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Internet Oracularities #636

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636, 636-01, 636-02, 636-03, 636-04, 636-05, 636-06, 636-07, 636-08, 636-09, 636-10


Usenet Oracularities #636    (73 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 09:22:03 -0500

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   636
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

636   73 votes 9xn71 8mvb1 5ejle 4exj3 6png3 27hrk 3dkkh 8gnh9 1jfnf 4ekih
636   3.1 mean  2.4   2.7   3.3   3.0   2.8   3.8   3.5   3.0   3.4   3.4


636-01    (9xn71 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.CS.UNLV.EDU>

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

> Almighty Oracle, who is the highest form of life known to mankind...
>
> Why has Strathclyde suddenly become the centre of the universe? I mean,
> as far as I was concerned it was just an irritating little Scottish
> town, but recently my computing has been disrupted by a failure at
> Strathclyde, and my payment for some work I did a while back is coming
> not from Macclesfield, which is where it should come from, but from
> Strathclyde.
>
> What is it with Strathclyde?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, Strathclyde.  From the towering heights of Cnoc May to the
} dangerous shores on the Firth of Lorne.  I remember spending
} many a day in my youth in Ardishaig.  Those were the days.
}
} You obviously underestimate the power of Strathclyde.  It is
} not "just an irritating little Scottish town", it's an entire
} region of Scotland.
}
} I suppose I could tell you a little bit about why it is the
} center of the universe.  You see, the universe was thrown
} together with glue.  Actually, when it was built, it was
} certainly quite stable, but years of use forced it to start
} coming apart at the seams.  Now one of the things that tears
} the very fabric of the universe is bagpipe music (or similar
} sounding noises.)  Only three cultures in the entire universe
} have come up with an instrument to produce this wonderfully
} rich sound, one of them being the Scottish.  As a result, all
} the of energies of the universe are concentrated in these three
} "centers" in order to keep them together.  While God could just
} wipe out these cultures in an instant, we have a kind and
} benevolent God who would not deprive the universe of such
} wonderful harmony.
}
} Now, for some reason, most of the parts of Scotland that have
} been torn lie in Strathclyde (we suspect it was a
} manufacturer's defect), and some of the places in Strathclyde
} where you will find these "rips" are Lochgilphead, the bottom
} of the Kilbrannan Sound, on the banks of Loch Awe, and of
} course the Mull of Kintyre.  You may notice that many of these
} "rips" are near water, and that is simple because when the
} bagpipe was first invented, many Scottish people thought that
} it was not man's place to have the music of the Gods.  Thus,
} they threw the bagpipes into the water.
}
} You owe the Oracle a kilt, some bagpipes, and a pint of Scotch
} whiskey.  And remember, if it's not Scottish, it's crap!


636-02    (8mvb1 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: nolan@helios.unl.edu (Harold the Foot)

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

> What's cooking?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Cooking is the art of taking unedible ingredients and processing
} them in some manner to form edible products.  Note that it is
} impossible to 'cook' a stadium hot dog.  Rather this falls under
} the category of anti-cooking, the art of taking edible
} ingredients and processing them in some manner to form unedible
} products.  See also, raisin-bran muffins.
}
} You owe the Oracle a plate of Cow Flambe' and a pear A La Mode


636-03    (5ejle dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: The Gabungmeister

