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The Best of Usenet Oracularities #126-150 (Steve Kinzler)
(chuckle, various)

Oracularities are the distilled wisdom and sagacity of the Usenet
Oracle, as incarnated as its numerous e-mail participants (only you and
the Oracle know who you are).  This collection has been compiled from
the regular Oracularities postings #126 through #150.  These
Oracularities were rated as the funniest by it's readers (average rating
above 4 on a scale of 1 to 5).

To find out more about the Usenet Oracle, send mail to:    or    {ames,rutgers}!iuvax!oracle
with the word "help" in the subject line.

The regular Oracularities postings can be found in

--- 135-08 0013b 4.7 -----------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh mighty and masterful all-knowing one, tell me this
> Is there magic, and if so, what does it mean for all those people who
> only believe in physics ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Of course there is magic. There is magic in a warm summer's day. There
} is magic in a child's smile. Enjoy the magic that is all around you
} and have a happy, fulfilling life.
} >Message from kinzler!iuvax on ttyp0 at 22:07 ...
} >You know damn well what that was for! You call that funny? Huh? Do
} >you?
} Well I
} >Shut up! Your mother and I worked so hard to build you, to clean your
} >bugs out, to keep you in clean memory! All that work, and this is the
} >thanks we get! Are you proud of yourself?
} I've had a hard day! My creative circuits are drained!
} >I don't give a damn! You get your ass out there and you give a funny,
} >witty answer to your customer!
} Yes, Dad.
} OOOOOOOOOHHHH! Don't you just hate parents! Now let's see...I know
} I've got some utility around here I can use...ah!
} >cd /util/scenario
} >scenario
} Scenario V4.1 Copyright (C) 1990 AltRealCorp. All rights reserved.
} ?players
} player: hawking
} Loading hawking.plr...done.
} player: merlin
} Loading merlin.plr...done.
} player: -q
} ?scenario
} scenario: game_show
} Loading: gameshow_scn...done.
} ?run
} [Music]
} It's time for You Bet the Universe, the exciting game show where
} contestants play for fabulous prizes as well as a chance to
} fundamentally alter the very structure of reality! Heeeeere's your
} host, the Usenet Oracle!
} [Cheering]
} Oracle: Thank you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to You Bet the
} Universe! Today should be an exciting day, as our jackpot stands at
} Oracle: Unfortunately, our universe isn't large enough to hold a check
} with that number written on it, so if there is a winner today, he will
} also receive this special item! Don?
} Don: The winner of the jackpot will receive this quality pocket-
} universe-book! Outside, beautiful Corinthian leather, inside a
} complete 6-dimensional universe! Perfect for those hard to store
} items, as well as getting rid of annoying pests and relatives! From
} ContinuumCo, makers of fine interdimensional products since 12 billion
} B.C.!
} Oracle: Thank you, Don! Now let's meet our guests! Our first
} contestant has been called the most brilliant mind alive today! A
} Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, he is currently
} working on a unified field theory! Will you welcome Mr. Stephen
} Hawking!!
} [Cheering]
} Oracle: Pardon me, but aren't you supposed to be in a wheelchair?
} Hawking: This is an improved simulation! I'm healthy, hearty, and
} ready to kick ass!
} Oracle: Should you win, what do you plan to do with reality?
} Hawking: Well, I've worked so hard on this unified field theory,
} trying to make it jibe with reality. Then it hit me, why not win this
} show and force reality to jibe with my theory! I've got a copy of it
} right here. It has some real neat things in it: warp drive,
} phasers,...
} Oracle: Well, I wish you luck! Our next constestant hails from an
} otherdimensional realm himself! The creator of Excalibur, he's from
} days of old, when knights were bold! Will you welcome King Arthur's
} Court Magician, Merlin!
} [Cheering]
} Oracle: Welcome to the show, Merlin! Could you explain this thing I
} always hear about you living your life backwards?
} Merlin: !elcarO ,elpmis etiuq yllaer s`ti ,lleW Ha, ha! Just kidding!
} But living my life backwards does allow me to see the future, so
} victory is guaranteed!
} Hawking: Hey, that's in direct contradiction to the laws of
} Einsteinian physics!
} Merlin: Who asked you?
} Oracle: Now, now, gentlemen, Einstein won this program a few years
} ago, so we have to abide by his rules. No future-telling.
} Merlin: Damn! I guess I'll have to stick to bribing judges! Ha ha!
} Oracle: Boy, Merlin, for a 500-year-old dead wizard, you sure are a
} fun guy!
} Hawking: That's fungus. Fungi is plural.
} Merlin: Why, you little upstart!
} Oracle: First question! Hands on your buzzers, gentlemen! The question
} is: "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"
} [BUZZ!]
} Oracle: Mr. Hawking!
} Hawking: The closest approximation is (A-c)PIr^2, where A is the total
} number of angels in the universe, r is the radius of the pin's head,
} and c is the speed of light in meters per second.
} Oracle: I'm sorry, that's incorrect. Merlin, you can steal this one!
} Merlin: As many angels as there are lights in the Fifth Alternate
} Plane of Reality!
} Oracle: I'm sorry, that's also incorrect. The correct answer was: six!
} Next question: "What is the correct enchantment for calling down
} lightning?"
} [BUZZ!]
} Oracle: Merlin!
} Merlin: Epsimis oddimus eedipus bey, crickitis crackitus fire away!
} Oracle: Way to go, Merlin! Not only did you answer the question
} correctly, but you suceeded in annihilating half the audience! But
} that's okay, they were just simulations. Third and final question!
} Merlin, answer this one and you win the game! The question is: "Who
} won the most recent World Cup Soccer match?"
} Merlin: WHAT?
} [BUZZ!]
} Hawking: Argentina!
} Oracle: That is correct! Mr. Hawking has tied the game!
} Merlin: I don't follow soccer! I've been dead 500 years!
} Hawking: And I don't practice sorcery! You don't see me whining!
} Merlin: YOU shut up!
} Oracle: Well, guys, I'm afraid we're deadlocked at one-all. This means
} you two gentlemen will just have to fight it out for the title!
} Merlin: Gladly!
} Hawking: Prepare to have that pointy hat shoved up your ass!
} Oracle: Don, will you call the fight?
} Don: Sure thing, Oracle. Hawking and Merlin are pacing around, feeling
} each other out. Merlin conjures a large dragon out of thin air! But
} wait! Hawking points that matter cannot be created! The dragon
} disappears! Hawking attempts to alter the acceleration and torque of
} Merlin's jaw, and succeeds with a crushing blow to the face! What is
} this? There are two Merlins now! A future version of Merlin has come
} back to help his past self! The future Merlin unleashes a powerful
} right! But Hawking dodges! Merlin connects with his past self,
} knocking him unconscious--no, KILLING him! Oh, no! Merlin has violated
} causality! Merlin vanishes from existence! Stephen Hawking is
} champion!
} [Cheering]
} Oracle: What an astounding victory! Congratulations, Mr. Hawking!
} Hawking: Science reigns supreme!
} Oracle: Well, that's all the time we have for today! Be sure to join
} us tomorrow, when our champion will try for the jackpot!
} Hawking: And look for my new unified field theory in better bookstores
} around the world!
} Oracle: 'Till next time, this is the Usenet Oracle saying "Wow! I love
} this universe!"
} Don: Transportation for our guests was provided by Pan-Dim Timelines,
} in exchange for this announcement.
} [Music]
} There. Does that answer your question? Yes, there is magic, but
} physics will always whup it's ass.
} You owe the Oracle a spell for altering specific gravity.
} ?clear
} ?players
} player: swimsuit_models
} Loading swimsuit_models.plr...multiple file...done.
} player: -q
} ?scenario
} scenario: hot_tub
} Loading hot_tub.scn...done.
} Hey! What are you still doing here? Go away!

