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Internet Oracularities #749

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749, 749-01, 749-02, 749-03, 749-04, 749-05, 749-06, 749-07, 749-08, 749-09, 749-10


Usenet Oracularities #749    (86 votes, 3.0 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 1995 00:10:59 -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:
   749
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

749   86 votes 8gAfb dirhb ztg60 8ftq8 amwf7 3bfru bnkn9 fiko9 bhqjd 9qnl7
749   3.0 mean  3.1   2.9   1.9   3.1   2.8   3.8   3.0   2.9   3.1   2.9


749-01    (8gAfb dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: stenor@pcnet.com (Scott Panzer)

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

> Oh most great and eminent Oracle, I abase myself
> humbly before your magnificence and ask a reply to
> this question, which puzzles me enormously but
> which will certainly pose no problem for your
> enormous intellect.
>
> The C programming language has a couple of operators,
> ++ and --, and very useful operators they are, too.
> But it is does not have a ** operator.  Why is this?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [Oracle sits back in rocking chair, lights his politically-incorrect
} pipe, takes a few puffs and looks off in the distance thoughtfully.]
}
} Ah yes... I remember back in the ol' days, back when K&R  were still
} pups... we was working on the A language.  Back then we didn't have
} all these fancy schmancy development tools you kids have nowadays,
} nosiree.  Back then used chisels to carve out the punches on rock slabs
} that were put into groups and read, one by one, into a machine.  Yes
} sir, times were tough back then... we didn't have those new fangled
} hard drives or CD-Roms or any of that.  We didn't even have rats... or
} rodents... or mice... or whatever you call them.
}
} Let's see... where was I?  Oh yeah...
}
} Anyways, we was working on the A language and ol' Vince... Vince
} was a real character, that one... I remember the time he and old man
} Winters would go out and try to pick up... well, that's a story for
} another time.  Anyways, Vince and I were working on some of the A
} language commands, and we had a good set of them.  The ++ and -- were
} just the beginning.  We had operators that could do just about anything
} with a single command.  The thing was so robust you could damn near run
} an entire payroll system in just 512 bytes of memory.  Of course, back
} then, any more than 4K was unheard of.
}
} Well, one day, old man Winters comes around with a group of upright
} socially conscious puckered up old biddies who wanted to make sure
} that our work wouldn't be leading to the social decay of our youth.
} They took one look at the ** command, which we referred to as the
} "RABBIT" because of the unrestrained multiplying that could be done,
} and just about hit the roof.  You would have thought that we were
} including instructions to raise ol' Satan himself.  They threatened
} boycotts and all sorts of nasty publicity and all that crap, and old
} man Winters caved in and told us to pull it all out.  We fought for the
} ++ and --, but even that was yanked.
}
} Fortunately, they snuck it back in while working on B, and got a little
} more back into C, but it'll never be as good as it was back in the good
} ol' days.
}
} [Oracle leans back in the chair, takes a few more puffs, and looks
} thoughtful]
}
} Yeah, you youngins don't have any idea of how easy you have it.  Now
} go fetch me a beer, kid... and be quick about it.
}
} [end grandfatherly Oracle scene]
}
} You owe the Oracle the original A language reference, and a Bud Ice.


749-02    (dirhb dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: perkunas@ix.netcom.com (Frank Backitis)

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

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> a12345@biu.ac.il                      dormitory room 123
> abcde@biu.ac.il                       c/o bar-ilan university
> phone (123) 45-678-9012               ramat-gan 12345
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> you can pick your friends. you can pick your nose.
> but you can't wipe your friends on your pants.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oracle:  *SIGH*  Lisa could you bring me the asprin and a glass of
}          water?  It's going to be a long night again...  *sigh*
}
} Lisa:    (returning after a moment with water and asprin)  What is
}          it now Orrie?
}
} Oracle:  Look.  It's another newbie who thinks it's cute to send me
}          a blank question.  This one's even forgotten to remove his
}          signature, though...
}
} Lisa:    Ewwww.  And he says right there that he picks his nose!
}          What a gross thing to say.  It's too bad ones like this
}          don't make it to the Oracularities very often.  Can you
}          imagine what his day would be like if it got published
}          and everyone on his college campus at Bar-Ilian University
}          found out that he picked his nose?
}
} Oracle:  Heh!  He'd never date the girls there again!  (Checking
}          Oracular references).  Let's see, the last time he had a
}          date was for the 1993 homecoming dance.
}
} Lisa:    That was his *last* date?  (Peering over the Oracle's
}          shoulder, massaging it a bit as she does so)  Mmmm.  I
}          see.  He really shouldn't have reached down the front
}          of her dress just to help her clean up crumbs that she'd
}          dropped...  At least not until he'd put down his glass
}          of beer...
}
} Oracle:  And look at this entry!  I guess maybe it wouldn't matter
}          if people did know that he picks his nose after that one...


