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Best of Internet Oracularities #1376-1400

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1376-1400, 1393-10, 1400-04, 1388-05, 1390-05, 1393-09, 1398-09, 1385-05, 1378-02, 1397-04, 1378-06


Best of Internet Oracularities #1376-1400    (4.0 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: 11 May 2006 20:00:00 -0500

Oracularities are the distilled wisdom and sagacity of the Internet
Oracle, as incarnated in its many anonymous e-mail participants.
This collection has been compiled from the regular Oracularities postings
#1376 through #1400 and contains the Oracularities rated by its readers
as among the funniest.

To find out more about the Internet Oracle, send mail to
oracle@cs.indiana.edu with the word "help" in the subject line to receive
the Oracle helpfile.

The regular Oracularities postings can be found in the Usenet newsgroup
rec.humor.oracle.  Open discussion about the Internet Oracle occurs in
the newsgroup rec.humor.oracle.d.  If your site doesn't carry these
newsgroups, contact your news administrator about starting them, or
see the Oracle helpfile about subscribing to the Oracularities e-mail
distribution list.


1393-10    (016if dist, 4.2 mean)
Selected-By: Kirsten Chevalier

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

> Oh Oracle most wise,
>
> What are my chances of winning a gazillion dollars and never
> having to work again?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Depends on how you go about doing it.
}
} Method: Buy a lottery ticket
} Chances: 1 in 146,107,962
}
} Method: Start with 10 gazillion dollars and invest in Pets.com
} Chances: About 2%
}
} Method: Head to Vegas.  13 Red, baby!
} Chances: You might think 1 in 36 or 1 in 37, but you'd be wrong.  13 is
} black.
}
} Method: Goof off at work sending questions to the Oracle
} Chances: 0.00000000000003%
}
} Method: Work for Halliburton during the Iraq reconstruction
} Chances: About 98%
}
} Method: Get a government post and accept "favors" from Halliburton
} Chances: Entirely by coincidence, 98%
}
} Method: Collect aluminum cans for recycling
} Chances: 100%, if you can collect 50 cans a day for 0.02 gazillion days
}
} Method: Help that Nigerian businessman with his SUM OF TEN GAZILLION US
} DOLLARS. FOR YOUR KINDNESS WE RESERVE 10% FOR YOU.
} Chances: WE HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU.  THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.
}
} Method: Bet against the Boston Red Sox
} Chances: 83 out of 84
}
} Method: Ask the Oracle for tomorrow's lottery numbers
} Chances: 100%.  In fact, here they are.  5, 8, 17, 23, 42.
}
} Enjoy!  Oh, you owe the Oracle one gazillion dollars.


1400-04    (036in dist, 4.2 mean)
Selected-By: "Mark Lawrence" <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> 2.718281828459045 ^ (sqrt(-1)*pi) - 2.718281828459045 ^
> (sqrt(0-(2.718281828459045^2))*pi)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That's all the mechanic had to hear.
}
} "Yep, that's one stuffed R-2 unit.  Stuck in diagnostic mode, I
} spose.", he drawled.
}
} Luke needed to get this droid fixed, and fast.
}
} "What's it going to take to get him working again?"
}
} "Well, you're gonna need a new alternator, serpentine belt, light-saber
} launching spring, retractable light-saber launch cover, speech unit..."
}
} "Speech unit?!", Luke interrupted.
}
} "Sure.  How else you gonna understand him?  When the speech module
} fries out, all they do is beep and whistle.  Sound like an old PS/2
} with a bad fan bearing and non-parity SIMMs."
}
} "You mean they don't normally sound like that?"
}
} The old mechanic looked at him quizzically.  "Heck no.  This little guy
} would be completely worthless without a speech unit.  Nothing more than
} a hard drive on wheels if ya ask me."
}
} All these years, thought Luke.  All these years I wondered why anyone
} would make a droid without a speech unit.
}
} "So ya want me to fix him or what?", the old man was obviously growing
} impatient.
}
} "Yeah, whatever he needs.", Luke hesitated.  He was still reeling from
} this last bit of information.
}
} "Ya want me to re-fuel his boosters then too?"
}
} "Boosters?!" Luke exclaimed.
}
} "Yeah, his booster rockets.  LOX tanks are bone dry."
}
} Luke was shocked, "You're saying these things can FLY?!"
}
} "Yup.  Not much sense having an R-2 unit that can't fly.  Nothin' but a
} talking hard drive on wheels if ya ask me."
}
} "Now you're just pulling my chain", Luke said.  "Next you're going to
} tell me he's got a holographic 3-D display module and can fire a blaster
} out his ass."
}
} "Blaster is only standard on the LS model."
}
} You owe the Oracle a copy of "Dune" on DVD.


