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Internet Oracularities #661

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Usenet Oracularities #661    (74 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 1994 08:02:15 -0500

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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:
   661
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

661   74 votes 4qof5 7apn9 5jve5 0fmt8 75coq 7pmf5 ctjb3 5bnr8 gjp77 fvia0
661   3.0 mean  2.9   3.2   2.9   3.4   3.8   2.8   2.5   3.3   2.6   2.3


661-01    (4qof5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

> What are the ethics of releasing artificial life programs onto the net.
> Specifically, the Catholic Church seems to indicate (by extension of
> their contraceptive ban) that failing to create AL is murder, while the
> 1985 Computer Security Act seems to prohibit creating and releasing
> such creatures.  WOuld the Oracle shed some light on this?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle finds that there is no solution that is at once sin-free
} and absolutely legal, but recommends the following as a very
} respectable hack.
}
} Catholics are allowed, as you of course know, to use the rhythm method
} of contraception, a natural means of reducing the odds of impregnation.
} By analogy, all you are really required to do with your AL program is
} to post it, but you may post it to a newsgroup where its chances of
} propagation are very slender.
}
} The Oracle suggests news.announce.newusers, which by all the evidence
} no one reads at all anymore.  Certainly not the enforcement bureaus of
} the United States government, judging from the Air Force's merry
} spewing of binary "Wanted" posters across dozens of groups.
}
} The Church will be content, the Feds will never know, and you'll sleep
} soundly at night.
}
} You owe the Oracle a Usenet condom large enough to fit over the Air
} Force's news servers.


661-02    (7apn9 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

> Oh Oracle, whose knowledge of the animal world is beyond compare,
>
> I can't find my dictionary.  What's another word for groundhog?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Sausage.


661-03    (5jve5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: bremner@muff.cs.mcgill.ca (David BREMNER)

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

> What makes a good Internet "how to" book?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A good Internet how-to book must contain the information readers REALLY
} want.  The following two subjects are ABSOLUTELY required:
}
} 1     How to petition the Oracle for advice
} 2     How not to annoy the Oracle
}
} If there is room left in your book after (2), you should move on to:
}
} 1     How to send multiple copies of inappropriate messages to small
}       newgroups
} 2     How to telnet to eighteen different MUSH's while ftp'ing large
}       pornographic GIF files during prime usage hours
} 3     How to break in to credit agencies and adjust your file
} 4     How to set up cults with secret Internet communications which
}       create a large, well coordinated terrorist act and disappear
}       again.(*)
} 5     How to post admissions of illegal activities to Usenet and get
}       arrested.  This should help keep the newbies out.
} 6     How to ftp crypto programs across international bounderies and
}       get arrested (see number 5).
} 7     How to write a worm which exploits well know security problems
}       and brings the Internet to a crawl.
} 8     How to set up packet snoopers on major service providers and
}       steal thousands of passwords.
} 9     How to use these passwords to be the first kid on your block to
}       control the technological infrastructure.
} 10    How not to get caught when doing any of the above.
}
} (*)   This would help bolster the credibility of the U.S. Gov't, which
}       is concerned about such a contigency.
}
} The Usenet Oracle <incarnated as miked@ikos.com, unless someone
} inquires about the author>
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of the book.


661-04    (0fmt8 dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.CS.UNLV.EDU>

