Meeting #3756 Aug 06, 2009 PDF Print E-mail

Menace of the LASFS

August 06, 2009

Christian McGuire presiding,

Karl Lembke, Scribe

Probably something, but not necessarily a bacon burger made with beef bacon and ground pork...

Meeting 3756 was opened at 20:10:26

Despite the fact we have a Worldcon there are...

Special Orders of Business

British producer Harry Allan Tower, producer of, among other things, the five worst Fu Manchu movies ever.

Bill Ellern rose to announce that at 11 AM, Anne Morrel's companion of 36 years, Rojo, a scarlet macaw, died. The autopsy claims it was kidney failure. A sympathy card was requested.

The Menace were read and approved as “people who only think they know how to approve the Minutes”.

Treasury: We have a report. And Marcia Minsky is collecting dues.

Old Business


New Business


Belated time-bound announcement

Joe Zeff: Yesterday was the 85th anniversary of Little Orphan Annie.

Christian: At the last BOD meeting in July, no one thought to use the excuse of two members being out of the country to avoid work on Sunday. So we'll have a Board meeting. 11 AM. After the board meeting there will be Second Sunday with gaming, barbecuing, socializing, and gaming.

Saturday features Cinema Anime, from 1 to 8 PM.

Tom Safer announced Saturday, August 8, he'll be at the Sun Valley Library showing Underdog in its original 1960s presentation. Start time is 2 PM. August 22, at the clubhouse, there will be an all-day film festival, original day the earth stood still, thing from another world, Slipper and the Rose. Come and enjoy.

Patron Saint

Jerry Pournelle

Tom Safer said, he's always a very nice person, and always is wonderful to talk to. And he's married to a nice person.

Matthew Tepper: one specific point is that while we don't always agree on things, we agree Opera is a particular form of SF.

Karen Anderson said he's been a pro for many years and a fan longer than that. – since 1961 when he attended the Seattle Worldcon

Joe Zeff understands he was largely responsible for putting the clubhouse into the shape it's in.

His boxes of computer gear were often the hits of the gift exchange. As it is when he donates it to the club auction.

Christian called himself a self-made man.

CLJII called him opinionated, augmentative, but honest and entertaining.

John DeChancie called him a terrific writer.

Scratch said he's loud enough to hear.

Michelle said he's always a gentleman.

Christian revealed a guilty pleasure. “A Spaceship for the King

MaryAnn says he writes very good books. But when he speaks, other than his own speaking, you can generally hear a pin drop. (Of course, he's perfectly capable of drowning out the sound of even a very large pin...)

Jerry (not Pournelle) he wrote the first SF novel ever written on a computer.

Don Wenner: He's told one of his favorite humorous cat stores ever heard. About how cats behave in free fall.

Joe Zeff quoted from John Hertz' zine.

Jerry Pournelle got three cheers, and a place of honor in the Smithsonian.

Tim Merrigan

Hare: Tim did the job Marty Cantor is doing now, and is one of the most soft-spoken people at the LASFS. When moving Mistie out of her apartment in Hollywood, they got surrounded by the parade and trapped by the parking. He hated the parade.

Marty Cantor: He had been running APA-L for 18-20 years, and has not been to the club since he gave it up. He's very quiet. He lives in Venice with Rita Prince Winston, whom he recently married. He's a very nice, quiet person. If he were in the room and there was a quiet party going on, you probably still wouldn't notice him.

Zeff: Back when Tim was collating 'L, he was living at home, and his father was upset because he wouldn't get his hair cut – so he shaved his head.

CLJII: Many have animal counterparts in WASFS. Some people had animals bestowed on them, others requested theirs. Tim wanted to be a Manx cat with a prosthetic tail.

Scratch: Nice guy, gave us money, there should be more like that.

Matthew Tepper likes his hat.

Tim Merrigan was given three cheers, and an everlasting bus pass.

Committee Reports

Matthew Tepper is the new committee to report on area bookstores. Iliad bookshop, at Cahuenga and Chandler, bought the building next door. They have now breached the wall, and are now setting up “the annex” in that building.

CLJII announced that next week, we have cartoons. The week after that is a medium-sized auction. And the specifics of the last program have changed. We have a presentation from a fellow from Del Rey books. Tonight, we have a continuing tribute to SF. Captain Z-Ro. Next month, we try to figure out who gets the next Forry Award.

