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Internet Oracularities #726

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Usenet Oracularities #726    (99 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 13:24:17 -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:
   726
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

726   99 votes 9tskd bunq9 gBx94 8bqBh 3blzt kqBd3 8lzpa cjroh itsg8 9eptm
726   3.0 mean  3.0   2.9   2.5   3.4   3.8   2.5   3.1   3.2   2.7   3.4


726-01    (9tskd dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Michael Nolan <nolan@pumpkin.tssi.com>

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

>        Oh wise and fuzzy oracle, this question has puzzled my small and
> feeble mental skills for many days.  If your great and omniscent powers
> can provide me with an answer to this puzzle of many years, my problems
> will be solved.
>
> The Question:
>
>          If you drink soda from a coffee cup, is it still called a
> coffee cup?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh, you poor supplicant. I can see how this question would keep you
} awake at nights. The answer to your question is yes, it is. But the
} reason is a little known secret.
}
} You see, a coffee cup was not named after the substance which it
} contains. Rather, it is named after the substance from which it is
} made. People think that coffee cups are made out of glass, cyramic, or
} some such nonsense. In reality, coffee cups are made out of compressed
} coffee. Here's the story.
}
} It was in the midst of the Trojan war. The horse was in the city,
} waiting for the Greeks to emerge.
}
} In the near by city of Cup, the Earl - Earl Coffee of Cup was drinking
} a can of Coke. Note that the story of the biblical origins of Coca Cola
} is a fascinating one, but one which is beyond the scope of this reply.
} As the Earl drank, he watched with bemused glances the strange-looking
} beans growing in a pot beside him. They had been given to him by the
} great grandson of some guy named Jack, and he had been hoping for some
} treasures. No treasure was he to have. The beans continued to grow, but
} only in the fashion of normal beans (now known to have been coffee
} beans).
}
} Now, back to Troy. The walls of the city came crashing down as the
} Greeks trashed the city. Helen of Troy turned out to be so startlingly
} ugly that the Greeks, once the city was looted, went into laughing
} fits. They rolled on the ground as one, laughing. As it happened, they
} rolled right through the kingdom of Cup. So great was the force of
} their weight that that kingdom was wiped from the map forever, and the
} beans were compressed into a round mass with a largish depression in
} the middle. These compressed beans were named coffee beans after their
} now-lamented owner. Their value as a liquid of punishment to anyone who
} would care to drink them was not known until later.
}
} As an aside, the grandson of Jack had pulled a trick on the Earl of Cup
} and had sold him fake beans. He used the profits from the sale to make
} a greenhouse for the legitimate beans, and started his very own
} thriving bean stalk industry, which went bust when he found out what
} kind of property tax you had to pay on bean stalks.
}
} You owe the Oracle a six-pack of Coke.


726-02    (bunq9 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@teleport.com>

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Once again, the Oracle has struck a poor supplicant speechless with
} admiration.  Speak up!  The amassed Wisdom of the Oracle can't be
} obtained without asking a question.
} ...
}
} Yo!  Wake up!  Smell the coffee!
} ...
}
} Hey, buddy, you OK?  That's a pretty feeble pulse you've got there.
} HEY!  MEDIC!  You're gonna be OK, guy.  MEDIC!!!
}
} Uh, nothing to see here, folks.  Please move along.  Guy just fainted
} in front of the truly awesome accumulation of Oracular knowledge.
} Please go about your business.
}
} MEDIC!
}
} You owe the Oracle $2.95 for the get well card.


726-03    (gBx94 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson" <AMW108@PSUVM.PSU.EDU>

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

> Why is it that on the Star Trek television shows (the original, Star
> Trek the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager) whenever an
> "away" team beams down from the ship the leader of the team always
> says, "Set phasers on stun", and everyone changes the settings on their
> phasers.  Why aren't the phasers AUTOMATICALLY set on stun? What were
> the phasers set to?  Mildly annoy?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A point rarely explored in the TV shows is that the phasers are
} multi-purpose objects.  Apart from defended slap heads and people with
} unrealistically large earlobes they also serve to barbecue the
} occasional piece of meat or to give a particularlly dodgy shave to
} those old enough to require one.
}
} Obviously,  a phaser set to stun would provide a sub-standard shave or
} an undercooked piece of meat.
}
} You owe the oracle a light amplified nasal hygiene set.