1388-05    (115de dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

> Omiscient Oracle, who manages to avoid tricky situations rather than
> getting out of them, could you please help me on a really urgent and
> most important matter?
>
> In about 15 minutes, my girlfriend will arrive here at my place.
> I had promised to cook her a fancy dinner, but I've been reading
> Oracularities digests all afternoon and forgot all about diner.
> Now it's too late to run to the supermarket, and I'll have to make
> do with what's left over in my kitchen:
>
> - 3 slices of bread (wholemeal)
> - some peanut butter
> - a can of kidney beans
> - a carton of orange juice
> - 5 potatoes, 2 of which have funny purple tentacles protruding from
>   them
> - a tin of SPAM
> - several bottles of beer
> - a bag of crisps (cheese & onion)
>
> Having a pizza delivered is out of the question.  Can you please
> give me a recipe for a nice, romantic diner to be prepared within
> 15 minutes?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} How could you forget about Diner?  That was a great show.
}
} But never mind that, now.  First, make sure that the beer is chilled.
} If this dinner turns out to be a disaster, you're going to need it.
}
} Slice the bread into small triangles and put a dollop of peanut butter
} on each.  Open the can of kidney beans and place two beans in the
} center of each triangle.  Tell her that they're some kind of fancy
} French hors d'oeuvres.  Don't worry about the taste.  The French don't.
} It's all about presentation.
}
} Slice the three good potatoes into thin circles.  Cube the Spam.
} Mix with the rest of the kidney beans and arrange in a microwave-safe
} casserole.  Crush the crisps over the top.  Microwave on HIGH until
} potatoes are tender, or until it starts to smell bad, or smoke, or
} give any other indication that the evening is beyond hope, which it
} almost certainly is.
}
} Garnish with the purple tentacles.  I can't believe I just told you
} to do that.
}
} For drinks:  Go to the kitchen, blow up a paper bag, and make it POP
} really loud.  Then mix orange juice and beer.  With a bit of luck,
} she'll think it's a mimosa.
}
} Good luck, but don't get your hopes up.  You are, after all, still
} wearing the clothes that you slept in.
}
} You owe the Oracle a nice din--  Uh, never mind.  This one's on me.


1390-05    (028ce dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: Tim Chew <twchew@mindspring.com>

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

> What's more important: length or width/diameter???

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} As you've been told countless times: it's not the size that matters,
} but how you use it.  The most important thing is that it fits your
} technique, your speed and your confidence.
}
} That being said, of course a minimum length is essential.  Too short,
} and you'd only be laughed at.  But too long isn't very practical, so
} somewhere in between is just fine.  I must say I've hardly ever seen
} them too long or too short, so don't worry about that.
}
} A more important factor is the stiffness.  It shouldn't be too soft.  If
} you hold it upright and the other end just drops back down, it won't
} work.  Too stiff is not good either, though.  A certain springiness is
} required for optimal performance.
}
} To end with, some general remarks:
} - Ask a couple of friends if you can hold theirs, and feel how you like
}   them.
} - Don't put the bar too high to begin with.  Better start with lower
}   expectations, and see where you get from there.
} - There's only so many times you can do it on a day before you start to
}   hurt.
}
} Keep these recommendations in mind, and you'll be a great pole-vaulter.
}
} You owe the Oracle a nice, long, thick, hard one.


