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Internet Oracularities #504

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Usenet Oracularities #504    (29 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1992 00:10:34 -0500

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an integer scale of 1 = "not funny" to 5 = "very funny" with the volume
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For example:
   504
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

504   29 votes 43a84 6a373 08b55 62876 28775 5b931 38b52 44c72 458c0 36b90
504   3.0 mean  3.2   2.7   3.2   3.2   3.2   2.4   2.8   3.0   3.0   2.9


504-01    (43a84 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: buck@sunyit.edu (Jesse Buckley)

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

> O wondrous Oracle, who was able to change the Holy Guidelines with the
> full support of the Backbone Cabal *and* the unanimous approval of
> news.groups, I beg you to answer the question of this most humble
> supplicant.  I am as pond scum to your divine intestinal parasites.
> Please, please, find it in your heart to grant me an attoscopic spec of
> your infinite wisdom.
>
> I'd like to say right up front that this is a hypothetical question.
> No basis in fact whatsoever.  Any similarity to persons, events, or
> shirts living or dead is purely the result of distortions caused by a
> rift in the space-time continuum.
>
> Let's say (hypothetically, of course) there was a girl named, oh, say,
> let me pick a name completely at random here, Carrie, who had a
> hypothetical crush on the supplicant.  Furthermore, the supplicant has,
> over the years, formed a deep-seated hatred for Carrie.  Telling her
> that doesn't work.  You'd think it would, wouldn't you?  You'd be
> wrong. (Not you personally, of course, O hyperglorious Oracle, you're
> *never* wrong.)  She just followed the supplicant around all day like a
> particularly obnoxious puppy in heat, babbling things like "I know you
> love me."  Hypothetically.
>
> Let's say, furthermore, that the supplicant had a hypothetical shirt.
> Plaid.  With fuchsia(*), white, blue, a brownish color, and maybe a
> dark hypothetical green.
>
> (* This should in no way reflect on the manhood of the supplicant.)
>
> Now, in this hypothetical scenario, Carrie and the supplicant are still
> in high school.  The supplicant is carrying the aforementioned shirt
> (and wearing another one--the reason why isn't really relevant to the
> question).  He sets it down on a nearby desk for a moment and turns
> around.  When he looks back, the shirt is *gone* (GONE!) and Carrie is
> standing there with this stupid grin on her face.
>
> So the supplicant is fairly annoyed.  Carrie had obviously stolen his
> nice plaid shirt.
>
> The next day, still speaking hypothetically, of course, Carrie came in
> *wearing the supplicant's shirt*!  ARRRRRRGGGGGHHH!!!  Can you
> *believe* it?  Very calmly, I asked her to give it back.  She said "but
> <insert supplicant's name here>, I only have a bra on under it!" and
> smiled stupidly, as above.  I point out that she certainly has
> something in her gym locker that she could change into, but it didn't
> help.  She skips around all day saying remarkably witty things like
> "I'm wearing <supplicant's name>'s shirt!"
>
> The next hypothetical day, she didn't return it.  Or the next day.  Or
> the day after that.  The supplicant is getting pretty hypothetically
> pissed.  When Carrie finally returned the shirt, *it hadn't even been
> *washed**!  A situation like that clearly requires nested asterisks.
>
> Geez, it's years later, and I'm *still* massively annoyed.  So, O kind,
> magnanimous Oracle, what should I do to her?  Would it be bloody?
>
> Hypothetically speaking, of course.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, hypothetically speaking, I don't think I'd care so much about the
} shirt because it's kind of ugly anyway.  But I can see the problem.
}
} Your problem is that in a large number of cases, no means yes.  Let me
} explain.  When a guy acts completely uninterested in someone, say,
} hypothetically, a girl, then she tends to work all the more hard at
} being noticed.  When she is noticed, and given attention, even
} hatefully so, then she receives the idea that you do care and will
} continue to bug you until your privates fall off or you're in the
} grave.
}
} My suggestion is to elect Carrie Prom Queen and then dump pig's blood
} on her. However, I'd get away after that, because she will most likely
} destroy the town and hunt down all responsible.  Then you can write a
} novel about it, and hide from copyright suits.
}
} You owe the Oracle purple slacks with orange stripes.


504-02    (6a373 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: DAVIS@licr.dn.mu.oz.au

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

> O, most etymological Oracle,
>
> Who was the first to coin the phrase "Bite Me"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Abel.


