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Internet Oracularities #877

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877, 877-01, 877-02, 877-03, 877-04, 877-05, 877-06, 877-07, 877-08, 877-09, 877-10


Internet Oracularities #877    (114 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 00:10:34 -0500 (EST)

To find out all about the Internet Oracle, including how to participate,
send mail to oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject
line.

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:
   877
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

877  114 votes dlxon auGq6 6urvk 8eEum 8gyvp ablDx 9nAnn 9pzsh clRm6 bkzmq
877   3.2 mean  3.2   2.9   3.3   3.4   3.4   3.6   3.2   3.2   2.9   3.3


877-01    (dlxon dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <cep@best.com>

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

> Ah! I'm ready for a delicious family treat!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} [Suddenly an guy dressed in a woodchuck suit crashes through the wall.]
}
} Heeeyyyy!!! Did someone say they were ready for a delicious family
} treat?!
}
} > Um, yeah. Kinda.
}
} Well how about a can of Woodchux, the convenient snack with the hearty
} flavor of woodchuck!!
}
} > Gee!
}
} [Jaunty music starts playing...]
}
} Woodchux! You can spread it on crackers
} Woodchux! Preferred by snackers
} Woodchux! It's creamy and silky
} Woodchux! Stays crunchy in milky
}
} Woodchux! Put it on a pizza
} Woodchux! Make a tasty treatza
} Woodchux! You better eat it quick, kid
} Woodchux! It's a solid *and* a liquid
}
} [Voiceover]
}
} Yes, Woodchux, the quick-and-easy snack the whole family will enjoy!
} Whether you're stir-frying it, slow-roasting it, or drinking it
} straight from the can with a straw, you won't find a better
} woodchuck-flavored food-based product! And best of all, it's still
} legal in 43 of the 50 states!
}
} [Singing resumes...]
}
} Woodchux! Take two before bed
} Woodchux! And you'll be a sleepyhead
} Woodchux! Sip it in the morn
} Woodchux! You will feel reborn
}
} It soaks in its own juices!
}  It's gamey like a goose is!
}   It has so many uses!
}    Don't give me no excuses!
}     Try Woodchux!


877-02    (auGq6 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <cep@best.com>

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

> Why is it that telephone solicitors always call at the worst possible
> moment -- when you're putting out a kitchen fire, when your boyfriend
> is breaking up  with you, when the sink just ran over, etc.?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The reason has baffled many philosophers, scientists, and other great
} minds, throughout the years, but I will share it with you.  Consider
} yourself privileged.
} The telephone solicitors have a...
} ***RRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG***
} Just a minute...
}
} "Hello."
} "No, I already have a subscription to,"
} "Oh, really, 40% off?"
} "And that would be included for free?"
} "Yes, ok.  I'll take 2.  Have one delivered to The Internet Oracle, and
} the other delivered to Lisa."
} "Hold on just a minute."
}
} I'm sorry, but could you get back to me a little later?  I have to give
} someone my name, address, social security number, birth date,
} astrological sign, web site, e-mail address, next-of-kin's name, and
} some other stuff.  Don't worry about me, though.  I don't fall for
} scams.


877-03    (6urvk dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Scott Forbes <trans@lucent.com>

