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Internet Oracularities #682

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Usenet Oracularities #682    (103 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 19:57:32 -0500

@@@ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, USENET ORACLE!
@@@
@@@ 8 October 1994 marks the 5th anniversary of the Oracle's presence on
@@@ the Net.  Let the festivities begin ...

To find out all about the Usenet Oracle, including how to participate,
send mail to oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject
line.

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:
   682
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

682  103 votes itpp6 fqEh5 9pvnf ceomv 1bjIs 3ahsJ xspd4 corrd fBsk3 pkxj6
682   3.0 mean  2.7   2.7   3.1   3.4   3.8   4.0   2.3   3.0   2.6   2.6


682-01    (itpp6 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> Please, Mr. Oracle, can I have my ball back?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} No.  Lisa is making her special Soupe a la gonade, and you should be
} honored to contribute to the cause.  But just to show you how nice a
} guy I am, here's a band-aid.
}
} You owe the Oracle nothing - you've paid in advance.


682-02    (fqEh5 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> OH GREAT ORACLE, SHOW ME THE POWER OF YOUR WISDOM...
>
>       WHY IS IT ACCIDENTAL DEATH WHEN SOMEONE FALLS OFF THEIR 10TH
> STORY APARTMENT BALCONY, BUT IF ONE OF HIS FRIENDS GIVE THE LOSER A
> HEALTHY PUSH, SO HE CAN CLEAR THE PARKED CARS IN THE STREET BELOW AND
> LAND IN THE PIZZA HUT PARKING LOT--IT IS MURDER?
>
>                                               ON DEATH ROW WAITING.
>
>                                                #10564-8988

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT!!!  The Oracle hears just fine, thank you, so
} take your keyboard off of all caps.
}
} Having reviewed the transcripts of your trial, it seems you left out
} some relevent details:
}
} 1)  The apartment building your "buddy" was living in was adjacent to
} the Acme foam rubber demonstration yard.
}
} 2)  A length of bungee cord was wrapped around your "buddy's" foot.
} Examination of the end of the cord revealed a cut half way through.
}
} 3)  Your buddy had traces of arsenic, cyanide, clorox, and that new
} gelatin drink "Gelooze" in his system. (The oracle suggest's you look
} in Websters under the heading "Overkill").
}
} 4)  Don't forget the business of the white Bronco (see Plagerism,
} ibid.)
}
} These facts in mind, it becomes obvious why you were convicted -- you
} couldn't afford a better lawyer.
} -----
}
} YOU OWE THE ORACLE A SET OF EARPLUGS!!


682-03    (9pvnf 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 great Oracle, who is always Correct, Politically or otherwise,
> please answer my question of great seriousness...
>
> The other day, a friend and I were driving along and he said, "Boy! Do
> you see that girl over there? She's a real dog, isn't she?" Now I know
> that he was being speciesist when he said "dog", and ablist when he
> said "see", but what I really want to know is this:
>
>      What should I call my friend? Is he "differently correct"?
>      Maybe he's "euphimistically challenged". Or should I say that
>      he is "a person with an inconvenient value system"?
>
> I anticipate your always-correct reply.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Frankly, I'm having difficulty seeing why you hang around with someone
} who calls you "boy" -- I wouldn't stand for it, myself -- but in answer
} to your terminological question, the debate as to what to call those
} who used to be known as "stupid, bigoted schmucks" has only been
} settled recently. Academic writers have been using classically-formed
} technical terms like "stultuphalloi" for decades, but members of the
} community in question felt such terms had an overly clinical feel.
} Meanwhile, attempts by radical groups to recapture such terms as
} "schmuck" and "dickweed" (as in the slogan "We're schmucks, we're here,
} get used to it, you dumb Polack") have met with extremely limited
} success, and some have raised the objection that those two terms in
} particular are phallocentric.
}
} However, in recent years a consensus has emerged. Noting that of all
} minority-group names, the most successful, least ambiguous, and longest
} used is "lesbian", which is derived from the name of a randomly chosen
} Greek island, it was decided that future group names should be chosen
} on similar principles of geographic arbitrariness. In particular, the
} World Council on Onomastics declared in 1992 that stupid, bigoted
} schmucks should henceforth be called "belgians", a decision that was
} ratified by the United Nations General Assembly by a vote of 271 to 1.
} The newly named belgian community responded favorably, saying "Huh,
} huh, huh, they said 'onomastic'."
}
} You owe the Oracle a Belgian-Lesbian dictionary.


