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Internet Oracularities #555

Goto:
555, 555-01, 555-02, 555-03, 555-04, 555-05, 555-06, 555-07, 555-08, 555-09, 555-10


Usenet Oracularities #555    (49 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1993 08:54:57 -0500

@@@ _American_Libraries_ magazine recently gave a plug to the Usenet
@@@ Oracle.  This month's issue (Apr `93, Vol 24, Num 4, page 295)
@@@ reprints Oracularity #536-03 ("What's the deal with noise and
@@@ librarians?") in a sidebar entitled "Old stereotype goes high tech".

To find out all about the Usenet Oracle, including how to participate,
send mail to oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject
line.

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:
   555
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

555   49 votes 2sh20 1gja3 6aia5 6ek81 33hfb 05l9e 25ik4 6gi63 07icc 1gia4
555   3.1 mean  2.4   3.0   3.0   2.7   3.6   3.7   3.4   2.7   3.6   3.0


555-01    (2sh20 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oracle, whose nostrils are far cleaner than any others known to mortals
> and gods, please grant me an answer to my feeble question.
>
> Why is looking like a bum suddenly so popular in modern culture?  I am
> referring to the Grunge Movement.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Alas, mortal, I too have stepped upon the grunge bandwagon.  I now
} wear my work toga (the one with the white wash on it) out and about
} with the other immortals.  Just yesterday, I saw Apollo wearing a
} wilted laurel wreath.  Zeus' lightning bolts were tarnished.  Even
} the beautiful Aphrodite has been seen wearing various metal and leather
} garmets instead of her usual immaculate designer toga.  The odd
} thing is that Loki has been looking rather spiffy.  He has always
} claimed that he was more productive when dressed in comfortable
} clothes.  Perhaps he was right...  the bastard.  He must be up
} to something.
}
} Since you mortals imitate we immortals, you are noticing the same
} trend that is taking place here in Olympus.
}
} You owe the Oracle a Levi's (tm) Acid-washed toga.


555-02    (1gja3 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Oh most wise and omnipotent oracle,
>
> How many boards would the mongols hoard, if the mongol hords got bored?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Mongols didn't horde anything because they had a different
} economic system called stealing. This can work in some situations,
} but not all. For instance, it will usually work to say:
}
}       I have a sword. Give me your board or I'll cut your
}       head off.
}
} There are limitations, however, and it is important to recognize
} them. You should never say:
}
}       I have a board. Give me your sword or you'll cut
}       my head off.
}
} The Mongols, of course, were masters of this technique, but for
} most people I recommend hording.
}
} You owe the Oracle a woodchuck pelt.


555-03    (6aia5 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Ohh, most wise and over-belligerent oracle,  tell me:
>
>     Why DID the chicken cross the road?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Finally, I have the opportunity to clear up a common mistake.
} Throughout time, and with many translations, this phrase has been
} changed and therefore, lost its meaning.
}
} The correct phrase is:
}
} "Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?"
}
} The answer is:
}
} "Because he heard the referee was blowing fouls!"


555-04    (6ek81 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> O beautiful and near-perfect Oracle, tell me:
>
> What does UNIX stand for?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It means either sex can use it.


555-05    (33hfb dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com

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

>                              American Oracular Certification Committee
>                              1776 Command & Control Blvd, Suite FU
>                              Langley, VA
> The Usenet Oracle
> Department of Computer Science
> Indiana University
>
> Dear Sir:
>
> It has come to our attention that You have not yet been certified by
> our program.  May we remind You that all Oracles dealing with federal,
> state, and local governments must now be certified by AOCC?  We urge
> You to complete your certification now to avoid future conflict with
> the state-run educational institution where you currently reside.
>
> The next American Oracular Certification Test in your region will be
> administered at:
>
> Jermaine Jackson Middle School
> 8088 Industrial Waste Parkway
> Gary, IN
>
> The test costs $850 and takes roughly 4 hours to complete.  Special
> subject area tests cost an additional $275 each.
>
> Testing manuals are available for only $65 through Lost Life Books.  We
> also offer a 6-week intensive course in taking the certification for a
> mere $12,000.
>
> Once you receive your certification, you will receive an "I'm an
> Omniscient Being" oracular pin, and the right to use the AOCC logo on
> your stationary.
>
> We're looking forward to having you as one of our members.
>
> Signed,
>
> Xavier P. Kontroller