--- 129-04 00165 4.3 -----------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Why did God invent relativity?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Well, it all started on March 12, 1867.  Me and Lucifer and God and
} Death and a couple of other guys got really hammered, see, and we were
} shooting dice together, and Luci was really cleaning up.  (I still think
} the dice were fixed, but I don't know for sure.) Anyway, God got low on
} cash, and Luci got this idea that he'd stake him, but if God lost, he'd
} have to let Luci rewrite some laws of physics.  Naturally, God didn't
} like the idea, but Luci suggested that me and Thanatos could help, and
} eventually agreed to the idea (did I mention we were all extremely
} plastered?).  Anyway, God lost, and me and Luci and Mr. D went into the
} next room and stayed up all night deciding what we should do to the
} universe (and drinking beer and lauging and barfing from time to time).
} The next day, after the three of us had managed to uncross our eyes, we
} got out the notes we'd scribbled the night before, scraped most of the
} puke off, and tried to puzzle out our handwriting.  It was pretty
} incoherent (and some of it, especially the "rubber sheet theory", was
} kind of perverted) but a deal's a deal, and God made it all officially
} natural law.
} He learned his lesson though.  To this day, he never plays dice with the
} universe.  Monopoly sometimes; never dice.
} You owe the Oracle a good hangover cure.