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

> Oh fantastic and phantasmagorical Oracle, whose neural computing power
> exceeds those of mine, a mere mortal, yea unto the 7th order of
> magnitude, please assist me in my hour of need.
>
> I have been asked a question by a colleague, one that has befuddled my
> mind and eluded all attempt at answer.  It is my only hope that you,
> wonderous Oracle, can formulate an approprite response:
>
> "Just who IS this so-called Internet Oracle, huh?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} CURRICULUM VITA
}
} The Internet Oracle (formerly The Usenet Oracle, et al.)
} c/o Computer Sciences Department
} Indiana University
} Bloomington, Indiana
} e-mail: oracle@cs.indiana.edu
}
} WORK EXPERIENCE
}
} 1989-Present, Oracle
} Answer questions posed by supplicants via electronic mail.
}
} 1985-1989, Action Line Columnist, Indianapolis Star
} Answer questions posed by newspaper readers via U.S. mail and
} telephone. Left due to offer of substantial salary increase.
}
} 1981-1985, Researcher, Topps Trading Card Company
} Research trivia for baseball cards and other trading cards.  Left due
} to job offer in home state.
}
} 1976-1981, Meteorologist, WTHR(TV), Indianapolis
} Forecast weather for television news broadcasts.  Left due to
} disagreement with new owners of television station.
}
} 1970-1976, Librarian, Indianapolis Public Library
} Perform various library-related duties.  Left to pursue early childhood
} love of meteorology.
}
} EDUCATION
}
} 1990, Ph.D., Computer Science & Education, Indiana University
}
} 1970, Master of Library Science, University of Notre Dame
}
} 1967, Bachelor of Arts, Undeclared, Ball State University
}
} 1963, Diploma, Broad Ripple High School, Indianapolis, Indiana
}
} BOOKS
}
} "1001 Good Clean Woodchuck Jokes," upcoming
}
} "Yes, Master:  Developing Blind Obedience in Your Employees," 1996
}
} "I Am Not a Woodchuck," 1994
}
} "You Owe Me $19.95 For This Book:  Making Your Invoices Count," 1993
}
} "They Can't Chuck Wood, So Stop Asking, and Other Amazing Woodchuck
} Facts," 1992
}
} "Asking the Right Questions," 1991
}
} "Tired of Woodchucks Already:  One Year of the Oracle," 1990
}
} "I Need to Rent a Wood Chipper to Dispose of My Husband's Body: The
} Best of Action Line," 1988
}
} "A .04% Chance of Hitting Indiana Is Still a Chance:  The WTHR 1981
} Hurricane Tracking Chart," 1981
}
} "50,000 Things Everyone Should Know," 1965 (self-published)
}
} JOURNAL ARTICLES
}
} "The Omniscient Boyfriend:  His Side of the Story," Cosmopolitan
} (scheduled for April 1997 issue)
}
} "At Last, At Last, At Long Last (A Dissenting Opinion)," Woodchuck
} Quarterly, Spring 1995 (this journal's final issue)
}
} "Answering Questions, Right Here at IU," Indiana Alumni News, October
} 1993
}
} OTHER WORKS
}
} Action Line column, 3 times weekly, Indianapolis Star, 1985-1989
}
} Various Topps trading cards, 1981-1985
}
} WTHR(TV) newscasts, 1976-1981
}
} ORGANIZATIONS
}
} Omniscient Beings of the World, 1989-present (Pres. 1994, Treas. 1993)
}
} Woodchuck Defamation League, 1990-present (Pres. 1990-present)
}
} Bloomington Jaycees, 1992-present
}
} Society for American Baseball Research, 1981-1985
}
} American Meteorological Society, 1976-1981
}
} Indiana Library Association, 1970-1976 (Secy. 1972-1974)
}
} Young Weathermen's Club, 1951-1958
}
} PERSONAL
} Born September 22, 1945, currently in long-term relationship
} Excellent health; hobbies include waterskiing, rugby, and racquetball.
}
} OTHER
} You owe the Oracle publication of some more journal articles so he can
} pad that section out.


877-04    (8eEum dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Scott Forbes <trans@lucent.com>

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

> +| ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Cyclops taking a nap.
}
} You owe the Oracle an ASCII apparition of Mary.


877-05    (8gyvp dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> Oh wiser-than-thou Oracle,
>
> I know about first-person narrative, and the english
> teacher was talking about third-person narrative, but
> what about second-person narrative?  And what does it
> have to do with the grassy knoll?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}                     BRIGHT LIGHTS, DEAD KENNEDY
}
}                          a very short story
}
}                           by Jay McOracle
}
} You hitch up your belt and check your watch. 12:25. Feel a rumbling in
} your stomach.  Fear?  No, only the fried grits you had for breakfast.
} That and the putrid residue of the sourmash whiskey you drank last
} night to help you work up your courage. Hell, you think. Texas courage.
} A damn sight overrated.
}
} You check out the Book Depository, sixth floor.  You see the decoy, the
} sacrificial lamb, in the window where he's supposed to be.  Good boy.
} You move up the knoll just as Leroy down on Elm opens and closes his
} umbrella.  Your stomach's feeling better now.  Gears are meshing like
} they're supposed to.  For no reason at all an old Hank Williams tune
} floats through your brain, "There's a Tear in My Beer".  God, you
} haven't heard that one since the honky-tonk in Llano, the time you were
} supposed to be on a rural farm junket but wound up with a blond in a
} red dress on your arm instead.  You start to hum another of Hank's
} great ones, "Your Cheatin' Heart", and then your heart drops down to
} your boots as you see her across the street, staring at you. Oh Jeesuz
} thank god, you think, it's not her, just some tourist woman dolled up
} like a tart. But you're spooked enough to wonder if she was looking at
} the policeman at the base of the knoll who, inexplicably, is beginning
} to point his rifle toward the approaching motorcade.
}
} After that, everything is pretty much a slow-motion movie.  You see
} Oswald lean out the window just as the pop comes from the rifle at the
} base of the knoll.  You see your body double in the motorcade, the one
} Hoover found and plastic surgered, the one you've got to switch places
} with in the confusion or your ass is grass. You wonder if you shouldn't
} have been in the limo after all despite the risk of a stray bullet, but
} now you're running, jogging really, can't quite manage a run, keeping
} your ten-gallon hat pulled low, to where the FBI agent waits for you.
} You're pretty sure you saw red spurting from a Presidential head.
}
} Later, when Lady Bird collapses into your arms wailing "Oh Lyndon!",
} you'll remember to say, "Ah'm so sorry. Ah'm so sorry."  And maybe
} you'll almost mean it.
}
} As easy as picking up a hound dog by the ears, you think.
}
}                               THE END


