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Internet Oracularities #752

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752, 752-01, 752-02, 752-03, 752-04, 752-05, 752-06, 752-07, 752-08, 752-09, 752-10


Usenet Oracularities #752    (88 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 1995 00:10:40 -0500

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send mail to oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject
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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:
   752
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

752   88 votes 2eosk 9atrd 5Cx57 2iBo7 2kus8 4aHp6 etpf5 6bksn 5qBg4 5bkum
752   3.2 mean  3.6   3.3   2.7   3.2   3.2   3.2   2.6   3.6   2.9   3.6


752-01    (2eosk dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: forbes@icabod.ih.att.com (Scott Forbes)

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

> Most magnificant Oracle, I have a serious problem, which I hope you can
> solve:
>
> Lately, my kids have been watching the Cartoon Network.  At first, I
> thought it was a good thing.  I got to watch lots of old Bugs Bunny and
> Road Runner cartoons, not to mention Daffy, Foghorn Leghorn, and Porky
> Pig.
>
> But then they discovered Scooby Doo and the Jetsons.  They love them.
> They tape the shows, then watch them all hours of the day.  Once I
> stopped them, but then they refused to tape "Baywatch" for me, so I had
> to give in.
>
> It roundn't be so bad except for the damn dogs, Scooby and Astro.  Ro
> matter what I'm doing rhen they watch the show, I always hear the dogs.
> Rit's starting ro affect my rind.  I rart growling, rowling, and
> whining. Rately ri've been starting to rcratch and rick myself in
> public. Ri'm afraid Ri'm turning rinto a rog.  Relp me Roracle. Rave re
> rom rhis radness!!  Rease!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}       It would appear that you've been afflicted with a little-known
} form of Hanna-Barbera Acquired Speech Dysfunction Syndrome.  The
} treatment is harsh, but effective.  It requires that you burn all the
} Scooby/Astro-infected videotape, and watch near-endless reruns of H.
} Ross Perot's whole '92 presidential campaign, y'hear?  This will result
} in..  Kin I finish?  Kin I finish?  This will result in.. in.. in..
} your speech dysfunction being almost totally reversed, right, and yer
} speech will become almost normal, y'hear.  There are, I say, there are
} few side effects to this <holds up colorful but meaningless chart>
} six-month treatment.  <whacks chart with little pointer> Y'See?  Yew
} owe th'Oracle enough money to launch a nearly-successful '96
} Presidential campaign.


752-02    (9atrd dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <carole@email.unc.edu>

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

>       Magnificent one,  I'm afraid that I am in a bit of a bind again,
> and need a little bit of advice.  (A small miracle would not hurt
> either if you can spare one.)  My questions are short, but fairly
> important to my future. I know that being as magnanimous as you are,
> that you will not hesitate to answer them.
>
>       Today a good friend came over to visit, and we had a mild
> disagreement. Unfortunately things got somewhat out of hand.  Now she
> lies dead on my floor. My questions are:
>
> 1)  What can I do with the body?
> 2)  What is a good place to hide from the police and her family?
> 3)  Will the two of us ever be friends again?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} First, one word:  barbecue.  Any decent pork BBQ recipe should
} work fine.  Be sure to cook it thoroughly, to kill any parasites
} that may be present.
}
} Second, the best place to hide is right under their noses (a la
} the purloined letter).  Invite the family over for a barbecue
} dinner.  Save a place for your deceased friend, of course, and
} feign surprise when she doesn't appear.
}
} Third, you will be even closer than friends; it will seem as though
} she is actually part of you - "one flesh," as the Bible says.
}
} You owe the Oracle some cole slaw.


752-03    (5Cx57 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: perkunas@ix.netcom.com (Frank Backitis)

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

> Hey Orrie?  I'd like to get together with you for
> lunch some time next week.  What's your schedule?
> When would be good for you?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Let's see here...
}
} Monday, July 3--9:00-Weekly meeting with Steve Kinzler to review
}                      priests' performances.
}                 11:30-Zotting priests.
}                 12:30-Lunch with remaining priests.
}                 3:00-Answer questions.
}                 7:30-"Jeopardy!"
}                 8:00-Answer questions.
} Tuesday, July 4--7:45-Breakfast with Thomas Jefferson.
}                  11:00-"The Price Is Right"
}                  12:00-Fourth of July cookout for supplicants who
}                        properly grovelled.
}                  3:30-Free concert with Lisa
}                  6:30-Dinner with Lisa
}                  9:15-Fireworks with Lisa
}                  11:30-More fireworks with Lisa (if you know what I
}                        mean)
} Wednesday, July 5--1:00-Lunch with president of Indiana University
}                    3:30-Answer questions.
}                    7:00-"Wheel of Fortune"
}                    7:30-Answer questions.
} Thursday, July 6--8:30-Answer questions.
}                   1:00-"Face the Music" (rerun)
}                   1:30-Answer questions.
} Friday, July 7--8:30-Answer questions.
}                 3:00-"Press Your Luck" (rerun)
}                 3:30-Answer questions.
}
} As you can see, I'll be pretty busy next week, especially Wednesday,
} Thursday, and Friday, since I'm taking the 4th off.