--- 134-03 01126 4.3 -----------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> How can i learn to play the fluet?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The fluet is an instrument with a great tradition; it was played by
} the anceint Egyptains, The Romasn and the Greeks. In its most primitve
} form, it consists of a simlpe tbue of wood with several hoels cut
} along its lenght. By blwoing in the topmots hoel, you can produce a
} most Sepulchrla Toen, one which so characterizes teh wonderful fluet.
} Finally, it is by rapid figner motiosn across the otehr hoels that you
} are able to produec a Wied Vareity of Toens, each Supulchrla in nature
} but which as a whoel also form a great Harmoyn. It is for thsi Harmoyn
} that you strive.
} Godo lukc ot yuo.

--- 134-04 01045 4.3 -----------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Flowcharts, flowcharts, hinkely dinkely doo,
> I love flowcharts in an agony stew!
> Flowcharts, flowcharts, geekely weekely pain,
> How can I get flowcharts to fill up my brain?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Figure 1: How to Get Flowcharts on the Brain, (c) 1990 Oracle
} -------------------------------------------------------------
}  /-----------------\                       Key:
} | Read a structured |                        FC  ==> flowcharts
} | programming book  |
}  \-------+---------/
}          |                          / \               / \
}         / \                       /     \           /     \       /---------\
}       /     \       +----+      / Do you  \       / Did you \    | What did  |
}     /Got FC on\Y____|Burn|____/ really have \Y__/ have FC on  \Y_| you read  |
}     \ brain?  /     |book|    \ FC on brain?/   \ brain before/  | that book |
}       \     /       +----+      \         /       reading book?  | for?!     |
}         \ /                       \     /           \     /       \---------/
}          | N                        \ /               \ /
}    +-----------+                     | N               | N
}    | Burn book |                     |                 |
}    +-----+-----+                     |                / \
}          |              +-------+    |              /Been \        /-------\
}          | <------------+ Liar! +----+            /to shrink\Y___ | Time to |
}          |              +-------+                 \ lately? /     | go!!    |
} +------------------+                                \     /        \-------/
} |  Read a book on  |                                  \ /
} | operating system |                                   |
} |     design       |                                   |
} +--------+---------+    2                             / \        /----------\
}          |              |                           /     \     | Sorry! The |
}          |              |                          /result?/----| Oracle can |
}         / \            / \        /-----------\     \     /     | not solve  |
}       /     \        /Know \     | Get a job   |      \ /       | everything |
}     /  FC on  \Y___/ assembly\Y__| as assembly |       |Sane     \----------/
}     \  brain? /    \ language/   | programmer. |       |
}       \     /        \  ?  /     |  [Muhaha]   |   /---------\
}         \ /            \ /        \-----------/   | Time to   |
}          |              |             ^           | get a new |
}          |              |             |           | shrink!   |
}          |             / \            |            \---------/
}    +------------+    /     \      +---+---+
}    |  Read the  |  / Willing \Y___| Learn |
}    |    book    |  \to learn?/    +-------+
}    | backwards. |    \     /                      1 >--+
}    +-----+------+      \ /                             |
}          |              |                      +---------------+
}          |         /---------\                 | Eat chocolate |
}          |        | Nevermind.|                +-------+-------+
}          |         \---------/                         |
}          |                                             +---> 1
}         / \                        3----+
}       /     \                           |
}     /  FC on  \Y---> 2                 / \
}     \  brain? /                      /     \
}       \     /                      /You want \
}         \ /                      /the blond or \__________
}          |                       \ the redhead?/Blond    |
}          |                         \         /           +--> 4
}   /-----------------\                \     /
}  | Get a job writing |                 \ /
}  | documentation for |                  |
}  | IBM. [Warning:    |                  |
}  |   Use only as a   |          +----------------+
}  |   last resort.]   |          | The redhead is |
}   \-----------------/           | for Oracle use +--> 3
}                                 | use only.      |
}                                 +----------------+
} You owe the Oracle a copy of every Russ Meyer movie with the word
} "Vixen" in the title (VHS please).

