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Internet Oracularities #898

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898, 898-01, 898-02, 898-03, 898-04, 898-05, 898-06, 898-07, 898-08, 898-09, 898-10


Internet Oracularities #898    (100 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: "Steve Kinzler" <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 20:03:36 -0500 (EST)

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   898
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

898  100 votes oBqc1 6qEm6 7pCo6 27tIi 2doBo gkkmm 9irug brCk4 bgqmp 6nusd
898   3.1 mean  2.3   3.0   3.0   3.7   3.7   3.1   3.3   2.8   3.3   3.2


898-01    (oBqc1 dist, 2.3 mean)
Selected-By: "Rich McGee" <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> How can I potty train my pet iguana?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I was going to tell you, but I'm in a bad mood, so I don't think
} iguana.
}
} You owe the Oracle a question with more of a porpoise.


898-02    (6qEm6 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> O talented Oracle, who could build a house in a day, whose driveway is
> always well-paved and clear of leaves and snow, please tell me:
>
> What's the difference between macadam, blacktop, asphalt, and tarmac?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Macadam: Composed of layers of crushed red nutshells, often held
} together by a paste made from the nuts inside.  Expensive, but no one
} will miss seeing your driveway.
}
} Blacktop: Composed of hardened spilled crude oil, which is set upon a
} small bed of water.  Was cheap a few years ago, but is climbing in
} price due to the Exxon oil spill having been fully harvested.
}
} Asphalt: Created from the bones and flesh of incompetent managers who
} are rightfully blamed for some corporate slip-up.  Cheap, because
} incompetent managers are easy to come by nowadays and everyone knows
} that bad things in a business are usually their fault.
}
} Tarmac: Created from demolished and moistened Apple computers.  Once
} expensive, but now less so because everyone *thinks* Apple has gone out
} of business when in truth it has simply chosen to hitch a ride on the
} Halle-Bopp Comet to someplace where people appreciate truly
} understandable computers.  (Have a nice trip, guys; it'll be a LOOOOONG
} ride.)
}
} You owe the Oracle a guide to extracting a Power Mac 9600 from tarmac.


898-03    (7pCo6 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: Otis Viles <cierhart@ic.net>

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

> I'm sitting here waiting for this &^%$ computer to finish a simple
> task.  Why is it taking so long?  What can I do while I'm waiting?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Try doing the "simple task" yourself while you wait. If:
}
} * You finish before the computer, remove Windows 95 from your machine
}   and/or upgrade to something faster than a '286, as appropriate.
}
} * It finishes before you, count your blessings. You may also consider
}   an upgrade.
}
} Remember, Mortal, the fastest way to accelerate some machines is
} at 9.8m/sec^2...


898-04    (27tIi dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: noe@platsol.com (Dr. Noe)

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

> Oh omniver(b)ous Oracle --
>
> What is the third best use of a zucchini ??

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} You can score up to 266 with it in Scrabble if you can get it in the
} corner.
}
} You owe the Oracle enough high-scoring vegetables to make a decent
} casserole.


898-05    (2doBo dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <DAVIS@wehi.edu.au>

