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Internet Oracularities #676

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Usenet Oracularities #676    (67 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 1994 10:54:40 -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:
   676
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

676   67 votes 5gble apn90 5msb1 39yg5 1cqr1 6dog8 2fima jfib4 5lsc1 2ffjg
676   3.0 mean  3.3   2.5   2.7   3.2   3.2   3.1   3.3   2.5   2.7   3.5


676-01    (5gble dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Why did the fates give us ToeJam?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Good question. I did some research just moments ago to find out what
} was really going on behind the scenes at Fates, Inc., to get to the
} bottom of this growing ToeJam distribution scandal. I started by
} calling their main consumer relations line at 1-800-OH-WHY-ME. Here's a
} transcript of that conversation.
}
} Receptionist: Fates, Inc., how can I help you?
}
} Oracle: Yes, I'm calling about ToeJam. Why is there ToeJam?
}
} Receptionist: One moment, please....
}
} <I was on hold for 18 minutes at this point>
}
} Receptionist: I'm sorry, sir but I cannot answer that question right
}       now. If you'd like, you can write a letter to our Fates Worse
}       Than Death Department at --
}
} Oracle: No, that won't do. May I speak with your supervisor?
}
} Receptionist: Sir, my supervisor won't be able to help you either.
}
} Oracle: Well, who can then? I want an answer to my question now!
}
} Receptionist: Our hours are from 8-5, Monday through Friday. Please
}       call anytime with questions or comments about Fates, Inc. Thank
}       you, and have a nice day, unless of course it just isn't in the
}       cards for you.
}
} Oracle: Harumph. Jerk.
}
} I wasn't finished. Fates, Inc. may be able to get away with the
} brush-off on the phone, but they were going to have to work a lot
} harder when I took a camera crew with me to their Headquarters in
} Kansas City, Kansas. As we approached the building we could already see
} the guards mobilizing. I was undaunted.
}
} Oracle: (To camera operator) Let's go.
}
} Camera: <sarcastically> Oh, sure, Orrie, let's get the "scoop on
}       ToeJam."
}
} Oracle: Hey - this is important. Someone wants to know.
}
} Camera: Yeah, sounds like that "someone" needs to get a life.
}
} <walking up steps, now face-to-face with security guard>
}
} Guard: I'm sorry, but this building is closed to the public.
}
} Oracle: I'd like to speak with the president of Fates, Inc. I'm the
}       Ora...er, I mean, I'm Mike Wallace, yeah, that's it! I'm Mike
}       Wallace, and if you don't let me in I'm going to blow this ToeJam
}       thing *wide open* on my show.
}
} Guard: Ewwwww, that's gross. Fine, you win. Right this way, Mr.
}       Wallace.
}
} Oracle: (to camera, whispering) Pretty clever, huh?
}
} Camera: Lame is more like it. What next, are you gonna say you're
}       Brenda Starr?
}
} We finally reached the president of Fates, Inc. This mysterious
} character had eluded the eyes of everyone until this moment. Finally, I
} was going to get to the bottom of this. The secretary walked me to the
} door, and opened it, and there I beheld,
}
} Oracle: I don't believe it!! Dick Clark?!
}
} DC: Hello! Please, come on in. Have a seat.
}
} Oracle: <taking seat>....Wow. I just want to tell you I think you look
}       great!
}
} DC. Thank you.
}
} Oracle: So Mr. Clark, why is there ToeJam?
}
} DC: Let me tell you something, Mike, if I could only --
}
} Oracle: Oh, uh, actually I'm the Usenet Oracle. I just told the guard I
}       was Mike Wallace so I could get in here.
}
} DC: I see. So you're already immortal?
}
} Oracle: That's right. And omniscient. Mostly omniscient.
}
} DC: Great, then I don't mind telling you about ToeJam. As a fellow
}       immortal, I'm sure you enjoy and -
}
} Oracle: Wait, what do you mean, "fellow" immortal??
}
} DC: I'm immortal too! See, I have discovered the secret to immortality.
}       ToeJam!! Lots and lots of ToeJam! As long as I keep smothering it
}       on my face, on my chest, all over my body, I will stay young and
}       healthy looking forever.
}
} Oracle: Wow. Sooooo, I guess you just throw hygiene out the window,
}       right?
}
} DC: Not at all! I let others' filthy habits produce the ToeJam I need,
}       and with the help of the ToeJam Fairy, I collect it all for my
}       own purposes. Of course, I tell the TJF to leave some for the
}       people I collect it from, and apparently, most of time, they
}       don't even notice any missing. If only they knew that they held
}       the secret to eternal life in the scum on their feet.....
}
} Oracle: <agape> You know, even *I* didn't know about the ToeJam Fairy.
}
} So there you have it, Supplicant. If I were you, I'd get that ToeJam of
} yours and start applying it vigorously all over myself - don't waste
} another minute. Fortunately for me, I'm already immortal. And
} omniscient. Mostly omniscient.
}
} You owe the Oracle a 12-pack of Mr. Bubble and a rubber ducky.


