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Internet Oracularities #564

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Usenet Oracularities #564    (57 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 27 May 1993 08:00:16 -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:
   564
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

564   57 votes 15drb adic4 5po21 6gge5 7cna5 agce5 39fm8 5hgd6 58hfc 7bld5
564   3.0 mean  3.7   2.8   2.5   2.9   2.9   2.8   3.4   3.0   3.4   3.0


564-01    (15drb dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> [Editor's Note -- .sig deleted to protect the guilty]
>
> [Eds NOTE -- the above note wasn't really by the editor, it was a part
> of the original query]
>
> [Priest's Note -- actually, neither of the notes above were added by a
> priest, and I would thank the supplicants not to pretend that they are
> adding notes by the priest.  I have deleted the third note, which was
> disgusting.]
>
> [Kinzler -- Well, I wish you hadn't deleted the third note, because our
> readers like disgusting things, and I think the two first notes are
> cute. The current third note, by the way, wasn't written by any priest
> I know of, either.  Oh, by the way, after all this deleting and
> restoring, I think I may have cut out the supplicant's question by
> accident, but everyone should be able to tell what it was by the
> Oracle's response.]

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [Editor's Note -- The Oracle's response was somewhat innappropriate
} and therefore we felt it necessary to remove certain portions of
} the text. Every asterisk represents a segment that was deleted.]
}
} [Priest's note -- Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Oracle
} has deleted this sentance. We therefore have deleted the Oracle's
} sentence that replaced the previous sentence, and so this is not a
} sentence. In fact, there are no sentences in this sentence, since
} this sentence is not a sentence, rather it is a sentence. But if
} the first sentence were not deleted, then there would be two sentences,
} but since it was, there are only three sentences instead of one.
} But this sentence preceeds the previous sentence and therefore is
} out of place. Since this is the last sentence, I will say that the
} next sentence is actually the first sentence..]
}
} [Editor's Note -- The Oracle's actual response follows below. Remember
} that the asterisks represent deleted fragments of text..]
}
}   Greetings supplicant. I think the answer to your * is quite simple.
} Your problem is * such a stupid person! If it weren't for such *
} the nuts are quite round. In fact, it could be said that your *
} are slimy and small. One thing that can cause this is * pens can be
} quite stiff at times.
}
}   Your keyboard is of very low quality, and the mouse ball is probably
} * discharging erratically. You should try not to * use repetitious
} thrusting action. It can wear out the * components.
}
} [Editor's Note -- We apologize if the original meaning has not been
} preserved, but we felt that the Oracle's message was not appropriate
} for all age groups. The Oracle is presently being forced to clean the
} slopes of Olympus as retribution.]
}
} [Priest's note -- And furthermore, if this sentence were before the
} previous sentence, then this too would not be a true sentence because
} sentences are only sentences when they are surrounded by other valid
} sentences in the correct order. Perhaps you have noticed some spelling
} or grammar errors? Those too can make a sentence into a non-sentence.
} Prehaps you have heard of clauses and phrases? They are not sentences.
} But only sentences will suffice. If it weren't for sentences, there
} would be no sentences. So I must make this sentance make sense, and
} make a proper transition to the next sentence. This sentence belongs
} before the last sentence, so the first sentence should be moved to the
} end  of this sentence. This is the last sentence.]
}
} You owe the Oracle a wet *


564-02    (adic4 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

> Dear oracle,
>
>       I have one question. Why have the flying microwaves taken to
> nesting in the roof of my house? Should I see someone about this
> problem, as it seems theyve scared the crawling refrigerators away from
> underneath the house.
>       Yours in surreality,
> P.S. should I clean that strange fungus off the bread in the kitchen
> before eating it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hey Bill, good to hear from you !
} Looks like the strain is starting to show, though.
} Hey look, nobody minded about that little puff, but if this gets out
} something's really going hit the fan if you know what I mean.
} Just take some vitamin B and get Hilary to tell you some stories about
} JFK. In a few hours you'll be back at the helm and you'll remember that
} that 'strange fungus' is called 'crust'.
}
} You owe the oracle a solution to all the worlds problems.


564-03    (5po21 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> How are you today?
>
> thanx

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, since you asked....
}
} I was rudely awakened by the damn alarm clock at 5.30am. Why, you ask?
} Because the Oracle still hac one more exam to take. Now, mind you, the
} exam didn't start until 8, but in order to miss the rush hour traffic
} that New Jersey is so famous for, I had to leave early. Because I have
} this amazing luck, it turns out that there was no traffic at all, and
} I was stuck here an hour early. The car got a flat as I was puling on
} to campus, and I lost the spare. After locating another tire that fit,
} (remind me to thank the Dean for letting me borrow it from his car),
} I replaced the tire and parked. After struggling for 4 hours with the
} irregular verbs in Esperanto, I returned to the parking lot to find my
} car covered with hundreds of tickets. Well, a bunch. OK, OK one ticket.
} Allright!! So it was a ticket to see TOMMY tomorrow afternoon, but it
} was a ticket nonetheless. I returned to the computer lab, on the way
} tripping over a construction site, and breaking my leg, which I had set
} at the Health Center on my way here. After logging onto my favorite
} MUD, my character died four times, my mail account was canceled, and
} the entire campus system shut down. I found out that I failed my yoga
} exam, and that my dorm burned down. And to top it all off, I just broke
} a nail on the damn keyboard!!!!!
}
} My day's been just peachy, how was yours?