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

> Oracle most wise,
>       I am a very busy professor, full of grants to manage and meetings
> to attend. My students complain that I don't spend time with them.
> Worst of all, at this very moment I don't have a single post-doc to
> take care of them?
>       What do I do?
>       Busy professor.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Supplicant,
}
}       Don't worry. This may seem like an insuperable dilemma, but in
}       fact I get this sort of question all the time. In fact, I
}       recently prepared a factsheet containing the possible options
}       available to you, which I include with this answer. Read and
}       enjoy.
}
} Factsheet #247: The Busy Professor Conundrum
} --------------------------------------------
}       [Introduction: The B-P Conundrum is the latest in the long line
}        of syllogic problems devised by the creative team based in a
}        secret location in Ohio. It borrows from both the Prisoner's
}        Dilemma and the Fermat Notation Series, using a set of four
}        'variables' and substituting one of several possible
}        Schrodingetype solutions. A sample conundrum is given below.]
}
}       1: The Problem
}       --------------
}
}       The problem matrix is a simple 2D construct taking into account
}       the number of ponderables and the probability of solution
}       required.
}
}       eg problem 1) Grants to manage
}                  2) Meetings to attend
}                  3) No time for students
}                  4) No available post-doctorate assistants
}
}       Reduce this to a variable set, f, where:
}
}       f=func [ grants, meetings, time, students, postdocs ] (^n)
}
}       where n is the 'manana factor' (see Dirk and Hopcroft, 'Nah,
}       It'll Keep Till Tomorrow - A Study of Procrasts', J.Time.Mot.
}       1987, 53, pp 436-472)
}
}       The matrix is composed of these variables arranged in order of
}       priority, and offset against possible solutions of their first-
}       order integrals. (A full mathematical description is given in
}       the Dirk paper.) Examples of possible solutions are described
}       below.
}
}       2: The Solution
}       ---------------
}
}       Solution 1: Bool(grants)=0 ; Bool(meets, time, studs, p-docs)=1
}
}               Stop managing the grants. In fact, mis-manage them.
}       Transfer all the finances to a personal bank account, preferably
}       in Switzerland. Abscond with the funds. Have a damn good holiday
}       at the students' expense. Come back refreshed. Laugh with the
}       other professors at how funny the whole operation was. Laugh and
}       laugh and laugh. Answer some questions put to you by a number of
}       nice policemen. Spend an amount of time in a small, grey cubicle,
}       weaving raffia. Grants will no longer be a concern.
}
}       Solution 2: Bool(meets)=0 ; Bool(grants, time, studs, p-docs)=1
}
}               Stop attending meetings. Become a recluse. Change your
}       name to Walter by deed poll. Go the whole hog and cease having a
}       social life completely. Conceal yourself in the ventilation
}       ducting of the University, and only venture out, naked, filthy
}       and bearded, late in the evening to scare the jeepers out of
}       female undergrads. Steal food from the kitchens and weave it into
}       your hair. Start worshipping Znoid, God of the Elder Ones. Break
}       both legs in a tragic ritual ceremony accident. Meetings will
}       cease to trouble you.
}
}       Solution 3: Bool(time)=0 ; Bool(grants, meets, studs, p-docs)=1
}
}               Stop time. A little tricky, this one, bearing in mind
}       the time machine is not to be invented for another four hundred
}       and seventy years. The only loophole to this is to travel to the
}       Arctic, and slip yourself into the crevice between two colliding
}       glaciers. Wait for cryogenesis. If you have selected two
}       particularly slomoving glaciers, this may take longer than 470
}       years. In which case Kendal's mintcake whiles away the long hours
}       admirably. Awake in the year 2464. Convince future generations
}       that you are a notable scientist. Show them your most complex
}       theorems. Wait for the laughter to stop. Lay seige to a Time
}       Machine factory ; demand one thousand UniDol notes and unlimited
}       use of a time machine. Sit in the time machine, set controls for
}       1994 and wait.
}                                               and wait.
}                                               and wait.
}                                               and wait.
}                                               and wait.
}                                               and w
}
}       Solution 4:Bool(studs)=0 ; Bool(grants, meets, time, p-docs)=1
}
}               Kill your students. An all-out massacre may attract some
}       unwelcome suspicion, so plan their deaths carefully. Poison is
}       usually good for a couple of dozen. Pump benzene through the air
}       conditioning of the University bar. Don breathing apparatus and
}       search through the corpses for *your* students. Bound to be a few
}       in there. Repeat on following and subsequent evenings until the
}       toll has mounted to suitable level, or until the penny drops and
}       the bar is closed. Invite a few into your study, one at a time,
}       for informal tutorial sessions. When they're inside, blow them
}       apart with an Uzi. Place the weapon in the hands of the final
}       dead student, then run screaming from the building, shouting 'My
}       God! My God! He's gone mad in there and *killed all my
}       students*!!!'
}       Alternatively, torch the building and move to Miami.
}
}       Solution 5:Bool(p-docs)=0 ; Bool(grants, meets, time, studs)=0
}
}               Elevate all your students to post-doctorate level. This
}       will result in a lot of bored post-docs hanging around the
}       building, ruiing the atmosphere, so drop a couple of the weediest
}       back down to undergraduates and get the postdocs to beat them up.
}       Create a fun 'Post Doc Happy Club', with badges and stickers.
}       Arrange tea-parties on alternate Sunday afternoons. Get
}       investigated by the local Education Authority who'll strike you
}       off the faculty. On walking back home from the University,
}       encounter one of the 'weedy' undegrads, juiced to his eyeballs on
}       rocket fuel, and get the sharp end of a Stanley knife in the
}       guts. Expire quietly.
}
}       Solution 6:Bool(grants, meets, time, studs, p-docs)=0
}
}               Buy a diary, bozo.
} -----------------------------------------------------------------------
}
} The Oracle is omnipotent.
} The Oracle is eternal.
} You owe a large comfortable armchair to all two-headed green beings
}                                               called Daisy.
} Omnipotent creatures absorb light between 420 and 440 wave-numbers.
} Only ephemerals with one head are called Daisy.
} The green part of the visible spectrum is at about 430 wave-numbers.
} You have five minutes to complete the problem.
}
} O.