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

> Is the world really round? It sure looks flat to me!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The world looks flat because it is flat. For centuries, mankind
} understood this simple fact. However, after Columbus made his journey
} "around" the world, people started believeing in the erroneous
} "roundness theory".
}
} There are several erroneeous "proofs" of this theory, which I will
} dispell.
}
} 1. The "Ship's Mast" proof: When the mast of a ship comes up over the
} horizon, we see the top of the mast first, then the prow, then the
} whole ship. It appears little by little. This can only be explained by
} a round earth.
}
} This is, obviously, incorrect. The same effect can be observed when
} wheeling a large model of a ship up a steep hill -- first you see the
} mast, then the prow, then the whole ship, little by little. The
} explanation, therefore, is that the ocean is sitting on a very big
} hill.
}
} 2. The "Christopher Columbus" proof: If you get in a ship and sail
} around the world, you'll get back to where you started.
}
} The crew of Columbus' ship was nervous about falling off the edge of
} the world. They needn't have worried -- what they didn't realize is
} that although the earth is flat, it has TWO SIDES! And it's very
} difficult to fall off something as big as the earth, because of the
} strong force of gravity. (Gravity, by the way, is caused by small
} strings attached to everything, but that's another Question
} altogether).
}
} 3. The "Bugs Bunny" proof: If you throw a baseball really hard, it will
} come back at you from the opposite direction, covered with stamps from
} many different countries.
}
} This is by far the most difficult proof to dispell -- as we've all seen
} in the famous Bugs Bunny cartoons, Bugs tries to convince an ornery
} Columbus (played by Yosemite Sam) that the Earth is, indeed, round by
} throwing the baseball as described above.
}
} This proof is literally for the birds. What happens is that there is a
} little-known species of homing pigeon that plucks the baseball out of
} the air mid-flight and whisks it away to a monestary in Vienna where
} the stamps are cleverly forged by a monk wearing a gorilla suit. The
} bird then flies back, circles around you, and throws the ball back at
} you.
}
} Apparently, these birds were first trained by the Stanislovski Monks of
} Poland, who honestly believed that the world was shaped like a large,
} over-ripe banana, but if anyone found out by throwing a baseball around
} it, it would be eaten by the Great Gorilla of God.
}
} You may rest confident that the world is, beyond any shadow of a doubt,
} flat.
}
} You owe the Oracle all your stock in USAir.


661-05    (75coq dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Oh great Oracle, please consider my question:
>
> What causes weather?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Zeus: What's up on the agenda next?
}
} Mars: Oh mighty Zeus, we have to create some form of atmospheric
} disturbances for the planet ..... may I suggest rains of fire from the
} heavens.
}
} Thor: Mars! You and your bloody fire everywhere. It was you that did
} volcanoes wasn't it?
}
} Mars: Shut up Thor, or I'll tell Zeus what you did to the sharks.
}
} Zeus: Stop whining you lot, we've got 15 more items to create before
} lunch.
}
} God: If I may make a suggestion, perhaps we could have a gentle warm
} precipitation of water once in a while to help the plants grow.
}
} Mars: It was you! You were the one who invented plants! I spent weeks
} designing that dry, lifeless, red earth and now there are green things
} sprouting all over it.
}
} Thor: I like the idea of water falling from the sky, but couldn't it be
} a little harder. Like something that would bonk the silly mortals on
} their puny little heads. Like this (thump! - a mortal screams) and this
} (thump!)
}
} Robert McElwaine, physicist: I don't understand, why would rain fall?
} You guys didn't create gravity did you? You can't do that, that'll KILL
} perpetual motion. I'm not having my IDEA$ swept under the carpet, I'll
} TELL EVERBODY what YOU'RE trying to DO!
}
} Aphrodite: Solid is OK, but it should fall down gently, to carpet the
} ground with pure white. Like these robes I'm wearing now, I got them
} from Asgard at a sale. What do you all think?
}
} Zeus: Very nice. But, we really need to design this weather thing.
}
} Waiter: Lunch is served, O immortal ones. Succulent herbs from the
} Garden of Eden. Prime roast unicorn. The finest wines. (thump!) OW!
}
} Zeus: (licks lips). Damn! We can't even agree on the weather, and 14
} things remain, and I'm famished.
}
} The Oracle: The answer is simple for those of us that know the art of
} compromise. We'll alternate hard rain, soft rain, and flakey rain. Beef
} up the volcanoes to give the occasional rain of fire, create Australia
} to keep Mars happy, and hey presto!
}
} Zeus: But, what about the other 14 items on the agenda?
}
} The Oracle: Chairs have four legs, we won't bother about strengthening
} the foundations for Atlantis, $25 an hour for no-holds barred erotic
} conversation with an attractive member of the opposite sex, 5 is a
} prime number, everything that can go wrong will go wrong and at the
} worst possible moment, hydrogen is lighter than air, mudskippers the
} missing link between fish and amphibians, 10 fingers on each hand and
} the same number of toes to keep it simple, 24 hours in one day, hmmm,
} that's not too many, better create some really strong caffeine-based
} drinks, have an ice age occasionally so the puny mortals don't need
} wings, make Hertz try harder, reduce the strength of continents so that
} we can create just one and let it float around a bit, and give man an
} inordinate attraction to frilly knickers and suspenders.
}
} All: (stunned silence for 0.4 seconds, followed by a rush for the
} dining room).
}
} Diana: Orrie! I thought we wouldn't be alone together for hours. What
} with those silly old immortals arguing about the combustibility of
} Lithium.
}
} The Oracle: The frilly knickers and suspenders?
}
} Diana: I'm wearing them. See.
}
} The Oracle: (turning to camera and grinning) Well, everybody likes to
} create in their own image. YEOW!