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Mr. Kontroller,
}
}       I am distressed to hear that you were either too lazy to dig
} through your records to find, or have *lost* the test I took merely 253
} years ago to renew my membership in the AOCC.  Normally, this level of
} incompetence would provoke me to *ZOT* without even thinking about it,
} but in a surprising fit of patience, I did realise for you mere
} mortals, 253 years is quite a long time, sufficient enough time, in
} fact, to misplace it, have it destroyed in a natural disaster, corrode
} due to the lower quality of the materials used to administer the test
} at the time, etc.
}       Realising this, I am including the copy of the test I was given,
} including my answers, and including the top secret AOCC logo, which I
} could not know were I not an official omniscient being.  Please take
} the time to look these over, and please store them in your files, so I
} shall not have to waste time with this again until 2240, when I shall
} have to renew again.
}                                       Sincerely,
}
}                                       Orrie T. Oracle
}
} ========================================================================
} #include <aocc.test>
}
} 1.    What is the true name of the antichrist?
}
} The telephone company.
}
} 2.    How much could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck *could* chuck
} wood?
}
} e^3/42 cubic meters.
}
} 3.    Explain the intrigue behind the book "The Great Gatsby."
}
} The intrigue was that F. Scott Fitzgerald was actually a pen name used
} by Mark Twain when *he* wrote the book, after his supposed demise.  He
} was trying to regain anonymity, so used this name.  After publication,
} this fact was discovered by one Samuel Clemens, who, before he could
} inform anyone, died in a mysterious automobile accident.
}
} 4.    Name the long lost, forgotten member of Abba.
}
} Ronald Reagan.
}
} 5.    Regarding the Christ episode:
}
} a.    What were Christ's *real* final words?
}
} "Hey, you guys *swore* this would tickle!"
}
} b.    Why did he claim to be King of the Jews?
}
} He didn't.  Christ was actually hispanic, and had a horrble accent, as
} well as poor mastery of the English language.  He was actually saying
} "I am keen of you."  His sexual orientation was also somewhat
} questionable.
}
} 6.    What was the real cause of the extinction of dinosaurs:
}
} Smoking.
}
} 7.    Give the next three questions, as we would have asked them.
}
} 8.    What is the capitol of Assyria?
}
} 9.    Why 42?
}
} 10.   What are the most intelligent creatures on planet Earth?
}
}                                  _________________
}                                 /                /
}                                /  ---------------
}                               /  /  ___________/ \
}                             /  /  /             \  \
}                            /  /  /               \  \
}                           |  |  |       __       |  |
}                           |  |  |      /  \      |  |
}                           |  |  |     / __ \     |  |
}                           |  |  |    / /  \ \    |  |
}                           |  |  |   / /    \ \   |  |
}                           |  |  |  / /______\ \  |  |
}                           |  |  | / __________ \ |  |
}                            \  \  \/            \/  /
}                             \  \  \            /  /
}                              \  \  \__________/  /
}                               \  \____________\_/
}                                \________________\


