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Internet Oracularities #591

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591, 591-01, 591-02, 591-03, 591-04, 591-05, 591-06, 591-07, 591-08, 591-09, 591-10


Usenet Oracularities #591    (50 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1993 07:56:45 -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:
   591
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

591   50 votes 0bbk8 a9bd7 2boc1 47fg8 f7i55 19qa4 05hee 7gda4 37chb 2gk75
591   3.1 mean  3.5   3.0   3.0   3.3   2.6   3.1   3.7   2.8   3.5   2.9


591-01    (0bbk8 dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Oh great oracle, whose calls always complete and whose answering
> machine never runs out of incoming message tape, please help me with
> the answer to this perplexing problem.
>
> I recently tried placing a call and received the following intercept
> announcement:
>
>  > We are sorry, but the number you have dialed is imaginary.
>  > Please rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again.
>
> My problem is, about which axis should rotation occur?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Mere mortal, who waiteth in vain for the beep......
}
} As we all know, a rotation of 90 degrees is the same as multiplying by
} i. Now, on the 'phone, it says GHI 4, so we have to multiply the phone
} by 4. All old assembly programmers know the best way to multiply by
} four is to shift left two bits.
} So how far is two bits? Take 3E8 (speed of light, m/s) and divide by
} the baud rate (/s).... at 9600 baud this is 31.25 kms per bit.
} So move the phone 62.5 kilometers to the left, then try again.
}
} Which way is left? Use the left hand grip rule on the original axis of
} rotation!
}
} You owe the Oracle a 62.5 kilometer 'phone extension lead, and a
} photon.


591-02    (a9bd7 dist, 3.0 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:

} You owe the Oracle a question.


591-03    (2boc1 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@lion.ccit.arizona.edu>

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

>       My boomerang won't come back!
>
>       I've thrown the thing all over the place,
>       Practiced till I was black in the face,
>       I'm a big disgrace to the aborigine race:
>
>       My boomerang won't come back!
>
> Please help.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} What is not commonly appreciated about boomerangs is the
} amount of care and attention they must receive to function
} properly.  The wise aborigine knows this, and will always see
} to it that his 'rang is kept in a warm, dry place when not in
} use.  It should also be fed a steady diet of fruits, small insects,
} and the severed limbs of human infants.  Now and then its
} owner should also see to it that his 'rang cuddles up with
} another of its kind.  After much grinding of waxy surfaces, the
} hermaphroditic projectiles will both conceive, giving birth a
} few weeks later to several larvae.  These are often used in the
} bar game "darts."
}
}       A popular aborigine legend recounts how the lead singer
} of the group "Men at Work" was killed when his second dart
} suddenly reached maturity en route to its target, returning
} abruptly and catching him squarely between the eyes.
} Observers were heard to note that they guessed he was, in fact,
} a one-hit wonder...
}
} You owe the Oracle the Australian Aborigine Chorus' version of
} "Return to Sender."


591-04    (47fg8 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hey, it's Null Query time!
}
} I'll bet you've noticed that all the neatest and niftiest
} and funniest answers go to the Null Query, and you wanted to
} get some of that action; either that, or you just messed up.
}
} Either way, welcome to the Null Query club! You've just
} asked the very same question that got the "roll down your
} window" answer, that got the "sorry, folks, I had to zot
} him" answer, that got the "shift over the invisible bits"
} answer, and so on down the line -- and nobody can prove that
} you didn't ask the question in those cases, because your
} question is exactly completely and perfectly identical, down
} to the very last bit, to the questions in those Oracularities!!
}
} To get your *free* Null Query Club badge, just send $49.95
} postage and handling to NQ, box 0, Terre Haute IN, 00000;
} allow 6 aeons for delivery.
}
} Unless you just sent me your IQ, you've probably wondered
} why the Null Query gets so many good answers, and I can tell
} you why: it's *because* it's always the same question.
}
} Every single incarnation out there has a file in which he or
} she has written a Null Query Answer, an answer that she or
} he hopes will bring him/her undying fame and bountiful
} fortune.
}
} Every incarnation waits, and waits, and waits for the chance
} to answer the Null Query, and until some public-spirited,
} philanthropic, kind-hearted soul (such as you) is good
} enough to ask it, alas! all they can do is wait!
}
} It is for this reason that the Oracle management has decided
} to institute the Null Query Service: no longer need you
} wait, for now you too can send your very own Null Query
} Answer to oracle-null-query-answer@cs.indiana.edu,
} where it will be handled as though you had actually received
} a Null Query in the normal course of events!
}
} (If your answer is selected for the Oracularities, credit
} for asking the Question will be assigned to Steve Kinzler.)
}
} Unless you just sent me the meaning of your life, what this
} means to *you* is that you've been automated out of a job!
} No longer need you wear your fingers to the bone typing out
} the tediously long boilerplate verbiage of the Null Query,
} sacrificing your keystrokes for the benefit of the Oracular
} public; and no longer do you get a free ride by sending in
} this question and getting equal credit with the Incarnation
}  -- you are going to have to find a new question to ask.
}
} You owe this Incarnation a funny answer to the Null Query --
} I sent out my old one yesterday.


