Meeting # 4094, 1/28/2016 PDF Print E-mail

Gavin Claypool presiding

Nick Smith, Scribe

Patron Saints: Gail Selinger and Rick Sneary

President Gavin Claypool called the meeting to order at: 8:02 pm, after finally closing last week's meeting.

Special Orders of Business:

Marvin Minsky, co-founder of the Artificial Intelligence lab at MIT. He was also the AI science advisor for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, in Kubrick’s attempt to make HAL 9000 a believable computer AI. He also co-wrote The Turing Option with Harry Harrison. He was on the faculty of MIT since 1958.

Minutes of the last meeting

named “It's Loos In Space!!!”


Patron saints

Gail Selinger

From the hagiography:

Published author of romance novels, and former New York City public school teacher

became an active member in the '70s

One-time partner of fan Frank Gasperik.

Gail created "Coof", a typo of coffee. Fans began coming up with recipes for coof.

Three cheers and an “ARRR”

Rick Sneary

Served as Director (what we used to call the President).

Kept  meticulous records during his terms as Treasurer.

Donated work and cash during one of the club's unfortunate periods.  

Came up with slogan "South Gate in 58". 

Signature line was, "No more than two at a time!".

Member of the Knights of Saint Fanthony.

Three cheers and a Ytop


Breyen Katz stopped by and got the tour, but couldn't stay. Learned about us on the web interested in SF and futurism. Aspiring writer. Currently video editor.

Time-Bound Announcements:

Treasurer’s Report: Elayne's not here, and you can't spend it anyway

Upcoming Programs:

January 28th: Science Fiction Theater episodes

February 4th: Francis Hamit and Leigh Strother-Vien on self-publishing

February 11th: nothing yet

February 18th: Big Auction

February 25th: Tim Powers on his favorite book and raffle of CLJ book

February 28th: Films

LosCon voting bid is last meeting of March?

A Moment of Science, with David Okamura

Tomorrowland used to have an exhibit where you played tic tac toe against a computer. The computers are getting better. A robot has now solved a Rubik's Cube in a little over one second. Up to now computers have been only able to handle the game of Go at a moderate level. A new AI has been able to play at master level.

Ebola is old news, but Zika is the new bug on the block. Spread by mosquitoes, it apparently causes birth defects, even when the mother is asymptomatic. Travel advisories from the CDC, especially for pregnant women. At least one case in California so far, a teen girl who had visited El Salvador.  The WHO is mobilizing more quickly than for Ebola.

Many of you remember where you were 30 years ago, when the Challenger crashed. It was the 25th shuttle mission, and Challenger's 10th, and people thought of the shuttle as a relatively safe, simple vehicle. David found the list of lesson plans that were supposed to come back with the teacher on that mission.

Remember the crew of the Challenger.

Chapman University has added papers to its collection from the scientist who had refused to give the go-ahead for the mission.

Old Business: No

New Business: No


Milt Stevens reviewed Uprooted by Naomi Novick, a fantasy novel possibly worth of Hugo consideration. Folkloric imagery mixed with Jane Eyre. May be suitable for YA.

Deb commented that Agent Carter is obviously in an alternate universe.

Nick reviewed Perchance to Dream, the short story collection of material by Charles Beaumont. Mentioned that this is a great overview of the brief career of Beaumont.

Gavin mentioned the recent Trigger Warning program at the bookstore of Mystery and Imagination, and the staging of the Dennis Etchison story at the store last Saturday. “Turkey Shoot” by Tom Lavagnino? And” Got to Kill them All” by Dennis Etchison. Etchison may teach writing classes at the store in the near future.

Scratch is continuing his read of the Honor Harrington series, and still liking it.


Karl Lembke, as Chairman of the Board, announced that there would be no board meeting on Sunday the 14th, due to a convention conflict. Any remaining LosCon presentations must be made at the March meeting.

Caltech Play Readers are doing a reading of Post-Mortem on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 8 pm in the Athenaeum at Caltech.

Wednesday the 3rd, Chimes at Midnight will be shown in the Laemmle Theaters, including the one in Pasadena.

Thursday the 4th, Skylight Books will feature Charlie Anders, editor of IO9, will be reading from her new SF novel.

To Boldly Go will be performed at Caltech the last weekend of February and the first weekend of March. Tickets are $18, and Nick is trying to organize an outing to the show.

June Moffatt asked about the new abbreviated Saint comments, and there was a discussion of the reasons and the methods to the madness.

Gavin announced that the library book of the week was Turing Option, by Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky.

Adjourn at: 8:56
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