676-02    (apn90 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> Why was fish swimming upside down this morning?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} If you understood the fish better you would know that they are on a
} political strike to better their living conditions on Wednesdays.
}
} For instance, have you let the fish watch Baywatch lately?  Have you
} even given them a screening of Jaws?
}
} If you are going to entertain the fish more, don't do the common
} blunder of showing them "A Fish Called Wanda" because it has got some
} very strong scenes in it.
}
} You owe the Oracle a pair of fish sticks.


676-03    (5msb1 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> O wondiferous Oracle, whose mere nose twitch could shake the
> foundations of the Earth, please help me!
>
> At my children's elementary school an overactive morality group
> has just submitted a list of banned books and tapes.  On the list
> of obscene material I found they listed all of my favorite "Woody
> Woodpecker" videos. What kind of drugs are these people on anyway?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Supplicant,
}
} As you will no doubt be aware, #### ##### ## #### the ##### # ###.
} #### ### ###, ### ###### ###. %%%%%% %%% %%%%%%%%%ing, but I doubt
} #### ###### ######; instead, @@@@@@ @@@ @@@@ @@@@@@.
}
} Bear in mind that Galileo's book was taken off the Index of banned
} books only last year. Of course, in #### case, **** ********** ****
} *** woody wood######. #### ############ ####### ####### movies, #####
} ######. #### Jane Austen was ########## when she first pub###### her
} work, not to mention D. H. @@@@@@@@.
}
} The Oracle will not tolerate any further %%%%%%%%%%%%%%!
}
} You owe the Oracle a pair of scissors, to help Lisa ####### the lurid
} details of her latest film, "Woody Wood###### and Lisa ######### at
} #######".


676-04    (39yg5 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: David BREMNER <bremner@romulus.cs.mcgill.ca>

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

> Oracle most wise, hunter of the hunted, chaser of the chased, scrivener
> of the scrivened, please help me....
>
> I have been trying for ages to catch this one darn bird.  Now, you
> wouldn't think that it would be such a difficult task, me being a
> super-genius and all, but my plans all somehow seem to go awry.  I've
> tried just about every method that I could think of, including
> butterfly nets, giant slingshots, explosives, rocket sleds, and
> various other products from the ACME catalog.  I've even tried
> painting a picture of a road onto the side of a cliff.  But no matter
> what I try, I always end up being burnt, twisted, stretched, crumpled,
> folded, run over, or dropped from a great height.  And the bird keeps
> mocking me, mocking me, with its incessant "beep beep."  What should
> I do?
>
> Sincerely yours,
> W. E. Coyote

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Seeker of wisdom and birds, your task is to spend three fractions of
} a year studying with your local Unix users group, and pick up a few
} tips about hacking your way into the AcmeNet.com public unix system.  I
} am certain with your intellectual abilities will know what to do then.
} Here's why:
}
} --------Begin Included Message--------
} [header deleted]
} Oh Oracle Most Wise, Protector of the Pursued,
}
} I extend to you my deepest thanks for the tips on how to avoid
} destruction by rocket sled.  However, it seems the one who pursues me
} has come up with a new plan, and is constructing something from a giant
} Y-shaped piece of wood and a large strip of rubber.  Tell me, what is
} the purpose of this device and how can I make good my escape once
} again?
}
} Yours,
}
} [name deleted to protect the anonymity of the writer]
} --------End Included Message--------
}
} You owe the Oracle your Acme frequent purchaser rebates for this
} partial breach of confidentiality.


676-05    (1cqr1 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: buck@integ.micrognosis.com (Jesse Buckley)

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

> Mighty Oracle, answer my prayer:
>
> I have noted that, when I am waiting for some kind of long-distance
> social contact, such as a telephone call or a visitor arriving from a
> far away place, the contact inevitably arrives during the few minutes
> in which it takes me to "use the facility". Indeed, I have found that
> when I am bored at home, I can induce the telephone to ring simple my
> entering the bathroom and shutting the door.
>
> What are the physical laws and principles that govern this phenomenon,
> how are they related to the truism that a "watched pot (potty?) never
> boils", and could this phenomenon be harnessed as an alternative energy
> source in an age of dwindling fossil fuels?
>
> In worshipfullness,
>
> Questioner

