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Internet Oracularities #506

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506, 506-01, 506-02, 506-03, 506-04, 506-05, 506-06, 506-07, 506-08, 506-09, 506-10


Usenet Oracularities #506    (32 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1992 15:07:25 -0500

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   506
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

506   32 votes 4c952 568b2 39d52 58d42 046ca 05c96 27c83 25d66 39c53 28697
506   3.1 mean  2.7   3.0   2.8   2.7   3.9   3.5   3.1   3.3   2.9   3.3


506-01    (4c952 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Roger Noe <noe@sal.cs.uiuc.edu>

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

>     Oh, Great One, whose wisdom is infinite, this lowly supplicant who
> is unworthy to receive an answer, begs you for an answer:
>
>     I just discovered that if I drink Pepsi with a bloody nose, it
> tastes exactly like Coca-Cola!  Could you please explain that?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Obviously you live in a test market area. After the success of Cherry
} Coke, Pepsi test-marketed a few new versions of the old standby soft
} drink:
}
} o  Backwash Pepsi -- that great last-sip taste from the whole can!
}
} o  Caffeine-Diet Pepsi -- For those whose diet consists of nothing but
}                           caffeine. Makes Jolt taste like decaf!
}
} o  Pepsi-With-A-Bloody-Nose -- Result of freak mixup between "secret
}                                ingredient #2" and plasma from the
}                                company bloodmobile. Was rejected
}                                because it tasted too much like Coke,
}                                not to mention the AIDS scare, and
}                                marketing difficulties. The can is a
}                                definite collectors item though.
}
} You owe the Oracle a bloody coke.


506-02    (568b2 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Dear Oracle,
>
> I have been thinking of setting up an Oracle in Valhalla. I was going
> to make Thor the Oracle, but let's face it, that son of mine is not
> real smart. So I want to offer you the job of the Valhalla Oracle.
> Please contact me soon if you are interested, and we can discuss terms.
>
>                       Odin.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} First off, Odin bubby, don't forget to grovel, even if you are a god.
} Second, I'm impressed that you realize the need for an Oracle in
} Valhalla, home of the gods though it is. Indeed, many of your ilk
} have come to me over the past years seeking advice, as the following
} sample should show:
}
} "Oh mighty Oracle, who is even better than my Father, in that my Father
} refuses to lend me the yacht on weekends, thereby forcing me to walk
} on water when I feel like going anywhere, pray tell me: if the last
} shall be first and the first shall be last, doesn't that mean that
} the first shall be first and the last shall be last, and what kind of
} a moral is that? I'm delaying my second coming until you can answer
} this one."
}
} "Nu, mighty Oracle, who always wears a sweater, and who never neglects
} to call his mother, unlike some children I could mention, I've been
} leading my chosen people in the desert for thirty years, which leaves
} them another ten years before I'll let them see the promised land, and
} they're starting to complain about how hard it is to send out for
} really good Chinese food when you're lost in the desert. What can I do,
} considering that I'm already working my fingers to the bone performing
} miracles for them daily, not that I expect gratitude or anything from
} delivering them from the hand of the oppresor, unlike some gods I could
} name?"
}
} "Hello there, O Oracle, who always knows where his towel is. Look, I'm
} just some writer--although a pretty funny one, I admit-- but all these
} weird computer types seem to have made me into some sort of literary
} God, and they go around quoting me to each other, and calling each
} other "frood," and answering "42" to any question they hear, even if it
} involves woodchucks. My question is, will they ever leave me alone, and
} go back to worshipping Monty Python instead?"
}
} "O oracle, to whom the ten thousand things are as straw dogs, I can
} imagine the sound of one hand clapping, and I know why I came from the
} east, and what happens when a tree falls in a forest and nobody is
} there to hear it, but  there is one paradox that baffles even me:
} how can George Bush accuse somebody else of waffling on the issues?"
}
} So, as you can see, my dear Odin, I am quite used to helping these
} amateur dieties maintin their illusion of omniscience. Nonetheless,
} I must turn down your offer. Working for you would imply taking
} orders from you, which would imply that there might actually be
} something that you know that I don't, which would imply that there
} is something I don't know, which is just plain silly.
}
} You owe the Oracle six weeks severance pay.


