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Internet Oracularities #963

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963, 963-01, 963-02, 963-03, 963-04, 963-05, 963-06, 963-07, 963-08, 963-09, 963-10


Internet Oracularities #963    (109 votes, 3.1 mean)
Compiled-By: Steve Kinzler <kinzler@cs.indiana.edu>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 22:08:43 -0500 (EST)

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on an integer scale of 1 ("very poor") to 5 ("very good") with the
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   963
   2 1 3 4 3   5 3 3 4 1

963  109 votes cjwzb 9uEm8 aqFp7 3bwxu hdwlq 5hKsd 9yMf3 6strj btBq6 4nzzc
963   3.1 mean  3.1   2.9   2.9   3.7   3.2   3.2   2.7   3.2   2.9   3.3


963-01    (cjwzb dist, 3.1 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Oh smart and spiffy Oracle, what is Entropy?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Entropy isn't what it used to be.


963-02    (9uEm8 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> Oh Internet Oracle, whose riddle-solving skills would make even the
> wittiest of Riddlers quiver, riddle me this:
>
> How many polish woodchucks does it take to change a light bulb in the
> hardware testing wing of Microsoft's main campus when the sun is
> shining and the wind is easterly?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Trick question.  There are no lights on there.
}
} You owe the Oracle a carton of three-way soft-glows.


963-03    (aqFp7 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: David R Sewell <dsewell@U.Arizona.EDU>

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

> Oh, most upright Oracle who's posture is impecable.
> What is a good cure for a back ache?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Have you mortals no initiative? I thought you'd worked this one out
} decades ago! Look, you know that there are some fundamental speed
} limits in the Universe, right? Speed of light, that sort of thing?
} Well, nerve impulses don't even come close to that speed: they travel
} at a measly hundred miles an hour or so. So, all you need to do is run
} away from your back faster than this and the ache will never catch up.
}
} Ready, steady, go!
}
}
} OK, Zadoc, I got rid of that one. Who's next on the list?


963-04    (3bwxu dist, 3.7 mean)
Selected-By: David R Sewell <dsewell@U.Arizona.EDU>

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

> China
>
> China is a great country.
> China history and culture are brilliant.
> People would learn China.
>
> China economy develop fast now.
> Many people benefit from China business.
> People would enter China market.
> If you would contact China, please to:
>       http://www.china-contact.com
> You can exchange message with Chinese here.
> You can search China information here.
> You can announce your business here.
> Welcome to China!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Not a bad first effort, but you need the touch of someone gifted with
} wisdom, insight, and communication skills.  I will attribute your
} complete lack of a grovel to cultural differences -- just this once --
} and give you some new copy for your web site promotion.  Imagine if you
} will a fun-filled chorus line of goose-stepping soldiers, singing this
} little ditty:
}
} China, China, China, we're a Communist regime!
} Brutal retribution is our very favorite theme!
} Our Chairman had the nicest time, he sends you all his thanks,
} So come and bring your cash and help us manufacture tanks!
} You can keep your Western culture and your democratic ways,
} But come with us!  We'll show you that repression always pays!
} You can make a good investment while destroying human souls;
} You can snag a hefty bonus when you meet your fiscal goals!
} Come on!  We welcome businesses beyond our old Great Wall,
} 'Cause CEOs and Chairmen aren't so different after all!
}
} You owe the Oracle a boatload of artificial spines and hearts for our
} American political and corporate leaders.


