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Internet Oracularities #677

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677, 677-01, 677-02, 677-03, 677-04, 677-05, 677-06, 677-07, 677-08, 677-09, 677-10


Usenet Oracularities #677    (78 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 07:46:55 -0500

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   677
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

677   78 votes 8kyd3 5djqf 7rtb4 hxl61 2jwk5 03opq ghog5 4ccnr 7myc3 4edmp
677   3.1 mean  2.8   3.4   2.7   2.2   3.1   3.9   2.7   3.7   2.8   3.6


677-01    (8kyd3 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> To the Oracle with the hairiest knuckles you ever saw,
>
> How come the phone company never seems to run out of phone numbers? Are
> they secretly digging through the garbage of disconnected numbers and
> reusing them, passing them off as new ones?
>       And what about toll-free 800 numbers? What happens when the ten
> millionth person or business wants one? What will they do oh what WILL
> they do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A most dangerous question, grasshopper! Don't you know that in
} the cosmic order, the PHONE COMPANY ranks somewhere between God
} and the IRS?
}
} The telephone company is keenly aware of the problem. When it
} comes to telephone numbers, they do not believe in supply side
} economics. Instead of increasing the number of telephone numbers,
} the phone company is trying to decrease the number of people
} wanting telephone numbers.
}
} This implies population control. The phone company has its
} electronic contraceptive -- cellular phones. Cellular telephones
} do not cause brain cancer, they cause sterility. All of the
} studies done to date are red herrings. They are intended to
} distract us from the appropriate end of the body.
}
} You owe the Oracle a pair of lead underpants.


677-02    (5djqf dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Isnt timing everything?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ask again later


677-03    (7rtb4 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Oracle most wise, who never has trouble shopping, please tell your
> humble and footsore supplicant:
>
> Why can't I find a pair of shoes that fit?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle isn't supposed to tell, but he sympathizes with your plight
} and will explain the basis for your problem.  Just don't tell anyone
} he let you in on the secret.
}
} Your problems are caused by a secret shoe conspiracy.  Sometime in the
} distant past at a shoe store in Hoboken you annoyed a clerk.  The
} nature of this insult is hidden in the fog of time and the clerk passed
} away without telling the Oracle the specifics.  Nevertheless, your name
} was sent out over a little known group on Usenet called
} shoe.evil.customer and memorized by every clerk on Earth.  They now
} know to always give you mismatched shoes as punishment.
}
} Of course you many not be guilty of any shoe related crime.  The Oracle
} has known the American Association of Podiatry to post false names in
} the hope of drumming up new buisness.
}
} Your plight is a serious one, but it is very hard to get your name off
} of the list.  The Oracle suggests you use aliases and a disguise when
} you shop.  If you are not recognized, you may get shoes that fit.
}
} You owe the Oracle's loafers a good shine.


677-04    (hxl61 dist, 2.2 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> Dear Oracle,
>
> I am abashed by your effervescent effulgence, and scarcely dare
> speak in the presence of such a superior Being, but speak I must.
>
> February 2 has passed, and I need your advice, because I'm
> Punxsutawney Phil.
>
> Well, actually, I'm Speedy Alka-Seltzer, from the old commercials,
> and I only dress up as a famous groundhog.
>
> You remember, of course, that I wrote to you a few months ago, my
> life in ruins, my pockets empty, no more limelight, the residual
> checks from my commercials long since spent. Nobody in show business
> cared about me any more, and I couldn't get a job.
>
> I turned to you for advice, and you saved my life. You referred me
> to the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce, who were in a dither
> because their famous Phil had been fried by a mysterious
> lightning bolt, and they needed a stand-in, but fast!
>
> Yes, thanks to you, I got a job, and I was on network TV, even if
> only briefly. I'm back in show biz again, and I owe it all to you!
> My gratitude is eternal.
>
> The problem is, you know, now that the gig is over,
> what do I do next?
>
> ----Speedy

