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Internet Oracularities #578

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Usenet Oracularities #578    (56 votes, 2.9 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1993 12:29:29 -0500

@@@ Publication of the Usenet Oracularities will be on a two week hiatus
@@@ while your editor is on vacation across the sea that was once the
@@@ US Midwest.  The Usenet Oracle and its Priesthood will still be in
@@@ business, though, so keep supplicating and pontificating as much
@@@ as you wish.  We'll catch up on publishing the best Oracularities
@@@ after two weeks.
@@@           Steve "Take me to the river, drop me in the water" Kinzler

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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:
   578
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

578   56 votes 25aep nk922 6eeg6 anh42 13jq7 kob01 2bkk3 57wb1 7dlc3 5fid5
578   2.9 mean  4.0   1.9   3.0   2.4   3.6   1.9   3.2   2.9   2.8   3.0


578-01    (25aep dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> Why ask why?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle has considered your surprisingly good, almost adequate,
} philosophical question and is reminded of the parable of the drunk fish
} of Arabia.
}
} One day in a desert land many miles away many centuries ago there was
} an unhappy traveller. This man had worked honestly and hard since he
} was young, and verily all he had to show for it were a few gold pieces
} and the clothes on his back. "Oh verily, what is the point?" he was
} heard to moan, and he decided to get well and truly drunk.
}
} Using his last gold pieces he bought a goatskin of wine. But upon
} tasting the wine, he exclaimed "ptooi ptooi, this wine tastes sour" and
} verily he did not drink it, and lo! he did not get drunk.
}
} Many miles across the desert later, he came across a fish lying in the
} sand. "Hey! can you give me a hand" gasped the fish, "I'm gonna croak
} if I don't get some water soon."
}
} The unhappy traveller was extremely taken aback by a fish lying in the
} sand who talketh, and exclaimed "Why? O fish, why are you in the
} desert? and why can you talketh?"
}
} And lo! the fish answered "If you don't mind, we'll leave the 'why'
} questions until later and get me to some water or the 'why' of it all
} will become a bit academic."
}
} The unhappy traveller said "The only water I have is this extremely bad
} wine in this goatskin."
}
} "Any port in a storm" punned the fish badly. The unhappy traveller then
} put the fish into the goatskin, threw the goatskin over his shoulder
} and continued on his unhappy way.
}
} And lo! within minutes there was the sound of a great fishy merrymaking
} from the goatskin, and there was much fishy laughing and joking and
} singing of 'Knees up Mother Brown'. The villagers around marvelled at
} this man who carried such fishy sounds of joy wherever he went, and
} though the traveller's heart was heavy, he bought happiness to everyone
} he met. And there was much rejoicing and standing him of drinks and
} meals and roofs above his head, and lo! did his fame spread across the
} land and his heart begin to lighten.
}
} Eventually the traveller reached a distant kingdom ruled by a rather
} meek king and a rather aggressive queen who was in an advanced state of
} pregnancy. "Get me some oxtail soup and vinegared dried prunes"
} commanded the queen, and her servants rushed around in a futile manner
} until the queen got bored and had them all beheaded.
}
} "Why oxtail soup and vinegared dried prunes?" asked the king, but he
} was silenced when the queen gaveth him an extraordinarily filthy look.
}
} Later the queen asked "who is it that causes such merrymaking outside
} while I feel under the weather?" Upon learning of the traveller with
} the riotous goatskin, she asked for him to be bought to the throneroom.
} "Ow" she proclaimed when the heir apparent inside her kicked.
}
} When the traveller arrived, the queen had already decided that she
} didn't want to know the secret of the goatskin any more. This was of
} great relief to the traveller, as the merrymaking had ceased, the fish
} having died of advanced alcohol poisoning.
}
} Suddenly glaring at all present, the queen exclaimed "I want some
} Sushi."
}
} "Why?" pleaded her servants, "the country known as Japan hasn't even
} been discovered yet, why do you ask for Sushi? And we're hundreds of
} miles inland, how can you expect us to get some fresh fish and prepare
} it in time?"
}
} And the queen cried pitifully "it's so hard to get good help these
} days. Will anyone give me some Sushi? I will grant any wish for one
} plate of Sushi."
}
} And lo! the traveller said "I have some fresh fish, deeply marinaded in
} a vinegared wine. If it would please your majesty, perhaps you would
} like to sample my wares."
}
} The queen sampled the Sushi, and proclaimed it good, and there was much
} relief in the palace. "Until-recently-unhappy Traveller" she said, "you
} may have your wish. What do you want?"
}
} "I only want to be able to stay in your kingdom, treated in the same
} way I was when I had a drunk fish in my goatskin."
}
} "It shall be done" said the queen, "and what's more I give you a
} marvelous house with servants, and you shall have half my husband's
} harem."
}
} "Hey, hold on a minute" said the king, but another glance from his wife
} silenced him.
}
} And so, the now very happy traveller stayed in the kingdom, realising
} that had he insisted on asking the fish "Why?" in the desert, the fish
} would have croaketh and his present happiness would never have
} happened.
}
} And lo! his happiness continued until he died two years later of
} terminal curiosity.
}
} As payment the Oracle demands a prawn, peanut butter, and chocolate
} syrup sandwich.