963-05    (hdwlq dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} THOUGHT AND THANKLESSNESS
}
} Chapter 1
}
}       It was a rather windy evening in Hampshire, but the Alton sisters
} were nevertheless walking along the river Test.  They knew that their
} new dresses would not show them to best advantage in the wind, but the
} dashing and wealthy Lawrence brothers, Mark and Zadoc, were in town, and
} were said to be avid walkers.  The Altons therefore took every
} opportunity to go walking, in the hopes that they might run across such
} gallant souls as the Lawrences.
}       "Perhaps they have already retired to a merriment at the
} Eastleighs'," said Carole.  "I am quite tired, and could do for some
} punch myself."
}       "Don't be snarky," replied Carla, the eldest, genteelly.  "There
} are few enough young men in Hampshire this season, what with the Army
} being abroad, and fewer indeed who possess such beauty and talent as
} Mr. Mark Lawrence.  And Zadoc. . .well, he, being the second son, might
} at least get a decent inheritance to support a wife with."
}       "I was merely observing," retorted Carole, "that the Eastleighs'
} home is brilliantly illuminated tonight, and that--"
}       "Is it?  I hadn't noticed as we passed.  Perhaps we should drop
} by--I should hate to have poor Mark Lawrence trapped at a ball with
} only the beastly Eastleigh sisters to entertain him." said Carla.
}       "Some find Miss Michelle entertaining enough," observed the
} youngest sister, Lisa, and Carole and Carla giggled.
}       Alyce sighed.  Her sisters had so little sense.  It was true that
} Mark Lawrence was a rich man, well respected in society--(even in the
} City!)--but was chance was there that he should marry such girls as the
} Altons, who, though living in the grand estate of Spithead, could not
} inherit it, as it was entailed away to the nearest male relative, who
} happened to be their despicable cousin Paul, who sat about all day
} babbling unintelligently about fish. And such silly girls as her
} sisters would never find anyone to marry them except for their dowries,
} which none but a desperate man indeed would do, as they each were only
} to have a pittance for a dowry.
}       Carla, Carole, and Lisa started making an undignified dash for the
} Eastleigh home, while Alyce sighed again, more heavily this time, and
} followed them at a more leisurely pace.  She was tired of always looking
} after her sisters, but they had so little sensibility about them that
} they required constant supervision.  And with their father ever away on
} business (managing Spithead seemed to require much time in the City),
} Mother always away to where she could enjoy "Proper Society," and the
} servant arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Alton a kindly but erratic and
} ineffectual chaperonethe burden fell on poor Alyce.
}       By the time Alyce reached the Eastleighs' home, her sisters had
} already cast themselves into the fray of dancing, and had even managed
} to find available beaux--Mr. and Mrs. Eastleigh had apparently decided
} that there should be a variety of menfolk available to be captivated by
} their captivating daughters, Estelle and Michelle.  Even with the
} arrival of the Alton sisters, there were still extra gentlemen milling
} for about. Nevertheless, Alyce took a seat in the corner and decided to
} wait her sisters to tire.
}       It was a long wait.  Gavotte followed courante, and allemande
} followed minuet, and still Alyce's silly sisters kept dancing.  Various
} men rudely came up to Alyce and asked for dances, and she would
} reluctantly comply, in order to pass the time.  Sometimes, though, as
} when she danced with the self-important Tom Harrington, whom everyone
} called "Tom," time seemed to pass even more slowly than it had before.
}       After a turn with the pleasant-but-somehow-nondescript Leo Schwab,
} whom, Alyce found, lived in Dorset with a large and amiable dog named
} Avedon, Alyce sat in the corner one again.  This time, Miss Maria
} Fawley, one of Carla's tiresome friends, sat beside Alyce, along with
} Carla's escort.
}       "Hello, Miss Alyce," began Maria.  "I don't know if you are
} acquainted with Mr. David Sewell, but he's the man at whom I've set my
} cap this evening."  She giggled vapidly.
}       "Good evening, Mr. Sewell," said Alyce.  "I hope that you are
} well."
}       "I am indeed, Miss Alyce.  Especially now that I am between two
} giggled such exquisite specimens of womanhood as yourself and Maria."
} Maria again, while Mr. Sewell glanced resignedly at her and then looked
} deep into Alyce's eyes.  He shrugged, and sighed.
}       "Mr. Sewell," said Alyce, suppressing a smile.  "Have you met any
} of my sisters?"
}       Maria pounced on the question "Oh, yes, he has.  I made sure of
} that. He seemed terribly charmed by Lisa, so I hurried him off before
} she could steal him away." Another giggle emerged from Maria, before she
} composed herself and continued, "We chatted amiably enough with Miss
} Carole, and of course we have spent much time with my dear friend