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Wow. You actually made enough from the groundhog gig to last you from
} February to September? I should go into the business myself.
}
} Let's see. On the calendar for September:
} Labor Day. Nope, nothing there.
} Newbies flood the Net. Unless you're really into posting random
} "imminent death of the Net" messages to various groups...?
} There's a primary election in several states. How do you feel about
} candidate endorsements?
}
} Candidate endorsements are probably your best bet, actually. People
} always want celebrities on their side. "Speedy AlkaSeltzer says VOTE
} for Barry in 1994." And in 1996, you can use your exposure in that
} campaign to make commercials saying "In 1994, Speedy AlkaSeltzer said
} VOTE for Barry. This time, VOTE for DAVE Barry. Harvey and Dave in
} '96."
}
} You owe the Oracle some powder that'll make me feel good.


677-05    (2jwk5 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icabod.ih.att.com (Scott Forbes)

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

> O Great and Wise Oracle, more learned than Athens and more powerful
> than Sparta, I have a question:
>
> As the U.S. teeters on the brink of yet another minor war, I am
> wondering -- has anyone written any Haitian War ditties yet?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Haitians are, of course, famous for their war ditties.  You may not
} know this, as Hatians speak a weird language that sounds almost
} completely like French while having next to no grammatical resemblance
} to it.  In fact, this "stealth language" can be used as a powerful
} means of encryption (thus explaining the low sales of PGP 2.6 in
} Haiti).  For example, the translation of one Haitian children's song in
} conventional French:
}
}    The sun is rising over my lasagna
}    Please don't walk on the grass because
}    the lemurs are purple
}
} is completely different from its true meaning:
}
}    Depose the president
}    Install a military dictatorship in his place
}    Don't worry, Democrats haven't invaded anything since the Bay of Pigs
}    We're a happy family
}
} You owe the Oracle a promise to stop sending those damn soybean
} questions.


677-06    (03opq dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Jonathan "Dr. Who" Monsarrat <jgm@cs.brown.edu>

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

> Oh, great Oracle, who could grovel better than I ever could, please
> tell me:
>
> On my modem are five little lights labelled as follows: "AA CD OH IO
> MR". Whatever could they mean?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} New modem users often are confused by these needlessly cryptic labels.
} We here at Oracle Labs are pleased to be able to clear up this
} frequently asked question, though a quick look at your modem reference
} manual would certainly have been a more grovel-free solution to your
} problem.  Modem manufacturers don't go to the expense of translating
} and re-translating those manuals from Korean to English to Japanese to
} English just so you can get by without reading them.
}
} From the left, these modem lights mean the following:
}
} AA:  Annoying Answer.  When the "annoying answer" feature of your modem
}      is active, callers to your modem line will hear an unpleasant
}      screeching sound.  Great for those bill collectors and telephone
}      solicitors.
}
} CD:  Carrier Detect.  When your modem is connected to a computer system
}      that is "carrying" a contagious computer virus, this light
}      activates to warn you.  If the CD light ever comes on, you should
}      immediately yank the phone cord out of your modem for maximum data
}      safety.
}
} OH:  The "OH" light comes on when the modem realizes that you really
}      want it to do something NOW.  The next generation of DSP modems
}      from Hayes is rumored to be capable of actually saying "Oh, okay"
}      out loud.
}
} IO:  When lit, this light indicates that you are receiving data from
}      one of the moons of Jupiter.  Do not look closely at this light;
}      the sketchy preliminary reports we have indicate that it is "full
}      of stars".
}
} MR:  For the rural modem user.  Signifies the state of the data
}      connection. When lit, "MR" good data bits on the line, when not,
}      "MR" not.  Some types of telephone line problems common in rural
}      America cause repeated renegotiations of the data signal,
}      resulting in the dreaded "MR Not -- MR Too" oscillations on the
}      connection.  One shotgun blast into the air generally resolves
}      these protocol arguments all nice and peaceable like, though
}      extended feuds have been known to occur.
}
} You owe the Oracle a voice line capable of automatically retraining
} whenever the other party doesn't know what you're talking about.