578-02    (nk922 dist, 1.9 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> If you would like to receive a printed report of the data your agency
> has submitted to the Clearinghouse which includes this year's data
> submission, please complete this form, detach and mail it to Radian
> Corporation at the prepreinted address on the reverse side.
>
> In addition, a copy of this report will be sent to the air toxics
> contact at center for fart reduction regional office.
>
> Your request will be processed when it is received by Radian
> Corporation. Please allow six weeks for deliver to both your agency and
> the regional office.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} About a cord a day.


578-03    (6eeg6 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@lion.ccit.arizona.edu>

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

> Oh Magical, SuperHuman, SexPot, Maxim Mertifolia, whose Ambrosia
> annoints the masses who do not realise what a SuperBeing thou art,
> and your sentiments are the learning mediums for us unworthy
> supplicants, I would give you all I own if I knew where you lived,
> and I would even give you my wife for your services as a Celluar
> Query Answering Processor......
>
> Pray Tell the answer to this Humble Question.
>
> TELL ME A LONG STORY!
>
> Oh Thank You Oh Mighty one!
> I treasure your reply as much as I treasure my life. And if I where
> to hold a feast in your honour, there would be no space left at the
> table for all the civilised world would be there to see you, and you
> alone!
> Thank You Master.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} O
} n
} c
} e
}
} u
} p
} o
} n
}
} a
}
} t
} i
} m
} e
}
} t
} h
} e
} r
} e
}
} w
} a
} s
}
} a
}
} p
} e
} r
} s
} o
} n
}
} w
} h
} o
}
} a
} s
} k
} e
} d
}
} t
} h
} e
}
} a
} l
} m
} i
} g
} h
} t
} y
}
} O
} r
} a
} c
} l
} e
}
} f
} o
} r
}
} a
}
} R
} E
} A
} L
} L
} Y
}
} L
} O
} N
} G
}
} S
} T
} O
} R
} Y
} .
}
} H
} e
}
} d
} i
} d
} n
} '
} t
}
} d
} o
}
} i
} t
}
} t
} w
} i
} c
} e
} .
}
} You owe the Oracle 1 beanstalk.


578-04    (anh42 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@lion.ccit.arizona.edu>

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

> Continue or retire?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This oracle acknowledges all trade marks.
}
} > > Continue or retire?
}
}     This depends on whether you are playing Sonic or Sonic II and
}     how many chaos emeralds you have found.
}
}     Obvoiusly, chaos emeralds confirm to Pauli's exclusion principle
}     where no two things (Sonic & Tails) are in the same spin and level
}     at the same time (when the emerald is collected).
}
}     The generalized formula for retirement is inversely proportional
}     to the number of chaos emeralds in the following formula.
}     Retire = T+H/(C*R+X)
}
}     Where T is the time so far wasted on the game (in seconds)
}           H is the time since you last ate any food (in seconds)
}           C is the number of Chaos Emeralds that you possess
}           R is the average number of rings that you collect per act.
}       and X is the number of lives you've wasted in the last T
}           minutes.
}
}     This should mean that you will get a positive number greater
}     than zero.  Having calculated your possible credibility index
}     it seems that anything over 325 would lead to you annoying the
}     hell out of the next member of the family waiting to have a go
}     on the Megadrive.
}
}     You owe the oracle one box of hedgehog flavour crisps.