} Carla.  By the way," she said and leaned forward, conspiratorially,
} "shall I let you in on a secret?"
}       Alyce demurred.  "I don't think that--"
}       But Maria was oblivious to this determined statement, and
} whispered, "Carla's been dancing with two men all evening--taking turns
} with Mr. Otis Viles and Mr. >."
}       Alyce was surprised by the latter name; she had never heard it
} before. She therefore inquired, "Mr. >?"
}       Maria beamed at knowing this fresh gossip.  "Yes.  He's a tall and
} dark man, and no one has known him long.  He came into town immediately
} after the Lawrence brothers, and his carriage came from the same
} direction. Isn't it quite an exciting mystery?"  She giggled yet another
} time. Alyce could not tolerate all this giggling much longer.
}       "Well, Miss Maria, it has been a pleasure talking to you, but
} another minuet is starting, and I should hate to keep you from the floor
} for two dances."
}       "Oh, you're very kind, Alyce.  I shall talk to you again soon."
}       "Good evening, Alyce, you poor creature!" muttered Mr. Sewell,
} and, looking deep into Alyce's eyes, kissed her hand.
}       Alyce's cheeks flushed, and she felt dizzy.  As soon as Mr. Sewell
} and Maria Fawley had turned about, she stood up and rushed to Carla.
}       "Excuse me, Carla, but I must go home now."
}       "Oh, it's just as well," replied Carla, without missing even a
} step of the minuet which she was dancing with Mr. Otis Viles.  "All you
} do is sit in the corner anyway.  Go home, return to your poetry."
}       "Good evening, Miss Alyce," said Mr. Viles suavely.
}       "Good evening, sir," said Alyce, and began walking to the exit.
}       As she approached the door, it opened for her as if by magic, and
} a tall, dark man with whom Alyce was unacquainted nodded as he held it
} open and said, "Good night, Miss Alyce."
}       Alyce found his forward style strangely attractive, but still went
} out into the night without saying a word to him.  She could feel his
} eyes watching her until she was half way to Spithead.
}
} Chapter 2
}
}       The next morning, Alyce rose at dawn, and after a bit of tea,
} went out to the garden to sit and write some poetry.  Spithead was
} usually quiet until midday, when her sisters characteristically awoke.
} Alyce was thus much surprised to see a carriage pulling up to the estate
} after she had been out only a short while.
}       She proceeded towards the carriage, and her surprise turned to
} astonishment when she saw the Lawrence brothers, along with two more
} men whom Alyce had never seen before, got out.
}       The less-than-dashing Mr. Zadoc Lawrence emerged first, and began
} to walk to Alyce.  She curtsied, and said, "Good morning, Mr. Lawrence.
} To what do we owe the unexpected pleasure of your visit?"
}       Zadoc Lawrence bowed stiffly and said, "I have come to ask for the
} hand of Miss Carole, but unfortunately a Mr. Ucko, from Kent, appeared
} at the party last night soon after Miss Carole had left, and claimed
} that the two had been conducting an affair via correspondence for
} months, and that he wished to ask for her hand, and did anyone know
} where she was?
}       "I explained that she had gone home, to Spithead, to retire for
} the evening, and that anyway I had the superior claim to her affections.
} After some heated discussion, we agreed that we should both come to
} present our claims in the morning."
}       "I see," said Alyce.  "So this gentleman is Mr. Ucko?"
}       "No, Miss Alyce. That," continued Zadoc contemptuously, "is Oracle
} Oracle, who has come along with Mr. Ucko to act as a sort of character
} witness.  I have brought my brother along for the same purpose."
}       "Ah.  Welcome to Spithead, Mr. Oracle.  And you, too, Mr. Ucko.
} Carole has not yet arisen, but if you'd all care to follow me to the
} drawing room, we could have some tea as we waited."  She sighed as she
} turned towards Spithead, as she knew she would not get to write more
} poetry that morning.
}       Once they reached the manor, Alyce surveyed the four men.  They
} all sat, sipping their tea and glaring angrily at one another.  On the
} purple damask davenport sat the distinguished-looking Mr. Oracle, who
} had dark eyes and whose hair was just beginning to turn grey about his
} temples. Next to him was Mr. Ucko, who sat looking blankly about--to
} Alyce, in fact, he seemed a complete nonentity.  Across the room sat
} the dashing Mr. Mark Lawrence, and next to him sat his fidgeting brother
} Zadoc. Alyce was pleased by the silence (as she was a sensible girl) and
} was thus somewhat annoyed when Mr. Oracle began to speak.
}       "At what time does Miss Carole usually arise?"
}       "It varies greatly; do you wish me to wake her?"
}       "If it would not be inconvenient."
}       Alyce was grateful for the opportunity to escape from the drawing
} room, which had a colour scheme of which she had never approved, and
} go to pester her elder sister Carole.  She opened the door of Carole's
