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Internet Oracularities #601

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601, 601-01, 601-02, 601-03, 601-04, 601-05, 601-06, 601-07, 601-08, 601-09, 601-10


Usenet Oracularities #601    (51 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1993 08:35:54 -0500

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on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
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   601
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

601   51 votes 6iea3 7gea4 5gi57 67k99 39kf4 268jg 9ge75 6cia5 a7acc 5dka3
601   3.0 mean  2.7   2.8   2.9   3.2   3.2   3.8   2.7   2.9   3.2   2.9


601-01    (6iea3 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 Oracle, whose cookies are so magic,
>
> I've always liked Fig Newtons, so
> when I saw a package of Apple Newtons at the supermarket,
> I decided, Okay, I'll try them.
>
> After all, I've been reading about them
> in Usenet news articles, where they say,
> "Don't knock it if you haven't tried it".
>
> When I got the darned things home,
> not one of them would boot,
> much less run any interesting applications,
> and the handwriting recognition was zero.
>
> I got so mad I ate one.
> It was delicious! I ate the whole thing!
> Next morning, I dumped core....
>
> Wise Oracle, who can read even my handwriting, yes,
> even if I write in invisible ink you can read
> what I write before it's even written,
> please tell me,
>
> why are they talking about cookies in comp.sys.intel?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ahh, 'tis the work of Meanderos, god of divergence and lord of
} tangents. Although revered by incessant ramblers of all civilizations,
} he is abhorred by those who wish to remain focused on any issue. Master
} of The Stray Topic, Meanderos roams the world of the Internet in search
} of innocent threads to lead away from their rightful paths. He can only
} be stopped by that bold newsgroup reader who dares to TACTFULLY flame
} those who have fallen prey to his mischief. The Oracle hopes to one day
} banish this evil presence from the net forever.
}
} You owe the Oracle a bag of Chips Ahoy! cookies.


601-02    (7gea4 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@lion.ccit.arizona.edu>

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

> oh fine and dandy oracle, whose pasta is faster and has
> the consistency of plaster, i have a problem that i just
> know you're gonna want to help me with.
>
> it seems that whenever i talk i start spouting advertising-
> style slogans. what can i do?
>
> help me now. send no money, we'll bill you. help me now
> and receive a free set of steak knives to complement your
> answer. ring now. dial 0800-HELP-ME now.
>
> a. "jim-bob" supplicant (desperate)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This letter contains the charms of the ancients it has been sent
} around the world 3hirtyseven times. You will receive good luck and
} money when you sned it on do not brake the chain.  Marvin Megaloop
} lost the letter and his wife fell on him he died.Esther Gotobesta
} sent the lettter and shereceived 80 $million lira, from her cousin
} Filo Popoff, who died.  He didn't send the letter.  The Pope crossed
} this letter into his blesing and the Queen sent it to Diana they are
} rich. Remove you last name and put it on the letter when you make
} copies and send it to everyone else on your list.  orYour arm will fall
} off. you will get good knews with $money.  In the mail from.  Far away.
}
} You owe the Oracle a way to get rid of this horrid thing.


601-03    (5gi57 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu (Jonathan Monsarrat)

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

> How to stop the strife in Georgia?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I ain't sure which strife you mean.
}
} D'you mean the struggle to stop the spread of kudzu an
} WalMart, or mebbe you're referrin to the fight to keep
} Florida from spreadin any further up I-95?
} (We already surrendered Valdosta.)
}
} Could be ye're behind the times and thinkin of the Braves'
} run for the World Series (it's over), the crusade to keep Them
} from gittin uppity, or maybe the War of Northern Domination,
} when them Yankee barbarians conquered our fair land.
}
} Y'all mightta noticed, we doan't have that good a record
} in winnin' our fights; so I guess it ain't stoppin till we
} lose.
}
} You owe the Oracle some gin, an I don't mean cotton.


