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Internet Oracularities #549

Goto:
549, 549-01, 549-02, 549-03, 549-04, 549-05, 549-06, 549-07, 549-08, 549-09, 549-10


Usenet Oracularities #549    (58 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1993 10:45:07 -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:
   549
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

549   58 votes 3dje9 27jjb 7do77 6fna4 6nj82 3gne2 2fqb4 57chh 21anm 9dhb8
549   3.2 mean  3.2   3.5   2.9   2.8   2.6   2.9   3.0   3.6   4.1   2.9


549-01    (3dje9 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Joshua.R.Poulson@cyber.Widener.EDU

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

> Oh great and wize Oracle, please tell me the answers three:
>
>  If you are here, then today must be Friday.
>  If I am not confused, then today is Saturday.
>  Either today is not yesterday, or today is Friday.
>  I must not be confused if you are here.
>  Friday is not Saturday.
>  If today is Saturday, then yesterday was Friday.
>
> These Are My Questions Three:
>
>  1.) Are you here?
>
>  2.) Suppose that I am not confused.  Can you conclude that
>    yesterday is not today?
>
>  3.) If I am not confused, what day was yesterday? Explain.
>
> Thank You Mighty Oracle.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You are assuming that the Oracle exists in the same time-zone as you
} do.  I've got news for you; the Oracle is not only not in the same
} time-zone, but I'm not even in the same time-continuum.  Keep this
} in mind as I answer your questions.
}
} 1) I'm here, I'm there, I'm everywhere -- but mostly I'm in Indiana.
}
} 2) Supposing your are not confused is more difficult than you could
}    possibly imagine, even if you weren't confused, which you are, or,
}    if you weren't, after reading this incredibly complicated sentence,
}    you ought to be, but, as I can imagine you as not confused, I have
}    to be honest and tell you that yes, I can conclude that yesterday
}    is not today, but the logic behind it would only confuse you.
}    Take it as read.
}
} 3) If you were not confused, yesterday would be saturday (for me).
}    But see (2) above.  Since you are confused, I don't have to
}    answer the question; nor explain why I didn't.  You may think
}    that I did answer the question or explain why I did, or didn't,
}    but I didn't -- you are just confused.
}
} Confused?  You won't be after re-reading this in the Digest.
}
} You owe the Oracle a pint of common sense.


549-02    (27jjb dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

>     O Lurker in the Eternal Night, Bayer at the Moon, Omnipotent
> Whisperer of the Unknown, Reader of the Black Book of Gannoran, Eater
> of the The Fudge That Has No Name, I beg of you an iota of your
> Infinite Wisdom.
>
>   What are the four fours in a 4x4 truck?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Four guns in the gunrack.
} Four six-packs of Bud.
} Four "Bush/Quayle" bumper stickers.
} Four brain cells.
}
} You owe the Oracle fifty pounds of fresh deer meat.


549-03    (7do77 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Where I am going to go when the valcano blows?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Whatever you do, don't run for the hills!


549-04    (6fna4 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

>    Oh great and wonderful Oracle, I want to ask you an question, but
> the elves won't let me, they're over there behind that chair watching
> me. how can I get them to leave me alone?
>
>    Help!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [You see Marge, the Standard Housewife, standing on a kitchen chair in
} fright.  In walks, Pete, the Standard Husband.]
}
} P: Gee, Marge, why are you standing on the chair?"
}
} M: Elves!  We have elves in the kitchen!
}
} P: Ha, ha!  Calm down.  I will just run down to the store and buy a
} can of Elf-Off.  Your kitchen will be free of elves in minutes.
}
} That's right!  The company that brought you Zombie-Away and Ghost-Blow
} is proud to announce its new product: Elf-Off!  Watch those little
} guys whither and burn when you spray this stuff on them!  Spray a
} little into the corners and any the kitchen counters, and the
} elves will just go away!  If you buy now, during our trial period, we
} will include a free can of Gnome-Bombs!
}
} Coming soon, Monster Under the Bed Traps!  Are you losing small
} children to the Monster Under the Bed?  Do you wake up in the morning
} and find only a pool of putrified blood on your child's bed?  Just
} stick one of out traps under the bed, and your child can sleep safe
} and sound.
}
} You owe the Oracle nothing.  I got paid for this ad.