} boudoir without knocking, and said, "Carole, there are some beaux here
} to call upon you."
}       Carole's giddy astonishment was tempered by an overwhelming
} sluggishness which she always felt in the morning.  It was some time
} before she was ready to present herself at the drawing room.
}       When she was ready, Alyce escorted her down to the drawing room,
} said "Gentlemen, may I present my sister Carole?" and quickly left the
} room, closing the door behind her.  Alyce had no wish to witness the
} scene which followed, and retreated back to the garden and her poetry.
}       Alyce could hear the raised voices of the various beaux, even as
} she sat, but steadfastly ignored them.  At length, Alyce heard the main
} door close violently and watched as all four men walked silently back
} to their carriage.
}
} Chapter 3
}
}       Early in the afternoon Alyce returned to the manor, to find all
} three of her sisters dancing merrily about the drawing room.
}       "Alyce!  There you are!" exclaimed Lisa upon Alyce's entry.
} "We are all three engaged to be married!"
}       Alyce's face expressed the astonishment which she earnestly felt.
} "What?"
}       Carole rolled her eyes.  "You'd know what was going on if you were
} not always sitting in the garden with your verses.  But I accepted Mr.
} Ucko's proposal of marriage, whereupon the commotion aroused Lisa,
} and brought her downstairs.  Mr. Oracle was so captivated by her that
} he asked for her hand at once!  The noise also brought down Carla, and
} when Mr. Zadoc Lawrence realized that he would not get to marry Carole,
} he proposed to Carla in a huff.  And she accepted.  Isn't it marvelous?"
}       Alyce's astonishment grew.  "But this is supposed to be a Jane
} Austen knockoff!  Why are we all falling in and out of modern diction,
} and why did none of these beaux ask for our father's consent first?
} And how did all four of those men fit in a carriage?  And why isn't the
} plot making any sense?  And why. . ."
}       Alyce was silenced by the icy glares of her three sisters, who
} knitted their brows furiously at her for her impertinence, before
} getting back into character.
}       Carla was the first to speak again.  "They--all four of them--are
} now heading over to Bishop Jonmon's to see if he will be available for
} a ceremony on Saturday."
}       "You mean you're going to be wed on Saturday in Winchester
} Cathedral?"  Alyce replied.  "How. . .wonderful!"
}
} Chapter 4
}
}       Alyce did not like the bridesmaid dresses that she, Estelle,
} Michelle, and Maria had to wear.  They were olive-coloured, and did
} not bring out her eyes.  But she dutifully wore them, all through the
} wedding rehearsal, which was made all the more tedious by being paired
} with Tom Harrington, whom everyone called "Tom."  Why could she have
} not been paired, as was Miss Estelle Eastleigh, with Otis Viles?  Or,
} like Michelle Eastleigh, with David Sewell?  Or, best of all, like Maria
} Fawley, with the dashing Mark Lawrence?
}       Suddenly, the dark stranger whom had spoken to Alyce as she left
} the Eastleighs', (who happened to be Mr. >, a fact which never got
} worked into the exposition of this story but which most readers with
} working brain cells could doubtless figure out) burst in to the
} cathedral. "Stop! These are not the best possible matches of everyone!"
}       Everyone turned in astonishment to look at him--they were all too
} shocked to speak.  Then, Otis Viles said, "True.  I think I'd be a
} better match for Carole than Mr. Ucko is.  After all, he's kind of
} obscure, don't you think?"
}       There was a murmur of general agreement, in spite of Mr.
} Ucko's protests, until Mr. Ucko was pushed aside in favour of Mr.
} Viles.  Aaron Ucko, however, was not to be outdone, and thus claimed a
} random bridesmaid as his own, by leaping at her and kissing her deeply.
} The bridesmaid he chose happened to be Maria (whom everyone agreed was
} suitably obscure), which suddenly left the dashing Mark Lawrence without
} a partner.
}       He therefore turned dashingly to Alyce and said, "Miss Alyce, my
} love for you has been present and growing throughout all the gripping
} events of the past few days.  Will you marry me?"
}       Before she had a chance to respond, Tom (but whom everyone
} referred to as "Tom") Harrington protested, "But that leaves me
} unattended!" In order to rectify this situation, he hit Zadoc Lawrence
} firmly about the head, knocking him out and leaving Tom (the Tom called
} "Tom") free to marry Carla.  Estelle, consumed with pity for poor Zadoc
} and feeling lonely since being abandoned by Otis Viles, ran to Zadoc and
} cradled him in her arms, which unwittingly caused her to be married to
} him, as no one was paying much attention in all the confusion.
}       The seven couples were duly married (Mr. Sewell and Michelle
} Eastleigh, ever slaves to fashion, decided to get married, as everyone
} else was), and nine months later produced seven babies, much like
} septuplets, but with far less fanfare.
}       And poor Mr. >, as ever, remained unloved and all alone.


