Two newer members attended today's meeting along with four old timers.
John Stone, Patrick Purcell, Dave Rankin, and Gerry Williams were joined by Larry Imperiale and
Denis Cheng. Denis is a brand new member who joined as a result of seeing our MDRS panel at the
Comic-Con. Larry learned of our chapter at one of our Stars in the Parks outreach events.
Larry is already a Mars Society member. Denis joined tonight at the half-price discount.
OUTREACH IN THE PAST MONTH
We discussed the Comic-Con and agreed that the event was very successful. We concluded that
science fiction conventions are good recruitment venues as we have gotten three regular chapter
members out of them. We agreed that we'd be better off next month with times that don't compete
with the big corporate talks. Look for the Comic-Con report on the chapter website soon.
We discussed last month's Mars movie, "Abbott and Costello Go To Mars." What can one say about
this movie, except it was infinitely better than Olivier Gruner's movie, "Mars." It was funny,
entertaining, completely unrealistic, and it prophetically anticipated the modern American
cultural meme that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Truly a profound insight for
In other old business, last week's Stars in the Park was one of the best we've had in months.
Summer is definitely the best season for this outreach. The sky was clear, the weather was
warm, the telescopes were everywhere, and the crowds were, well, crowded. We remained at the
park until 10:30 pm when the last diehards decided they'd heard enough about Mars.
Gerry is giving a 45 minute presentation this Saturday, August 16th during his Project Astro
training session. He'll be speaking to a crowd of science teachers and amateur astronomers.
Next Wednesday, August 20th from 12 noon to 3 pm, we will have our display table set up inside
the Reuben Fleet Science Center. Famed astronomer, Bill Hartmann, will be at the Center
promoting his new book, "A Traveler's Guide to Mars." So far, Gerry, Dave, and Denis will be
staffing the booth. Any other volunteers should notify Gerry soon so he can provide names to
the Center for free admission.
Next Friday, August 22d, is Mars Movie Night. This month's movie is "Cowboy Bebop," a Japanese
anime movie derived from the popular and critically acclaimed TV series of the same name. This
movie follows the adventures of three bounty hunters, one hacker kid, and a Welsh Corgi, and
takes place in the next century on a Mars still in its original state, except for one
terraformed crater. Come see it and decide for yourself whether the five stars I give it is
too generous or just about right. Look for Gerry's email announcing the movie and the location.
The following Wednesday, August 27th is Mars Opposition Day. The day when Mars is the closest
it's been to our home in 60,000 years. Besides Shannon's viewing party at her Borrego home, the
SDAA is hosting a viewing event at their Tierra Del Sol location.
The Mars Society is hosting their own Mars viewing party at MDRS in Utah over the Labor Day
weekend from August 29th through the 31st. So far Dave is the only chaper member thinking of
On Thursday, September 18th, we will be giving a talk at the Donald Bianchi Planetarium at Cal
State Northridge. So far, Dave, Gerry, John, Denis and Larry have signed up to attend. The
planetarium has budgeted 90 minutes for our talk and panel discussion. We will be taking our
display table along.
After Bianchi, our next major outreach is October 3d-5th at the science fiction convention,
ConJecture. We will be giving a talk using chapter members. We also will be farming our
members out to other panels and will try and get some Mars-related panels on the program with
panelists from outside our chapter.
A writer, David Boyne, wants to profile us for an article in the San Diego Reader. This is
still in the initial planning stages.
The Mars Suit Task Force has been on vacation but will return soon. The suit is built but it
has not yet been assembled. The sleeves and legs remain detached from the torso. The parts
for the backpack and helment also have not been completely assembled.
The Rover Task Force has likewise been on a break. Patrick has purchased a second chassis.
Gerry is scouting another location for Mars Movie Nights. The Mission Valley Library has a
room available to non-profit groups at no charge. Gerry will announce the change if it
Rather than giving Victor Lundin's autographed photos to new members who sign up at a chapter
event, we are looking into selling the photos on eBay in order to raise money for the chapter.
What would a San Diego Mars Society meeting be without a geek moment. That moment was provided
courtesy of John, who showed off his new X-10 wireless video spy camera. Nice camera. Must