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Internet Oracularities #855

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855, 855-01, 855-02, 855-03, 855-04, 855-05, 855-06, 855-07, 855-08, 855-09, 855-10


Internet Oracularities #855    (98 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 15:51:43 -0500 (EST)

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   855
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

855   98 votes 9xDf2 4jqtk 3bivz pyq94 6htAa 5gAtc 8cGt7 7dhsx crsn8 4gypj
855   3.2 mean  2.7   3.4   3.9   2.3   3.3   3.3   3.2   3.7   2.9   3.4


855-01    (9xDf2 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <carole@email.unc.edu>

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

> hi there,
> read you have an REM - Automatic for the People cd on sale.
>
> i'd like it please... if you can make it u.s.d.5 , plus postage to
> singapore, i'll take it. thanks

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Actually, you won't like it.  (Remember, I'm the Oracle)  You'll only
} really enjoy "Drive" and "Ignoreland" and maybe one other song.
} "Nightswimming" will remind you of that embarrassing skinny dipping
} episode in Daytona Beach a couple of years ago (we all know how *that*
} turned out), and you'll gradually play the whole album less and less.
} It will sit on your shelf for a year or two until you trade it in at a
} used CD store.
}
} Instead I'm sending you a few things you don't have in your collection:
} Twisted Sister, Vivaldi, Doc Watson, and Weird Al.  That'll keep you
} busy and off the streets for a while.
}
} You owe the Oracle four more CD's at regular club prices within the
} next two years.


855-02    (4jqtk dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <iddavis+@pitt.edu>

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

> Why are all the binders on my bookshelf three-ring binders?
> What's so magical about the number three?  Why can't they
> make eight-ring binders, or four-ring binders, or one-ring
> binders?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Three rings? Where I live the standard is five, and what's worse,
} they overlap. About the only thing in its favour is that no-one in
} their right mind anywhere else would think of adopting Jupiter's
} joke for any serious purpose.
}
} Three rings is the ANSI standard. It's the most thoroughly
} researched of them all, and many other ANSI standards have been held
} up awaiting results of ring-binder field tests in the conference
} circuit [1]. This is probably the origin of the common reference to
} ANSI as being a 3-ring circuit.
}
} By contrast, ISO decided early on that two rings were sufficient,
} only to realise that their standard A4 paper was slightly larger
} than ANSI's standard letter size and two holes led to a
} significantly increased chance of pages ripping loose. This resulted
} in the wide-ISO 4-ring standard[2].
}
} The only other significant standard is the single ring that you
} mention. It has the advantage of greatest flexibility, but is now
} little-used outside specialist circles [4].
}
} Other standards have been used from time to time [6]. We have
} doubtless not seen the end of this debate.
}
} Hope this helps,
}
} The Oracle[10].
}
} [1] Interestingly, 3-hole prepunched paper is readily available in
} the USA, but punches able to perforate plain paper with 3 holes are
} difficult to adjust to punch at exactly the correct separation.
} No-one has been able to satisfactorily explain this.
}
} [2] Two pairs of the 2-ring standard stacked above each other: a
} typically pragmatic European approach [3].
}
} [3] Except that the inter-pair separation is specified in inches at
} the insistence of the British government, whereas the intra-pair
} separation is specified in millimeters. Interestingly, 2-hole
} punches with the correct separation are readily available in Europe,
} but punches able to perforate plain or 2-hole paper with 4 holes are
} difficult to adjust to punch at exactly the correct separations.
} No-one has been able to satisfactorily explain this.
}
} [4] eg, Edward Lear, "The Owl and the Pussycat", which features a
} pig with such a single ring "at the end of his nose[5]",
} subsequently purchased by the protagonists and used as a symbol of
} their deep affection for each other.
}
} [5] Interestingly, thousands of young people are today wearing rings
} in their noses[9]. No-one has been able to satisfactorily explain
} this.
}
} [6] For example, this fragment recently published in the Bodlean
} Library Archives series from the Oxford University Press:
}
} B.L. Ms 12447
} Medium: graphite pencil on whitewashed brick.
} Date: Content and radiocarbon dating of wood fragments embedded in
} whitewash suggest 1950-51 austerity period.
}
}     "Lord, oh these Rings![7]"
}
}     Three rings for everyday things, don't ask why,
}     Seven for an ancient mystic tome,
}     Nine's far complex ever to fly,
}     One for the paper by the porcelain throne
}     In this small reading-room where the shadows lie.
}     One ring to hold newsprint falling to pieces -
}     Better by far would be graduates' theses!
}     In this small reading-room where the shadows lie."
}
} [7] There is also a fragment headed "Bawd of the Rings", which
} breaks off[8] when the writer realises that the numbers in his verse
} don't match any known human erogenous zones.
}
} [8] Thank God.
}
} [9] Not to mention elsewhere.
}
} [10] You owe the Oracle a recording of Tom Lehrer singing
}
}     I lust for your dress as it clings, dear,
}     But even more for the clench of these rings, here,
}     Whose spring jaws conjoin
}     To the left of my groin,
}     As we dance to the Masochism Tango.


