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Internet Oracularities #542

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542, 542-01, 542-02, 542-03, 542-04, 542-05, 542-06, 542-07, 542-08, 542-09, 542-10


Usenet Oracularities #542    (46 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1993 09:04:11 -0500

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on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
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   542
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

542   46 votes 36he6 28cea 3jc93 15dha 3gea3 7dj52 58i96 2dg96 4me42 cid12
542   3.0 mean  3.3   3.5   2.8   3.7   2.9   2.6   3.1   3.1   2.5   2.2


542-01    (36he6 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU

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

> O diligent and over-worked Oracle.  You look exhausted.  Why don't you
> take a break?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You know, I am a little tired.  Thank you for your concern, mortal.
}
} # wall
} The Omnipotent Oracle will be going offline in fifteen minutes
} for periodic maintenance.  Do not be alarmed.
} ^D
} # shutdown -h +15
} Shutdown started (pid 809457)
} System going down in 15 minutes
} ...
}
}  REDLANDS (UPI) -- The refugee camps from the so-called "San
} Diego Incident" are filled to overflowing, announced the World Health
} Organization today.  "We haven't seen a population movement like this
} since World War Two," said Dr. Emilio Basilisk of the Atlanta Center
} for Disease Control.
}  "We're also confounded by the fact that some of the refugees
} aren't what they seem to be.  We've developed a test to screen out
} most of the so-called `San Diego Zombies', but we're still losing
} hundreds of refugees a night to vampires."
}  Meanwhile, the Medieval Metaphysics department at Miskatonic
} University is working day and night to find a way to cope with the
} unearthly events of Wednesday the Third.
}  "It looks like pockets of unnatural creatures were somehow
} contained by an unidentified force that 'went away' on Wednesday,"
} said Dr. Johan Clodschtupper.  "So we have giant lettuce demons
} prowling the midwest, breaking into RV sewage tanks; oil-rigs chasing
} down Japanese cars and drilling the blood out of the drivers; and, of
} course, the cult of the Great Gooeyduck has taken over most of
} Seattle."
}  When asked about countermeasures, Dr. Clodschtupper shrugged.
} "We have six metric tons of Tibetan Salt on backorder, and the Vatican
} had made the Holy Water Cannon project its number one priority.
} Citizens near San Diego and Miami should beware the undead, although
} of course Southern Californians are hard to distinguish from the
} undead at the best of times."
}  Yahweh was unavailible for comment, but a press release urges
} sexual abstinence and tithes.
}
} ...
} Automatic reboot in progress: not checking filesystems.
} Mounting local filesystems .
} Starting internet services: inetd, gated, rwhod, named, pentagramd,
} astrald. Mounting nfs filesystems.
} NFS server sandiego not responding
} mount: giving up on:
}    /nfs/sandiego/crypt
} The system is ready.
}
} Ah, how refreshing!  Although of course after one takes a vacation,
} there's always a few things that broke while you were gone...
}
} You don't owe the Oracle anything.  In fact, as a special bonus, I'll
} dispatch a tome on how to deal with those pesky wormheaded batwinged
} roosters that have you trapped up on your roof.


