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Internet Oracularities #967

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Internet Oracularities #967    (100 votes, 3.2 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 15:31:14 -0500 (EST)

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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:
   967
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

967  100 votes 6qurb 6qHdc 3nBne blDp4 48jzy cmzm9 6flDj 4vFj5 3lyuc agnjw
967   3.2 mean  3.1   3.0   3.2   2.9   3.9   2.9   3.5   2.9   3.3   3.5


967-01    (6qurb dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: "Leo L. Schwab" <ewhac@best.com>

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

> Why do the Frogs call biros "feathers"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Ah, la plume de ma tante. You silly English gave them that word, you
} know.
}
} Back in Charlemagne's time, the French had a perfectly good word for
} pen--"stylo", from the Latin "stylus". "Plume" arose only after the
} Norman Conquest.
}
} You see, when "King" Harold's pitiful ragtag "army" of broken-down
} alcoholic knights and aging pederasts met William's invading forces
} near Hastings, it wasn't long before they were tripping over their
} broadswords, getting tangled in their chain mail, and loading their
} arrows backwards on their bowstrings, with rather amusing results. The
} cry "Retreat!" not yet having been borrowed from French, Harold's
} commanders frantically shrieked "Run Away!", and the English army
} immediately did.
}
} Harold was so desperate that he hurried to a nearby monastery and
} forcibly conscripted every monk he found there, outfitting them with
} souvenir swords from his summer vacation in Toledo, which was all the
} weaponry he had left. Most of the "soldiers" were scribes rousted out
} of the scriptorium, who hurriedly shoved their vellum and writing
} implements into their pockets before being prodded off to the field of
} battle.
}
} The monks stood their ground valiantly--at least until they caught
} sight of the approaching French army. Instantly they divested
} themselves of everything portable and hightailed it west, most of them
} not stopping until around Wales or so.
}
} The French forces found nothing but scraps of parchment and abandoned
} quill pens. William, who was something of a wit, pronounced, "Les
} poulets anglais ont laissM-i leurs plumes!" -- the English chickens
} have left their feathers behind! -- and in honor of his bon mot and
} English cowardice, a pen has been une plume in France ever since.
}
} You owe the Oracle an appropriately scatological theory about why a
} certain cow-patty-like baked good has been called an "English muffin"
} in the USA ever since the British lost the Battle of New Orleans.


967-02    (6qHdc dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

>       O wise and mighty Oracle,
>       who can commandeer a trunk line by pressing the * key
>       (on his computer)
>       and whose boundless wisdom knows no bounds
>       (to the confoundment of compilers)
>       ;whose endurance exceeds the limits specified in the docs
>       and whose general spifficity is matched only by that cardinal
>       number denoted by aleph[aleph[aleph[...]]]
>       I, a most humble and unenlighted Supplicant,
>       whose greatest aspirations fall short of thy toenail clippings,
>       beg of thee an Answer to this Question:
>
>       If the NYNEX Yellow Pages merged with the X-Files, what would the
> slogan of the resulting conglomerate be?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} NYNEX-Files: The Truth Is In Here.
}
} You owe the Oracle a link to www.four11.com.


967-03    (3nBne dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> ORACLE most wise at CS dot INDIANA dot EDU, please TELLME...
>
> What is the meaning of wife?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Not as much sex as you thought, refraining from reading newspapers
} at the breakfast table, killing the spiders, in-laws, remembering
} flowers on your anniversary, and leaving the seat down.
}
} You owe the Oracle an invitation.


