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Internet Oracularities #672

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672, 672-01, 672-02, 672-03, 672-04, 672-05, 672-06, 672-07, 672-08, 672-09, 672-10


Usenet Oracularities #672    (74 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 20:55:25 -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:
   672
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

672   74 votes cicei 0amtd 6msd5 7mni4 1frid 15hzg 2bmkj 2rnh5 3eAd8 3krg8
672   3.2 mean  3.1   3.6   2.9   2.9   3.4   3.8   3.6   2.9   3.1   3.1


672-01    (cicei dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo 'Bols Ewhac' Schwab" <ewhac@shell.portal.com>

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

> when I will beat this summer cold . . . when I will find a job that is
> not demaning & requiring me to suck up to real assholes . . . when I
> can discover how to make living from hanging around the net?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Supplicant,
}
} When will you learn proper Oracle etiquette and begin with
} a sincere grovel?
}
} When will you learn to capitalize your sentences?
}
} When will you learn to punctuate your sentences?
}
} When will you approach life with a sense of humor?
}
} When will you learn that, since you are still alive,
} and not in a hospital on a respirator, that you have
} already beaten your summer cold.  Your symptoms are a
} sign that your body is fighting it off.  Your poor
} outlook may have a lot to do with how slow your immune
} system seems to be working.
}
} When will you learn that cheerfulness, courtesy, and a
} sincere willingness to be of service *DOES NOT* equate
} to "sucking up".  The term "asshole" here is an extremely
} subjective call, and you should take the time to put
} yourself in the other person's shoes once in a while.
} You *might* make a friend or ally with that approach.
}
} And finally, when will you get a life?  To help you here,
} the Oracle will share the formula:
}
} 1.  BE PROACTIVE - Instead of *reacting* to everything that
}     comes along, go out and actually *do* something to make
}     your life better.  Even if it's something very small to
}     start out, it's still a start.
}
} 2.  BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND - You have to *know* what you
}     want to get what you want.  Make a mental picture of what
}     it is you want and focus your life.
}
} 3.  PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST - Do what you *need* to do first,
}     not what you *want* to do first.
}
} 4.  THINK WIN/WIN - If you think in terms of winners and losers,
}     what side do you think you'll come out on most?  Get it?
}     Be helpful, be courteous, be willing to be of service.  You'll
}     automatically be a winner, and so will those you come in to
}     contact with.
}
} 5.  SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD  - I guarantee,
}     the number of "assholes" you meet will decrease by an order of
}     magnitude, and the number of friends and allies you'll meet
}     will increase accordingly.
}
} 6.  SYNERGIZE - The sum is greater than the whole.  Cooperation
}     and interdependence between people makes the individual's
}     contribution yield more positive energy than he/she puts in.
}
} 7.  SHARPEN THE SAW - Go have a real conversation with a live
}     person.  Get some exersize.  Play frisbee.  Swim in a lake.
}     Hug a puppy.  Read a book - something challenging.
}
} Are you getting this?  The Oracle works at a job like everybody else.
} The Oracle *tries* to stick to the above advice and admits that it
} is a challenge.  The Oracle also has a job with Usenet access!  There
} might be something to his advice *after all*.
}
} You owe the Oracle a promise to get a life, and pass this on to
} another person.


672-02    (0amtd dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

> Please tell me what you know.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Jane Austen Society of North America was founded in 1979.
} A full house beats a flush.
} From the 8th to 11th centuries Spain was dominated by the Moors.
} There are fourteen counties in Denmark, but the city of Copenhagen is
} separate from all of them.
} The flag of Libya has only one color.
} There are no female peacocks.
} You may safely eat oysters during the months of January, February,
} March, April, Mayr, Jurne, Julry, Argust, September, October, November,
} and December.
} The word "polish" is the only English word which changes pronounciation
} when capitalized.
} A light year is the distance that light travels in one year.
} Woodchucks do not actually chuck wood.
} The tracks on a single compact disk are around three miles long.
} The gerund is a verbal noun ending in -ing.
} The first day of the 21st century will be January 1, 2001.
} In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure dome decree.
} The creator of the artificial language Esperanto did not name it.
} In the game of Go, two eyes live.
}   .
}    .
}     .
}      [5,037,974,657,122,209,973,420,811,939,382 lines
}      omitted to keep from overflowing your mail buffer.]
}     .
}   .
}  .
} A preliminary version of the programming language Pascal was drafted in
} 1968.
} A forfeited baseball game has an official score of 9 to 0.
} A pound of gold weighs 1240 grains less than a pound of feathers.
} For any angle in the plane, the square of the sine plus the square of
} the cosine is one.
} The "carrier wave" of AM radio doesn't actually carry anything.
} The word "piss" is an example of onomatopoeia.
}
} You owe the Oracle a larger reference library.


