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Internet Oracularities #702

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702, 702-01, 702-02, 702-03, 702-04, 702-05, 702-06, 702-07, 702-08, 702-09, 702-10


Usenet Oracularities #702    (68 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 1994 15:52:56 -0500

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702   68 votes eacei 6goi4 66jne 1gqi7 3kne8 igi79 5khj7 3goeb cerd2 9eog5
702   3.0 mean  3.2   3.0   3.5   3.2   3.1   2.6   3.0   3.2   2.7   2.9


702-01    (eacei dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> Oracle most wise,
>
>       How is it that Santa Clause can deliver packages to millions of
> people all in one night.  I have been replaying all of my Star Trek
> reruns to brush up on all of the latest space-time continum(sp)
> theories, but that has been to no avail.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Naughty supplicant,
}
} Some theoretical work has been done on this subject already.  I will
} append it to this message, to save some CPU cycles.  I am having a dots
} match with the MIT mail router.
}
} The author is unknown.
}
} ************************************************************************
}
} As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help
} from that renowned scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) - I
} am pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.
}
} IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS?
} =======================
}
} 1) No known species of reindeer can fly.  BUT there are 300,000 species
} of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are
} insects andgerms, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer
} which only Santa has ever seen.
}
} 2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world.  BUT
} since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle most Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist
} children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million
} according to Population Reference Bureau.  At an average (census) rate
} of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes.  One presumes
} there's at least one good child in each.
}
} 3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the
} different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels
} east to west (which seems logical).  This works out to 822.6 visits per
} second.  This is to say that for each Christian household with good
} children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the
} sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the
} remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left,
} get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the
} next house.  Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly
} distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but
} for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now
} talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million
} miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once
} every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.
}
} This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000
} times the speed of sound.  For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-
} made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4
} miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per
} hour.
}
} 4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element.
} Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set
} (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa,
} who is invariably described as overweight.  On land, conventional
} reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds.  Even granting that "flying
} reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we
} cannot do the job with eight, or even nine.  We need 214,200 reindeer.
} This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh
} - to 353,430 tons.  Again, for comparison, this is four times the
} weight of the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth II.
}
} 5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air
} resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a
} spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere.  The lead pair of
} reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy.  Per second.
} Each.  In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously,
} exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in
} their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26
} thousandths of a second.  Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to
} acceleration forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity.  A 250-pound
} Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his
} sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
}
} In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve,
} he's dead now.


702-02    (6goi4 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <AMW108@PSUVM.PSU.EDU>

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

>      Dear Oracle, I'm addicted to this game. I play it often and for
> long periods of time. Alot of my friends play the same game and they
> are continuously encouraging my play of this game! I was wander if you
> could help me? How can I get better?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You must become one with the bottle as it spins, and feel its
} revolutions in the depths of your soul. Also, don't forget to keep
} your left elbow straight, your chin down, your eye on the ball, and
} follow through. Develop your Knights before your Bishops, keep good
} shape, and study the games of Sakata Eio. Never draw to an inside
} straight, but look around a little bit before you build your first
} city. Build a solid block with one lane open, so when you get a
} straight piece you can drop it in there for a high score. Don't try
} to crank the ball if you're not a pro, the natural spin as it falls
} from you hand will give it enough of a hook. The best defensive shot
} is one that skims the net with as little speed and spin as possible,
} and bounces twice on the table. Study Nimzovich! Drop an artillery
} barrage on the road, and blockade the whole enemy army.
}
} You owe the Oracle a shank of venison, or some other game.


702-03    (66jne dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: RICH MCGEE <MCGEE@nic.CSU.net>

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

> Oh wondrous Oracle, why do stars twinkle?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Bad connection in the power grid.  We're working on it.
}
} You owe the Oracle some starglasses.


702-04    (1gqi7 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: cep@netcom.com (Christophe)

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

> What should I do about the Christmas Party fiasco?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh my goodness (or perhaps my omniscience.)  This list could grow as
} long as the one you just sent Santa.  For starters, try this.
}
} - Claim to belong to an obscure religious sect that *requires* one to
} mash crackers and cream cheese underfoot, spilling brandy on the
} carpet, while dancing awkwardly to Bing Crosby's White Christmas.
}
} - Claim that the incident in which you were sniffing the nutmeg
} sprinkled on the eggnog (which caused you to sneeze directly into the
} bowl) was really a mild seizure, and no fluids actually left your
} body.
}
} - Grovel for forgiveness from your boss, his wife, and the cat.  The
} cat will be the toughest case, but argue that when you set the
} curtains on fire while lighting the candle, you naturally grabbed the
} nearest object to beat out the flames.
}
} - Accuse someone of having spiked your drink with hallucinogens.  This
} may also be a cover for having forgotten your date's name halfway
} through the evening.
}
} - Look forward to New Year's Eve.  Things can only improve.


702-05    (3kne8 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: amg@panix.com

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

> Oh great and wise Oracle,
>
> What time is it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh most useless supplicant, I have the answer to that meager question.
} It lies here on the table before me, in a plain manila envelope.
}
} I could say something mystic and debonair, something such as, "Time is
} a river, my son, . . ."  But that would be patronizing to one with such
} high aspirations.
}
} I could say somethng simplistic yet meaningful, such as, "Time is all
} things to all men."  But that may be misconstrued.
}
} I could say something snide and pretentious, such as, "Look at your
} watch, you FREAKIN' PINHEAD!!"  But that would be ignoring those poor
} souls that have been raised to determine time only by digital means,
} and who are at a loss when their batteries die.  That may be you my
} son, and I would hate to despise you for your lack of energy, pun
} intended.
}
} Instead, let me simply say this:
}
}               It isn't a time.
}               It, is a pronoun.
}
} You owe the Almighty Oracle one new copy of *The Transitive Vampire*.