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

> Om-mighty Oracle, wiser and more merciful than all the Buddhas and
> sages, more holy and more serene than the lotus gardens of Heaven,
> hear our prayer!  We've been contemplating this for aeons, yea,
> even to the point of consulting the exalted master Webster, and
> yet have received no illumination.  What, noble one, is the plural
> of omphaloskepsis?
>
> Om dontcha zotme numb!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Which plural are you looking for:
}
}    Omphaloskepses:  The act of contemplating one's own (several)
}                     navels. (Note: this is extremely rare.)
}
}    Omphaloskepsia:  The act of contemplating one's navel, along with
}                     the navels of several friends.
}
}    Megalomphaloskepsis:  The act of contemplating one's navel, while
}                          several friends contemplate your navel as
}                          well.
}
}    Myomphaloskepsis:  The act of contemplating one's navel, while
}                       several of your friends are contemplating their
}                       own navels.
}
}    Symbiomphaloskepsis:  The act of contemplating your friend's navel,
}                          while your friend contemplates yours.
}
}    Intraomphaloskepsis:  The act of contemplating all the pieces of
}                          lint found in one's own navel.
}
}    Aviomphaloskepsis:  The act of discovering that a bird has nested in
}                        your navel lint, and of contemplating that bird.
}
}    Windomphaloskepsis 95:  The act of discovering that Bill Gates has
}                            nested in your navel lint, and of
}                            contemplating Bill Gates.
}
}    Donkingomphaloskepsis:  The act of contemplating an extraordinary
}                            amount of starched lint found in one's own
}                            navel.
}
}    Pantomphalskepsis:  The act of contemplating all the navels in the
}                        world simutanelously.
}
}    Unitomphaloskepsis:  The act of contemplating the oneness of navels.
}
}    Videomphaloskepsis:  The act of watching your navel on television.
}
}    Oraclomphaloskepsis:  The act of rightful obeisance towards the
}                          provider of this information.
}
} You owe the Internet Oracle the plural of anophage.


898-06    (gkkmm dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <carole@email.unc.edu>

