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Internet Oracularities #517

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517, 517-01, 517-02, 517-03, 517-04, 517-05, 517-06, 517-07, 517-08, 517-09, 517-10


Usenet Oracularities #517    (37 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1993 20:48:11 -0500

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Let us know what you like!  Send your ratings of these 10 Oracularities
on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
volume number to oracle-vote@cs.indiana.edu (probably just reply to this
message).  For example:
   517
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

517   37 votes 459a9 36bc5 0cg72 2ah71 4jb30 8h741 46a6b 9ea31 128ga 23bab
517   3.0 mean  3.4   3.3   3.0   2.9   2.4   2.3   3.4   2.3   3.9   3.7


517-01    (459a9 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

> oh mighty oracle, forgive me for not capitalizing your worthy name, as
> proper reverence would dictate.  no disrespect is intended.
>
> you see, i am having this problem with my 'shift' key.  oh, it works,
> all right; every time i press it, my keyboard shifts -- into another
> dimension. it takes me damn near forever to track it down when that
> happens.  the last time, i had to chase it through seven ethereal
> planes and finally cornered it in a wormhole where it had taken up
> service with a family of cheap green retractable biros.
>
> i don't dare find out what 'caps lock' will do.  what is causing this
> problem, and how can i fix it [there should be a question mark here,
> but that requires the shift key]
>
> my humble gratitude is forever yours, oh mighty Ora - *poof*

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You arx indxxd fortunatx, worthy supplicant, for my situation today is
} worsx than yours.  I havx similarly lost thx usx of thx X kxy, and
} havx had to substitutx thx lxttxr X instxad, as you can xasily sxx.
} Xvxn with my own admittxdly grxat powxrs, it will takx somx timx to
} fix, and in thx mxanwhilx, if I usx thx X kxy, MY kxyboard vanishxs
} undxrnxath my chair.  Your imagination probably isn't good xnough to
} rxalizx how traumatic that can bx to mx, but pxrhaps you can guxss
} that if I'm not actually in Indiana, thxm maybx I'm not sitting in my
} chair, xithxr.
}
} Lxt's sxx if I can fix that X kxy.  I'm prxtty good at thxsx things,
} and whxn I gxt my X kxy working, I'll fix your shift kxy.  Hold on a
} minutx.  <RUMBLE RUMBLE>    <Eighty-five hours elapse.>   <CRASH!!!>
} <POINKAPOINKAPOINKA THUD>   Thxrx.  <Half an eternity passes.> Oh dxar!
} Now qhx Q kxy is brokxn as wxll.  Iq sxnds MX undxrnxaqh a chair in
} Indiana, of all placxs!  I'm gxqqing sick and qirxd of bxing
} all-powxrful.  Would you likx qo qakx ovxr qhis job for a whilx?
}
} I guxss qhaq you don'q wanq qhx Oraclx qo aqqxmpq qo fix your shifq
} kxy aq qhx prxsxnq qimx.
}
} You owx qhx Oraclx a monqh's holiday wiqhouq inqxrrupqion from
} supplicanqs.


517-02    (36bc5 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> How did Sacajawea communicate with Lewis and Clark?  Did Lewis and
> Clark learn her native language, or did Sacajewea leaarn English?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Let's look in and see:
}
} [Scene: Somewhere in the Great Northwest. An away-team consisting
}  of Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, and an expendable crewman have left
}  the main body of explorers at the river to investagate the local
}  flora and fauna. The three men are closly examining an interesting
}  specimen of local mushroom]
}
} Lewis: Hey, William. Do you think this might be the magic mushroom.
}
} Clark: I don't know, Meriwether, ask the squaw.
}
} [ Lewis plucks the Mushroom and makes eating motions with his mouth
}   in Sacagawea's face ]
}
} Sacagawea: (Shakes head rapidly)
}
} Lewis: Nope, good thing we didn't eat it, huh?
}
} Sacagawea:(begins waving arms an geturing wildly)
}
} Lewis: What is it woman?
}
} Sacagawea: ( Points )
}
} Clark: There?
}
} S: (nods)
}    (lifts skirt and bends over)
}
} C: Ass?...Moon?...Rear?
}
} L: Bottom?...Butt?
}
} S: (shakes head violently)(Continues to expose herself)
}
} C: Tail?...Hiney?...
}
} Expendable crewman: Gluteus Maximus?
} (everyone stares)
} EC: Sorry.
}
} L:Anus?....Bare behind?..
}
} S:(nods rapidly then points directly at Lewis)
}
} C: You!
}
} L: There bare behind you. Ah, There's a bear behind you.
}
} Grizzly: ROARRRRR! (eats Expendable Crewman as others run off toward
} river)
}
} You owe the Oracle one of each.


