MIT Science Fiction Society

84 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02139

MITSFS Meeting Minutes

Friday, November 28, 2003

Bonus pre-meeting quote: ``But we don't have a pre-meeting quote!'' ``That's it, right there!'' MITSFS meeting called to order, ``17:00 for some loose value of 17:00'' SST, Ed Keyes, President and Skinner, presiding; SEB (Susan Born) is the pseudo-Kat, recording. Onseck should not type while reading minutes from previous meeting.

During minutes, Y moves to censure JFC for not ordering any books since the last time he ordered. Motion passes 4-3-2+Spehn.

Discussion of banelephant tipping during minutes reading.

Minutes read.

Y moves to approve the minutes as discouraging color-blindness.
Motion passes, 4-2-yellowpinkcolorblindness+2+Spehn.

Motion to make elephant stop staring at Jacquie fails for lack of a second.

``Its eyes follow you around the room.'' -ED ``But its tusks don't.'' -JFC


Committee Reports


(JFC) Bluebellcomm and pseudo-Bluebellcomm (Karl) covered a lot of books this week. Books covered 4 weeks ago in to-be-shelved pile.


(JFC) There are 99 books to be shelved. Ed took care of one, Susan may take care of another. Still plenty of work for Bluebellcomm to do.


(JFC) is waiting for Susan to catch up. Despite failure to get new books to overload PantherComm, plot still succeeding because PantherComm did not process all books last week. New books should arrive in the next week.

Motion to create committee to do everything obviously duty of a committee but for which no committee exists fails for lack of second. What Star Chamber is for.

A clipping is handed to JFC. It is a cartoon. This distracts him long enough for someone else to get in a report.


(ALC) Finboard did give us money; 60% of what we asked for, reasonable compared to our past performances. We didn't ask for a whole lot, so our % is higher but number lower - about a thousand $ for books, subsidizing picnic and LSC slides for spring. JFC shouldn't spend it all this month, but can continue spending as he's been spending. ED hasn't seen what he's been spending, though.


(JFC): Movement with reimbursements - they go in, checks come back, checks haven't been bouncing. The envelope has streamlined the process, possible for people to figure out what all the forms mean. JFC wonders if typing has anything to do with what we're saying.

Unnamed Committee For Good Reason

(JFC) JFC wants a name and a committee responsible for evicting books from library once provisionally excreted by Hasslecomm and Magdex, like for sale books. ED wants to stick MHG on it. JFC just wants it to be named. Y says excess books, new people joining, we should pick out less bad extra books and give one as present to everyone who joins.

ED: ``We'd get them back as donations.''

JFC: Discussed with AMB, who has occasional unpredictable access to unlimited supply free magazines, overstocks of three big SF magazines. How many copies should he get for mitsfs? Would want only 2 or 3, but if had 20 could give away to old members, new members, or people.

ED: Does Victor Hugo accept trade-ins? Can we get rid of books for store credit and pick up things we want?
JFC doesn't know.
Y: Does Macintyre and Moore pay enough for the trouble?
JFC: Close thing when looked into a few years ago, places didn't want to give significant money or credit. We hoped shipping them to Britain would help. I offered non-SF to Space Crime Continuum, not interested in mysteries. We talked about eBay and should put someone into it.
Y: Used book store on Newbury has some name, may be there, not Victor Hugo. Down from sidewalk.
ED: Pandemonium has a ton already.
JFC: Pandemonium's books were flushed down black hole.
ED: How does it work?
JFC: You throw your books down the black hole, they pass through the singularity and are discraded. Black hole has six layers, event horizon is 5th, 6th is warp. Books put on top shelf at 5%, 15% each layer. If they don't sell at 90% off, they are discarded. Returnable books returned at 45% off. Books unwanted put on top shelf black hole and nature takes its course. A decent bunch of our books lately came from Pandemonium black hole. Doubtless more is there. I should have said this a month ago. I went to that remainders place in Waltham, and a MITSFS member was manning the register. DSR, Dan-something.