726-04    (8bqBh dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: engel@San-Jose.ate.slb.com (Mike Engelhardt)

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

> Knock...Knock
>
> Errmmm. Hello Mr Oracle Sir. I hope I'm not disturbing you from
> anything important. Could you take the time to answer a small question,
> from one who is probably not worthy to breath in your presence:
>
> There is a discussion on the uk.misc newsgroup about creationism versus
> darwinism. Someone suggested asking God what was at the start of the
> evolutionary chain. Well, of course, that is ridiculous - God is
> ex-directory. So could you do me a far bigger favour than I deserve,
> and ask Him for me?
>
> Thanks.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       This question was not as much trouble to me as you might think.
} In fact, it gave me the opportunity to renew an old correspondence with
} the big G Himself. When I posed your question to Him, He got rather
} quiet and depressed. Further probing yielded this astonishing
} information:
}
}       Long before the dawn of man, The Great Evolutionary Chain was a
} part of a much larger universal mechanism: The Great Evolutionary
} Bicycle. Like all bicycles, this was a machine that set many things
} into motion, in this case the Wheel of Fortune and the Circle of Life
} (which indicates Elton John's obvious wisdom regarding the function of
} the universe).
}
}       However, this all came to a crashing halt during "The Fall".
} When God's human creations disobeyed Him in the Garden of Eden, He was
} so distracted that His trouser leg got caught in the Evolutionary
} Chain. This, of course, led to The Fall, and also explains why God was
} so testy when He finally caught up with Adam and Eve.
}
}       Even worse, The Celestial Bike was forever damaged beyond repair,
} because the chain had been shattered upon impact during The Fall. This
} disaster had far-reaching effect upon the cosmos which is still evident
} today. Such Evolutionary quandaries such as the human "missing links",
} the platypus, and plush purple dinosaurs are a result of it.
}
} You owe the Oracle an ancient artifact: The Long Lost Handpump of the
} Covenant.


726-05    (3blzt dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <noe@sal.cs.uiuc.edu>

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

> O Oracle, so dogmatic, pragmatic, phlegmatic, and enigmatic,
>
> If you were in a car traveling at the speed of light,
> would you signal before changing lanes?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The problem with trying to drive at the speed of light is that you
} always end up behind some 80-year-old woman going only 0.96c while
} trying to see over the steering wheel of her Chrysler New Yorker with
} license plates from Pinellas County, Florida...in the fast lane, no
} less.  And you can try and flash your lights all you want, but at those
} kind of speeds, the spectrum gets blue-shifted.  This means she thinks
} it's a cop...which would be great if she'd pull over, but she just
} slows down EVEN MORE.
}
} And I don't think I even have to mention what this elderly woman is
} doing with her turn signals...yep, using one of them.  Continually.
}
} None of this is all that relevant to your question, the answer to which
} is...of course.  I always signal before changing lanes.  The important
} thing to remember is that you have to use your turn signal, because if
} you stick your arm out the window at those kind of speeds, it'll get
} ripped off.
}
} You owe the Oracle a refill of blinker-light fluid.


726-06    (kqBd3 dist, 2.5 mean)
Selected-By: Michael Nolan <nolan@pumpkin.tssi.com>

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

> O Wonderous Oracle whos toe nails are so wise no sock can contain them,
> please tell me:
>
> How do I know that the Priest who reads this Oracular Drivel has a
> sense of humor?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You don't, you sniveling, little worm.  Who do you think you are?  You
} are nothing!  NOTHING!  Only I, the great USENET ORACLE, can truly know
} anything.  You can only believe what I tell you.  And it's possible
} that you can't even truly believe that!  You don't know that I'm lying
} any more than you know whether my priest has a sense of humor!  You
} don't know ANYTHING!  I could tell you that the world was made of
} subprocessed cheese grown in incubators!  Can you believe it?  Who
} KNOWS!  Ahahahahahahahahahaha! Fools!  All of them!
} A-hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
}
} And by the way, yes he does have a sense of humor.  Thing is, he just
} took it to the cleaners a while back, and I don't think it's been
} returned.
}
} You owe the Oracle a shave, haircut, and 2 bits.


726-07    (8lzpa dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: Michael Nolan <nolan@pumpkin.tssi.com>

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

> If the universe is expanding, wouldn't that mean we are gaining weight?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You have the right idea.  Unfortunately, you've got it the wrong way
} round.  The universe is expanding BECAUSE we are gaining weight.
}
} You owe the Oracle a good grovel.


