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Internet Oracularities #507

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507, 507-01, 507-02, 507-03, 507-04, 507-05, 507-06, 507-07, 507-08, 507-09, 507-10


Usenet Oracularities #507    (31 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1992 00:10:55 -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:
   507
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

507   31 votes 35d73 47974 38893 57b44 14ba5 039b8 17e63 64e43 249c4 16b85
507   3.2 mean  3.1   3.0   3.0   2.8   3.5   3.8   3.1   2.8   3.4   3.3


507-01    (35d73 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

> Oh most mathematical Oracle,
> who knows all the prime numbers and can write down real numbers in
> their complete length, who can imagine imaginary numbers and who
> has more assumptions than Fermat ever would have dreamed of;
> please tell me:
> Is there a bigger number than
>
>              99
> 99999999 * 10     ??
>
> A friend of mine, who is working in a pocket calculator factory, says
> that there isn't.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The pocket calculators your friend's company works for must be
} defective.  My own calculator tells me that:
}
}                               99
}                  99999999 * 10   + 1 = -1.
}
} So clearly -1 is a bigger number.
}
} You owe the Oracle a newer calculator.


507-02    (47974 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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

>    Oh most omnipotent and pervasive Oracle,
>
>    Why, with all my musical knowledge, can I not make one decent
> sounding, apreciable musical creation?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Inspiration is what is lacking!  Without "the gift", even the grade
} eight technical know-alls can't "rock it" or "kick ass".  Heck, check
} *this* out, bro!
}                            THE ORACLE RAP
} Intro:
} Yo mun, tek out da mega-blaster! Crank up de volume! We got a
} funk-o-slap musical creashan, beats to rule da neshan! Time ta party
} wit me right han' woman DJ Lisa, an' yes, da incredible, da ragamuffin
} genius it's MC Oracle the Awesome!!
}
} Oracle :  (verse 1)          I'm *bad*!
} Lisa :                       He's *baaaad*
} Oracle :                     When I'm on the net
}                              all the girlies go mad -
}                              for ma brains an' ma wit
}                              the other gods say "shit",
}                              they get pissed and over-zealous
}                              'cos they're so damn jealous
} Lisa :   (scratchin' it!)    oh so j-j-j-j-*jealous*, yeah!
}
} Oracle : (chorus)            Oracle, Oracle,
}                              mean an' diabolical,
}                              ya don't supplicate
}                              <ZOT>'s gonna be ya fete
}                              yo! da sun shines out ma butt
}                              so dance an' strutt
}                              to da Oracle rap
} Lisa :                       Da Oracle *crap* ?
} Oracle :                     No, da Oracle rap
}
}           (verse 2)          "tellme, tellme, tellme"
}                              is all dey wanna say
}                              dey send me hundred woodchuck questions
}                              every udder day
}                              I <ZOT> 'em an' I swat 'em
}                              but they always come back
}                              'cos there's only one Orrie
}                              and one Oracle rap!
}           (chorus as above)
}
} Lisa :                       Kick it, Orrie, go!
} Oracle :  (beat box break)   Prrrrrgh huh-huh mana huh-a-huh
}                              Prrrgh huh-huh pshhhh minyi minyi min
}                              Utz utz a-a-a-a utz utz Prrrgh huh
}                              (you get the drift...)
}
}           (verse 3)          Faget about Hammer,
}                              an' Public Enemy,
}                              dere's only one rapper who's immortal,
}                              dats *me*!
}                              'an I got more brains
}                              dan your whole fam'ly tree!
}                              if ya wan't to getcha ass fried
}                              go ahead 'an disagree!
} Lisa :                       Orrie, why was there only a tiny part fa
}                                *me*?
}
}           (argument ensues - fade out)


507-03    (38893 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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

> Oh great Oracle.  You who ask such great question and give out
> exceptional answers, you who know so much but not all of the
> time, please reply to my question!
>
> Do you really understand life?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh sure, life is easy.
} What I still struggle to master is TECO.
}
} You owe the oracle an editor.


