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Internet Oracularities #985

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985, 985-01, 985-02, 985-03, 985-04, 985-05, 985-06, 985-07, 985-08, 985-09, 985-10


Internet Oracularities #985    (92 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 08:26:27 -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:
   985
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

985   92 votes 5qwm7 3gAt8 7tsj9 4vwi7 3alrv 3ntra 4fDmc eque8 5gnsk atti6
985   3.1 mean  3.0   3.2   2.9   2.9   3.8   3.2   3.2   2.7   3.5   2.8


985-01    (5qwm7 dist, 3.0 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@wellesley.edu

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

> Oh Oracle most grammatical, whose syntactical tirades wax fanatical:
>
> I know that all nouns can be verbed, but I believe that there are
> certain words that do not readily avail themselves of verbification.
> The chief example of these that I see on a daily basis is the use of
> "architect" as a verb, in sentences such as "This module has been
> architected to frob the whatsit."  It sets my teeth on edge to witness
> such butchery of words.
>
> How can I get people to stop "architecting" things, and go back to
> "designing" or "constructing" or "building"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I have received few questions that have been supplicanted better than
} yours.
}
} First of all, get your teeth off that edge. Doing that will simply chip
} your enamel, plus it'll probably spoil the architect's smooth, clean,
} modern, yet classical, lines. And while you're climbing back onto the
} ledge, be careful not to trip over the lines. The architect spend a lot
} of time stringing them.
}
} Verbing a noun is, in most places, a felony punished by a horrible,
} lingering death (i.e., being forced to listen to "Complete Speeches of
} Bill Clinton, 1978-1998"). Historians believe that the invasion of
} Europe by the Huns was due to the fact that the letter sent by Pope Leo
} VI to Attila used the phrase "gnarsh mfah skra," which meant "those who
} go horsing around". The Huns got as far as Vienna before they ran out
} of adverbs.
}
} Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about the decline of grammar
} these days. It's beyond the Pale. The language has crossed over the
} Rubicon.
}
} You owe the Oracle a Golden Horde led by William F. Buckley, Jr.


985-02    (3gAt8 dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson.Nesbit" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

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

> Oh, Most Gracious and Glorious Oracle, Whom Is the most wise, and
> witty, Oracle.
> Oh, Most Networked Oracle, whom I am not even worthy of tieing the
> shoelaces from your two blessed shows together...
> Please, Oh Oracle, bestow a tiny thimble of your knowledges on me,
> this lowly supplicant, (Particularly relevant to the following
> question, please!)
>
> Why has my pen run dry?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmmm, you seemed to have removed Ink Explorer from your pen.
} You should have known that Ink Explorer is a core component of your
} pen, and consequently, cannot be removed without crippling your pen.
} Your pen is useless in its current configuration.  I'm sorry, but
} you will have to buy a new pen, which will come with Ink Explorer
} pre-installed.  Thank you for your question.
}
} You owe the Oracle an excuse he can give for wearing shows on his feet.


