Mail 724 Monday, May 14, 2012
I just received word that Jay Kay Klein, THE photographer of science fiction, passed away on Sunday morning, May 13, in a Catholic hospice (a “Francis House”) in Syracuse, NY, at age 80, of esophageal cancer.
This sad news came to me today by phone from Craig Peterson, a local plumber and a great-souled man, whom Jay Kay originally hired to fix a bathroom faucet in his longtime home in Bridgeport, NY….and who then, miraculously, took it upon himself to become Jay Kay’s final friend, exactly what he needed, helping him with his constrained living situation (Jay Kay’s late wife had been a serious hoarder), plowing his driveway, and (all gods be thanked) helping him get his immense and precious collection of over 65,000 negatives of virtually everyone in our field over a 40-year+ period safely to the University of California’s Riverside Libraries Eaton Collection of SF & Fantasy.
Craig’s been going through Jay Kay’s address book all day, calling people like Fred Pohl, Bob Madle, and me. He tells me an exhibition and celebration of Jay Kay’s photos will be mounted at Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention (Aug 30-Sep 3), by Melissa Conway, the Head Librarian at Riverside Libraries, who now has charge of the collection.
He just forwarded me by email a copy of the obit notice he wrote up for Jay Kay. I attach it, and the photo he included of Jay with one of his own iconic photos of Isaac. (I’m not sure who took it. Craig, I think.) He also sent particulars for Melissa Conway, which I’ll paste below.
I met Jay Kay at one of Ben Bova’s legendary parties. I am attaching two photos he took of me—not that there’ll be any shortage of his photos in Locus’s archives! The first was taken shortly after I was introduced by Jim Baen to Robert A. Heinlein, before the 1975 Nebula Banquet at which Robert was given the first-ever Grandmaster Award; the second is a favorite shot of Jeanne congratulating me right after I received the Skylark at Boskone XV in 1978. (And just as I’m about to mail this, Craig sent along another shot I can’t resist including, of Jay Kay with what appears to be a rare photo of a beardless Samuel R. Delany.)
Craig mentioned that at one point while he was helping Jay Kay shovel through his wife’s incredible store of hoarded stuff, they found a small fortune in GM stock. Jay had had no idea it existed, and continued to live like a man of limited means. God knows what his treasure trove of photos is worth, even just in dollars.
Science fiction owes Craig Peterson an incalculable debt. It’s only thanks to his hard work those 65,000 negatives reached the right hands in time. I exchanged long snailmail letters with Jay Kay twice in the past couple of years, and knew he was in extremely poor health. He wrote by hand, because, he said, it hurt his fingers too much to type, and sadly his handwriting was incredibly bad. But I could tell he badly needed a friend, and made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to scare up a volunteer who lived near enough to help. I can’t express how happy I am to know that Fate sent Craig Peterson to fix Jay Kay’s bathtub faucet. I understand Jay Kay left Craig his awesome collection of vintage guitars, and I am very glad. He says they were the topic of the first conversation he and Jay Kay ever had, that day he came to fix the faucet.
Let’s hoist a glass in memory of Jay Kay Klein, my friends. I never left his company without a smile on my face. Somebody call Gordy, and Randall, and Ted, and Isaac, and we’ll all pass the guitar round in his honour. Science fiction’s most acute and astute eye has closed for the last time. But what it saw, we have forever, thanks to photography and the kindness of Craig Peterson.
I first met Jay K in Seattle in 1961, and we were convention friends for years after. I have a number of photographs that he took. One, of me and Mr. Heinlein, hangs on my stairway and is a prized possession. My thanks to Spider Robinson for this.
From the horse’s mouth – why the CAS mission should chop to the Army.
Commenting about the forthcoming NSA facility in Utah.
"The $2 billion facility, slated to be complete by September 2013, is allegedly designed to be able to filter through yottabytes (that’s 10^24 bytes) of data. Put into perspective, that’s greater than the estimated total of all human knowledge since the dawn of mankind. If leaked information about the complex is correct, nothing will be safe from the facility’s reach, from cell phone communications to emails to what you just bought with your credit card. And encryption won’t protect you – one of the facility’s priorities is breaking even the most complex of codes."