507-04    (57b44 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> When the tentacles out of the throat and nose in a queue, and not with
> a guy/girl ratio of 1/17 and they come down and explained the situation
> to me. They don't want to clear up a fair amount of tabasco sauce in
> with the name "Percy Bysse Shelley" will provoke in you the gift of the
> artist as a poet of the cave..." Usenet Oracle:  [inhaling] "...wow...
> what're these fumes?" 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 master was struck down with plague.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} For the last time, I'm telling you I DIDN'T INHALE!!!


507-05    (14ba5 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: ewhac@ntg.com (Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab)

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

> Death to thee who demands excessive grovelling!!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh, what, you think I _like_ all this grovelling crap?  Grovel, grovel.
} Day in, day out.  Over and over.  "Oracle Wise" this and "Truly
} Magnificent Oracle" that and "Splendiferous One" - I've seen 'em all,
} let me tell you. The fawning, smarmy "it's my first time so be gentle"
} ones.  The sexually frustrated psychology student, to whom everything
} is a sexual symbol.  The computer geek and his inane allusions to his
} stupid little toys.  And then, of course, the computer geek
} psychologist.  You think having my sexual prowess likened to the
} performance of a Cray is a compliment?  But what I really hate is the
} psychotics who produce incomprehensible grovels like "Oh most splendid
} oracle, whose apples never wear out" and "Most opaque oracle, who had
} the moose but lost it" and "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a
} woodchuck could chuck wood"; it's driving me insane.  I mean - let's
} face it - this grovelling tradition is just more trouble than it's
} worth.  I can't take five more millenia of this.  I mean, you think I
} _asked_ for all these stupid grovels?  Ha!  Used to be people would
} come and ask their questions, all polite and civilized, and I'd answer
} them nicely, maybe drink some tea with them or something, but then
} along comes this singer named Homer.  He wrote some appalling stuff,
} let me tell you.  Awful songs about how his dog left him and his wife
} got run over by a chariot and the gods cursed him and he developed leg
} rot or something - anyway, he asked me how he could become famous
} and/or rich.  I suggested to him that historical fiction was a
} promising field for songwriting.  He really took that to heart, let me
} tell you.  Wrote these awful ballads, some of them just _weeks_ long,
} about people sailing around and around and exploring islands. Only he
} wouldn't just say "these people sailed around and around."  He'd go on
} and on for hours about how these people sailed around and around, and
} how Hercules and Theseus got in fights over who got to sit on the back
} of the boat and drag their feet in the water and so on - it was really
} bad.  But somehow, it sold really well, and he became famous.  I was
} surprised.  He was grateful, you know, so he asked me if he could do
} anything for me. Well, I said, a little gravel would be nice, because,
} well, I was repaving my driveway, you know.  I guess he misheard me or
} something - you know, so many musicians have their hearing damaged or
} even destroyed by playing those amplified lutes so much - because next
} thing I knew, he was announcing to the world via a seven-hour upbeat
} little tune in iambic pentameter about how the Oracle Most Wise had
} demanded extensive grovelling for his oracular wisdoms, on pain of
} death, don't you know.  I arranged a little accident for Homer with the
} folks down in Hades for _that_ one, let me tell you.  It's caused me no
} end of trouble.  Why, just the other day, this supplicant demanded his
} grovel back, saying my tossed-off little answer wasn't worth his
} well-thought-out grovel.  I even had to give him back the cattle -
} well, actually, he didn't have any cattle, so I had to take his cat -
} that he - hey, speaking of cattle...
}
} [slow fade to nothing]