855-03    (3bivz dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Joshua R. Poulson" <jrp@pun.org>

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

> Great Oracle, who lives on the writers' block of Easy Street,
>
> I want to get rich by writing a best-selling financial novel.
> I am stuck, and need your help so I can continue:
>
> "Francly, my dear, I've got a yen for you," he liraed.
> She pounded the table dollarously, making a mark,
> and replied, "Haven't you the cents to see it can never be?
> Here, have a peso of this pie, or some of this dirham fruit."
>
> What should I say next?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "Well, escudo me, I won to find a riyal dame, so I'll kip looking," he
} replied schillingly. "Yuan to taka my word for it, centimes you've got
} to shekel leg."
}
} He started to leva, baht turned back. "I'll have a peseta pie too, if
} you dong mind." He walked into the drachma night, holding only his
} dinar, and said to himself, "...that's dalasi time I'll see that loony.
} I wish I'd guilder."
}
} He marched off, pfennig his rupee with his rand, to krona to his next
} riel cruzado.
}
} You owe the Oracle 50% of your royalties.


855-04    (pyq94 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: Michael Nolan <nolan@tssi.com>

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

>      Oracle Oracle on the wall:
>
>      Who's dumber than Dan Quale?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} No, he isn't.
}
} He is a very spiffy guys, and great at running through tunnels.
}
} Now - what was you question?


855-05    (6htAa dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Michael Nolan <nolan@tssi.com>

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

> Hello, Oracle.  You are my all-time hero and a totally great guy.
>
> Should I accept this mission they are offering me?  I'd say it was
> completely impossible but somehow the agency makes it sound merely
> really dangerous.  Yet they seem quite a bit uncertain of whether I can
> make it. I've never refused a mission before but this one really makes
> me nervous. What should I do?
>
> This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} 4....
} 3....
} 2....
} 1....
} *BOOM*
}
} [The message explodes in an opaque cloud of smoke.  After a second or
} two, the smoke dissipates, to reveal the Oracle, standing with a
} blackened envelope in his hand.  His face is completely covered with
} soot, and what's left of his hair is standing up on end, rather like
} Einstein's, but badly singed.]
}
} What is this?  A question from the Unabomber?  I thought they had him
} under control.  Well, let me consult my crystal ball.
}
} [The Oracle draws the curtain over the window, gets out his crystal
} ball and sets it on the table, and begins to gaze into it.  A breeze
} moves the curtain, allowing a sunbeam to shine through the window
} onto the crystal ball.  The crystal ball focuses the beam directly on
} the Oracle's robe, which promptly bursts into flame.]
}
} Yeeow!  Whoo!  Get it off me!   Ouch!  #$@#@@#!
}
} [The Oracle jumps up, flapping at the fire, and manages to put it
} out.  He holds up his burnt hands and surveys them.  They are an
} angry red color, visibly (and painfully) throbbing.]
}
} Well that was a bit of a bust.  Perhaps the Ouija board would give me
} a better answer.
}
} [The Oracle produces the board and the cursor, or whatever you call
} that thing that you move around on it.  He sets it up, and the cursor
} begins moving around the board, seemingly of its own accord.]
}
} This looks promising.  Let's see...  L...  O...  O...  K...  O...
} U...  T...  "Look out?"  Not much information, but I suppose I can
}
} [The Ouija cursor suddenly shoots across the board, and hits the
} Oracle in the solar plexus with one of its pointy bits.]
}
} Ooof!  [The Oracle's eyes momentarily turn into little X's.] Somehow
} I get the feeling the board wasn't answering the supplicant's
} question.  I guess that means I've run out of parlor tricks, and I'll
} just have to do some research.
}
} [The Oracle goes over to his bookshelves, which fill two entire walls
} of the room.]
}
} Hmmm... where to start?  Agatha Christie for this one, perhaps, or
} maybe good old Sherlock.  Yes, I think I'll start with him.
}
} [The Oracle tugs at a largish book on one of the upper shelves.  It
} appears to be stuck.  The Oracle pulls harder, and the book comes off
} the shelf, pulling with it the ones on both sides.  A shower of books
} rains down on the Oracle.  The bookshelf wobbles visibly, and an
} anvil, which was gratuitously placed on top of the shelves, topples
} off and lands directly on the Oracle's head.  The Oracle falls to the
} ground, stunned, his eyes now a pair of rotating spirals.  A circle
} of stars spins around his head, and somewhere a bird is singing.]
}
} I give up.  Supplicant, I'm going to have to leave this question
} unanswered, or the next thing you know I'll be walking off the edge
} of a cliff.  I hope you have better luck with your mission than I
} did with your question.
}
} You owe the Oracle a roadrunner steak, and some way to get out of
} this contract with Warner Brothers cartoons.