517-03    (0cg72 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

> The supplicant, dressed in white socks, unwashed jeans, thick
> glasses and a pocket protector is sitting in front of his Zen
> master, somewhere high in the regions of the Himalaya.
> He silently asks: Why is an Oracle?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The master replied:  "An Oracle is as the clatter of a DECwriter III
} during a cluster state transition, or as the carrier tone on an
} unconnected modem. Such is the nature of things."
}
} The supplicant looked puzzled.  He shifted awkwardly, sorted the pens
} in his pocket by color, and asked for another answer.  The master
} frowned.
}
} "An Oracle is The Oracle, in the same way as your question is.  You
} cannot understand these things until you know this: What is the nature
} of a question shortly after the one who asked it has evaporated in a
} whiff of hydrogen, ozone, and carbon monoxide?"
}
} "Huh?"
}
} "H sub 2, O sub 3, and CO."
}
} "I don't get...."
}
} And at that moment, the supplicant was enlightened.  So enlightened, in
} fact, that the glow could be seen all the way to East St. Louis.
}
} You owe The Oracle an original AI koan.


517-04    (2ah71 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Steve Miller <stcmille@Panix.Com>

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

> O oracle divine, o oracle sublime
>
> tell me, your humble acolyte and would-be-editorial-priest?
>
> Why is recursion so recursive?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, re-curse you for having asked *that* question again!
} The last time I answered it, I got caught in an infinite loop,
} but as I am but obliged to answer it anyway, here goes:
}   In the next sentence, I will explain to you, why recursion is so
}   recursive. In the previous sentence I gave you the explanation,
}   why recursion is so recursive.
} Now, wasn't that neat?
} You owe the Oracle a curfew.


517-05    (4jb30 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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

> Why don't I have a girlfriend yet?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Because you are a 12-year old nerdy whizkid using a Commodore
} 64 with a 1200 Baud modem trying to hack his way into Usenet and
} asking the first person you stumble upon (which happens to be me)
} the second-silliest question of all.
} Geez - next thing you know you'll be asking woodchuck questions!
} Let me tell you one thing: All this is not good for you. Go get a
} life and a girl friend, and if *then* you still got the urge to
} send mail to total strangers, then come back. Maybe.
} Until then...
}               <ZO...>
} what? stop? why?
} You mean you think you are a twenty-nine year old computer professional
} sitting in front of a Sparc station in the midst of huge piles of
} line printer printout, coffee cups and rock-hard cookies trying to
} figure out why you haven't had a date for years?
} Geez - I told you it was dangerous to run a virtual reality program
} on your C64. Must have forgotten to cancel the process, I guess.
} No problem for old uncle Orrie. Trust me.
}                  ...OT!>
}
} (And somewhere in a playroom in Washington D. C. a Commodore 64 and
} a cheap modem burst in flames.)
}
} You owe the Oracle a kill -9 for reality.


