Questions 21-30

Question #21

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The question was:

Where in the hell is Carmen Sandiego?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

[clap of thunder and cloud of smoke]

[the Oracle appears in the form of a detective,
 much like Sherlock Holmes]

Elementary, my dear supplicant.  Carmen is in fact at the very moment,
sitting right next to me.  Say hello, Carmen.

[Carmen says hello to you]

You see, Carmen was sick of being chased around the world, through
time, and across space by thousands - nay millions - of people.
So I asked Carmen to come and stay with me, because nobody knows
exactly where I am either.  Carmen is now having a well-earned rest
and playing with my lemurs and woodchucks.

As you can plainly deduce for yourself, no-one will ever find Carmen
Sandiego now <chuckle>.  Carmen is certainly not in "the hell".

You owe the Oracle a new magnifying glass.

Question #22

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The question was:

Where can I get a copy of _Tweed the Adventure_?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Oh man!  I didn't think anyone read _Tweed, the Adventure!_ anymore!
Wow, the Oracle is overwhelmed.

_Tweed, the Adventure!_ can be found in any good comic book store.  In
fact, a nostalga series--_Classic Tweed_--is reprinting the original
series from Issue #1, where our hero, a young tailor's apprentice
whose last memory of America is walking through the garment district,
never seeing the chintz falling from the fifth story window that hits
him like a bolt out of the blue. Our hero, through a series of events
each more outrageous than the previous, finds himself battling an
international terrorist plot to let loose genetically-altered moths
onto the Paris fashion show...

You owe the Oracle Issue #1, first printing, mint condition.

Question #23

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The question was:

Why is earwax so tasty?  Do you know any good recipies?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

You're a lucky person; very few people have had the pleasure of
savoring a fine bit of well-aged earwax. I often follow up with a
nice cabernet or merlot.

The reasons for tasty earwax are not fully known. The flavor and
consistency varies, primarily as a function of the diet of the
earwax host. Those who eat meat are likely to have a darker colored
earwax, while those who are primarily herbivores tend toward a
lighter colored, finer textured earwax.  Otolaryxic Acid tends to be
the primary influence on the flavor. High concentrations of
Otolaryxic Acid lends a slightly nutty flavor, while low levels
tends toward a more bitter, less sweet flavor.

Most people prefer their own earwax, while the earwax of one with
whom you share, should we say, an affectionate relationship, is
usually tasty also.  My own preference is Lisa's earwax, which I
find to be an extremely fine textured, slightly fruity flavored
earwax.

Recipes? Why, that would be like asking for recipes to use that
bottle of old cabernet in while cooking. No, no recipes for earwax!
Enjoy your earwax as you would a good brie; slightly heated, and
spread thinly on small, crispy pieces of sourdough. Curl up with
your sweety in front of a blazing fire, dig out some fine earwax,
and enjoy yourselves. No mortal experience would be finer.

You owe the Oracle two cases of 1987 Chateau du Oto Cabernet
Sauvignon, and some recipes for toe crevice fungus.

Question #24

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The question was:

Oh oracle, I crave your indulgence and omniscient oracy in answering the
following profound pontification (probably):

Why is it that when I'm out with my significant other at the local 
pub/nightclub/burger bar, it is full of beautific single members
of the opposite sex exchanging yearning come-hither looks in my direction.

Yet,  when I'm out on my own - and in a position to respond accordingly -
these aforementioned places seem bereft of such opportunity and chock full 
of happily married couples.

Is this a fundamental Universal constant,  or am I just a poor sad dude
with zero sex appeal?      

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

The situation you describe is a classic case of
what-does-she-see-in-HIM? syndrome, affecting 95% of the
normal-looking people out there.  When you are alone, people don't
see anything special about you.  When you are with a nice-looking
someone, people hypothesize about the attractiveness factor.  Good
in bed?  Rich?  Great sense of humor? Curiousity, being the driving
force it is, forces these people to find out even if it means
initiating a romantic encounter.
Either that, or you're hanging out in same-sex bars, and they're
hitting on your SO.
You owe the Oracle a weekend getaway.
P.S.  If you DO wish to improve your chances of meeting a future
lover in a pub, drag along a platonic MOTAS and flirt with them.
The syndrome will work in your favor.
If you are really brave (read: desperate), you can go for the
can-I-make-him-straight-again? trick.  This involves dressing like a
homosexual, and flirting with members of your own gender.  The
opposite sex, it's ego challenged, will try and "turn you back."
The Oracle has a friend who does that and gets EXCELLENT
results--except, of course, now everyone thinks he's screwing ME.
He's not even my type, dammit.