877-06    (ablDx dist, 3.6 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <cep@best.com>

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

> Is your ZOT Staff anything like Space Ghost's power bands?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hey, good question. I think I ought to check this out... [presses a few
} buttons on the computer]
}
} [Space Ghost materialises in the room]
}
} SPACE GHOST: Greetings, citizens!
} ORACLE: I'm not a citizen; I'm the Internet Oracle.
} SPACE GHOST: Sure, whatever.
} ORACLE: No, really. Look. I need to borrow those power band things of
}   yours.
} SPACE GHOST: Uhmmm... [pauses] How about a nice pleated skirt?
} ORACLE: Er, no.
} SPACE GHOST: No, really! I think you have the legs for a skirt.
} ORACLE: Oh, do I? Well... hey, wait a minute! *I* call the shots around
}   here!
} SPACE GHOST: Have you ever saved the universe?
} ORACLE: Saved it? I practically helped *create* it!
} SPACE GHOST: You created the universe?
} ORACLE: Well.... not exactly. I did have front row seats though.
} SPACE GHOST: Well, do you have any super powers?
} ORACLE: Super powers? I'm omniscient!
} SPACE GHOST: If you're omniscient, then why do you need my power bands?
} ORACLE: Because, I... I... nevermind why I need them! Look, I just want
}   to see if your power bands are anything similar to my ZOT staff.
} SPACE GHOST: Well, why didn't you say so? Okay, so what will we test
}   them on?
} ORACLE: Hmm. [ponders] Hey, Zadoc! ZADOC!
}
} [Zadoc shuffles in on his knees]
}
} ZADOC: Yes, oh Megasagacious one? You thundered?
} ORACLE: Yes, Zadoc. Look, I need your help with a little experiment I..
} ZADOC: Oh, but I, a humble priest, am certainly unworthy and too
}   disknowledgable to assist you in your scientific endeavors!
} ORACLE: Uhm, no, Zadoc, I think you'll be a big help here. Go stand
}   over by that wall, okay?
} ZADOC: Oh, certainly, Peerless Master.
} SPACE GHOST: Say, he's well trained.
} ORACLE: Eh, he's coming along.
} SPACE GHOST: What's his name? Zadodo or something?
} ORACLE: Zadoc.
} SPACE GHOST: Still like Zorak better. More fun to say. Zorak, Zorak...
} ORACLE: Um, right. Well. Here we go. [aims ZOT staff at Zadoc, fires]
}
} ZOT!
}
} ZADOC: Aiiiiiiiiieeeeee! [howling in pain]
}
} SPACE GHOST: Not bad. Does it do anything else?
} ORACLE: Well, I can turn up the intensity, I can vaporise, and it's got
}   a handy "Crispy-On-The-Outside, Tender-On-The-Inside" feature.
} SPACE GHOST: Eh, not bad. But look: I've got a Freeze Ray...
}
} [ray shoots Zadoc, who is immediately encased in ice]
}
} SPACE GHOST: A Destructo Ray...
}
} [another ray hits, melting the ice; Zadoc falls to the floor in agony]
}
} SPACE GHOST: ...I just used low setting of course... a Bouillon Ray, a
}   Prostate Ray, a Martha Raye, and my personal favorite, the Queef Ray.
} ORACLE: Queef Ray?
} SPACE GHOST: Watch.
}
} [ray hits Zadoc, who falls (again) to his knees and immediately turns a
} sickly shade of green]
}
} ORACLE: Zadoc! No, not here! I just had those rugs cleaned!
} SPACE GHOST: Heh. I ask you, now, can Jay Leno do that? Can David
}   Letterman? Can Ted Koppel? Well... maybe Ted Koppel...
} ORACLE: Now that's cool. Can I have them?
} SPACE GHOST: No.
} ORACLE: Aw, c'mon, I'm sure you have a spare set at home.
} SPACE GHOST: No.
} ORACLE: Okay, just one then. With that quiche..
} SPACE GHOST: Queef?
} ORACLE: Whatever ray.
} SPACE GHOST: I said no.
} ZADOC: [weakly] With your blessing, Master, I think I will pass out
}   now...
} ORACLE: Just one! Come on!
} SPACE GHOST: No, no, no!
} ***
}
} You owe the Oracle a set of power bands. (For the last time, NO!...
} Hey, leggo!)