752-04    (2iBo7 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo L. Schwab" <ewhac@shell.portal.com>

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

> Tell me if it will be possible, that human feelings sometimes could be
> transmitted over the worldwide information superhighway.
>
> I thank you very much.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Interesting concept.  Let us imagine some of the possibilities:
}
}    1. Psychologists replaced by debuggers who receive
}       tortured feelings in the mail, patch them, and
}       send them back.
}
}    2. Flames so potent that they literally incinerate
}       the flamee.  Mass deaths reported among users
}       of AOL and Prodigy.
}
}    3. Millions report harassment as lust is sent through
}       the mail.  In a related story, Madonna goes online.
}
} And all of this is just the beginning...


752-05    (2kus8 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo L. Schwab" <ewhac@shell.portal.com>

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

> O sagacious and sublime Lima Bean;
>
> In the case of a collision between two subatomic particles, after which
> event the momentum of one is measured by one observer, and the
> wavelength of the other by another observer; who would buy lunch?
> Would shutting my eyes help?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Shutting your eyes is what caused this wreck in the first place!
} You drive like you own the whole particle accelerator.
}
} You owe the Oracle lunch and an "I brake for neutrinos" bumper sticker.


752-06    (4aHp6 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

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

> Oh wise Oracle, please tell me why, when you buy a new computer, it's
> obsolete in a month?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}   This is a real-life example of the 'twins paradox'. Normally, a
} computer has a certain expected lifetime of non-obsolescence at the
} time of manufacture, set to be about five years (depending on what
} accounting method you use). However, relativity rears its ugly head
} when it is released into the real world.
}   In your frame of reference, the computer is stationary, and you are
} moving.  Since you are almost always physically traveling faster
} than the computer, time moves slower for you than for it. So by the
} time the computer has reached the end of its expected useful life
} (according to its own clock), a much shorter time has passed in your
} frame of reference.
}   This effect is exaggerated by the 'clock speed' of the computer: the
} Apple II at about 1 megahertz was viable for several years, while
} the useful life of a 90 megahertz Pentium can be expected to be about
} three weeks.
}   The best way to counteract this is to stay at the same absolute
} velocity as your computer. Stay in close proximity to your computer
} at all times and don't make any forward progress. If you let yourself
} get ahead of the computer it will never catch up and you will have
} to replace it again.


752-07    (etpf5 dist, 2.6 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> When will I meet that very special one?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It was, I think, Dedekind, who remarked "The Usenet Oracle created the
} Natural numbers; all the rest is the work of Man" (they hadn't
} invented PC then, you see). Since then, several mortals have defined
} the natural numbers.
}
} I skip over 100 years of mathematical history, and present here just a
} few possible constructions of one; I'm sure <brandishes ZOT gun
} menacingly> that one of them will be "very special" to you.
}
} a. Peano numerals:
}       S0
}
} b. Church numerals:
}       \f.\x.fx
}
} c. Von Neumann numerals:
}       {{}}
}
} d. Zermelo numerals: this happens to coincide with b. for one.
}
} e. Conway numerals:
}       {0|}
}
} f. ASCII numerals:
}       49
}
} g. EBCDIC numerals:
}       241
}
} Or you could just try counting.
}
} You owe the Oracle finite first-order categorical axiomatization of
} the natural numbers.