555-06    (05l9e dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

> Many supplicants begin with
> # include "grovel.h"
> or something similar. Sometimes this is acceptable to you; other times,
> not. ISO Standard C does not include this file, so your acceptance (or
> rejection) must depend on the grovel.h file provided by the different
> compiler vendors: Microsoft, Borland, IBM, DEC, etc.
>
> I wish to be O.C. (Oracularly Correct). How do you rate the different
> grovel.h files provided by these companies?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Microsoft:    Claims that theirs is the industry standard: only so
}               because everyone pirates it.  Microsoft should fire
}               the infinite number of monkeys that they call their
}               workers and consider hiring a programmer.  NT?  Yeah,
}               tell me another one.  C'mon, single-user workstations
}               went out with the Apollos.
}
} Borland:      The true industry standard, although only a handful of
}               fanatical devotees will support that concept.  Still,
}               it works, which is better than Microsoft.  RULE #1:
}               EVERYTHING is better than Microsoft.  Programs written
}               in BASIC for the Timex Sinclair are better than
}               Microsoft.  Squirrels mating in cages are better than
}               Microsoft.
}
} IBM:          Second-sourced out to Microsoft.  Expect an EXTREME
}               drop in user support in the near future.
}
} DEC:          Sure, it's the programmers' choice.  But what can you
}               say about software that responds to a simple request
}               like 'rmdir foo/' with 'foo: is a directory.'  I'm
}               talking ULTRIX 4.3 here, for those of you keeping
}               score at home.
}
} Apple:        Very comfortable, very easy to use.  But look at it
}               the wrong way and... lawsuit city!  Also, they've
}               decided to go swimming with a ball-and-chain called
}               IBM.  Taligent?  Yeah, right.  What about that
}               brilliant scheme to team up with Microsoft on
}               TrueImage?  See RULE #1, above.  Apple only
}               manufactures one thing now: inter-corporate alliances.
}
} Apollo:       see HP.
}
} Sun:          Hasn't released 'grovel.h' for Solaris yet.  But don't
}               worry: they will create a fully-owned subsidiary to
}               handle all of your grovelling needs, 'SunGrovel.'
}
} Commodore:    Yeah, right.  But still better than Microsoft.
}
} Amdahl:       Don't have time to worry about #include files; they're
}               on a verge of a major breakthrough: the workstation!
}
} HP:           see Apollo.
}
} BSD:          The Oracle's favorite.  Basically written by end-users
}               who have no clue what they are doing: so of course
}               everything works properly.  But remember: it's
}               copyrighted by the Regents of the University of
}               California.
}
} You owe the Oracle a decent makefile maker.  Not written by Microsoft.


555-07    (25ik4 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@hew.mincom.oz.au>

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

> O Great oracle, who'se potence and grandiosity bring the stars at night
> and the sun in the morn, I bid the tell me the answer to this secret
> which has been plaguing my cognitive centers since I first saw it
> written:
>
> How many boards would the Mongols hoard if the Mongol Hoards got bored?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle replies...
}
} <yawn> This one's easy.
} The Mongol hordes would hoard all the boards that the Mongol hordes
} could fit in their Fords when the Mongol's board stores got down to
} a cord.  The Mongol horde could hardly afford to find no boards when
} the Mongol lords roared for more boards stored.
}
} The only sure way to avoid being gored by a bored Mongol lord, was
} to be the Mongol horde that scored more boards than other hordes.
}
} In other words, lots.


555-08    (6gi63 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Dear Sir/Madam --
>
>       We have been monitoring your computer usage and mail
> distribution, and have decided to investigate your past history.  The
> amount of computer time you have been occupying and the extent of mail
> you have been distributing leads us to believe that you may be working
> for a hostile government or terrorist group.  Please be aware that we
> will be monitoring your every move and will review every piece of mail
> that you have sent over computer lines for the last five years.  If
> anything conspicuous is turned up, have no misconception - we will
> arrest you for treason.  If nothing comes up, we will cease our
> investigation.  Thank you for your time.
>
>                               Have a nice day!
>                       The Central Intelligence Agency

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} OH my goodness... NO one has ever accused Me of being a spy before. I
} hope that you and your COMRADES in THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT have
} actual evidence, because My army of militant litigant lawyers HAS
} started to prepare their case. The last person who accused us of
} anything of this sort CAUGHT it, let me tell you. You will be hearing
} from US shortly.
}
} The Oracle demands, in payment, your next Democratic president. (The
} Oracle is willing to wait for a long time.)