963-06    (5hKsd dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: Rich McGee <rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu>

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

> The Internet Oracle wrote:
>
> > The Internet Oracle is pondering your question.
> >
> > Expect an answer in a day or two.
>
> ALL RIGHT, LEROY ... BRING IN THE WOODCHUCKS!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} A smile comes to the Oracle's face as he goes to the armoury and
} selects his favourite polished-walnut Zotting staff. Slotting a fully
} charged dilithium crystal into the breech he dons his deerstalker and
} is shortly to be seen on the battlements of the Oracular palace. He
} runs his binoculars over the advancing marmots, and choosing his moment
} issues a command...
}
} "PULL!"
}
} Immediately an area of land the size of a cricket pitch swivels through
} ninety degrees, flinging tens of thousands of bemused groundhogs and a
} handful of hapless supplicants high into the air on a trajectory taking
} them inexorably towards the palace. When the whites of their eyes
} become visible to him the Oracle lets rip with the staff. The air is
} filled with flying singed fur and showers of finely atomized blood.
} Within a minute all is calm again. The Oracle, his outfit still
} spotlessly clean, returns to his console and types:
}
} "Well supplicant, I usually don't allow myself to be flapped when
} pondering, but such a generous bribe deserves a prompt response! The
} answer to your question is No, field sports are not cruel."
}
} You owe the oracle a manoevurable re-entry woodchuck, the ballistic
} ones are getting a bit easy. Oh, and a universally acceptable way of
} spelling 'manoevurable'.


963-07    (9yMf3 dist, 2.7 mean)
Selected-By: Mike Nolan <nolan@celery.tssi.com>

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

> Oh un-flattable oracle, who is always the sharpest of all natural
> beings, please tell me what would you do if I sang out of tune?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} When you ask a question, you have to pay the price.  You can sing out
} of tune. You can dance out of step.  You can misfinger a chord.  You
} can forget your lines.  A deal's a deal, and I'm not pulling your act
} from the Oracular Follies.
}
} You owe the Oracle a pair of ear plugs.