506-03    (39d52 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oracle most wonderful, whose knowledge of Wonderland includes the
> Dormouse's middle name, please tell your grovelling supplicant:
>
> Why is a raven like a writing desk?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As I pondered weak and weary
} On this question - what a bore.
} Oh my eyes turned red and teary.
} Quoth the raven, "nevermore."
}
} Why a raven and a desk alike, he asked,
} This mis'ble supplicant whom I abhor.
} But I continued to toil upon this task -
} Quoth the raven, "nevermore."
}
} A raven is a bird as black as night,
} And, I am told, is rotten to the core.
} To see one can give quite a fright.
} Quoth the desk, "nevermore."
}
} A writing desk's a useful thing to own,
} And is often used by Albert Gore,
} Who likes to lick an ice cream cone.
} Quoth the raven, "nevermore."
}
} As you can see the two are alike - not,
} Which Wayne and Garth would tell you in a roar.
} This explanation I hope you bought.
} Quoth the raven - "Oh shut up!"


506-04    (58d42 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.cs.unlv.edu>

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

> Where oh where has my little dog gone? Oh where oh where can he be?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [click]
} doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo
} [ring...ring...ring...]
} "Mr. Meyer's office.  May I help you?"
} "Ahem.  Mr. Meyer, please."
} "(sigh) May I ask who's calling?"
} "T. Oracle."
} "Oh- excuse me, Mr. Oracle, just a moment, please hold-"
} [bland elevator music- la la la la la la la...]
}
} "O, my friend, how are you?"
} "Pretty busy, Oscar, pretty busy.  Listen, someone has...inquired..."
} "They do that quite a bit, don't they?"
} "Indeed-"
} "What's the going rate these days-"
} "Er-"
} "Well, O, If you don't mind me asking, heh heh heh-"
} "(smile) Well, I suppose I'll demand some clever little something,
}  something tragically apropos..."
} "And you have a fine sense of the apropos-"
} "And you are wonderfully supplicant, as always, Oscar-"
} "Always good business.  The inquiry?..."
} "Ah yes.  Well, Oscar, it seems this person's little dog..."
} "Yes?"
} "Well, they are inquiring as to it's whereabouts..."
} "I see. Did they provide a name?"
} "Of course not-"
} "Well, being omniscient-"
} "-I already know the answer, but humor the supplicants.  I'm more
}  fathomable that way.  Here's the name and description- what's your fax
}  number again, Oscar?"
}
} [whiiiiiirrrrrrr...bbbbeeeepppp.]
}
} "So what do you think, Oscar?"
} "Well, O, let's see...[flip, flip, flip, flip] Hmm.  Well, how shall we
}  phrase this..."
} "Indeed..."
} "I can give you the batch num-"
} "Um, Oscar, I don't think that would be wise. Let me think about this
}  for a millisecond.  Catch up with you for Thanksgiving?"
} "Of course.  I'm very sorry about their little dog-"
} "I'll break it to them gently.  For the holidays."
} "Give Lisa a squeeze for me-"
} "Of course.  Thanks, Oscar."
}
} [click click click...]
}
} >> Where oh where has my little dog gone? Oh where oh where can he be?
}
} He's lost.
}
} You owe the Oracle a Sprint FonCard(tm) and dollops of ketchup and
} chili.


506-05    (046ca dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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

> A question that has puzzled me for ages, oh Oracle, most wise.  I shall
> be most grateful for the answer to this:
>
>       Two people pull into a parking lot into two adjacent spaces, 100
>       feet from the door.  They see two spots 30 feet closer to the
>       door. Driver A starts the car and drives that extra 30 feet.
>       Driver B sez "Nah, too much hassle to re-start the car and drive,
>       I'll just walk the extra 30 feet."
>
>       Which of the two drivers is lazier?
>
> Thank you for the consideration of this most unworthy question.  Be
> secure in the knowledge that I will provide service to the oracle
> commensurate the answer!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Not a bad question, as far as it goes, but you forgot to include a few
} other relevant drivers.
}
} Driver C: The New York Driver; attempts to pull into driver A's space
} before driver A can reach it, despite the fact that there is a
} perfectly good empty space next to it.
}
} Driver D: The Boston Driver; attempts to pull into driver A's space
} ahead of driver A, and then parks parallel to the curb, taking up
} driver A's space, the space next to it, and a good ten feet of
} sidewalk.
}
} Driver E: The New Jersey Driver; is willing to swear before a grand
} jury that there never was a parking space, besides which he didn't take
} it, and anyway, he doesn't know anything about an unfortunate
} "accident" that befell driver A involving several tons of concrete and
} a sawed-off shotgun.
}
} Driver F: The Texas Driver; pulls into the space closer to the shop,
} then decides that, in the interests of his family, he ought to take the
} one farther away, but then concludes that his supporters really want
} him to take the first space, which he'll do if they can validate his
} parking ticket in all fifty states.
}
} Driver G: The College Student Driver; puts off deciding where to park
} untill all the spaces are taken, then decides it's too late, and goes
} off to get a beer.
}
} Driver H: The Internet Driver; decides that picking a space on his own
} is too much effort, and therefore posts a query to "rec.auto.parking"
} asking, "Which space should I take?" prompting a five-month long
} thread, the content of which breaks down as follows: 15% instructions
} to read the FAQ; 54% flames; 30.999% asking "How many parks could a
} parking lot lot if a parking lot could lot parks?"; and .001% providing
} relevant (if erroneous or misleading) information.
}
} To answer your question, the laziest of all is driver I, who is so lazy
} that he does not even bother to finish answering the


