Frequently Questioned Answers

The Frequently Questioned Answers (FQA)
Version 0.99

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          `"`  `"`   `"`        `"`           `""`

NUMBER TWO:  We want information...*Information*...INFORMATION!
NUMBER SIX:  You won't get it!
INFINITY:    *peep*

This FQA is maintained by Captain Infinity (Infinity@ captaininfinity. us).
Why?  Well, who else is going to do it?  Besides, it's Sunday, it's
raining, there's only crap on the TV, I'm done answering my email,
I've finished the Cerebus "Guys" collection, and I've got cold fresh
bottle of Dr. Pepper and an itching burning desire to type something.
This seemed appropriate.

This is not a FAQ.  There are no "frequently asked questions" in this
group.  However, there *are* frequently questioned answers.  So this
FQA is designed a bit differently that what you may be used to.  Feel
free to question any answers you may find in this FQA.

Following are some of the questions you might find in this FQA.
 Some questions have answers.
   Some of the answers are questionable.
     Some questions do not have answers.
       Some answers do not have questions.
If you find that hard to deal with, try maintaining the darned thing!

* Is a Mystery Science Theater 3000 group?
* Well, waitaminnit...Tom Servo is a MST3K character, right?
* So then you're saying this group exists to discuss a net-k00k?
* So what is discussed here?
* I mean, what is considered "on-topic"?
* Is this group moderated?
* Are there *any* rules at all?
* Well, if the creator is gone and there is no charter exactly what
    is the purpose of this newsgroup?
* What's with the munged headers? Are these threads?
* What's with all the Babylon 5 and Star Trek Posts?
* How can I build a Tom Servo?
* What's with the peeps?
* Why doesn't Deja News archive this group?

Plus lots, lots more!  And an infinite amount of less!

So let's get started...

FQA (Frequently Questioned Answer):
No, sorry, it is not.  The MST3K groups are:

Although you may, if you wish, post MST3K related messages to AFT-S.
I know of at least one AFT-S reader who will enjoy seeing them.  

>Is a Mystery Science Theater 3000 group?

>This might sound like a silly request, but I NEED the words to
>the "Tiby The Turtle" song Tom Servo sings in episode 302: Gamera.
>I need this as a wedding present.  Can anyone help?

Just try and talk when your tongue isn't free.


>Well, waitaminnit...Tom Servo is a MST3K character, right?

You might do well to rinse it in water and vinegar.  If it stings,
blow upon it gently.

True.  Tom Servo created this group, and he was a fan of himself.

>So this group must have been created by a fan of Tom-Servo, right?

Get coherence out of the way first, then worry about importance.

OK, I'll try to explain.  (Please note: corrections and amplifications
to the following material will be greatly appreciated.)

A fan of the fictional robot Tom Servo took on that character's name
when he became a poster to Usenet, around 1994.  (The one I am talking
about posted from the domain at that time.)

The Usenet poster Tom Servo considered himself an intelligent and
helpful kind of guy (there are those who choose to debate this), and
when he learned how simple it was to send "newgroup" control messages
to create new Usenet groups in the "alt" hierarchy, he proceeded to
create a number of new groups.  In an act of insidious anarchy of a
type which Usenet is best made for, he also published instructions in
alt.config and elsewhere so that anyone could do the same.
Many people did.

All of this had several effects:
* There now exists a large number of alt. groups on usenet which are
   vanity groups, as well as useless, joke, pointless, and dead groups.
* In time, newsserver administrators became hesitant to accept
   "newgroup" messages from *anyone* unless the group had been well
   discussed in alt.config...and sometimes even then they refused to
   carry the group on their servers.
* It is now virtually impossible to send a "newgroup" control message
   from the domain that will be accepted by newsserver admins,
   even if the group has been deemed acceptable and needed by the readers
   of alt.config.

Tom Servo's helpfulness had a whiplash effect.  He was widely derided
for his actions.  He was nicknamed "The Mad Newgrouper", a title he
proudly accepted and which he made a part of his .sig file.  Although
little known now outside of the cabal (there is no cabal) he is still
held in extreme disfavor by many news admins and others.