985-03    (7tsj9 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mark Lawrence <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> O great Oracle,
>     Who can see the far side of the moon,
>     Who can count the spelling mistakes in the dictionary,
>     Who can sleep through sex education,
> Hear now this pitiful supplicant
>     unworthy to bathe you with my tongue,
>     unable to read a menu without assistance.
> Please answer my feeble questions:
>
> How many light bulbs does it take to change a wet baby?
>
> How many chipmonks does it take to change a wet chipmonk?
>
> Why didn't Alvin and the Chipmonks ever do live concerts?  Or Bugs
> Bunny?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} It's interesting you ask me that second-to-last question, because I've
} just finished writing the liner notes for a six-CD box set to be
} released later this year, "Walla Walla Bing Bang:  40 Years of the
} Chipmunks."  Here are some excerpts that may help to answer your
} question.
}
}    ...Fortunately, he was able to brake in time.  It was only then that
} he realized that the object which the chipmunk had run out in the
} middle of the road to get was a drumstick that had rolled away.
}    [Ross] Bagdasarian rubbed his eyes.  Here along this
} lightly-traveled gravel back road through the forests of Washington
} state, three chipmunks were performing an impromptu concert....
}
}    ...[H]e swore the studio crew to secrecy, opened the door, and in
} came Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.  The crew's mouths were agape.
}    And so Bagdasarian and the Chipmunks recorded "Witch Doctor," to be
} released with the credit "David Seville and the Chipmunks" (David
} Seville being Bagdasarian's stage name).  The record company, however,
} inadvertently dropped the "and the Chipmunks" portion of the credit,
} angering the Chipmunks, especially Alvin...
}
}    ..."We refuse to remain a stupid novelty act!"
}    The shouting match went on for almost half an hour, with Theodore
} serving as mediator in between bites of a ham sandwich.
}    Of course, it was pretty much hopeless for the Chipmunks.  With the
} ever-present threat of government scientists who would certainly want
} to examine the highly developed brains of these chipmunks, Bagdasarian
} had the upper hand.  Not only could he rule the Chipmunks with an iron
} fist, he could go on national television and radio programs and "joke"
} with the host about using real chipmunks to sing his novelty hits, with
} everyone "knowing" it was just vocal tracks speeded up through
} electronic trickery.
}    Bagdasarian also refused to let the Chipmunks play live.  Not so
} much because of the "threat" of government scientists, but because he
} was afraid that they would chuck the entire set list and play some of
} their own compositions....
}
}    ...The lawsuit having been successful, the Chipmunks were finally,
} after almost 35 years together, ready to perform live.  They chose to
} make their debut on an eagerly-anticipated, brand new talk show with a
} well-known comedian host.
}    They were scheduled two months in advance for the October 22, 1993,
} episode of "The Chevy Chase Show," promoting their new album of all
} original songs, "Acornucopia."
}    A critical and ratings disaster, "The Chevy Chase Show" aired its
} last episode on October 15th.
}    That same day, Alvin found out that "Off the Chipmunk End" was going
} to be released on the BMG Kids label.  Two years later, Simon told the
} story to BBC Radio One:
}    "He went ballistic, basically, after finding out that they were
} going to release it the same way they'd released previous Bagdasarian
} albums, on their 'Kids' label.
}    "He and Theodore drove to their offices, tore up their contract,
} and, took back the master tapes of the album.
}    "Then, on the way back, it happened."
}
}    "TANKER TRUCK COLLIDES WITH RUNAWAY CAR," read the headline in the
} Los Angeles Times.  Although the charred bodies of Alvin and Theodore
} were found in the wreckage, since very few people knew the "secret" of
} the Chipmunks, the entire situation ended up being stamped "unsolved"
} by the LAPD.  For example, the driver of the "runaway" car was never
} found; it was registered to "A. CHIPMUNK," which the police
} investigators took to be someone's joke that wasn't picked up on by the
} DMV.
}    Because of the fire, all that survives of "Acornucopia" are a few
} fragments of alternate takes of songs that were on one tape reel that
} was still in Simon's possession.
}    BMG sued Simon and the estates of Alvin and Theodore for not living
} up to their recording contract and won; in order to pay the award, Simon
} had to sell the rights to the Chipmunk name back to Bagdasarian, Jr.,
} who notified Simon that his singing and keyboard-playing skills would
} no longer be necessary.  Bagdasarian, Jr., put out a "Chipmunks" album
} of cover versions of country songs within six months, made by speeding
} up vocal tracks sung by Bagdasarian, Jr., himself.  It was the
} worst-selling Chipmunks album ever....
}
} [ end excerpt ]
}
} So there you go.  Those liner notes represent a lot of investigative
} work, so I'm very proud of them.
}
} By the way, the answers to your other questions are as follows:  none,
} if you're good enough to do it in the dark; only one, to hold the
} towel; and Bugs actually suffered from horrible stage fright when he
} had to act in front of real people, not just the crew making the
} cartoon.
}
} You owe the Oracle the license plate from Alvin's car ("THE MUNK").