1393-09    (025je dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: Dave Hemming <dhemming@blueyonder.co.uk>

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

> Excuse me, are you there?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Her voice was like an angel's.  And I could tell she was a looker just
} from the shape of her shadow on the frosted glass of my office door.
} That's my name on the door:  Orrie Cull.  I find the answers to
} people's questions.  Sometimes what I do isn't pretty, but I do it
} well.
}
} "Yeah, doll, come in."
}
} She opened the door and came in.  Like anyone in my business, I give
} her a good once-over.  She had a figure that wouldn't quit, just like
} my eyes wouldn't quit looking her over.
}
} "Oh, I'm so glad to find you in, Mr. Cull."
}
} "I'm glad you found me, too, Miss . . . ?"
}
} "Cant.  Miss Supp Leigh Cant."
}
} "Well, Miss Cant, what can I do for you?"
}
} "I've heard a lot about you, Mr. Cull.  They say you know all the
} answers."
}
} Then she hesitated and looked around my office.  A lot of my clients
} have to work up to telling me what they need.  I handle some delicate
} business and it's not always easy to tell it to a stranger.  Some
} almost grovel before they work up the courage, but I could tell she
} wouldn't be one of those.
}
} She was distracted by what she saw.  I'd acquired some pretty odd
} items in my years in this profession.  They were scattered around my
} office like pepper on a baked potato.  They'd even make you sneeze
} like pepper if you disturbed them because most were covered in a nice
} layer of dust, like newspaper on a sleeping hobo.  She suddenly
} remembered herself and looked back at me.
}
} "I have a rather delicate situation.  Are we alone?"
}
} "Yes, Miss Cant, we are.  I always work alone.  My only partner is
} named Smith & Wesson and half the time we're both loaded."
}
} Some people say I'm too forthright with my clients.  I say I just tell
} it like it is and how they react is their problem.
}
} "I see.  Well, I have a very . . . special question I need the answer
} to."
}
} She sat on my desk and leaned across.
}
} "You see, I need to know . . . ."
}
} "Yes?"
}
} "How much woodcouldawoodchuckchuckifawoodchuckcouldchuckwood?"
}
} Bam!  She got me.  I'd left myself wide open like a door on a tenement
} house on a hot summer day.  I fell out of my chair on to a floor that
} was cold like a morgue.  I figured it wouldn't be long now until they'd
} cart me off to one.
}
} She peered over the desk at me to make sure she'd gotten the job done.
} There was no question that she had.
}
} "Sorry, Orrie, it's nothing personal, just a job."
}
} She turned and started to walk out.  I tried to ask her who hired her,
} but trying to talk felt like trying to breathe in a sandstorm.  Then,
} just as she got to the door she stopped.
}
} "Oh, the rodents of unusual size say 'hi.'"
}
} Then she walked out.  I'd made a lot of enemies over the years, but
} most of them knew better than to try anything with me.  I should have
} known it was that gang that had hired her.
}
} You owe the Oracle an explanation of why they call it "black and
} white" when it's really all shades of grey.


1398-09    (027ni dist, 4.1 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> Merry Oracle, who can have a holly, jolly Christmas without pricking
> himself on the pointy leaves, I've figured out your secret.
>
>                                     Santa      Internet
>                                     Claus       Oracle
> --------------------------------    -----      --------
>                         Immortal     Yes         Yes
>  Knows who's been naughty & nice     Yes         Yes
> Shakes like a bowl full of jelly     Yes     Undetermined
>                Long, white beard     Yes       Probably
>           Keeps exotic livestock   Reindeer    Unproven
>       Has many dedicated helpers    Elves      Priests
>
> So admit it.  You're really Santa, aren't you?  This Oracle business
> is just something you do to occupy yourself in the off-season, isn't
> it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Before you get carried away, consider the following comparison
} chart:
}
}                                     Santa        Bill
}                                     Claus       Gates
} --------------------------------    -----      --------
}                         Immortal     Yes         Yes[1]
}  Knows who's been naughty & nice     Yes         Yes[2]
} Shakes like a bowl full of jelly     Yes       Cream pie
}                Long, white beard   False[3]       No
}           Keeps exotic livestock   Reindeer    Unproven
}       Has many dedicated helpers    Elves      Employees
}             Mail goes unanswered     Yes         Yes
}    Runs a worldwide organisation     Yes         Yes
} Gets user requests, but delivers
}        something else altogether     Yes         Yes
}    Distributes gifts to the poor     Yes         Yes[4]
}        Has an effective monopoly     Yes         Yes
}            Annual licensing fees   Cookies       Cash
}
} Notes:
} [1] Ever since that pact with.. oh, wait, I'm not allowed to
} talk about that. Sorry. Just take my word for it.
} [2] Everyone who runs Microsoft software and has an internet
} connection, anyway. "No personally identifying information",
} hah, there's a good one.
} [3] Sorry, but yes, Santa's beard is a false one. Didn't you
} know that the most common method for disguise for men is a
} beard? Did you really think that such a long beard would be
} natural? Off with the glasses, on with the contacts and the
} huge beard, and you look completely different.
} [4] Yes, really - the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is in
} fact the world's largest charitable organisation, and among
} (many) other things currently funds 90% of the world's budget
} for the eradication of polio.
}
} And a final clue:
}   - Many houses these days no longer have chimneys for Santa
}     to come down.
}   - Therefore, he needs an alternate method of entry.
}   - The easiest entry points to most houses are the windows.
}   - Windows is well known for being insecure, allowing easy
}     access by outsiders.
}
} How much more proof do you need?