591-05    (f7i55 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: asbestos@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> O most profound Oracle, whose sapience doth flow as liberally as the
> spruce gum oozeth and congealeth in the Kaibab, grant me this one
> plea:  tell me why there is such an overemphasis on sports?  I mean,
> they are just stupid GAMES.  I am sick of trying to drive by the
> stadium just going about my business and having some numbskull cop
> refuse to listen to me when I tell him that I am NOT BLOODY
> INTERESTED IN TRYING TO SNEAK INTO AN ILLEGAL PARKING SPACE FOR
> YOUR FUCKING STUPID FOOTBALL GAME!!  I JUST WANNA GO HOME AFTER A
> HARD DAY'S WORK!!!  GET A LIFE YOU STUPID ASSHOLE SPORTS FANS!!!!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Please, Mr. Steinbrener, relax...


591-06    (19qa4 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> About a month ago, I was in a bookstore, and I was hungry.
> I noticed the picture of some creampuffs on the dustjacket
> of a cookbook, how enticing and how real they looked, and I
> thought about how nice it would be to just reach into the
> picture and take one.
>
> Stupid idea. You can't do that. Of course, you never know
> for sure unless you give it a try. So I did.
>
> Much to my surprise, it worked! The creampuff was delicious.
>
> Since then, I've done all my food shopping at bookstores and
> libraries and newsstands, spending no money at all in
> supermarkets or restaurants.
>
> So far, I'm doing fine. But I worry about long-term health
> problems; and I worry about the morality of stealing the
> food from the pictures; and I wonder whether there are other
> implications that I have missed.
>
> What do you say?
>
>  -- A voracious reader

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A sticky wicket, indeed.  You _have_, overlooked a few things.  In your
} idle ramblings about the store, picking up a macadamia chicken here, a
} bambushkula there, you have been causing what we ghods like to refer to
} as Cosmic Backfeed.  You see, you've been breaching the artistic
} integrity of the images, actually forcing the art into a state of
} "substance over style," a very precarious position, I'm sure you will
} agree.  For, just as any form of normal matter is composed of
} substance, art is composed of style.
}
} I shudder to think what other disasters you could, unwittingly, have
} caused had you decided to try this gift (for it is that, a gift, not
} all mortals have this ability - only those who have come close enough
} to breaching the barrier of "style over substance" may even attempt it,
} and even then, most of those do not, for 99.93756% of all those who do
} reach this point are merely shallow, self-effacing drones who
} inevitably lose their souls to their mirrors - oh, but that's a
} different question) upon the pages of, for example, an old copy of
} "Amazing Stories" or even "Tales from the Crypt."  Remember, the ghods
} are trained experts - don't try this at home.
}
} At any rate, let me conclude by reminding you of something you should
} have remembered - while food may feed your body, books, magazines, and
} the like feed your mind.  I hope, for your sake, that you've been
} giving it all the essentials that a brain needs - remember, Garbage In,
} Garbage Out.
}
} Oh, and that little weight loss problem of late?  I think you can guess
} what to attribute that to...  Feeding your intellect without your body
} is the classic "see food" diet.
}
} You owe the Oracle a subscription to every magazine you've been
} eating.  There, don't you feel less guilty already?