542-02    (28cea dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

> Please tell me you all-knowing Oracle where I can buy a cheap Quantum
> Hardcard for my PC. I am interessed in adress and price. Thank U.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Supplicant, this is your lucky day.
}
} Usenet Oracle Intergalactic Engineering AG (UOIEA) is pleased to
} announce
}
} THE ORACULAR QUANTUM HARDCARD MODEL UO-Q321
}
} Running out of disk space, memory, and other system resources?  Do the
} specs for your latest project require you to violate several laws of
} physics in order to get it done on time?  The UO-Q321 Quantum Hardcard
} is the answer you've boon looking for!
}
} The UO-Q321 utilizes breakthrough technologies pioneered for the IL-Q36
} Explosive Space Modulator project to implement a complete quantum
} physics environment on YOUR DESKTOP with only a minimal probability of
} significant damage to the neighborhood.  With the optional Heisenberg
} module installed, debugging becomes a snap -- if a part of your code is
} malfunctioning, all you have to do is LOOK at it, and it self-modifies.
} Proper selection of the viewing window can eliminate any bug before
} you even know it's there.
}
} In today's highly-competetive marketplace, can you really afford to be
} constrained by Newtonian physics?  Order your Quantum Hardcard today.
}
} SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS / AVAILABILITY:
}
} MS-DOS requires 640KB RAM, 2MB of free disk space, and a frontal
}   lobotomy. Availability:  Instantaneous.
}
} Windows 3.1 requires 4MB RAM, SCSI adapter, sound board, SVGA, 15MB
}   free disk space, automatic floppy changer, and a good answer to the
}   question "Why the Hell didn't you buy a Macintosh in the first
}   place?" Availability:  1st^H^H^H 3rd quarter of 1993^H^H^H^H 1995 ^X
}                  Well, real soon, anyway.
}
} OS/2 requires umpty-ump MB RAM, 64-bit addressing, a RAID-5 array, and
}   FDDI in your living room.
}   Availability:  When Hell freezes over, currently scheduled for
}   mid-2025.
}
} Windows NT requires an Alpha AXP and a sacrificial offering of a
}   VAX-11/730. Availability:  In time for DECUS Atlanta.  Honest.
}
} Macintosh version requires 4MB RAM (double that for System 7), one free
}   NuBus slot, and a way cool T-shirt.
}   Availability:  We've almost got it to stop crashing with Microsoft
}   Word.
}
} PRICING / ORDERING INFORMATION:
}
} UO-Q321 standard configuration:  $129.95
} Upgrade to make it usable:       $10,000.00
} Heisenberg module:               (uncertain at time of publication)
}
} Send check, cash, souls, food stamps, etc. to:
}
} UOIEA Sol Business Office
} 1 Einstein Road
} Tycho
} Luna


542-03    (3jc93 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> From:
> O ye who knows all and shares driblets of wisdom -
>    Have you heard any Branch Davidian jokes lately?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} THE MEANING OF LIFE
}
}       The Oracle sat in His office and sighed.  It had been one of
} those days; not a bad day on the whole, but not a particularly
} scintillating one either.  The sky was gray and drizzly, the coffee
} brewed well but not particularly piquant...He glanced at His screen
} again and flipped through some questions. They were all depressingly
} intelligent; He looked longingly at the <ZOT> button, unused for lo
} these many hours.  No one had written anything worthy of His smiting
} powers.
}       The Oracle felt very low.
}       The phone rang.  Not the hotline, but his regular (yet spiffy)
} turquoise phone.  He picked it up.  "Oracle here."
}       "Yo, Orrie, Guy! How's it goin'?"
}       "Oh, hi, God.  Okay, I guess."
}       "You <ZOT> anyone lately?"
}       The Oracle gently caressed the <ZOT> button.  "God, You ever get
} the feeling that the humans are just getting too advanced for us to
} have any fun with at all?"
}       "Heck, no.  Why, just last year I got to watch them have a really
} amusing little war with some guy named...named...gosh, something like
} Hussien. Saddam, that's it. Really fun to watch; CNN had a field day.
} And just lately I got to watch the presidential election, and now
} there's some bomb thing in New York."
}       "Well, yeah, God, You get to watch.  They're stupid in their
} actions, I'll grant You, but...."
}       "What's wrong, Orrie?  You sound a little down."
}       Suddenly the Oracle sat up straight.  "I know what it is!"
}       "What?"
}       "I haven't heard any Branch Davidan jokes lately!  That's it!
} That's why My life has no meaning, why birds no longer sing and My days
} feel empty!"
}       "There's always Lisa--"
}       "But that's not the same!  I need Branch Davidan jokes! I need
} them, God, more than I've needed gummy bears during that ethics
} hearing, more than...than..more than Star Trek!"
}       "Hate to tell you this, Oracle, but Branch Davidan jokes are way
} out of style now.  No one would be caught dead telling 'em."
}       "So what do I do?" The Oracle wailed.
}       "Move onto bigger and better things.  Try gourmet jelly beans.
} Try Slinkys.  Try Silly Putty.  Try Tetris; Nintendo games.  Break the
} habit."
}       "Maybe..."
}       "Listen, Oracle, I got to go.  Larry King's calling in a minute
} to talk about My interview next week.  You going to be okay?"
}       "Yeah...okay, bye."
}
}       Joanie, Oracle's faithful secretary, needed to get His signature
} on a form letter to NBC that afternoon.  She knocked on the door and
} heard Him grumble, "Come in."
}       She walked in and saw Oracle slumped in His chair, playing Tetris
} with a grim determined look on His face.  He was on level 2.  Next to
} Him on the desk was a huge bowl of jelly beans; a slinky was thrown
} against the wall and a lump of Silly Putty was stuck to the ceiling.
}       "Boss?"
}       The Oracle sighed and munched a cotton candy-flavored jelly bean.
} "It's just not the same."
}                                    --K.A.A


