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Internet Oracularities #544

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544, 544-01, 544-02, 544-03, 544-04, 544-05, 544-06, 544-07, 544-08, 544-09, 544-10


Usenet Oracularities #544    (41 votes, 2.9 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1993 00:10:41 -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:
   544
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

544   41 votes 227o6 2am61 3hd71 5hd51 3aec2 56bf4 4fd81 ga843 2fg53 2df92
544   2.9 mean  3.7   2.9   2.7   2.5   3.0   3.2   2.7   2.2   2.8   2.9


544-01    (227o6 dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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

> Tell me, O wise and glorious Oracle,
>
> How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?
>
> (Oh, and I know about the wind & all that, I mean specifically how
> many?)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You have clearly missed the point.  Everything you need to answer the
} question is right there before your eyes, if you will but look.
}
} Consider:
}
}    The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
}    The answer is blowing in the wind.
}
} Now, there are four winds, and "wind" occurs twice       ==>     8
} There are fifty ways to leave your lover                 ==>    50
} Three rings for the elven kings                          ==>     3
} Ooops, wait, that's part of the wrong answer, sorry      ==>    -3
} Omnia Gallia est divisa in partas tres                   ==>     3
} And it's no, no, a thousand times no,
} I'd rather see my life's blood spillin'
} I'll sing anything, even "God save the king,"
} But I won't sing any Bob Dylan.                          ==> -1000
}                                                               ====
}                                                   TOTAL:      -939
}
} Hmm, that can't be right.  Where did I go wrong?
} (Checks notes, recalculates, scratches head.)
} Oh, I see!  The solution is very elegant.  Assume:
}
} A = the number of roads a man must walk down before you can call him a
} man. B = the number of seas a white dove must sail before she sleeps in
} the sand. C = the number of times cannonballs must a-fly before they're
} forever banned.
}
} The key insight here is that THE SAME ANSWER applies to all three
} quantities.  Therefore, A + B + C = W, the answer in the wind.
}
} W = 8, as above.  There are seven seas, so B = 7.  Cannonballs are
} completely obsolete, and no longer used in warfare, so C = 0.  Thus:
}
} A + 7 + 0 = 8
}
} A, the number of roads a man must walk down, is 1.  It just happens to
} be a very long one.  Proof (from fractal geometry) of the impossibility
} of ever finishing this task is left as an exercise to the reader.
}
} You owe The Oracle another Sinead O'Connor dartboard.  The old one's
} just about had it.


544-02    (2am61 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Carole Susan Fungaroli <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

> I have a Tandon 486/25 SLII that I intend placing on it's side rather
> than it's base. I am pretty sure that this is ok, but what does the
> collective intelligence think of this?  The computer is on loan so I
> want to be absolutely instead of just pretty.
>
> IBM used to explicitly suggest it to their PC owners to the extent that
> if you look at the IBM label on the early PC's it was possible to turn
> it round through 90 degrees so that you could still read it erect (the
> logo, not you).  I bet that bit into the profit margins.
>
> Putting it on it's side has the advantage that it makes it a lot
> quieter which is good, and particularly important to one regular user.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} If you truly wish to be absolutely rather than just pretty, I recommend
} you stop washing with yoghurt and use 98% ethanol instead. Yoghurt is
} very good for being pretty, but to be absolutely requires alcohol.
}
} As far as your computer goes, putting it on it's side will not damage
} it, so long as you turn it very slowly and gently, in order to allow
} the small colony of gnomes who have taken up residence inside your
} harddisk to adjust to their new environment.
}
} Rotating your machine too quickly could lead to data loss when those
} gnomes who are more prone to seasickness might throw up over your boot
} sector. You should also take care not to drop the machine in the
} process of rotating it, else one or two particularly adventurous gnomes
} might get wedged under the read/write heads and cause a crash on next
} boot up.
}
} Accidents like these are the major cause of hardware disk faults, data
} corruption and gnome death in this country. Take care that it doesn't
} happen to you, and don't die of ignorance.
}
} You owe the Oracle a 424Mb SCSI disk with 10ms max seek time.


