Meeting # 4098, 2/25/2016 PDF Print E-mail

Gavin Claypool presiding

Nick Smith, Scribe

Patron Saint: Maureen Garrett

President Gavin Claypool called the meeting to order at: 8:00 pm

Minutes of the last meeting were read.

$1 from  Lynn Maners to name the minutes “The trouble with Trible” [the real first name of his wife]

Patron saint Maureen Garrett

From the hagiography:

First president of the Star Wars Fan Club

Got a job working for Craig Miller in the Official Star Wars Fan Club and later took it over. 

One of the artists featured in the Fantasy Showcase Tarot deck.  (Nine of Wands)

Donated the bathroom wallpaper at the old clubhouse

From the scribe: Met the L.A. Filkharmonics because her hotel room reservations kept getting confused with those of Meg Garrett. Introduced filk to the folks at LucasFilms, which led to cool fannish interactions later.


Mary Bernard, brought by her husband Gary. Interested in most of SF. Admin assistant/web coder.

Small auction of books and soda flavor. The March flavor will be Hansen's diet soda.

Time-Bound Announcements:

Memorial for George Clayton Johnson will be tomorrow night at the Egyptian.

Other Announcements:

The Star Trek Musical Boldly Go begins its short run at Caltech [Ramo Auditorium] tomorrow night, with other shows Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. The second and final weekend includes shows Thursday and Friday nights at 7:30 pm and Saturday matinee at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $18.

A glut of anime releases, this week and next.

The long lost Studio Ghibli film Only Yesterday opens at the Nuart tomorrow night for a one week run. This was produced by Miyazaki, but never released in the U.S. until now. The Nuart is at 11272 Santa Monica Blvd.

The vampire fantasy anime Kizumonogatari will have a two-day release at the Downtown Independent Theater, starting tomorrow, with only five showings. The Downtown Independent is at 251 S. Main Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Then next week, the Laemmle NoHo and Pasadena will both be showing Boy and Beast, which has been getting rave reviews.

Special Orders of Business:

Legendary British cinematographer and director of photography Douglas Slocombe died at the age of 103, due to complications from a fall. His career stretched over 50 years and 80+ films, which included The Man in the White Suit, Rollerball, The Fearless Vampire Killers and the first three Indiana Jones movies. One of his early documentary jobs involved filming Joseph Goebbels giving a speech in 1939, and his camera let out a loud noise at an inopportune point. As hundreds of uniformed Nazis turned to glare at him, he recalled later that “It was not a comfortable moment.” In any case, the cool visuals in Raiders of the Lost Ark were due to him eyeballing the light adjustments and settings, without a meter. He was that good.

Also, we lost anime screenwriter Chiaki Morosawa, who was responsible for several of the Mobile Suit Gundam movies and TV series. She was one of the biggest female names in the anime field, breaking the rule that giant robot stories were just created by men.

Treasurer’s Report: We still can’t spend it

Upcoming Programs:

No official program for tonight or the following two weeks.

February 28th—FWEMS from 2-10 pm, salute to Colleen Gray

March 17th will the Big Fat Auction

March 24th will be Jerry Pournelle talking about his favorite book

March 31st will be the LosCon pitches and voting

Results of the raffle:

A Moment of Science, with David Okamura

Updates from last week: the talk about the continents soaking up the ice melt, and apparently they've already absorbed all they can, and the seas are rising, which would raise the sea level by 3-4 feet over the next century.

Space X has twice postponed the next Falcon X launch.

Scientists have been examining the skulls of dodos, and apparently they had brain sizes appropriate for their size, and probably had good senses of smell. The problem was that they had no natural predators on Madagascar. They were not stupid, but simply failed to react quickly to the new predator, man. Dead as a dodo may become obsolete someday, if attempts to recreate the bird ever come to fruition.

Stem cells of mice can be turned into sperm cells that can fertilize mouse eggs. Very inefficient at present, but if this can be scale up to work on humans, this could be used to restore infertility.

We've heard about interbreeding of modern humans and Neanderthals, and this has been shown through decoding the DNA. This alters our view of evolution, but there was also a third branch of the human family. Only small bones, no complete skeleton yet. Some material from this third branch continues in modern humans, especially in Melanesia. We had thought that there was one massive wave out of Africa about 60K years ago, but there is now evidence that there was earlier migration, as much as 120,000 years ago. Maybe more early interaction than was previously thought.

Modern Tibetans have a gene which permits them to operate well at high altitudes, and that gene comes from the third branch. Neanderthal DNA is related to mood disorders and certain other problems. This is not advantageous now, but think of  strong blood clotting, which was advantageous in pre-medical times, but leads to long-term problems now.