855-06    (5gAtc dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Michael Nolan <nolan@tssi.com>

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

> Oh, great and mighty Oracle, please answer this humble supplicant's
> question:
>
> I am planning on doing freelance web page design on a contract basis.
> How much should I charge?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} CHAPTER 1.
}
} The name is Knight.  Lance Knight.  My enemies call me a loose cannon;
} I like to describe myself as a freelance contract web designer.  One
} day I decided I'd had it working for the big boys, so I put out my
} shingle, and decided that I wasn't afraid to charge for it;  hell,
} there was enough dough floating around, so why couldn't I make a little
} bread?
}
} She walked through my office door like she was in the Colliseum; she
} was lion, and I was the Christian.  I knew that if I lost my nerve, I
} could loose more than just my head.
}
} "Knight," she said, "I heard that you're good and that you're not
} afraid of a challenge."  She settled into the chair across the desk
} like dust settling in a sunlit attic; slow, soft and silent.  If she
} only realized what kind of trouble we both were going to get into, she
} might have thought twice about giving that kind of an opening line.
}
} "Yeah, I'm fast, and I'm good; but I'm not cheap," I snarled, trying to
} keep my eyes on my computer screen and away from her deep blue eyes.
}
} "What do you charge?" she sighed, obviously annoyed at my directness;
} she thought that I was going to be a pushover for her pussycat routine.
} She was wrong.
}
} "One grand per page, plus expenses." I let the last syllable of
} 'expenses' roll off my tongue, which was pretty easy with it hanging
} out of my mouth the way it was....
} ....
}
} CHAPTER 23.
}
} ....the server hid behind the firewall, but there were so many
} security holes that I was able to score three good hits on his home
} page. He was big; but the bigger the server, the harder it falls.
} Seconds later his head crashed to the floor.
}
} "Turn around, Lance!"  I spun around, and there she was; she was
} holding an Apple Newton, and it was aimed straight at me.  Palmtops
} seem like toys, until you're staring at their business end.
}
} "I want the private key, Lance.  Give it to me!"  She took a step
} closer.  That little infra-red LED didn't seem so little anymore.
} She took one more step closer.  A little too close.
}
} I made a grab for her Newton -- she dodged my attempt, but it gave me
} enough time to get me out of the line of fire.  Enough time for me to
} hit the Reset button on Mr. Server.  Enough time for me to tie my
} shoelace, which had come undone.  More than enough for me to smoke that
} Cuban stogie in my jacket pocket.  Plenty of time to iron the crease
} back into my pants, go for a sweat at the "Y", cut the lawn and plan
} where the fruit trees were going to go....
} -------
}
} You owe the Oracle cable modem and a 4M SVRAM Video card.  With
} built-in MPEG support.  And a stack of 50's detective novels.