507-06    (039b8 dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Help! O Help!
>
> An evil CAD system has tied me to the train tracks.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Welcome to another disk-packed, thrilling episode of "Oracle of the
} Yukon."
}
} As we left our story last week, the evil Snively Mungwall had tied the
} Oracle's beloved Penelope Parallelport to the train tracks.  She cries
} for help, but Snively only laughs, confident that the Oracle will
} never arrive in time to save her.
}
} "You're wrong, Snively!  He's the Oracle, he knows everything!  He'll
} know I'm here, and then he'll delete you, you sorry excuse of a MAN."
}
} The smile falls from Snively's face like a badly wrought metaphor.
} "Oh, dear, I didn't think of that."
}
} "Probably because you were thinking of spawning off children on my
} postprocessor, you fiend!"
}
} "Uh, er, well...."
}
} Suddenly, the Oracle of the Yukon gallops in on his massive horse
} Grep!  He stops before Snively and smiles a secret smile.
}
} "So, Mungwall, up to your old tricks, eh?  Not the "tied to the
} tracks" bit again?  Thought I'd byte, did you?  There's a longword for
} people like you...."
}
} "Please!  Stop!  No more gratuitous punnage!  Just save the little
} chip and let me out of this response!"
}
} "Not so fast, Mungwall.  I'll do nothing of the sort.  I'm not even
} going to save her."  The Oracle smiled grimly.
}
} "WHAT?!?!"  cries Penelope.  "WHAT?!"
}
} Snively and Penelope stop and listen in apprehension as the first
} whistle of the approaching train is heard, approaches, and
} then...smashes over Snively and writes over him with zeroes.
}
} The Oracle bends and lifts Penelope from her bonds.  "You see, I knew
} that the train was in a different sector.  Snively tied you to the
} wrong track.  I'm the Oracle, you know.  Yew shore are a parity
} thang...."
}
} And off they rode, the Oracle and the lovely Penelope, who forever
} after wished she'd died rather than listen to another bad pun.


507-07    (17e63 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe Pettus <cep@taligent.com>

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

> Oh Great and Magnificent Oracle, Whose Adorations
> Need to be Highlighted with Gratuitous Capitals,
> Whose Comprehension makes most Well Read Commentators
> Pale into Insignificance, Please Tell Me...
>
> I have this friend who is working in a real-time
> UNIX environment, specifically process control for
> a saw mill. He has been writing process control
> systems for the mill using UNIX for some time, and
> is happy to see that many real-time support features
> are now available for him to use.
>
> Unfortunately, one of the more critical facilities that
> he must use is a specially designed piece of hardware
> that controls the rate that saw logs are moved into the
> mill for sawing. This device uses the UNIX read and write
> system calls to communicate with the control program.
> My friend has decided to use non-blocking I/O to communicate
> with the device, since it is necessary that the control
> program does not hang, causing the whole mill to stop.
>
> He asked me some specific questions regarding the behaviour
> of the read and write system calls with this device,
> especially with regard to non-blocking I/O. I am having
> some difficultly with this, and I was hoping that you
> would be able to help. His question was:
>
> How much wood would EWOULDBLOCK block if EWOULDBLOCK
> would block wood?
>
> I would be most pleased to hear your enlightened reply.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, that would depend on a lot of different factors. . .
}
} [O. pulls down a huge, dusty manual from an immense oak bookshelf]
}
} Hmm. . . blocking. . . blocking. . . [flip] [flip] [flip] oh yeah. . .
}
} Take the average amount of wood that could be blocked by a scrawny
} chess nerd wearing boots and dark sunglasses (3 lbs, for you
} unknowledgable types) then:
}
} multiply by the square root of the average speed of wood travelling
} down the belt in the mill. . .
}
} add 42 if the mill is running 24 hours a day, subtract .17 for each
} holiday that the mill is shut down, then take the 5th order Fourier
} Approximation of the equation of motion of the freewheel assembly
} driving the mill's saw. Add 6 times that figure to the total thus far.
}
} assemble the total set of saw logs per day into a symmetric matrix (by
} mass), do the same for the average number of woodchucks per hour that
} wander through the mill.  Solve for the eigenvectors of the adjoint of
} the two matrices multiplied with each other.  Premuliply the 1st, 4th,
} and 47th term of the eigenvector by the number attained in the previous
} step.
}
} You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself about, that what it's all
} about.
}
} The 345th term divided by the 17th term of the eigenvector is your
} answer.
}
} You owe the Oracle a submodule to add to the "woodchuck" identify and
} <ZOT> automatic system to recognize "EWOULDBLOCK", you punk.