963-08    (6strj dist, 3.2 mean)
Selected-By: mchevalier@WELLESLEY.EDU

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

> How should I tell my Dad that my new "boyfriend" asked me to marry him?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Like this:
}
} "Dad, my new boyfriend has asked me to marry the two of you. I know you
} probably have problems with this, but please take the following into
} consideration:
}
} * The Episcopal church ordains women. It's being doing so for over ten
}   years. All right, maybe I should've told you I was going to seminary
}   instead of pretending I was a crack whore in Hell's Kitchen. If I
}   upset you with my cover story, I'm sorry, but the deception was
}   necessary.
}
} * Yes, my boyfriend's decision does hurt my feelings a little. But I
}   guess it's finally time to admit my other little white lie. You know
}   that D-cupped barmaid you've been meeting at the Motel 6 for the past
}   three years? She and I have already had two kids by artificial
}   insemination. We named the first one after you, but all the kids at
}   school teased him, so we changed his name to 'Adolph.' Saying I had a
}   boyfriend was another necessary cover story. Actually, he's the guy
}   who roto-roots our plumbing whenever the toilet backs up.
}
} * I know you've been married to mom for forty-three years. Trust me,
}   she's ready for a change. That same Motel 6 knows her so well, they
}   have an oil painting of her hanging over the continental breakfast
}   buffet.
}
} * You're heterosexual. Dad! That's soooooo eighties."
}
} One last bit of advice: have this conversation over the phone. A pay
} phone. In another state.
}
} You owe the Oracle an invite to the wedding, as well as a chance at
} catching the bouquet.


963-09    (btBq6 dist, 2.9 mean)
Selected-By: Otis Viles <cierhart@ic.net>

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

> Dear Internet Oracle, most understanding of all the Oracles, who even
> knows what I am thinking....

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} I may be all knowing but even I don`t know where to get 3 badgers
} covered in honey, a tube of preparation H and a rubber wetsuit with the
} bottom cut out at this time of night.
}
} You owe the oracle a ouija board so I can contact the Maquis De Sade
} with my new book idea.


963-10    (4nzzc dist, 3.3 mean)
Selected-By: Darkmage <DAVIS@wehi.edu.au>

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

> Aaaaarghhh!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} *sigh* With a learning curve like this, it's no wonder that you
} hominids are taking so long to escape from your planet. I don't know
} why we bother with the e-mail connection since so many times I have to
} answer the questions you were *going* to ask. But anyway:
}
} * Your fingers and toes get all wrinkly in the bathtub because they're
}   waterlogged.
} * Water goes down the drain one way in the Northern hemisphere and the
}   other in the Southern because of Coriolis force.
} * Ivory soap floats because Proctor & Gamble casts a black magic
}   spel^D^D^D whips a ton of air bubbles into it during the
}   manufacturing process.
} * Baby shampoo is gentle on your eyes because they dilute it.
} * The phone always rings when you're in the bathtub because your wife
}   is trying to collect your insurance money -- check the caller ID, and
}   you'll see your cellphone pop up quite a bit.
} * The mirror fogs up because the sight of you naked causes the FBI
}   agents on the other side of the mirror to get a bit green around the
}   gills, so they keep a few cases of Spray-Fog on hand for your
}   scrubbytime.
} * That rug in front of the toilet? More FBI work. They're serious about
}   the war on drugs, and they'll collect evidence any way they have to.
}
} All pretty reasonable questions, but I think they could've waited until
} you actually got _out_ of the bathtub. At the very least, when you got
} the battery warning you might've shut it down instead of trying to
} change batteries while rinsing the Awapahui out of your sideburns.
}
} You owe the Oracle a rubber ducky, for insulation.


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