564-04    (6gge5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Oh Oracle, most enligthened and wise Entity, whose toes I am not worthy
> to lick, and whose underwear shines like the setting of a thousand
> suns, please answer my humble query, and I shall be forever grateful,
> if I do not drop dead just from knowing this infinitesimal amount of
> the knowledge that rightfully is yours and yours alone.
>
> If there are no good oracularities anymore, why don't you just write a
> couple of good questions yourself? Surely no priest can find anything
> that you've written bad.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Despite thy disrespectful and embarrassingly long torturous grovel, I
} deign to answer thy question.
}
} Whenever I detect the quality of oracularities is diminishing, I
} compose one or two questions anonymously, and submit them to myself. A
} recent example of my efforts was the question:
}
}   Why are we here?
}
} I then answer these displaying my customary benign wit/abrupt severity,
} and invariably they end up on the Oracularities digest. You have
} displayed some considerable insight in your comment regarding the
} priests - this was proved recently with my aforesaid question, my
} answer to which was simply:
}
} ZOT.
}
} and which made it onto the recent Oracularities. Those ridiculously
} loyal priests!
}
} You owe the Oracle an Oracle.


564-05    (7cna5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> O, wise and mighty Usenet Oracle, I am stuck in a quandry. I have only
> your infinite wisdom to turn to. Susan B. is obviously destined to
> become a math major.  Yet, she stubbornly ignores her calling.  What
> reasons can I give her to become a math major?  What can I tell her to
> prove to her that the Math Way is the one true path??

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}                  TOP TEN THINGS TO SAY TO SUSAN B
}                  TO CONVINCE HER TO MAJOR IN MATH
}
} 10) "I bet Professor Waincorder would give you a really good
} recommendation to the scholarship board if you just unfroze a little."
}
} 9) "You can catch errors in the checkout line at Safeway, and win a
} free can of Vienna Sausages!"
}
} 8) "It may not be exiting, it may not be moral-- but by gum, the DOD
} is a *reliable* employer."
}
} 7) "Just think-- not matter *what*, you'd have a horde of classmates
} wanting to take you out on a Saturday night!  Some even shower!"
}
} 6) "Silicon Valley companies are always looking to fill out their
} affirmative action quotas, so you wouldn't even have to be that good!"
}
} 5) "Shakespeare?  Faugh!  Now, Euclid-- there's poetry!"
}
} 4) "C delta phi d-bra!  Ha! Ha! Ha!  Get it?  Get it?"
}
} 3) "Business Administration?  Oh, come on, you don't want to make a
} living bullying your inferiors, dressing nattily, and drinking Perrier
} with male models, do you?"
}
} 2) "This is the field for you.  You'll run rings around 'em.
} Everything is all set.  Count on it.  Ha! Ha! Ha!  Get it?  Get it?"
}
} 1) "We're not pathetic wankers!  Honest!  No, we're not!"


564-06    (agce5 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Write an essay for 30 marks on
>
> a) The Toothbrush:  It's Use and Abuse

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Apostrophe: Its Use and Abuse
}
} You owe me 30 marks and 30 francs and 30 lire and 30 yen.