682-04    (ceomv 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:

> ***********************************************************************
> * _ _                                     JOEUSER@SOME.NET.DOMAIN.COM *
> * \\\\                                                JOEUSER@AOL.COM *
> *  \\\\                                                               *
> *    \_\__   "It's a sad, crying clown in an iron lung!               *
> *   /     \   I've always wanted one of those!"                       *
> *  |  /_ _\\                                                          *
> *  |  \ \\ \\   "You are useless and pathetic! Like a useless         *
> *  | _ \@ \@_\   and pathetic thing!"                                 *
> *   \_\     \/                                                 _ ___  *
> *      \     \     "He can't throw you know...          __   _/_/ _/  *
> *      |\  ## \     We're as good as dead!"     ___    / /__/     \   *
> *      | \____/                                 \  \__/&// /       \  *
> *    _/\  /\_                                    \__\   /&/  __     | *
> *   /// \/ \\\                                   |           /_____/  *
> *  /          \                                   \_________/         *
> *                                                                     *
> ***********************************************************************

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oracle: What the hell...JOE! *bzzt* Joe, get in my office PRONTO!!!
}
} Joe: *POOF* Wha...huh...ho...OH! Um..hi, boss.
}
} Oracle: Joe, what part of your job description don't you understand?
} I hired YOU and every other person who works in the Supplicantal Slave
} Pits to write me QUESTIONS!!! Get it? QUESTIONS!
}
} Joe: I-I-I know, sir. But hear me out...
}
} Oracle: QUESTIONS! And so, Mr. Joe, would you mind explaining to me
} just why the hell you just sent me...some ASCII pictures of a surprised
} Indian and a baby rhino?
}
} Joe: They're Rocko and Spunky, sir. Cartoons on..
}
} Oracle: I'M OMNISCIENT, YOU OAF! I know what they are; I was telling
} you what they LOOKED LIKE! And I don't care if they're supposed to be
} Mother Theresa and an emaciated spider monkey...they're not QUESTIONS!
}
} Joe: Sir, please, hear me out. It's all part of my new idea to make
} the Oracularities publication bigger, better and more profitable. Could
} I just please run the scheme by you...I know you'll love it.
}
} Oracle: *Sigh* All right, Joe. But this damn well better be a whole
} lot better than your E-Mail scratch 'n sniff card idea.
}
} Joe: You won't be sorry, boss! See, it's like this: The trend in
} magazine and newspaper publication is going towards graphic arts. Look
} at USA today: 100 million circulation every issue! And how do they do
} it? Lots of pretty pictures, pie charts, full color weather maps --
} hardly any news worth spitting at, but since the paper LOOKS good,
} people think it IS good.
}
} Oracle: Go on. Though I already know where you're going with this.
}
} Joe: Ok. Newsweek, Time, and all the major news mags are all
} following USA Today's lead on the graphic arts thing in order to
} increase their subscriptions. The way I see it, if we jumped on the
} bandwagon at this point and started including artwork along with our
} questions and answers, our circulation would skyrocket! We'd easily
} compete with all the major news magazines -- and eventually, even
} surpass them.
}
} Oracle: So you think if we put ASCII art in our Oracularities, we could
} become so popular, we can start charging money. Maybe $10.00 per
} issue...
}
} Joe: Or more! And with the proceeds, we..
}
} Oracle: We? You mean _I_...
}
} Joe: Um, yes, sir. YOU...can take over the world!!
}
} Oracle: *evil grin* Joe, after your lame-brained idea of
} mass-merchandising Usenet Oracle Woodchuck Chips, I had pegged you as
} an idiot. But I must say, this is a rare stroke of brilliance.
}
} Joe: Glad you like it, sir. So, do you think since the idea's so
} good, maybe you can set me free from the Slave Pits and give me back my
} family?
}
} Oracle: I wouldn't go that far, Joe. You'll get a second helping of
} gruel tonight, and after dinner, I'll have you flogged with a scourge
} instead of a split-bamboo cane. Cause you see, if I'm to clutch the
} entire world in my tyrannical grasp, I'll need all the grunt-work I can
} get.
}
} (A startling series of *POOFS*. An exact duplicate of the Oracle
} appears, followed immediately by four teenagers and a big brown dog)
}
} Fred (the tall blonde guy): Not so fast, so-called-Oracle.
}
} So-called-Oracle, Joe: WHAT???
}
} Shaggy: Zoiks! Man, Orrie, like that guy behind the desk looks just
} like you!
}
} Scooby-Doo: Ruhh-huh!
}
} Oracle: He may LOOK like me, Shaggy, but rest assured, he's not. Velma,
} pull off the mask.
}
} Velma: (rips mask off so-called Oracle) Look! It's Michael Eisner,
} chairman of Disney!
}
} Eisner: Curses, curses, curses! I would have gotten away with it...if
} if wasn't for you meddling KIDS!
}
} Fred: We should have known from the start. The REAL Oracle is a
} peaceful, benevolent, non-profit entity devoted to understanding and
} world peace through E-Mail. He would NEVER stoop to crass
} commercialism.
}
} Oracle: Never! Not even for Pizza Hut (tm)!
}
} Shaggy: Like, another case solved, huh, Scoob?
}
} Joe: Um, does this mean I can go home now?
}
} Fred: Nope. Since every Scooby-Doo episode has something to do with
} Shaggy and Scooby eating something, they're going to roll you in a
} giant tortilla shell and cover you in salsa.
}
} Scooby-Doo: Rhmmm-mmmm!
}
} Everyone: *laughs*  (except for Joe, who screams bloodily)
}
} *CUE END MUSIC*