Milt Stevens: If the first homo sapiens was female, then which branch did she mate with?

Jerry: As he understood it, Neanderthals did not domesticate animals, which gave homo sapiens an advantage.

Lynn: as an anthropologist, we used to think of mankind as linear development, but it's more of a complex bush whose design constantly changes.

Bill [not Ellern]: Dogs seem to be descended from a Chinese form of wolf.

Jerry: At least three separate outbreaks of domestication. Villages with dogs thrive much better than ones without, due to better hunting and better safety.

Matthew: “Day is Done” by L. Sprague deCamp, about the last Neanderthal, looking back at changes.

Marc Schirmeister points out that it was Lester del Rey. Did man create language in order to communicate with animals?

Also, were Neanderthals allergic to dogs?

Nick pointed out that he had watched a dog apparently trying to domesticate a snake, and that domestication doesn't need high intelligence.

Milt: Maybe Neanderthals ate dogs instead of domesticating them.

Jerry: Cow domestication somewhere around 25,000 years ago.

Lynn: Lactose tolerance is an example of ongoing evolutionary pressure, as those able to digest milk had a caloric advantage.

Aetna warning at 8:50 pm

Old Business: no

New Business: no


Lynn: Europe series by Dave Hutchinson. An alternate future in which the EU has broken down, and tiny sovereignties are making a comeback. There is a rail line from Madrid to Siberia, the last big project before Europe fails, and the line declares itself a sovereign state. Weird things are locatable only by a special map, so it's sort of like a platform 9 ¾ situation.

CLJ II: Read two fine books by H. Rider Haggard—She and Ayesha, the Return of She. Everything was grand, glorious and excessive in She, but the sequel was whatever comes after purple prose. Stretched his credulity, but is now truly puzzled about the Hammer version of She, with Ursula Andress.  The Hammer people ignored the note in the book about how the name was pronounced, which is “Asha”.

Milt reviewed Agent Carter and Colony. Agent Carter is really good, but the scheduling is odd, since they've been running two episodes a week. Colony is not as good, maybe anti-US, maybe anti-Israeli.

Gavin mentioned that the Eddie the Eagle movie, with Hugh Jackman as the supporting actor, is coming out tomorrow. Gavin saw a preview, and it takes liberties, but is a lot of fun.

Milt was watching episodes of Princess Tutu anime and was very confused. Nick commented that it makes more sense if you watch a bunch of episodes in a row. It has a lot of stuff about ballet technique and a parody of classic ballet stories, among other things.

Bernard Antonelli has been watching Walking Dead, and enjoying it. Excellent depiction of the unraveling of society.

Nick reviewed the anime series Pumpkin Scissors, an alternate world postwar story with science fiction elements.

CLJ II reviewed the TV series Lucifer. Yes, the Lucifer, who comes to Los Angeles and opens a night club. The lead actor is “smarmily charming.” Is he becoming more mortal, now that he's spending time on earth? Watch and see.

Eric Hoffman has been watching The Count of Monte Cristo and its sequels. Louis Hayward played in the original and one sequel, with lots of disguises. Hard to find, but fun. Also mentioned The Lady in the Iron Mask.

Milt remembers Captain Sirocco, also with Louis Hayward, sort of “spaghetti Zorro.”

Matthew remembers reading all the Nero Wolfe books, and now is looking at Hugo winners he hadn't read.

CLJ II has been watching Adam 12, noon on Cozy TV. Martin Milner passed away recently, but it's a time capsule of Los Angeles architecture.

Eric found a collection of 25 episodes of Studio One, a drama which occasionally included science fiction. Their adaptation of 1984 starred Eddie Albert.

Bill Green mentioned stumbling across an Adam 12 shoot.

News items:

Barsk by Lawrence M. Schone, a former LASFS regular, has been nominated for the Nebula for best novel. He had founded the Klingon Language Institute.

Mary Anne Canfield finds discussions like this very interesting, as long as there isn't a test on Friday.

Jerry had lunch with Chris Stott from an organization on space commerce. He comes from the Isle of Man, which is very banking-dense. Richard Pournelle is in negotiation to get some of the satellite data down to a Manx downlink, because the Isle of Man has exploitable bandwidth. All because of “A Step Farther Out” column.

Adjourned at 9:50 pm

CLJII:  The word Neanderthal is pronounced in the German

The raffle winner was Nick Smith

Matthew Tepper: Point of Nero Wolfe is that lately he’s been reading Miles Vorkosigan books as part of hugo reading project

Bill Green: Dodo was actually of Mauritius, not Madagascar.

Menace are about as good as we can get them

Last Updated ( Sunday, 01 January 2017 )
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