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1996 05

From: Richard Wilson (Richard_molerat.demon.co.uk)
Subject: Re: 833-04 : I don't get it.
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/14

jfp_brown.edu "Jeff Pack" writes:
> Keith Dreibelbis (dribbs_brown.edu) wrote:
> : I've looked over it many many times, but I still don't understand this Oracularity about Philosophy and Zeno. Obviously somebody understood it, since it seems to have a good rating. Could someone explain?
> Zeno is most famous for the Paradox which bears his name:
[Paradox lost]

Zeno more recently and surrealistically turned up in the Quantum Zeno Effect, reported in _New Scientist_ a few years back. It appears that, if you take some radioactive atoms and watch them very closely (photo-electric cells came into it somewhere, I think, but I can't be bothered to dig out the reference), then when their half life is up none of them has decayed, because the presence of the observer prevents the collapse of the quantum wave watchamacallit (you know - that thing that collapses on Schroedinger's cat when you open the box), either that or the atoms just get embarrassed when there's somebody watching them decay.

By extending the concept, it's clear that all the world's radioactive waste could be made perfectly safe by just paying people to keep a very close eye on it. ('Course, if they all looked away at the same moment, the planet would disappear in one giant white flash.)

And it wasn't even the 1st of April edition.

-Richard Wilson-*-----*----*---*-----*-richard_molerat.demon.co.uk-
----*----*------*-----Actually, I only posted this so I could make-
----*------*----*---that abominable paradox pun (the flesh is weak)-

From: Tom "Tom" Harrington (tph_rmii.com)
Subject: Re: 833-04 : I don't get it.
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/15

hans_anecdote.com (Hans C. Masing) wrote:
: So, what happens when the arrow goes THROUGH your chest? Is it still only halfway there?

Some would assert that this is the ultimate proof that Zeno's paradox is B.S. Proof doesn't get much more convincing than a sharp object penetrating your chest.

Others, however, would just say that the archer was aiming at something behind you.

: Just wondering. I will assume that this paradox refers to a mobile object hitting an immobile object, perhaps?
: Plus, there's always the factor of repulsion at the electron level, so do you really EVER get to touch anything. Hmm. Wonder if that'd hold up in court.

I prefer the "Schrodinger's cat" approach. That is, if the arrow is shot at you while both your eyes and those of the archer are closed, neither of you can know if the arrow has passed through your chest, since you cannot observe it. As long as both of you keep your eyes closed, it has neither penetrated your chest nor failed to do so, but rather exists in some indeterminate state. Once one of you opens your eyes and observes the arrow, its quantum state collapses and you find out whether you're dead. So if anyone ever shoots an arrow at you, it's absolutely vital that you keep your eyes closed, and hope that they do the same. It's your only hope.

From: Richard Wilson (Richard_molerat.demon.co.uk)
Subject: Re: Uh-oh, a cascade... (Was: Re: I am wondering
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/30

iddavis_vms.cis.pitt.edu writes:
> Oh oh, looks like he's taken an urn for the hearse.
> Lucky he's not Greek or we would have to ask about his salary.

If Harry were here, Ian, he'd make some disparaging remark about knowing your 'earse from your elbow.

From: Jeremy P Lakatos (afn39111_afn.org)
Subject: Re: 833-04 : I don't get it.
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/24

David Sewell (dsew_packrat.aml.arizona.edu) wrote:
> England. He was in Branagh's recent film version of Hamlet. He's a stage actor originally. He's both cultured and full of masculine dynamism, like all male Sewells.

And quite a few female Sewells, for that matter.

From: iddavis_vms.cis.pitt.edu (iddavis_vms.cis.pitt.edu)
Subject: Re: 833-04 : I don't get it.
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/28

dsew_packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David "you misspelled `swill'" Sewell) writes:
> I'm WARNING you, Ian. I'm going to give DrG your number if you don't watch it. He rules Pittsburgh, you know. But he will obey the commands of the Oracle's favorite Priest, I'm sure.

Leave Zadoc outa this. Anyway, what could DrG possibly do to me? Where I work, Dilbert's boss is a revered role model.

From: Jim Cheetham (jim_oasis.icl.co.uk)
Subject: Re: Internet Oracularities Digest #835
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/22

: } ZADOC: Shall I notify our lawyers -- Messrs. Dewey, Cheatum and Howe --
: } ...
: } You owe the Oracle a priest without a silly name. I mean, for crying out loud! Stenor, Snuggles, Dr. Noe, Harold the Foot, Darkmage -- what can you hope to achieve with a rabble like that?

I'm not sure I should be admitting this, but ...

Yes, I'm a retired priest. Yes, I had a silly name (The Wumpus). And, yes, I run a Channel Islands firm called ... Dewey, Cheetham and Howe. DCH Internet Services to you ... :-)

I suppose it was better than the alternative name which I almost went for - Fleecem, Cheetham and Grabbit.

From: David Sewell (dsew_packrat.aml.arizona.edu)
Subject: Re: 833-03
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/15

>Question 833-03 bears an *amazing* similarity to a question I sent in a few weeks ago, only to have it returned to me a few hours later with a mediocre answer. Has this ever happened to anyone else before? >Has anyone else sent in a question, recieve a terrible answer, then see the same question, rephrased, turn up in the Oracularities? I fear we have a serious, terrible problem here: Oracle question plagarization! Horrible! The evils some supplicants will stoop to! What can we do about this growing evil?!