855-07    (8cGt7 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <cep@best.com>

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

> Tell me oh wonderful and knowledgeable oracle.... What is a light
> year and when will the swallows be coming back to Capitsrano <sp?>??
> Thanks for your time and YES,  I think that I WILL have another cup
> of coffee.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} the light year is a unit of time, in the emperial measurement system,
} approximately equal to .74 heavy years.
}
} the swallows aren't coming back. their union is striking against
} the frequent mis-spelling of their nesting grounds.


855-08    (7dhsx dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <cep@best.com>

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

> Are you really named Frank?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} she demanded in a brittle voice, whirling around to nail me to the wall
} with her fiery glare.
}
} "You doubt me?" I asked, careful to keep my voice low and even.
}
} "Oh, I don't know what to think anymore!" she cried, and paced the room
} like a caged woodchuck. "Three weeks ago, when I met you at Olivia's
} party, I thought I was the happiest woman in the world. You and I shut
} everyone else out at Trivial Pursuit, you knew how to mix every drink
} that anyone at the party wanted, and when we were ready to go, you
} found my keys for me even though I dropped them behind the couch before
} you got there. Something seemed a little odd about you, but you were so
} sweet and nurturing, I just couldn't keep you out of my thoughts."
}
} "You're never out of my thoughts," I said. "Of course, nothing is ever
} out of my thoughts." As soon as I said it, I regretted it.
}
} "That's it exactly!" she howled. "I can't take this anymore! You're
} unlike anyone I've ever met in my life, and I've come to think you're
} unlike everyone else entirely. Strange things keep happening. My three
} hundred pound neighbor who insisted on sunbathing nude on the front
} porch vanished, leaving only a glowing pile of dust behind, and now the
} X-Files screenwriters are crawling all over the place, gathering
} material for an episode on spontaneous human combustion."
}
} "Look," I said in my best soothing tone of voice, "there's a perfectly
} natural explanation for that --"
}
} "And every time I call and leave a message on your answering machine,
} one of those twenty-six weirdos who live in your house calls me back
} and says 'The Or -- erm, Frank has pondered your question deeply ... '"
} She collapsed into a chair and her face crumpled. "That's just not
} normal!"
}
} I didn't know what to say. She looked up pleadingly at me. "What we've
} got is good. I want it to go on. I want you in my life, and me in
} yours. But you've got to tell me the truth. The whole truth."
}
} I rubbed the back of my neck. "I usually need something in return for
} telling the truth."
}
} She tilted her head and her eyes narrowed, then her face cleared.
} "Well, that's kind of an unhealthy fixation, but no man is perfect, I
} guess. We can work on that one. What do you 'need'?"
}
} I took a deep breath. "My name isn't Frank. It's Oracle. I see all,
} know all, and when I get mad, I can reduce solid matter to vapor with a
} word. Those twenty-six 'weirdos' are my priests. They help me manage
} the stream of questions that I get all night and all day. People all
} over the world grovel before me and plead for my wisdom." I paused,
} gathering my strength for the last part. "And Lisa, you're the most
} beautiful woman I've ever seen. Your glance flies straight to my heart
} like an arrow, and your smile makes my head swim and my knees go all
} trembly."
}
} Her face relaxed into a delighted glow, and she flowed into my arms.
} After an eternal moment's silence, she led me upstairs to her bedroom.
}
} As the door closed behind us, I mumbled, "You owe the Oracle, erm ... "


855-09    (crsn8 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <iddavis+@pitt.edu>

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

> Why is love like a duck?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Love swims through the pond of life, unaware of the Alligator Snapping
} Turtle that is Fate.  And a duck, well, you know.


855-10    (4gypj dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <iddavis+@pitt.edu>

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

>  Orrie! I just heard that Microsoft is going to buy you out!? Is this
> true? Are we going to see you included in the next realese of Win '95?
> Tell me it ain't so! I can't handle a "point -n- drool" oracle.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}         /-------------------------------------------------\
}         | Error #345: Redundant error                     |
}         |                                                 |
}         | An error has occurred while reporting an error. |
}         |                                                 |
}         | This application will now be terminated.        |
}         |                                                 |
}         |       [ Ok ]                  [ Not Ok ]        |
}         \-------------------------------------------------/


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