506-06    (05c96 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oh great Oracle who's dorsal fin is so spiney and who
> *never* runs out of slime...
>
> I like fish, I mean really like fish.  (Except to eat,
> of course, I shudder at the thought).  I've got sculptures
> of fish, paintings of fish, clothes with fish designs,
> sheets with fish designs, and believe-it-or-not, a
> butter dish shaped like a fish.  At Halloween I dressed
> up like a fish and boy was it fun.  Lately, I've started
> dressing up like a fish all the time.  So tell me,
> would it be going too far to get gills implanted in
> my neck?  Also, how do I get rid of these nightmares I
> have involving hooks and worms?
>
> Yours truly,
> Oscar

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It seems that you are experiencing a rare form of lycanthropy, where
} instead of turning into a wolf, you are turning into a fish.
}
} In order to further diagnose the problem, I must ask you some
} questions.
}
} Have you been experiencing severe haddocks?
} Have you been been feeling eel?
} Do you wish to change your name to Marlin?
} Does plankton have a strong appeal?
}
} Do you think the bonita are pretty?
} Are you crabby all day?
} Do you talk 'bout mackerel?
} Is your computer a cray?
}
} Do you read books by Salmon Rushdie?
} Do you flounder for words?
} Are you always humming a tuna?
} Do you play koi with the birds?
}
} If so, go ahead with the gill transplants and keep your mouth shut.
}
} You owe the Oracle a new shell for his Cray and a place to perch.


506-07    (27c83 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Carole Susan Fungaroli <csf7m@faraday.clas.Virginia.EDU>

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

> Oh mighty Oracle. Please answer my plea.
>
> What sick mind invented porridge ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Table A.3.iii: Porridge Origins
}       To determine the origins of porridge, roll a
}       six-sided die and consult the following table:
}
} 1. The dull, plausible answer:
}   Porridge is a result of boiling grain and tossing in leftovers.
}   Chinese rice porridge is pretty clearly the result of rice cooked in
}   way too much water with gross things added.
}
} 2. The based-on-a-popular-song answer:
}   You never slurp your porridge
}   When you're stirrin' on the stovetop;
}   There'll be time enough for slurpin'
}   When the mush is done.
}
} 3. The fake unix session answer:
}   oracle% mail porridge@yucky.foods.com
}   Subject: How were you created?
}   ^D
}   oracle% wait 1
}   You have new mail.
}   oracle% mail
}   From: porridge@yucky.foods.com
}   To: oracle@parnassus.olympus.com
}   Subject: Re: How were you created?
}   Fake: Header12.Garbage34.H56
}
}   That's an awfully personal question, Orrie, but the truth is
}   that I'm a form of intelligent, mutant slime-mold.  I would
}   go on to tell you that I am distressed by the idea that people
}   eat of my substance, but actually I don't think I'm half so
}   distressed as they are.
}
}   -Porridge
}
} 4. The copout answer:
}   You call "mighty" a grovel?  I oughta <ZOT>ya where you stand!
}
} 5. The titilating answer:
}   If you think that something like porridge is "sick," that just
}   goes to show how small-minded you are.  Just ask Lisa.  The
}   things we do with porridge are not sick, just unusual by your
}   standards.
}
} 6. The disgustingly biological answer:
}   Porridge _is_ a sick mind.  Yum yum!