Arlene Satin announced the Harry Potter opening. We'll be invited back, probably next time for the Alice In Wonderland opening. Thanks to Michelle, Nicole, Dale Hales, Bob, Fred Lazelle,

Sunday, August 9, more photo shoot for the Memory Book. Photos taken between 2 and 4:30.

Monday, August 10 at the Valley Plaza Library, where we'll be reading The Phantom Tollbooth.

Also, for all fans, contribute to the Memory book.

Science Committee: Karen Anderson reported that the Kepler Telescope has detected the atmosphere of a known extrasolar planet. It's so precise, it shows the changing phases of the planet. The day side temperature of the planet is 4310 degrees. (On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia).

Tom Safer reported that August 15, TSPC presents Dumbo (1941) here at the clubhouse. TSPC will repeat following next week's LASFS meeting, a tribute to Bugs Bunny.

The committee to gouge auctioned off a bunch of stuff.

Fannish Committee Reports

Jerry Pournelle rose to tell the story of the cat in low gravity. Many years ago, around 1960, he was in charge of human factors at Boeing, and they did tests on space suits. He was down at either Randolph or Brooks, and they were sitting around in the Officer's club with a bunch of flight surgeons and human factors engineers. Someone got to wondering what reaction a cat would have to zero gravity. One of the people offered to find out on his flight qualification. They found the officer's club cat, put it in the pilot's lap in the plane, and had a camera set up to film. The next day, the pilot gets into the parabolic orbit. He floats the cat in mid air, and returns to flying the plane.

What the cat orients toward in zero G is a human chest. Once oriented, it assumes many of the properties of velcro. After landing, the cat ran back to the officer's club where it disappeared for at least a week. So, in Zero Gee, cats orient toward human beings, with the intent of making them regret ever putting them into that situation.

He continued to another story, “Launch your own satellite for only eight grand. Prospective world dominators apply here.” There is a company advertising to launch satellites into low orbit.

Remember the getaway specials? For $10K, you could buy a certain amount of cubic space and send whatever you wanted into space. (Back then, they were talking about a launch a week. Which they still could, if they had fifty more shuttles.)

At the AAAS meeting where this was announced, he, Poul Anderson, and Karen Anderson proposed the Light Perpetual Foundation – sending ashes into orbit. The premise was that once the ashes were in orbit, light pressure would push them to the ends of the universe. They were looking into forming a company, and NASA went nuts over the idea – not in a good way.

One last thing, having to do with a moon experiment – they dumped boxes of glass balls – mirror surfaces – capable of reflecting a laser beam. They know the distance from here to the moon down to the nearest millimeter. So what? Well, it helps in experiments to determine the difference between inertial mass and gravitational mass. If the two are different, the difference shows up in the shape of the Moon's orbit. Einstein's theory requires the two different masses to be the same. Another theory holds that the two are different. By now, the two kinds of mass cannot differ by more than a factor of 10^-12. All because of a box of mirrors. A topic worthy of much reflection.


Hare bought the Dollhouse DVDs. The set has a different series ending than what was aired. It lives up to Joss Whedon's standards.

Defying Gravity – Watched despite the commercials, and found it a decent show.

CLJII has been watching Warehouse 13. It has some problems. In the most recent episode, either the writer is unfamiliar with the concept of storytelling, or they were told to make no sense.

Tom Safer recommended three of the new DC comics DVDs. Superman/Doomsday, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern – all very nicely done.

Matthew Tepper quite by chance watched Defying Gravity. He stuck with it to see how awful it was. It was awful, but the production values were very high. A lot of money was spent on visuals, and 17 cents on plot. One character who is either pregnant or was pregnant is on the space ship, and every now and then she thinks she hears a baby cry. She does this every time, and every time, the person with her never hears it.

Nick Smith reviewed a graphic novel adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, made with Bradbury's cooperation. This is the story of F451, and it's as good an adaptation as the movie version was. Bradbury seems to have liked it a great deal.

Christian McGuire reviewed Red, by Jordan Summer. It's a post-apocalyptic suburban fantasy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It's excellent.

Jerry Pournelle saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Read the book first, or you'll never figure it out.

Arlene saw it in Imax and 3d. Only the first 12 minutes are in 3d. Wow.

CLJII reviewed chamber of horrors, from 1964, When something bad was about to happen, they flashed the screen and blew the Horn of Horror. Then they didn't show the horrible scene.


Christian has a set of books he's keeping forever, to kill time when it desperately needs killing.

Tom Safer had an Oddly Enough story: A mobile phone was lost at sea for four days, and washed up in perfect condition in Taiwan.

We adjourned at 21:32:14.

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