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Best of Usenet Oracularities #201-250 (Steve Kinzler)
(various, funny)

202-06 00035 4.6

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

Hey Oracle! You gave me a shitty answer! Take This!

                              |   | 
                              |   | 
                            _ |=-=| _ 
                        _  / |   |/  
                       / |   |   |   || 
                      |   |   |   |   | > 
                      |   |   |   |   |    
                      | -   -   -   - |)   ) 
                      |                   / 
                           |         | 
                           |         | 
                           |         | 

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Thank you for your prompt payment.

                             _       _ 
                         _  /      /  
                        / |   |   |   || 
                       |   |   |   |   | > 
                       |   |   |___|   |    
                       | -   -   -   - |)   ) 
                       |                   / 
                            |         | 
                            |         | 
                            |         | 

229-10 00339 4.4

Selected-By: <rhalonen@NMSU.Edu>

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

Does smoking cause brain damage?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

The imperious, impervious, and impecunious Oracle will provide you with multiple answers to your question, at no extra charge.

1) No. Brain damage causes smoking.

2) No. Lung damage and heart damage usually get you first.

3) No iv smoked for teh last thurty yeers ad it hasnt damagd my brane yet.

4) No, at least no worse than taking hits off your car's exhaust pipe does.

5) No, as long as it's done by other people in other places.

6) No. By the time a salmon gets smoked, it's already dead.

7) No, unless your dad catches you.

8) No, unless the smoking is done by a pistol aimed at your cranium.

9) No, there's (*snicker*) never been scientific (*teehee*) proof (*guffaw*).

10) No, smoking doesn't brain damage people. People brain damage people, by manufacturing cigarettes.

You owe the Oracle a pair of scissors and a water pistol.

244-01 00225 4.3


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

If I passed algebra but failed calculus, what does that say about me?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

You do it discretely but not continuously.

201-05 10055 4.2

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

Oh wise and superglue-sniffing Oracle, tell me:

Why does a fierce green snake always bar the way?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Why does a fierce green snake always bar the way?

You've obviously been playing too many of those adventure games from Infocom!

The one to which you are referring, I believe, deals with computer programming. Called "Wizard Simulator," it is about a huge macrocomputer that starts to simulate the real world. Unfortunately, the simulated world includes itself and thousands of people, including you, who you must release somehow into the real world.

Let me boot this program on my PC and see if I can help you...

<rrrrrt fnk fnk fnk fnk>

OUTSIDE YOUR CUBICLE You stand in a field of cubicles. As far as you can see, there neat rows of offices with no tops and no privacy. Your office is to the East. The restroom is to the West. A water cooler stands here, complete with Dixie cups.


INSIDE YOUR CUBICLE This cramped office holds a chair, personal workstation, and several manuals. Outside your cubicle, your boss walks by. The workstation is off.


I do not know how to turn a workstation.


Your sexual advances are ignored by the workstation.


I do not know the word 'button'. Your boss walks by your cubicle.

> ON.

What would you like to on?


You are now on top of your workstation, crouching just under the low ceiling. Up here, where you have never noticed before, is a small vent leading upwards.

> GO UP.

A fierce green snake bars your way!


You take the manual. You swat the snake with the manual, but it does not seem to do any good. Your boss walks by your cubicle. "Hey you idiot, what the hell are you doing?" Your boss takes out a cattle prod and leans over to zap you!!

* * * YOU HAVE DIED * * * Score 0 out of a possible 355.

Hmm. The Oracle is kind of stuck here, too. I suggest moving the water cooler into your office and standing on it holding the workstation. Your boss won't dare zap you when you are carrying such an expensive piece of equipment. Instead, he will miss you and hit the snake. Good luck!

The Oracle suggests you try this in real life before risking your character in the game.

237-07 01247 4.2

Selected-By: The Great Squid

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

What is Zeno's Paradox? If you don't know don't answer at all!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Zeno's paradox is best illustrated as follows: I'll give you half of the answer to your question--

> Zeno was a famous Greek philosopher who attempted to prove that motion does not exist. The most famous of his paradoxes goes like this: Suppose we want to move from point A to point B. We do so by moving to a point halfway between A and B, then to another p

Then half of the remaining answer to your question--

> oint halfway between there and B, and to another point halfway between there and B, and so on and so on. As you can see, since t

And half of the next part--

> here is always some distance left between the point we're at and

And the next part--

> point B, we never get to point

And the next--

> B. Hence, motio

And the next--

> n is imp

And so on--

> ossi

And so on--

> bl

And so on--

> e

See, you still have no idea what I'm talking about, right?