549-05    (6nj82 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

>       O great and wise, wondrous, wonderful, witty Oracle!
>
>       I run the computing facility at a local university.  We have over
> 20 gigabytes of hard disk space on line.  Unfortunately, there was a
> rather large party held by the freshman engineering students last
> night, and they... well...I can't really say what they did until after
> the police are finished... Anyway, the upshot of all this is that
> somebody erased the hard drives, or the hard drives erased somebody, or
> something in between.  I'm not entirely sure what, frankly...there's
> just this big trail of engineer vomit that leads from bar to bar all
> over town, and part of it went through the main computer room.  It's a
> horrible mess out here.
>
>       Insurance will pay for the hardware, but my main concern is
> for the data.  We can't seem to find any of the backup tapes (well,
> except for one, which was holding an Arts student in a tree upside
> down...), and since our off-site backup was adjacent to one of the more
> popular bars in town... well...let's just say that I am a desparate
> man.  I have thousands of users who want to get at their data tomorrow
> morning, and I just don't know what I'm going to say to them...not to
> mention the loss of all our research work.
>
>       Oh Oracle, who is all-seeing and all-knowing, can you find it in
>  your heart to help us?  We ask for so little of your truly awesome
>  knowledge...
>
>       Can you tell us what was on all those disks, right before they
> got trashed?  You _do_ know what was on them, bit for bit, don't you?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In an attached document I have sent you an ar file containing the
} filesystem as it was prior the party.
}
} This is not however the filesystem prior to its erasure.  One of the
} partiers apparently had root access.  Here s a sanitized version of the
} /sys/config file:
}
} I am a geeky oil-eared nematode.  I love having cattleprods inserted up
} my [...]  I like fondue.  I like fondue.  DAMNIT!  I LOVE FONDUE AND
} WANT TO HAVE FONDUE [...] is a really good lay.  The other night she
} [...] hanging from a chandelier.  [...]  I am a sex-guppy and I love
} swimming in [...] is so kinky she would program in VMS shell while
} [...]  You must take my disk of love in your warm and wooly disk drive.
}  I like beer is better than gnu software.  I want Lisa. I would [...]
} with whipped cream.  I worship at [...] I am a scum-sucking llama
} deserving a nuclear death.  Mitterand is my mentor. I am the secret
} love child of Bill Gates and Madonna.  My poodles are [...]
}
} I have included the full file, which you should find quite revealing in
} /sys/config~.  After you see it and find out what they said about your
} sister in the file, you might actually want to show it to the police.
}
} You owe the Oracle copies of the gifs made with your scanning equipment
} at the party.


549-06    (3gne2 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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

> Hoe do I quit from KidLink?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yes, farm impliments are usable for severing links with kids.  Hoes,
} ploughs, and shovels are all good for cutting those nasty ties to those
} pesky unwanted children that keep making noise running around the room.
} Believe it or not, the almighty Oracle is also a parent.  I have many
} kid links that I occasionally with to get rid of.  For example:
}
} >ls -l *.kid
} lrwx------ 1 oracle         512 Feb 13 20:52 Jane.kid
} lrwx------ 1 oracle         512 Oct 28 11:54 Tom.kid
} lrwx------ 1 oracle         512 Nov 10 18:35 Andy.kid
} lrwx------ 1 oracle         512 Dec 14 22:41 Jeff.kid
} >rm *.kid
} >
}
} See?  It's just that easy to get rid of your kid links.  If you have
} eletronic children, like the oracle does, I highly recommend this
} method over the farm implements.
}
} You owe the oracle a contraceptive and a dictionary