877-07    (9nAnn dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <iddavis+@pitt.edu>

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The mimes are restless tonight!


877-08    (9pzsh dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <iddavis+@pitt.edu>

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

> "T. ORACLE... C'MON DOWN! YOU ARE THE NEXT CONTESTANT ON THE PRICE
> IS RIGHT!"
>
> (The Oracle leaps out of his seat, pumping his fist in the air.)
>
> Duh-da daaaaaaaa, duh-da daaaaaaaa, duh-da deh-da-duh deh-da-duh...
> duh da daaaaaaaa!
>
> (The Oracle takes in excess of three minutes to make it to the stage
> to take his position with the other contestants. Sweating like a drey
> horse at this point, he mops his brow with his toga, and pumps his
> fist in the air some more.  He says very little other than "Yeah!
> Woo!" when questioned by Bob.)
>
> "What's the next item up for the bid?"
>
> "AN ELECTRONIC GARDEN WEASEL!"
>
> "Ooooooooooooooooooooooo!"
>
> "This fabulous garden tool literally rips through the loam with
> kind of efficiency gained only through the benefit of electronics.
> With over fifty one hundred parts to break, the Electro-weasel comes
> with a sixteen day warranty!  From Phil Theeloo Corp."
>
> "Oracle, what's your bid?"  (Audience yells unhelpfully.)  "A hunnerd!
> Nine! One hunnerYABBAYABBA! YABBA!!! EIGHTY-FIVE!!!! EIGHTY-FIVE!!!!
> WAAAYAAAAWAAYAAAAAAAAAAATWOTWOWAAAAAAAAAAANINETYWAWWWWWAAAAAAA!!!!!!!"
>
> "What is your bid?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} "One dollar!" cries out the Oracle, surprising the audience.
}
} "ONE DOLLAR???" cries out the audience, not surprising the Oracle,
} who had expected this reaction.
}
} "*One* dollar??? Er... one *dollar*??? er..." manages Bob, slightly
} taken aback by this so-called omniscient being's incongruous bid.
} "Er... AHA! Now Mister Oracle, I understand you have just said *one
} dollar*, as an estimation of the price of a superb piece of machinery!"
}
} The Oracle says nothing.
}
} "Aha! Now have you... er... You propose... you THINK that this
} ELECTRONIC GARDEN WEASEL is sold for JUST one DOLLAR? er... do you?
} AHA!"
}
} Seeing no further reaction by the Oracle, Bob pushes on, aided by a
} very strong professionalism.
}
} "NOW this is going to be really something! The FAMOUS Oracle bidding
} one dollar, yes ladies and gentlemen, *one dollar*! And Now we turn to
} our other candidates, Greg, are you there Greg, so what do you make of
} it Greg, is this dollar thing a good indication, what do you say Greg?"
}
} Greg starts looking nervous. He catches another look from the Oracle,
} and becomes very nervous indeed.
}
} "I.. er.. I'd sort of er say er it er well perhaps if... ninety-five
} cents?"
}
} "WOW!" goes the audience, determined to appear as stupid as the
} indication panels generally make them appear.
}
} "NINETY-FIVE CENTS!" says Bob, not thinking of anything better to say,
} "Incredible!  And people wonder how Wall Street crashes! Well ladies
} and gentlemen, we now have two contestants bidding appalingly small,
} for this incredibly expensive garden device!  Has the world gone
} beserk? Is this the real price? Is it simply because of the Trust
} the world-famous Oracle inspires? Stay tuned, don't zap, and perhaps
} we'll get the answer to all these questions! Meanwhile, how about
} our third contestant, June! So, June, what do YOU think? One dollar,
} ninety-five cents? Perhaps a nickel, a lousy dime?  Come on June,
} now for YOUR estimation!"
}
} The audience is now howling in only two directions, between those
} who think the Oracle is right and those who don't. June is hardly
} heard when she murmurs into the mike, and a third of the audience
} is cleared out of the room while sound engineers all over the place
} start running in circles and pretending to react fast and efficient.
}
} "nine hundred... "
}
} She catches the Oracle's eye.
}
} "Er... nine cents."
}
} "NOW this is interesting!" starts Bob, but the author, determined to
} cut the crap, goes on to the moment when the price is revealed.
}
} "One thousand two hundred and sixty-two dollars!"
}
} Epilogue :
}
} The Oracle wins, being the closest to the original price. Greg and
} June by now have more or less lost their interest in the game, being
} sure to lose anyway. The small piece of paper the Oracle slipped
} them before playing was very clear on the subject of immortality,
} how some just seem to have it while others don't, and how zotting is
} anyway not mentioned in the penal code so there you are.
}
} The moral of this story is that the Oracle does not answer questions
} so much as give sufficient answers. There's a difference. A lot of
} ancient greeks were bothered by this, and in this modern era it still
} remains a fact.
}
} The question raised by the moral, of course, is Why does the Oracle
} not purely and simply answer, instead of tormenting human minds like
} He does...
}
} That's just for fun.
}
} You owe the Oracle an electronic garden weasel. Of course.


