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Internet Oracularities #584

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Usenet Oracularities #584    (59 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1993 00:10:33 -0500

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on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
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   584
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

584   59 votes 37ekf 2eq98 1gkf7 7ild0 47mdd 7ild0 38of9 3ficb 4hjf4 drf31
584   3.0 mean  3.6   3.1   3.2   2.7   3.4   2.7   3.3   3.2   3.0   2.2


584-01    (37ekf dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> What are bits ?
> How do they look like ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A bit is a very small ammount of data, there are many different types
} of bit depending upon the application. Examples are:
}
} Parity bit:   These bits are used to check the validity of data, they
}               are very arrogant, and will often refuse to be kept
}               in the same RAM chip as lowly 'data bits'. Designers have
}               to allow for this in SIMM design, and put a separate chip
}               in for them and put it at the more desirable end of the
}               SIMM. Parity bits dress very smartly, and tend to travel
}               singly.
}
} Data bits:    These are the lowest form of bit, looked down on by
}               all the other types. Data bits often hang around in
}               gangs of 8, 16 or 32. Data bits are scruffily dressed
}               and are sometimes violent, there have been recorded
}               incedents of 8 data bits mugging other bits who were
}               peacefully making their own way about the data bus.
}
} Top bits:     These nasty creatures often run bit-gangs (sometimes
}               called bytes or words), and often give themselves
}               glorified titles such as "Most Significant Bit" in
}               order to emphasise their authourity.
}
} Mode bits:    These are magical bits, used to set the hardware or
}               software mode via an interface. These bits are often
}               data bits who have been promoted in order carry out this
}               important task.
}
} Cache bits:   These are the fastest bits around, they are often
}               short lived, as cache bits are in the CPU's firing line
}               and are very often hit. In some architectures an entire
}               line of cache bits can be wiped in one go.
}
} Permission bits: These are the Doorkeeper/Security Guard bits, whose
}               main job in life is to tell you what you cannot do. They
}               will often dress in uniforms and order lesser bits
}               around.
}
} Status bits:  These exist on a device to show how important it is,
}               the more important, the more status bits it has.
}
} In general the life of a bit is fairly hard, being driven to carry
} data from one place to another, The most that a bit can hope for in
} life, is to get work in /dev/zero, where it will only have to carry
} the much lighter '0' data around.
}
} Bits suffer from only one disease, called 'bit rot' which makes it very
} difficult for them to carry data, so that 1's and 0's are often dropped
} and jumbled.
}
} Eventually bits expire through old age and are buried without much
} ceremony in the 'bit bucket'.  Though bit religion predicts that if a
} bit has led a useful life that they will be reincarnated as bits of
} unused data in a database program, or if they have been lazy, that they
} will next be incarnated as part of MS-DOS.
}
} You owe the Oracle 2K of singing bits.


584-02    (2eq98 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan G. Monsarrat)

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

> As      the     tempest
> drains  its     drink
> upon    this    hamlet,
> and     in      the             thundering
> masque  of      blackness       above
> love    lies    a-bleeding,
> raining out     the             Bartholomew     Fair,
> while   in      his     tent,   the     king
> leers   at      his     opponent        across
> the     black   and             white   of      their   othello
> game,   is              every   man     in      his     humor
> making  much    too     much
> ado     about   nothing or
> shall   I dare  to      climb   the stair,
>         to      eat     a      peach,
> shall   I care  if      she catches     my              stare
> shall   I trade this    black   bile
>         with    red     impassioned    blood,
> shall   I propose       the taming
>         of      the     shrewful       heart
> walled  well    within  me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} WHEW! WHEW! WHEW! WHEW! WHEW!
}
} DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE WEAVING ALL OVER THE METER OF THE POEM.
}
} OKAY, SON - HOW FAST DO YOU THINK YOU WERE GOING?
}
} THAT FAST? HMMMMPF.
}
} OKAY - LET ME SEE YOUR POETIC LICENSE...
}
} JUST AS I THOUGH... EXPIRED.
}
} YOU'LL HAVE TO COME DOWNTOWN WITH ME. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN
} SILENT...
}
} HEY - COME BACK HERE!
}
} PUT DOWN THAT DICKINSON BOOK!
} THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!
}
} ** ZOT! **
}
} You owe the Oracle a signed copy of John Barthleme's "The Dead Father."