Question #25

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The question was:

   Oh great number master (mistress?) who can add non-standard 
numbers, multiply Borel sets, integrate infinitely dimensioned functions in 
Banach spaces and can even solve tenth degree polynomials, please tell 
this humble supplicant from the left tail of the math bell curve why pi 
isn't rational?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

The question has to deal with the origins of the Oracle himself, and
I am pleased that you asked it.
Back in the days when the universe was just a "concept," the design
team batted around the idea of InterPlanar Communication (IPC), or
the ability of mortals (you) to communicate with immortals (us).
One bright young tech came up with the idea that when the mortals
achieved a significant height in technology, a machine would be
modified to provide a conduit to the gods.  This amused the senior
designer so much he said, "Let it be So," and it was.
Unfortunately, projections showed that the mortals would fail to
reach the technology level before they destroyed themselves with
petty bickering.  At great expense, a patch was applied: a
fundamental value in mathematics was changed from a rational (3) to
an irrational (3.14159...), and the dominant gender in technology
was changed from female to male.  How did this help?  Well, by
making pi irrational, an "El Dorado" of computing power was made,
where scores of people with too much time and not enough social life
fought to generate pi to greater and greater accuracy.  This added
just enough incentive to increase the power of computers so that
technology advanced before the deadline was reached.  It also made
certain weapons of mass destruction much more complicated to build.
(In a universe where pi would be rational, nuclear weapons would
have been perfected BEFORE World War II).
But why remove women from the throne of technology?  Not doing so
would have nullified any technological incentive of making pi
irrational; for any woman will tell you that it doesn't matter how
long it is, it's what you do with it that counts.
You owe the Oracle a boysenberry pie.

Question #26

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The question was:

Oracle, most worldly-wise,
Rapture enters in our lives;
Always right, never wrong,
Concise, hardly ever long;
Living never second-best
Explain to me my humble quest:

Whatever happened to my pet sponge-cat, Swanzo?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Sorry, guy, you've got to know
That sponge cats come and sponge cats go.
I know you're feeling so bereft,
You can't believe your Swanzo left.
Your tear-encrusted face is long,
How could your spongy pal be gone?
Dark depression clouds your soul,
You miss your friend who's full of holes.
Don't let your burdened spirits sink,
His absence isn't what you think.
'Cause they don't die, they don't depart;
They just dry up and fall apart.

You owe the Oracle some new Sea Monkeys.

Question #27

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The question was:

How come SeaQuest is still on the air?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

It's not on the air, its under water.

You owe the oracle a rimshot.

Question #28

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The question was:

hello busybody know-all sob,
i'm darned that i have to turn to you for an answer, but my childhood 
sweatheart has ditched me for a f**k-all guy who actually wears mauve 
jackets. what should i do?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Girls get miffed
At guys who can't shift.

You owe the Oracle your left meta key.

Question #29

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The question was:

Is it true that any question that berates Windows95 (excuse me, Windoze95)
automatically will get a score greater than 3.0 in the Oracularities?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

There's a certain amount of truth to that rule.  But you have to
remember that rules have a pecking order, much as chickens or
people, and there are several other rules with higher precedence
than that one.  In fact, the rule that you cite is number 349 on
the list.  I don't want to list all 348 rules that are above it,
but here are a few of the highlights:

321.  Questions about Amigas will be hooted down in derision.

294.  "Tellmes" which are in the form of a statement, instead of
      a question, have 0.5 points automatically deducted from
      their score by the voting software.

238.  Questions about nuclear fission are guaranteed a score of
      at least 3.2, as long as it is performed in the general
      vicinity of woodchucks.

177.  Questions of a nature to induce psychosis in the Oracle
      are limited to a maximum score of 4.1.

150.  Questions which attempt to sneakily force their way into
      the Oracularities by the use of logical paradoxes will
      receive nothing but 2s in the voting.

129.  Off-season questions, for instance questions about the
      Easter Bunny around Christmastime, are limited to the
      range 2.3 to 3.4, inclusive.

84.   Questions written in Morse code, uuencoded, or any other
      cryptographic means which go over the Priests' heads will
      not be published.

69.   Questions concerning the Oracle's and Lisa's private life
      will never have a score less than 3.1.

44.   The Oracle may change the rules without notice.

32.   Questions containing the words "cat" and "toast" may not
      receive a score higher than 2.8.

17.   Questions referring to Joel Furr, Kibo, or other net.personalities
      (other than the Oracle and Lisa) will always score at least 2.9.

1.    Lisa writes the rules.


(I direct your attention to rule number 150, in particular.)

You owe the Oracle a way to get rule number 1 rewritten.

Question #30

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The question was:

How can I found address of mailing lists prefectly by E-MAIL, or other
sites?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Sorry, Senator.  The emperor has forbidden the distribution of mailing
lists within the Roman empire, whether by this "E-MAIL" (whatever that is)
or by any other means.

Ave Caesar!

(All joking aside, one cool mailing list is oracle@cs.indiana.edu.  Send a
message with the subject of "Help" and you'll soon understand.)