506-08    (25d66 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> 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.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [Editor's note: The Oracle e-mailed a brilliant response to the exam,
} with answers that ranged across the entire field of human knowledge
} from Stephen Hawking to the pre-Socratic philosophers to proto-Germanic
} linguistics (nailing down the origin of "nerf" in early Gothic).  He
} received the following evaluation:
}
}       Instructions explicitly stated "no computers."  Exam
}       answers composed and sent via computer.  AUTOMATIC FAIL.
}
} This devastating failure triggered the Oracle's bipolar
} manic-depression, which we thought we had under control.  While in the
} manic swing he determined to beat Robert T. Morris' SAT score of 1590
} and set off for the nearest testing site.  Unfortunately, he used a #3
} pencil instead of a #2 pencil, doubtless a major factor in his
} resulting score of 310 V, 280 M.  The SAT results triggered a major
} depressive episode, and as we go to press the Oracle is at University
} Hospital recovering from an overdose of direct current.  Luckily a
} RAM-pump was initiated in time and we expect full recovery.
}
} The other bright news is that the Oracle's test scores were sent to
} Texas A&M University, from whom he has just received the offer of a
} full athletic scholarship!]


506-09    (39c53 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu

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

> Always smother the kid to death and I'm *still* massively
> annoyed. So, O kind, magnanimous Oracle, what should I join the
> billions and just be one of the great chef boy-ar-dee and yet they all
> taste similar somehow. His spaghetti-o's taste not unlike his beef
> ravioli, and so sent myself the query "Why are there so many students
> because..." Lisa: No grovel. Oracle: What? Lisa: See for yourself.
> Oracle: [checks transmission log] Oh. Well, he probably forgot; he's
> from Purdue and I have tried all the giggle gas he could Do if a
> woodchuck could chuck wood? Let me tell you what you say,
> undestructibubble." Suddenly, the door opened. Five men dressed in
> pin-striped suits and fedoras, and carrying large semi-automatic
> weapons, burst into life.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [cue header]
}
} .....and now the six'o clock news with Peter Jennings.
}
} [cue music]
}
} Peter Jennings looks up into the camera with what he privately calls
} his 'labrador retriver expression' The Neilson people say that 67% of
} the viewing audience feel that this shows alertness.
}
} "Good Evening.  In the headlines tonight, a growing epidemic of
} mental breakdowns are sweeping our nation's campuses.  Computer
} science centers, always risky places of hacker crime and bad trek
} spoofs have gotten worse.  A new form of addiction has grabbed the
} useful cpu hours of these once happy neighborhoods.
}
} [cut to techie interview #1]
}
} A skinny man wearing glasses with very thick black frames is speaking
} to someone off camera.  He wears a plastic badge that says "System
} Administrator".
}
} "News groups have always been a problem.  We had special task forces
} to deal with alt.sex.beastiality and talk.bizarre.  We were winning
} the war on newsgroups!  But rec.humor.oracle is, in my estimate, at
} least ten times more addicting."
}
} [cut to Peter Jennings]
} Pete now has his "concerned sympathy" look.
}
} "This new, more potent form of newsgroup is much more addicting then
} regular newsgroups.  Users begin to ignore the social life around them.
} They start to read news on Friday nights and Saturdays.  They lose
} interest in sleep.  Their schoolwork is affected as they blow off a
} class to read one more article.  They begin to demand that people who
} ask them questions grovel.
}
}       Eventally they become totally helpless and start to
} babble inanities.  Crazed derelicts wander the hallways begging for 15
} minutes of login time.  Long-time students are trying to organize to
} resist this new influx of crime and violence."
}
} [cut to techie interview #2]
}
} A skinny man wearing glasses with very thick black frames is speaking
} to someone off camera.  He wears a plastic badge that says "System
} Administrator".  He is now wearing a blonde wig and speaking in a high
} pitched voice.
}
} "I definitely oppose this waste of system resources!  Disk usage alone
} is up 35%!  Just say No to news!"
}
} [cut back to Peter Jennings]
}
} "In response to this crisis, the President has declared a War on
} Newsgroups.  If this will be enough to stem the tide of Oracularities
} is unclear.
}
}       In another story, Madonna has been crushed during the shooting
} of her new video.  Apparently, a winch snapped, dropping a horse onto
} her. Details after this short break."
}
} [cut to commercial]


506-10    (28697 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> Dear Oracle - most wise -
> would you kindly be so nice
> to accept my question and answer it
> although it only is for my own benefit ?
>
> What is the worst mistake I can ever do and how to prevent it ?
>
> --
> ** Barney Hinckle, Tumbolia Str. 97, 9258 Tumbolia, Tel. ++94-7838-0803
>
> [ Signature randomized to protect the innocent. -ed ]

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Give your home telephone number to several million Usenet readers.
} It is too late to do anything about it.
}
} You owe the Oracle a loophole in this taxlaw.


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