504-03    (08b55 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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

> Why is it that pi=3.1415... and e=2.7172.....
> are the most common numbers in nature, yet we
> cannot represent them exactly.  Do we really
> understand anything?  Is all science at a loss?
> Am I even worthy to ask such questions?  Or should
> I join the billions and just be one of the heard?
> Confused and Uninformed...

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Contused and Misinformed, you mean.
}
} You've obviously been spending too much time with your nose in
} mid-level Physics texts and not enough time out in nature.  Pi and e
} get a lot of mention in physics (and engineering and math) texts, but
} they don't really appear that much in nature.  Let's take a look at
} some of the more common questions that people ask me that demand a
} numerical answer:
}
} Question                                                      Answer
} --------                                                      ------
} Two trains start 300 miles apart, each travelling...
}       How far apart are they when they pass each other?       0
}
} If you were building a computer solely to work with real
}       numbers (i.e. not specialized to work with integers),
}       what would be the best base to use? Binary?             e
}
} My paper is due in three hours, but I haven't started doing
}       the reading yet.  What are my chances of finishing?     0
}
} How many roads must a man walk down?                          2 roads.
}
} Which irrational number has been the subject of the most
}       puns?                                                   pi
}
} That girl at the next terminal--what does she think of me?    Zero.
}
} How many licks to get to the center of a tootsie pop?         33-57,
}                                                               usu. 39
}
} There's a frog...                                             28 days
}
} How many licks to get to the center of the Statue of Liberty? Errr...
}
} How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck...     <ZOT>
}
} Even from this sample space of just ten questions, I think you'll
} realize that while pi and e do show up a fair amount of the time, 0 is
} really the most common number of all, and we're able to represent that
} quite nicely, thank you.
}
} You owe the Oracle absolutely nothing.


504-04    (62876 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

> Now what?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Take the tentacles out of the oven and lay them out to cool.  This
} should take about ten minutes.  In the meantime, get the eyestalks out
} of the fridge.  Slice them into chunks about one inch long.  Beat a
} small amount of tabasco sauce in with the leftover ichor and place in a
} small bowl. Arrange the eyestalk chunks around the bowl in an
} attractive fashion. When the tentacles have cooled, cover them with the
} cream of intestine sauce.  Throw around a little parsley, and serve.
} You owe the Oracle a doggie bag.


504-05    (28775 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 magnificent, wonderful Oracle. May your queue always be the fastest.
> May the cat never sit on your washing. Please answer my plea.
>
> Do you give interviews ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes, and you just failed.
}
} But you're in luck.  I've just received a make-up interview that I've
} been waiting to try on some sucker^H^H^H^H^H^H prospect.  You're it.
}
} Instructions:  you have 20 minutes to answer the following questions.
} All answers must be complete (no partial credit) and all work must be
} shown. This is closed book/notes.  No calculators/computers allowed.
} You may use one cat or small rodent on the question of your choice.
}
} 1. Why Not?
}
} 2. Just what is 'nerf' (as in Nerf Ball) and where does it come from.
}
} 3. Was there a God?
}
} 4. If you could be anything I wanted you to be, what would you be?
}
} 5. What is the wind-chill at absolute-zero with a 60 mph wind?
}
} 6. Define yourself and give three examples.
}
} 7. What would happen if a law was passed that made laws illegal?
}
} 8. Apply question #7 to the laws of physics.
}
} 9. What is question #10 (don't forget to answer it)?
}
} 10.
}
} Good luck.
}
} You owe the Oracle an unsolvable paradox with two solutions.


504-06    (5b931 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: buck@sunyit.edu (Jesse Buckley)

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

> What would life be like living without computers ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Without a bit of fun.
}
} You owe the Oracle a bad computer-related pun.


504-07    (38b52 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu

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

> O most wise and all-knowing Oracle, whose wisdom has enlightened the
> USENET supplicants more than the glow from Chernobyl, whose wit is
> sharper than the edge of a broken beer bottle, and whose feet smell as
> the sweet ambrosia of heaven...
>
>                                  HELP ME!
>
> You're a man, right?  (Ok, an all-knowing, most powerful, and
> infallible god--but still male--right?)  My wife is driving me insane!
> She's pregnant and she's CRYING ALL OF THE TIME.  I ask her "why are
> you crying", and she says "I don't know".  "Are you worried about the
> baby" "No..." "Are you sick?"  "No...I'm just weepy...*sob*"
>
> Arrrgh!   Hormonal women drive me crazy.  O great Oracle, whose morning
> eye-boogers are more precious than platinum, why are women so strange
> when their hormones go ballistic?  And why do pregnant women get weepy?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well -- let's be honest.  Men get really strange when their hormones
} go ballistic, too.  You should have seen what guys did before I
} evented football and hockey.  They were *really* loony.
}
} So it's not all that much different for women than us guys.  It's just
} that it's not socially acceptable for a pregnant woman to pick up
} someone else and throw them 15 feet as a release of tension.
}
} Crying is socially acceptable, though, so that's their release.
} And since the hormonal levels tend to be slightly higher for the
} average pregnant woman than the average football player, the effect is
} usually a lot more profound.
}
} So, my advice to you:
}       1) Cut back on watching football for awhile.  No need to
}          give your wife any ideas.
}       2) Buy stock in Kleenex.
}       3) Stock up on chocolate.
}
} You owe the Oracle tickets to the first college women's football game.