207-07 00435 4.1

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

The Muse of Programming has left me, and I can't even remember how to use the ++ operator. What can I do to restore my talents?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Well, first of all, you have got to apologise! The Muse was round my place this morning, and let me tell you, she was in a foul mood! What on earth propmted you to say all that stuff about Ada being a great language? I mean, you really know how to hurt someone, don't you?

There aren't many ways to appease her at the moment, but here are a few friendly suggestions (and I'm only telling you for her sake, you understand - she's a very good friend, if you see what I mean ...)

1) Throw away all your books on Ada (and Pascal, for that matter). Trash all the compilers you can find that don't accept postfix AND prefix operators (The Muse likes a bit of variety in her sex life). Get the fastest optimising C compiler you can, and set it up to compile and execute the following program 32767 times:

   #include <apologies.h> 
   #include <abasement.h> 
   #include <Muse/favourite_toys.h> 
   #include <Muse/sexy_underwear.h> 
   #include <Muse/ice_cream.h> 
   #define FAULT mine 
   #define ME 0xBADBADBADBAD 
   #define CRAWL_NO 256 
   main(argc, argv) 
   int argc; 
   char **argv; 
      int crawling=0; 
      for(crawling=0; crawling>CRAWL_NO; crawling++) { 
                                              /* THATS how you use */ 
          abase(ME);                          /* ++ (postfix ...)  */ 
      printf(stdnationalnewspaper,"I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!n"); 
      printf(stdlocalpaper,"%s is truly sorry, Muse.  Truly sorry!n," 

2) Cover your body with green paint, shave off all your hair, and paint the bald patches red. Stand out in the snow until you turn blue underneath. Shout at the top of your voice "Oh Muse of Programming! I apologise! Please, please, please come back! I promise I won't complain when you beat me at Tetris! I'll do anything for you! I was a bad bad bad boy! I'll never even look at another programming language again! Countess Ada Lovelace means nothing to me! It was all a mistake! I'll do anything!" If you're lucky, she'll come back. And expect to have to keep that last promise ... we were discussing things she'd like to do to you over toast this morning, and at least two things she came up with curdled the milk ...

3) Pluck out all your nostril hair and sellotape it to a listing of your last program together - she likes hairy coding.

4) Become a TV Evangalist promoting the values of C and C++, and get everyone to send all their money to Richard Stallman. Don't worry if you still don't know what ++ means, lack of Godly grace never stopped the religious evangalists in the past ...

5) Go without food, drink, natural sunlight and human company for 24 days, and spend it staring into your VDU at the diagnostic output of cc when trying to compile the output from a particularly good game of nethack. Then figure out an effective algorithm for this year's version of nethackomatic, write it out in incomprehensible handwriting on the back of a piece of loo paper, and post it to me, here. If it's any good, I think I may be able to persuade the Muse to nip over to help you out with such a humanitarian project.

Basically, you see, she does like you quite a lot (and quite often going by what I've heard...) but you have really upset her pride. She was considering sleazing it down to the CS labs and picking up some spotty adloscent short-sighted fresher, and teaching him all about life (well, C and USENET, anyway) just to spite you, but I've convinced her to wait just a few days so that you can prove that you are really sorry. Of course, if you're not, then we're going to send around Butch, the net.vicious.rottweiler.god, who will eat your testicles and typing fingers up to the wrist.

Good luck, and may you make the right decisions!

You owe the Oracle an optimising compiler that detects benckmarks, and compiles down to a single NOP every single time. And a banana.

229-01 01365 4.0

Selected-By: (BJ Backitis)

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

Can I be Lisa for just a day? Please, pretty please?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Certainly. poof OK, now you're Lisa. My goodness, what large ... Never mind; you've got a busy day ahead of you:

07:30am: Wake up

07:45am: Shower, apply makeup. Decide that you hate makeup, change.

08:20am: Get dressed. Decide you hate clothing choices, change.

09:07am: Arrive just in time for your OBGYN appointment. You've brought along a set of woolen slippers so that the stirrups aren't quite so cold, an entire back year of Scientific American for the wait in the lobby, and an electric cattle prod just in case the doctor even thinks about using an unheated speculum on you.

10:22am: He did use the unheated speculum, but the cattle prod was out of reach. After a thorough and humiliating exam, he told you that it was all in your head, women are often like that, and that the visit cost you $127.22.

11:30am: Lunch, early. Deflect pass from computer science dweeb. At least, you assume it was a pass: He came up, tried to speak (but only stuttered) while staring at your breasts, hands shaking so badly that he was knocking ice cubes out of his drink onto your shoes.

1:00pm: Study in library. Jock comes up, sits next to you, pretends to study (you notice book is upside down), puts hand on thigh. You move. He follows. You leave library. He follows, but is distracted by another female student in imperceptably shorter skirt.

