Meeting #3742 April 30, 2009 PDF Print E-mail

Menace of the LASFS

April 30, 2009

Robert Keller, Presiding until Mike Thorsen showed up

Karl Lembke, Scribe

Meeting 3742, having melted earlier this week, flowed into the room at 20:13:12

Special Orders of Business

We do have a couple of items. We remark on the passing of Bea Arthur, who was in the fabulous Star Wars Holiday Special. We also lost Ken Annikin, director of Swiss Family Robinson, Magnificent Men in Flying Machines, Miranda, and others. George Lucas claims he did not name Annikin Skywalker after George. At least he says that now.

The Menace were read and approved as “Klaatu Barata Porno”.

Old Business


Patron Saint

Larry Niven

Karen Anderson says, He lets other people play in his yard. The Man-Kzin war stories gave Poul two chances to write known space stories.

Zeff: It's very easy and a good idea to collaborate with him (judging by the results)

JP: Well, now.... I wouldn't say that...

Lucrative, yes. Easy, I wouldn't say that.

Milt: Heinlein said he had the best alien since Stanley Weinbaum.

And he gave us money.

Larry Niven was given three Cheers and a flight on a horse at the high stakes table.

New Business


Committee Reports

Registrar Michelle introduced a guest. One Scott Purdie, brought in by his friend.

We also have a returning member, David Schlosser.

The committee to return lost keys attempted to return some lost keys.

Charlie Jackson reported the serial sub committee starts Gang Busters in three weeks, after the last two episodes of Dick Tracy. Professor Mortis and his league of murdered men do nefarious deeds.

He then took over the auction to sell off the required stuff we sell at the end of each month.

Time Bound Announcements

Len Moffatt announced Left Coast Crime, a mystery fiction fandom version of Westercon. $200 to join before June 30. After that, $250.

Martin Young announced RUR – playing at a nearby theater. Rossum's Universal Robots, by the Action Theater Company. They're down on Santa Monica Blvd. The website is available. Flyers without the address are also available.

CLJII notes tomorrow is the beginning of the big Forry Auction. LASFS and SCIFI will have representatives there. We'll see if we get any of the good stuff.

Matthew Tepper announced tix are $20, or half off for gold star members.

Milt Stevens asked what the LASFS representative is going to try to do. Tom Khamis will try to pick up a couple of more recent items.

Elayne – Anniversary is October. LASFS puts on a banquet. Open and read the invite. Banquet is $50. Payment is being accepted any time.

Bill Ellern reminded one and all of the JPL open house this weekend, 10-4. Wear shoes you'll survive walking a bit in.

Mike Thorsen annouced the temporal science thing going on this Saturday. Our technology will pull back old radio and TV signals for viewing. Start 2 PM, ends when last fan runs screaming into the night. // Tomorrow, being the first Friday, the clubhouse will be open. If we remember it's not actually the fifth Friday of April.

Karen Anderson rose to report on some science.

A brief update on the Google books deal. It's been postponed from May 5 to some time in October, and the Justice departemtn is inquiring into the legality of the deal.

We have some info on how our galaxy may have been formed from earlier ones. In one theory, Smaller galaxies would come together, their black holes would merge, and form a large galaxy. Now they think galaxies absorb satellite galaxies. Their black holes would be pulled into a fast-moving orbit in the absorbing galaxy, dragging a cluster of stars along with them. Given an inhabitant of a planet around one of those stars, what would he see, what would he think about it, and what kind of religion would he invent?

David Okamura: There's a new development in the program to replace the shuttle. Current proposal is Aries 1, a solid rocket booster with a second stage and the orion capsule. Hopefully, this can be made to work, or we'll need to rely on the Russians or the private sector. Major Nelson's genie is not contributing.


CLJII reviewed the promo for the new Strek movie. It's a movie he probably won't want to see, because it'll make him scream and yell at the screen. The tagline is “forget everything you knew about Star Trek”. They mean it.

Michelle Pincus disagreed. Rotten Tomatos has given it a 100% rating.

Hare Hobbs had two things: Review and warning. Insanity around Grauman's on account of Strek premiere is insane. Freeways will be jammed. If you can avoid the area, do so. Other thing – Book Fair, despite the Nebulas going on, they did not take advantage of all the SF authors in the neighborhood.

Don Wenner reviewed the DVD he found – The Boys of Sci Fi. It's a documentary where they interview a number of famous SF people like Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Forry Ackerman. It's 1:20, and quite good.

Greg Bilan went and saw Battle for Terra. Young adult style, animation on par with Monsters vs. Aliens. See it at least once.

Jerry Pournelle announced, if we want to be part of the Fest of Books, we have to work at it, and there's a lot of competition for the spaces. About a year ago, the Times called and asked about doing a panel at this year's FOB. He was dealing with his tumor, and told them to call Niven.

Milt Stevens – Location of Nebula weekend was supposed to connect with FOB.

Karen Anderson announced the opportunities for taking part were the same time as the business meeting.

Hare: When Ray Bradbury opened his speech, if they didn't restore the book review section, he wouldn't be back.

Nick: Opposite the FOB, Pasadena Public Library put on a science fiction event with S.J.Tucker and Katherine Valiente. Tucker brought in LED spotlights that worked very well. HE reviewed a film, “The L Changed the World” It's associated with the Deathnote series. It's worth seeing on video. It's a Japanese take on a Sherlock Holmes type character.

Fannish Committee Reports

Joe Zeff reported on weird science in everyday life. Marcia and he sometimes watch shows on the Food Network. Last Cake Standing – for one of the cakes, decorator mixed tonic water and decorating icing. Quinine in tonic water is fluorescent. It worked very well.

Frank Waller asked if anyone fed the cat.

Jerry Pournelle rose to talk about what we'll replace the Shuttle with. If you follow material science, there's a sort of Moore's law at work. Stuff is getting stronger and lighter by the year, thanks to bucky-stuff. As a result, we're going to have reusable space craft. WE have SSTO now, where the payload is out in the third decimal place. IF you use propane and LOX, 93% of the gross liftoff weight is fuel. Maybe 90% if you solve drag problems. Of the remaining 10%, 90% is structure. That leaves 1% for payload. If you cut the structure's weight in half, you have the potential for more.

The design of the space station is not very good. They decided to launch hardware partway through the design process. But it's not rigid enough to avoid shaking itself to bits.

But NASA and space aren't driving the quest for stronger materials – that's the private sector.


David Okamura reported that he'd just heard on NPR – this Sunday, a 40-minute fan film debuts on the internet. It's a prequel to the LOTR movie, with a cast and crew of 150 volunteers. OF course, they did not consult with any of the copyright holders. for the trailer.

JP: One of the issues is going to be, how to police BitTorrent. Enforcing copyright in Elbonia will be hard.

Tom Safer passes.

Milt Stevens – got an email from someone who had read American Nerd and liked what they read. Asked if there was something similar to LASFS in Sacramento. Referred them to Baycon, Loscon.

Hare Hobbs had another old fart moment. Surprised at how few of the young whippersnappers recall Hawkwind.

CLJII has recently been going to USC to examine the Cinema TV Library. They have a bunch of stuff from Universal Pictures. He's finding an enormous amount of stuff in papers in the library. It's a treasure trove. Really. Now he may want to publish his book.

Frank Waller passes.

Tom Safer announced a program – Terry Toons, 1930 to 1960.

We adjourned at 21:16:48.

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