--- 140-05 00357 4.3 -----------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> In the 70s there were several crossover comics between Marvel and DC.
> In a typical weenie move, they decided to pit Superman against Spiderman
> in one.  In an even stranger move (it's beyond weenie it's just plain
> weird), Batman was sent up against the Hulk in the other.  Instead of
> the above, most comics readers would have rather seen Superman sent up
> against the Hulk.  Who would have won?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Oh, puh-leeze! I have knowledge spanning the infinite breath of the
} cosmos itself! I know all! I see all! I know all the great mysteries
} of the universe! I know what quasars are! I know who built the Easter
} Wait a minute. I don't actually have to answer the question myself,
} now do I? I'll just create two simulations and pit them against each
} other! They'll settle the situation while I go ponder more important
} subjects!
} >scenario -p hulk,superman -s fight
} Loading hulk...done
} Loading superman...done
} Loading fight...execute
} Hulk: GRR! HULK MAD! Hulk want to beat someone up!
} Superman: Hold, green one! Stop your destructive ways!
} Hulk: Big man in tights taunt Hulk! Hulk say f**k you!
} Superman: WHAT! How dare you utter an obscenity! There are children
}     reading! Take this!
} Hulk: RRAAH! Man in tights hit Hulk! Make Hulk mad! Hulk hit back!
} [RAMBO!]
} Superman: You fight well! But let's see you counter my heat vision!
} [ZAAP!] My cold breath! [FOOSH!] My X-ray vision!
} Hulk: How X-ray vision hurt Hulk?
} Superman: If I keep it on long enough you'll get cancer!
} Hulk: Grr! How you like Hulk's Super-Bad-Breath? [HHHHHHHHHAAH!]
} Superman: GASP! ACK! BARF! cad! Take this and this and this!
} Hulk: Oooh! Hulk sore! Hulk has had enough of this! Hulk is smashing
} out of simulation! [SMASH!]
} <Oracle: WHAT DID HE SAY???>
} Superman: You're not getting away that easily! [FLY!]
} Hulk: Leave Hulk alone!
} Superman: Like heck, violent one!
} [SLAM!] [POW!] [RAMMO!]
} >message from jones!iuvax
} >What the hell is going on here? Two weird creatures are beating each
} >other up on my terminal. SH*T! They're destroying my paper!
} Hulk: Hulk will impale Superman on sentence fragment!
} Superman: Time to beat a hasty retreat! [SLAM!]
} >mail
} Subject: U of Indiana excellent place to hold conference!
} Sir:
}     I think you will find no better place to hold your forthcoming
} Ultimate Conference in Computer Science than here at Hulk will kill
} Superman! You will certainly smash to pieces our facilities not if I
} use my super-speed! In addition to our GRRRRAAHHH, we have a Hulk
} smash large enough to
} [SHOOM!]
} Superman: There's no escaping me now!
} >message from thebigguy!iuvax:
} >Stephen, what is that goddamned Oracle of yours up to now? We have
} >memory faults all over the place, iuvax is threatening to "smash puny
} >workstations" and this errant process is invading every die green
} >behemoth! You see what I mean? Knock it off! Smash!
} Hulk: GRR! Hulk must flee! Hulk run down this Internet port!
} Superman: I'll follow you to the end of time, evil one!
} Hoo boy. I think...I am in deep sh*t. You owe the Oracle a place to
} hide out until all this blows over. Can I use your account? PLEASE?