985-04    (4vwi7 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson.Nesbit" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

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

> Oh mighty Oracle, who is above hating moronic users, I have a few
> questions actually:
>
> Why do users with new email accounts feel the need to:
>
> 1) subscribe to at least a dozen "humor" mailing lists?
>
> 2) print out a copy of every one of these emails for everyone in the
> office? (What a WASTE of paper)
>
> 3) walk around the office distributing those copies to all of the
> intended recipients (who all incidentally have email too)
>
> 4) stop by MY office in particular to actually READ the "humor" emails
> to me?
>
> -Dying in Stupidity

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh supplicant most displeased,
}
} Perhaps your resident e-Luddite Office Bozo(tm) should subscribe to a
} 'humour' list as opposed to a 'humor' list.  The difference may well
} be surprising.
}
} However, this won't remedy the method of delivery which, at best,
} could be described as hopeless.
}
} I've met these kind of people before, and I'm afraid the only option
} is to (temporarily) lower yourself to their level.  To get through
} to the typical e-Luddite requires an act quite horrific, which many
} senior manager types seem to comitt with wild abandon.
}
} The task is this:
}  Obtain one of these dreaded dead-tree editions of the 'humor'.
}  Write, in pen, upon it, "REMOVE HUMOR-L", and sign it.
}   When no-one is looking, throw it in the e-Luddite's 'In' box.
}  Bozo will remove you from his list of 'humor' friends.
}  Breathe a large sigh of relief.
}
} Quickly send several emails, (via the proper channel ; electronically)
} to absolve yourself of the dreaded 'reply to a printed email' syndrome.
}
} Alternatively, just wait til a particularly obscene joke appears on
} the list, forward it to senior management, noting from whom the joke
} came, and have that goose sacked.
}
} You owe the Oracle a humidor, so that the door may be shut to keep
} the humor out.


985-05    (3alrv dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Michael A. Atkinson" <m-atkinson@nwu.edu>

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

> In a grudge match between Hanson and the Spice Girls, who would win?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Humankind.


985-06    (3ntra dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: clemenr@westminster.ac.uk (Ross Clement)

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

> Oh most sagacious all-seeing one, please tell me, what is the cultural
> significance of the "coffee break" in workplaces around the world?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Coffee Break, hm?  Well let's take a look:
}
} In northern Alaska, the Coffee Break, is quite literal when slabs of
} frozen coffee are smashed with sledgehammers and residents suck on
} slivers of frozen caffiene.
}
} In Japan, where tea is the drink of choice, and all things American
} (such as the coffee break) have been twisted into grotesque parodies of
} themselves, the coffee break has become, "Honorable MisterBreak,
} Devowerer of All Coffee," and is something to be feared as a
} productivity decline.
}
} In Siberia, in the former Soviet Union, coffee is used when one wishes
} to take a break from vodka.
}
} The South American drug cartels use coffee beans to break the scent of
} their tansported narcotics.
}
} In the United States, the coffee break has evolved into a life of its
} own, and no longer even requires coffee.  However, it is so revered in
} some parts of the United States, that they have named a web programming
} language (Express-O) after it.
}
} In the small south seas island of Pargo-Bargo, the natives worship a
} crate of coffee which fell from a plane shot down during world war two.
}  Taking a coffee break there means sacrificing one of the island's
} small rodents to the crate of coffee.
}
} The Oracle hopes that you enjoyed your colorful look at coffee breaks
} around the world.  You own the Oracle: the head of Juan Valdez, a
} Maxwell House with 4 bedrooms and a garage, and a small pile of half
} and half plastic cup thingies for the kids to drink.


985-07    (4fDmc dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <DAVIS@wehi.edu.au>

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

> Oh Oracle most wise, who knows the half life of Selenium,
> please tell, do radioactive cats have 18 half-lives??