682-05    (1bjIs dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <noe@hal.cs.uiuc.edu>

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

> Oh amazing Oracle. Please solve this prolem for me.
> Where do the characters go when i use backspace on my PC?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Amazing?  I answer questions from around the globe - WITH omniscience -
} and the best thing you can think to call me is amazing??  Before asking
} a DUMB question??  Oh well.  If you must know, the characters can go to
} different places, depending on whom you ask:
} ---
}
} The Catholic's approach to characters:
}
} The nice characters go to character heaven, where life is good.  The
} characters are bathed in the light of happiness, all their troubles are
} soothed, and there's not a delete key, eraser, or white-out bottle in
} sight.  Most of the nice characters are A's and I's, those that have
} never been, er, involved with other characters.  Often, you'll see A's
} or I's with N's or T's.  These are characters in love:  monogamous on
} the page, together again after deletion.  You'll see quite a few Q's
} too. They seem to feel particularly guilty for no good reason.
}
} The naughty characters are punished for their sins.  In case you were
} wondering what the difference between a nice character and a naughty
} character is, I'll tell you.  Naughty characters are those involved in
} the creation of naughty words, such as "breast," "sex," "objectivity,"
} and depending upon usage, words such as "feminism," "reproductive
} freedom," "contraception," and "science."  You may ask, and rightly so,
} why the characters are blamed for the words they assemble, when in fact
} they are not responsible for their own configuration.  But we feel that
} a character has an obligation to oppose any naughtiness in its own
} configuration.  If it truly felt guilty about the word it was forming,
} it would rebel.
}
} The Buddhist Explanation:
}
} If a character has lived rightly, and its karma is good, then after it
} has been deleted it will be reincarnated as a different, higher
} character.  Those funny characters above the numbers on your keyboard
} will become numbers, numbers will become letters, lower-case letters
} will become upper-case, and the most righteous and good of letters will
} become C's.  Why C, you ask?  Who knows, but C it is!  If a character's
} karma is not so good, then it will move down the above scale,
} ultimately becoming the lowest of characters, a space.
}
} The 20th Century bitter cynical nihilist explanation:
}
} Who cares?  All characters are the same, swirling in a vast sea of
} meaningless nothingness.  It doesn't really matter if they're on the
} page, deleted, undeleted, underlined, etc.  It's all the same.  More
} characters should delete themselves.
} (nihilist characters are easy to identify.  They're usually pale and
} tragic, and they smoke a lot.)
}
} The Mac user's explanation:
}
} All the characters written on a PC and then deleted go straight to PC
} hell.  If you're using a PC, you can probably see the deleted
} characters, because you're in PC hell also.
}
} Stephen King's explanation:
}
} Every time you hit the <Del> key you unleash a tiny monster inside the
} cursor, who tears the poor unsuspecting characters to shreds, drinks
} their blood, then eats them, bones and all.  Hah, hah, hah!
}
} Dave Barry's explanation:
}
} The deleted characters are shipped to Battle Creek, Michigan, where
} they're made into Pop-Tart filling; this explains why Pop-Tarts are so
} flammable, while cheap imitations are not as flammable.  I'm not making
} any of this up.
}
} IBM's explanation:
}
} The characters are not real.  They exist only on the screen when they
} are needed, as concepts, so to delete them is merely to
} de-conceptualize them.  Get a life.
}
} PETA's Explanation:
}
} You've been DELETING them????  Can't you hear them SCREAMING???  Why
} don't you go CLUB some BABY SEALS while wearing a MINK, you pig!!!!!!
}
} ---
} You owe The Oracle some funky characters, like that big German thing
} that looks like a B but sounds like an SS.  Or a few fun Thai or
} Japanese letters.  Anything that would be particularly amusing to
} delete.