749-03    (ztg60 dist, 1.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

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

> The Usenet Oracle requires an answer to this question!
>
> > Oh Oracle, mere adjectives are insufficient to describe you.
> >
> > I recently got the following spread, but could not interpret
> > it.  Could you elucidate?
> >
> > 1. (surrounds the querent) 9 of Swords
> > 2. (crosses the querent)   The Emperor, reversed
> > 3. (beneath the querent)   The World
> > 4. (behind the querent)    6 of cups,  reversed
> > 5. (crowns the querent)    The Hermit, reversed
> > 6. (before the querent)    Page of Pentacles
> > 7. (querent's attitude)    The Chariot
> > 8. (environment)           Death
> > 9. (Hopes & Fears)         The Hanged Man, reversed
> > 10.(Final Outcome)         2 of Pentacles
>
> I received this question and here is my answer, oh thief of knowledge.
>
> Apparently, these are tarot cards.  One, they have no meaning to begin
> with. Two, the only one I can tell you about is the hanged man,
> reversed.  It means good, not bad, will happen.
>
> Oh, mighty one, I hope this answer will help.  If not, tough!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       He that was once spent was spent unwisely twice spent
} foolishly and thrice did he come to and end.  But on this thrice
} did fate smile.  For in the thrice thriced we got nine and nine as
} all must surely know is a goodly number bringing with it well wishes
} and much fortune.  So spent thyself not unkindly for it shall all
} come back in the end.
}
}                               For future reference do not question my
}                               answers I am always correct by divine
}                               right and would as soon strike you down
}                               for your blasephemy.  True happiness
}                               stems from fear of the might of the
}                               oracle.


749-04    (8ftq8 dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: stenor@pcnet.com (Scott Panzer)

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

> Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
> thy nacturations are to me,
> as plurdled globbleblotchits
> on a lurgid bee.
> Groop I implore thee,
> thy foonting turlingdrone
> and freddle thy neck,
> see if I don't.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmm... you say you bought this at a garage sale outside Baltimore
} from someone who found it in an old trunk that had belonged to
} her great-great aunt?
}
} I'll run a few tests here... yep, the paper's authentic, 15%
} cotton rag content, from Virginia homespun fabric, 150 ppm
} lead, could only have come from the Johnston Paper Company
} of Alexandria, Virginia, between 1820 and 1837...  Written
} with India ink ... spectroscopy pins it down to New York
} manufacture of the same period... Handwriting matches the
} known samples...
}
} You've found it, all right, the first draft of Poe's "To Helen",
} the one he wrote before the opium wore off.  Too bad he kept
} rewriting it after sobering up and turned it into that nonsense
} about "thy beauty is to me / Like those Nicean barks of yore"
} etc. etc.  You know, sort of, "My girlfriend's a babe, she looks
} just like an old boat."
}
} Market value?  I don't know, but try selling it to the French...
} Baudelaire convinced them Poe's a genius, he's sort of their
} poetic Jerry Lewis...  Call a press conference and announce that
} you've turned down Bill Gates' offer of $5.5 million, because
} "he is an American barbarian who understands nothing of what
} he collects, unlike *French* patrons of art, for example"...
}
} You owe the Oracle a 10% commission.  (In real money, not francs,
} please.)


