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Internet Oracularities #654

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Usenet Oracularities #654    (83 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 12:17:19 -0500

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send mail to oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject
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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:
   654
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

654   83 votes 1iwt3 6kul6 6gBdb irob3 7ito5 gvp83 3mooa 5ipnc 5fmqf 6gxhb
654   3.0 mean  3.2   3.0   3.1   2.4   3.0   2.4   3.2   3.2   3.4   3.1


654-01    (1iwt3 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: David Sewell <dsew@cobra.aml.arizona.edu>

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

> I'm looking for a nice, two- or three-bedroom house to rent, convenient
> to the train and shopping, not on a main street, in a pleasant suburb
> that isn't being turned into a strip mall.  A large kitchen with lots
> of counter space would be a real plus.
>
> Can you suggest anything?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Quickly, there is little time to lose!
}
} Obviously, you have been infected by that most dreaded of diseases,
} Acute Creepinsuburbmiddleageitis!  There is hope, but you must take
} the following steps quickly:
}
} 1) Get divorced.
} 2) Sell the dog.
} 3) Start hanging around coffee shops in Downtown Manhattan.
} 4) Move to a loft, or, better yet, a steam grate.
} 5) Enroll at Columbia as a philosophy major (Women's Studies is a
}    newer, but apparently also effective, treatment).
} 6) March on Washington DC (it doesn't matter why).
} 7) Begin a regular program of vigorous disconnection from reality.
}
} If you don't do this before its too late, you will soon exhibit the
} following symptoms:
}
} 1) Children
} 2) Mortgage payments
} 3) Car payments
} 4) A lawnmower
} 5) Roses growing outside that two-to-three bedroom house
} 6) Children's tuition payments
} 7) Grandchildren
}
} And, finally,
}
} 8) Death
}
} As you can see, you have a serious terminal illness.  It is treatable,
} but you have to be very careful to avoid a relapse.  Check yourself
} often for the warning signs and symptoms, and if you sense any of the
} warning signs, such as a long-term commitment to the same person,
} planning days in advance, etc., then you must IMMEDIATELY move to
} Alaska and club baby seals while you learn to play guitar and find
} yourself.


654-02    (6kul6 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@ihlpf.att.com (Scott Forbes)

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

> Tell me please, oh oracle, tell me, why is it that I have to write
> 'tell me' in the subject line of my mails to you? I can't help it but
> I get the somewhat blasphemous impression that you are only a sort
> of computer program. Is 'tell me' something like a command?
> Are you a machine? If so, what kind of machine?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Return-Path: <Mailer-Daemon>
} Date: Mon, 6 Jun 94 20:28:40 EDT
} Subject: Returned mail: Host unknown
} To: Humble Supplicant
}
}    ----- Transcript of session follows -----
} 421 Host indiana.edu not found for mailer ddn.
} 550 oracle@cs.indiana.edu... Host unknown
}
}    ----- Unsent message follows -----
} Return-Path: Humble Supplicant
} Received: by cs.indiana.edu  (4.1/SMI-4.0)
}         id AV732945; Mon, 6 Jun 94 20:28:40 EDT
} From: Humble Supplicant
} Message-Id: <9406070028.AB24775@foobar.scooby.doobie.doo >
} Subject: tell me
} To: oracle@cs.indiana.edu
} Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 20:28:40 -0400 (EDT)
} X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.4 PL23]
} Mime-Version: 1.0
}
} You owe the Oracle more faith.


654-03    (6gBdb dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

> As I sit here tapping naked at my keyboard, the reflection of my once
> taut and lithe body in the monitor brings a question to my newly
> age-conscious mind.
>
> Why does your (boys only I'm afraid) scrotum look 10 years older than
> the rest of your body?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A little known and seldom used fact is that God maintains an inventory
} of body parts.  It seems that when the Big G was designing man he
} ordered a few extra gross of scrota.  Because He uses first in, first
} out (FIFO) inventory accounting, there is a batch of REALLY old scrota
} at the back of the warehouse.  Another little known and seldom used
} fact is that God recyles body parts.  So occasionally he will have to
} replace a worn out scrotum with one from the old inventory.  Apparently
} you have one of the original scrotums.  Hang on to that it'll be a
} collectors item someday.