504-08    (44c72 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Smoke lazily curled around the languidly wheeling paddles of the
> overhead fan, catching the light of the cramped and stifling
> room's solitary lamp.  The halon lamp had been tilted to point directly
> at a single figure in the windowless chamber, seated upon a chair worn
> smooth by countless occupants.  The figure drew a breath from a
> Lucky Strike cigarette, silently cursed the black pentacle drawn upon
> the floor around him, and tried unsuccessfully to conceal his
> nervousness. The four other occupants of the room, two seated and two
> standing with arms folded, were all obscured by the effulgent beam of
> light.  Apollo stood up, adjusted his tunic, and stretched.  The figure
> started to stand up as well, but Apollo waved him to sit back down.
> The god stepped into the lamplight and peered down at the prisioner.
> Both the god and the suspect might have seemed flawlessly handsome to a
> mortal, but they could see in each other's faces the subtle blemishes
> and signs of age that even the gods themselves cannot conceal from each
> other.
>
> Said Apollo, "From the top.  Again."
>
> Replied the figure, "Oh, COME ON!  We've been over this a thousand
> times!"
>
> Unmoved, Apollo withdrew from the light and sat down again.  "Your
> story leaves us with too many questions.  So, again, I will ask:
>
> Oh all-seeing Oracle, whose hair is combed by the passing stars,
>                       whose lips utter wisdoms ancient and ulterior,
>
> Where were you on the night before John F. Kennedy's assassination?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Suddenly, the door opened.  Five men dressed in pin-striped suits and
} fedoras, and carrying large semi-automatic weapons, burst into the
} room. Suspiciously, all of them looked exactly like the single figure
} in the pentacle.
}
} Apollo whirled.  "Oracle!  Oracle!  Oracle!  Oracle!  Oracle!  What?
} How?"
}
} The figure in the pentacle chuckled.  "Don't tell me you're locked in
} *that* body all the time.  I am many, not just one."  He gestured to
} his fellow Oracles.  "Boys, neutralize these good people."
}
} One of the other four occupants of the room got up and blocked their
} path. "I'm not afraid of no Oracles," he said, ungrammatically.  "I'm,
} like, a god, see?  I'm, what you say, undestructibubble."
}
} Suddenly, the five weapons burst into life.
}
} <ZOT!> <ZOT!> <ZOT!> <ZOT!> <ZOT!>
}
} The occupant crumpled into a charred heap.
}
} "Semi-automatic <ZOTs>!  Impressive!" said Apollo.  "Okay, you win."
}
} He erased the pentacle.  The captured Oracle rejoined his fellows.
}
} "Now," said Oracle #1, "what shall we do with you?  What is a fitting
} punishment?"
}
} "Being sent to Earth to mate with large numbers of mortals?" asked
} Apollo, hopefully.
}
} "You should be so lucky.  No, I've got a better idea.  I've got a lot
} of woodchuck questions waiting back in my office, and you're just the
} god to answer them."
}
} "Woodchucks!  No!!" shrieked Apollo.
}
} "Woodchucks!" murmured Apollo's acolytes, who you've probably forgotten
} about by now.  "Woodchucks!  Anything but woodchucks!  A woodchuck
} killed my partner!"
}
} "And there's a few 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' questions needing
} to be answered as well," continued Oracle #2, remorselessly.
}
} "I'll take the woodchucks," said Apollo, turning to leave.  He then
} paused, and turned back.  "Oh, by the way: what *were* you doing the
} night before JFK was murdered?"
}
} "Watching the 'I Love Lucy' episode in which Lucy is working at the
} conveyor belt in the pie factory," said Oracle #3.
}
} "Oh."  Apollo left, along with his henchmen.
}
} Oracle #4 turned to the others.  "That was easy.  Now what?"
}
} Oracle #5 grinned.  "Lisa is waiting."
}
} Thus began the argument:
}
} "Hey, wait!"
} "Lisa is *my* girlfriend!"
} "I was the original Oracle!  You're just a clone!"
} "No, you are!"
}
} It continued well through the night...