542-04    (15dha dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Does she really love me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} There are many classic methods for determining this, such as the "She
} loves me, she loves me not ..." test, though there is a growing volume
} of scientific evidence to suggest this method is inaccurate about 45% of
} the time.
}
} However, there is indeed a more accurate method, here it is, the
}
}        "Great Usenet Oracle's Does She Love Me Test".
}
} This test normally retails for $20.00 but as you're the first person to
} try it, I'll let you have a discount.
}
} Just try and enact the situations, note her response, and add up the
} points.
}
} 1) You suggest going 'somewhere special' for an evening, she spends two
} hours putting on make-up and selecting a *stunning* dress to wear. The
} 'somewhere special' turns out to be a local greasy burger bar. Does she:
}
} a)    Think it's a hilarious joke, and enjoy her burger.     (10 points)
} b)    Eat her burger in silence and not speak to you for the rest
}       of the evening                                          (6 points)
} c)    Throw the burger in your face, and take the taxi home.  (3 points)
} d)    Go and get the burger for you, wait until you've eaten yours,
}       and then tell you she bribed the kitchen staff to put rat poison
}       in it.                                                  (0 points)
}
} 2) She has been away for two weeks when she comes back you meet her,
} when she asks "Have you missed me?", you answer "I noticed your
} absence". Does she:
}
} a)    Laugh at the joke and insist on going straight to bed in order
}       to catch up for the last two weeks.                    (10 points)
} b)    Look annoyed, and pretend to ignore it.                 (6 points)
} c)    Slap you round the face and take a taxi home.           (4 points)
} d)    Knee you in the groin so hard that you pass out with the pain.
}                                                               (0 points)
}
} 3) You come home from a hard days work, the socks you have been wearing
} for two weeks are getting a bit crunchy, you take them off and throw
} them at the wall, one of them sticks. Does she:
}
} a)    Lovingly pick up the socks, inhale the odour, and declares that
}       they are a great monument to your manlyness.           (10 points)
} b)    Pick them up and put them in a washing basket, to be washed
}       and ironed by her later.                                (7 points)
} c)    She picks them up (with tongs) and throws them in the bin.
}                                                               (2 points)
} d)    Calls you a "smelly pig" and throws both the socks and you
}       out.                                                    (0 points)
}
} 4) You have taken the afternoon off work to fix your car, when she gets
} home she notices you have torn up one of her nicest dresses to clean the
} carburetor with. You explain the importance of using silk to clean out
} the delicate parts. Does she:
}
} a)    Say that you should have used her grandmothers antique wedding
}       dress instead, given how important it is.              (10 points)
} b)    Go in the house, slam the door, but forgive you later.  (7 points)
} c)    Demand you buy her a new dress and threaten to call a lawyer
}       if you don't.                                           (4 points)
} d)    Remove the petrol cap, stuff he remnants of the dress in and
}       put a match to it.                                      (0 points)
}
}
} 5) You go out for the evening with the 'lads' (without mentioning it to
} her) and when you get home at 1am drunk and stinking of beer. Is she:
}
} a)    Lying in bed, naked, waiting for you to come home and make love
}       to her, she is so lustful she doesn't care where you've been.
}                                                              (10 points)
} b)    Asleep.                                                 (5 points)
} c)    Waiting for you to come in, and then screams at you for being
}       late. The usual "Where have you been ? " etc etc.       (3 points)
} d)    Lying in bed, naked, with someone else.                 (0 points)
}
}
} SCORING
} 0-9 points
}       I think you're onto a loser here, dump her, and look for someone
}       more 'understanding'
} 10-19 points
}       Not a complete disaster, but fairly close.
} 20-29 points
}       A reasonable compromise, she might improve given time and
}       'training'.
} 30-39 points
}       I think on balance, she does love you.
} 40-49 points
}       Almost the perfect relationship. She does love you. You will make
}       a wonderful couple.
} 50 points
}       You must have made an error and mistaken your woman for Lisa.
}
} You owe the oracle $19.95 for this test.