It has been going on for a *long* time. In the very early days of the Usenet Oracle, around 1979, I sent in the following question:

Dear Usenet Oracle, /* grovelling had not yet been invented */

Since boyhood I have been vexed with the following conundrum.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

I await illumination.

You wouldn't *believe* how many people have ripped me off ever since and not even acknowleged me as the originator.

DS, disgruntled priest (luckily armed with nothing deadlier than an atlatl)

From: David Sewell (dsew_packrat.aml.arizona.edu)
Subject: Re: 833-06
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/16

Richard Wilson <Richard_molerat.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>Ah, but hoarding 'em in your Arizona desert burrow till you've collected a decent batch is cheating [...]

Oh, if I were really following the habits of my Internet host's namesake, I would stuff Oracularities in the back of my den, where they would get mashed down and pissed on and would ultimately form part of huge indurated amber-like lumps known as "packrat middens" that would survive for 10,000 years or more, until some poor sod of an archaeologist came along and hacked the midden apart to try to figure out what kind of humor they had in ancient times.

Don't think I haven't been tempted.

From: Admiral Jota (jota_laraby.tiac.net)
Subject: Re: Oracle Report 2.5
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/18

Patrick Lacasse <bibadum_acces-cible.qc.ca> writes:
>Sorry if this message as already been posted...

To be completely honest, I'm fairly certain that this *particular* question has not been posted to this newsgroup... similar questions, yes, but not this one...

>I have a problem with Reports Designer 2.5. I run my report from a form using RUN_PRODUCT. My report is only 14 pages and Windows send me the following message:
> Windows can't write to this file.
> The disk maybe full.
> Delete some files and try again.
> Repeat Cancel

Well the problem is clear: Windows can't write to this file. This has nothing to do with Reports Designer. Windows is simply unable to write to this file. I would imagine that this is probably a psychological block on Windows' part. Try using Eliza to diagnose the problem.

>If I push on Cancel I get another message. This message say that Windows have problems to connect with the network. He did not recognize the network. And repeat doesn't work.

Yes, Windows only likes to use networks that it recognizes. It's very self-conscious, and hates it when it's shown to be inferior by Unix or OS/2 systems on the same network.

>After theses message I'm totally frozen.

Turn down the air-conditioning.

>I do Ctrl+Alt+Del and the report server is not responding to the system, as long to the forms runtime. But the print job is printing, very slowly, but printing.

Oh, don't worry about that. Windows does everything very slowly.

>All the other reports I made works. they have only 3 or 4 pages each. I don't know if you can help me, but the help will be appreciate!!! N.B. : The disk is not full... Another 100 Megs of disk space.

You might want to send this problem to the Oracle himself, he's likely to be able to offer you a rather interesting solution. Or, you could read the FAQ for this newsgroup, which would explain to you why the word 'HUMOR' is in the name of this newsgroup (rec.humor.oracle.d). I'll try to send you a copy...

From: Gaven Miller (gmiller_inca.co.nz)
Subject: Re: Internet Oracularities Digest #832
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/17

Curtis Krauskopf (krauskop_pop.nlci.com) wrote:
> no wonder people think aol stands for something other than America Online.

Well, it means either:

  • (The shorthand form ex-prisoners use to refer to their former inhabitance [i.e. gaol]
  • Arse Over Lips [ie blind drunk]
  • Automatic Onlining Lusers

or more likely it means...

  • &*%)" NO CARRIER

From: Tom "Tom" Harrington (tph_longhorn.uucp)
Subject: Re: Internet Oracularities Digest #829
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/09

Hotel California (hotelca_cris.com) wrote:
: tph_... (Tom "Tom" Harrington) wrote:
: > Blasphemer! Nobody can beat the Oracle at chess! Well, not the *Usenet* Oracle, anyway, we're still waiting to see about the *Internet* Oracle.
: Are we even sure they are the same oracle? I mean this Internet Oracle guy might have killed the true Oracle and taken his place.

It's possible. It's also possible that the Oracle and Lisa are right now bound and gagged, held prisoner in some dank sub-basement at Indiana U (Normally it'd be just one of them bound down there, while the other handled the whips, etc, but with both of them bound they're probably having much less fun).

On the other hand, digest #832 was pretty good. I'm reminded of an old Steven Wright joke, where he returns to his apartment only to discover that *everything* has been stolen... and replaced with an *exact* replica. If #832 is a sign of things to come, maybe we should leave Orrie and Lisa down in the basement.

: Think about it, we never see him, only his messages, we haven't heard from lisa in awhile, the only people who really do see the Oracle in person are the priests and they can be bought.

And cheaply, too! If you want your answers to make the digest, it's quite inexpensive...

From: John Fouhy (jfouhy_atlantis.actrix.gen.nz)
Newsgroups: rec.humor.oracle.d
Date: 1996/05/04

Tom "Tom" Harrington <tph_rmii.com> wrote:
> I just can't imagine that the Great and Powerful Oz^H^HOracle would ever stoop to use an OS invented by humans.

DOS was written by humans? Nah, you're kidding! I always thought it was a feature of the probability curve wrt. chimps and typewriters..

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