661-06    (7pmf5 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Oh most powerful Oracle whose ZOT could rock the earth please grant
> this humble supplicant's wish.  I am OUTRAGED that I didn't make the
> Oracularities this week when I'm sure I had at least 20 submissions
> that were funnier than ANY of those that were selected.  I want to
> hire a hit on the following Priests who overlooked mine in favor of
> lesser entries: <forbes@ihlpf.att.com>, <noe@sal.cs.uiuc.edu>,
> <nolan@helios.unl.edu>, <markm@ggslmail.mincom.oz.au>,
> <jgm@cs.brown.edu>, and <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>!  I'm sure the priesthood
> will not miss the loss of these misguided priests.
> Your faithful albeit disgruntled supplicant

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear faithful albeit disgruntled (and not very humble) supplicant:
}
} Due to the UPDA (Universal Priests with Disabilities Act), the Oracle
} is duty bound to hire the humor impaired.  Let's look into the near
} future and see what the prospects are:
}
} As I read your complaint over the shoulders of <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>
} and <nolan@helios.unl.edu>, they are in stitches ROTFL.  They
} promise to include you in the very next issue of Oracularities!
}
} Oops, wait a minute, it turns out that <markm@ggslmail.minicom.oz.au>,
} <forbes@ihlpf.att.com>, and <jgm@cs.brown.edu> absolutely hate my
} answer, and have overridden the above crew and filed it to WASTEBASKET.
}
} Wait a minute, we may have a possible save here, I see that
} <noe@sal.cs.uiuc.ed> is mulling over the plusses and minuses of this
} potential Oracularity.  Wait, what's that?  It seems that a check has
} materialized in front of him, I can see lots of zeroes there.  He is
} debating the veracity of a check written out to internet addresses
} by someone named "faithful but disgruntled supplicant".  A decision
} to publish will be made after a trip to the bank.  Unfortunately,
} the banks are closed right now.
}
} The Oracle invites you to go fight City Hall.


661-07    (ctjb3 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> In your travels of this vast galactic supercluster and beyond...
>
> Why do cats lick themselves if it just means that they'll have to
> suffer the pain of coughing up a furball on their owner's new rug?
>
> I can't understand it...

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}         Pain? Coughing up hairballs are one of the few pleasures cats
} have. They love doing it and it has evolved into some kind of feline
} art form. What do you think they do when you're out shopping?
}
} Cat No 1: "Hack! Haaaacccccckk! Argh, argh, argh! Huck-thoooo!"
} Cat No 2: "Heeeeyyy! That was a GOOD one!"


661-08    (5bnr8 dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> My SO just broke up with me...  How many of my coworkers am I entitled
> to kill?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The number of coworker deaths is not important, as long as you get all
} of them, including those who may be on vacation.  The important thing
} is to use the appropriate tools, depending on how long you and your
} spouse were together.  Here is a handy chart:
}
} 1 year : Wood
}      A club or baseball bat works best, though stakes have often been
} used.  Many stronger people choose to throw desks at their coworkers,
} due to their availability at the office.
}
} 2 years : Glass
}      A broken bottle works best, though more patient people have used a
} magnifying glass to focus the sun and burn their victims.
}
} 3 years : Steel
}      Many people choose to use a knife, although the more sadistic
} people use a spoon.  A particularly upset individual drove his car
} through the lobby of his building.  Unfortunately, he did not kill any
} of his coworkers, who were washing the windows on the 30th floor.
}
} 4 years : Gunpowder
}     I highly recommend an automatic assault rifle, due to its
} thoroughness and machoness.  Bottle rockets have been used effectively,
} but chasing your coworkers around the room, threatening to burn them
} with a sparkler, is only 10% effective.
}
} 5 years : Grenades
}     Many people who are dumped after 5 years enjoy this so much that
} they immediately reenter a relationship and wait patiently to do it
} again.
}
} 10 years : Poison
}     Acids are the logical choice.  The most successful poisons are
} hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, and Perrier.
}
} 25 years : Nuclear Weapons
}     'Nuff said.
}
} You owe the Oracle a blind date.