It is a topic of debate as to who exactly created
When the "newgroup" message for AFT-S appeared, some people said that
Tom Servo himself sent it, posting from a friend's account so that his
name (which, by this time, was flagged by news admins for immediate
dismissal) would not serve to derail the newgroup attempt.  Here is a
copy of the actual control message that created this group:

| From Fri Jul 15 19:14:58 1994
| Control: newgroup
| Newsgroups: alt.config
| Path: [deleted as unimportant]
| From: (Lord of Love!)
| Subject: cmsg newgroup 
| Message-ID: <>
| Sender:
| Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services [edited]
| Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 22:28:23 GMT
| Approved:
| Lines: 6
| Xref: uunet control:1060518
| --
| The Lord of Love, Creator of Unique Answering Machine Messages,
| Self-appointed computer guru
| Master of ALL 5'1/2" Asian Females he Surveys!

In an immediate reaction to this "newgroup" message, several
alt.config readers sent "rmgroup" messages to kill the creation of the
group, on various grounds.  (These were obviously unsuccessful,
although they may have cut back AFT-S propagation.) Some suggested
that Tom Servo would be more appropriately honored with a group under
the alt.bonehead hierarchy; such a group was immediately created, on
July 18, 1994.  The "bonehead" group is another one which many MST3K
fans have assumed to be related to the show, but which was in reality
created due to the actions of this infamous net-k00k.

>Now you're not making sense.  Tom Servo is a fictional robot.
>How could a fictional robot create a newsgroup? His arms
>don't even work!

>Where is Tom Servo now?
>Why has he forsaken us?
>Would he understand?
>Does he like peeps?
>Do peeps like him?

Hardly.  It may be possible that this FQA contains the only reference 
to Tom Servo ever seen on AFT-S.

>So then you're saying this group exists to discuss a net-k00k?

>Why do Peeps get more mention than our founder?

FQA in Q form:
What would you like to talk about?

>So what is discussed here?

Almost anything except SPAM, which shows up whether we want it or not.
So like I said; what would you like to talk about?
Warning: Trolling in this group could produce unintended results.

>I mean, what is considered "on-topic"?

Yes, I certainly could.

>Could you explain "on-" and "off-topic" in more detail?

In the next section.

>Well...when *will* you explain the "on-topic" details?

Why, I do believe it is!  Here we go:

*  Happy is on-topic.
*  Only off-topic posts are on-topic.  Any post that appears to have a
    topic is off-topic, and therefore on-topic.  Posts which have no
    topic are, by definition, off-topic, and therefore on-topic.
*  Posts about the South Sea islands are on-tropic.
*  Posts about trimming hedges into animal shapes are on-topiaric.
*  Posts about the philosophy of the nature of being are on-tologic.
*  Posting URL's is on-topic, but only if viewed with Netscape.  MSIE
    is most definitely off-topic, and I don't think I have to tell 
    you what that means.
*  Not thinking is off-topic, and therefore on-topic.
*  Michael Caine is on-topic, but I won't mention him.
*  Noticing interesting things is certainly on-topic.
*  Blackhawk is off-topic, and therefore on-topic.
*  Alt.discordia is off-topic.  I mean *waaay* off-topic.
    So off-topic that it has its own group.  Therefore it is on-topic.

>Well?  This is the next section, isnít it?

Any unanswered question is off topic, and therefore on-topic.

Sigh.  This really belongs in the MST3K groups, but since it appears
here so often....  Some info can be found at:
and at
I'm sure there are others out there.  Check with the MST3K groups.

>How can I build a Tom Servo?

FQ pissed-off non-A:
Enough!  Go ask this in the MST3K groups, fanboy!

>Hey!  Tom Servoís head is transparent!  Why can't I see the
>movie through it when he's sitting in the MST3K theatre?

FQA in Q form:
What, are you crazy?

>Is this group moderated?

>Why is a moderated newsgroup like constipation?
(Please note, the question says "is", not "does".)

Go to 

>Where can I get photographs of Batman, Robin, and Batgirl
>tied in a Siamese Human Knot?