517-06    (8h741 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

>   Oh most elegantly indescreet Oracle, whose toefloppings I am not
> worthy to jam, whose inexpasite vistera gulter like the ungatherous
> golpeds of Hervanta, I, most humble, worthless and ungoiple gostbalder
> freen for your advise:
>
>   I live in a horrible country with heinously inhuman TV networks. They
> have cancelled Star Trek: The Next Generation after its third season!
> Please tell me what should I do to hold on to my sanity and regain my
> faith in the human nature.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The bodaciously immaculate Oracle, in Latin "Oraculius Splendouress
} Magnificus"  deeply sympathizes with you because of your loss.  They
} did not cancel your beloved Star Trek.  They have altered the energy
} flow of the program to a higher warp level thus altering it in form,
} appearance, and flavor.  These apparent changes, however, are merely
} illusion.  Everyone's favorite Star Trek: The NeXT Generation still
} exists, but  it is now being broadcast  by the name Star Trek: Star
} Base Nine.  (Or something to that effect.  The Oracle has difficulty
} discerning the desceptive plasma disrepresentation which emmulates
} the confusion within carbon-units.)  Anyway, you will find that this
} Star Trek will have the same droll, over-stretched plots as its two
} prior likenesses.  This Star Trek will continue the Star Trek
} condition of having characters sit around and talk about things
} rather than waste any energy and have actual action.  The first
} episode appeared last night, January 7, 1993, with emphasis on time
} and the existence of worm-holes.
}
}       This was a nasty trick to try to the pass off an entirely new
} Star Trek when it is identical to the old one.  Possibly,to restore
} your faith in human nautre, you could go out and give a TV network
} person a swift kick in the ass.   This desceptive mind game is not
} unlike the episode in which they try to make Picard believe there are
} 5 lights.  THERE ARE 4 LIGHTS!!!!!!!!


517-07    (46a6b dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Oh Oracle most puissant, whose comings and goings leave
> a delightful, fragrant, glowing trail of co[s]mic dust,
> please deign to answer the question of this mortal
> transient... no, wait. That's supposed to be transient
> mortal, I think. Or is it transmort entrail? Oh, Hell.
>
> One day last week, I was walking to work and inadvertantly
> strode directly into a wrinkle in the fabric of space and
> time. Looking around, I saw a shimmering rectangle
> suspended in midair, upon which was the message
>
>     Do NOT remove this tag under penalty of law!
>
> I... I don't know what came over me. I'm usually an orderly,
> rule-abiding human, but when I saw this I reached up and
> gave a yank. The rectangle came off in my hand, then
> melted into a puddle which had a ruinous effect on my
> shoes. Otherwise, nothing seemed to happen.
>
> I'm very worried about this. What happens now?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, it's like this.  The "law" that the message referred to was, of
} course, Einstein's law of Relativity, embodied in the equation E =
} mc^2.  However, neither Einstein nor any physicists after him realized
} the implications of relativity.  You see, the "shape" of space-time has
} not yet been correctly hypothesized.  It's not a hypersphere, it's not
} cartesian; in fact, it's a hyper-fitted-sheet.  You see, everything in
} the universe is made up of either mattress or energy.  They are related
} by Einstein's equation, and so if you bring some mattress into contact
} with an equivalent amount of anti-mattress, you get a proportional
} amount of energy.
}
} The hyper-fitted-sheet encloses the sum total of mattress in the
} universe. In fact, the model that your scientists use to describe
} gravity (an object placed on a soft surface makes an indentation, which
} causes nearby objects to "fall" towards it) is not just an analogy, but
} in fact the actual way gravity works.
}
} Now, the so-called "wrinkles in the fabric of space-time" are not
} uncommon, because the universe wasn't "made" very well.  But even so,
} they are few and far between enough so that science has never measured
} them.  Although Earth has come in contact with many, they are minor
} enough that they do no lasting damage.  Pray, however, that the Earth
} never gets close enough to the edge of the universe to encounter one of
} the dreaded "hospital corners in the fabric of space-time," even one of
} which would doubtless tear the planet asunder.
}
} Anyway, you don't need to worry about anything.  Yes, you removed the
} tag. Yes, you violated the Law.   However, as a consequence, you can
} probably now get away with violating it whenever you want, opening and
} closing freak wormholes and converting matter to energy to your heart's
} delight.  Which means a) your heating bill will go WAY down and b)
} you'll never again have to actually BUY tickets to concerts -- hell,
} you can trasport yourself backstage!
}
} You owe the Oracle a futon.


517-08    (9ea31 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: mzintl@Plasma.ps.uci.edu

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

> Should I quit my job, my thesis and everything - just to get a life?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You shouldn't - just think what Your Mother Would Say!
}
} You owe the Oracle a visit at Christmas.


