Meeting # 4055, Apr 30, 2015 PDF Print E-mail

Matthew Tepper presiding

Karl Lembke, Scribe

Patron Saint Larry Niven

(Portions read at the meeting are highlighted like this.)

President Matthew Tepper gaveled something in Morse Code calling meeting #4055 to order at 8:00

Special orders of business:

Ken Butler, who joined in the late 70s and attended through the 80s passed away sometime last year

CLJII spoke briefly about the passing of Stan Burns, honored two weeks ago this evening. One week ago, he succombed to the injuries he received in a car accident. He managed to enjoy the short span he had left, after being told he would not recover. He was a good friend

In memory of these individuals, we had a long moment of silence.

Menace from last meeting were read.  Christian McGuire bid $3 to name them “Who had the last bid?” They were so accepted.

Time Bound Announcements!


Committee Reports

The Treasurer’s report: We have money

You can’t spend it.

We had an auction.  One item was a calendar, with some beautiful images.

Since the vending machine is working again, we auctioned off the last slot which goes to Diet Coke with Lime.

Programs (CLJII)

4/30/15: last meeting, about the life and career of Walt Lee, archivist and film preservationist extraordinaire. (Talk by Tom Khamis and others)  After this, a special presentation for the holiday

May 7: A presentation about Leonard Nimoy

May 14: Kimberly Stedman from NASA talks Mars Rovers

May 21: Big Auction, and Pre-show by Tim Griffin

May 28: Schirmeister Slide Show

June 4: TBD

June 11: TBD

June FWEMS: G-Men vs the Black Dragon and Daredevils of the West.

Second week of June will be procedural elections. (June 11)

Christian announced a new set of books is up for sale on the table by the entry way.

Registrar Ed Hooper introduced Cindy Lee Kimmick and Tarynn Kimmick

We honored tonight’s Patron Saint:

Patron Saint Larry Niven

Matthew Tepper: We all know Larry. He’s a member of this club for eons (well, at least portions of two centuries).

Scratch: Niven is a gentleman of words, and when he decided to team up with Jerry Pournelle, the two of them worked quite well, and it gets to the point where it’s hard to tell who is responsible for which words.

Joe Zeff: remembers that one year, back when we were having the contest for most memorable fanac of the year, he got himself into second place so he could write about Larry and Ed Green, with Larry sitting on the floor of the hall, shouting out “Alms for the Rich”

Tim Griffin: Grew up in a family that is a lot of things, especially complicated.  Larry was one of the few beacons that let him know being a grown-up need not totally suck. Love his work, but enjoy him as a person even more, and he’s the man I want to be when I grow up.

Milt Stevens: One story led to a long-standing LASFS tradition. It was set at a real divorce party, and another member was the android IQ test asking what you can say about chocolate covered manhole covers.

John DeChancie: Baltimroe Worldcon 1983 -- He had just sold his first novel that winter, and this was his first worldcon as a pro. Got there and there was his editor, susan allison. She introduced him to Larry Niven. They shook hands and he headed up the escalator. Now if only I had a punch line.

Michelle Pincus: At one of her first Loscons, they had sent her over to set up the art show, which Fuzzy was running.  She saw this distinguished older woman. Fuzzy sent her to get her husband. The only person out there was Larry Niven.

CLJII: A story he hasn’t told in a long time.  When I first joined the LASFS back when dinosaurs ruled the construction site, his first convention was FUNCon. A young fan came up to him and told him he (CLJII) was Larry Niven. He was unable to persuade the kid he wasn’t Niven. CLJII thinks the kid was eventually introduced to the real Larry Niven.

Matthew: At the very same convention, had just read World of Ptavvs and Neutron Star.  He asked if someone could introduce him to Larry Niven.  Tom Digby pointed him at a man who might know where Larry Niven was, and Larry Niven turned out to know exactly where he was.

Jerry Pournelle: in 1980, after the election, Reagan’s people asked Col Kane to write this space plan for the new administration. Jerry had written on the subject, and was recruited to help with the meeting.  Where to meet?  Larry was willing to host the 80 people, including Buzz Aldrin, nine generals, Max Hunter, and a number of other folks. We worked out the commercial space act during one of those meetings.  Larry was sent upstairs with a lawyer to write up the policy. They were stuck there while everyone else enjoyed the gourmet spread.

Scratch: He did a good job. Look it up. “How to save civilization and make a little money”.

From the Hagiography:

The first person to be honored at a LASFS Fanquet (for his first professional sale) who broke the jinx by selling another piece professionally. 

Great writer of hard SF

A gracious and generous man

Regency dancer

Immortalized the chocolate manhole cover

Husband of Marilyn "Fuzzy Pink" Niven

Patron Saint Larry Niven was given three cheers and One Ring to House them all.

David Okamura observes we had a couple of passings.  The Russian supply ship will probably undergo a catastrophic re-entry.  Elon Musk’s space-x is the next launch, and will probably be crammed full of stuff.

At 12:30 PM west coast time, NASA’s Messenger craft became a crater on Mercury. It had run out of propellant. They opted for an impact and one last very close up photograph. It hit at a speed of some 8700 MPH.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Horizon project took a surprising test launch. They got it up to the edge of space.

Scientists have solved a riddle about the sun. Why is the surface a relatively cool 10K degrees F while the corona is up to 4 million to 18 million degrees?  They’ve theorized about nanoflares, which seem to be supplying the heat. (It’s either that or SUVs.)

Jerry Pournelle: NASA thinks it’s invented the warp drive. Low probability of success, but they may have a FTL drive.

Tim Griffin: Some people have been re-doing their landscaping on account of the drought.  He’s working with the Theodore Payne foundation to promote california native plants. See him for more info.

No Old Business!

No new business!


Milt Stevens reviewed Three Body Problem. It’s quite a book, starting with a scene where a character is watching her father get beaten to death by the Red guard. It’s got science, super science, sense of wonder, a conspiracy for an alien invasion, and at one point, they turn a proton inside out in six dimensions to make a weapon to use against Earth. (Now that’s one hell of a proton pill.)

Tom Locke reviewed Micro by Michael Crichton. It’s typical Crichton fare of technology gone awry. As usual, it has help by someone with nefarious interests.  IT requires some suspension of disbelief, especially when his shrink ray comes into play. There are serious fallacies. It’s an enjoyable read for one reading. It will be donated to the Library.

David Okamura reviewed the OC fairgrounds. Imaginology, basically an examination of science, technology, engineering for young people. This is not your usual elementary school science fair. All kinds of things were represented, and he could have spent a lot more time than he did going through it.


Frank Waller: Sunday is first of May, Super Car Sunday at Topanga and Erwin.

Put chairs away.

Adjournment: It was moved and seconded, and we adjourned to the program at 9:02.
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