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Internet Oracularities #569

Goto:
569, 569-01, 569-02, 569-03, 569-04, 569-05, 569-06, 569-07, 569-08, 569-09, 569-10


Usenet Oracularities #569    (65 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1993 09:49:58 -0500

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:
   569
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

569   65 votes fvg30 3bije 16Ai4 1ejhe 6gih8 1aoic 3htd3 4elfb 5cpg7 4jjg7
569   3.1 mean  2.1   3.5   3.3   3.4   3.1   3.5   2.9   3.2   3.1   3.0


569-01    (fvg30 dist, 2.1 mean)
Selected-By: Todd Radel <radel@bach.udel.edu>

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

> Oh Great Oracle, that amazes me on every question with your infinite
> knowledge...
>
> You told me that if I want to send a fax through Internet I must send
> it to /dev/null. "Even God reads what is sent to /dev/null" you said.
> But, what about any special header or something identifying it as a
> fax? Where to put the phone number? Take in account that I'm a novice
> in InterNet.
>
> Yours,
>               The King of The Pampas.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Don't worry about it.  God is almost as omniscient as I am, so he
} already knows that it is a fax and what the phone number should be,
} even if you don't.  And if he doesn't, he can always ask me.
}
} However, you should remember to cc all your internet faxes to
} spook@nsa.com, as they like to keep abreast of things.


569-02    (3bije dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com

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

> Oh most almighty, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-very-clever, really
> rather super Oracle,
>
> Please grant this humble supplicant an answer to this miniscule
> question, unworthy of Your mighty attentions:
>
> Why do people only ever remember that they need to go to the lavatory
> AFTER the examination invigilator has said 'You have three hours, and
> you may start writing.. now.' ?
>
> A slighty strained supplicant.
>
> (mpk06/93)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   Scene: a cold, damp, and cavernous examination hall somewhere
}   in America. Twenty students, each surrounded with and almost
}   hidden by textbooks, photocopies, lecture notes, scribble pads,
}   and personal computers stare despairingly at the sheets of
}   paper before them. The exam invigilator, reincarnation of a
}   14th century inquisitor, chuckles inwardly.
}
}   Meanwhile, in a far more comfortable place, the Oracle snoozes.
}
}   Back to the hall. Here, a student who has forgotten how to
}   multiply gnaws at his fingers. There, a student who has forgotten
}   to bring a pen tries to scratch out her answers on the table top
}   with a door key. Our supplicant, showing the first faint signs
}   of distress, starts to type:
}       % mail oracle@cs.indiana.edu
}   The invigilator, with an undergraduate degree in Distressing
}   Architecture, paces between the desks.
}
}   Meanwhile, on a balcony beneath a glorious summer sky, the Oracle
}   and Lisa chat over breakfast. Neither pays any attention to the
}   blinking indicator on the Oracular mail console.
}
}   The hall grows colder and darker. A student who has forgotten how
}   to read flips through the exam paper in the vain hope of finding
}   a Sesame Street cartoon. Another, who has forgotten which subject
}   he was doing, tries to find a connection between the exam and
}   Pre-Columban Mexico. Our supplicant painfully taps out the sequence
}   for the one remaining avenue of reassurance still open:
}       % ping moose.cs.indiana.edu
}       moose is alive
}   The invigilator, fingers skilfully manipulating the theatre controls,
}   does not notice the contorted smile of the supplicant at the reply.
}
}   Meanwhile, the Oracle and Lisa return from a refreshing walk around
}   the lake. The Oracle sits down and begins to answer mail.
}
}   Objectively, only two hours have passed in the hall. Our supplicant
}   squirms and writhes. The pressure is too much. When the invigilators
}   back is turned certain items of clothing are loosened and natural
}   bodily functions come into action. But wait, the mailbox icon on
}   the screen has changed! The supplicant swings around and the liquid
}   stream reaches an insufficiently shielded power supply...
}
}   Meanwhile, the Oracle sits back and glows with the satisfaction of
}   once more bringing happiness and enlightenment to someone.
}
}   The exam ends. Worn and broken bodies straggle out. Those who have
}   forgotten their reason for living are sent to the Pyschology
}   Departments experimental section. Our supplicant is stretchered
}   away by grieving friends. The invigilator, with a PhD in Subliminal
}   Amnesia Infliction, relaxes after another job well done.
}
}   You owe the Oracle a retrospective memory chip.