584-03    (1gkf7 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> Which is the right way to hold up a jack of diamonds?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Distract him with the Queen of hearts,
}       tease him with her tarts upon a quiet bridge;
} When both his eyes are turned,
}       trump him in the back of the head with a four-iron of clubs,
}       poker him in the side with your black jack,
}       call his mother a fool,
}       and insult his ante.
} Bury the evidence under his deck with a pair of spades.
}
} Then down some gin to steady your nerves!
}
} You owe me some more original jokers.


584-04    (7ild0 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> O Oracle, great and wise, please hear my plea!
> I must present to you this tale of human fallacy and foible,
> which like most mortal tales is one of confusion wrapped in error
> wrapped in ignorance, and no doubt runs a bit too long.
>
> I feel I must present to You all the relevant details in order that
> You may judge well and truly; and so I begin.
>
> This winter I had an idea of how to bring Fame to my name, and
> pursuant to that idea, I ambled over to the "Good Luck Foods and
> Bait Store, Chas. Woods prop." on Main Street, of course.
>
> This being a small town, our one street is Main Street, and we have
> time for friendly chitchat: so I asked the proprietor for some
> ground chuck, and got the usual joke about cannibalism; and he
> suggested ground hog, and I said that would be almost like
> cannibalism -- since, here in Punxsutawney, we wouldn't even be on
> the map without old Phil, our famous groundhog. Every Feb Two, all
> the networks show up with sound trucks and camera crews, "working
> the woods" as they call it, and do silly reports on whether Phil
> sees his shadow.
>
> My idea for undying fame, and by the way "me" is Nathaniel Works, of
> RFD 7734, was to produce a world's-record-sized meatloaf in the
> presence of the press; I couldn't get them to come out here for that
> but as long as they were here anyway I had hopes they would cover
> the event.
>
> To make a long story short, Chuck and I settled on ground round,
> with all he had on hand to be delivered to Fred's back yard while
> the media were there.
>
> Everything went just fine. I had numerous requests from the city
> folk for my Grama's recipe, and I enjoyed seeing myself handing out
> a portion to Tom Brokaw on the 11:00 news.
>
> Well, almost everything went well. There were two little things...
>
> First of all, Chuck's scale was busted, so he doesn't know what to
> charge me; and secondly, although I was on TV, I don't seem to be
> famous.
>
> Thus, O great Oracle, I find I must ask you two questions:
>
> How many folks saw Nat Works' work when the networks worked the woods?
>
> And, How much ground round was found in Chuck Woods' Good Luck Foods?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle was sitting at his desk when the mailer daemon beeped
} announcing another query.
}
} >"How much wood would a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker could peck
} >wood?"
}
} Of course, the question wasn't asked directly, but was instead
} proceeded with a long blather of meaningless information, meant as a
} setup to the joke question.  So, in punishment, the Oracle responded
} with a very very lengthy shaggy dog story.  "That'll show the
} bastards", he muttered, "for pulling that woodchuck reference.  Bet
} they won't do that again!"
}
} Minutes later, the mailer daemon beeps again.  Once again, a lengthy
} setup for the sole purpose of doing yet another woodchuck reference,
} only not just one, but two.
}
} This is indicative of a disturbing trend in Supplication.
}
} There are several possibilities (didja ever notice all of the "i"'s in
} that word?  almost looks like it's spelled wrong!) as to why this is
} happening.
}
} 1> the people who ask the Oracle questions late at night are lacking
} sleep, since by definition they are either insomniacs or third shifters
} (which is a redundancy in itself),
}
} 2> the overall quality of supplicant is leaning more to the smart-ass
} end of the spectrum lately,
}
} or
}
} 3> the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
}
} Now, some would argue that all three of the above are probably true,
} and I'd have to agree.  So, now that we've established how the Oracle
} feels about these developments, on to your questions:
}
} Re: Nat Works' work:  Not many.  Turns out a woodchuck had chucked some
} wood right through the cable going to the network feed, so it didn't
} fill the network feed's need.
}
} Re: Ground Round:  All the ground round was found bound to a clown in a
} mound at the bottom of Puguet Sound.
}
} You owe the Oracle a shaggy dog (grey and white, about 75 pounds), and
} one of Gladys's ham sandwiches.