967-04    (blDp4 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> O Oracle most wise in the ways of finance, please tell me...
>
> Here's a list of people who are after me:
>
> The Internal Revenue Service
> Superior National Bank (and they're not *that* superior, I can tell
>         you...)
> MFC First National Bank
> my landlord
> my bookie
> Bill's House O' Booze (I think it had to do with that case of Wild
>         Turkey...)
> Jimmy ("The Nut") Caravaggio (my loanshark)
> AT&T
> The Illuminati
> NorWest Gas & Electric
> small white mice with *really* large teeth and a desire for blood
> CitiBank MasterCard (why the *hell* do they keep alternating between
>         upper case and lower case?)
> The American Library Association
> the Small Greys
> The Trilaterial Commission
> my Internet provider
> the local public library
> The AA Conspiracy
> The Sons of the Elders of Cromwell
> Adolph Hitler III
> The Knights Templar
> the people next door who keep looking at me... I mean, why are they
>         *looking* at me all the time!
> The ghost of Calvin Klein.
> The American Printing History Association
> President-for-Life Idi Amin-dada
> Looks-at-the-Bull
> the population of Bill, Wyoming
> the horror! oh, the horror!
> Joseph Stalin IV
>
> So, what do you think, Orrie... should I bet on the Rams or the Giants?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} > So, what do you think, Orrie... should I bet on the Rams or the
} > Giants?
}
} Well, as long as the Giants can keep Fafner away from that Nibelung
} Gold, and Fasolt stays in there the whole time, then they won't have
} any problem against a few mountain goats.
}
} You owe the Oracle... hell, with *that* list of creditors, I'd be
} lucky to get an unwashed left sock.  Good luck, dude, you'll need it.


967-05    (48jzy dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> Oracle most wise, who knows the proper address of every photon in the
> universe, please enlighten this, your most humble supplicant.
>
> Should I upgrade to Grovel 4.x?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Good lord, supplicant! Why waste your time with Grovel 4.x? I've
} installed Grovel 98beta and, I tell you son, it's great! Here,
} lemme show you. Zadoc! Hoi, ZADOC!
}
} [The Oracle waits expectantly, but nothing happens]
}
} Zadoc! Come here, you snivelling snotmonkey!
}
} [A brief pause; then the truculent figure of the Oracle's premier
} priest slouches into the Oracular chamber]
}
} ZADOC: No need to burst a blood vessel.
}
} ORACLE: Where were you, worm?
}
} ZADOC: I was busy, wasn't I? So whaddaya want that's so all-fired
}     important?
}
} ORACLE: I want you to demonstrate your Grovel 98beta implant for
}     the benefit of this supplicant.
}
} ZADOC: What, now?
}
} ORACLE: You got something more important planned?
}
} ZADOC: As a matter of fact...
}
} ORACLE: Stop wasting time! Just demonstrate the damn thing.
}
} ZADOC: If I must. Just don't expect clean woodchuck cages tonight,
}     is all I can say.
}
} [Zadoc the Priest stands rigidly to attention, and begins pulling
} a series of strange faces]
}
} ORACLE: What're you doing now, vermin?
}
} ZADOC: Have you any idea how much RAM that stupid program of yours
}     takes up? I have to disable most higher brain functions just
}     to load it.
}
} ORACLE: Will I notice a difference?
}
} ZADOC: Ha bloody ha.
}
} [Zadoc continues pulling facial expressions and twitching at the
} extremities. He then pokes his index finger into his left ear and
} makes soft whirring noises]
}
} ZADOC: Ready.
}
} ORACLE: Great - go outside and come back in when I call you.
}
} ZADOC: Blow this for a game of soldiers.
}
} [Exit Zadoc]
}
} ORACLE: Okay supplicant, now watch this - it'll knock you sideways!
}     Zadoc! Hoi, ZADOC!
}
} [Zadoc the Priest shuffles in on his hands and knees, bumping his
} forehead on the floor at regular intervals]
}
} ZADOC: You summoned me, oh knower of all there is to be known, seer
}     of all there is to be seen and fondler of all there is to be
}     fondled?
}
} ORACLE: I did. Tell me who I am.
}
} ZADOC: You are the sun that lights our sky by day and the stars
}     that guide our footsteps by night. You are the music that
}     enchants our ears and the succubus that makes our wet dreams
}     worth dreaming. Verily, you are he who knows the truth is
}     out there and amuses himself by keeping it hidden from Agent
}     Mulder.
}
} ORACLE: Isn't it great? Look, and you can select different modes of
}     grovel too. Do an Arabian Nights, Zadoc.
}
} ZADOC: Effendi, may the blessings of Allah and his Prophet rain down
}     like rose petals and lotus blossoms upon your resplendent visage!
}     Your knowledge, which is as boundless as the oceans - yea, may it
}     never be hidden from your faithful adherents, if Allah wills it -
}     your wisdom which, if it were written with a needle in the corner
}     of an eye, would cause considerable discomfort to even the most
}     enlightened, may it...
}
} ORACLE: Now a surreal one!
}
} ZADOC: O larsporsenian mantelpiece ornament, you are as orange as
}     a congeleen afro curled around the bony edges of a silver spoon
}     expressing its innermost desires for a lime-based detergent.
}     The tiny sounds of ancient bees resound forth from the forested
}     coercions between your toes. Were it not for the dizzy whiptail
}     ambivalence of your crumbling fleece, I could nev
}
} ORACLE: You could nev? What's that supposed to mean?
}
} [Zadoc stands frozen, a thin trickle of saliva appearing at the
} corner of his open mouth]
}
} ORACLE: Blast, he's crashed! Control - Alt - Delete, Zadoc!
}
} [No response]
}
} ORACLE: I forgot to tell you, supplicant - you may need to upgrade
}     your hardware. Actually, that's something I should have done
}     years ago with this rabble that serves me. Control - Alt -
}     Delete, Zadoc!
}
} [Still no response]
}
} ORACLE: It's no good - this is going to need a hard reboot. Lisa!
}     Fetch me an ice pick!