636-04    (4exj3 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

>       Oh might oracle so noble and wise,
>       Who never has need to exercise,
>       Who has power to crush nuts between your thighs,
>       Who shall live to see the world's demise,
>       Who is not unmov'ed by the world's sad cries,
>       Who I am told cooks the most unbelievable pies,
>       This question is asked by one as meek as the flies.
>
>   What can be done about this telnet-addiction,
>                       which afflicts so many men?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Telnet addiction is a very serious problem. I have trawled through my
} Oracular databanks to discover a solution. First let us hear the
} testimony of Dave (no relation), a hardened telnet addict. Due to
} government reporting restrictions, Dave's comments will be typed by an
} actor.
}
} "Yeah, I started out doing telnet say once or twice a month. Anonymous
}  mail, that sort of thing. I figured I could handle it. Next thing I
}  know, a friend brings some MUD addresses round. He offers me one. I
}  know it's against the regulations, but I figure it can't harm me. Not
}  just one MUD.
}
} "Anyway, I couldn't stick to just one. Before I knew it I was MUDding
}  every night. I had to do it at night to avoid security.
}
} "I had to start sleeping in the day to give me energy for late-night
}  MUDding sessions. My work began to suffer. To help me cure the problem
}  I turned to IRC. At first it covered up the symptoms. But soon it
}  became an even worse addiction. If I couldn't get into the hottub at
}  least twice a day, I'd be irritable and violent."
}
} Dave is just one of the many victims of telnet abuse. However, you can
} help Dave and hundreds like him. The Oracle Telnet Abuse Relief Fund
} has been set up to save these people. Just email oracle@cs.indiana.edu
} with your credit card number, account number and pin number, and we'll
} do the rest.
}
} Remember, telnet abuse ruins lives.
}
} This has been a public service announcement on behalf of the Oracle
} Telnet Abuse Relief Fund.