And look what is happening to Bones…
I am given to understand that there are encryptions that will require times long relative to the age of the universe to crack by brute force. Perhaps I am misinformed?
$20 Bribe for Janissaries Book 4
Dear Mr. Pournelle,
I’m a big fan. I first read the Janissaries series when I was a kid. I’m 31. That may seem young, but not when measured in decades waiting for a book.
I’m a big enough fan that I have, quite literally, invented a new business model to incentivize the authors I like to publish the books I like. It’s called u-Wish, and the website is u-Wish.com. I launched just last week. The idea is that fans can pledge money to fulfill wishes — for instance, getting a book they like published. They don’t pay anything unless and until the wish actually comes true — for instance, you actually publish the book.
If you fulfill the terms of the wish, the pledged amount is charged and transferred to you. In other words, everyone wins. Your most ardent fans to pay a premium to incentivize you to do what they want. You have a guaranteed payday, in addition to whatever you get from a publisher, and in addition to whatever you get from sales. Basically, it’s free money. I have personally pledged $20 for the sequel to be published by 2013. If you do that, then u-Wish sends you a check for $20. If more people pledged between now and then, well then you get whatever has been pledged.
I will be promoting the wish regardless, because I want it to happen. But no one has better access to your fans than you do. And if you promote it, i’m sure the wish will get a lot more traction.
If you have any questions about the concept, please call or email me. Phone is [redacted-Ed].
(CEO and founder of u-Wish).
An intriguing idea. This is the first I have heard of it. I am plugging away on the book. I admit this is a titillating incentive…
My science writer colleague Mitch Waldrup writes:
My apologies in advance for the group email — with double apologies for those of you who get this message more than once.
Once again, I am running the Marine Corps Marathon with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT). Until last year I had alway been a cyclist and occasional swimmer, never a runner. But then I got it into my head that this was something I wanted to do while I was still healthy and strong enough to consider it. When I first started training just a year ago, when a mile seemed like an epic run, it didn’t seem possible that I would ever make the finish line. But I did. And when it was all over, I felt such a high that I didn’t want to let it go. So here I am again — this time running with my wife, Amy Friedlander, on Team Amy and Mitch.
The larger purpose, of course, is to support LLS in its mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. My grandmother, Lucile Rabun, died of lymphoma, and Amy’s mother, Dorothy Friedlander, died of a rare variant. So we are running in their memory.
Please make a donation in support of our efforts at our team web site, http://pages.teamintraining.org/nca/corps12/teamamyandmitch <http://pages.teamintraining.org/nca/corps12/teamamyandmitch> .
Thank you so much.
"The Lovitz Curve"
this is great.
New word in my vocabulary
Thanks to Roland Dobbins, I now have a new word in my vocabulary: Holitburo. Hollywood political bureau = holitburo. Sheer genius, Mr Dobbins.
What do we make of this?
This is crazy; if it is true, what would it mean? Three times this thing pops up on cameras? Someone is splicing UFOs into the camera as a joke or something is up… What do you think?
Joshua Jordan, KSC
I think I have been seeing stories like this all my life. When Close Encounters of the Third Kind did its world opening, NBC decided to have a science fiction panel see the movie and then discuss it. Participants were Niven and me, Harlan Ellison, Ted Sturgeon, and I suspect there were a couple of others but that’s all I remember. We sat just behind the Director and several big names in the TV industry, and when the mashed potatoes scene came on and went on and on — :This means something” – Niven, said, in a voice that could be heard throughout the Dome, “Clearly the man is not entirely sane,” Followed by loud laughter, followed by a considerable cut in that scene before the moview was released,
Anyway in the panel afterwards Ted Sturgeon announced that he had been following flying saucer stories for years, and was now going to hold out for wreckage and bodies. Show me wreckage and bodies. Anything else I’ve seen before and it never worked out.