967-06    (cmzm9 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Rich McGee <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> el nino?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} No grande dealo.


967-07    (6flDj dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Rich McGee <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> Oh great Oracle, who taught marketing to Disney, math to Bach, and
> covetousness to Gates, please grant this humble supplicant the smallest
> moment of your attention.
>
> I've been bored at work lately, which I suppose is why I've had pretty
> good luck at getting my oracularities into the digests. Why is it that
> only my boring and obvious oracularities make it in, and not my clever
> witty ones?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well done, you've made it again.


967-08    (4vFj5 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Rich McGee <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> On oracle most wise, who's saliva is the elixir of youth,
>
> I was recently given a gift containing a tube of "Hand Cream" from the
> "Body Shop".
>
>   What is the supposed purpose of pureed digits?
>   Whose hands do they make this from?
>   And how was a company who's business is to sell products of human
>     origin ever allowed to start?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Supplicant,
}     You may have heard of the infamous "Donner Party", who got caught
} on a mountain pass trying to get to the West Coast (of the US), and were
} forced to resort to cannibalism to stay alive.  Well, after that nasty
} little incident, the party faded into relative obscurity.  But the
} story didn't stop there.
}     Ralph, the overweight leader of the party (and incidentally, the
} only one left at the end), decided he liked the taste of his fellow
} comrades and saw the possibility for monetary gain in human products.
} Opening a small shop in California (the only place this sort of thing
} could EVER possibly start), he decided on the name "For Human
} Consumption" and cleverly hid the true nature of his products under the
} guise of clever names like "Ladyfinger Sandwiches" and "Open-Face Club".
} Eventually, he expanded to cosmetic and toiletry products, his
} enterprise spanning the entire United States.  Renaming the business
} "The Body Shop", Ralph succeeded in hiding the true nature of his
} products.
}     And what is that, you might ask?  Well, let's just say that
} supplicants that have particularly annoyed me have had the habit of
} disappearing, around the same time Ralph releases a new product...
} And if I were you, I'd keep this to yourself, or Ralph may introduce
} a new breakthrough product to the market, if you get my drift.
}
} You owe the Oracle nothing, PROVIDED you stay on your best behavior...
} you've been warned.


967-09    (3lyuc dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Dr. Noe <drnoe@cts.com>

