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1995 12

From: Tom Harrington (tph_...)
Subject: Re: Oracularity Rating?
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d, alt.fan.warlord
Date: 1995/12/19

s3864881_... (Itamar Netzer) wrote:
: Tom Harrington (tph_...) wrote:
: : Tom Phoenix <rootbeer_teleport.com> wrote:
: : : On 13 Dec 1995, Johnson Bookbinding wrote:
: : : > Allen Gould (agould_gpu.srv.ualberta.ca) wrote:
: : : > : (sig file dies in grizly flaming death - film at 11)
: : : > A grizzly ate your sig file? That sounds grisly!
: : : No, didn't you read? The grizzly set the sig on fire. Or was the grizzly on fire?
: : No, no, no! That would be a "flaming grizly death". Gotta watch out for those burning grizly bears... As far as I can tell, a "grizly flaming death" is what you get if you flame a grizly bear on Usenet. Grizlys aren't known for their sense of humor, and they do not take flames lightly.
: I don't get it. Why flame a grizzly? Granted, some people on Usenet can be annoying, and I enjoy a good flame as much as the next man, but I don't think you should have flamed an innocent grizzly bear.

I seem to recall that the grizly bear posted a request for porno GIFs to about 73 different newsgroups. Then he posted insulting remarks about Captain Kirk to most of the Star Trek newsgroups. And then he cross-posted a "Windows Rules!" message to every comp.* newsgroup he could fit on a newsgroups line. And, he posted a chain letter to every active newsgroup he could find. Plus he writes just like B1FF. And, he was using an AOL account. So he was not only flamed, but also mail-bombed off the net for a few days.

: What's the Internet coming to? I'm calling Sen. Exon.

Is it just me, or does "Flame the Grizly" sound like the name of a Peter Gabriel song?

From: Tom Harrington (tph_...)
Subject: Re: Oracularity Rating?
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d, alt.fan.warlord
Date: 1995/12/29

doli_troi.cc.rochester.edu (David Oliver) wrote:
: I must admit, I am not familiar with this cultish activity with which you refer. Although I do recall once going to an out of the way bar and asking for a flaming grizzly bear and he looked at me and said "We don't want any of that sort of stuff in here?" I was of course confused and explained I just wanted the drink. He said he didn't know what I was talking about and we talked past each other for about an hour. Finally I just had a sex on the beach.

That reminds me of a night in college, when I asked my date if she'd give me a flaming grizzly. She slapped me and stalked off, and the next day she wouldn't return my phone calls. Unfortunately, we did not later have sex on the beach.

From: "Netscape User <w.rushton_noclue.com>"
Subject: Re: Mornington oracle
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1995/12/13

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:
> Your turn again, great one, this is going much better than I expected.
> } > } > } > } > } > } > Sup: Oxford Circus
> } > } > } > } > } > } Ora: Elephant and Castle
> } > } > } > } > } > Sup: Moorgate
> } > } > } > } > } Ora: Baker Street
> } > } > } > } > Sup: Victoria
> } > } > } > } Ora: Ealing Broadway
> } > } > } > Sup: Tottenham Court Road
> } > } > } Ora: Ealing Broadway
> } > } > Sup: Shepherd's Bush
> } > } Ora: Chiswick Park
> } > Sup: Theydon Bois
> } Ora: St John's Wood
> Sup: Dollis Hill
> Get out of that one!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Aha!
} You appear to have entered the infamous Dollis Hill holding loop. As the oracle is not constrained to the dimensions of this universe, I can invoke the left-handed temporal double twist move which allows relocation to any point.
} My move is therefore Mornington Crescent.
} Tut. Too easy.
} You owe the Oracle a set of rules.

Many thanks to all those incarnations who took part!

I am not sure about the validity of that last move though and have sent a copy of the game to Mrs Trellis for an adjudication.

From: Richard Wilson (Richard_molerat.demon.co.uk)
Subject: Re: Mornington oracle
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1995/12/13

niemirab_pilot.msu.edu "Brendan A. Niemira" writes:
>"Netscape User <w.rushton_noclue.com>" says:
> > [game snipped]
> What the hell?

