by Russell Sipe
October 12 -- OCA celebrated it's
30th Anniversary with a banquet at the Queen Mary in Long
Beach. Billed as a twin speaker affair, OCA's own Chris Butler
made it into a triple header with his fascinating stories
about the King's View Room (our banquet location). Chris,
a former tour guide on the Queen Mary, pointed out that the
very room in which we met was not only a favorite of Winston
Churchill's, it had seen the likes of nearly every major personality
of the middle of the 20th century pass through its doors.
But what was particularly striking to me was Chris' description
of the famous landmarks and headlands one could see outside
the King's View Room if we were on some of the voyages logged
by the vessel. The coup de grace of Chris's talk was the presentation
of a special painting he did of the Queen Mary as she would
have appeared 30 years ago during the same week that OCA was
formed. It just so happens that the week OCA was formed was
also the week the SS Queen Mary logged her southernmost position
in her entire history, minus 58 degrees south latitude. So
Chris painted a scene showing the QM steaming in South Atlantic
waters with Eta Carinae, Alpha Centari, and the Magellanic
clouds accurately displayed in the night sky over the ship.
Before dinner we listened to a facinating
presentation by Jennifer Harris, the project manager of the
Mars Observer mission. Ms. Harris mixed interesting stories
about the people involved with the project along with facts
and interesting tid-bits about the mission itself. Her description
of her efforts to "debrief" NASA Administrator Dan Golden
on the Mars mission was amusing and informative. Her multimedia
presentation included still shots, videos of the Sojourner
treks, and a sequence of 3-D images that required us to wear
3-D glasses. The image of a room full of astronomers wearing
3-D glasses was humorous to say the least.
After dinner Dr. Edwin Krupp of Griffith
Observatory made a "powerful" presentation based largely on
his new book: "Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings". Ranging from
the ancient world of the Hittites to the modern land of Hollywood,
from Outer Mongolia to Chumash sacred sites in Southern California,
Dr. Krupp seemingly rolled an entire semester's worth of fascinating
information into his evening presentation. Dr. Krupp's talk
centered on ancient (and not so ancient) mankind's effort
to control and use the Power surrounding him through rituals,
architecture, art, and worship. At one point Dr. Krupp dawned
a humorous wizard's robe and hat to make his point.
Because this was the 30th Anniversary
of the club, a large number of former presidents of the club
were in attendance including Bob Goff, Walt Clark, Bob Gill,
Helen Mahoney and Wayne Johnson.
As the cliche goes, "a good time
was had by all".
Jennifer Harris' presentation was highlighted with a
cornucopia of Mars photos, videos, and even 3-D images.
Fill in the caption: While the head table looks on club President
John Sanford buries his face in his hands saying "______________________".
Bob Goff and Ed "Big Eye" Beck mull over what changes
NASA would make if Ted Turner donated a billion dollars to
Dr. Krupp gave us a grand tour of mankind's legacy in controling
"Power" of the universe through ritual and the building of
Pick A Caption Contest
Which is the correct caption for this photo?
A. "Nothing Up My Sleeves"
B. "Just a quick nap before finishing my presentation"
C. Dr. Krupp dons his shaman's outfit while preparing
to invoke the Power of the Disney
D. Dr. Krupp putting on a wizard's cape as part of his
E. Example of why a photographer should take multiple
shots of a scene to avoid the embarrassment of being
forced to use a shot where the subject has his eyes
Hint: the last two are correct.
Denizens of Jupiter Ridge take take it all in.