591-07    (05hee dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com

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

> O great and mysterious Oracle, whose belly-button lint is so nutritious
> that it could feed a small South American country, whose jokes are so
> timely and witty that several Earthly comedians are suing for restraint
> of trade, whose kindness and compassion make Mother Teresa look like a
> piker, please enlighten me on the following matter:
>
>    What exactly does "Whamma lamma lamma ding dong" mean?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmmmmm ... not a bad grovel.  In fact, you show such an unusual amount
} of humility that I will not even award you a <ZOT> for your
} ill-considered mention of the pending "Earth Comedians vs Usenet
} Oracle" lawsuit.  You are lucky today, O mortal.
}
} Now, about that question ... you WILL be interested to know that the
} phrase "whamma lamma lamma ding dong" did not originate in the 1950's,
} as you 20th century mortals seem to think (you have a bad habit of
} thinking that your century invented EVERYTHING), but dates back from
} the very dawn of mankind, in the Stone Age.  Let us break down the
} meaning of the individual words:
}
} Whamma -- "you"
} Lamma-Lamma -- "wheel"
} Ding Dong -- "nutritionally inadequate"  (actually, since anything
}               which could not be eaten was useless to the Stone Age
}               humans, the popular meaning of this word was "bad")
}
} Therefore, the original meaning of the phrase was "Your wheel is
} useless, since it can't be eaten".
}
} By the Middle Ages of European civilization, the phrase had come full
} circle and was once again in common usage.  However, since it had been
} translated by the clergy, there were some inaccuracies.  For example,
} the meaning of the words "Ding Dong" had shifted from "bad" to "evil".
} Therefore, during the Spanish Inquisition, the phrase "Whamma lamma
} lamma ding dong" meant "You are evil, therefore you will be tortured on
} the wheel".  Needless to say, it was not a very popular phrase among
} the peasantry.
}
} Once again, the phrase fell into disuse, this time until the 1950's.
} And of course, there were again subtle changes in translation.  This
} time, the meaning of "Ding Dong" had shifted once more, from "evil" to
} "wicked". It is important to note here that in that time period,
} "wicked" meant "good", much as the word "bad" or "cool" does in the
} 1990's.  It is also important to note here that the inhabitants of
} 1950's America had a love affair with their automobiles, obsessive to
} the point of determining self-worth on the basis of chrome and leather.
}
} Therefore, the 1950's definition of "Whamma lamma lamma ding dong" is
} "Man, you sure have some wicked wheels".
}
} Now I must say that the original usage of the phrase (including the
} definition of "Ding Dong" as "nutritionally inadequate") is more
} applicable than ever in the 1990's, and I myself often use it to mean
} "Boy, that Wheel of Fortune gives me indigestion".
}
} You owe the Oracle a `57 Chevy and a box of Hostess Ding Dongs.


591-08    (7gda4 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> O beneficient oracle, who puts the mind of man at ease, and ZOTs those
> who are truly deserving, please answer this simple question for me:
>
>    Does a tree,
>       Falling alone in a forest,
>          Scream when it sees a woodchuck?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That word!  Oh that word!  Lisa!  Bring me my zotter!  No, the really
} big industrial strength one for the truly deserving.  You did WHAT with
} it?  I don't care what she did with a coke bottle in the movie, don't
} do that with my zotter!  Now, ewwwww, or if you DO do that again, at
} least clean it off. Now just hold that speaker of the forbidden word in
} the sights. What?  No, no "tree" is fine, and yes, so is "scream" now
} just, Arrrgh!!! yes yes that word.  Dammit Lisa you get in there with
} him so I can get you both with
}
}              one
}                      big
}
}         /                             \
}       /                                 \
}     /                                     \
}   <                 zzzz                    >
}     \                                     /
}       \                                 /
}         \                             /
}
} Damn, misfire.  Well, since you asked, and as you might have guessed,
} the answer is yes, but not nearly as loud as the Oracle at the same
} sight.
}
} you owe the oracle one case of zot lube.


591-09    (37chb dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Ken McGlothlen <mcglk@cpac.washington.edu>