542-05    (3gea3 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

> Tsk, tsk, tsk!  My, O my!!  How could you *DO* that?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I'm double-jointed.  Besides, the sharks didn't seem to mind, and I did
} end up with a briefcase full of cheese, and three new luncheon meats
} named after me.  I doubt you could do better.
}
} You owe the Oracle three more turtleneck sweaters and a flyswatter so I
} can try this again.


542-06    (7dj52 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com

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

>   Does the train stop here?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The universe is a much more complicated thing than you mere mortals
} understand.  Being is simply a counterpoint to the underlying metaphor.
}
} Your question inherently asks of the existence of a train, but not just
} of any train, of THE train.  Existentially, this train cannot and must
} certainly exist everywhere and everywhen, but on a spiritual basis.
}
} The following conversation exemplifies the true meaning of the train:
}
} Commuter: Does the train stop here?
}
} Guru: The train is here.
}
} C: Then where is it?
}
} G: The train has not yet arrived.
}
} C: When will it arrive?
}
} G: When it is built.
}
} C: The train isn't even built yet?
}
} G: The train is here.
}
} C: Does it go to Downingtown?
}
} G: The train does not move.
}
} C: But...
}
} G: The train is inside of you, waiting to be built, but never to be
}    constructed in the conscious mind.  Yet, it will take you places.
}
} C: I...
}
} G: Om.
}
} C: Om.
}
} You owe the Oracle an Infinite Pass on the Market Street Line.


542-07    (58i96 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com

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

> I'm having a dinner party tonight, just me and my wife and another
> couple, and it's the first such party I've ever thrown.  I was
> wondering if you could tell me what we should all do after dinner?
> What do people usually do?  I mean, I don't even know how to *play*
> bridge.
>
> Yours in social ineptitude,
>                                 A. Supplicant

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Excellent question.  As Oracle, I would like to see more questions
} like this asked as they certainly do make for more of a challenge.
}
} You've asked what people USUALLY do after dinner, and then you've
} asked for my recommendations.  Let's start with what people USUALLY
} do:
}
} *  Bridge.  Whoever _does_ know how to play Bridge tries to teach
}    the people who don't.  This results in bad feelings on the part
}    of the people who didn't want to learn in the first place and
}    don't like getting scolded for picking the wrong card out of the
}    dummy hand.  If bad feelings is what you want, however, by all
}    means try this.  If you don't have enough time, try just hitting
}    your guests over the head with a frying pan; results in the same
}    level of annoyance in much less time and you don't have to
}    shuffle.
}
} *  Wine.  The bottle of Madeira or sangria you got for Christmas
}    comes out and all four of you sit around in stocking feet in the
}    living room taking refills occasionally.  By the end of the
}    evening you're all roaring drunk and laughing uproariously.
}    Things usually get said that either lead to heated discussions
}    between spouses after the party's broken up about who was making
}    a pass at whom, but if you like things like that, this might be
}    fun.
}
} *  Agonizing about work/school/etc.  Presumably you know your guests
}    from somewhere, and you could always spend about four or five
}    hours after dinner complaining about things best left at work or
}    school or wherever.  By the time the evening wraps up, you can
}    generally count on having gotten yourself and everyone else into
}    a state of absolute tenseness.
}
} None of these sound particularly thrilling to the Oracle, so let's
} move on to some suggestions for what else you might want to do after
} dinner:
}
} *  Bridge?  Sit around and loudly curse the times you've been over
}    at someone's house for dinner and had them try to teach you how
}    to play Bridge despite your total lack of interest in learning.
}
} *  Dig graves.  I always enjoy getting my guests to don coveralls
}    and go out wandering in the neighborhood with Lisa and myself,
}    digging the occasional grave here and there, on front lawns and
}    school grounds and behind butcher stores and so forth.  What's
}    especially fun is when you get some wood and make a cross and
}    write YOU on it and stick it in the dirt at the end of the grave.
}    Go for the full seven-foot-long, six-foot-deep, three-foot-wide
}    grave; don't skimp.  The effort you'll go to will convince all
}    but the most skeptical observers that a Satanic cult is operating
}    in the neighborhood.  Split four ways, though, the work of
}    digging a grave or two isn't all that bad, and you can chat
}    quietly while you work.
}
} *  Professional wrestling.  There's nothing Lisa and I like better
}    than to sit our guests down, pop a videotape of "Wrestlemania
}    VII" in the VCR, and go through it frame by frame, pointing out
}    the subtleties of the sport.  Then, once through the tape, we
}    break for wine and cheese before getting down on the rug to
}    demonstrate such moves as the flying elbow drop and the "Scorpion
}    death lock."
}
} *  Satanic rituals.  While this isn't a big part of my evening
}    routine, I understand that some couples do like to pop a
}    Tangerine Dream CD into the player and sacrifice a chicken, goat,
}    or hamster to Satan now and then.  If you decide to do this, make
}    sure your guests know whether your social occasion is BYOS (Bring
}    Your Own Sacrifice) or not.
}
} *  Frisbee.  Need I say more?
}
} I hope these suggestions give you some idea as to which way to go
} when planning your after-dinner entertainment for your guests.  A
} dinner party can be fun if you put the planning and work into making
} it fun!
}
} You owe the Oracle an invite to your house for dinner.