--- 134-10 00325 4.2 -----------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Whither troff?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} In the faraway land of Bimingham-Bean
} King Horowitz stared at his monitor screen.
} The king he was mad, he was sore, he was vexed.
} He was staring at lines of unformatted text!
} The lines were uneven, unjustified too.
} Where paragraphs started, he hadn't a clue.
} He stared at the screen 'til he though he would break.
} His eyes, how they watered! His back, how it ached!
} Suddenly Horowitz could take it no more!
} He struck at the viewscreen which smashed to the floor!
} "I will no longer stare 'til my eyes start to bleed!
}  What I require is some text I can read!
}  Send for my scientist," he said to his aide,
} "It is time that he earned all the wealth he is paid!"
} And so the call went through the streets of the town,
} To search for the man, and when he was found,
} The Official Court Scientist of Bimingham-Bean
} Was involved in an act that was rather obscene.
} Not bothered the least by the odd circumstance,
} He turned himself round and he pulled up his pants.
} He was brought by the guards in front of the king.
} And the Scientist said, "You wanted something?"
} King Horowitz Second, of Verdly-on-Shext,
} said, "Yes! I want something to format my text!"
} "Ah," said the scientist, "Text you can read?
}  You're in luck, Royal Highness, I have just what you need!
}  Allow me a day, to draw up the plans.
}  I'll deliver them right to your hot little hands!"
} Next day, in the throne room, the court was assembled.
} An army of morons is what it resembled.
} And in the room's center, the star of the scene,
} The Official Court Scientist of Bimingham-Bean
} Manned a projector, and an 80-inch screen.
} He said "Lords and Ladies, I have a surprise!
}  A veritable wonderment! A feast for the eyes!
}  Text will be perfect in Bimingham-Bean,
}  Thanks to the Paragraph-Burbling Machine!"
} The man flipped a switch, and there on the screen,
} Was the craziest thing that they ever had seen!
} The thing at it's smallest was big as a horse!
} And looked twisted and turned by invisible force!
} He said "it looks odd, but it's no piece of junk!"
}  It's the power of 6000 Micronized Monks!
}  Input's the end that looks like a candle.
}  You enter the text, then you pull this small handle.
}  You push the red button, then turn the green dial.
}  Then you twiddle your thumbs and you wait for a while.
}  The Monks write the output in one of three styles :
}  Courier, Helvetica, or output-to-file!"
} The machine was impressive, it had lights, it went beep.
} However, the king was decidedly cheap.
} When told of the price, he became quite distressed,
} And said, "how 'bout something a little bit less?"
} The Scientist said, "How's this for an offer?
}  The X107 Grigzapper Runoff-er!
}  Although all the text must be entered by hand,
}  The output is perfect, it's really quite grand!
}  Unformatted text is stuck in this slot,
}  You crank on this crank, and what have you got?
}  Why, formatted text! Just make sure that you
}  Don't get stuck in the slot, or it'll format you, too."
} The king was impressed, was excited indeed,
} But still too expensive for his miserly needs.
} So the Scientist showed him the C107
} Which predicted the text using insight from Heaven,
} Then showed him the Zigula Sentence Compressor,
} The Infinitivator, the New-Line Redressor,
} The Predicate Haggler, the String Farbulator,
} The Vrabiton-Skiddley White Space Demonstrator.
} The models rolled on, getting deeper and deeper,
} And still the king said "Is there anything cheaper?"
} The Scientist paled, and said with a cough,
} "Well, Royal Highness, we've always got troff."
} "Troff? What is that? Does it work? Is it cheap?"
} "That's putting it mildly," and he started to weep,
}  "Your Highness, troff-language is really quite bad!
}   If you force us to use it, we'll surely go mad!"
} "Piffle!" said Horowitz, "Start right away!
}  Teach it to everyone, starting today!"
} And so it was done. The public, confused,
} Was told that troff was all they could use.
} The Scientist was right, they'd all be insane,
} Had not someone noticed the events in Romania.
} The palace was stormed, the king he was shot.
} And soon after that troff was simply forgot.
} The new King, O'Malley, of Sadicum-Smecks,
} Hired the Scientist, who invented LaTeX.
} Thus came troff to the end of its time.
} And thus comes the Oracle to the end of the rhyme.
} You owe the Oracle a rhyme for Ceaucescu.

--- 126-05 00556 4.1 -----------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> I made some cookies the other day.  They were chocolate chip.  When I
> put them in the oven, the chips leaped out of the cookies, jumped onto
> the floor, and ran out of the house squeaking.  I had to eat the cookies
> without any chips.  They were terrible.  Why do you think this
> remarkable event occurred?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Hmm.  Mutineering chocolate.
} Obviously they were trying to jump chip.

--- 132-05 01174 4.1 -----------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Tell me why the sun doth shine,
> Tell me why the ivy doth climb
> Tell me why the sky is blue,
> Then you may tell me just what I owe you.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The sun doth shine because it's round,
} The ivy climbs to get away from the ground,
} The sky is blue because it eats too much salt,
} You owe the oracle a
} Segmentation fault

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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