517-09    (128ga dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Why are New Year's eve and Christmas so close together?
> Do they have a common origin?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As you know, Christmas originated as a celebration of the birth of
} Jesus who, according to Christian teaching, was the Savior of the
} world.  New Year's Day, obviously, celebrates the beginning of the
} year.  In order to understand the reason for the closeness of the two
} holidays, we must go back in time to ancient Judea, circa 4 BC...
}
} ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
} We are in the house of Joseph, a poor carpenter living on the southwest
} side of Nazareth, and his lovely wife Mary.  Joe is out back,
} belt-sanding a new council table for the Sanhedrin.  Mary is inside,
} watching her favorite soap opera, "As the Dreidel Turns".  Suddenly,
} she is blinded by a flash of light.
}
} "Hey?  What's that?", Mary cries.
}
} "It is I, Gabriel, the angel of the Lord.  I bring you tidings of great
} joy!"
}
} "Can it wait until the commercial?"
}
} "No, the word of God does not wait for commercials."
}
} Mary reluctantly hit the mute, and listened to what the angel had to
} say. "OK, Gabe, go ahead."
}
} Gabriel began to explain, "The Lord has chosen you to be placed above
} all women.  You are to bear a son, and name him Jesus.  He will be the
} Savior of the world, and all will call him Emmanuel."
}
} "What's an Emmanuel?", Mary interrupted.
}
} "Don't ask questions--it's just part of the script."  Gabriel cleared
} his throat.  "Do you accept this task which God has chosen for you?"
}
} "Uh, yeah, sure, I guess so.  As long as I get to pick the date of the
} birth. I've got a Tupperware (tm) party coming up next week, and I'm
} hosting the bridge circle on Wednesday...I'm a busy woman!"
}
} Gabriel thought for a moment.  "Well, OK, I guess.  When do you want
} the kid to be born?  Remember, this is the world's savior-to-be.  His
} birthday will be honored and celebrated for millennia to come.  Nations
} will make it an official holiday."
}
} "You mean people will get off work?"
}
} "Yeah, that's right."
}
} "Well, when could Joe use some more time off?  We did want to take a
} vacation around the beginning of next year, but we only get the one day
} off.  And Joe has already used up all his vacation for this year."
}
} Gabriel pondered this for a moment.  "Why do you want to take a
} vacation then? There's nothing going on for miles."
}
} Mary responded, "Yeah, I know.  You know Joe volunteers with the Census
} Bureau, and there's some sort of shindig going on in Bethlehem for the
} census this year."
}
} "OK, I guess that'll work.  So we'll have the baby born January 1."
}
} Mary yelled, "No, no!  That's already a holiday.  Don't waste it.  Just
} put it close to New Year's Day."
}
} "Well, when then?", Gabriel asked.  "You can't get every day off..."
}
} Mary thought for a bit, and then said, "Well, how about making it as
} close to New Year's as possible.  If they're close enought, maybe a lot
} of companies will give us all the time in between off.  Sort of a,
} well, New Year's shutdown, you might call it."
}
} "How far apart could they be, and still get the vacation?  That would
} maximize the benefits", Gabriel said.
}
} "Maybe a week or two", Mary said.
}
} Gabriel replied, "Better stick with a week.  OK, we'll have the baby
} born January 8.  That's a week after New Year's."
}
} Mary said, "That's fine.  That'll be...oh, on second thought, how about
} the week before New Year's?  Then we can claim the deduction on this
} year's taxes."
}
} Gabriel said, "OK, no problem.  One week before New Year's
} Day--that's... December 25.  Jesus, Savior of the world, will be born
} this next December 25."
}
} "Cool", Mary said.  And with that, the angel left her.
}
} ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
} And so, you see why Christmas was placed so close to the end of the
} year.  It was all part of God's wonderful and mysterious plans, which
} you humans cannot hope to comprehend.  I realize this does shed a new
} bit of light on the original Bible story, but you did want the truth,
} didn't you?
}
} You owe the Oracle a prayer to intercede for forgiveness of his sins,
} because he's probably going to Hell for writing this...


517-10    (23bab dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> What is the best pickup line that a man can use on a woman?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Personally, I recommend 50-pound-test nylon line; however, some women
} think that something a bit gentler (like satin cord) is more romantic.
}
} You owe the Oracle a hook and wench^H^H^H^H^Hwinch.


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