My first impulse was to leap in here with an explanation and so help our American cousins out, but it's probably true to say that even Brits like myself who have been following the BBC Radio 4 alternative panel game show _I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue_ for more years than they care to admit, don't have the faintest inkling as to the rules of Mornington Crescent. Indeed, there might even be some cynics who claim there aren't any, and that the game consists purely of the panelists calling out London street names at random until one, at a prearranged signal, calls out Mornington Crescent and is deemed the winner. This is clearly heretical rubbish and these people need psychiatric help, or a visit from Mrs Trellis of North Wales carrying a nickel plated baseball bat.

That said, I find it hard to believe that "Netscape User" is the real Willy Rushton (a show regular and sometime Private Eye cartoonist). One thing I can say with certainty is that Dollis Hill is a death trap, and almost as many contestants have come to grief there as on the Hanger Lane orbital system. Surely even Tim Brook-Taylor would have thought of traversing to Great Portland Street or the Embankment, two eminently safe places?

From: Richard Wilson (Richard_molerat.demon.co.uk)
Subject: Re: Mornington oracle
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1995/12/15

steve_imperial.co.uk "Steve Shipway" writes:
> >Question: There are actual RULES for that little exchange?
> Of course. It's more difficult for non-Londoners (however we are often allowed to consult an undeground map). I'm not sure if any of the US undergrounds are designed in such a way as to make the game non-trivial though.

Although it doesn't seem essential to stick to underground stations. Just
as well really, as Mornington Crescent station on the Northern line seems
to have been closed for repairs for the last decade or two (so it's surely
equally appropriate for you to use it for your NY version, Tom).

> As mentioned by someone else, there is actually a game played regularly on radio4 over here, and there is alt.mornington-crescent for the more serious players.

Plus an alt.games.mornington.cresent. Note idiosyncratic spelling - there is also an a.g.m.crescent, which is currently unoccupied. At the risk of changing this group into rec.mornington.crescent.appreciation, I enclose
hereunder the edited highlights of a demonstration game for someone called Bewildered (unusual name, that) played on the first a.g.m.c, which hopefully will explain everything for the uninitiated.

Bill : Bank.
Martin : Chancery Lane.
Mark B.: Soho (without the slightest GHOST of a thought of any tricks even beginning to cross what's left of his mind.)
Joe : New Cross (somebody had to do the first naughty move)
Bill : Lancaster Gate (neutering your trick, which was just a touch unfair in a tutorial game ;-)
Jon : Dollis Hill (That's one thing you've *got* to learn)
Piers : Dollis Hill (I /hate/ these forced moves.)
Mark B : Dollis Hill (A triple to prevent knip, I hate the 1993 Southampton Amendments but we are trying to play without tricks).
Stephen: Dollis Hill (Quadruples prevent Spoon until a diagonal cross is reached).
Martin : OK, since we've clearly strayed from the idea of playing a 'beginners game' for the benefit of 'bewildered' and other lurkers, beware the double blind; GREEN PARK - Hah !
Alison : Dollis Hill (obscure reverse loop undercarriage)
Piers : <passes> (you beast, that puts me in Nidd for the rest of the year...)
Stephen: Dollis Hill (hard to avoid a straddle there but the loop has squared the Northern sector so the game should stay quite simple) Martin is now free to play the master stroke which is of course....... NO CARRIER..........ATTEMPTING RE-CONNECT.....PLEASE INSERT 50p Damn & Blast this modem has to go !!
Bill : Mornington Crescent ( dives in due to defensive error, Martin should have played for that ... but that's MC ! )

You have witnessed some keen but fairly clean play and a Failed Modem Capitulation to finish, a rare event but one which you should always be prepared for defensively ... if you have dodgy lines then try and stick to Circle for your really aggressive moves, you can always recover by throwing in a fast lap or two.

So my earlier advice about Dollis Hill appears to have been misleading, but I am certain you can only put people into Nidd under the Marquis of Harrogate's rules, so this hardly qualifies as a "beginner's game".