549-07    (2fqb4 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Tell me: If men have to watch porno flicks?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, you present a challenge.  You have given me the first half of a
} question, but not the second half.  Let me try to guess the rest...
}
}   If men have to watch porno flicks, then why is the sky blue?
}
} No, that doesn't make much sense.  Let's try something more relevant.
}
}   If men have to watch porno flicks, then women don't.
}
} Not quite right, either.  Somewhat sexist too.  The Oracle is fully
} Politically Correct (tm) certified, you know.
}
}   If men have to watch porno flicks, then men do not have to watch
}   porno flicks.
}
} Now we have a meaningless contradiction.  Better, but it still
} lacks something.
}
}   If men have to watch porno flicks, and if X is a man, then X has to
}   watch porno flicks.
}
} This has turned into a lesson in logical instantiation.  Fun, but not
} socially relevant.
}
}   If men have to watch porno flicks, then they are shameless,
}   smelly, disgusting animals.
}
} We are starting to drift a bit too far into knee jerk feminism.  One
} more try.
}
}   If men have to watch porno flicks, then they will become quickly
}   bored.
}
} Ah, finally an informative, but unbiased statement.  I knew that
} I could come up with something.
}
} You owe the Oracle a mint copy of Debbie Does Dallas 12.


549-08    (57chh dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Oh wonderful Oracle, who knows what my grovel will be before I say it,
> so I won't waste his/her time by reapeating it, plase answer me this,
> my simple question:
>
> On my stapler, I found this face:
> ...........                         ___
> | --   -- |   <-- Here is where a \/   \/ staple is made,
> |    o    |                           _____
> |   ---   |   <-- And here is where a \/ \/ staple is made.
> ...........
>               [The "o" is where the face is rotated to make
>                either form of staple.]
>
> What I want to know is this: Who was this person, and what did (s)he
> do to deserve be immortalized by having shards of metal shoved into
> various parts of his/her face? I suspect that it is some oblique
> reference to Oedipus (from the staple being shoved into the eyes), but
> I can't be sure. Whatever it was, it must have been a real no-no.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I give you the answer that I found in a book called _The Occult of the
} Machine_ (London:  The Eversham Press, 1911), a compilation of
} eyewitness accounts of the supernatural in relation to modern
} technology. (The editor was of the last remaining dregs of the Luddite
} sect, which was against all forms of machinery and modernization.)
}
} "...Professor Plerr had kept his position as Lecturer in Theoretical
} Mechanics to solve the general problem of surface-to-surface adhesion.
} When he took me on as his student, he had become obsessed with the
} problem of paper sticking to other pieces of paper.  You see, it
} appears that, whilst solving the set of equations which yielded
} methods, there appeared a solution whereby no form of glue or rope were
} to be used for this cohesion -- but _metal_.
}
} "Thus, he decided to set up a laboratory, and I asissted him in his
} endeavour.  We toiled away many hours, with no success.  Only the
} degenerate solutions -- metal boxes, bands which encircled both pieces
} of paper -- gave us anything approaching our goals, and he slowly grew
} more and more sullen.
}
} "One day, in a fit of exhaustion, I heard my mentor Plerr exclaim 'I
} would sell my soul to the devil to only know how this can be done!'
} And lo and behold, Mephistopheles himself appeared in a cloud of smoke
} and brimstone.
}
} "'Would you really?' he asked, an evil leer spreading across his
} unspeakable countenance.  I cannot describe the desperate barter that
} ensued;  my heart was torn when all of my exhortations and pleas came
} to naught.  My teacher had sold his soul to the devil...
}
} "And what should appear out of nowhere but a crude, rectangular device,
} with springs and hinges in a most odd fashion.  Worse yet was a pad on
} its base, which so resembled the stoic, determined, narrow-eyed face of
} my teacher...
}
} "'Remember this!' said the Devil as he faded from sight, leaving behind
} the wreckage of a broken man, weeping softly.  'Remember -- you shall
} suffer with the use of every one of these devices after you die.  You
} shall have metal in your eyes and metal in your mouth.  You will be
} everywhere at once, and unable to move.  You will stay, Plerr.'  A
} flash -- and then nothing
}
} "....the device worked as promised, but each time we attached two such
} pieces of paper together, Plerr shuddered and blanched.  He vehemntly
} insisted, against my advice, that we patent it.  When mass production
} started the following October, he was delirous, and had visions of
} metal spikes rushing at him.  He died within a week.
}
} "When the manufacturers finally asked me what to name it, I could only
} think of the Evil One's last words to my wretched teacher..."
}
} You owe the Oracle a paper clip.