752-08    (6bksn dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

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

> O insanely great Oracle, who doesn't need a plane to fly, who excels at
> every Olympic event, who is in a league of your own, whose perspiration
> I am unworthy of mopping up with my best tuxedo, please tell me:
>
> First I asked you a question to which you replied, "*ZOT!*"  So I
> omitted the references to woodchucks, wood, and chucking, rephrased the
> question, and resubmitted it. Again you replied, "*ZOT!*"
>
> So I removed the references to lemurs, bedposts, and frinking,
> embellished the question with flattering Oracular references, and
> submitted it yet again. Yet again you replied, "*ZOT!*"
>
> So I deleted the references to C programs, dirty GIF files, and Lisa's
> bodacious bod, added a few more lines of groveling, and asked again.
> Again you replied, "*ZOT!*"
>
> So I had the heads of the English departments of all the ivy league
> universities check the spelling, grammar, and punctuation of my
> message, asked Kurt Vonnegut to write a stately foreword that I could
> include (royalty-free, of course), and sent my message yet again. And
> again you replied, "*ZOT!*"
>
> So I hired several dozen psychics, astrologers, clairvoyants,
> idiot-savants, and mind-readers to analyze my message, and several
> dozen more mystics, witch doctors, voodoo priests, impressarios, gurus,
> and medicine men to remove any bad karma, evil spirits, and bad luck,
> and to bless my message with good karma, good luck, charm, and feng
> shui, and resubmitted my message. Again you replied, "*ZOT!*"
>
> So I quit my job, divorced my wife, sold my worldly possessions, shaved
> my head, donned a sack-cloth, and made a pilgrimage on my hands and
> knees all the way from mountains of Nepal to the hallowed halls of
> Indiana University. I waited patiently outside your door through all
> sorts of inclement weather, held daily prayer vigils, and begged your
> High Priests for the opportunity to speak with you. When you finally
> came to the door you looked at me and replied, "*ZOT!*"
>
> Now I'm locked up in a padded cell in a lunatic asylum, completely out
> of my mind, wearing one of those Hannibal Lechter hockey face masks,
> and strapped into a straight jacket. I'm incapable of distinguishing
> right from wrong, sane from insane, and "hello" from "*ZOT!*" so
> anything you say to me now will be inconsequential. But I have just one
> more question to ask you:
>
> How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Fifty cords.
}
} You owe the Oracle your Prozac prescription.


752-09    (5qBg4 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu (Rich McGee)

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

>   How long do marmots hibernate?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, I'm afraid that is hard question to answer.  It's up to each
} individual marmot and his/her lifestyle.  There are some marmots that
} are so hyper it's hard to get them to sit still for five minutes, much
} less hit the sack for a long nap.  Other marmots I know, who shall go
} nameless but they know who they are, easily can hibernate for months
} and even years. One particular marmot I know went into hibernation
} sometime in the early 70's (when disco was just coming out, and bell
} bottoms and toe socks were the rage) and woke up in the early 90's
} (during the disco revival, when bell bottoms and toe socks were the
} retro rage), and he didn't even know any time had elapsed.  Stupid
} animals, marmots.
}
} The statistical average period of hibernation has not been calculated,
} because, quite frankly, it's such a useless piece of information nobody
} has ever tried to calculate it.
}
} The Oracle has spoken, and is going back to bed for a long nap.


752-10    (5bkum dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: stenor@pcnet.com (Scott Panzer)

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

> How do I get the girl?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You are in your dorm room.  It is 3 a.m.  Pizza boxes, beer cans, and
} ethernet cable litter every horizontal surface.  Your roommate Phil
} snores contentedly in his bed.
}
} > get girl
}
} You wish!  There is no girl here.
}
} > go out
}
} It's 3 a.m.  All the bars are already closed.  You have no hope of
} scoring tonight.
}
} > get phone
}
} You have the phone.
}
} > dial 1-900-get-girl
}
} The phone rings.
}
} > look at Phil
}
} Phil is still asleep.
} The phone rings again.
}
} A sultry female voice answers the phone.  "Hel-lo.  This is Trixie.
} This call will cost you $5.95 per minute.  How can I help you tonight?"
}
} > panic
}
} You slam the receiver noisily.  Phil stirs in his bed, glowers at you
} through half-open eyes, then goes back to sleep.
}
} > sigh
}
} *Sigh*
}
} > drink beer
}
} Fortunately, you still have an unopened six-pack.  You quickly consume
} the beer, pass out, and wake up the next day with a hangover.  Your go
} to your classes in a haze, work slack-jawed in the lab for a few hours,
} then return to your dorm, fatigued, and pass out.  When you wake, it is
} dark outside.
}
} You are in your dorm room.  It is 3 a.m.  Pizza boxes, beer cans, and
} ethernet cable litter every horizontal surface.  Your roommate Phil
} snores contentedly in his bed.
}
} > get girl
}
} "Oh, no," Phil roars.  "I'm not going to listen to you whine and
} sigh and mope all night.  Shut up and go to sleep!"
}
} > go to sleep
}
} You are asleep.
}
} > dream
}
} What do you want to dream?
}
} > get girl
}
} The Swedish Bikini Team stumbles into your dream.  You cling to your
} erotic dreams even as the dorm burns down around you.
}
} *** You have died ***
}
} Score: You got 0 girls out of all the ones on the planet.
} Rank: Pathetic.  Go become a monk or something.


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