636-05    (6png3 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: bremner@muff.cs.mcgill.ca (David BREMNER)

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

> Why is it that my cat always tries to eat the
> buttons off my shirt every time I pick him up?
> He is well fed and has plenty of toys, yet he
> will chomp on buttons and pull like mad.  No
> amount of scolding will stop him.  What should
> I do?
>               Cat-Nipped in Wisconsin

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It is a not-well-known fact that all cats are actually beings from
} outer space here to take over the world. Fortunately for humans, cats
} aren't that bright, and they think the rulers of the world are shiney
} objects that can be batted around by their paws.
} So, when your cat attacks a button, it is simply carrying out its duty
} as a space being, and trying to kill the ruler of the world.
}
} I think it would be best if you killed the cat, just in case. One never
} knows when they'll start understanding television and go after the true
} rulers of the world, like Nancy Kerrigan.
}
} Picture...
}
} Newsperson: I'm here with Nancy Kerrigan, silver medalist at the
} Olympic games. Nancy, how do you feel?
}
} N. Kerrigan: ...Get...this....damn....cat....off....me....
}
} Cat: Mrowl! Meow! fsst! fsst! Purr! Mrowl!


636-06    (27hrk dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab" <ewhac@shell.portal.com>

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

> If God is all-powerful, can he create a stone so large that he cannot
> lift it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This is a question often brought up by people arguing against the
} existence of an omnipotent God. I tried it out once.
}
} Oracle: Hey, God, you can do anything, right?
} God:    This is true.
} Oracle: Well, I bet you can't create an immovable stone.
} God:    Oh yeah? How much?
} Oracle: Ten pints and a packet of peanuts.
} God:    You're on. <Creates an immovable stone>
} Oracle: That's pretty impressive.
} God:    You bet it is.
} Oracle: How about a double-or-nothing bet?
} God:    Sure, why not?
} Oracle: I bet you can't move it over there.
} God:    That's not fair! You're playing with semantics and petty logic.
} Oracle: So? If you can move it, you owe me the ten pints and a packet
}         of peanuts. If you can't, then I still don't owe you anything.
} God:    Let me think about this one... Got it. <Disincorporates
}         universe, and reconstructs it with the stone in a different
}         place> You see, I can play games with logic and semantics too.
}
} You owe the Oracle twenty pints and two packets of peanuts.


636-07    (3dkkh dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: David BREMNER <bremner@ismene.CS.McGill.CA>

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

> Why do women always have sex with me on the first date

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Some people will do anything for money...
}
} You owe the Oracle a monthly AIDS test


636-08    (8gnh9 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu

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

> What is the weather like. It is overcast here.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The forecast calls for a 100% chance of air, intermixed clouds and sun
} during the day, and darkness at night. The marine forecast predicts
} plenty of water, as usual.


636-09    (1jfnf dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: jgm@cs.brown.edu

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

> O Oracle, whose wisdom far exceeds the size of the observable universe:
>
> What will the Hubble telescope discover, now that the mirror is fixed?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} *It* won't discover anything  - but the scientists will discover that
} putting a 286 inside was probably a mistake.
}
}  Stars not found - (A)bort, (R)e(en)try, (F)ail.


636-10    (4ekih dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: The Gabungmeister

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

> Dear Oracle,
>
>               Is it just me, or is Bill Gates actually Satan whom is
> coming from his fiery hell to drag all of humanity down with him, and
> use our souls as he pleases for eternity?
>
>                                       - A religous assasin
>                                         (who is waiting)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} MICROSOFT-HELL MERGER ANNOUNCED
}
} William H. Gates III, Chairman of Microsoft Corporation,and Lucifer
} Satan, chairman of Hell Ltd., have announced the merger of the two
} companies. Satan will be given the title of "Vice President for
} Corruption" at Microsoft.
}
} Wall Street looks favorably upon this merger as Microsoft's control of
} the material world will now be supplemented by Hell's control over the
} spiritual.
}
} "When we agree on methods and motivation, there is no need for us to
} compete further", said Gates.
}
} "As an original investor in Microsoft, I have been delighted with its
} progress and welcome the opportunity to work with its clients at a more
} intimate level", said Satan.
}
} Philippe Kahn, President of Borland International, and Yahweh Elohim,
} chairman of Heaven Associates, were not available for comment.
} Speculation is rife that a merger between Word Perfect and the Angel
} Moroni is to be formalized this week.
}
} PC Week, 3/12/94


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