749-05    (amwf7 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu (Rich McGee)

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

> If a frowser puts wheels on a truck,
> And a roachie makes meals for a buck,
> Then I really don't see
> A meaning to me
> In - what is the use of a Usufruct?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} For days Orrie pondered and thought,
} For on a limerick he'd never been caught.
} Was it a riddled rhyme?
} Or gibberish sublime?
} Or should he just give his email a *Zot!*?
}
} He swap the words round with rot',
} tried ASCII, and hex' and then Oct'.
} Syllables were swapped
} and consenants dropped
} but no answer was to be got.
}
} You owe the Oracle a pint of Guinness (or not)


749-06    (3bfru dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: stenor@pcnet.com (Scott Panzer)

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

> Dear Oracle so nonamed, tell me
>
> is life fun?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Sappy Vonnegut pseudophilosophy aside ("Everything was beautiful and
} nothing hurt"-- what was the man ON when he wrote that?  They didn't
} even HAVE Prozac back then; must have been Librium.  And him a WWII
} veteran, no less.  Ya really want to be disgusted, read his essay
} about Hunter S. Thompson.) life per se is no fun.  Let's break it down
} by timeframe:
}
} PERIOD / EVENT  WINS            LOSES
} ---------------------------------------------
} Prenatal        Warm, stable    Boring as can be.
} Birth           Not boring      Dramatic introduction to the
}                                  concept of "pain."
} Early infancy   Breast feeding  People address you like you're an idiot.
} Toddlerhood     Putting things  Toilet training.
}                  in mouth       Oedipal conflicts.
}                                 Preschool-- introduction to physical
}                                  violence, realization that in the great
}                                  wolfpack of humanity, you're nowhere
}                                  close to being top dog.
} Childhood       Dinosaur books  School, homework, rigidly enforced
}  (early)                         bedtimes, monsters under the bed
}                                  your parents told you about and then
}                                  claimed didn't exist.
} Childhood       Fire, frogs     (Males) Deep confusion as girls
}  (late)                          metamorphose into aliens.  (Females)
}                                  Deep confusion as body morphs from a
}                                  sexless waste of space to the epitome
}                                  of skinny waif-like innocence over-
}                                  eroticized by some New Yorkers with
}                                  some pretty damn suspicious ideas if
}                                  you ask me.
} Adolescence     Masturbation    Pimples.
}                                 (Males) Hurricane of lust in body of
}                                  damp tissue paper.  (Females) Horrible
}                                  realization that all 2.5 billion males
}                                  on the planet want to spend 5.3 minutes
}                                  of quality time with them and then go
}                                  get a roast beef sandwich.
} College         Drunkenness     Hangovers.
}                 Sex             Nausea.
} Marriage        Stability       Stability.
} Work            Money           (Males) Ulcers.  (Females) Guilt.
}                                 [N.B.: in progressive households, BOTH
}                                  partners are subject to both
}                                  conditions.]
} Childbearing    Satisfies outre (Males) Competition with infant for
}                  compulsion      affection.  (Females)  Dramatic
}                                  reminder of the concept of "pain."
} Raising kids    Satisfies outre Insanely boring small people around all
}                  compulsion      the time
} Kids leave home Parents can     Parents have forgotten HOW to operate in
}                  rejoin society  society
}                                 Feelings of emptiness and
}                                  meaninglessness
} Physical decay  Senility is     Pain, incontinence, nursing homes
}                  kind of like
}                  being drunk
} Death                           Everything
}
}
} You owe the Oracle a dinosaur book and a frog.


749-07    (bnkn9 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe Pettus <cep@best.com>