544-03    (3hd71 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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

> HOW MANY WORDS ARE THERE IN THE OXFORD DICTIONARY?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It is a common misconception that there are words in a dictionary.
} There are only meta-words, or words used as words rather than words used
} for their meanings.  Of course, there are word-words on the title page,
} but you don't mean them.  There are also words used in the definitions,
} but they are not meta-words or word-words.  Instead, they are
} meta-meaning words, or words used for the meaning of their meanings,
} rather than used for their meanings.  So the answer to your question is
} none.


544-04    (5hd51 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

>   Oh all-powerful Oracle, who could *ZOT* all the network corporate scum
> at will, please answer your poor supplicant's query:
>
>   How come garbage like Babylon 5, Time Trax, and Journey to the Center
> of the Earth came to be aired?  Do they have no mercy?  Could you see to
> it that we are not subjected to such tortue in the future?  Oh and while
> you're at it please make Star Trek's Alexander die a horrible death.
>             (s)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, there's little we can do to the CEOs, other than... well, heck,
} let's give it a try.  I'll just dial up the Supreme Being...
}
} [ring]
} [ring]
}
} God: Hello?
}  Me: It's me, Sir, the Oracle.  A supplicant called today with a neat
}      idea.
} God: Indeed!  What was it?
}  Me: He seems to want network programmers to produce *good* science
}      fiction.
} God: Impossible!  I tried that years ago with high school teachers.
}      Not a chance.
}  Me: That's what I thought.  Just figured I'd check...  Thanks, anyway.
} God: No problem.
}
} Sorry!  Impossible, you heard Him.  Try turning to FOX, though.  That
} Bundy chick is mighty hot.
}
} You owe the Oracle the original tapes of Lost In Space.


544-05    (3aec2 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

> Yeah, Mr. Oracle?  This is Thom Dewey, from Dewey Stickem & Howe?
> Yeah, yeah, that's us.  Well, look, that dame?  Her lawyer called back,
> and he said that the blood test matched and they're going to make a
> motion for a DNA sample.  Yeah, I know, they can do that now.  It's
> pretty accurate, Mr. Oracle.  I can fight the motion, but I don't know
> if we'll win...are you SURE you were giving a speech in Missoula at the
> time?  The prosecution is going to try and pull that
> omnipotent-beings-can-be-in-two-places-at-once stuff again, you know?
> This is almost as bad as that little Southern number last year.  I
> know, I KNOW, I shouldn't have mentioned it.  I'm sorry, Mr. Oracle.
> Look, all she wants in child support; if we pay her off, it won't go to
> court and Lisa will never know.  Do you think we should cut a deal?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Thom, don't worry about it.  I've looked into the matter, and, being an
} omnipotent being, have rectified the situation.  The DNA from me won't
} match up.  As a matter of fact, the only person whose DNA _will_ match
} up is her lawyer.  Funny how that works.  Bring that up at the next
} meeting.
}
} You owe the Oracle a judicial precedent for suing God, plus a way of
} collecting damages.


544-06    (56bf4 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@hew.mincom.oz.au>

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

> What is worth spending money on?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oracle Enterprises Product list:
}
}      ITEM                     DESCRIPTION
}  Oracular Persuit    Board game identical to Trivial Persuit
}     ($60)            except participants must grovel before
}                      asking questions and give answers in an
}                      arrogant, superior tone.
}
}  "A Question of Anxiety" -
}      ($40)           The official biography of the Usenet
}                      Oracle's turbulent and often explosive
}                      relationship with his supplicants.
}
}  "Simply Orrie-sistable" -
}     ($15)            Lisa's Rock album, featuring great songs like
}                      "Def, Dumb and Blonde",  "Stand by Your Ram",
}                      "Hit Me with Your Best Zot", and many more...
}
}  Oracle Statuette    Solid platinum.  You can worship it, you can
}     ($500)           ask it questions, you can hit burglars over
}                      the head with it.
}
}  Chrono-Oracle       Wrist watch; gives hrs/minutes in binary
}     ($50)
}                              (Attention : Adults only)
}  Inflatable Lisa     Lifesize! (deep breath.. blow, blow, blow)
}     ($10,000)        Wow! It even does felatio!
}
}                                (Childrens item)
}  Kid-o-zot           Mini water-squirting replica Zot gun
}     ($5)


544-07    (4fd81 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@hew.mincom.oz.au>

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

> Oh Oracle, why does thou have no questions?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I hath no questions for thou art too clueless to answer, forsooth.