504-09    (458c0 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icbm.att.com

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

> Oh all-mighty Oracle who is all knowing...
>
> What is your relationship with the Oracle of Delphi? Are you one
> and the same, or did you have to supplant the Delphic Oracle
> before becoming the Usenet Oracle?
>
> It's all Greek (or Geek) to me.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} What, old Del?  Nah, I didn't have to supplant anyhow -- he just beat
} me to the cushy job, that's all.  Del and I go way back...
}
} [cue flashback]
}
} "It must have been ancient Greece... Del and I were still in our third
} millenia back then, and were pretty wild.  We'd stopped down on Earth
} to check out this great cave he'd found.  Seems there'd been this
} earthquake..."
}
} Usenet Oracle: [inhaling] "...wow... what're these fumes?"
} Delphic Oracle: [also inhaling] "...I dunno... some sort of noxious
}                 gas, I think..." [inhales again, deeply]
} UO: "...mmm...wow...yeah...what?...*sniff*..."
} DO: "...what?...mmm...*sniff*..."
} UO: "...y'ever...y'ever really *look* at your hand, man?...wow..."
} DO: "...wow...mmm..."
}
} "Just about that time, there was this bleating noise from the mouth of
} the cave..."
}
} Usenet Oracle: "...what'd you say?..."
} Delphic Oracle: "...mmm?...what?...did you say somethin'?...wow..."
} UO: "...what?...no....wow......"
}
} "A shepherd named Coretas had set his goats to grazing near the cave,
} and had noticed that the goats that breathed the vapours from the
} opening were acting pretty strangely, even for goats.  Once we figured
} this out, Del decided to have a little fun.  He planned on gliding
} over near the entrance and possesing one of the goats -- y'know, the
} standard routine: make the goat say a few sentences, fly maybe, stuff
} like that.  Problem was, Del was a little looped out by then, so his
} aim was off.  Turns out his hit Coretas by mistake, causing him to
} start spewing forth all sorts of nonsense.  Well, those Greeks just
} ate it up -- they built a shrine and started consulting Del for all
} sorts of piddling little mortal problems..."
}
} [end flashback]
}
} ...and that's how it happened.  Del got treated like a god in the
} "navel of the Earth", he managed to ditch Coretas in favor of some
} chick named Pythian, and he got all the giggle gas he could handle.  I
} think  he's even retired by now.  Lucky me gets to cope with woodchuck
} questions in Indiana.  There's no justice in the skies, let me tell
} you.
}
} *sigh*
}
} It's not easy being me.
} --
}
} You owe the Oracle a "Willie and Del in '96: Inhaling Together" button
} and a comforting pat on the back.


504-10    (36b90 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icbm.att.com

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

> Oracular Wordsmith Extraordinaire!  Splendiferous Multisyllabic
> Tome-meister without peer in the spinning, hurtling Cosmos!  I'm an
> unemployed English Major skilled at deciphering the meanings of
> opium-induced works of literature produced by tubercular nancy-boys
> and macho men who like to shoot elephants because their mothers
> dressed them in girly clothes when they were babies.  Is there a
> place on the Olympian payroll for someone with my talents.  I've
> checked out the opportunities here on earth pretty thoroughly and
> I'm all played out.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah! Young poet and artist, your only problem is that you are mis-
} placed in Time.  (Wonderful grovel, by the way.)  Alas, in this
} epitome of fast-food society, there is no place for your talents
} unless you wish to change your specialty to the deciphering of
} the meanings of Meisterbrau-induced works of rhythmic rhymes
} produced by the downtrodden of their fellow man (or so they claim
} even when they are making millions of dollars from the proceeds
} of their works).
}
} We would welcome you on Olympus, except we have a selection of
} competent Muses on staff (tenured), and they are not in need of
} assistance (and even if they were, the budget does not allow for
} the creation of a position until the beginning of next fiscal
} year.
}
} However, I might have just the thing:  I will send you back in
} Time to be incarnated as a poet of the period you most admire.
} There the stress of going through childhood with the name "Percy
} Bysse Shelley" will provoke in you the rich, poetic response you
} will need to produce great works of art, rather than just study
} them as you do now.
}
} Ready?   <BZAAAAAK!>
}
} Say hello to Mary for me!  And remember to give her that trip to
} Austria, or she'll never forgive you.
}
} You owe the Oracle a portrait of the artist as a young man.


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