654-04    (irob3 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: Jim@cdpsigma.demon.co.uk (The Wumpus)

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

> Once upon a time, a little girl consulted the Wise Oracle.  What did
> she ask?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} She asked "Once upon a time, a little girl consulted the Wise Oracle.
} What did she ask?"
}
} You did not believe that the Wise Oracle knew that, did you? Do not be
} ashamed. So much of this life is spent in becoming what some have
} called "disillusioned" but the Oracle knows that that term is not true.
} We become captured by others' soured illusions. While that sort pulls
} the wings off dragonflies to show you a pepperpod, your task in life
} will be to take pepperpods, give them wings, and show those sourpusses
} dragonflies. Dismiss your inner hipster for the afternoon and blow
} bubbles with your little girl. Life with its despairs is maya, an
} illusion. I charge you to change a dollar into pennies and secretly
} drop them along public walkways one-at-a-time. The world (and
} especially you) needs more Penny Fairies.
}
} The Oracle (incarnated as DrNucleus@AOL.COM) loves you.


654-05    (7ito5 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Jim@cdpsigma.demon.co.uk (The Wumpus)

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

> How can I tell if I'm getting a ream job?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You count the pages.  If there are 500, it's a ream job.
} Simple.
}
} Send a couple of quires of parchment paper to the Oracle,
} okay?


654-06    (gvp83 dist, 2.4 mean)
Selected-By: Jim@cdpsigma.demon.co.uk (The Wumpus)

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

> Why do I keep asking rhetorical questions?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The question is, why do you ask ME rethorical questions?
} I Live To Answer, you know and as a rethorical question doesn't require
} an answer, it really is giving a starving person a bowl of soup and no
} spoon. Shame on you for teasing the Oracle.


654-07    (3mooa dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> Oh, Oracle, so nifty in your splendor, please answer me this question:
>
> What's the fourth wall?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, a specialized and obscure question indeed.  The Oracle required
} much thought and the regrettable sacrifice of four North Carolina
} virgins to determine your solution.  The Oracle, however, has found the
} answer you seek.
}
} The Fourth Wall is in World 3-4, in the screen where four pipes of
} increasing height protrude from the ground.  Position yourself on the
} third pipe where Mario's right foot is just over the edge, and his nose
} partially obscures the marquis in the background (so that it appears to
} read 'ood time/-4241/or Luigi').
}
} Grasping the joystick just below the glans, squeeze firmly three times,
} yank to the right and simultaneously hit jump.
}
} Mario will strike a hidden 'wall' block in the sky, and out will grow
} an puce and neon-pink mushroom.  It will slide off and move towards the
} right.
}
} Follow this mushroom until it bounces off one of those 'squishy
} meanies'.  Then, using your tongue, mimick the act of licking an ice
} cream cone and hit jump again, aiming to land on the mushroom.
}
} Mario will then experience a psychadelic trip, which you will be
} allowed to view.  Note the 'busts' that float past towards the upper
} right of the screen about ten seconds into the trip -- these are
} rumored to be the faces of five Nintendo programmers that died during
} the course of the game's production.
}
} You owe the Oracle another virgin and a Game Boy.


654-08    (5ipnc dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@gslmail.mincom.oz.au>

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

> Oh oracle repositry of all knowledge pray tell me...
>
> I want to steal one of my friends girlfriends. However, another one of
> my friends is also interested in stealing my former friends girlfriend.
> How can I come out of something that looks like becoming a sticky mess
> with any friends left?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I'm afraid there's more to it than you reallize.  You
} see, your (former) friends girlfriend is actually interested
} in stealing the latter friend, but is unable to because there
} is no-one to steal him from.  The latter is not actually
} interested in the formers girlfriend, but rather in the
} former friend himself.  The former friend doesn't want to
} steal anyone exactly, but is hoping to be stolen.
}
} The only solution (obviously) is for you to steal the former
} friend from his girlfriend and allow the latter friend to
} steal the former from you.  At this time, the girlfriend will
} finally be able to steal the latter friend (from her ex-boyfriend,
} as it happens.)  Since the latter friend is only interested in
} the former friend, he will break up with the girlfriend and
} strike up a relationship with him (the former friend.)  By then
} the girl will have learned that the latter friend wasn't worth
} stealing after all.  The former friend will have a breakdown at
} this point, making him quite unappealing.  This will leave you
} as the only desirable male around and you'll be in a great
} position to start a relationship with her.  The only one you'll
} have ever stolen anyone from is the girl, but you'll still be
} her best bet.  Since you haven't crossed any of the male friends,
} your friendships will survive.  Unfortunately, the former will
} be a resident of the local mental hospital and the latter will be
} grief-stricken over the condition of the man he loves.  The four
} of you can still get together though, each Monday from noon to
} four (visiting hours.)
}
} You owe the Oracle a simulation of the relationships involved,
} written in any object-oriented language.


