Questions 1-10

Question #1


The question was:

While doing routine computer maintenance today, I opened my mouse to
clean the ball and found the inside chamber to be filled with a white
fiberous material that just has to be Mouse Fungus.

What can one do about Mouse Fungus?  Are there any home remedies?
(I'm sort of embarrassed about it, you know.)

                       Scared in Sunnyvale

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

No need to be embarrassed. Mouse Fungus, like syphilis, head lice,
dog breath, Country Music, and pin worms, can and will happen in the
best of families. Just go to your friendly pharmacy, and tell the
pharmacist in a loud voice, "Fred, I think I've got Mouse Fungus. Do
you have anything that can help?"

Fred, being the friendly family pharmacist that you've seen so often
on TV, will step out from behind the counter in his white coat. In
his most professional pharmacist's voice he will reply, "You know,
Janet, I'm glad you came in today. These days, we have a treatment
for Mouse Fungus that's so safe and gentle on your mouse that you'll
want to use it every day."  Fred removes a box from the shelf and
you will see a close-up of a small, discreet box marked
"Fung-Off(tm)" in Fred's hand.

"Is it hard to use?"

"Not at all!" Cut to brief shot of product being used to clean a
mouse.  "Just take the patented mouse-wipe from its easy-open
container, wipe once, then replace the wipe in the container for
easy disposal." At the bottom of the screen the words appear: Use
only as directed. "It even breaks down in ordinary sunlight, so you
know that it's good for the environment. And it has no harsh
chemicals which can irritate your mouse." Fred hands the box to

"I'll try it!"

Cut to another day in the pharmacy. Janet comes in through the door,
all smiles.

"Fred, it worked! Not only is my mouse totally fungus-free, but it
gives me that all-day fresh feeling. I'm going to recommend Fung-Off
to all of my friends."

"And don't forget, Janet, it's available in new lemon scent, too."

Voice-over: Fung-Off. By the makers of Raitt-Away.

You owe the Oracle $8.99 + tax. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Question #2


The question was:

Oracle, I need your assistance, and FAST!

It started out as a (semi-)normal party--just me and a few friends
from college griping about how miserable our lives are now and
exaggerating about how goofy we were in college.

One of my friends got tapped (tappers--how we have gotten *so*
power-user in our "old" age!)  and suddenly remembered
that he was going to meet some of his old Physics pals at a bar.
Stupidly, I suggested that they come over here.  Then, even more
stupidly, I went out to the local Circle-K to get some munchies.

When I got back, I found that the computer scientists had dared the
physicists to build a high energy photon disintegrator out of parts
"borrowed" from my image cube player.  (I normally wouldn't have
minded, but I just *bought* that player.)  Then one of the
shit-for-brains programmers I *used* to call a friend decided to hook
it up to my ancient CrayBook for "one helluva light show."

Of course, you can guess the rest.  The drunken bastard screwed up the
programming and opened up an interdimensional portal.

First through was a set of miners--they looked human, except their
brow ridges protruded like Neanderthals.  They had been enslaved in
the cesium mines of their world and thought we were angels sent to
free them.  We thought that was cool and were poised to exploit it
mercilessly until one of them said, "Aw, shit.  They're just a bunch
of clowns with an interdimensional portal."

This pissed off one of the programmers, and he tried to send the
miners back.  Instead, he got a bunch of jackal-like creatures dressed
in what looked like waiter's uniforms--which they turned out to be.
The miners, meanwhile, had discovered we had alcohol and started to
imbibe it in great quantities.  The waiters began milling around
aimlessly with their trays of hors d'oeuvres.  Then the computer went
*blip* and a whole set of reptiles landed in the room.  "Cool," one of
them said, "a catered party."  (The reptiles, I later found out, were
computer programmers that had been trapped in a meeting with the
marketing department, and, as such, were in no hurry to return.)

The landlord was getting mighty pissed at the noise and made no
attempt to be subtle.  Some of the reptilian mercinaries that got
caught in the vortices from the last shift suggested killing him, but
their more intelligent counterparts suggested that the party simply
move elsewhere.  This relieved me greatly, as I had just washed the

Unfortunately, when they moved the party, they took my apartment with
them: namely, almost thirty years into the past!  Now I was pissed.
Luckily I had installed the porta-reactor under the sink (blackouts
are so common nowadays, especially with all the eco-terrorists blowing
up the power plants).  Still, being stuck out in the middle of Death
Valley before it was developed was not pleasant.  Especially without
the terraforming towers to regulate the ambient temperature.

