Your Question might have been either:
}
} A. ( royalty and pop ):
} How much Prince could the Prince of Wales wail
} if the Prince of Wales could wail Prince?
}
} or
} B. ( a wagering question ):
}
} How many hunches would a hunchback back
} if a hunchback would back hunches?
}
} Either one of those questions would have been _funny_.
} Do you know what _funny_ means?
}
} You owe the Oracle: your net worth. ( How much net is your net worth
} worth? )


479-09    (6cb71 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Mark J McCafferty <markm@hew.mincom.oz.au>

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

> What is the one thing,in the universe, God cannot do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, I can't speak for old Abraham, or even for Buddha, Shiva, or
} Allah. You see, they all have separate labor unions that prevent them
} from performing certain feats of devine machismo.
}
} For example, last Tuesday was deities night out.  We were all sitting
} around Valhalla swapping stories and swilling nectar.  Well, after
} a few rounds, we were getting pretty sloshed (except for that tea
} totaler Jesus).  Talk turned to the troubles that you mortals cause us.
} Old boy God said something about it all starting with an apple or
} something. I said "You think YOU'VE got problems?  We'll there was this
} guy named Oedipus once, a long time ago, and well, HE was trouble."
} That got a laugh. We started discussing common questions that we were
} asked.  God said that most people asked if they were going to be
} eternally punished because they had played with themselves at one time
} or another.  He also said that union regulations specifically
} prohibited him from creating a rock so large that he couldn't lift it,
} so that question didn't count. So anyway, the night wore on and we
} tried to answer the eternal woodchuck question and figure out if it
} were possible to chuck that much wood, and *why* the damned woodchuck
} would want to anyways, and Lisa comes to pick me up bitching and
} yelling about how I'm neglecting my responsibilities to my supplicants
} and then Hare Krishna hurls in the back of my chariot and it was a real
} mess.  So we went home and I slept most of it off, but since I wasn't
} paying attention I slipped and the iron curtain fell down and gasoline
} taxes went up and...oh...what was your question?
}
} You owe the Oracle a REAL hangover cure and two aspirin.


479-10    (16cc6 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> Oh, Great Oracle, whose toe-nail clippings are precious and to be
> cherished; whose toe-jam is to be savored; whose belly button lint is
> ambrosia; whose flatulence is the scent of heaven; whose dandruff is as
> the new fallen snow, please smile upon a most unworthy supplicant and
> deign to answer his question:
>
> Why do villains get all the good lines?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} WHY do you supplicants insist on being so ambiguous in your questions?
} Now I suppose I am expected to give a complete answer, but next time
} try to be more specific.  Exactly to what sort of lines do you refer?
}
} Train:                It is important that only the best quality
}               railway lines are used when tying down heroines.  It
}               would not do for the train to be derailed just before
}               slicing her into grisly halves.
}
} Laughter:     These are critical for the successful villain to
}               cultivate. Without carefully constructed laughter lines,
}               the most maniacal laugh may simply appear on film to be a
}               naughty giggle, ruining the whole effect.
}
} Worry:                Strictly speaking, the successful villain should
}               not have these, but this *is* the real world we're
}               talking about. They do come in useful during the final
}               reel when the inevitable is about to happen and that
}               damned hero is about to get the girl again.  Just once I
}               wish.... <ahem>
}
} Pickup:               The whole movie would be rather pointless if the
}               girl didn't agree to go off with the villain in the first
}               place. "How about coming back to my place for a spot of
}               torture?" "No thanks."
}               "Oh, alright then."   (Roll credits)
}
}               Not exactly Academy award material.  The good pickup line
}               is clearly critical to the whole picture.
}
} Fishing:      Not at all relevant and rather silly.
}
} Spoken:               The producers ensure that the villains get the
}               best spoken lines.  They look upon this as a type of
}               professional courtesy, rather like sharks not eating
}               lawyers.
}
} You owe the Oracle a more enjoyable ending.  By the way, "I find your
} lack of faith disturbing...."


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