654-09    (5fmqf dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: m-atkinson@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Great Oracle, whose kernel drivers have a license to kill(),
>
> Last month I brought my computer program to the repair shop for a
> tune-up. The repairman almost fainted dead away -- he said nobody
> ever brought them in until they broke! -- I should have known right
> then, I suppose, but anyway....
>
> When I got my program back and drove it home, I had a very bumpy
> ride. I discovered that the disks were square! So, I called up the
> shop and complained about it, and they told me it was a new upgrade
> intended to provide better stability when the program was parked.
>
> I told them I didn't like it, and they were actually pretty good
> about it; after a while, they sent me some arc-shaped pieces of
> rubber, and some glue, and some instructions about how to glue the
> new pieces onto the disks.
>
> So many things went wrong. My windows got stuck, I couldn't back up,
> O Oracle, I don't want to bother you with all the gory details, but
>
> Here I am, pulled over on the shoulder of the databahn, flares and
> warning signs all spread out, lights flashing, and white hankie tied
> to my antenna, while everyone else whizzes by at top speed; and
> as I wait for the Datahighway Patrol to come to my rescue,
> I wonder,
>
> where did I go wrong?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You appear to have got the wrong end of the stick. You didn't go wrong
} at all - you're completely in the right.
}
} You seem to think there's something wrong with the problem that your
} wheels have caused with your program, but this really isn't the case.
} You see, before you had Wheels 1.3, a very primitive form of wheel.
} Now, although they worked nicely enough, they weren't efficient or
} modern enough, and didn't make use of the impressive bits of the
} architecture, such as 32-street addressing, or the ISA bus to
} Camberwick Green.
}
} Now, Wheels 2, the square ones, had some problems, so they were
} withdrawn quite soon. The strangely shaped things you have now, the
} ones too large for your program to function properly, oddly designed
} and held together with cheap glue, are Wheels 3.1, the latest in
} motivation system design. Of course, they're quickly becoming obsolete
} too, but Wheels 4 (also known as San Francisco) will be out soon.
}
} Of course, that's not what you want at all - there's a complete
} redesign due out soon. Known as Wheels New Tread (NT for short) these
} wheels are perfect in every respect - they hold the road wonderfully,
} and the treads don't wear down at all. Of course, you'll need at least
} a supertanker with a 90,000,000 horsepower engine to take advantage of
} Wheels NT.
}
} If you really feel that Wheels are causing you problems, then why not
} try a different motiviation system. There's always HoVERcraft for
} Programs, or even the jet-propelled JS/2. If you yearn for simplicity
} you could try the Driver Operation System (DOS) where a hole is cut in
} the bottom of your program, and you drive it by running along the
} ground...
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of the Wheels NT reference manuals.


654-10    (6gxhb dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: David BREMNER <bremner@romulus.cs.mcgill.ca>

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

> If paper clips are infinitely reusable, why then do large organizations
> like the Federal Government spend millions of dollars each year to buy
> more?
>
> Obsessing compulsively,
>                            Zek

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} SHHHHHHHHH!!.  You've stumbled on one of the major Pentagon projects
} in the last decade.  This is blacker than the Aurora plan project and
} I'm not surprised if men in dark grey suits and sunglasses are knocking
} on your door at this very moment.
}
} Don't go home, don't go to work or school.  Get far far away from the
} terminal and only log on wearing a disguise.
}
} The Pernicious Paperclip Project (or PPP as it's called) was started in
} the early 80's under the Reagan administration as an offshoot of the
} Star Wars project.  Unlike the Star Wars project, funding was immediate
} and extensive for the PPP.  The goal of the PPP is to form a paperclip
} chain long enough to lasso the moon which then can be used to
} influenced the tides at will and flood enemy land.  Whoever controls
} the moon, controls the Earth!
}
} You owe the Oracle the government funding documentation for the PPP and
} a small box of paperclips so that the government doesn't suck them all
} up.


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