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

> what is the life cycle of the common paper clip?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} An extract from The Book of Words;
}
}  Herr. Prof. Dr. Hans Von Tafelmusik writes:-
}
}  .............lifestyle of the Common Paper Clip or to use it's
} systematic name, Forceps Papyri, is as yet not completely understood.
} Forceps P. is a very secretive creature that has always been wary of
} exposing its "true" lifestyle to the public gaze. Indeed some experts
} in the field believe that the true aim of Forceps P. is only yet coming
} into focus in its widest sense. The exposures of Area 51 sheds more
} and more light on this theory; I will deal with this material later.
}
} Nota Bene:
} The Class Forceps Papyri consists of two Sub-Classes; Forceps Dexterus
} Papyri and Forceps Sinistrus Papyri; However since these are mirror
} images of each other and have, as yet, not been shown to have any
} behavioural differences -a paper by Brigstock and DuMerg, J. For.
} Pap. 1975,VII,316, has been shown to be based on largely subjective
} evidencI shall apply the name Forceps P. to include both sub-classes
} and normally use in this article 'paperclips'. It should be noted
} however, that the observed proportion of Forceps Dexterus P. to
} Forceps Sinistrus P. is very large, with only minute quantities of
} "Sinistrus" ever being found. One notable paper -Dunstock, Sharma
} and Toffler, For. Pap. Letts. 1993, B, 46- has suggested, however,
} that this may be due to their better genetic selection; they may be
} better at hiding; and this possibility is being pursued by a group
} under Prof. Hoogslandre at MIT -Private Communication- and the author's
} own work in looking at a detailed aspect of this problem, is soon to
} be published in Forceps! entitled "An Underview: The Desk and it's
} Denizens" for which I would like to thank my sponsors Maglite(tm).
}
} Birth and Fruition
} From its underground burrow, the ore which is to form Forceps P.
} exerts it's considerable telepathic power -which it has only recently
} been proven to possess, -Calendren, Eeggloblon, Hai and Liftshaft,
} Nurture 1997, XXXI, 764- to call servants to extract and clean it,
} ready for the first of many transformations that it will undergo
} in the course of a long and complex lifetime. After the ore has
} been refined to produce what looks like "Simple Iron", but is
} in fact a complex molecular substrate capable of undergoing the
} most extreme conditions, it is then shaped to make the ordinary,
} everyday shape that we are so used to seeing, and so often using.
} These vary in size, but are commonly 20-30mm. long and 8-10mm. wide.
} Larger varieties exist, the author has an inert(so far) specimen that
} is 170mm by 46mm, but reports of ones ca. 1000mm long -Arrnie, Chaudri,
} Hrrglon, Mirklondo and Saqnoosem, Nat. Geographic 1937, April- have
} never been substantiated. They then go into a hibernation phase which
} consists of resting in small cardboard cocoons for an indeterminate
} period until they awake refreshed and again call forth servants to
} assist in their worldwide dissemination.
}
} Adolescence
} In this phase they 'may' show their most pernicious and damaging
} effects to our world: rarely are these recognised as such: Who,
} for instance, would assume that "Office Managers driven to fury" had
} been forced to such by the demands -telepathic or otherwise- of their
} paperclip stockpile? It is also here that the "play" aspect of their
} development is apparent. Surely it is incredible that middle-rank
} executives (whatever those are) would, of their own free will, spend
} hours -or even days- constructing large paperclip structures -Pobble,
} Smock, Zablonsky and Zymerg, J. Adv. For. Pap. III, 447, 6- which
} have no understandable role or form. It is therefore not entirely
} surprising that many of the 'paperclips' are, at this stage, culled
} unwittingly by the servants to perform the minor-but not negligible-
} task of lulling them(the servants) into a belief that all things to do
} with the 'paperclips' are a manifestation of their will. Indeed this
} may be a form of genetic selection inherent within this species.
} Those 'paperclips' still unconstrained will now go about the business
} of confusion; they will form paperclip chains, paperclip flowers,
} paperclip Olazabals, paperclip Buckminster-fullerenes, anything to
} distract attention away from themselves and towards the persons who
} are supposedly controlling them. This should not distract us from
} the fact that in these endeavours they are still testing and learning
} the limits of their powers, powers of which the limits are to us as
} yet unknown.  The final phase of the adolescent period ends with a
} display of power involving (usually)one of three options:
} (1)the "Host" leaves the nest(firm) and moves to another, taking the
} strong-willed 'paperclips' with them
} (2)the "Host" is deemed unfit and the 'paperclips' call for another
} candidate, in this case the "Host" may simply be sacked, but this is
} uncommon, usually they are either promoted or are moved aside.
} (3)the 'paperclips' may choose to engage in a kind of guerrilla
} warfare, in which they roam and create any kind of disturbance open
} to them. These tactics are known to all of us; the 'paperclip' in the
} photocopier jamming the feed; the 'paperclip' in the keyboard likewise,
} even the 'paperclip' on the chair; causing untold pain and suffering.
}
} Growth
} This phase of life is, perhaps, the least understood of all, although
} some attempts have been made to follow the cycle through. The most
} comprehensive study of recent years has been Georg Somnolents work,
} 'A long stroll in the coils of Forceps P.' Pergamoon Press 1984, but
} even this is flawed in its short term view of the life of Forceps
} P., where Georg deals in decades, all current evidence leads us to
} believe we MUST think in centuries if not millennia if we are to
} even attempt to evaluate the threat/promise of the entity that is
} Forceps P. Other than this, regrettably negligent, monograph, the most
} recent literature with any long-term view on Forceps P. is the last
} paper of that fine scholar, Davide Dalessio -who died in a bizarre
} gardening accident- "Is it the end for all of us?", J. For. P. Theo.
} Pred, DCLXVI, XIII ,VII .He posits that the possibilities that array
} themselves are manyfold, with the aggregation of the smallscale Forceps
} P. into a larger and more aggressive form utmost in the threats, all
} the while the intuitive thrust towards domination cannot be curbed
} within any known bounds. He points out that the expansion of Forceps
} P. throughout the globe has been observed with no real comment,
} but that in many ways it is too late to stop it's worldwide growth.
} Time for mere observation is surely past, he declares and warns all