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The interesting part about this question is, what is the cat doing
} being radioactive in the first place? The original irradiated cat
} was Erwin Schroedinger's *first* cat, a black and white moggie called
} "Tiddles". As you are probably aware, the famous Schroedinger's Cat
} experiment involved placing a cat in a box, and using the emission
} (or not) of a radioactive particle to determine whether a lethal
} dose of poison would be released, killing the cat. Unfortunately,
} Schroedinger made a bit of a cock-up when he placed Tiddles in the box.
} The radioactive particles missed the detector entirely and irradiated
} poor Tiddles. As is traditional in Saturday morning cartoons, Tiddles
} was transformed into "Superpuss", with powers far beyond that of
} any normal cat. For instance, Superpuss was able to successfully
} use a catflap, learn how to use a scratching post without ripping
} up the carpet and never once peed on the floor just surrounding
} the litter-tray.
}
} It was not long thereafter that Tiddles was signed up to a
} multi-million dollar contract with Marvel comics, and various book,
} film and merchandising deals followed. However, Tiddles was unable
} to handle the pressure of international stardom. During the latter
} part of his fame, he would often be found in his catbox drinking
} White Russians with a couple of kittens. Soon, the fortune was gone,
} the public tired of his increasingly bizarre behaviour. Tiddles found
} himself alone on the streets, a derelict, till the day he unexpectedly
} decayed into a Guinea Pig.


985-08    (eque8 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

> Oh great immortal one, please tell me this:
>
> How many ways are there to die?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} How do I kill thee?
} Let me count the ways ...
}
} No, that's not it.
}
} I wandered lonely as Death ...
}
} No, no, that's not it either.
}
} Zadoc!
}
} [FX:  Hurried rearrangement of robes and doing up of gown-ties]
} [Zadoc enters, bowing but not scraping]
}
} :Yeah, what?
}
} PARDON?
}
} :Ooops.  [Zadoc drops to knees, knocks head on floor]
} :O great one, how may this unworthy worm feebly attempt to satisfy your
} :merest wish?
}
} Hmph.  Where's that piece on Death?
}
} :Ummm, Death took it with Him on holiday.
}
} Oh.  Well, you see this question?  You know I'm never any good with
} these strictly mortal issues.  Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, politics,
} corruption etc, etc, for sure, but Death?  I have a hard time dealing
} with aging, which I never do, so I don't know why I bother, oh God, I'm
} so depressed.
}
} "YES, MR. ORACLE, WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU TODAY?"
}
} Oh, damn, can't you tell when I'm speaking metaphorically?
}
} "WHY SHOULD I?  *YOU'RE* THE OMNISCIENT ONE, *I'M* JUST OMNIPOTENT."
}
} You're right, my mistake.  Jeez, get a life.
}
} "But I Already Have One Of Eternal Glory At The Right Hand Of My
}  FATHER. Not Only That, I Died And Was Resurrected That MAN Should Have
}  Everlasting Life."
}
} Sorry, Lamb of God, didn't mean to disturb you ... or your Dad.
}
} "That's Quite All Right."
}
} They're so understanding.  Dunno how the Hell they stand it.
}
} "YYOOUU RRAANNGG???????"
}
} Oh, piss off, Lucifer, I'm not in the mood.
}
} "DDAAMMNN, DDaammnn, ddaammnn........."  [FX:  hoof beats fading off]
}
} So, gentle supplicant, you see that even an immortal can die (well,
} metaphorically at least) of embarrassment.  But I see through your
} simple scheme - you think that if you know how many ways there are
} to die and you guard yourself against them, then you'll never die.
}
} *MWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA*
}
} Fat chance.  There are as many ways to die as there are deaths.
} And the ghosts of the dead outnumber the living thirty to one.  Soooo,
} that means that there are [FX:  sound of an immortal omniscient being
} counting on countless fingers]  something like 190 billion ways.
} Hmmm, and that's just the human ways - you *are* human, aren't you?
} (Checking, checking.... Yes, just.  Better get Zadoc to have a quiet
} word with Og - he is in danger of being pushed up off the bottom of
} the evolutionary heap.)
}
} Good luck protecting yourself, sunshine.  On the other hand, you
} could start a world-wide security/medico-legal industry led economic
} recovery.
}
} You owe the Oracle an eternity's subscription to Time magazine and
} a Temple soundproofed against the eavesdropping of omnipotent beings.