Anyway, you're on your own now. Happy loop straddling! And remember, when Main Line stations are wild, you can't go south of the River after a diagonal pass.

From: Tom Harrington (tph_rmii.com)
Oh yes. MUCH clearer now! Though I suppose it might make a wee little bit more sense if I had a map of the underground handy. Or not. I'm going to start a "Flushing Meadows" game, but I'm going to make up my own rules and see if the Oracle can figure them out.

From: Raoul Rodriguez (raoul_shell.portal.com)
Subject: Re: Usenet Oracularities Digest #800
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1995/12/09

<oracle-vote_cs.indiana.edu> wrote:
| > Oracle, who has the power to Zot those who annoy him, and so has my
| > everlasting envy and respect (though some might call it abject terror),
| >
| > When will those bastards stop changing the code they told me to unit
| > test?
| And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
| } d00d!!! U mU$t n0T b3 3l33T 3nUph! t#3y 0nLY l3T *TrU3* 3L33T d00ds
| } kn0w th3 p3rM_n3nt c0dez t0 t#3 UNiT Te$T!!!_!_#$ eY3 kn0W t#3 c0de
| } th0... iF U $eND M3 _ NuD3 PiC 0F $_NDRA Bu110CK EyE w1LL t3LL U!!!
| }
| } U 0We t#e 0r_CL3 _ n00D PiC 0F $_NDR_ BU110CK!!

You know, if that last message had been intercepted by the British during WWII, they would have broken all of their Enigma-cracker boxes trying to decipher that code.

If nothing else, B1FF-text might be really good at breaking the clipper chip. Even if the FBI managed to decrypt the message they would just _zzUm3 t#3Y #_DnT d00D1111

B1FF- the last great hope for privacy.

From: Tom Harrington (tph_rmii.com)
Subject: Re: slowdown?
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1995/12/10

dondo_best.com (Don Schneider) wrote:
: bgriffin_ic.sunysb.edu (Eli the bearded) wrote:
: > So why have I recieved only one response to my tell me's?
: I'm supposed to tell you that it's the holiday season. The truth, of course, is that everyone else on the entire planet has been replaced by a robot drone. We knew there was someone we missed. We'll be by momentarily.

Replaced? Everyone? That can't be! If that's the *real* Tom Harrington lying there on the floor next to me, then I must be one of the drfrTR$#Ty%#%5


From: Richard Wilson (Richard_molerat.demon.co.uk)
Subject: Re: Oracle of Man
Newsgroups: news.misc, rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1995/12/09

Craig Massey (oracle1_shell01.ozemail.com.au) wrote:
> has written a compelling book which is raising controversy and arguments throughout the world. His disturbing and unnerving prediction is that we are now close to a breakthrough in the race to give computers a conscious intelligence.

God preserve me from a PC whose intelligence functions the way mine does on a Monday morning. I'll have to feed the blasted thing 3 cups of coffee before it is capable of a single rational thought, it'll wander out of the office and halfway up the hall and then realise it's forgotten what it was setting out to do, and spend the rest of the time till lunchtime looking for its glasses before someone points out that they're perched on top of its monitor. The afternoon will be spent catching up on office gossip with the fax machines in the typing pool.

And you think it's hard enough getting any useful work out of the little beggars now. "Disturbing and unnerving" indeed.

From: John E. Norlin (norlije_cat.com)
Subject: Re: Resubmitting questions
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1995/12/06

Cameron Perkins (gt5237c_prism.gatech.edu) wrote:
> Carey Evans (misc2374_cantua.canterbury.ac.nz) wrote:
> : I know it's OK to submit a question to the Oracle again if I get a really hopeless answer from an incarnation in aol.com, etc., but how about if I get a really good answer first time? Can I submit it again and try to get more good answers? Or even better ones?
> What if we get a really good answer the first time, but wanted a bad one? Can we resubmit then? How many resumbittals could a supplicant resubmit if a supplicant could resubmit resumbittals?

I think the real question here is how many clues does a clueless Oracle incarnation crave before a clueless incarnation creates clever oracles?

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