"We've got a hell of a thing going here."
One of the best reasons not to ride the subway:  raging clones.

Nope.  No rules, no charter.

>Well, are there *any* rules at all?

I like to think of AFT-S as the "handicapped parking" of Usenet.

>Do you know the publishing term for a newspaper layout gaffe where
>  two seemingly-related but inappropriate articles/photographs appear
>  together on a page?
>Is this true if I am an American citizen? What if I'm from the UK?
>  (FCC rules apply, void where prohibited, FDIC insured, loans are
>  subject to approval.  Offer is not valid in all 50 states,
>  especially in Utah where it is 1957 and therefore not yet in synch
>  with this question.)
>Am I mistaken or does Tom Servo appear briefly in Beck's video "Where
>  it's at" during the one line in the middle of the song spoken in a
>  mechanical voice?
>I recently had a dream about the Woody Woodpecker episode in which
>  Woody, upon completing training in a Charles Atlas bodybuilding
>  course, decides to embark on an aimless cross-country trip.
>  Unfortunately, I awoke at the part where he disappears into a half-
>  completed pipeline in the desert.  Can someone tell me how this
>  episode ends?
>Would a dustbuster be of assistance?
>Whatís with all the Babylon 5 and Star Trek posts?
>Why fear what you seek?
>Where *is* the usenet betting window, anyway?  Is it alt.gambling?
>Which part of this logical progression eludes you?

It has many purpi for many different people (and many differences for
purple people).  Some people use it as a place to observe how their
crossposts generate followups.  Others use it as a way to allow their
friends to see the posts they make to other groups, which they are
unable to read due to bad usenet propagation to their servers.  An
occasional MSTie wanders through with MST3K information.  For some
unfathomable reason, a lot of the discussion focuses on Babylon 5 and
Star Trek (but we expect that this will decrease in direct ratio to
the decreasing popularity of these shows.)  Sometimes someone will
mention the "Wizard of Oz", or the "Wizard of Speed and Time".
Spammers infrequently use it in the mistaken belief that their ads
will bring them cash, rather than derision.  The majority of people
posting here do so because they are too lazy or careless to trim the
group from their headers when they follow up to a troll or other
crosspost.  And that's.  Just.  Fine.

>Well if the creator is gone and there is no charter exactly
>what is the purpose of this newsgroup?


A minor weirdness does occur here fairly regularly: posters to an
AFT-S thread often try to munge the subject into the most interesting
possibilities available.  This keeps the threads extremely chaotic.

There is no punishment for people who do not try to top the last
subject metamorphosis, however given the extraordinarily high
intellectual levels and overwhelming modesty of the irregulars, you
may be deemed a dullard or "un-mutual" or simply ignored.

>What's with the munged headers?  Are these threads?

>When are threads born?  At the moment of the first post
>or after the first follow-up?

The only way you can deliberately kill a thread
is with an army of invading peeps.

|_) _   _   _ 
|  (/_ (/_ |_)
|          |  

Peep's are good food, high in sugar for a quick energy burst and
they're sooo damn cute.  Dontcha just love 'em?!
Plus...and very few people know this...they are *telepathic*.
(Just the peeps, though...not those stupid bunnys.)

>What's with all the peeps?

See this.

>Where are all these peeps *coming* from?

The plural of "Marshmallow Peep" is "Marshmalleaux Peepereaux."
Freunch, you kneau.  (Remember to never microwave for more than thirty
seconds, avoid the use of Sauce Bearnaise, and be SURE to use at least
5/8 inch steel re-inforcement bar prior to the last concrete pour.)

Peeps are telepathic.  Although usually willing to give their lives
for a good cause--such as killing a boring thread--they know when a
predator is sneaking up on them.  Unless...

...unless the predator is telepathic as well.

       ^ ^
      >*x*<   ~~~meep!  ...mmmmmm, peeps!   meep!
       / \\
     `//^\\'                \/      "Cat-tail" peepivore adapted from
      //^\\                \\//      A WORLD OUT OF TIME by L. Niven
       //^\\               \\//
        //^\\              \\//
          "^\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\^           <o   peep
   o>                           - mqs   (~')
 (`~)  <o

>Do peeps have any natural enemies?