702-06    (igi79 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icabod.ih.att.com (Scott Forbes)

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

> dear Oracle,
>
> The other day I was at the diner, and there was this bunch of guys
> (and a couple of gals) in white robes, and they was havin a good old
> time, laffin like nothin. So I listen in, and I hear one of them say
> "475-10!", and everybody laughs like they're gonna die, and another
> one says "638-08", and everybody guffaws, and another says "665-01",
> and the bellylaughs you wouldn't believe, and they go on for awhile
> like "602-08" and "519-04" and "460-05" (that one *really* slays
> them).
>
> So I think this sounds like fun, and I walk up to the table and say
> "653-07", and they all say "boo" and throw their coffee at me.
>
> What did I do wrong?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, some people just don't know how to tell a joke!


702-07    (5khj7 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: cep@netcom.com (Christophe)

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

> what I should tell my wife on Christmas Eve

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Tell her what you always do -- that you're going out drinking with the
} guys. Then be sure to pull the sleigh out of the driveway very quietly
} (and for Heaven's sake, cover up Rudolph's nose -- if she spots that
} red glow up in the sky, you're finished). If you make your rounds
} quickly, you should be back long before she gets suspicious.
}
} You owe the Oracle an elf to be named later.


702-08    (3goeb dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: jrp@widcat.widener.edu

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

> What is the place between the spiritual realm
> and the material plane?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In airports with duty-free liquor shops, the departure gate.


702-09    (cerd2 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: jrp@widcat.widener.edu

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

> We have been encamped here in sight of the enemy for three days.
> The wind called Volturnus blows, and the iron sun shines by day --
> can I say I do not like this place,
> this place whose cursed name can I not recall.
>
> The consul Gaius Terentius Varro wishes to give battle in the
> morning, and has assigned me to check the auspices.
> Alas! I did not pay attention in haruspex class,
> and do not remember if the entrails
> should be read from left to right or vice-versa.
>
> O Oracle so canny, more fearsome than a cannibal,
> can you connive to tell me,
> what can I do? what can I say?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Okay, here's what you do. Carefully open the sacrifice, and examine the
} entrails carefully, starting with the intestines (from back to front),
} then moving on to the liver. Contemplate thoroughly everything these
} organs are telling you -- they are your guides, your messengers from
} the gods.
}
} Then tell Terentius precisely what he wants to hear, because otherwise,
} he's gonna hate your guts.
}
} You owe the Oracle some haggis in garum sauce.


702-10    (9eog5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: jrp@widcat.widener.edu

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

> Dear Oracle,
>
> The other day, it occurred to me, in the archaic phrase,
> "Shave and a haircut -- two bits!",
> I've always been told that "two bits" meant a quarter,
> which in case you're a tea-drinker means twennyfive cents, U.S.,
> it occurred to me, that means there's eight bits to the dollar,
> just like there's eight bits to the byte, it occurred to me,
> IT'S TIME FOR CURRENCY REFORM!!!
>
> Instead of 100 cents to the dollar, we ought to have 256.
> Oh wait, maybe ...
> [rustle, rustle] ... "Nicholas F. Brady" ...
> it's signed, I see, so we oughta have 128 pennies to the dollar.
>
> And no more fivers! Gotta have a "word" instead of a "fin".
> Hey, both ends the same size, that'll stop a lot of controversy!
>
> Whaddya say?
>
> --
> [Vs vg'f fvtarq, vg pbhyq or artngvir.]

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You know Supplicant, you have a good idea there.  Let's see..your
} dollar would become a "K"!  $100 would become a "Meg" (or 100K), while
} $1000 would become a "Gig" (or 1000K).  Okay, I know the measurements
} are off a tad, but we have to deal with inertia here as well.  Let's
} look at the implications:
}
} NEW CAR DEALER: Yes sir!  For only 2.26844 Tara's, you can be the proud
} owner of your very own 1997 Cadilliac Grande-Deluxe "RoadHawg".
} CUSTOMER: Well, uh, all I can afford is 1.9 Tara's.
} NCD: Insufficiant Memory!  Have you considered a memory upgrade?  We
} have many plans available.
} CUSTOMER: What kind of plans?
} NCD: Well, we can finance then addition 3 Gig's for a compression ratio
} of 1:5.
} CUSTOMER: That's highway robbery!
} NCD: Otherwise, sir, you won't be able to get over the 640K limit.
} CUSTOMER: That's BS!  I'm going to go take my business to Doom Motors!
} They have the DOS Protected Mode plan available!
} NCD: (shouting after customer) But you can't use QEMM on that plan!
} Come back! I'll give you a great deal on our 1997 GatesMobile!  Come
} back!  Look out our special "Chicago Windows" model!  It should be
} released by 2001!
} CUSTOMER: (shouting back) what, are you crazy?  I know those things run
} on V-8 Pentiums with only two cylinders actually running!  Do you think
} I want to KILL myself on the road?  No way!
}
} You owe the Oracle a new spreadsheet that could deal with this.
} ..naq sbe vapyhqvat n EBG13 zrffntr va lbhe dhrel, lbh nyfb bjr gur
} Benpyr lbhe znvyre'f urnq ba n fvyire cynggre.


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