From: Bob Rankin 
Subject: TOURBUS 10/31 - Robots: Part 1

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     \___/ \___/  "Why Surf When U Can Ride The Bus?"  \___/

Today's TOURBUS Stop:    The Wordserver
Today's TOURBUS Address: wsmith@Wordsmith.Org

Sorry today's TOURBUS is arriving a day late.  I was in Boston today
at the Internet World '95 convention and made an amazing discovery on
the 4-hour trip home...

You don't have to use the accelerator pedal at all if you are driving
a Ford Escort on the Massachusetts Turnpike.  All the other cars and
trucks moving at speeds in excess of 90 mph create a wind tunnel effect
that will carry you along quite nicely without using a drop of fuel.
It's true - and don't forget you saw it on the TOURBUS!

Lost in Cyberspace?

TOURBUS is going to be visiting some robots, but first I have a little
confession to make.  Every time I hear the word "robot", my arms start
flailing wildly and I feel compelled to shout "DANGER! DANGER! WILL
ROBINSON!"  I'm sure there is a perfectly good psychological basis for
this, but I'm wondering...  does anyone else have the same problem?

The robots we'll be visiting today and next week are software creations -
virtual servants that will deliver a variety of electronic delicacies
by e-mail.

The first is affectionately known to us as Wordserver, a mail robot (or
mailbot for short) created by Anu Garg (a real person) that will supply you
with words for all occasions.  Services offered by Wordserver include:

        * A.Word.A.Day
        * Dictionary by Mail
        * Thesaurus by Mail
        * Acronym by Mail
        * Rhyme-n-Reason

All Wordserver commands must be sent in the SUBJECT line of a message to:

A WAD of Words

A.Word.A.Day (AWAD) is a mailing list to which you can subscribe to get a
new vocabulary word and its definition each day.  To subscribe, send a
message to Wordsmith with

  Subject: subscribe 

You can also find AWAD on the web at

One Up On Webster

Wordserver can also serve up the definition of a word.  Try sending

  Subject: define pizza

and Wordsmith will deliver right to your door! \'pe_-t-s*\ n : an open pie made typically of thinly rolled
    bread dough spread with a spiced mixture (as of tomatoes, cheese,
    and ground meat) and baked

More of The Same

To find the synonyms of a word, try:

  Subject: synonym any-old-word

I thought maybe I could short-circuit the old bubble-headed sack of
silicon by asking for synonyms of the word "redundant", but he got the
better of me.  I was punished by having to read through 180 lines of
ascititious tautophony.

What Does SPEBSQSA Mean?

To decode an acronym, send a command like this to Wordserver

  Subject: SPEBSQSA

I won't spoil this one for you - try it yourself.

Puzzle Me This

Even robots just gotta have fun occasionally, so Wordserver offers up
Rhyme-n-Reason puzzles to test your alphabetical acumen.

To get a puzzle send the command

  Subject: Rhyme-n-Reason today

You can get puzzles from other days by substituting a date in the form
"mmddyy" instead of "today". The mm, dd and yy are the month, day and year,
respectively.  For example, to get the puzzle for the date October
31, 1995 you'd make subject line say "Rhyme-n-Reason 103195".

Here is today's Rhyme-n-Reason puzzle.

  The numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of letters in
  the answer word pair.

  1. sicker murderer  (5,6)
  2. an uncultured lad  (7,5)
  3. a fashionable rapscallion  (5,5)
  1. RELLIK RELLI na si
  2. HTUOY HTUOCNU na si
  3. EUGOR EUGOV a si

Next time: INFOBOT!

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