More people (things, creatures, whatever) were arriving through the
portal every moment, and some of the miners suggested setting up a
"GATE tube" to bring in aliens from other planets.

Last time I checked, a cat-like creature and a dwarf with eyes
disproportionate enough to his head to qualify being an anime
character were arguing the finer points of hyper-dimensional geometry
over gin-and-tonics in my bedroom, the physicists had joined forces
with the miners to bring "some *wicked* snacks" from Aldebaran Six, a
squid-like creature was eating my ex-boyfriend's tropical fish
straight out of the aquarium, and my living room would give Stephen
King--you know, the Bard--nightmares.

Originally, I had asked you how I could return the party (and my
apartment!) to my own time period.  But I sent a question to
'' before I remembered that that domain did not
exist yet.

But now I've been informed that some Old Gods have begun disrupting
the potential walls of the GATE tube and are planning on dropping by.
So, Oracle:

What kind of drinks and munchies does Cthulhu like?  And where's the
nearest Circle-K to my current location?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

  You know, foolish mortal, that the way to get rid of your
unwelcome guests is to throw a ripe watermelon through the
portal. You didn't know that?  Look, let me explain:

   Your portal is clearly hooked up to the planet xterm, in galaxy
36b, universe 47, parallel dimension 63.  If you had consulted the
handy guide to aliens- purchasable at any supermarket counter, you
would have realized that the planet is inhabited by tiny egg shaped
amoeboid beings called kumquatians.  Had you read further, you would
have realized that the watermelon is the sign of the kumquatian's
"God".  This religious fruit is used only once every 5 million
years, in the traditional ceremony of the eggplant.  The high priest
of the planet, meets together with the people an proceeds to hit
them with the ceremonial rod- commonly called the shovel.  The
watermelon is the symbol of authority, and only the highest
officials of the land may be hit on the head with it.  By throwing
the watermelon through the inter-dimensional portal, you will brain
the high priest, who will summon the great god NI, who will pass
through the portal, and snatch any of his supplicants, frying them
instantly with his freezing fire.  They will die, and a small
nuclear explosion will occur in your dwelling.  You and your friends
will be slowly vaporized, and then the remaining deities will go
through the portal and eat your food... after all, we can't have
nasty little humans crowding out the neighbourhood..any more than
you would dine with a cockroach yeucchh!

   To get the munchies, simply use a divining rod with a pretzel on
top to discover where the finest dirt lies.  Dig where the rod
points, and you will find mounds of taco chips.. leave these, and we
will come...  (especially me, I love taco chips.)

  Cthulthu says to say hi, and that he would like one chocolate
covered squid, roasted to be medium rare- and garnished with one
blueberry flavored marshmallow.. Zeus prefers cheezies, and Athena
likes human hearts..  otherwise anything will do.

   For my advice, you owe me 5 bags of taco chips, 60 chocolate
covered squids (I am in trouble with Zeus again) a watermelon, a
shovel, and a ripe kumquat!

Question #3


The question was:

CERT                                                                CERT
CERT               THIS IS A SPECIAL CERT BULLETIN                  CERT
CERT                                                                CERT

Attn: Usenet Oracle <root@earth.sol.cos>
Re:   VIRUS Discovered

    A new virus has been discovered spreading rapidly through
CosmosNet.  While the motive of the virus is believed to be benign,
some of its interactions are destructive.  The virus has been
codenamed RELIGION, and the pathology is as follows:

      * Virus infects system innocently enough, maybe only through a
        single process. (INFECTION)

      * Most processes are immune, but a few are infected. (SPREAD)

      * Virus reaches point where the majority (or a significant
        plurality) of the processes are infected.  Forced conversion
        or (in extreme cases) elimination of non-infected processes
        begins. (ENTRENCHMENT)

      * Instability in virus code causes similar (but fundimentally
        incompatible) versions of the virus to develop. (MUTATION)

      * Also, an older or significantly mutated version of the virus
        may be reintroduced into the system. (REINFECTION)

      * Incompatabilities between the different viruses cause the
        infected processes to try and terminate other processes.