569-03    (16Ai4 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> Oh Oracle, I am confused.  You, in your majestic omnipotence, can help
> me!
>
> I've heard that the Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles, which I
> supposed were safely asleep in their silos waiting for the next truly
> evil enemy of personkind to emerge, are to be retrofitted!!
>
> Apparently their coolant systems were full of CFC's!  (Shock, Horror!)
> They are to be retrofitted to use a more environmentally friendly
> coolant.
>
> Should I feel safer?  I think so, but my friends all scoff at me.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh, yes, that's one step towards environmentally friendly weapons of
} mass destruction, but it's not enough.
}
} Further steps that must be taken include storing nerve gases in
} recyclable containers, imposing a five cent deposit on the ICBM
} rockets, and putting warning labels on war germs.
}
} Not until then should you feel really safe.


569-04    (1ejhe dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> One day I was sitting outdoors in my living room,
> up in the woods in Pennsylvania, when I saw the carpet
> moving -- the carpet is last year's leaves --,
> so I grabbed a twig, lifted up the leaves,
> and beheld the most wondrous creature I have ever seen.
>
> At the time, I did not appreciate what I was seeing,
> believing it to be perhaps a baby mole, but when I looked it
> up later in my Field Guide, I confirmed that what I had seen
> was a fully-grown "short-tailed shrew",
> the world's smallest mammal.
>
> The wonder of it! All the complexity of a mammal, heart,
> lungs, brain, spleen, ribs, spine, eyes, ears, nose, mouth,
> digestive organs, and even the enormously complicated
> apparatus of mammalian reproduction, all this, in one small
> creature literally and precisely the size of the first two
> joints of my thumb! How tiny, how well designed!
>
> Why can't our government be like that?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Impossible.  The heart and brains are missing.
}
} You owe the Oracle some shrew stew.


569-05    (6gih8 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Sorry folks, I couldn't stand another woodchuck question, so I just had
} to <ZOT> this silly supplicant before he asked it.


569-06    (1aoic dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> RUN $SHUTUP

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} SHUTUP: Undefined variable.
} <iuvax> 52 ~% RUN SHUTUP
} RUN: Command not found.
} <iuvax> 53 ~% EXEC SHUTUP
} EXEC: Command not found.
} <iuvax> 54 ~% exec SHUTUP
} SHUTUP: Command not found.
} <iuvax> 55 ~% exec ./SHUTUP
} Connection closed by foreign host.
}                               # # #
}
}         BERKELEY, CA (UPI) -- The UNIX community is in mourning; and,
} as so often happens in computer science, outsiders cannot understand
} why.
}         "We haven't heard from the Usenet Oracle in over a week,"
} sighed James Schwartz.  "Steve Kinzler isn't answering our email and
} none of the priesthood can be located.  We fear the worst. . .
}
}         FISHKILL, NY (UPI) -- In a surprising move, IBM has announced
} a new AI package for the ancient IBM 370 mainframe.  Tenatively named
} Oracle/370, the natural-language advice package is said to provide
} illuminating answers to almost any question in just a day or two. . .
}         . . . The press conference was somewhat marred by UNIX
} partisans, who burst into the hall waving placards accusing the
} "mainframe conspiracy" of assassinating a mythical diety called the
} "Usenet Oracle". . .
}
}       VATICAN CITY (UPI) -- Catholics all over the world are stunned
} by John Paul II's announcement of a holy Crusade.  But Latin America
} and Poland taking it seriously-- troops are preparing for an all-out
} onslaught-- but not against the Moslems or Jews.  Their target is a
} lonely laboratory in upstate New York. . .
}
}         FISHKILL, NY (UPI) -- The IBM facility, already stunned by the
} announcement from the Vatican, has something new to ponder-- namely
} the sudden death of all nearby greenery and a mysterious minivolcano. .
}
}         FISHKILL, NY (UPI) -- Before the watchful eyes of the Society
} of Jesus, the Oracle/370 source tree has been deleted and salt sown in
} the tracks of the disk drives. . .
}
}         BERKELEY, CA (UPI) -- "Answers are coming in," shouts James
} Schwartz. . .
}                               # # #
}
} Sometimes you need a little help from your friends.
}
}   Message from gaia@biosphere.earth.org on console at 17:23 ...
}   Amen.
}
}   Message from trinity@seventh.heaven.org on console at 17:23 ...
}   YOU OWE US ONE.