(JFC): TIF has rotated, November 18. People who overflowed were given credit if appropriate. There was a time when I was not TIF leader, as Emily had four hours on me. This has since been rectified. Bill caught up but did not exceed, 2 keyholders sucked under.

ED: Armenard has put in lots of ours on rerooming.
JFC: Garbage collection has compacted keyholders into contiguous columns.
ED: Not to imply that any of our keyholders were garbage.


(JFC) JFC: We have active prentices. Discussion of various prentices and doing and thinking about doing and not thinking about doing committee work.

Motion for society to think about commmending prentices for some of the above.
Passes, 3-0-0+Spehn.


Old Business

Usual motion, usual second, usual vote, usual result.


New Business

JFC: Has albanian motion for Malcolm been put into minutes yet? Name of committee to deal with stuff we want to dispose of, I've been putting more clear labels on many boxes with specific committee to which box belongs, and I don't know what to label hasslecomm output boxes.

Names suggested, like things the pseudo-Onseck can't spell and are thus not recorded. Tabled.

ED: We have new membershiped cards, new and improved with society logo. Gotten from Kinko's, good job copying but off-center in places. Y: So are we. ED: We have about 1200 of them. We'll get through that stack before my term is up. (ED has signed about an inch of membership cards.) We signed up 60 new members over past month or so and have a backlog of people who need cards.

JFC: We still have no small orange dots. The Onseck has been notified. They are allegedly hard to find. Not the micro-.5centimeter dots, .25, .375 of inch. Medium dots are... very hard to find, and .75 inch. We have no dots of any color that's smaller. If reinforcing things were orange, we could use them. ED: And didn't have holes. Y: Could we dye the reinforcement things? They're partially made of cloth.

Onseck is confused by lack of old business.

JFC reads ironic author blurb on SM Stirling, who is claimed to write ``best straight-on SF,'' which is ironic because 1) the novella is nominated for a Sideways award, and 2) Stirling has a lot of lesbians. The reviewer is amazing.

Y says there is children's book about school 86 stories tall with 1 room/story, title ``Sideways Tales from Wayside School.'' Unrelated.

JFC: Mary Gentle blurb: ``Her stories are never comfortable.'' Walter John Williams ``exhibits tenaciousness.'' Y: With friends like this... ED: He submits stories again and again until accepted by editor

Y was in H$^2$ hour ago, traffic stopped by accident in which number 1 bus collided with another #1 bus. JFC: Five minute spacing sometimes not enough. Exciting damage? Y: Vehicles no longer have fenders to bend. JFC has seen car hit guard rail and slide until bumper fell off, in old days when cars had bumpers. Alfa-Romeo, at least 20 years old. Y: Nothing fell off, when I left vicinity heard bus drivers talking about fact nobody had gotten passengers off the dinged bus. JFC: Bus accident in NJ, people rushed to get on bus so could claim to be injured in the accident.

JFC: We have a banana colored thingy. It's labeled as such. ED presumes it to be a safety papercutter. It's on the corkboard. JFC tries to test it on a piece of scrap paper. Gravity does not help him, but he does cut the paper. He deems it not sufficiently convenient, and declines to cut a piece of silk in midair. ``In Japan, the hand is a deadly weapon, but it can't cut a tomato.'' ``In China, some martial artists trained with the tiger claw, which can cut a tomato if it's small enough.'' ``Neatly? In the commercial, the tomato did end up in 2 pieces, but not in a very edible form.'' ``It does work on coconuts... After he went through a couple of bricks.'' ``A brick is brittle and a coconut has enough resilience it could hurt you.'' Y: Coconuts don't break falling off trees. JFC: Why make the inside edible if nothing's supposed to get in and eat it? The inside happens to taste good to baby coconuts, and that animals like it is a coincidence. ED speculates on coconut farming. JFC thinks of stereotypical island with one coconut tree in middle. Have generations of shipwrecked sailors cut down coconut trees that didn't taste good? Plenty of time for selective breeding. Inedible trees become boats. ``A sailor is only a coconut tree's way of making more coconut trees.'' -ED Much not commenting on subsequent comments happens. Y saw division of fruit-eating birds into 2 categories, one digests only pulp, one digests seeds too. Seed-eaters are counterproductive in terms of getting new plants.