578-05    (13jq7 dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> Oracle, great and wonderful, whose belly button lint has a better
> hairdo than most people, please answer this question:
>
> Why don't birds get electrocuted with they sit on powerlines?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} O most lowly of supplicants, ye whose ignorance is verily an abyss of
} such immeasurable depths so as to utterly surpass the greatest canyons
} in the lands that have been soiled by your feet, the deepest trenches
} in the oceans upon which has sailed Man, yea, even the vastness of the
} voids of space, into which the eyes of all mankind have peered for all
} time and yet seen naught of what is real; Behold!, as for a moment I
} draw aside the veil of mystery and unravel for you the arcane truths
} that lie behind the answer to all questions such as yours.
}
} Electricity, as even such as you are likely to know, will flow through
} metal, of which powerlines are made, in the form of free electrons.
} The speed with which these electrons move, the direction of movement,
} and the quantity of moving electrons are the major factors that combine
} to form what you know as "current".  You learned all of this in your
} physics courses, and it is indeed truth.
}
} Now, O supplicant, you have undoubtedly been informed by persons
} speaking with great authority that the utility companies pump
} electricity into one end of the powerlines, and that your computer,
} which you spend entirely too much time on, by the way, sucks out that
} electricity, which is what you pay for every month.  You have, no
} doubt, also been told that modern electricity, unlike primitive
} electricity, the production of which required the frequent skinning of
} cats and gathering of petrified tree sap, is of the "alternating
} current" type, which means that there is no real movement of charge
} through the powerline, only oscillations in the concentration of
} charge.
}
} These oscillations, however, are not, as you have been led to believe
} by the many menbers of the Conspiracy, caused by the utility company to
} which you pay such outrageous sums of money every month.  No, the
} oscillations, the very very miniscule oscillations that cause charge
} concentrations to fluctuate and, thereby, electricity to flow, are, and
} this is the Revelation, CAUSED BY THE CONSTANT MOTION OF BIRDS LANDING
} ON AND TAKING OFF FROM POWERLINES.  So, you see supplicant, the birds
} are not in any danger from being electrocuted by electricity but,
} rather, are the sole manufacturer thereof.  The utility company, and
} this is the Second Revelation, actually GETS ELECTRICITY OUT OF BOTH
} ENDS OF THE POWERLINE, since the oscillations start at the birds'
} location and spread outwards towards the homes of consumers like
} yourself.  Many powerlines actually are not in any way connected to
} power companies, generators, or power plants, but rather attach
} directly to consumer households at both ends.
}
} And now, O supplicant, I grow weary of explicating the workings of your
} tiny, insignificant universe.  More important matters demand my
} attention.
}
} You owe the Oracle the skin of Schroedinger's cat, a rod of amber
} containing mosquitoes with dinosaur DNA, and seven free electrons.


578-06    (kob01 dist, 1.9 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe Pettus <cep@taligent.com>

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

> O great Oracle who knows all
> Tell your follower what reason he can give to a radio show why he
> deserve to get 10CD's as an award from them

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle decides to speak about himself in the Third Person.
}
} The Oracle adjusts his 1927 Atwater-Kent radio receiver, and tunes in
} WGY in Schenectedy.  The signal fades out, and he fiddles with the
} knobs again, and picks up KYW in Philadelphia.  The Fibber McGee and
} Molly show is on.  Fibber is about to open his closet, as Molly tries
} to persuade him not to.
}
} "KERTHUMBA-BASHCRANGTHUMPPPA-KERPLAPPLE-DAP-KABOINGABOINGAPOW!
} BATHUDDLEDUD!  BANGABOINGA-WONKABONKA-KAPLOOEYBLATSCH-FLOP. <silence>
} BADOI-OI-OINK!" says the closet.
}
} Miraculously, Fibber finds what he was looking for, and hands it to
} the Oracle.  It's a seven-inch 78-rpm recording of Rudy Vallee singing
} the Maine Stein Song.  The Oracle hands it to you, and you realize
} that it's all scratched up and no good and you'll have to get
} something else, somehow.
}
} You owe the Oracle a 2127 Ninjaturt-Trabant radio that'll receive
} programs from radio stations on the moon.