677-07    (ghog5 dist, 2.7 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 POWERFUL ORACLE, wisest of the wise, most knowledgeable:
>
> Will I meet the girl I am searching for?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} No, but you will grill the meat you've been searching for.


677-08    (4ccnr dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

>       Why is there EVIL in the world?  Why can't we have peace and
> goodwill toward men and all that?  Why does EVIL have to exist?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [WARNING: The following text contains graphic descriptions of a method
} for summoning the Devil. This should be attempted by trained Oracles
} only.]
}
} I started my research at the library. I looked through their Occult
} section (pitifully small, really, considering the importance of the
} subject). I checked out every one of the books on Satanism, except the
} ones on the Reference shelf. I just snuck those out past the gate.
}
} I had just barely started reading those books when I realized I needed
} more.
}
} I went to the arcane bookstore, where eldritch and mysterious
} paperbacks can be had three for two dollars on Mondays. I found
} "Witches, Women, and Power". I found "The Cabalistic Arcana". I found
} "Augury". I found "The Devil's Dictionary". I paid two bucks and took
} the fourth one out hidden in my trousers.
}
} I had a good laugh over that "Devil's Dictionary", but then I
} concentrated my efforts on the others. I soon knew that I needed more.
}
} I sought out and joined a hedonistic, satan-worshipping commune. In
} honor of my joining, we sacrificed a goat. I ate its heart. I wore its
} untanned pelt for a week. I slept with men, with women, with goats,
} with trekkies. Let no one say that the Oracle doesn't do his homework.
}
} Finally, I was ready. Under the light of the harvest moon, I stripped
} naked and drew a pentagram in the sand. I lit five candles, one at each
} point of the pentagram. Behind each candle, I put an item: At the
} first, the blood of a virgin in a cup of onyx. At the second, the
} thighbone of a small boy. At the third, a first edition of "C, a
} Reference Manual". At the fourth, a chicken strangled at high noon. And
} at the fifth, I stood, holding a scroll from which I read.
}
} "O Satan, Master of all Evil, Beast of the Apocalypse, Destroyer of
} Good and Bringer of Light and Darkness. O Lord of Pandemonium, O Satan
} Mekratrig, O Mephisto, come to this place now." [Full details of chant
} are available at ftp.microsoft.com in directory
} /pub/satanism/summons/chant/. Downloads restricted.]
}
} Without warning, Satan appeared. Twenty feet tall (that's six metres,
} if you're outside the US), breathing steam, bright red skin, totally
} naked. Scariest thing _this_ incarnation's ever seen. So, the first
} thing I said was,
}
}         "HEY! You're a woman!"
}
} "Yeah, well, you know, it's those feminists. They kept arguing that God
} could be a woman, and She decided, why not both of Us. It's only
} temporary, in a thousand years I'll be a guy again, but just between
} us, it's the pits."
}
} "What do you mean?"
}
} "Okay, for starters, can you imagine how hard it is for Me, now that I
} want to get into a relationship? I've tried the personals ads, and you
} wouldn't believe the losers I've run into. Only interested in one
} thing. And don't even ask about the cramps. My moods go up and down
} like you wouldn't believe. And another thing, I don't get paid anywhere
} near as much as I got for this job when I was a guy."
}
} "Wow, that's rough. I never realized."
}
} "Hey, me either. And you ever tried wearing a bra? Ugh. But what was it
} you called Me here for, anyway?"
}
} "Oh, yeah. That. A supplicant asked-- Wait a minute, I've got the
} question here. Here it is:"
}
} >       Why is there EVIL in the world?  Why can't we have peace and
} > goodwill toward men and all that?  Why does EVIL have to exist?
}
} "Hmmm. A philosopher. I should send Thomas Aquinas to answer that one."
}
} "You've got Thomas Aquinas down in Hell?"
}
} "Well, don't let it out, but I have most of the great philosophers down
} there. Kant, Sartre, all the ones who made it hell for you in
} Philosophy class. But to answer the question, it's just a matter of
} balance."
}
} "You mean, that there has to be Evil so that there can also be Good?"
}
} "No, no, not at all! Evil in the world has to be balanced with what
} you're trying to accomplish. Look at the evil that you have done just
} to answer this supplicant's question: Three stolen books, $25 in
} overdue book fines, Misdemeanor cruelty to animals, three counts, Theft
} of blood from the Red Cross, Theft of a child's thighbone from the
} morgue, AND summoning the Devil. You know, the penalty for that is the
} loss of your immortal soul."
}
} "Oops."
}
} "Well, I'll let you off this time. But don't let it happen again.
} Anyway, my point is, that you did all this evil stuff just to answer a
} supplicant's question. That's what happens with everybody who does
} evil--they're not trying to be evil, they're just trying to get
} something else done. And, like you, they feel a little guilty
} afterwards. Right."
}
} "Ummmm. Yeah. Right."
}
} "So, be on your way. I've gotta get going; Dave's World is coming on in
} a couple of minutes, and I can't set the timer on my new VCR. I'll see
} you around!"
}
} And with that, She was gone.
}
} You owe the Oracle $25 and a pint of blood at the Red Cross. And do you
} know a way to get the smell of dead goat out of your hair?