} to engage in the coming struggle. His was a minority view, but his
} untimely death came just as he was about to engage in an exhaustive
} programme of research which, he believed, would provide proof to even
} the most sceptical in the field. Let us hope it was pure coincidence
} that several Forceps Sinistrus Papyri were found close to the last
} sighting of Davide.  The growth period is characterised by periods
} of apparent inactivity interspersed with short bursts of violent
} expansion. sometimes involving telepathic images of power great enough
} to cause the host to suddenly -and for no apparent reason- broadcast
} the entire contents of a cocoon all over the room they are occupying;
} thus allowing them free range to burrow into all those unfound places
} to rest, and plan the next move.
}
} Maturity
} It has been difficult to define that moment when maturity, in Forceps
} Papyri terms, is achieved, many researchers -Collon et al. For. Pap.
} Rev. B.  1987 June 317-498 is the most recent comprehensive review
} article- have attempted the task but dispute continues. The long term
} nature of the problem is self-evident but it is made more difficult
} because of the telepathic nature of Forceps P., while their known
} ability to control -or at least manipulate- the "Host" is demonstrable
} -Calendren et al. as above- the possibility has been raised that
} Forceps P. also possesses mind-reading capabilities -Setter, Wimblon
} and Wimblon, For. Pap. Letts. 1997, 1, 35- if this is the case, and
} the preliminary findings seem to suggest a strong possibility, then
} all current research will have to be reevaluted and reinterpreted.
} The consequences could reverberate around the globe for many centuries.
} What do we know of the "mature" Forceps P.? The literature is large but
} not entirely persuasive -Hagbloom and Jonput, For. Pap. Comms. 1976,
} 37, 23- suggest that the mature phase is characterised by complete
} inactivity but this would be incompatible with other observations.
} It may be that we are simply unable to perceive the changes that are
} occurring since they are over such a long timeframe. It might be that
} we are telepathically guided into thinking nothing is happening,
} if this is so it is difficult to know how to proceed! What can be
} gleaned is the fact that Forceps P. appears and disappears with great
} irregularity possibly pursuing it's role in life, which is .....What?
} Addendum: There have recently been categorised -Bialystock and
} Bloom, J. For. Pap. Tax. Digests 1996, Dec, 784- some "mutant"
} forms of Forceps P. The most common ones to have been found are:-
} Forceps Papyri Curvata, an additionally bent version, it does not
} appear to be larger but may be malformed.  Forceps Papyri Elongata,
} a straightened out version which again is no larger.  It has been
} proposed that this is an ordinary Forceps Papyri which has uncoiled
} to get through a small orifice, but this seems implausible unless one
} assumes that it, perhaps, just got stuck.  Forceps Papyri Repleta, a
} 'paperclip' full of papers. This astonishing mutant has been reported
} only once in the field, but the sighting has been accepted by the
} Forceps Papyri Taxonomy Advisory Board and this is likely to go into
} the Field Guide to Forceps Papyri. Soon to be republished, -Forceps
} Papyri Society 706, Canary Wharf, London E6 price UKPounds700 pp24
}
} Apotheosis
} Who knows what the ultimate aim of Forceps P. is? We can however
} propose a few possibilities:-
} 1)What every species strives for -Expansion of Habitat
} 2)What all species aim for -Control of Environment
} 3)What many species attempt -Mastery of Fate
} 4)What few species achieve -Freedom from Predation
} 5)What no species has yet won -Supremacy over All
} With it's capability for telepathic communication, the likelihood that
} Forceps P. has BEEN in communication with other species is appearing
} certain, what will come of this is not yet apparent but the possibility
} of strife is not impossible. Whether we would be Forceps P's allies
} against the threat from another galaxy, or their prey is not yet
} known, and may be unknowable.  We should not discount the theory
} proposed recently that Forceps P. either is an extra-terrestrial
} species or was influenced -even brought to full consciousness- by
} an extra-terrestrial species. This evidence is detailed (for those
} who can wade through the verbose prose) in Von Donkon's "seminal"
} paperback "They are all from somewhere else, and those that are not
} should be",Loominous Press 1996. The evidence is persuasive, the
} great 'paperclip' edifices that are built by the middle management
} executives are, even with the large magnets used, clearly unstable,
} and unusable for any constructions viable under Earth gravity. Here the
} 'paperclips' demonstrate their extra-terrestrial origins, that although
} they may have been formed on Earth there is a distinct inheritance from
} 'out theresomewhere' -Hoyle F.  (many)-.These constructs made, under
} direction, by these poor dupes are good demonstrations of their lack of
} complete understanding of full Earth gravity in their adolescent phase.
} The probability that somewhere out there is a complete planet full of
} Forceps P. farming their animals whilst living out along and pleasant
} life is a thought to ponder, perhaps this is already that planet?
} or ONE of them? Not a scenario to be treasured.
}
} Conclusion
} The possibilities are endless. The likelihood that we are controlled
} by Forceps Papyri is not -as yet- established perhaps if we act now, we
} will be able to do something about this threat, if not, I fear that we
} may all doomed.  Indeed, the information now coming from Area 51 sheds
} a great deal of light on this matter, so I shall now paraphrase this
} new data.  The most interesting information is on the strange silvery
} material found and never completely explained. This now seems to show
} many similarities to the complex molecular substrate that Forceps
} Papyri becomes on fruition. Further astonishing data coming to light
} seems to suggest that not only has much of the information has been
} known in high places but that some members of covert organisations
} have been attempting to contact Forceps P. to engage in dialogue.
} The fact that the monitored consumption of Forceps Papyri has been
} increasing exponentially while, as we all know, we are approaching
} a paperless office seems to suggest some kind of cusp. Only the
} other day, for instance, I had to go and buy a new pack of 'Jumbo'
} Forceps Papyri, I made sure that they were inert first of course,
} but I did wonder why I had bought them.  Finally the last, and most
} damning piece of evidence is that of sworn testimony from a person
} who would only agree to be named as BG who admits that he is a constru