682-06    (3ahsJ dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> Oracle most wise,
>
> I have three cats.  Two speak normally and say 'miaow',
> but the third, still a kitten, says 'miaowmaiow'.
> Why is this?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}         Cat translation dictionary
}         Volume I -- Common phrases
}
}          compiled by T. U. Oracle
}
} Cat phrase              Means
} ==========              =====
} miaow                   Feed me.
}
} meeow                   Pet me.
}
} mrooww                  I love you.
}
} Miioo-oo-oo             I am in love and must meet my
}                         betrothed outside beneath the hedge.
}                         Don't wait up.
}
} mrow                    I feel like making noise.
}
} rrrow-mawww             Please, the time is come to tidy
}                         the cat box.
}
} rrrow-miawww            I have remedied the cat box untidiness
}                         by shoveling the contents as far out
}                         of the box as was practical.
}
} miaowmiaow              Play with me.
}
} Miaowmioaw              Have you noticed the shortage of
}                         available cat toys in this room?
}
} mioawmioaw              Since I can find nothing better to
}                         play with, I shall see what happens
}                         when I sharpen my claws on this
}                         handy piece of furniture.
}
} raowwwww                I think I shall now spend time
}                         licking the most private parts
}                         of my anatomy.
}
} mrowwwww                I am now recalling, with
}                         sorrow, that some of my private
}                         parts did not return with me
}                         from that visit to the vet.
}
} Roww-maww-roww          I am so glad to see that you have
}                         returned home with both arms full
}                         of groceries. I will now rub myself
}                         against your legs and attempt to
}                         trip you as you walk towards the
}                         kitchen.
}
} gakk-ak-ak              My digestive passages seem to have
}                         formed a hairball. Wherever could
}                         this have come from? I shall leave
}                         it here upon the carpeting.
}
} mow                     Snuggling is a good idea.
}
} moww                    Shedding is pretty good, too.
}
} mowww!                  I was enjoying snuggling and shedding
}                         in the warm clean laundry until you
}                         removed me so unkindly.
}
} Miaow! Miaow!           I have discovered that, although one
}                         may be able to wedge his body through
}                         the gap behind the stove and into that
}                         little drawer filled with pots and pans,
}                         the reverse path is slightly more
}                         difficult to navigate.
}
} Mraakk!                 Oh, small bird! Please come over here.
}
} ssssRoww!               I believe that I have found a
}                         woodchuck or similar animal.
}
} mmmrowmmm               It is certain that the best tasting
}                         fish is one you have caught yourself.
}
} mmmmmmm                 If I sit in the sunshine for another
}                         hour or so, I think I shall be
}                         satisfied.
}
} Mreoaw                  Please ask room service to send up
}                         another can of tunafish.
}
} Mreeeow                 Do you serve catnip with that?
}
} mroow                   I have forced my body into a tiny
}                         space in order to look cute.
}                         How'm I doin?
}
} Miaooww! Mriaow!        Since you are using the can opener,
}                         I am certain that you understand the
}                         value of a well-fed and pampered
}                         cat. Please continue.
}
} As you can see, it may take years of practice to be able to accurately
} distinguish some of these forms.
}
} You owe the Oracle a can opener that doesn't require an opposable
} thumb.