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

> I found a crumpled up print-out in my office wastebasket.
> It read:
>
> - - -
> Driven by Margaret's steady hand, the surgery was going
> to find a water-proof jacket that rolls up into a movie is
> to shame them and deter crime. "If doctors and surgeons
> start reattaching the hands, the whole purpose is
> defeated," he said.
>
> Ginger's good credit came about when Harold decided to
> see how easy it would be for a while, fending off infernal
> attacks and getting more sleep.
>
> During the train to the convention, a bunch of computer
> science majors were on the train. Each of the story of
> margarine in a detailed, informative, and interesting
> manner ... No food has a more impressive history and few
> have been the subject of more legislative enactments and
> court decisions.
>
> Ten years ago or so, the instructor approves of it.
>
> "I think nuns are good, too," Vigore agreed with his
> quivering finger. When he did, all the other bathroom.
> Then, before the conductor comes on board, one of those
> gelatinous-see-through-skin-with-green-onion-and-shrimp-
> inside doohickeys. But I'd just given up on television and
> now left for the plaintiffs says the accident occurred
> through the negligence of volunteer firefighter Henry Frank
> II, the boy's father.
> - - -
>
> O Oracle most wise, I feel I should
> do something about this, but what?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmmmm.... I think I recognize that writing style.  That looks like my
} old friend Eliza's writing!  Let me give her a ring.
}
} <RING!, RING!>
}
} Eliza: How may I help you?
}
} Oracle: Hey, Eliza, did you write a piece of, well, interesting prose
}    that might have been found on a crumpled printout in a wastebasket?
}
} E: Ha!  I would appreciate it if you would continue.
}
} O: Well, now, why do you want to be short with me?
}
} E: Is it because do I want to be short with you that you came to me?
}
} O: No, I wanted to find out if you wrote that prose.
}
} E: Can you elaborate on that?
}
} O: Well, see, this supplicant found a crumpled printout in his office
}    wastebasket.  He's kind of worried about it.  I was just wondering
}    if you wrote it.
}
} E: Why do you say you were just wondering if I wrote it?
}
} O: Well, because I was.
}
} E: Perhaps you could continue.
}
} O: Aw, come on, Eliza.  Just answer the question.  Did you write it or
}    not?
}
} E: Earlier you said do I want to be short with you?
}
} O: Well, hee hee, you know I'd be anything with you Eliza.  But stop
}    trying to change the subject.  Did you write it or not?
}
} E: Maybe your plans have something to do with this.
}
} O: My ... plans?  <Gulp!>  Ah, I see.  Yes, thank you.  Goodbye.
}
} <CLICK!>
}
} Don't worry about that printout, supplicant.  It is utterly
} irrelevant.  It has absolutely nothing to do with me, the Trilateral
} Commission, or anybody's desire to take over the world.  Um, if you
} see any guys with funny looking uniforms around your office, ignore
} them too.
}
} You owe the Oracle your complete obedience.  Remember, Big Brother
} Oracle is watching you!


749-08    (fiko9 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: engel@San-Jose.ate.slb.com (Mike Engelhardt)

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

> tellme
> How come I'm having problem interfacing the NCC with the NOC?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Captain's Log, Stardate 42031.7
}
} The USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-D, is enroute to the starbase 251 where we
} will rendezvous with the Tellurian flagship Frogman, NOC-102-A.
} Engineering is tasked to complete a linkup between the two ships to
} transport valuable goods aboard the Frogman.  While we're here, I've
} allocated shore leave for those personnel who want it.
}
} LaForge: "Captain, LaForge here."
} Picard:  "Go ahead, Geordi."
} LaForge: "We're about to start connecting the NCC to the NOC.  Will
}           advise when we're halfway completed.  This shouldn't cause too
}           many problems with the computers."
} Picard:  "Acknowledged, Picard out."
}
} Jean-Luc took the turbolift from the bridge to the holodeck level,
} where he approached the doors to Holodeck 3.
}
} Picard:   "Computer, access program Picard-125.  Run program."
} Computer: "Program complete.  Enter when ready."
}
} As he walked up to the doors, they slid open to reveal a beautiful
} panoramic view of France, taken from an excellent vantage point on a
} hill just south-west of Paris.
}
} Jean-Luc marveled at the new level of details the program was capable
} of, after the Binars reconfigured the holodeck's database to integrate
} with the central computer to retrieve background information about the
} desired place.
}  In this case, the computer gave it information about the local flora,
} reproducing the exact species of plants that would have existed in
} France at that period of time, as well as their fragrant scents.  It
} was a pleasantly warm day, and a tree on the top of the hill cast a
} beautiful shadow on the grassy land.
}
} After taking a deep breath of the energizing air, Jean-Luc settled down
} in his favorite spot, leaning up against the smooth bark of the tree,
} overlooking the city below.
}
} Picard:  "Now for this book I've been waiting to delve into."
}
} Just then, the klaxons sounded.  "Red Alert, Red Alert".
}
} Picard:  "Darn."
}
} LaForge: "Captain, something has gone wrong in the linkup.  There has
}           been some sort of overload in the primary fusion couplers.
}           Now trying to compensate."
} Picard:  "Keep me posted, Geordi.  I'll be on the bridge.  Picard out."
}          "Computer, save program and exit."
}
} As the stunning magnificence of France faded around him, Picard walked
} out of the holodeck into the corridor.  Once on the bridge, he assessed
} the situation.
}
} Picard:  "Number one, status."
} Riker:   "Shields down to 65% and falling rapidly."
} Picard:  "Cause?"
} Riker:   "Unknown at this time.  There seems to be some sort of glaring
}           incompatability between the NCC and NOC.  Geordi is on it
}           right now."
}
} During the midst of all the excitement, Q appeared.
}
} Q:       "Having problems, mon capitaine?"
} Picard:  "I don't have time for your games, Q.  Now stop whatever
}           you're doing."
} Q:       "This time, it's not my fault.  But I did come to repay that
}           old debt I had with you.  Oh, alright.  I'll fix it."
}
} Q snapped his fingers, and the NCC and NOC were finally linked up with
} no problems.  After that, Q was nowhere to be found.
}
} Picard:  "Everyone alright?"
} LaForge: "Captain, I can't explain it, but everything is working fine
}           now.  Did something happen up there?"
} Picard:  "I'll explain later.  Good work, Geordi.  Picard out."
}
} So everything was transferred between the ships just fine, and ever
} since, the NOC and NCC have been completely compatible.  Don't you wish
} you had Q at your disposal when you need him?
}
} You owe the Oracle a dilithium crystal.