677-09    (7myc3 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> Mr. Oracle, sir,
>
> I'm writing a book on oracles, shamans, minor deities, and other
> repositories of ancient knowledge. I wondered if you would care to
> comment on any of the following issues:
>
> * How long have you been an Oracle, and how did you get started?  Is
> there a certification process, or must one be born into the career?
>
> * Do you have many followers, worshippers, acolytes and/or apostles? In
> general, do you find these to be a help in your Oracular duties, or a
> hindrance?
>
> * Tell us about an average day in your Oracular life. What are your
> usual routines; do you work at home, in an office, or in a
> temple/ashram/other holy place; do you work set hours or full-time; how
> do you unwind after work?
>
> * Despite your omniscience, do you still feel yourself to be a regular
> guy?
>
> I shall consider all statements to be for publication, unless otherwise
> noted.  Thank you for your time.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh boy, another book deal. Do I get a percentage of the gross on this
} one?
}
} I've been an Oracle for 5 or 6 thousand years now, more or less. This
} is actually my great grandfather we're talking about here, because
} the UseNet wasn't around back then, of course, except in Dimension P,
} but then, they don't count anyway. When I "Came into Being" I
} received the complete and sometimes accurate knowledge of all my
} ancestors. No sympathy for that Atreides dude here, I can tell you.
} All my ancestors being Oracles has its advantages and disadvantages.
}
} 1) I could skip the certification process. My great granddad had
} passed it, I still had his knowledge, so I got the ancestral waiver.
}
} 2) My ancestors were also omniscient, so I have the complete
} knowledge of everyone who has lived when my ancestors were alive,
} *plus* the complete knowledge of everyone who's alive now. Makes for
} one hell of a memory problem, I can tell you.
}
} I'm working all the time, except for the odd weekend or two off in
} the Bahamas. Then the priests have to manage on their own, aided by
} the occasional yahoo off the street. I attribute any spelling errors
} to my priests, and any wrong knowledge to those yahoos. I am never
} wrong, although sometimes I can be misinterpreted. I get that from
} Great Granddad.
}
} I like to sit in a Jacuzzi when I'm working. Or if necessary, I'll
} lounge in my silk pajamas and answer questions while the Jacuzzi's
} being cleaned. And if I'm feeling really omnipotent, sometimes I'll
} use the Nautilus machines and answer questions at the same time.
}
} Of course I'm a regular guy. Not all those Beavis and Butthead
} answers come from the priests, you know.
}
} Ciao,
} Orrie.


677-10    (4edmp dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: buck@integ.micrognosis.com (Jesse Buckley)

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

> Oracle, my Oracle, I beseech thee to spake unto me and grant me
> the greatness of your knowledge. Ponder my question deeply and
> tell me who will win the 1994 World Series.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The National Football League.


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