1385-05    (047eh dist, 4.0 mean)
Selected-By: Ian Davis

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

> O Oracle most wise, true keeper of all knowledge of the flame:
>
> If matches were made in heaven, where do lighters come from?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} O supplicant most deluded, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but both
} matches and lighters actually evolved over millions of years. They
} developed their present desirable characteristic of catching on fire
} through a process known as natural selection.
}
} The distant ancestor of the common domesticated match is widely
} believed by scientists to have been a featureless length of wood
} without the incendiary tip with which we are so familiar today. These
} match-primates were extremely vulnerable to predators, particularly
} small furry ones, which would approach stealthily and then proceed to
} chuck them.
}
} Over the millenia the matches developed the incendiary tip which became
} their primary means of defense. When a marmot came along and mistook
} the match for an ordinary length of wood, and picked it up with the
} intent of chucking it, the match would combust. The unsuspecting
} w**dch**ck would be incinerated in the blaze, which I am sure you will
} agree is the desired outcome.
}
} The rumour that divine beings were somehow guiding this process of
} natural selection is categorically false. I had nothing to do with
} this. Honest.


1378-02    (13aed dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@romaine.tssi.com>

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

> Oracle, you are so awesome, that you make my feet hurt!
>
> Why do people have to die?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The simple biological reason is that evolution is really good at having
} 'optimized' a human being (any creature, actually) to survive long
} enough to reproduce and raise their children.  Since human children
} need 8-15 years of care to have (at least a reasonable) chance of
} survival on their own, and given that every human couple needs to have
} '2' children to keep the numbers constant and that the children needs
} to have a couple of years between them, a good lifespan target for a
} human is in the range of 30-40 years.  However, from an evolutionary
} standpoint the optimization stops there and humans above the age of 40
} (or so) just get in the way.  Eventually one of the critical parts
} (heart, lungs, disease control, etc) that got the human to an age of
} 40 just 'wears out' and death occurs.
}
} However, I think you are looking for an answer more like:
} ---
} First Supplicant: "Oracle, you are so awesome, that you make my feet
} hurt.  Why do people have to die?"
}
} Oracle: "Great idea.  From now on, humans live forever.  NEXT!!!"
}
} First Supplicant: [Bows and exits stage left]
}
} Next Supplicant:  [Enters from stage left]  "Oh great and wonderful
} Oracle, How much wood would a woodchuck..."
}
} Oracle: "You miserable, insolent cur.  TAKE THAT!!!" <<ZOT> [A bolt
} of highly charged plasma arcs towards the supplicant and strikes him
} on the chest].
}
} Next Supplicant: [Cringes, expecting the worst, but nothing happens.
} Slowly he straightens his back, brushes some dust off his jacket,
} and continues].  "er, chuck if a woodchuck..."
}
} Oracle:  "What in tarnation?" <<ZOT>> <<ZOT>> <<ZOT>> <<ZZZOOOOTTTT>>
}
} Next Supplicant: [cringes yet again, but nothing happens]. "could
} chuck"
}
} Oracle: "I take it back.  Humans don't live forever."
} <<ZZZZZOOOOOOOOTTTT>>
}
} Next Supplicant: [doesn't exist any more; has been replaced with a
} loose pile of dust and a whiff of smoke].
}
} Oracle:  "I feel better already...  NEXT!!!"
} ---
} So you see, death exists so that stupidity can be adequately
} rewarded...