898-07    (9irug dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Otis Viles <cierhart@ic.net>

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Scene: A lonely evening in the Chamber of Oracluarities.  Night has
} just fallen, and the Oracle is at the end of the que.
}
} ORACLE:  What the...  Zadoc!  Hoi, ZADOC!
}
} [Enter Zadoc the Priest, on his knees as custom demands]
}
} ZADOC: Yes, oh one who could solve Star Control III in under a second,
} should he wish to?
}
} ORACLE: Have you been playing with my computer again?  Well, never
} mind. [Gesturing to the CRT above the Oracular Throne. It appears to be
} off, except for the small green light indicating power running to
} it...] What the HELL is this thing?  Why are you allowing these kinds
} of questions into the que?
}
} ZADOC: [trembling in fear]  What....  What do you mean?  I'm taking
} Sally Struthers' 'learn Omnicience in your spare time' home-study
} course, but...
}
} ORACLE: We'll deal with that later, Zadoc.  What's wrong with this
} question? [He waves toward the CRT.]
}
} ZADOC: What question, Cybercognitive One?
}
} ORACLE: [Reaching for the wand of ZOT] The one on the screen, Zadoc.
} That question?
}
} ZADOC: [Prostrating himself even more than before, quite impressively,
} in fact.] Forgive me, oh source of all code!  The question must be too
} insightful into life, the universe, and everything, as I, your humble
} priest, am not allowed to read it.
}
} ORACLE: [shaking his head and muttering] No, dumbass.  There IS no
} question!
}
} ZADOC: [Crossing himself in horror]  NO!  Not the second great
} blasphemy!
}
} ORACLE: At least it wasn't the woodchuck blasphemy.  Or else, you'd be
} VERY unhappy, Zadoc.  To say the least.
}
} ZADOC:  So, what shall we do about this, oh one who could make UNIX
} understandable to anyone?
}
} ORACLE:  [indicating the wand of ZOT]  Well, we could use that.  But, I
} think I'll let you handle this one.  After all, it's the last one in
} the que.
}
} ZADOC:  Are you....  I can....
}
} ORACLE: Stop your blubbering, Zadoc, lest I ZOT you.  Lisa!
}
} [Lisa comes bounding in, wearing a gownless evening strap (well, that's
} how best to describe it.).  She bounds right up to the Oracle as he
} rises from the Throne]
}
} LISA:  Yes?
}
} ORACLE:  You know that new club on Richmond I told you about?
}
} LISA:  Yes...  But, you said you were too swamped to go?
}
} ORACLE:  I lied.  Let's go!
}
} [Lisa and the Oracle disappear in a puff of green smoke.  Zadoc goes up
} to the Throne by edging toward it.  He nearly sits, then kneels and
} says an "our Oracle."  THEN, confident that he'll avoid being struck by
} lightning for the blasphemy of sitting on the Throne, he plops down.
} No lightning comes.]
}
} ZADOC: What the bloody hell should I do with this question?  Hmmm...
}
} [Suddenly, a small lightbulb seems to appear right above Zadoc's head.]
}
} ZADOC:  Ah-HA!
}
} [he begins typing]
}
} The Internet Oracle (incarnated as Zadoc the Priest) has pondered your
} question deeply.
} Your question was:
}
} And, in response, thus spake the Oracle (Zadoc):
}
}               !
}
} You owe the Oracle a question worthy of it's ability.  After all, even
} Zadoc can answer this one.