578-07    (2bkk3 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> O most wise and all-seeing Oracle. Thou who is more witty than Oscar
> Wilde. Thou who can write better tunes than Lennon/McCartney. Thou who
> can chuck rocks more effectively than a woodchuck, please hear my plea
> and answer my question.
>
> Why doesn't someone make a photocopy machine that works reliably?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As a Steven Wright wannabe once said, "I Xeroxed a mirror.  Now I have
} a spare copy machine."
}
} However, this is not strictly a photocopier.  For true reliability,
} you'll have to wait for the next generation of machine-- the
} photoproducer.  Photoproducers take multiple pictures of an object and
} then recreates it in paper-mache, hard plastic, and aluminum-- very
} useful for small batches of widgets and spare parts.  In May 2112,
} Xerox announces the first self-maintaining photoproducer-- made
} entirely of photoproducible parts-- and a sophisticated dedicated AI
} to detect part failure, craft a replacement part, and install it.
}
} A technical masterpiece.  Unfortunately, in January 2113, a clerical
} worker in a hurry to leave the office for a three day weekend leaves a
} mirror in the room with a self-maintaining photoproducer-- and the
} controls set for "Reproduce at 90% of size."  By Sunday afternoon,
} virus-sized photoproducers utterly consume all available hard plastic,
} aluminum, and paper-mache, pretty much wiping out civilization.
}
} So be careful what you wish for.  You may get it.


578-08    (57wb1 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Oh omnipresent, omnipotent one, answer this question for your humble
> supplicant:
>
> Is Snuggles the Teddy Bear the devil incarnate?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmm, let's add some holy water to this Snuggles bottle and find out,
} shall we?
}
} {Drip, drip, drip...}
}
} "You dare arouse the wrath of Beelzebub? I shall send for my master!"
}
} Ok, so it looks like the teddy bear is indeed a major demon. Let's find
} out who his boss is.
}
} "Oh yeah? And how will you do that?"
} "Satan shall visit himself upon this world and corrupt the children!"
} "And in what form?"
} "A big purple dinosaur, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
}
} Well, there's your answer. He's not the devil, but he is one of the
} Minions of Cuteness.
}
} You owe the Oracle the corpse of Baby-Bop.


578-09    (7dlc3 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: David Bremner <bremner@cs.sfu.ca>

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

> Omniscient and all-powerful Oracle,
>
> There is a rumor abroad that you are the one who manipulated El Nin~o
> to cause horrific flooding in the US Midwest.  Now, why did you
> want to go and do that?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} T'was not I.
}
} The Oracle, unlike *some* deities I could name, doesn't play
} these damn-fool games.  You know the saying, "Subtle is the Lord"
} from the Christian religion?  Well, that's not me.  In the god
} racket, subtlety is strictly for amateurs.  Let me put it this
} way:  If *I* had wanted to convert the US midwest into a big
} rice paddy, *I* would have moved the whole place bodily to
} southeast Asia.  It wouldn't have taken any "forty days and
} forty nights", either.
}
} You owe the Oracle enough Lime Jello(TM) to fill the hole
} that will be left behind.


578-10    (5fid5 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> Tell me if there is a version of SQLTCP for DOS that is
> compatible with Novell LAN WorkPlace for DOS version 4.1.
>
> Thanks,
>     Rob Palmer, ViGYAN

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You've contacted the wrong Oracle.  You wanted the nice helpful
} Oracle who gladly gives straightforward useful advice and asks
} for nothing in return.
} Unfortunately, you've contacted the naughty big-headed Oracle
} who delights in mocking supplicants with flippant replies and
} roasting those who offend It in any way.
} However, in the interests of diplomacy I will try to do the
} job of both.
} ---------------------------------------------------------------
} "if there is a version of      |  Sorry, I don't know.  You
}  SQLTCP for DOS that is        |  could however try asking my
}  compatible with Novell LAN    |  cousin the Usenet Oracle,
}  WorkPlace for DOS version     |  he's much smarter than me
}  4.1"  There, I've told you    |  although he tends to enjoy
}  what you wanted, though       |  annoying his supplicants for
}  goodness knows why you needed |  some his own sadistic reasons
}  me for such a paltry task.    |  which I can never fathom.
}  You owe the Oracle a highly   |  You don't owe me anything,
}  servile obsequeous grovel and |  I'm a nice sort of Oracle you
}  500$ for taking up my         |  know.  Bye bye!
}  valuable time you great       |  P.S Hope he can help.
}  oafish wassock.               |  P.P.S Deep down, he's alright.


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