555-09    (07icc dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> Most excellent Oracle, Prophet of the Nets, Wisest of All Beings to
> Grace My Phosphor Screen, please tell me:
>
>       Why are Catholic Girls attracted to me?
>
> I can't seem to shake them off.  I'm everything their parents told them
> to *never* under any circumstances bring home.  I hate the very idea
> of celibacy.  And if I had my way, there'd be B-2's on the way to the
> Vatican to start carpet-bombing within the hour.
>
> I'm about as "corrupt" as they come, by Catholic standards.  Why do
> they chase me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Allow me to describe the life cycle of the North American Catholic:
}
} First Instar (egg): Catholic semen whacks into Catholic egg and it's
} all over for Ma and Pa.  Mutations at this point lead to sports--
} Lutherans, mostly, although natal exposure to carbon tetrachloride
} results in Seventh Day Adventists and Mormons.
}
} Second Instar (infancy): Bloated women with steel rulers beat Catholic
} theology into their charges.
}
} Third Instar (puberty / juvenile): Hormone surge results in unCatholic
} behavior, such as critical thought.  The Catholic will sneak around
} and commit quiet blasphemy, possibly even trying to shock Ma & Pa by
} bringing home a smug free-love atheist such as yourself.  (Take note,
} supplicant.  'Tain't yer boyish good looks, if you know what I mean.)
}
} Fourth Instar (adult): Hormone levels drop; Catholic is no longer a
} dependent, and so must pay own way.  Stress.  The theology from the
} second Instar explodes from the subconscious, offering answers to the
} Hard Questions.  Backlash.  Eventually a Catholic wedding takes place,
} followed by the now-familiar Catholic fertilization.
}
} One can even argue that the Catholic memes go into latency during
} adolescence to *facilitate* teenage pregnancy.
}
} You owe the Oracle the Host and a golden monstrance to keep it in.
}
} Message from trinity@seventh.heaven.org on console at 15:29 ...
} AND THE ORACLE OWES *ME* TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND HAIL MARYS.
} EOF
}
} (Oh, rats.)
}
} <iuvax> 7093472453 ~% cat > sorry.c
} #include <stdio.h>
} #include <Xian/prayer.h>
}
} main()
} {
}     int i, uid;
}
}     uid = getuid();
}     for (i = 0; i < 250000; i++) {
}         if (XianPrayer(uid, XIAN_PERSONAL,
}                        XIAN_PENANCE, XIAN_HAIL_MARY) == -1) {
}             perror("sorry"); exit(1);
}         }
}     }
}     exit(0);
} }
} ^D
} <iuvax> 7093472454 ~% gcc -o sorry sorry.c
} <iuvax> 7093472455 ~% ./sorry
} Killed
} Message from trinity@seventh.heaven.org on console at 15:35 ...
} NICE TRY.  I'VE PREPARED A LOVELY FIELD OF GRAVEL FOR YOU TO KNEEL ON.
} EOF


555-10    (1gia4 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Wonderul Oracle, Master of All Email:
>
>       Does David Koresh use an Amiga computer?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} 'Tain't that simple.  The Branch Davidians were hard pressed to pick a
} single manufacturer.  Here are the machines Koresh and company
} considered, and why:
}
} Amiga: encourages unnatural acts among the very young.
}
} Apple Macintosh: designed for use by pathetic chowderheads.
}
} HP: not *quite* on the same wavelength as the rest of us.
}
} PCs running Windows: Bill Gates also leads a cult.  However, Koresh
} quickly realized that Gates is the Anti-Christ.
}
} Silicon Graphics: digitized bimbos to keep the rabble quiet while
} authority figures monopolize the women.
}
} Sun: arbitrary bullying behavior.
}
} Finally, they settled on IBM.  Big, implacable, and howlingly
} irrational.


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