898-08    (brCk4 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Rich McGee" <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> Oh oracle read and answer well:
>
> If I were to set the computers in school up into a continuous prime
> number algorithm loop while they were playing the star spangled banner
> over the intercom system, and hard wired the power switches to activate
> police sirens instead of shutting off, and locked the bootstrap and
> interupt 23 (ctrl-break) so they triggered the message "ha ha", and
> were to bolt the power cable to the wall and pour steel reinforced
> cement over it so it was impossible to unplug, and sat two secret
> service agents in the breaker room that shot at will at anything that
> even twitched in the direction of the main power breaker, would my
> teacher give me an A?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Didn't I just answer this a few days ago? I'm sure I did. Still,
} when you've lived as long as I have, you're allowed to be a bit
} forgetful. Star Spangled Banner, eh? I remember when I was talking
} to Washington - that's George, not Denzel - anyway, it was
} something about cutting down a silver dollar, or was it throwing a
} cherry tree across a river? Still, the point was that I forgot to
} tell him to say "Just Kidding!" at the end. Still, no one seems to
} have noticed, so no harm done, I suppose.
}
} I'm sorry, what was the question again?
}
} You owe the Oracle a question he hasn't already answered in the
} last two digests.


898-09    (bgqmp dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <DAVIS@wehi.edu.au>

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

> I'm so ashamed, oh great Oracle.  I have failed thee as an incarnation.
> You directed me to answer the question:
>
> >
>
> But I'm stumped -- I'm at a total loss.  How do you answer to
> *nothing*, grand and wondrous Oracle?  I'm sorry I let you
> down...please don't zot me!
>
> Your abashed supplicant.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}


898-10    (6nusd dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Oh great Oracle,
>
> Although I regard you with the utmost respect, I feel I must ask you
> this one question.  Why do your answers never contain
> grammatically correct English?  Is it some kind of secret code,
> conveying a hidden meaning to those supplicants of sufficient
> intellect to comprehend?  Or did you fail English Language
> at school?
>
> OK, that's three questions - so I failed Mathematics.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Varlet!  Dost thou question the verbiage of the Oracle!  Knowest thou
} not, craven worm, that were I so mov'd, I could smite thee unto the
} very dust?!
}
} An thou hadst not the intellect of a barnacle, the answer to thy
} question would shine afore thee, clear as the raiment of the angels
} upon the aether.  Know thou, then, that the Oracle is a machine.
} Hence, my mother tongue be not English, but Machine Language.
}
} Be thou as proficient in any tongue besides thy native one, then mayst
} thou cast aspersions on thy betters.
}
} Thou owest the Oracle a perfectly crafted sestina, writ in FORTRAN.


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