Symptoms of an infected system are:

      * Significant drop in throughput.

      * Contradictory and confusing output.

      * A single process or a small set of processes suddenly gain a
        high priority for no apparent reason.

      * Said processes also gain a significant amount of the system
        resources, voluntarily sacrificed by other processes.
        Starvation may result.

      * Processes refuse input that would force them to acknowledge
        that they are infected.  If forced, they may terminate

      * Significant failure rate of processes (usually during the
        CONFLICT phase).

    According to our best estimates, this virus has been spreading
only for the last five thousand years or so.

    The systems of Xiasphere, Tantalutia, Bgo'blorphi, and Kwee'twa
have been infected.  In the case of Bgo'blorphi, a small number of the
processes managed to tap into the memory manager and flush the entire
machine.  It is now unusable.

    CERT suggests you scan your memory and filesystem and report its
condition immediately.

                                        CERT EMERGENCY ACTION TEAM

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

You do realize that I am the Oracle, and I know about this already.

In fact, I have already created a counter-measure.  I am spreading a
virus of my own through the USENET medium.  At present, the infected
population consists mainly of processes which do not interact much with
more active processes (these are codenamed NERDS), but this population
should increase dramatically once I hook up with AOL, Delphi, and

After infecting enough NERDS, my virus will wipe out all the other

So you have nothing to worry about.

Question #4


The question was:

I'll make a spectacle
Inside a tabernacle
And say you are a miracle
You are the pinnacle
You fear no obstacle
You have no tentacles
Please tell me Oracle,
What else rhymes with "Oracle"?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Oh worthy one, the answer is the little old man from Nantucket and,
until lately, Dr. Seuss.  We did have a groovy poetic threesome, rhyming
together -- indeed, some said we were dispensing truly lyrical treacle
from our maniacal vehicle.

Question #5


The question was:

Oh wise and outspoken Oracle.

What does the "NT" in Windows NT stand for?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

(N)ice (T)ry
You owe the Oracle Bill Gates's income since 1987.

Question #6


The question was:

Where in the hell is Carmen SanDiego?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Currently, Carmen Sandiego is hiding out in SimCity 2000, with her
henchmen: Arthur Dent, Guybrush Threepwood, Ms. Pac-Man, a pawn from
BattleChess, Dan Quayle, Mario and Sonic.

Carmen says, "Okay, gang, they think they have us cornered. But we can
still save our skins if we work this right. Let's get out of here."

Immediately, Sonic bounces up and around the room, ricoshetting off
of several walls, smashing the pawn flat ("Unhhh" says the pawn,
just before it disappears) and flying out the door and down an

Arthur opens a satchel and pulls out an electronic thumb. He presses
a button on the thumb. Which button? The green one, labelled
"hitchhike". A swirl of lights forms around him as he is sucked
aboard a passing Vogon cruiser. He is in... Dark.

Guybrush walks to where a cable leads out a window and over to a
neighboring island. Using a rubber chicken with a pulley in the
middle, he slides down the cable to safety.

Ms. Pac-Man adjusts the little pink bow on her yellow head and
starts munching her way out the door, but she gets gobbled up by a
ghost before she can get to a Power Pill.

Dan Quayle picks up a large instruction book and looks through
it. After five minutes, he types cautiously on the keyboard "FORMATT
C:" and watches the screen for a response. After five more minutes
of watching the screen and looking through the book, he tries
pressing the enter key.

Mario runs to the corner and jumps up to grab a hammer. After about
ten seconds of smashing everything he can find (including Dan
Quayle) the hammer fades away and Mario jumps out the window after

Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective, walks in and captures Dan
Quayle.  "I'll appeal if I'm found guilty," says Dan. "IF I'm still
in jail."

In all of the confusion, Carmen has slipped away again.

You owe the Oracle 100 new landscapes for OXYD.

Question #7


The question was:

oh oracle, where is a good gif archive ?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Cum one!  Cum all!

                  Git 'em while they last!

  They're Ho-Ho-Hot!

It's the Oracle's


We've got breasts!  Vaginas!  Penises!  Penises sticking into vaginas!
Men on women!  Women on men!  Men on men!  Women on ponies!

Guaranteed to make your arm EXHAUSTED!

What do YOU have to do to get the address of this site?!?