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah! You have independantly discovered a law of nature known as Hirsch's
} Law, to wit:
}
}         Hirsch's Law:  The probability of a vital communica-
}                 tion arriving at a particular time is
}                 inversely proportional to the convenience
}                 of the time.
}
} Which is usually expressed as the formula P-sub-t equals k over
} C-sub-t. Some other laws that might come in handy are these:
}
}         Schick's Law:  The probability of cutting yourself
}                 while shaving is directly proportional to
}                 the importance of the job interview.
}
}         Maxwell's Law:  The probability of hitting your
}                 thumb with the hammer is proportional to
}                 the square root of the weight of the
}                 hammer.
}
}         Hoover's Law:  A break in an important case will
}                 be most likely to occur when your nail
}                 polish is still wet.
}
}         Kennedy's Law:  The chance of your car driving into
}                 the river is proportional to the attract-
}                 iveness of the secretary in the passenger
}                 seat.
}
}         North's Law:  Inconsistancies in your testimony can
}                 be overcome by shredding enough documen-
}                 tation in advance.
}
} Alas, your hopes for generating energy through this quirk of nature are
} doomed by the following law:
}
}         Blair's Law:  Energy generated from waiting for
}                 a telephone call during a call of nature
}                 will be less than the amount of energy
}                 expended in fulfilling the call of nature.
}
} You owe the Oracle a parcel delivery service that tries the doorbell
} again ten minutes later.


676-06    (6dog8 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icabod.ih.att.com (Scott Forbes)

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

> This is not a self-referential sentence.
> This sentence contains seven words.
> This sentence starts with the letter Q.
> This Question will be chosen for the Oracularities.
> This isn't a question anyway, is it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} This is not a crude and abusive answer.
} This answer is not overly long.
} This answer does not needlessly quote the question.
} This answer nevertheless is not bloody likely to make the Oracularities.
} At least it's not another question.
}
} You owe the Oracle a question so obscene that it'll squick the entire
} *&%$ priesthood.


676-07    (2fima dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icabod.ih.att.com (Scott Forbes)

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

> What is this about Clinton calling the White House the "peoples' house"
> doing "the people's business" and saying the White House has never been
> damaged (as if it wasn't burnt to the ground by British troops during
> the War of 1812).  Has Clinton hired all the unemployed ex-Soviet
> speecwriters?  What's the deal?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The War of 1812 was fought for five years from 1813 to 1816 between the
} US and British forces of the South against Canadian and French forces
} from the North. For this reason, it is sometimes called the
} Spanish-American war.
}
} The war began after the British sinking of the battleship _Maine_,
} which had been quietly minding its own business when the British snuck
} up to where it was berthed in Pearl Harbor, Cuba and torpedoed it. In
} response, naval commander Oliver Hazard Perry, who had been on shore
} leave at the time, led the charge into Canada with the famous words,
} "We have met the enemy, and they are us."
}
} British forces assisted the Canadians in pushing American troops back,
} further and further south. As American control of the battle weakened,
} it was no surprise that King George ordered that the White House should
} be burned, along with the rest of Atlanta. Fortunately, cameras
} recorded the burning and it remains one of the most-discussed scenes in
} cinema today.
}
} The greatest victory for the Americans in this war was, ironically,
} fought two weeks after the peace treaty had been signed at Appomattox
} Court House. This was when the _Monitor_ and the _Merrimack_ sunk each
} other, convincing both sides that it is too easy to sink ships whose
} names begin with "M".
}
} Although the White House had been completely destroyed in the fire, it
} was rebuilt after the war. The new construction included a security
} system that is the most advanced in the world, although it offers no
} defenses against falling airplanes. In fact, the current president,
} William Madison Clinton says "Drop in anytime! This is the People's
} House!"
}
} I hope this is all clear for you now. If you have further questions,
} don't hesitate to ask.
}
} You owe the Oracle a new edition of Daniel Webster's "Oxford English
} Dictionary".


676-08    (jfib4 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: Mark McCafferty <markm@tenmail.mincom.oz.au>

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

> The Usenet Oracle requires an answer to this question!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

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


676-09    (5lsc1 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> Oh racle
> how do you prove the Final-value Theorem,
>
> i.e.    lim   f(t)  =  lim  sF(s)
>        t->inf          s->0

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}         The Final-value theorem has caused much consternation among
} students throughout the ages, because most calculus professors refuse
} to discuss the actual origin of the Theorem. You will notice that we
} are calculating limits, more specifically, Visa credit card limits.
}
}         lim f(t) = lim sF(s)
}             t->inf     s->0
}
}         This equation calculates how much you pay each month as your
} credit line (t) approaches infinity, and your minimum payment (s)
} approaches nothing. This is the equation that allows the bank to
} generate vast sums by allowing you to overstretch your income, charging
} really cool stuff, and paying over time.
}         Escape while you can! Pay cash!!
}
} You owe the Oracle $488 to cover his AmEx bill.


676-10    (2ffjg dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> If moths are attracted to light, why do they not fly towards the sun?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Where do you think moths go during the day?


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