601-04    (67k99 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> Why do hotdogs come 8 in a pack, but hotdog buns come 10 to a pack?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Although both hot dogs, and hotdog buns are synonymous with good
} eating, they are in fact 2 different species of food that arrived in
} time together, by the freaks of evolution, quite by accident.
}
} The hot dog originally lived in Africa, where they wandered the plains
} in packs of 8.  The reason they did this (which is really the crux of
} your question), is because of marauding ketchup bottles, which would
} jump out of bushes, and pour themselves liberally over the hotdogs.
} The hotdogs figured out that a ketchup bottle (of the variety around in
} BC) can only hold enough sauce to cover 7 hotdogs, and so by gathering
} in packs of 8, ensured that a ketchup bottle could never cover all of
} the hotdogs in a pack.  Ketchup bottles are well known as loners, and
} also as being very proud of their achievements.  Therefore, the hotdogs
} preyed on the ketchup bottle's pride and effectively stopped them (the
} bottles) assaulting them (the hotdogs.)
}
} Unfortunately, not much is known about the origins of the hotdog buns,
} but many scholars subscribe to the idea that they in fact used to live
} in trees. The first hotdog buns were thought to be very impressionable,
} and when they first came into the world, the first thing they saw were
} bananas.  The buns were very much impressed by the living standards of
} bananas.  If you study hands of bananas, you will see that the number
} of bananas on a hand is, on average, ten, which explains why hotdug
} buns are found in packs of 10.
}
} Now the reasons that these two totally different food-forms is another
} freak of nature, and an example of how man interferes with his
} environment.  When man first arrived on the continent of Africa, he was
} sadly lacking in social etiquette, and this resulted in his consuming
} anything remotely edible that was roaming the countryside.  The hotdogs
} were prime victims, because they were relatively slow moving, and (as
} was quickly discovered by early man) were very tasty.
}
} As they were being hunted, the hotdogs searched continuously for
} hidinplaces, and one pack came across a dead 'hand' of hotdog buns.
} Being about the right size, the hotdogs hid _inside_ the bodies of the
} dead buns. However, one was a little slow, and the first man on the
} scene, saw him disappearing into one of the buns.  Well, that wasn't
} going to stop the hungry guy, so he picked up the whole lot, and
} scoffed it down.  In doing so, he discovered a new delicacy, and so the
} men at the time, as well as hunting hotdogs, began killing hotdog buns
} and putting their hotdogs in them.  Since hotdog packs always numbered
} 8, and buns were always grouped in 10, _THAT_ is why they are still
} found like that today.


601-05    (39kf4 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> From: <N>
>    O mighty Oracle, whose wisdom needs no parity bit for
> error correction, please aid this bewildered supplicant -
>
>    Many of my friends work(ed) in different
> computer/engineering related fields, and they are losing
> their jobs left and right.  Some of them deserve to, I
> humbly admit, but most of them are having their whole
> company go under or losing government funding (either is
> beyond the scope of anyone I know to bollix _THAT_
> completely) so I beg you on behalf of my friends:
>
>    Can you get them jobs?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}                                                  October 21, 1993
}
} Dear <N>,
}
} We are sorry to inform you that Oracularities Inc. is currently
} undergoing reorganization due to Chapter 11 Bankrupcy Proceedings, and
} can no longer accept new queries.  We thank you for your past patronage
} and hope to be of service to you in the future.
}
}                               Sincerely Yours,
}
}                               Donald Trump
}                               CEO, Oracularities Inc.


601-06    (268jg dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> I would normally grovel, but since I am rather pressed for time, I hope
> you will be understanding and overlook the absence of a grovel this
> once.
>
> Okay, here's my situation.  It would appear that the End of the World
> is only a few minutes away.  I'm afraid this caught me by surprise and
> I didn't have time to prepare.  So, as quickly as you can, could you
> please tell me what I should do in my final moments of existence?
>
> Sincerely,

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Usenet Oracle is pondering your question.
}
} Expect an answer in a day or two.


601-07    (9ge75 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Carole Susan Fungaroli <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

> Why blame ME?
> _YOU_ are the one that said "one if by land and two if by sea!"
> It's not MY fault that the British sent in the paratroops!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Scene: Sinai, 1967
} The Soviet-trained Egyptian troops have been pushed back by the
} advancing Israeli army.  They are wondering what to do.  Their
} commander, remembering the training he received from the Russians,
} says, "There is nothing to worry about.  They are overextended.  We
} simply wait for winter."
}
} You owe the Oracle a hurricane.


601-08    (6cia5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Carole Susan Fungaroli <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