584-05    (47mdd dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: John.McCartney@EBay.Sun.COM ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

> !lanimret ym edisni kcuts m'I !pleH

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle picks up the lanimret, and shakes it about.  Sure enough,
} there's a loose tnacilppus rattling around in there.  He opens a
} window, tilts the lanimret, and shakes some more.  The tnacilppus
} falls out, landing on his daeh.  The Oracle splashes some horse
} liniment on the tnacilppus.  The tnacilppus appears completely
} recovered, and says, "uoy knahT".
}
} You owe the Oracle a yrdnauq.


584-06    (7ild0 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.CS.UNLV.EDU>

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

> Dear Mr. O'Racle, whose descendants will no doubt grow up to be
> know-it-alls,
>
> I am conducting research into my family tree.  I have established
> that the O'Racles emigrated to the USA from Ireland in the year
> 524, more or less.  Even though they totally lacked any
> navigational skills, legend says they crossed the ocean in boats
> towed by small, furry creatures of the "chuck" species.
>
> From their original landing in or near what is now Kinzler County,
> Vermont (a good trick, that), they seem to have scattered all
> over the country. Sadly, only a few members of the original family
> seem to have retained the O'Racle name.  (Related families seem to
> include several Norse gods, but I cannot confirm this at this
> time.)
>
> My family, the Shoobeedoowops, seems to be related to the O'Racle
> line, but at present I cannot find out how.  My question is: are
> you related to me?  If so, how?  For that matter, since I am told
> that you are omniscient, can you save me a lot of trouble and fill
> out the whole family tree back to the beginning of time?
>
> Yours gratefully,
> Daniel Patrick Shoobeedoowop

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Mr. Shoobeedoowop,
}
}         This letter is to notify you that a Geanealogical trace of your
} family has turned up evidence of genetic criminal tendencies in your
} family line.  Never before has anyone been able to prove criminal
} tendencies are a genetic trait, but then again, we have never before
} had a complete family tree to work with.  Thanks to the family tree
} supplied to us by our (ahem) associates in the offices of the Usenet
} Oracle (TM), we now have absolute proof that all criminals come from
} one genetic line.  Currently, all your living relatives are being
} rounded up (Can you hear the sirens coming for you yet?) by a
} cooperative effort of all the police agencies of the world, and all the
} people in prison who aren't related to you are being released. We would
} like to thank you for (however inadvertantly) helping us to eliminate
} crime by eliminating your family.  Please be comforted by the knowledge
} that you, singlehandedly, brought about an end to all crime.
}
}                                 Yours Truly,
}                                 Special Agent Manson
}                                 FBI


584-07    (38of9 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@gslmail.mincom.oz.au>

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

> Dear Oracle,
>
> If your IQ were inscribed in a Royal Proclamation, it would use
> so many sheets of parchment to write it on
>       that sheep would become extinct,
> so many feathers for quill pens
>       that ornithologists would be out of work,
> so much talcum powder to blot the ink
>       that all babies everywhere would be sore,
> and the resulting Document would be too heavy to lift.
>
> You have often stated that the answer to all our mortal questions is
> the simple number, 42.
>
> Just what *is* your IQ, anyway?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You want to know my IQ eh?  Well, you asked for it!
}
} [Scene: Five minutes later in the supplicants computer lab.]
}
} A student clicks irately on his mouse button but gets no response.
} "Hey, has anyone else's terminal gone dead?"
} A chorus of "Yeah, dammit" goes up from all the students in the
} lab; one student, though, is being very, very quiet and looking
} sheepish for some reason.
} "Well" says another student, "I'm gonna get the Systems
}  Administrator as the fileserver seems to have kicked the bucket."
}
} Two minutes later, the Administrator is looking very perplexed.
} "This is ridiculous" he says rolling his eyes in exasperation,
} "Hard drive space is currently 0 bytes, and this morning we had 10
}  gigabytes spare!"
} The Administrator runs a check on existing files, and gasps in awe
} at a new mail file which has a size totalling 10 gigabytes.
} A quick look at the file contents leaves him fuming, as the file
} appears to contain nothing more than an endless stream of digits.
} The beady eyes of the Administrator search the expressions on
} the students' faces, and come to rest on a guilty looking student
} who appears to be trying to leave in a hurry.
} "Hold it!"   "Who, me?"   "Yes, do you know anything about this?"
}
} A while later, the problem has been explained and the Administrator
} is nodding solemnly.  "Well, kid, I'll delete this now, and I never
} want to catch you causing trouble again, got that?"
}
} Suddenly, just one minute after the file is deleted, there is a
} loud groan from the Administrator as a new mail file arrives with
} the subject line "The Oracle replies! (part 2 of 100)".