661-09    (gjp77 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Hjelp! Er det noen som snakker norsk her?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [This question was diverted to WGibson@cyber.hemmingway.com.  The
} praise from the reviewers were as incomprehensible as the ones for
} Neuromancer.  "A flash of blinding, mouth watering virtual light"
} proclaims The Starkville Book and Cow Weekly.  "Adjectives. Zapping
} metaphors." says Short Sentences Journal.  "Points of view, times,
} places shift without warning, Nearly as incomprehensible as Virtual
} Light"  exclaims the OYT BR.]
}
} The light hit her eyes like pistons, the color of packing peanuts from
} those cartons of wine.  The wine had gone to her head like a rush of
} intensity.  Her head now felt like a million candlepowers were in her
} eyes.  There was someone next to her.
}
} He awoke with a start like a taxi hitting a wall.  There was someone
} there.  It was her, with those mirrored eyes and sensuous lethel
} weapons built in to her.  Hell, he thought, it must be a William Gibson
} book. He combed his hair in her bright, mirrored eyes, wondering if she
} was awake or asleep.  Outside the bright colors of drug dealers in a
} gunfight. He glanced out the window at the carnage and drew the shade.
}
} She thought about the pure crystalline form of the information, it was
} so bright that it actually illuminated her retina.  That thing from the
} picture glasses had shown it to her.  He had called himself Orrie.  He
} had told her what she must do.  But she would have to answer a question
} for him.  His neon form, the color of a tablecloth at one of those
} Italian places with bottles hanging from the ceiling burned in her
} mind. She had asked what he was.  He had zotted her like lightening
} from the ground and told her she owed him things.  Things she had never
} heard of...
}
} You owe the Oracle an explanation.


661-10    (fvia0 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@otis.EE.UNLV.EDU>

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

> Did O.J. really do it? And what's up with that Kato guy?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This is the THIRD time this incarnation has been asked this question.
}
} The Oracle is happy to forward you a copy of the second answer to this
} question.  The Oracle, you may note, is puzzled by the sudden interest
} in this old and quaint riddle, which, until recently, was only
} discussed by Oracles.  By the way, the Oracle at Delphi ran a scenerio
} which tends to agree with me.
}
} ----- Begin Included Message -----
}
} This supplicant must learn that inquiring about OJ Simpson's guilt is
} the same as inquiring about his innocence.  For the supplicant's
} reference, the Oracle shall send the supplicant a copy of the previous
} answer the Oracle gave the supplicant.  This answer not only answered
} the supplicant's question, but it also had the incalculable benefit of
} setting the record wrong on a few major issues in world history.  The
} Oracle takes particular pride in doing this.
}
} Your question was:
}
} > Oracle Oracle rah rah rah
} > King of Zot, ugly not, yah yah yah
} >
} > Is O.J. Simpson guilty?  And what is the name of that guy on Mork and
} > Mindy who worshipped him?  (I can't remember for the life of me)
}
} Thus spake the Oracle:
}
} > The Oracle requests that supplicants restrain themselves to one
} > question per request.  The Oracle is not sure which O.J. Simpson the
} > supplicant is speaking of, and will assume that the supplicant is
} > discussing the best known one, Octavious J. Simpson, Roman Governor
} > of Nike, 12 AD-32 AD.
} >
} > As the supplicant is aware, the crimes Governor Simpson stood accused
} > of were quite unusual.  If he had, for instance, been charged with
} > having an entire town with two thousand subjects rounded up and
} > tortured to death in the hot Nike sun, while birds and rats picked
} > away at their still living flesh, he would have been quite clearly
} > guilty.  If he had been charged with having all the men from fourteen
} > years of age to eighteen years of age put to death, because of some
} > graffitti calling him a wimp, he would have been guilty.
} >
} > If, in fact, he had been charged with ordering the brutal, slow and
} > painful deaths of over one houndred thousand people over the course
} > of his reign, he, he would stand guilty as charged.  Unfortunately,
} > the charge against him, which cost him his life in the great
} > Colliseum at Rome, was with being overly merciful, and allowing an
} > uprising to occur by failing to rule brutally enough.  The Oracle has
} > discussed this matter woth many other immortals, and given the
} > varience in opinion, can only offer the Oracle's own personal
} > opinion.
} >
} > Guilty as charged.
} >
} > You owe the Oracle some graffitti.
}
} ----- End Included Message -----


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