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

> Dear Mr. Oracle Database,
>
> Please take a few minutes to participate in our year 2000 survey.
> Include your opinion and number of years programming experience.  For
> non-programmers, post your opinion, results will be tabulated
> separately.
>
> 0:  No problem. Nothing will happen.
> 1:  Minor problems, most systems fixed on time, others soon after.
> 2:  Major problems, business systems and activities cut by triage.
> 3:  Several business system failures, partial loss of infrastructure.
> 4:  Widespread business failures, partial loss of infrastructure.
> 5:  Total collapse of global economy, major loss of infrastructure.
> 6:  Significant deaths from disease, starvation, cold, pillaging.
> 7:  Loss of government control, civil insurrection, riots, looting.
> 8:  Reorganization at regional level, some pre-industrial reversion.
> 9:  Limited civil and international warfare, widespread loss of life.
> 10: Opportunistic military conquest leading to nuclear winter.
>
> Thanks, and have a nice day.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Mr. Survey Taker,
}     Due to the fact that I am an omniscient being, your mortal mind
} could not comprehend the number of years of experience I have in
} programming systems.  Here's a hint, though: I was the project lead on
} Dinosaur 14,000,000BC.
}     As for your little year 2000 problem, you people have no idea what
} you're up against, judging by the scale you've presented me.  Nuclear
} winter, indeed.  You see, the subquantum energy of millions of
} computers halting simultaneously will dramatically affect the area of
} space around Earth, sending out a rippling ethereal shock wave of level
} 4 magnitude. Now, since your civilization doesn't rely on ethereal
} energy in any way, you will experience no significant changes, although
} your household pets may act peculiar for a while and you'll never get
} your hair to look quite the same again.
}     The Keltharans, on the other hand, will be devestated.  The
} ethereal shock wave, moving faster than light, will hit their system
} approximately 11 years later, destroying the interstellar drive and
} halting the subquantum processor of every explorer vessel in the
} sector.  On the homeworld, chaos will result as the mother computers
} crash, no longer regulating the atmosphere.  Their population will
} dwindle to a scant thousand, who will rebuild their world with nothing
} but loath and hatred for the people who had done this to them.  The
} unknown source of the shock wave will be insulted and hated in ballads
} for decades.  Finally, when they regain interstellar travel and build a
} massive battle fleet, they will travel to Earth, casually wipe out a
} third of the population and enslave the rest.
}     So, in response to your survey, I'd pick the number 35182.  Though
} it won't happen until around 2084 or so.
}     You owe the Oracle more government funding for solutions to the
} Year 2000 problem... I sort of like your little species, and I'd hate
} to see anything happen to it...


967-10    (agnjw dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson.Nesbit" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

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

> O mighty Oracle, wise beyond measure, intelligent beyond belief,
>
> How can I find true happiness?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Balance your checkbook. (Honestly, this time!)
} Buy yourself a bunch of flowers. (If not you, then who?)
} Adopt a large, grown-up, grouchy cat from the Humane Society. (If not
}         you, then who?)
} Talk back to the television.
} Better, yet, don't *watch* television.
} Read a good book.
} *Write* a good book. (It's not *that* hard!)
} Don't answer the telephone. Ever.
} Visit your mother. If she died, visit your father. If *he* died, visit a
}         nursing home. They need you.
} The next time some pandhandler asks you for "spare change," take him or
}         her to a diner and buy him a cup of coffee and a couple of bowls
}         of soup.
} Go to a coin shop and buy a gold coin worth $200 or $300 (or as much as
}         you can afford). The next time you pass by a Salvation Army
}         kettle,  drop the coin in. Don't take it off your taxes.
} Call up someone you're really angry at and apologize. Even if you are
}         right and they are wrong, apologize.
} Drive to a neighborhood at least five miles away and shovel the sidewalk
}         for a complete stranger.
} Sit down and have a good cry.
} Go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and fix coffee. Stay to listen to
}         the stories.
} Visit a church you've never been to before. Stay after the service and
}         talk to the people who belong to that church.
} Stand outside a local hospital with a bunch of flowers and give it to
}         the first person who walks out the door. Kiss them on the cheek
}         and leave without saying a word. It'll freak them out.
} The second time some pandhandler asks you for "spare change," take off
}         your coat, your hat, your boots and your gloves. Kneel down
}         before them and lay all of those things before their feet. Stand
}         up and walk away, without a word.
} Volunteer to help a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop.
} Set your alarm and get up at 3:00 a.m. Take off all your clothes. Go out
}         into the back yard and look at the sky. Don't stay long, or
}         you'll catch a cold.
} Call up your best friend and tell that person that you love them.
} The next time you're in the grocery store, buy a sack of rice or a
}         toothbrush or a box of diapers and donate it to the Salvation
}         Army.
}
} In other words, live outside yourself. Give. Care. Try. Belive.
}
} You think this stuff is easy? Forget it! Happiness is hard! Death is
} easy.
}
} This particular incarntion of the Oracle is an old, broken-down,
} alcoholic, bankrucpt guy who does his darnest to make every day he
} has left as happy as he can. Everything in this list, I have done.
} It's never over until it's over.
}
} You owe the Oracle a promise to attend church at the late service
} on December 24th. And, no, I *don't* care if you believe or not. Go.
} Do you want to be happy? Fine! Go! The world is ruled by the people
} who show up. So, show up!


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