564-07    (39fm8 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Infinite Oracle, why can't I divide by zero?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, dear mortal, but you can.
}
} The problem lies rooted in a deep historical conflict between
} mathematics and accountancy. The zero was invented by accounts, and
} only later admitted by mathematicians, who only after seeing how useful
} it was grumped that they knew it all the time.
}
} Many people say that you can't divide by zero, but as I said you can.
} Try it yourself, sometime. It may cause your calculator to spell out
} ErrOr, but nonetheless, you did it. This particular feature is also the
} basis for the famous "James Tiberius Kirk School of Cybernetic Judo"
} wherein the largest of electronic minds are laid low by this smallest
} (in magnitude) of numbers.
}
} But I digress. When you divide by the numbers that mathematicians
} create, you get a mathematicians answer -- one well-defined answer.
} This is well and good, but also boring as you must know. However, when
} you divide by the accountant's number, zero, you get an accountant's
} answer, which is, "What would you like it to be?"
}
} This fact is what caused mathematicians to declare that there could be
} no zero (and for that matter, no negative numbers). It wasn't until the
} wiser accountants invented lending, interest, usury, and national debt
} that the mathematicians saw the utility of zeroes at all, and finally
} relented. But they still get grumpy about the grandest accountant's
} trick of all, dividing by zero.
}
} Dividing by zero and applying a little creativity can get you any
} answer you choose. Those who tell you otherwise are either jealous
} mathematicians, or people who aren't terribly creative. Both of these
} sorts of people have finite brains, and are disturbed by an infinite
} multitude of answers, so they tell you things like that "undefined."
} Whatever that means. They certainly don't. If you don't believe me, ask
} them. They will likely tell you that it means that it's undefined. Oh,
} sure, they may wrap a lot of jargon and fast talk around it, but I can
} assure you that it all boils down to undefined meaning that it's
} undefined. This isn't a very good definition, if you ask me, and
} demonstrates that the only rigor in this definition is rigor mortis of
} the polyhedral lobes. Be sure to tell them I said this. When they get
} hot under the collar, you will know I'm right.
}
} In conclusion, I should add this one small warning. Although you *can*
} divide by zero, it is unwise to do so, unless you know what you are
} doing. It is best done only by professional accountants and liberal
} mathematicians. You can hurt yourself when dividing by zero. For
} example, if the IRS catches you at it, they will likely not find it
} amusing (you are, after all, intruding on their turf). They will likely
} apply "penalties and interest" to the calculations that *they* would
} like to have happened, and justice itself would dictate that they
} compute them turning the denominator of the interest into a lowly but
} useful zero.
}
}       Regards,
}       The Big O


564-08    (5hgd6 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> O wonderous Oracle, whose wisdom falls like acid rain upon a parched
> artic wilderness.
>
> The office here is rather dull, what can you suggest to liven things up

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Work naked.
}
} You owe the Oracle some pretty decorations.


564-09    (58hfc dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> O glorified, great and galumptious Orrie, please tell me how many
> M&M's are in a packet of M&M's?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} None.  They wade a wistake and put ones warked "W" in the packages
} instead.
}
} You ome the Oracle a Wars bar and anything wanufactured by Millie
} Monka.


564-10    (7bld5 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Oh wise and marvelous Oracle of exceptionl coolness, please tell me
> where I can find Trisdab 'the mule' Smith.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} <beep>
} The Oracle is on vacation.  He will return to this dimension next
} Tuesday. A temporary will be working in his place. Please refer all
} questions to Miss. Manners.  Sorry for the inconvinance.
} <beep>
}
} Mr. Trisdab Smith had an unfortunate incident last Thursday.
} While driving to work at approximately 8:57 AM on I-90, he
} cut off Marty 'Same to you pal!' Bananobitz from the right.  Taking
} umbrage at this little breech in roadway good manners, Mr. Bananobitz
} sped up and attempted to overtake Mr. Smith while honking vigorously.
} Mr. Bananobitz passed Mr. Smith by driving in the emergency lane and
} successfully delivered a bladder like sound with his tongue.  Mr.
} Smith, perhaps unimaginitively, responded with a quick upwards gesture
} and sped up. At this point, Mr. Bananobitz, who had "the pedal to the
} metal" was cut off again by Mr. Smith swerving into the emergency lane,
} thus bringing home to him the superior acceleration capabilities of
} large, late model domestic cars vs. the small, early model foreign cars
} that your brother-in-law Ed 'that weasel' sells you.  No doubt it was
} this very point that caused Mr. Bananobitz's face to turn quite that
} shade of beet and yell angry words while spraying copious amounts of
} spittle onto his windshield and dashboard.
}
} As they sped along the highway, they approached the semi driven by
} Harris 'Big Harry' McGee.  It was at this point that Mr. Smith failed
} to note the bumper sticker 'This Truck insured by Smith & Weston'.
} Like a Zero climbing into a cloud bank, Mr. Bananobitz ducked his small
} but manuverable car around the 18-wheeler.  Lulled into overconfidance
} and believing  his foe vanquished, Trisdab began to come up on Mr.
} McGee's right. This annoyed Mr. McGee but as it was a fine spring day,
} with the blue birds flying about, Mr. McGee resolve to let this pass.
} One second later, he reversed his decision at the noise of Mr. Smith's
} late model domestic crunching into the wheel well and front grill.
} Trisdab had swerved to avoid  Mr. Bananobitz's auto which had snuck up
} on the other side. The author hesitates to reveals the details of the
} events which transpired next because of the delicate sensibilities of a
} refined public. When Mr. Smith stopped to exchanged insurance papers,
} both Mr. McGee and Mr. Bananobitz stopped as well, boxing him in.
} Suffice to say that 1)  'Big Harry' deserves his moniker, 2) the
} paramedic who first arrived on the scene was very surprised at the
} placement of Mr. Smiths steering wheel.
}
}       Mr. Smith can be found at Our Lady of Loving, Graceful
} Sacred, Holy Heart recovering nicely. He should be able talk about his
} experiences in several weeks.  Tropical flowers would be appropriate.
}
} You owe Miss Manners, in her capacity as acting Oracle, Al Bundy's head
} on a sliver platter.


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