What is the seed in the coconut? It's the coconut itself, not supposed to be eaten. Gets washed into ocean, lands on a beach, takes root and grows a new tree. Like a potato? Y: Coconut milk morphs into- JFC: coconut cheese. Jacquie: If you shake it enough you get coconut butter. Not a lot of milk in a coconut, you have to squeeze to get it out. Y went to demonstration on Oahu, how to demonstrate coconut to get milk out, let tourists drink and then told Hawaiians don't drink it because it's a laxative. You cook with it. Some tourists try it twice. Was suspicious when told native word for penetrating tool is sharp stick. Jacquie thinks it splits and the roots go down, not like a potato, more like a conventional seed. Jacquie likes the delaware quarter with the tree.

Y was staying for summer vacation where hordes of red squirrels were in trees and put out 5 pounds of peanuts. Then walnuts. Squirrels were ok, but chipmunks weren't. Jacquie has never seen a chipmunk. Many suggestions for chipmunk viewing were given - parks, blue hills, Y's backyard, Colorado. Y encountered chipmunk in park in Newton by Charles on very well-worn-down path, was very sneaky and got up close to chipmunk, who chirped and zipped away and clunked bottom of hole. Popped back up and started yelling ``I'll get you, I'll get all your relatives!'' Amateur rabbit climbed out of bush to get away from ferocious chipmunk. Chipmunks used to be chipping squirrels, because taxonomists didn't know what to make of dinosaur bones. They are some sort of giant lizardlike thing. Some of the species names were different. Scientific names change; duckbill platypus used to be something I can't spell paradoxis, but now it's something else.

People not JFC have heard of the capybara. If one were at Jacquie's house, it would gnaw the legs off her table. Some are at the Franklin Park Zoo.


Future Business

JFC: The last world war is coming when the aliens invade Missouri.

Y: I know God hates Kansas, but Missouri? Is there any spot in the world where people wouldn't mind if the aliens invaded?

JFC: <reads book jacket more> All of the world minds.

ED: I'd let them have Washington DC for a while.

Y watched Day the Earth Stood Still again, lines he'd forgotten about authorities' failure to find alien: ``-They're only human. -They're not human, they're Democrats!'' MITSFS used to show it a lot, but stopped showing moves by early-to-mid-60s. Jamie found references in still not banned research. Would be competition with LSC. Jacquie: but we could show good movies! Y: That would be unfair competition.

A member had quicksilver out overdue and mailed it back. $8 in postage. Book probably $25 or so. Would it fit in flat-rate envelope? You can fill it up with neutronium if you want, but if it fits in the envelope you mail it at the flat rate. It holds a pound or two of paper, but if you wanted to mail metal and you could keep it from breaking out of the bag... Like when they found way to refine zichronium cheaply and mailed samples to customers in envelopes; when you pass through automatic cancelling machine the machine blows up. We don't know why finely powdered zichronium does this. Finely powdered iron is pyrophoric.

ED: Rooming reassignment in progress, no significant updates yet. ASA giving report Soon. Cross your fingers. JFC: Is it better if you cross pairs of crossed fingers? ED: You need an odd parity. The largest odd number of crossing is best.

Motion to cross banana fingers fails for lack of a second.

Motion to integrate finger dfinger over crossing fingers fails for lack of a second.

If we move, it'll probably be over IAP. All of IAP.

JFC: JM said year's worth of work for Panthercomm and Bluebellcomm in boxes.

Who's Neo Opsis? Editor of new Canadaian SF magazine. Actually is just Opsis, but first magazine went under, so this is Neo-Opsis.

Mary Gentle is an expert swordfighter, says the jacket by way of JFC.

Miller motion
fails 1-4-1+Spehn.

Cricket noises from Jacquie, singing from Y.

Collection of short stories we didn't pay the price for by John Wyndham is discussed. This is the sort of book we should have, because members won't.

Second Miller motion
Passes 6-1-1+Spehn.

Meeting adjourned, 1758 SST.

Respectfully submitted,
Kat Allen, Onseck