877-09    (clRm6 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Oh Oracle, who I understand has been receiving very few grovels lately,
> it said that in every boy's life there must fall a summer of '73.  On
> the assumption that You could be male if You wanted to be, what
> happened during your summer of '73?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Let's see...the summer of '73...
}
} In June I was over in England, helping this jolly old chap named Smith
} write some economic treatise or something (the details are fuzzy)...I
} told him his title was too long, and no one would ever remember it all,
} but he still insisted on calling it "An Inquiry into the Nature and
} Causes of the Wealth of Nations".  I also told him to scrap the pin
} factory stories, but he refused.
}
} In July it seems to me I was in France for a little while...nothing was
} going on, so I built bathtubs for a time.  I think I was working with
} some babe named Charlotte Corday, or something like that.  Met a few
} hotheads along the way and played a little tennis...they had some nice
} courts over in France at the time...  Took a chap by the name of
} Robespierre under my wing...Nice guy, but he was always preoccupied
} with revolutionary fractions...I had to straighten him out...
}
} In August I went back over to England to practice my ventriloquism.  I
} got so good that I even had the King convinced that a tree in his royal
} garden was talking.  While I was there, I thought I'd convince him to
} make nice with the colonies...My ventriloquism wasn't as good as I
} thought, for he mistook Toleration Acts for Intolerable Acts...I also
} dashed off a letter to Tom Paine, in which I suggested he change the
} name of his forthcoming pamphlet "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes
} of the Impending American Insurrection"...I can't remember if he
} changed the title or not, but I remember he did follow my suggestion
} for the first line: "These are the times that try men's souls."...
}
} By September I was ...oh, you meant 1973??? Nothing much interesting
} happened to me then...I turned a little profit up in some small town in
} New York...people took to calling me Captain Jack, but that's another
} story...
}
} You owe the Oracle Timothy Leary's brain, packaged in formaldehyde and
} suitable for implant into the next ungroveling twit of a supplicant
} that dares ask a question.


877-10    (bkzmq dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> Happy New Year Orrie!
>
> You're just fantastically amazing and really cool.  I
> wonder if you could tell me when the new millenium will
> begin.  Is it the year 2000 or 2001, or should I just stay
> drunk the entire time between.  Thanks.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The new Millennium starts at 9, right after Sliders.  But go ahead, and
} get drunk anyway.
} You owe the Oracle a cold beer and Fox's spring preview schedule.


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