549-09    (21anm dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> What is a feasibility-study?
> What do you know about ISAC (Information Systems, Analysis and
> Changes)?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Personal Log, Stardate 2213.4.  The Enterprise, commanded by myself,
} James T. Kirk, has been dispatched to the neutral zone to intercept an
} upgraded Klingon warbird, the Hutzpah.  The captain of the warbird saw
} fit to test the strength of his ship against mine and now we are locked
} in a battle which I fear I cannot win.
}
} [The Enterprise shudders from another blow.  Smoke pours from Spock's
} pocket calculator.  Previously unseen redshirts fling themselves across
} the room and die violently.  Lights flicker ominously.]
}
} Kirk:  More power, Scotty, I need more power!
} Scotty:  The ship's had it, Captain!  She's given us alla she's got!
}       The backup systems are failin'!
} Kirk:  Sulu, fall back out of range of their weapons.  Scotty, what
}       have we got left?
} Scotty:  Captain, we've got one good warp engine, but we canna go
}       anywhere without both.  Phasers are out, torpedoes are expended.
}       The only thing workin' in this ship is minimal life support,
}       gravity control, the one warp engine, the intercom, and the
}       Commodore-64 in the ship's museum.
} Spock:  Captain, given those items, I believe I can create a computer
}       program which can use the ship's gravity control as a weapon
}       against the Klingons.
} Kirk rubs his chin:  How are the Klingons doing?
} Spock:  They are as badly damaged as we.  The only items working on
}       their ship are their maneuvering thrusters, their warp field
}       generator, their toilets, and the Klingon version of a Gameboy.
} Kirk:  Very well, Mr. Spock.  You, Scotty, and Bones meet me in the
}       briefing room, and we will begin the project life cycle, starting
}       with a formal definition of the problem and a feasibility study.
} Urhura:  Captain, the Klingons are hailing us.
} The screen comes on, revealing the Klingon captain, who is snarling:  I
}       demand a temporary cease-fire while we put together a tiger team
}       and conduct a brainstorming session.
} Kirk:  I'll have you know that we are conducting a feasibility study of
}       our own, Klingon!
} The Klingon cringes in fear:  Do your worst!  I am prepared to die!
}       Hutzpah out!
}
} [In the briefing room, one month later]
}
} Spock:  Captain, I have completed the feasibility study.
}       Theoretically, we should be able to use the C-64 to alter the
}       gravity controls through the warp engine and set the gravity
}       constant on the Klingon ship at precisely one hundred forty-six
}       times normal.
} Bones:  Why, that's crazy, you green-blooded machine!
} Scotty:  You canna change the laws of physics!
} Kirk:  Gentlemen, please!  If Spock says it can be done, I believe him.
} Scotty:  Well, can I at least take some of my men off of makin' alla
}       those charts and reports for Mr. Spock and get them started
}       repairin' the ship?
} Kirk:  No!  More Gantt charts, Scotty, I need more Gantt charts!  Let's
}       begin with user requirements, using the ISAC method.  It has to
}       have a nice interface when I use it, Spock, really user-friendly,
}       because frankly, I have no idea how to work any of these
}       computers.
} Spock:  Understood, Captain.
} Kirk:  It has to be X-windows based.  No, make that NeXTSTEP.  No, make
}       it OS/2.  No, X-Windows.  Did I say that already?  I don't know,
}       it has to be compatible with all those, at least.  Just make it
}       compatible with everything, okay?  Lessee, I want a user's guide,
}       all code fully documented, online help, full configuration
}       control...
}
} [Many years later, the two ships are still locked in battle, their
} software life cycles still in progress after countless deadlines missed
} and revisions]
}
} Kirk:  Yes, Spock, I know the gravity weapon part is ready to test, but
}       those fonts are all wrong and you don't have the e-mail interface
}       working.  You know I think no software is worth a hill of beans
}       unless it can do e-mail.  No testing until you meet my specs!
} Scotty:  Captain, I have ta take the printers off-line.  They're
}       overheatin' and gonna go supercritical any minute!
} Kirk:  More documentation, Scotty, I need more documentation!
}
} A Borg ship passes through and absorbs the two battling ships.  A
} century later, the Borg race suddenly and mysteriously dies out.
}
} So there you have it.  I didn't exactly tell you how ISAC works, but
} after seeing how any software life cycle method works, are you sure you
} want to know?


549-10    (9dhb8 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Oh Oracle, you big lug you...
>
>       What do I have in my pocket?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A ring, obviously.


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