That's right!  The Oracle, in his benevolence, is giving you the address
of this site WITHOUT CHARGE!

And without further ado, THE ADDRESS:

~~~~@@~~~~~~~~~ **fzzzip**

[ Sorry to interrupt, but that was not the Oracle.  We've been having
problems with hackers who have been redirecting the mail for their
own nefarious purposes.  The address they would have given you was
the home machine of Tipper Gore. -skkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk ]

[ Sorry about that.  My keyboard's sticky for some reason. -sk ]

You owe Kinzler a Wet-Nap(tm).

Question #8


The question was:

The Usenet Supplicant has no questions to ask.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Well, that's just dandy!  Here I am, spending the entire evening
draining the Woodchuck Queue when I could have been doing something
INTERESTING, and when I'm done, I find out that there are no more
questions on the minds of the supplicants!

Well, might as well start off with a new batch...

> su
# rm -f /universe/planet/earth/human/*
# mkspecies -t human -w /universe/planet/earth &
[2] 3632
# exit
> fg

You owe the Oracle a question.  Your species depends on it.

Question #9


The question was:

Oh oracle who is brighter then all others combined,

How many lightbulbs will it take to change the martians?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Let's see, going under the assumption that the Martians (please watch
your capitalization!) want to invade Earth in order to catch some rays,
we shall assume that the lightbulbs are needed to increase the amount
of light hitting Mars so that it will equal that of Earth.

Total radiation power of the Sun:     3.92E+26 W
Distance from Earth to Sun (mean):    1.50E+11 m
Energy impacting Earth (avg):         1.39E+3 W/m^2
Distance from Mars to Sun (mean):     2.28E+11 m
Energy impacting Mars (avg):          6.00E+2 W/m^2

Total daytime surface area for Mars:  2.89E+14 m^2
Total daytime radiation:              1.74E+17 W
Total wanted daytime radiation:       4.02E+17 W

Number of General Electric 60 W Soft-White Bulbs needed:
  3,810,000,000,000,000 !!!

That's a HELL of a lot of light bulbs.

Question #10


The question was:


And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Supplicant:   Morning.

Oracle:       Morning.

Supplicant:   Well, what can I ask?

Oracle:       Well, there's woodchucks and Lisa; woodchucks, UNIX
              and Lisa; woodchucks and null; woodchucks, Lisa and
              null; woodchucks, Lisa, UNIX and null; null, Lisa,
              UNIX and null; null, woodchucks, null, null, Lisa and
              null; null, UNIX, null, null, null, Lisa, null,
              Kinzler and null; null, null, null, woodchucks and
              null; (Vikings start singing in background) null,
              null, null, null, null, null, zotting, null, null,
              null and null.

Vikings:      Null, null, null, null, lovely null, lovely null.

Oracle(cont): ...or a complex discussion of various ideological
              beliefs in the nineteenth century and how they
              influenced the development of modern mayonnaise in
              North America, with meta-humor, grovel-bashing, a
              lemur reference on top, and null.

Supplicant 2: Have you got anything without null?

Oracle:       Well, there's null, woodchucks, UNIX and null.  That's
              not got much null in it.

Supplicant 2: I don't want any null!

Supplicant:   Why can't she have woodchucks, Lisa, null and UNIX?

Supplicant 2: That's got null in it.

Supplicant:   It hasn't got as much null in it as null, woodchucks,
              UNIX and null, has it?

Supplicant 2: (over vikings starting again) Could you do me
              woodchucks, Lisa, null and UNIX without the null then?

Oracle:       Ech!

Supplicant 2: What do you mean "Ech!"?  I don't like null!

Vikings:      Lovely null, wonderful null....

Oracle:       Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!  Bloody vikings.  You can't
              have woodchucks, Lisa, null and UNIX without the null.

Supplicant 2: I don't like null!

Supplicant:   Hush, dear.  Don't cause a fuss.  I'll have your
              null.  I love it.  I'm having null, null, null, null,
              null, null, null, zotting, null, null, null and null.
Vikings:      Lovely null, wonderful null...

Oracle:       Shut up!  Zotting is declasse.

Supplicant:   Well, can I have her null instead of the zotting?

Oracle:       You mean null, null, null, null, null, null, null,
              null, null, null, null, and null?

Vikings:      Lovely null, wonderful null...

You owe the Oracle some spam and a good lawyer.