> O Oracle...
> O Oracle, whose...
> O Oracle, who...
> O Great one, O oracle, whose...
> O Ever-...
> aww, shit.
>
> O Oracle, can you recommend a good grovel, so I can get on with the
> question I really wanted to ask?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The art of the grovel is not something you learn by rule or even
} example. Deep down inside of all people, yes even computer nerds, is a
} dark, secret, well of insecurity. A deep, dark, newt-ridden well of
} inadequacy. The best grovellers are always those people in touch with,
} and not afraid to drop a bucket down this well, and bring it up
} brimming with self-loathing.
}
} Every last time you forgot to take your lunch to school and felt a
} complete klutz was another drop in the well, expressed in Roger Waters'
} song of the same name:
}
}       We don't need no curled up sammies
}       We don't need no piece of cheese
}       No can of orange, in the home room
}       Mother leave that ham alone........
}
}       Mother! LEAVE THAT HAM ALONE!
}
}       All in all it's just another drop in the well
}       All in all it's just another drop in the well
}
} That time you professed your love to that really 'special' someone in
} home room, and they laughed in your face and told everyone. That was a
} whole bathtub full down 'The Well'.
}
} Now, the question is, how can you get in contact with 'The Well', how
} can you bring all those years of complete inadequacy back to a concious
} level, allowing you to not only humble yourself in front of the Oracle,
} truly mean it.
}
} Firstly, consider how the right side of the brain deals with emotional
} issues, and controls the left arm. The left side of the brain controls
} the right arm and deals with logical issues. By writing with your left
} hand you put yourself in touch with your emotional feely side.
}
} A similar way to get truly in contact with The Well is to write with a
} pen between your toes. Go ahead supplicant, try it! Look at those
} letters you're writing, worse than a five-year old kid. Don't you feel
} a klutz? Don't you feel stupid? Don't you feel humbled? Can you feel it
} putting you in emotional touch with The Well?
}
} That's just step one though. Another way to get in contact with The
} Well is to write letters to all those who humiliated you when you were
} younger. Write letters to the bully who kicked sand in your face on the
} beach. Write letters to the kids who stole your lunch money. Write
} letters and apologise to them! That's right, apologise! Apologise for
} having such a measly amount of lunch money. Apologise for spitting the
} sand out of your mouth rather than eating it. Apologise for being the
} worthless inconsequential mealy-mouted being you are.
}
} If at first you can't humble yourself as you feel you should be able
} to, keep working at it. Some people have so suppressed their feelings
} of inadequacy that they are completely out of touch with them. You can
} see these people all around you. Happy, bright, dynamic. Don't be like
} them if you ever want to be able to grovel properly.
}
} Thought there is hope. Even the brightest, happiest, most well adjusted
} person has a Well, and can put it to good use. Find your Well
} supplicant. Find your Well.
}
} You owe The Oracle your lunch money. NOW *SSH*L*!


601-09    (a7acc dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@gslmail.mincom.oz.au>

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

> A tiny rocketship is shown against a background of stars.
> The string that holds it up is faintly visible.
> The string breaks, the ship falls, and the scene fades.
>
> We see a barren desert on some godforsaken unnamed planet;
> the wind howls. The clean, flat floor is littered with paper-mache
> boulders.
>
> There is a crashing sound, and soon three figures in ill-fitting
> uniforms enter from the right.
>
> One, the captain, wears a large raygun strapped to his waist.
> Another is carrying a large superheterodyne receiver-transmitter,
> while the third staggers under the weight of a heavy battery-pack.
> The boulders rock back and forth as the figures brush against them.
>
> The crewmen assemble the radio and turn it on. As the filaments warm
> up, the captain raves,
>
> "Well, here we are, shipwrecked on this godforsaken unnamed planet,
> with only one charge in the raygun, and 'I, Tobor' loose somewhere
> on the planet and hunting for us. The only thing to do is --"
>
> One of the crewmen interjects, "It's ready, Captain!"
>
> "The only thing to do is to call for help!", says Captain Video. He
> takes the large microphone and begins speaking into it:
>
> "Hello! Hello, anyone! This is Captain Video, shipwrecked on some
> godforsaken unnamed planet with two crewmen, and we need help!
> Come in! Help!"
>
> There is a shimmering in the air, and a twenty-two meter tall Figure
> appears, dressed in a white robe. The Figure speaks,
>
> "Change the channel. You owe the Oracle a set of kinescopes of all
> your shows."
>
> With another shimmering, the Figure disappears. Captain Video says,
> "Good idea!", and reaches through the screen.
>
> [Click!]
>
> We see some stock footage of the frozen North, and dissolve to a
> white set with cornflakes falling, and our party in the middle.
>
> A man and a dog enter left.
>
> The captain says, "Sergeant Preston! You must help us! We were
> shipwrecked on some godforsaken unnamed planet, and changed the
> channel to get off, but we're not dressed for this, and will surely
> freeze!"
>
> Sergeant Preston replies, "I'll get a blanket from my sled, we'll
> huddle together for warmth, and I'll send my dog King for help!"
>
> The scene fades and we see an animated beaver singing "brusha brusha
> brusha"; we realize this is a commercial break, and go get a beer.
>
> After the commercial break, King returns, tugging on the hem of the
> robe of a twenty-two meter tall Figure. The Oracle says,
>
> "It ain't a fit night out for man nor beast!" as a puff of snow hits
> him in the face.
>
> "Change it again, dummy!" he says, and as he shimmers away, we hear
> "You owe the Oracle an electric fan."
>
> Captain Video says, "Good idea!", and reaches through the screen.
>
> [Click!]