672-03    (6msd5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> We just got a two-processor computer, and it turns out that one of
> the processors works in English, while the other works in Hebrew.
> This means that one writes into ram from left to right, while the
> other writes into ram from right to left. As you can imagine, this
> causes a great deal of confusion. Is there anything we can do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear supplicant, what are you doing opening up your computer to see
} which way your computer writes to it's little rammies?  Rude boy!
}
} Would you like it if someone where to pull down your trousers and
} check out which way Percy points?  Then to say "That's not right!
} Hang on and we'll fix it up"  *rip$%@tear!*&YIKE...
}
} Not to worry - I won't discuss your manners here.  To the question
} at hand:  it is a simple matter of withdrawing the guilty chip,
} rotate it 180 degrees along the horizontal plane, insert the chip
} back in the socket, and viola!  Left to right.
}
} .pihc werbeh eht rof launam noitcurtsni ruoy elcarO eht ewo uoY


672-04    (7mni4 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

>     Oracle, whose Fruit-Of-The-Loom's Superband Waistband never
>     stretches, who never finds the little holes in your undershirt,
>     whose toenails never need clipping, and for whom hair is SCARED to
>     grow out of your ears, I pray that you answer me this.
>
>     Now that Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos the Jackal has been
>     taken into custody in France, what will Robert Ludlum write about?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}      Faced with a lack of material in the real world, Ludlum will turn
} to writing children's books. Following is an excerpt from his
} forthcoming novel, "The Bunny Affair."
}
}      See the carrot.
}      See the spy bunny.
}      Spy, bunny, spy!
}      See the spy bunny insert a rod of plutonium into the carrot.
}      See the representative of a small, fascist third world country
} meet with the spy bunny in a secluded location in Germany in the hopes
} of obtaining weapons grade carrot-encased plutonium in exchange for
} massive amounts of money that was supplied by the United States.
}
}      Well, you get the idea.
}
} You owe the Oracle a novel that will not be turned into an action
} movie.


672-05    (1frid dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <csf7m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>

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

> a
> a
> a
> a
> a

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Thank you for your entry into the ASCII Pictionary Tournament '94.
} Your teammates, selected at random from a pool of internet addresses,
} made the following guesses at your entry:
}
} "It's a stick."
} "An empty Tower of Hanoi!"
} "A's lined up ready to race?"
} "No, it's just a stick, dammit."
} "The lead pipe from a Clue game?"
} "Acrobats.  Get it?  All the a's stacked up -- acrobats!"
} "Maybe it's a --" <whack> "-- oof!" <whack> <whack> <whack>
} "<grin> Told you it was a stick."
}
} Scores will be tallied within one week.


672-06    (15hzg dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Oh, great and wise, most benificiant, most sage, most ... oh
> well, you get the idea.
>
> Tell me, is there life after Unix?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I will answer your question in the form of a parable.
}
} A man using UNIX in his office suddenly lost power one day. The lights
} went out, and his screen dimmed a little as the UPS kicked in, giving
} him just enough juice to save all his work and log out. When he turned
} the monitor off, he was suddenly very sad, for there was an empty place
} in his heart and he knew not why.
}
} "Lord," he said. "Why am I suddenly so lonely? I feel as if I have lost
} a good friend. Please, do something to help my lonely heart."
}
} Suddenly, the shade that he had nailed over his office window yanked
} itself freeand rolled up, leaving the window entirely uncovered. And
} through this pane of glass came -- not a friendly blinking login cursor
} -- but a strange yellow light. It felt warm on the man's skin, and it
} was brighter than any flourescent bulb he'd ever seen. As soon as the
} man recovered from his sudden blindness, he said "Wow! It's wonderful!"
}
} And then the window slowly slid upwards, and a gust of warm air blew
} into his office. It must have been unfiltered by an air conditioning
} unit, because it was dusty and smelled like mown grass. It made him
} sneeze. "Wow!" The man said. "That must have been one of those sneezes
} I heard about on rec.nose.pollen! Man, that felt great!"
}
} And then, he felt an uncombatable urge to climb out the window and onto
} the sidewalk of the street below him. His heart raced with fear as he
} put one leg and then the other out through the window. How wonderous,
} he thought. The ceiling was blue, and lit by a blinding yellow bulb in
} the sky. All around him, there were people -- just like the ones who
} worked in his building -- and other buildings, and a street with cars
} moving down them -- cars that looked much different that the '64
} Mustangs he remembered from his childhood. "This is incredible!" he
} said, as he wandered into the street. "But also very scary. I must get
} back to my office! Where's my office? Grep Office! Grep Office!"
}
} Then, the blue ceiling opened like a pair of curtains, and a light even
} brighterthan the sun's appeared. "Man," the light said. "Be ye not
} afraid. This is your world, and my world, and the world of all the
} people. Seek ye not to lock thy self into thine office and program for
} thy boss's computers! Instead, live here among us. This is the world
} you came from, the world that uses your programs, and the world that
} makes all the chinese delivery food you send out for. Live with us.
} Live, and love with us."
}
} "Oh, bright light!" the Man said. "I will. I will!" Ecstatic with the
} joy of his new-found world, he ran through the sidewalks and streets,
} among the tall buildings, the neon lights, the cars, the mini-marts.
}
} An hour later, he got mugged for his belt, shoes, and $37 in cash.
}
} The moral to my parable is this: there is life after UNIX. But when you
} look at it comparitively, it's pretty lousy.
}
} You owe the Oracle a cellular phone.