985-09    (5gnsk dist, 3.5 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

> Oh Oracle most wise, in times like these, where people are throwing
> silly questions at You, and insulting Your superior intelligence, You
> must be tired and in need of a relaxation method.
>
> Tell me, oh wondrous most magnificent super genius Oracle, what do You
> do or suggest one do to relax after a long, busy day?
>
> ~ most humble supplicant

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Actually I myself never get tired, being as I'm omnipotent. But, I
} thought you might like to know what other people in my entourage do
} when they get tired.
}
} Lisa: Relax in a beautiful bath of warm goatsmilk while servants
}       minister to her every need. See beautiful maidservants trim her
}       nails, wash her face with oil of rose while Eunuchs fill her
}       glass with the sweetest ambrosia and slide into the bath with her
}       and ......... HEY! wait a second! That guy's not a Eunuch! THAT
}       GUY'S FIRED!!!!
}
} Og: Og return cave. Og give Mammoth meat Ogwa. Og play Oglings. Og
}     count Oglings. Oglings morning many. Oglings now less many. Og ask
}     Ogwa where more Oglings. Og told young Ogling eaten sabre-tooth
}     tiger. Og angry. Og take big spiky club. Og go teach sabre-tooth
}     tiger lesson.
}
} Zadoc: "Hello, I've come for the massage".
}        "Well, take your clothes off and lie on that bench there. I'll
}         start on your back."
}        "That won't be necessary, just the front please."
}        "... I see. Is this alright?"
}        "Lower please, lower."
}        "Lower? You mean, like here?"
}        "Lower than that"
}        "... I see. You know that it costs extra for me to go any lower.
}         $50 extra."
}        "$50 EXTRA?"
}        "$50 extra. You paying?"
}        "OK, OK, grumble grumble. Here's your $50."
}        "OK darling, you just lie back and relax and ..."
}        "Lower please."
}        "LOWER? You want me to massage your thighs?"
}        "Lower, please."
}        "YOU WANT ME TO MASSAGE YOUR KNEES?!?!"
}        "OOOHHHH!!!! THAT'S SOO GOOOD!!!! Oh my knees are so sore, you
}         just don't know the half of it...OHHHHH more MORE!!!"
}
} Thag: Thag tired. Thag sleep. Thag look monitor. Thag see question.
}       Thag see question 'most painful way kill sabre-tooth tiger'. Thag
}       think many, many hour. Thag know answer. Thag know 'big spiky
}       club in testicles'. Thag send answer. Thag tired. Thag sleep.
}
} You owe The Oracle a complete set of Frank Sinatra records and
} 102,343,212,111 dominos.


985-10    (atti6 dist, 2.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Carole S. Fungaroli" <fungaroc@gusun.georgetown.edu>

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

>       Oh most wise Oracle whose knowledge of language grants you
> perfect GRE scores, please anwser my pressing problem.
>
>       My beagle, Sneakers, is staring at me and occasionally whimpers.
> I've let her out, I've given her water, and I've even given her a
> biscuit.
>  Just what does she want?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT FALL ASLEEP!
}
} sit down, this is going to be a shock. . .
}
} Sneakers has sold her canine soul to Satan!
}
} Sneakers has been listing to Marylin Manson CDs when you are at work.
} She wants to kill you, take your credit cards and then... Move to
} Las Vegas and peddle her body on the strip!
}
} As soon as she gets the chance, she'll put her horrid plan into action!
} I suggest you take her to a de-programmer -right now-.
}
} One thing you should do pronto is explain to her that as a dog, each
} of her years is equal to seven of ours. That means if she carries
} out her hellish plot she'll roast in Hades for seven times as long
} of an eternity as a human.
}
} You owe the Oracle a hot dog and a crucifix.


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