1397-04    (069ef dist, 3.9 mean)
Selected-By: Christophe <xof@chanticleer.com>

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

> Oracle most tantalizing and terrorizing, please answer my question,
>
> Is the shrinking class a concern?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} That depends, of course, on what do they expect you to shrink.
} If it's just trivial stuff like shirts, human cranea, or your
} partner's motivation, it shouldn't be a problem. The average
} topics in these classes are telegrams (yes, there still are
} prople that use them), baggage for your vacation or visits
} to the inlaws. These are still no reason to quit, but you
} will have to invest more effort, and make sure you get a
} good night's sleep before the finals. If it's the major
} league stuff we're talking about here - such as taxes,
} September 1993, or that belly you got after your last
} vacation - , well, to put it mildly, it's gonna take
} all the caffeine you can get your claws on, but for
} this effort, you will be rewarded with a very rare
} skill. In any case, it is to be expected that you
} will have to hand in some sort of practical home
} assignment by the end of the term, where you'll
} be asked to demonstrate all the techniques you
} learned during the course, or some of them to
} your choice. A very common theme, frequently
} showing up in tests as well, is applying an
} existing shrinking algorithm in a creative
} way. For instance, using the "chop pieces
} off one end" method, normally applied to
} vegetables and such, to reduce the size
} of your interlocutor's units of spoken
} or written text progressively; If the
} other party doesn't realize what you
} are doing, you can expect to obtain
} bonus points. This stunt is hardly
} ever achieved, of course, since a
} sequence of shrinking text lines
} would most definitely be caught
} by the intended target, before
} you have managed to obtain as
} impressive a result as to be
} eligible for the bonus. Oh,
} also, the target could end
} up resorting to bizarrely
} violent means to inflict
} severe pain on you as a
} revenge. Therefore, it
} would be wise on your
} side not to seek the
} aforementioned task
} and settle for the
} more conventional
} reduction styles
} the sorts of...
} What in heck's
} name is going
} on here? Are
} you...? Oh,
} no. A very
} bad idea.
} Hold on,
} gimme a
} sec...
} *ZOT*
}
} Phew, in the nick of time! I feel a lot better. You owe
} the Oracle a camel that can pass through the hole of a
} needle and a method to reduce the country's woodchuck
} population in the world as close to zero as possible
} within 3 months. You also... huh?? NOT AGAIN! *ZOT*


1378-06    (159ec dist, 3.8 mean)
Selected-By: "Mark Lawrence" <lawrence.4@osu.edu>

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

> O Oracle, most... good,
>
> Please tell me, how do I... make more good... my... word knowing?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Actually ascertaining an algorithm to allow beings better boasting and
} besting of their brethren in cant can cause casual conundrum crackers
} costly cerebral calamities. Delighting in delectable diction does
} wonders. Dictionaries, though dull, I daren't debar. Excluding
} elaborate eloquence in expression would flaunt fretful forgetfulness
} of my forefather's findings. Fighting to find friends who flee from
} flatulence could greatly grow your gray matter. Have heed to hold off
} haughty head horseplay, as I identify increased jeopardy of jealousy
} justly jumping among unknowing knaves with knives. Knightly morality
} might be missed if no one notices neglect of never organizing
} oratorical ostentatiousness. While petty petitions to please plug
} pompous pie-holes quit queuing up, quite a few quick readers write to
} ream reliable resources of rankling. So in short, stop stepping with
} saps who speak in sorry syllables, as that sums to a short-change of
} your speech. Tenaciously tell torrid tales of tyrannical upset and
} unusual undertakings by very vindictive virile vixens of worriful woe
} winging it with wonton wealth. Were these winning words to wangle your
} want? Don't wage war if this X doesn't mark the spot. Go out and smell
} the xanthein in the xyst, avoiding xanthein, and striving for good
} xenodochy. Yea, your yearning for verbal yardage should yaw in the
} years, but now you enjoy the yedding in your youth as of yesteryear.
} Remember that zoetic zeal zaps zest to the zenith.
}
} Or, at the very least, you could have a chat with Og to make you feel
} better about yourself.
}
} You owe the Oracle handwritten copies of an unabridged dictionary and
} thesaurus. In crayon.


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