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

> O most conflagorous Oracle, whose charcoal briquets doth light
> with one match (and, verily, no lighter fluid), whose fireplace
> doth glow with the Embers of Fortitude, and who dutifully checks
> thy smoke alarms, even though thou needest them not:
>
> Al Gore, Vice President of the United States, presented a plan
> to, as he put it, "reinvent" government.
>
> Who in the world -invented- this beast in the first place?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} First I would like to make it absolutely clear that it wasn't me. If I
} had been given the task of inventing government, WHICH I might add, I
} put in a tender for, I would have made a much better job of it. Just
} like all the other things that I tendered for and they were given to
} someone else. I mean look at the universe we live in, the light doesn't
} even travel fastest in straight lines near heavy objects. And look at
} those black holes sucking up whole civilisations and compressing them
} into their component matter. That's the kind of universe you get when
} everything is created by the lowest bidder. And then there're *some*
} deities I could name who weren't even members of a recognised union.
}
} But, I must get off my soapbox. You did grovel quite nicely, so I
} should give you a straight answer.
}
} Government. Well, before democracy government was much simpler. Anyone
} who disagreed with the ruling forces was taken out and clubbed to
} death/shot (delete where unapplicable). Unless of course they had more
} clubs/trained mammoths/men than the ruling forces whereupon the ruling
} forces were taken out and clubbed to death/shot.
}
} This workable if slightly unsophisticated state of affairs continued
} until ancient Greece, when they tried a bold new experiement -
} democracy. The idea was that each person had a 'vote', and whoever
} received the most 'votes' would be the ruler. And no-one had to be
} taken out and killed, unless their name was "Socrates" (ancient greek
} meaning 'troublemaker'). Nostalgia suggests that this was the golden
} age of democracy, but unfortunately it wasn't so. Not having
} interlinked computers across the nation, Greek pollsters counted the
} votes by weighing them. Unfortunately poor people had to write their
} votes on papayrus, while rich people had them carved on large blocks of
} Italian Marble. So you can see, ancient Greek democracy was
} surprisingly similar to our own.
}
} Democracy continued to evolve down the ages. During the French
} revolution, greater equality was obtained by putting to death by
} guillotine all those noted of having large blocks of marble
} suspiciously hanging around their palaces. This selfsame marble was
} later used to construct the Statue of Liberty. It is a little known
} fact that one naughty French marble carver carved "Reagan" on one of
} the interior stones. And lo and behold, many years later a B-Movie
} actor was elected to the highest office in the land known as America.
} Worse is yet to come though as one of the great marble arches of the
} Sydney Opera house has "Kylie" carved on it.
}
} Later on in England a special form of democracy was established with an
} upper and lower house. The lower house, elected from among the
} graduates of Eton, would suggest changes to the law. The upper house
} (the 'House of Lords') would refuse. Apart from pay rises of course.
} This is why the walled city of Chester still has a law in effect that
} three or more Welshmen found within the city walls at night are judged
} to be plotting to overthrow the city and are to be put to death and
} hung outside the gate to warn off other Welshmen. Fortunately however,
} English policemen are even less efficient than the English parliament,
} and few Welshmen are hung outside the gates nowdays.
}
} At a similar time Americans were getting back to things the way they
} used to be. The British were the rulers, the Americans had more guns,
} so the British were taken out and shot. Apart from three Welshmen who
} managed to escape. Sadly however, after bravely rowing across the
} atlantic in a small boat and facing legion unknown terrors and
} deprivations (and forgetting to register this with the Guiness book of
} records), they came ashore near Chester. This, just after the local
} policeman had been told off for not making enough arrests.
}
} Back in America the perfect democracy was being crafted. Unfortunately,
} after lodging the documents with the law firm of Grabbe, Muny & Wrun,
} the founding fathers were presented with a bill for $245,987,
} comprising of $35 fees for writing a letter and $245,952 for
} "research". Unable to pay the bill all of the founding fathers found
} their incomes stopped and their bank accounts closed by legal orders
} issued by this firm. Not able to regain their documents the founding
} fathers gathered around a table and wrote down as much as they could
} remember. And, that is how America came to have the government that it
} does today.
}
} Research into government still continues. Some governmental systems,
} such as that in Burma, are now so complex that even five or six years
} after an election a change of government still has not taken place.
}
} Al Gore's plans to reinvent government are, of course, directly related
} to this story. It is a little known fact that Al Gore's maternal
} grandmother's name is 'Grabbe', and that Al Gore is sitting on the
} original documents confiscated from the founding fathers. These
} documents describe how a government can be formed that would be fair
} and just, and give rich and poor equal control over their destiny.
}
} Which is why you can be sure that no action will ever be taken to
} reinvent government along these lines.
}
} You owe the Oracle a 5 metre * 10 metre * 20 metre block of Marble.


591-10    (2gk75 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan G. Monsarrat)

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

> I'll never forget the day I was a millionaire.
>
> My job in Milano had, alas, ended abruptly
> (not my fault), and I had to get some money out,
> and change it back into good old US dollars.
>
> Back in those days, there were severe currency restrictions,
> so I got the cash from my bank, on a day when they weren't
> on strike, hopped in my Fiat, and zoomed up via Fulvio
> Testi, right through Seveso, to Chiasso.
>
> Border towns are always interesting; they are chock-full of
> whatever is cheaper or unavailable on the other side.
> The Swiss side of Chiasso has nothing but banks, plus a few
> stores selling Cuban cigars and Swiss Navy knives.
>
> I already had an account at Credito Svizzero there,
> so I parked on the Italian side, and walked over the
> border with three *million* lire in my shoes.
>
> Figuratively speaking, my heart was in my boots
> (along with my 3,000,000), because I was committing an
> illegal act, and I greatly feared having to share a jail
> cell with Sophia Loren; however, they didn't even ask to see
> my passport.
>
> Since then, we have had the American S&L scandal, where many
> people became millionaires for real, walking *away* from the
> bank with lots of money.... I missed my chance!
>
> O Oracle, whose wealth is exceeded only by your wisdom,
> please tell me,
>
> How can I become a millionaire again?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   Three easy ways to become a millionaire (from the forthcoming
} pamphlet from OracleCo Productions)
}
}   i) Marry and divorce a billionaire then invest badly.
}
}  ii) Live in Italy where everyone is a millionaire and it doesn't make
} them particularly rich.
}
} iii) Sell a million things at $1 each.


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