672-07    (2bmkj dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Wise and Powerful Oracle, who knows the location of every cog and gear
> that makes the universe run, please answer this humble supplicant's
> plea:
>
> Is it true that the first 1000 copies of Chicago are going to ship with
> strip solitaire?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Yup.  Unfortunately, your opponent in the game will be Bill Gates.


672-08    (2rnh5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: m-atkinson@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> Dear Oracle,
>
> I'm going on a vacation to Canada soon. Is there anything I should try
> to keep in mind about the Metric System while I'm there?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The metric system, unlike our logical system of measurement based on
} multiples of 4, 8, 12, 16, and pi, uses a base 10 counting system.
} This confusing system is taught to children of Canada before they know
} any better, therefore is seems natural--even logical--to them.  The
} English system, taught later in life, usually comes as some relief to
} these poor waifs.  This is why most of the signs are in both English
} and metric.  Most citizens, when they come of age, are
} bi-measuremental.
}
} Although metric usually confuses most right-thinking people from the
} States, there is a special trick Oracle is willing to tell you. As
} stated before, the metric system works on multiples of 10.  The secret
} is, you yourself were made in base 10!  If you ever have troubles with
} your metric calculations use you fingers (inclusive of your thumbs).
} The Oracle warns that this system may break down in cold weather if
} mittens are worn.
}
} You owe the oracle a dram of orange juice and a cubit of wood.


672-09    (3eAd8 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:

> Oh Oracle, that accepts my grovelling with such grace, please answer
> the following question:
>
> Which is heavier, a pound of bricks, a pound of feathers, or Spock's
>      brain?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ooooh, good.  Multiple choice.  The Oracle has a headache.
}
} We decided to go straight to the source, so we started by
} contacting The Brick Institute ("Bricks.  They're what's for
} building stuff with.")  A BI spokesman explained that, while a
} pound of anything weighs a pound, a pound of bricks is "the
} damnedest pound you ever saw.  Why, bricks are attractive,
} they've got a nice heft to 'em, and ... well, just imagine trying
} to build a brick wall with anything else."
}
} Then we called The U. S. Feather Board ("People helping people
} by pulling the feathers off birds so other people can make
} pillows and things.")  The USFB was a little more leery of the
} question.  Apparently, they consider the commonly used phrase
} "light as a feather" to be highly derogatory, "as if a feather
} was something to be taken lightly, or dismissed as frivolous."
} For that reason, the feather industry uses a slightly different
} unit of measurement, which they call a pound but which is equal
} to 29 ordinary pounds.  "So there's no doubt in our minds that a
} pound of feathers beats any other pound, anywhere in the world."
}
} Finally, we tracked down Spock's brain at the Spock's Brain
} Museum and Roadside Reptile Zoo, just outside Goodland, Kansas.
} Inside a large sheet-metal outbuilding, we were able to view
} Spock's brain in a giant salt water aquarium, and even talk to it
} over a closed-circuit telephone for ten cents a minute.  If
} anyone ought to know, it's Spock, right?
}
} "Years ago, if you had asked me that question," he said, "I'd
} have said the pound of feathers, no question.  They're measured
} differently, you know.  But since I got this gig, I'm not as
} physically active as I used to be, and I'm starting to put on
} some weight around the procortex.  So as of today, I'd have to
} say it's me.  I'm the heaviest.  Before you go, toss another Zima
} in the tank, will you?"
}
} You owe the Oracle one copy of "Star Trek Memories".


672-10    (3krg8 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: jrp@widcat.widener.edu

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

> q

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}     As with many of the works from her famous ascii period, the artist
}     makes use of rotational perspective change to place the subject in
}     an altogether differnet light.  If we rotate the entire piece 90
}     degrees counterclockwise (and note the politial subtlty is already
}     apparent: 90 degrees being a 'right' angle, and 'counter' being
}     frequently associated with the right wing's antithesis, the
}     'counter-culture'), we see the base of the scene is an agitated sea
}     of waves... agitated, yet regular, and consistent. The truncated
}     bugle floating above is located to the far left, as though it is
}     trying to blast its message at the left wing from as close a range
}     as possible. Yet, the absence of the bugle's bell indicates that
}     perhaps the reason nobody hears the message of the right is that it
}     is in fact empty, and, at root, makes no sound at all.  Returning
}     the work to its original orientation, we see that this position
}     indicates that the attempt by the right to convey their thoughts
}     and impose their worldviews is an uphill battle in any case.
}
}     You owe the Oracle a semiotic analysis of nose-hair trimming
}     devices.


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