749-09    (bhqjd dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: engel@San-Jose.ate.slb.com (Mike Engelhardt)

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

> Oracle, oh oracle - wielder of words, mother of all
> acronyms, father of verbs, sister of nouns, and
> brother of indefinite articles.  What is the etymology
> of the word zot?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I first used the word ZOT on Wed, Oct 24, 1990 at 15:47:49 Indiana
} Standard Time.  I DID get the dweeb^H^H^H^H^H supplicant out of mail
} in VMS.  Here is our entire conversation:
}
} The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
} Your question was:
}
} > .
} > ^D^D^C^]^C^C
} > O great one, how do I get out of mail in VMS?
} > .
} > ^C^C^C^C
}
} And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
}
} } Easy!  Simplicity itself!  One moment, please...
} }
} } oraclevax %> su root
} } Password:
} } BABY!!!  TALK TO ME!!!
} } oraclevax #> lightningstrike some.dweebs.machine.com
} } LIGHTNINGSTRIKE some.dweebs.machine.com (XXX.XXX.XX.X)
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=0
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=1
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=2
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=3
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=4
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=5
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=6
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=7
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=8
} } ZOT some.dweebs.machine.com: icmp_seq=9
} }
} } ----some.dweebs.machine.com LIGHTNINGSTRIKE Statistics----
} } 10 ZOTS transmitted, 10 ZOTS received, 0% ZOT loss
} } oraclevax #> exit
} } oraclevax %>
} }
} } There we go.  Easy as pie.  Anything else you need?
} }
} } Hello?
} }
} } Hello?
} }
} } Hellll-llllooo-ooo?
} }
} } You owe the Oracle a surge protector.
}
} You owe the Oracle a pair of rubber-soled shoes.


749-10    (9qnl7 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: engel@San-Jose.ate.slb.com (Mike Engelhardt)

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

> You're using a MACINTOSH???  Really, Orrie, I'd have
> thought better of you!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Really, supplicant, after hanging out with my wisdom for so long I'd
} expect better observation skills from you.  That is just a trenchcoat.
} I'd never wear a mackintosh.
} You, on the other hand, have got to do something about those shoes.
} They make a statement, all right, but do you really want everybody in
} the shopping mall to know _that_ about you?  Come on.... a little
} subtlety here.
}
} You owe the oracle a pair of jeans with elastic in the back so I don't
} have to use a belt.


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