584-08    (3ficb dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> Extra Spiffy Wonderful Oracle, who Always Answers Everything Right
> (even if the supplicants can't figure it out sometimes), please give
> me some good advice.  I'm going to get out of the computer mouse race,
> and buy a farm and make my living selling pony rides.  A two-minute
> pony ride sells for $2, and costs me nothing except taking care of the
> ponies (I know how to do that) and restraining hundreds of bratty kids
> who probably want to kick the ponies.  I'll have LOTS of ponies.  Is
> my plan smart, or stupid?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} REDMOND, WASHINGTON    Microsoft today announced a new product,
} Pony NT, expected to be out in early 1994.  Microsoft's chairman,
} Bill Gates, said that "Microsoft intends to be the pre-eminent
} supplier of the emerging client-server pony market."  Dave
} Cutler, who has been suffering from a severe letdown since the
} Windows NT project went to manufacturing, is expected to lead the
} Pony NT development effort.  Said one analyst, "it's his chance
} to get back at Digital for cancelling their very promising
} thoroughbred development effort code-named "Stewball" years ago."
} Cutler is reportedly delighted.  "Now I have a reason to scream
} at engineering teams again" he said before a Microsoft executive
} turned off his microphone.
}
} In connection with the product introduction, Microsoft filed
} lawsuits against the Kentucky Derby for look-and-feel violations,
} a certain S. Upplicant for copyright infringement, and a
} trademark challenge against the state of Wyoming over their
} license plate design.  Stac Technologies was named as a
} co-defendant in all three lawsuits "just because," according to
} an unnamed Microsoft source.  "We have more lawyers than they
} do, so there."  (ends.)
}
} In other words, most enterprising of supplicants, it is a BAD
} idea.  I suggest getting into something less competitive, like
} building clones of Intel processors.
}
} You owe The Oracle a KL-10 emulator for NT.


584-09    (4hjf4 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> O mighty Oracle, who never listens to pop music, I was watching an
> episode of "Beavis and Butt-Head" last night.  One of the video clips
> they showed was The New Kids on the Block singing "Hanging Tough".  Of
> course, the characters made fun of them, which is proper and good.  The
> problem is, when I woke up this morning, I still had that song running
> through my head, and I haven't been able to clear it.  What can I do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmmm, "Hanging Tough," you say?  Didn't go away overnight?  Mmmm,
} this sounds serious.  I'd like to run a few more tests.  Fill
} this bottle, please.  (Hands supplicant a quart-sized jar and
} points to the bathroom.)
}
} (Several hours and lots of glasses of water later...)
}
} Just as I feared.  A classic case of Pop Syndrome, which is
} caused by the organism Topfortius Horribilis, a parasite of the
} brain.  Yes, it's quite serious if allowed to go untreated.  In a
} few weeks, you'd be singing along with Pepsi commercials.  It's a
} good thing we caught it.
}
} I'm going to put you on a strict regimen: One Shostakovich
} symphony in the morning, a Bach cantata at lunch, and some
} Strauss before going to bed.  Absolutely NO commercial radio.
} Yes, NPR is all right in small doses, but be careful with the
} folk and progressive shows until you've recovered.  Here's a
} prescription.  I'd like to see you again in two weeks; please
} make an appointment on your way out.
}
} You owe Dr. Oracle $14,439.98 plus tax (U.S. residents), $50 plus
} a form (Canadian residents), $0 plus a truckload of forms (EC
} residents), or a decent health care plan (Ms. Rodham-Clinton).


584-10    (drf31 dist, 2.2 mean)
Selected-By: jrp@widcat.widener.edu

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

> Oh great and ponderous Oracle, please tell me where the light goes
> after you turn off the switch?  I have been racking my brain for
> months, then I started wondering about this question.  Thank you.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Verily, it was not *I* who switched off the light.  Nor did I switch it
} on, for do I not bask ever in my own radiance?
}
} Know ye, mortal, that I am aware of this phenomenon of which you speak
} and many others also.  The answer to your query is this:  the light
} goes down the nearest plughole, to wit in an anti-clockwise direction
} in the Northern and in a clockwise direction in the Southern
} hemisphere.
}
} I exhort you to use this wisdom only for Good and never on Thursdays.


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