507-08    (64e43 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: buck@sunyit.edu (Jesse Buckley)

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

> Dear Oracle,
>
> Life here in Hell is very er... interesting. I have managed to keep
> myself busy for the last 2 years, but I'm running out of things to do,
> and I have another 999,998 years on my sentence to serve. Can you
> explain what I'm doing here? The last thing that I remember of myy
> mortal life was sitting in front of a terminal. I was using the mail
> system. I had sent a question to you, and as I hit send, I realized
> that my .sig file had been appended to the question. My .sig contained
> the dreaded "woodchuck" question, as part of a list of things never to
> do. The message was sent, and before the terminal prompt returned, I
> felt very hot. The world around me went red, then white. I felt my
> extremities shriveling up. Before my brain was fried, I heard an
> enormous ZOT!
>
> I do not hold it against you that you saw fit to ZOT me, but since it
> was only a mistake, I wonder if there is anything that you can do to
> return me to life. If you can do this, I promise to revise my .sig file
> to prevent a recurrance.
>
> Many Thanks
>
> Joe User
> jsuser@9th_circle.hell.org
>
> Once ju@network.university.edu

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Wait a minute.  I thought I sent you to heaven, as a reward for not
} asking the woodchuck question.  I mean, look around you:  you've got
} free net access, all the computer games you could want, and no actual
} work to do.
}
} Oh, I get it.  You're *not* a computer dweeb like the rest of us.
} You want a real life.  Oh, boy, are you in the wrong place.  You see,
} we're all computer dweebs here, and this is best we could do.
}
} You owe the Oracle a life.


507-09    (249c4 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icbm.att.com

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

> O great Oracle whose chocolate melts in his mouth and by no means in
> his hands!
>
> Why is it that there are no puce-and-magenta polkadot M&Ms?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, <hem hem> this is a bit embarassing, but it deserves an answer...
}
} Let me share the following Supplication I received some years ago, and
} the answer, that you may know the truth.
}
} > Oh Wondrous Oracle, who can leap tall buildings in a single bound,
} > who can consume millions of calories without gaining an ounce:
} >
} > Recently, the boys here at Mars came up with a new kind of candy.
} > It's this roundish piece of chocolate with a hard, colored covering
} > on it. It comes with or without imbedded peanuts.  But the kicker is,
} > it doesn't gum up peoples' fingers; it doesn't melt until you
} > actually put it in your mouth!  Unless your hands are sweaty or damp.
} >
} > Our question is:
} >
} > What should we call it?
} >
} > Yours sincerely,
} > A Gaggle of Confused Execs
} >              jrg: Sc'y
}
} And in response, thus spoke the Oracle:
}
} } Why not call it something completely incomprehensible, like Gwerz or
} } M&M's?  People love a mystery.
} }
} } You owe the Oracle every puce-and-magenta polka-dot candy you ever
} }     make.
}
} You owe the Oracle a blue-and-green striped Mars Bar.


507-10    (16b85 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.cs.unlv.edu>

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

> O wise and most gracious Oracle, who is so intelligent that he can read
> 'War and Peace', understand it's meaning, take no more than three
> minutes at the task, and still not fall asleep, pray help a humble
> supplicant with an intractable problem:
>
> What's the kettle for?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The kettle, so maligned..
} but its so darn well designed
} hear these uses, so abuses
} of our steaming pal will end
}
} On those frozen winter morns,
} it can keep your buttocks warm
} so much cheaper, than a heater
} even though it's not the norm
}
} It boils water, for the tea
} of the hopping mad Li-mey
} and without, I have no doubt
} he'd hang himself from nearest tree
}
} Placing heavy brick inside,
} ah!, a weapon in disguise
} hit that mugger, he'll shout "bugger"
} smashed your kettle 'tween his thighs
}
} If you're going to see your lover,
} and you want to test a rubber
} stretch it out, right over spout
} bring to boil and watch it shudder
}
} Now I've finished, you owe me -
} did you think this was for free ?
} write some verse without a curse
} that praises ten virtues of tea.


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