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}  The scene opens with a dolly shot following a young graduate student
} through the subterranean corridors of the engineering building of a
} major midwestern university.  His shoes squeak harshly but rythmically
} on the hard floor - left foot about an A sharp, right shoe about an E
} flat.  As he winds his way through the labyrinthine corridors the
} camera draws parallel and we see that his attention is focussed on a
} large ream of printout (recycled, of course) and he navigates the
} twists and turns only by experience and luck.  His luck runs out as he
} comes up sharp against a faded wooden door with a crack frosted glass
} window.  The door rattles as the student bangs his nose into it and
} another crack starts in the center of the window.  Above the nascent
} crack is painted in fading and chipped green paint "S. Kinzler".  Below
} the crack is taped the handwritten sign reading "Priests only, all
} others grovel at the registrars office". Looking up and about and
} realizing he has arrived, though not sure how, the student opens the
} door and enters without hesitating.
}
} Cut to...
}
}  Wide angle shot of the office interior.  If anything, it's even
} dingier than the corridor.  A desk against one wall is filled to
} overflowing with unfilled forms, unanswered mail ("you may already have
} won" stands out prominently) and at least three empty Chicken McNuggets
} containers.  A coffee machine is just visible behind a stack of Dr.
} Dobbs and it is apparent that the machine has seen far more use than
} the magazines. Lounging on a sprung couch against the opposite wall are
} three more young graduate students, virtually indistinguishable from
} the one entering, and straddling a typist's chair minus one wheel is a
} fourth, just slightly older.  Leaning against the wall next to the door
} is yet another grad student - though she looks nothing like the pallid
} specimens on the couch. Tall and blonde, with tanned legs up to her
} armpits and a fine pair of..uh..um..glasses!, yeah, glasses, her
} posture makes it clear she is not pleased by the inactivity in the
} room.
}
} The entering student quickly closes the door and speaks.
}
}  "Hey Steve I think you'd better have a look at - Oh, hi Lisa, sorry
} about my cousin - Steve the floor in the DEC room is covered with white
} painted cornflakes, like everywhere.  And this latest supplicant lists
} is showing a whole lot of tellmes from some site called
} eniac.hollywood.com.  I mean, ENIAC?  It's a joke right?"
}
}  The man straddling the chair holds up both palms reassuringly, though
} the visible sweat does nothing to calm anyone in the room.
}
}  "We know, we know, and we've got it under control"  Against the wall
} Lisa snorts derisively but says nothing.  "We think it really is an
} ENIAC, but how they got the connection I haven't a clue.  Anyway, it's
} apparently still loaded with a bunch of period games - loaded, hell,
} it's apparently still 'wired' to play old 50's Late Late shows.  My
} guess is that it's an old Nielsen machine and it still wants to update
} the ratings."
}
}  "Yeah, but the cornflakes?"
}
}  "Yeah, well, you know the 'personality' routine that the three stooges
} here built into the last version?  They slipped a couple of decimal
} points on the ego parameter.  No problem really, until we start
} communicating with an antique like this with all the power of a trash
} 80 with bad electrical supply.  Durned program started believing it
} really could do all these things."
}
}  "Comeon, of course it can't."
}
}  "No one told it that.  And the ant's moving the rubber tree plant."
}
}  "And...."
}
}   "And so were bringing it down to size.  We reloaded the Oracle in a
} slightly more modest machine."
}
}  "How much more modest?  geez, it doesn't take much to out process an
}  ENIAC."
}
}  Kinzler looks at the three stooges squirming on the couch.  Larry and
} Curly on the ends gesture vaguely at the Blonde against the wall, half
} expecting her to bite their fingers off.  Moe, in the center answers
} hesitantly "uh, we're playing it right now on Lisa's Gameboy."
}
}  "On Lisa's G-...no."
}
}  "Yes, on my Gameboy!  34 levels into Donkey Kong and no end in sight
} and it all of a sudden becomes necessary to appropriate my Gameboy to
} save the Universe!?"
}
}  Stooge Larry attempts a defense.  "Well, not just the Universe,
} Captain Video too."
}
}  "Shut up greaseball.  Sure.  So they load it and run it, and now they
} just sit there and wait for it to beep!  For this they interrupt the
} greatest game of Donkey Kong ever to be played on Campus Bus Route 29."
}
}  BEEP
}
}  Everyone in the room scrambles toward the Gameboy, now lying next to