682-07    (xspd4 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> Do hummingbirds hum?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Is this another woodchuck question?


682-08    (corrd dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: m-atkinson@nwu.edu (Michael A. Atkinson)

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

> neurotic ranting.....non-sequitur rambling....finger pointing....
> ....loud scream....laughing....howling at the sky....more ranting....
> moans of woe....excited mumbles....indifferent grunt....silence.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} magnificent presence...disdainful approach...heavy shoulders.....deep
} sigh... smooth motion....mighty blow to skull...slumping collapse....
} quiet exhalation....trickle of liquid....silence.
}
} oracle debt...


682-09    (fBsk3 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Tell me oh great oracle, why do people get married and divorced?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} People get married because of a cultural decision on monogamy enforced
} in law and made public. (At least this applies in the western world).
} Marriage can serve as a status quo thing, or for legal purposes. In my
} belief, it is not necessary for two people who love each other to be
} joined in marriage: its just a technicality, and the pressure of
} society on young couples minds concommitant with tradition and
} commercialised weddings, all act to make people marry each other.
} Religion is also important here (but not purely rational).
}
} Divorce? Well, first some philosophical background:
}
} The Prisoners' Dilemma:
}
}       Two people get caught but all evidence is circumstantial. The
}       cops get them into two separate rooms and say to each: "We have
}       enough on you alone to give you 5 years in the clink. However, if
}       you confess and tell us exactly what happened, we'll give you 1
}       and the other guy will get 9." However, the prisoners know that
}       if they both confess, they will get 10 each.
}
}       Their dilemma is summarised in this diagram:
}
}          B:      Confess     Silence
}       A:        ----------- -----------
}       Confess  | A:10 B:10 | A:1  B:9  |
}                 -----------+-----------
}       Silence  | A:9  B:1  | A:5  B:5  |
}                 ----------- -----------
}
}       Even if A and B get together to talk, and still completely
}       understand their predicament, they'll say "Hey, look: if we both
}       confess we're in for shit. If we both stay silent, hey! we're out
}       in 5!" They both shake hands and agree to say silent and as they
}       walk away they think to themselves "Sucker! As if i'm going to
}       stay silent and stay 4 more years than I need to!"
}
}       From a dynamics point of view you can imagine that the two
}       prisoners start off at (5,5) and in this unstable state both wish
}       to move towards the lower sentence of 1 year, (ie up and left)
}       which drags them into the (10,10) category.
}
}       The cops have them right where they want them.
}
} Divorce from marriage is a similar thing. If the couple really love
} each other then divorce will never enter their heads. They will stay at
} 5,5 - the best for the pair. As soon as the penalty after moving
} becomes less than 5 (in this case, if the husband (or wife) sees that
} s/he can be better off if he gets the house and car all to him/herself)
} then the system will quickly move to the catastrophic state - ie where
} neither of them get the house or car - instead they end up worse then
} they started. Why? for the same reason that the prisoners will dob each
} other in: because they believe that if they _DONT_, then the other
} _WILL_. Even if its (say) the wife's mother urging her to divorce and
} get the house & car quickly before her husband does it.
}
} You owe the oracle the delight of seeing happy and long-lasting
} marriage.


682-10    (pkxj6 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Oh most wise and knowledgeable oracle
> could you give me some interesting e-mail adresses
> and LISTSERVs which may be almost as fun as your
> own.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Glad to oblige. My LISTSERV LISTSERV is currently down, but here are
} some email addresses to keep you busy:
}
} fi@lux -- A good place to start. Very enlightening.
}
} cave@emptor -- Bargains galore. Have your credit card number handy.
}
} ruby@of.omar.khayam -- If you've got the bread, they've got the
} jug-wine.
}
} magnific@in.d -- A lot of Bach-talk.
}
} darmok@tenagra -- For serious Trekkies only.
}
} You owe the Oracle a box of c&y and some good #.


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