By the time this reaches you, PP DOUG DESCH will have
moved into his new Westside quarters - 1440 23rd Street, Santa Monica,
CA 90404, (310) 998-2235. Welcome back, DOUG!
This takes precedence over the balance of this report
- which, you might imagine, may show some lack of continuity and understanding
when the Speaker is reported upon…
Before this, however, the usual order prevailed, with
the Pledge being led by LEO TSENG. And before the Pledge, LEO reminded
us all that he had not been privileged to be born in the United States,
but later ELECTED to become a US Citizen, which most of us simply take
for granted. This Pledge introduction was warmly received. GEORGE DEA
spoke about Rose Shaw, a Special Guest and friend of Annie Tseng, and
BRUCE ROLF was with Judy Wright; a Past President of the Lawrence, Kansas
Club. PP RON LYSTER spoke for Special Guest (now being circulated) Sherry
Dewane, who is sponsored by PDG BILL GOODWYN. And last, JACK HARRIS
presented Wink Znerold, a friend from the desert.
DON NELSON stepped forward, volunteering to take Masako
Nakumara and Suzanne Karpilovsky (for whom he is Counselor) to the
forthcoming District Breakfast. And being into intros, CLARK McQUAY
next told us about our other visiting Rotarians, Michael von Wolkenstein,
from the Vienna Club, who was accompanied by his wife, and Byron Stock,
LA Westside. Turns out that Byron is a partner in a CPA firm, which
has merged with that of PP STEVE DAY, the new firm name of which YOE
has totally lost. Anyway, this intro cost PP STEVE 100 big ones. PP
HOWIE HENKES brought forward our two newest members, Sharin Rose Klisser,
sponsored by (who else but) GEORGE DEA - her classification is Parkinson's
Research, and Bert Kriesburg, in insurance, and sponsored by RALPH
Announcements started with ART HENRY, who described a
program we used to have which is now being reinstituted, Call A Colleague.
This is to be used by WVRC members who may want to discuss a problem
anonymously with members who are qualified to help them with solutions.
Please call ART for details, and remember, this is a private counseling
service. RUDY ALVAREZ pitched the Japanese Student Exchange, with our
16 to 19 year-old students going to Japan this summer, June 26th to
July 21st. and then returning to host the Japanese students who come
back to LA with them. This is a real winner, for either your kids or
grandchildren, and the Club picks up some of the tab. YOE urges you
to consider sending your offspring on this - those of us who have done
so are universally pleased with the experience our kids had. RUDY also
reminded us that he needs reports from Committee Heads for our Annual
Report - and please submit them to him on e-mail, only, OK? And speaking
of hosts, YOE is buttonholing members to host the GSE team from Czechoslovakia,
who will be with us from April 22nd to the 29th, after which they go
to the District Conference. CHRIS GAYNOR and YOE are signed up so far,
and we are looking for three more hosts. Hosting the whole Czech team
for their week on the Westside within just WVRC members will really
make their visit much more personal - so think about joining us, OK?
PDG ANDY ANDERSON reported on a new Police Dept. program,
with new WLA Chief Rich Weber. The police will be reading to the 3rd
and 4th graders at Bellagio Newcomers School, and if you would like
to help, please call ANDY. And two reminders - the District Breakfast
is at the LAX Marriott on January 30th - JIM GREATHEAD will sign you
up. And, correcting an earlier error, be advised that the date of
the Valentine's Day Brunch at Shanghai Reds in the Marina is February
10th. Shirley and PETER MORE are in charge - please reserve soon.
PP JIM DOWNIE gave a very well prepared demonstration
of what his synthesizer can do. He started off with Oh Beautiful for
Spacious Skies, followed by screams when he asked an imaginary choir
if they would sing with us. Note that he can produce over 1000 orchestrations,
including every known instrument. However, we should also realize
that his keyboard has what you could call an automatic tempo, and
once 'in the groove' it isn't possible to adapt it to changes in tempo.
With different conductors, plus our tendency to belt out the melody
(thus drowning out the keyboard) we can quickly get away from the
keyboard tempo. This is frustrating to JIM, of course - and he next
illustrated a different tempo with some rock and roll. His final rendition
was our well known Home on the Range, which he asked us to follow
by his hand signals - that is, showing us when to begin the next stanza,
and again, asking us NOT to belt out the tune.
Let's try to be more attentive to the keyboard beat
- it's a wonderful instrument, and Jim really works to provide his
excellent accompaniment. He will try giving us some advance intro
with the correct tempo, so let's listen, and do our part to complement
his keyboard, OK? JIM, thank you for all the music you provide, week
Our speaker was Alan Rubin, introduced by PP RALPH WOODWORTH.
Dr. Rubin came to UCLA in 1983 as a Research Geochemist, and he began
by assuring us that he didn't need a microphone as he stood alongside
the screen showing both slides and various charts. He passed around
a couple of meteorites - they were HEAVY - and their recent history
began with Pliny in 115B.C., resumed more recently in the 15th Century.
In 1807 Jefferson doubted that stars would fall from heaven. A definition
here, if I may: Meteors are pieces of asteroids, which are themselves
small groups of rocks and other debris. They can vary considerably
in size, and there are over 20,000 of these orbiting hunks - 10 kilometers
or larger in diameter. The closest recent miss was a rock 13 to 80
kilometers in diameter, traveling at 15 kilometers per second, which
skipped off the atmosphere just 58 kilometers above the Grand Tetons.
With a steeper trajectory, it would have hit Earth with the impact
of several hundred Hiroshima blasts!
The last major asteroid to hit earth was 65 millions years
ago (he said it was in November…) sending billions of tons of rock fragments
into the air and changing the weather throughout the planet. The dust
probably took months or even years to settle, thus blocking sunlight,
in turn killing all the dinosaurs and plant life. This of course allowed
the human race to begin (because our forebears were so small they could
survive in rock cracks), so it maybe wasn't all bad. While falling rocks
as small as 10 meters continue to arrive, 2/3rds of them land in the
water - more good news… In answer to a question, the meteor/asteroid,
which hit Arizona, created major devastation, and the crater at Ngorongoro
in Tanzania was from a volcano, not a meteor. Dr. Rubin, thanks for
giving us some idea of what is out there - we depend on your good offices
to keep the darn things away from Southern California, OK?
Thought for the Day, from Albert Einstein - "The grand
aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts
by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypothesis or axioms".
YOE doubts that anyone he knows could have said it better.