} and plugged into the phone on Kinzler's overloaded desk.  Two years
} worth of Administrative Usage Reports spill to the floor.  Moe trips on
} a discarded Diet Coke bottle and joins the Usage Reports.  Larry
} suddenly finds the wheel missing from Kinzler's chair and joins Moe.
} Curly rises from the couch only to find that a sprung spring has hooked
} his beltloop and is bungeed back in a cloud of dust.  The new student,
} let's call him PeeWee, turns looking for his alarm clock, thinking if
} he could just hit the snooze bar the beep would go away.  Kinzler sighs
} and pours another cup of coffee.
}
}  Lisa gracefully lifts her tanned legs over the various piles in the
} office and takes the Gameboy in her two immaculately manicured hands.
} "Showtime" she whispers softly as she presses the cursor keys to move
} the three characters towards their tv set.  Elsewhere in the
} Engineering Building on the large midwestern university a Janitor plugs
} his industrial floor waxer into an underengineered and overloaded
} outlet.  Fade to black.
}
}  Open black. Nothing is seen but the mike picks up various and sundry
} unimaginative imprecations in the voices of the three stooges, We hear
} PeeWee calling "Just ten more minutes Ma, I'll skip breakfast this
} morning."  Lisa's lovely voice is heard clarion-like throug the din "24
} billion! Hot Patootey!"  In the background we hear the distinctive
} sound of someone pullstarting a lawn mower.
}
}  Lights flicker on, revealing the cast as before with two exceptions.
} Kinzler is still by the coffee pot but is now adjusting controls on a
} Yamaha 110v portable generator which had previously served only to
} support the coffe machine.  And three stereotypical Matinee astronauts
} are standing in the center of the room, groveling before a 1 meter tall
} cartoon plumber named Mario. Mario is wearing a white robe.
}
}  Kinzler steps between Captain Video and the slightly confused Mario
} Brother. "Take a break Big O, I'll cover this one."  Mario wanders into
} the hall way in search of donuts.  Kinzler turns to Captain Video.
} "Nice Zotter you got there, Mattel?"
}
}  Captain Video draws his shoulder back, puffs out his chest, raises one
} booted foot to the soiled armrest of the couch.  "I want to talk to my
} agent right now."
}
} Kinzler: "uh huh."
}
}  "I've got a new DeSoto, a house on the beach, and Annette Funicello's
} private phone number.  Low budget movies are just not worth the pay.  I
} want to take a vacation and sit by the beach."
}
}  Kinzler glances at a forty year old copy of Variety lying under a
} moldy McNugget on his desk.  "No problem, your show gets cancelled
} after this episode anyway. Now if we can just get you back to the ENIAC
}
}  "Got a lock on it Steve,  two more moves and they're outta here."
} Lisa taps the up arrow once daintily and once more with authority and
} then looks up smugly.
}
}  The now thoroughly cracked door swings open with a groan and in flies
} a large Zaxxon Ground Attack Ship.  Zapping Captain Video and his
} speechless lackeys with a stun ray, the Zaxx grapples them with a
} tractor beam and disappears into the gameboy screen.  The phone line
} pulses and glows briefly as Kinzler firmly hangs up the handset.
} Shoulders slump all around and Curly, finally disengaged from the
} couch, starts hunting for a beer.
}
}  Nobody notices as a short plumber named Mario with a handlebar
} mustache and wearing a white robe ducks his head back in the door.
}
} "Hey!  Where's a guy getta pizza 'round here?"


601-10    (5dka3 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: bc70007@bingsuns.cc.binghamton.edu

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

> I've been wondering for a long time, oh wise oracle, and I desprately
> need your assistance in this matter:  If you're driving your car at the
> speed of light, what would happen if you turn on your headlights?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, this is obviously a hypothetical question, since anything
} travelling at the speed of light would have infinite mass, which just
} isn't allowed. (because heck, I say so)
}
} Nevertheless, it's time for a hypothetical answer.  I would guess that
} if the car were travelling at the speed of light, and you turned on the
} headlights, all the photons released would stay in the same spot,
} piling up in front of the car, until eventually it's just a big
} blinding mass of light that goes through the windshield, permanently
} blinding the driver and sending the car off skidding somewhere.  Quite
} painful, I would assume.  I recommend against trying it.
}
} You owe the Oracle a new set of headlights.


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