726-08    (cjroh dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Michael Nolan <nolan@pumpkin.tssi.com>

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

> When will I be rich?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Attached is a "Change of Name" form -- official from the federal
} government and the United Nations internal control of all people (phase
} IV.)
}
} By filling it out and sending it it with the requisite $49.95 plus S&H,
} you will be "Rich" in approximately 8 weeks.
}
} OFFICIAL CHANGE OF NAME FORM
}
} Current name (L/F/MI): _____________________________________
} New name: ____________________Richard_______________________
}
} Signature: ___________________________   Date: ______________


726-09    (itsg8 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: engel@San-Jose.ate.slb.com (Mike Engelhardt)

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

> If you can't reach there, well, then I obviously didn't
> want you to scratch there. Think about that next time-
> oh, sorry, there isn't a next time.
>
> Zot!
>
> You owe the Oracle a new mattress.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}  "Well, hello there, me. How am I today?"
}  "Me? I'm fine! And me?"
}  "I'm fine! What do I want me to do?"
}  "Simple! I want me to find us."
}  "That's simple. Which one of us do I want me to find?"
}  "All of us. In case I haven't told myself, there's a crisis facing the
}     world. And only I and me, along with us, can help."
}  "But before I go, I've got one question for me."
}  "I'm welcome to it. Ask."
}  "How come I'm telling me to do it? Why don't I do it?"
}  "I'd be glad to help, but I'm in an asylum for the insane."
}  "How did I get there?"
}  "For talking to myself." The screen went blank.
}  So it was that the Usenet Oracle went searching for his other selves,
} not knowing that they had already been accounted for.
}
}  You owe the Oracle "Things the Oracle Would Say to Homer Simpson" for
} $50, Alex.


726-10    (9eptm dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Greg Wohletz <greg@duke.CS.UNLV.EDU>

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

> Oh wise one...
>
> Why is it that planes supply floatation devices instead of parachutes?
>
> And, why do we need either one?  They could just make the whole plane
> out of the same material as that little black box that's
> indestructable.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Why do planes have floatation devices? Well, as usual, when something
} makes absolutely no sense, the government's usually to blame.
}
} You see, when planes were first invented, the goverment decided to
} regulate them, as this is what goverments do. The only problem was that
} nobody in the government knew anything at all about airplanes. Did this
} stop the government from stepping in? Don't be silly. So what the
} government did was to assign a top-level committee to determine how to
} regulate planes. And this committee sent memos to the mid-level
} bureaucrats, who sent memos to low-level bureaucrats, on so on, until a
} memo arrived at the desk of a bureaucrat (named Jim) who had nobody to
} pass it down to. And, of course, by this time, the memos had become
} garbled in bureaucrat-speak and had become over 350 pages long.
}
} Well, Jim barely knew bureaucrat-speak (that's why he had nobody
} underneath him) and he had no intention of reading a 350 page memo,
} anyway. Plus, he had no idea what an airplane was, in the first place.
} So he flipped open the memo to a random page and read:
}
}     ... the class of transport vehicle in question, to wit, the
}    "airplane" (or "aeroplane" or "plane", see page 142), which being
}    designed so as to permit lift via Bernoulli's Law of Fluid Dynamics,
}    in which the pressure or lack of same on a surface or set of
}    surfaces is affected by the rate of velocity (or speed) of the fluid
}    in question...
}
} which Jim didn't understand at all. But he saw the word "fluid", and
} thought "Ah ha! It must be some kind of boat!"  Now Jim knew nothing
} about boats, either, but he figured that at least it should have some
} sort of floatation device, at least. So he wrote a memo to his boss,
} who hadn't read the original memo either. He added some
} bureaucrat-speak and a couple more regulations and passed it up to his
} boss... and so on.
}
} Finally the committee submitted their report to Congress, who passed it
} as an amendment to a bill declaring May National Corn Sweetener Month.
}
} Now why planes aren't made of the black box material is a much more
} interesting story. The simple fact is, there just isn't enough of it to
} make all the planes out of. You see, all the black box material (called
} Substance X) came from a UFO that crash landed in the Arizona desert in
} the 1930's. Nobody knows what it is, but they know it won't be
} destroyed in a crash. (Because it wasn't.)
}
} This explains why there is such a concerted search for the black box
} after each crash. It's not that they really want to know what happened
} (you seen one crash, you seen 'em all), but they need to recover
} Substance X to make more black boxes out of. (It's kind of
} self-defeating, when you think about it. Like I said, that's
} government.)
}
} You owe the Oracle an offical memo and some corn sweetener for the
} holidays.


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