544-08    (ga843 dist, 2.2 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU

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

> eee-gads!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} gee-WHIZ!!!!!!!


544-09    (2fg53 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Yeah, Mr. Oracle?  This is Thom Dewey, from Dewey Stickem & Howe?
> Yeah, yeah, that's us.  Well, look, that dame?  Her lawyer called back,
> and he said that the blood test matched and they're going to make a
> motion for a DNA sample.  Yeah, I know, they can do that now.  It's
> pretty accurate, Mr. Oracle.  I can fight the motion, but I don't know
> if we'll win...are you SURE you were giving a speech in Missoula at the
> time?  The prosecution is going to try and pull that
> omnipotent-beings-can-be-in-two-places-at-once stuff again, you know?
> This is almost as bad as that little Southern number last year.  I
> know, I KNOW, I shouldn't have mentioned it.  I'm sorry, Mr. Oracle.
> Look, all she wants in child support; if we pay her off, it won't go to
> court and Lisa will never know.  Do you think we should cut a deal?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle is a loving being, and it should be known to those who would
} criticize my actions that, even though I am omnipotent, I have needs.
}
} The Oracle is a responsible being, for I know the wisdom of the
} ancients says that responsibility for your actions is a part of being
} great.
}
} The Oracle is also a generous being, and is, in fact, wealthy enough
} to support numerous children without even noticing a difference in
} his bank books.
}
} The Oracle, is, however, not to be challenged by any mere mortal. Have
} my snipers drop her, and bring me the kid.
}
} You never got this letter, understand?
}
} The Oracle demands payment of one weeks' retainer fees. Now, go, and
} carry forth my orders.


544-10    (2df92 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Carole Susan Fungaroli <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

>  A thousand pardons, boss, but a bunch of the other acolytes and I were
> bowing and scraping and answering w**dch*ck questions and we got to
> discussing all the great press the Branch Davidians are getting.  We
> who joyously labor for Thou (scrape, grovel) never get interviewed on
> CNN.  Shoot, you won't even let us <ZOT!> supplicants, while the guys
> working for David Koresh get rocket launchers, explosives, assault
> weapons, front page press, fame glory and all that.  We only have our
> (humble) cubicles, terminals, cold pizza, flat Jolt, blue furry coffee
> in promotional mugs, and w**dch*ck questions.
>    I'm gonna quit my job and go work for David Koresh and the Branch
> Davidians.  Forgive me O Oracle. (grovel, snivel, scrape, whine, yowl.)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} First, STOP GROVELLING!!  I am so sick of 'Oh Oracle this' and 'I'm not
} worthy'.  I'm sick of it!
}
} Ok, let's compare me and Davy the wonder godlet over there:
}
} Davy has a Messiah complex.  I however have a Messiah complex with B
} supplement and protein enhancers, a far superior mix even you will
} agree. Let's face it, why trade in the real thing for a fake?
}
} Next, CNN is interested in Davy now, but after that they'll go and
} interview a group who believes Hillary Clinton is the second coming of
} Elizabeth the first, and Davy's summer camp will be forgotton except
} for a brief blurb in an end of the year retrospective.  Do you REALLY
} want to be remembered as one of the Wackos from Waco?  Didn't think so.
}
} Third, I give you fresh Jolt!  The problem is you open a bottle and
} then quite erroneously 'let it breathe' for an hour or so.  OF COURSE
} IT'S FLAT! Davy, the New God on the Block, will be happy to give you
} his special flavor of Kool-Ade (tm).  I hear it's to die for.
}
} Now, if you really feel you get such a raw deal here with me, freeing
} me from the burden of Woodchuck questions, the meaning of the universe
} question, the null question, etc and allowing me to go on to more
} interesting ones like calculating the megatonnage it would take to wipe
} the smirk of President Clinton's face, fine.  Your contract
} specifically states that you may leave at any time, as long as you
} agree not to reveal Oracular trade secrets.
}
} Now if you excuse me, I have some questions regarding the First Cat's
} preference in kitty litter to dash off.
}
} You owe the Oracle your final decision before the end of the day.


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