Did you *really* want them to?

> Why doesn't Deja News archive this group?

(Received from User Liaison 6 at Deja News...and remember, this group
was newgrouped on July 15, 1994...over three years ago!)

| This usually means that the group in question is not in
| our newsfeed.
| The newsgroup you mention may not be carried by our newsfeed
| because it is a new newsgroup or recently released to the public.
| In this case, it may take a while for our newsfeed to pick it up.
| Rest assured, when it does pick it up, we'll archive it!

>             _____
>            /.===.\
>       \   //     \\
>      \/\  \\     //
>     \ \    `   //'
>    \ \        ||'
>   \ \/        ||
>  \/\
>   \           ()   jgs

FQA in Q form:
Really? Who blabbed?

>Wait a minute, today (11/24/97) I went to Deja News and found they
>now appear to be archiving AFT-S solitary posts, whats up?

Blackhawk: If enough people show an interest we could assemble a
digest or 'best of' collection by week, month, etc.  We could put on a
show, it would be ever so much fun! We could dress up in costumes, we
could raise enough money to save the orphanage! Did I have a question?

Relax your eyes, and try to "combine" the two dashes at the bottom of
the ascii art.  You should be able to see three "levels" of
Peepivores, grass, and peeps.

      ^ ^              ^ ^              ^ ^              ^ ^
     >*x*< /   ^ ^    >*x*< /  ^ ^     >*x*< / ^ ^      >*x*< /^ ^
     (   )/   >*x-< / (   )/  >*x-< /  (   )/ >*x-< /   (   )/>*x-< /
||||||||||||||(   )/||||||||||(   )/||||||||||(   )/||||||||||(   )/||||
       o> (~_)nm mn   o>  (~_)nm mn  o>   (~_)nm mn o>    (~_)nm mn o>
                            -                -     
              Netizen, ere your eyes do pass
                O'er this field of ASCII grass,
               Note the kittens on the lawn
                (Soon those peeps will *all* be gone).

Artwork and Poem (c) 1997, MQS

>How do I view this 3D ascii image?

Kermit Krab sez:
        (+)(+)        |      Welcome to       |
         |  |   ,-----| !! |
       /      \       |        *peep*         |
 (  )  \ -==- /  (  ) `~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'
   \    \    /    /
    \  <\/\/\/>  /
     '-/      \-'
   ,--/        \--.
  / --|        |-- \
 / / --\      /-- \ \
()/ / --`----'-- \ \()
 ()/ /          \ \()
  ()/            \()
   ()            ()   C.I.

There.  That should clear things up.  Sorry, no refunds.


CONTRIBUTORS (in alphabetical order):
Eli M. Balin
Heiro Bosch
Jaime M. De Castellvi
Captain Infinity
Luser Liaison 6
and several others who shall remain anonymous

  All questions and answers are taken from various posts appearing on
AFT-S, and related stuff found here & there.  No, not *there*.  Ewww!
Not all contributors listed above are AFT-S irregulars.  Complaints
and corrections should go to the FQA maintainer, not to the
contributors.  Email regarding this FQA should have the term "FQA" in 
its subject header, in order to be correctly filtered.


  The ascii typestyles and "huh?" are by Joan "Spunk" Stark.  If you
borrow her artwork, please leave her initials on it.  See more of her
incredible work at:

  The Cat-Tail Peepivore and the 3D ascii are by MQS, AKA
"Commander C'Mell of the Kamikaze Peep Squad".  © 1997 MQS, not to be
revised or modified without permission.  Ditto on leaving the initials
in place.

  Kermit Krab, unofficial AFT-S Mascot is by Captain Infinity.  
Ditto ditto the initials thing.

All contributors retain copyright of their respective contributions.
This FQA as a whole is
© Captain Infinity Productions, All Rights Reserved.

Note: This FQA was published monthly on the newsgroup from November 1997 to June 1998.
It is currently being overhauled.  Links that worked at the time of publication but which are now inactive have either been removed from the FQA or not been hyperlinked in the above; working links still work.  Please contact me if any of the above links break, thanks.

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