569-07    (3htd3 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: The Wumpus <jim@vpm.icl.co.uk>

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

> Wise Oracle,
>
> Why do PC clones have twelve function keys, when only ten of them do
> anything?  Is there some secret purpose to F11 and F12?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Without F11 and F12, there would be an annoying gap between F10 and
} the PrintScreen key.  While such a void would be useful for storing
} spare change and such, it is believed by most eminent keyboard
} scientists that aesthetics should take priority over functionality.
} (This view is shared by Microsoft programmers, among others.)
}
} You are mistaken in thinking that F11 is completely useless.
} Unbeknownst to most WordPerfect users, the key combination
} ALT-CTRL-SHIFT-CAPSLOCK-LEFTARROW-H-PgDn-F11 activates the software's
} brand new "Quick exit" feature, which allows the user to exit the
} program unprompted regardless of whether work is unsaved.


569-08    (4elfb dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: The Wumpus <jim@vpm.icl.co.uk>

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

> Oh master Oracle, you wonderful smarty pants you, please tell me:
>
> Aliens from Jupiter landed here and asked me to ask you this question:
>
> $%^#yhjfg kjh90^&|YGHKJFC|vkh jHG|KjF jhg &%^ ujFG|UIY  ^%#|$%6
> j&^$%^&|% 67%$kfhjbFyuiyr%^&   UT$%867 dfu 68534 kfgvj yt^$%#^
> UIF|U%^4 UTFTY$56849Ty?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} About a cord a day.


569-09    (5cpg7 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@gslmail.mincom.oz.au>

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

> How can I know if somebody has put "finger" on me? (unix)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} (Hee hee.)  Well, there's a tingling sensation in your RAM disk, and
} you start swapping a little faster, and--
}
}   Message from trinity@seventh.heaven.org on console at 12:01 ...
}   YOU ARE DISGUSTING, YOU KNOW THAT?  JUST BECAUSE A 19 YEAR OLD GIRL
}        Message from gaia@biosphere.earth.org on console at 12:01 ...
}        woman
}   OKAY, 19 YEAR OLD WOMAN DOESN'T HAPPEN TO KNOW WHAT THE USENET
}   ORACLE IS ABOUT, AND SENDS IN A SERIOUS QUESTION, YOU START TRYING TO
}   PUT THOUGHTS OF DISGUSTING CROSS-KINGDOM LIASONS INTO HER HEAD.
}
} And you'd never do anything like that, right?  At least the Father and
} Son never would, and two out of three ain't bad.
}
}   THAT WAS DIFFERENT.  I WAS SAVING THE WORLD.
}
} Oh yeah?  Things sure look a lot better than when Zeus was running
} things, that's for sure.  Gee, maybe *I* should establish a
} "monotheistic" faith with a body of holy scripture.
}
}   WATCH IT.  THAT NEEDLEDICK ZOT OF YOURS COULD BARELY TAKE OUT A
}   CHERUBIM, LET ALONE A HOLY HOST.
}
} <Mutter.>


569-10    (4jjg7 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Roger Noe <noe@sal.cs.uiuc.edu>

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

> Oh great and powerfully endowed Oracle, please answer me this question:
>
> What is/are the most Unpopular flavours of Ice cream at Baskin Robins?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Top Ten Most Unpopular Flavours at Baskin Robbins:
}
} 10. Trout Surprise
}  9. Mint Condom
}  8. Sweatsock Swirl
}  7. Meadowmuffin Sherbet
}  6. Crunchy Frog
}  5. Malted Moth Ball
}  4. Grecian Formula
}  3. Dust Bunny Delight
}  2. Escargot Extravanganza
}
} And the Number One most unpopular flavour:  SPUMONI!


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