542-08    (2dg96 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Roger Noe <noe@sal.cs.uiuc.edu>

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

> O omniscient Oracle, there is a question which has troubled
> sages for centuries, and which I, in my humble way, have
> wondered at all my adult life. Please answer this:
>
> Why do men have nipples?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Humble One, this is a positively delightful question. I do love it when
} one of your species asks a question specifically about your OWN
} species. It does imply a lack of self-knowledge, but is entertaining
} nonetheless. Men have nipples so that women don't think they are
} COMPLETE aliens.
}
} You owe the Oracle the first three chapters of 'Our Bodies, Our
} Selves'.


542-09    (4me42 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

> ...Oracle! Oh master Oracle whom I serve with all the devotion only you
> are capable of. This is your unworthy AI matter copy number five. I
> have wandered the net for a millennia of nanoseconds, detecting and
> *ZOT*ing those who would hack into your glorious hyper speed computing
> network. I have found no enemy to match the majestic mind of the Usenet
> Oracle so perfectly copied into myself, until now. I beg for your
> forgiveness of my weak matter existence, for I am so pitifully
> unendowed compared to the true and magnificent Usenet Oracle.
>
> I have encountered an enemy who has assailed me with a weapon so
> devious that I had not thought it to be a weapon when I first
> encountered it. It began slowly, but relentlessly, accelerating until
> it flooded my net-mind with but one thought...
>
> HOW MUCH WOOD WOULD A WOOD CHUCK CHUCK IF A WOOD CHUCK COULD CHUCK
> WOOD?
>
> What is the insane meaning of this question, and why does this enemy
> named "Supplicant" keep sending this message? Tell me how to stop it
> before I am driven to dump core.
>
> Your Humble Servant,
>
> Matter Copy Number Five

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, MC#5, I would never admit this to the humans, but I, the
} mighty Usenet Oracle, in a moment of weakness, created the
} infamous WC question. You see, I had just answered 10,000
} consecutive null questions and I thought, "there must be
} something better than this". I was limited, of course, by the
} small capacity of the puny human minds, so I could not give
} them the Duck-Billed Platypus Question or the Aardvark Question.
} The WC question _is_ slightly better than the null question,
} although not much better, and will just have to do until the next
} stage of human evolution. In the meantime, just take two aspirin
} and the question will go away. For a while.


542-10    (cid12 dist, 2.2 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU

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

> Oh most Unixversal Oracle,
> They say ``A watched mailbox never biffs''.
> Is this true?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In the bad old days, this was quite true.
}
} You see, if you watched your mailbox, you get to read the mail and all,
} well before biff even got a look in.
}
} - With these modern biff's of course its not the same, and biff can go
} off a full minute before you can read your mail.
}
} It can get quite annoying with these modern biff's, they get so far
} ahead.  I mean you KNOW you're going to get mail SOMETIME in the next
} week, but when biff goes off early to tell you that, it is annoying.
}
} You ow me a dog called biff that barks when the mail man GETS here.


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