2:30pm: Drop off project in TA's office. He tells your breasts (why do men never speak to you directly?) that he might just lose the project unless you gave him something to remember you by. You inquire if a sexual harrassment lawsuit would be sufficiently memorable. He turns red, muttering how women have no sense of humor. You leave.

2:45pm to 6:45pm: Work on next project in terminal room. Excepting stares (computer science types must grow up on a planet without women, you decide), you are undisturbed.

7:30pm: You arrive back at home to find message from boyfriend cancelling date. You start running a bath.

7:50pm: You get another phone call from boyfriend, telling you his plans fell through and could you two still get together? With a sigh, you agree, and let the water out of the tub.

8:45pm: He arrives, you leave for dinner.

10:00pm: You return after a pleasant dinner. Necking on couch follows.

10:15pm: Complete undress achieved.

10:30pm: He falls asleep. You consider, but reject the vibrator as being too noisy, and run a bath instead.

11:15pm: You fall asleep.

*poof* See, now wasn't that fun? We have a special _seven day_ package, if you're interested. Hello?

You owe the Oracle a copy of "Women Who Love Too Much."

236-08 11449 4.0

Selected-By: (BJ Backitis)

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

Oh Magnificent Oracle, whose wisdom teeth impact the whole world with dental agony,

I haven't had a dental checkup in ten years. Is it worth it to go in, or should I just blow my jaw off with a shotgun and be done with dental floss once and for all?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Comparison of Dental Checkup Techniques: A Field Study by the Oracle, MD, DDS, PHD, MS, BS, CPA, and a BMF besides.

One hundred mortal subjects were selected based on their lack of dental checkups over a period no less than five years previous to this date. This was accomplished by the convenient method of rounding up people found in college computer labs on Friday and Saturday nights, and giving those people Breathalyzer(TM) tests. Those for whom the Breathalyzer machine turned sickly green were selected as subjects.

Fifty of the subjects were selected at random to receive a dental checkup via Method A (dentist), while the others received Method B (twelve-gauge). The experiment was triple-blind - i.e., the subjects did not know at any time which treatment they were receiving, the experimenters did not know at any time which treatment they were administering, and the Oracle has consistently disavowed knowledge of the entire experiment.

Criteria listed below were checked during treatment and at various times afterwards, as appropriate.

Criteria               Method A                Method B 

patient expressed yes, quite loudly patients' expressions pain during were priceless during treatment treatment patient requested yes, quite loudly patient seemed too painkillers surprised to react during treatmen patient was able yes, some left early patients were kept for go home same day further supervision patient expressed yes, there were no patient spoke out negative feelings complaints against their about treatment treatment afterwards patient mentioned no such comments all patients sat in looking forward to chair, quietly next treatment looking forward mortality rate zero percent 102 percent (one within a week experimenter was accidentally shot) lawsuits filed three forty-four within a week

As is clear from the data above, Method B is superior to Method A in almost all respects. Method B is less expensive, much simpler and quicker, and leads to far fewer complaints on the part of the patient. Further study is likely to reveal that Method B can be administered by a "dentist" with far less experience than that required by Method A - that is, a duck-hunting license will suffice in lieu of a DDS.

You owe the Oracle all that dental floss you won't be needing.

248-04 00595 4.0

Selected-By: ( The Lion of Symmetry )

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

I heard aphids are born pregnant. Is this true?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Yes indeed. This is one of the many wonderous but little publicized facts about the Animal Kingdom. Some others are:

1) Carpenter ants are born constipated, DESPITE the fact that they have the highest percentage of dietary fiber in their diets ever recorded (tied for first place with termites, who, however, have no such digestive irregularities.)

2) Hyenas are the only known animal with an internal supply of nitrous oxide. Central African efforts to tap this natural resource to improve dentistry have been a disappointment, although they have had the side benefit that the treatment of amputated limbs is now much better understood.

3) Humpback whales are born with a fluent command of English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, and seventeen other human languages(fnord). The fluty sing-song language they use when in the presence of humans is due to a misunderstanding caused by the fact that the whales' first human contact was with a Swiss Yodeler.

4) North American salmon have only recently begun swimming up mountain streams to spawn. They were, in fact, perfectly happy to do their spawning in the sea before a blitz advertising campaign by Coors Beer on network TV convinced them that no young, vibrant fish would be caught dead in anything but Rocky Mountain spring water.

Other such interesting facts can be found in Imaginitive Pseudoscience Magazine, but you owe the Oracle a year's subscription to Omni instead: it's a little more entertaining and less rigorous than IPM.

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