I am not quite that adamant, but I do have good reasons for doubting that the United States has any alien space technology kept in secret places like Wright Patterson, I wrote all that in the preface to Karl Pflock’s book on Roswell. Pflock, a true believer in UFO;s obtained a grant to write a book showing that the Roswell incident proved the existence of UFS’s — and, to his horror and disappointment, found that there was a truth and something of a secret, but it had nothing to do with UFO’s. It’s all in Pflock’
"For those who don’t know, this confirmation extends down to the lowest ranking commissioned officers in the armed forces. That is more or less ceremonial now in so far as it affects ensigns and lieutenants, but it’s fairly vital when it comes to flag ranks."
They might not have done it any differently if they had foreseen the size of the country’s future military but it would be interesting to know what else they would have done differently if allowed a glimpse of how the country has turned out.
A&D Matures Layer-by-Layer 3D Digital Manufacturing
Aviation Week & Space Technology May07 , 2012 , p. 48
“Additive manufacturing— producing parts layer by layer direct from digital models —is moving into aerospace. Three-dimensional printing is widely used for rapid prototyping with polymer materials , but technologies for additive manufacturing with aerospace metals are maturing. Working with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce , Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology has developed a technique to produce bladed compressor disks—blisks—using a laser beam to melt nickel- or titanium-based alloy powder and build the blades layer by layer , reducing material use by up to 60% and manufacturing time around 30% compared with machining blisks from solid metal . Working with Lockheed Martin, Chicago-based Sciaky is developing the capability to produce titanium structural components for the F-35 using electron-beam direct manufacturing . Sciaky and additive-manufacturing system makers EOS and Optomec are working with Pennsylvania State University’s Applied Research Laboratory to establish a manufacturing demonstration center for the U.S. Defense Advanced ResearchProjects Agency to develop and promote direct-digital manufacturing technology.”
I remember reading an SF story about this kind of stuff, 40-50 years ago. Now it’s coming true. Hey. Ya wanna build an airplane in your garage?
I continue to examine 3d printing technology. It’s amazing.
Subj: Charles Murray: The view from ground level in working-class America
I am very much an admirer of Charles Murray. We correspond, infrequently as neither of us has enough time.
Subject: A rare privilege
Jerry, here’s a story I think you’ll love about a gate guard who was given the rare privilege of drawing his side arm because a sergeant didn’t understand that the gate guard outranks everybody. Not once, as you’ll see, but twice:
I wandered off the route I was supposed to take across Henderson Field one day in late 1951. I was challenged by SAC security forces and treated – let us say professionally. I was on my way home from the Far East at the time and the plane, which lost a cowling piece at Wake Island and kept us stuck there for a couple of days while it was repaired (a bleaker place to be stranded would be hard to imagine other than the cartoonish desert island). Apparently our plane wasn’t where it was supposed to be, and we were not supposed to wander past the B-47’s over on one side. I suspect now I know why…
Subject: Farenheit 451 anyone?
Cut 15% of teachers and give the rest a 14K bonus/.
….The Oconomowoc plan is to cut the number of high school teachers from 75 to 60, but not to cut what is offered or increase class size. "This is a plan that really puts first what’s best for the kids," said Joseph Moylan, the high school principal.
The plan calls for most teachers to teach four blocks a day. Add on all the other things that need to be done as part of good teaching, and it’s a formidable schedule – impossible, some would say.
A big trade-off: Oconomowoc is planning to offer teachers with four-block loads $14,000 a year extra. That would mean the starting salary at the high school would be just over $50,000; the top salary would be in the mid-$80,000s. (Even with that, the reduction in staff will mean savings of over $500,000.)……
.I would like to see that tried.
Solar quiet spell like the one now looming cooled climate in the past,
Solar quiet spell like the one now looming cooled climate in the past:
Ice skating on the Thames, anyone?
And yet we see signs of enormous storms on the Sun. None of this is easily predicted. I fear a859 sized solar storms…
Herman Kahn’s _Techniques of Systems Analysis_ is also available online, for free, from RAND:
And if you take the "Browse by Author" link at the left side of that page, and look for Kahn, Herman, you’ll find a bunch more interesting-looking titles.
If I have not said it clearly before, I consider Herman Kahn’s Techniques of Systems Analysis one of the most valuable books an aspiring systems analyst must read. It is at that graduate level and assumes a working knowledge of calculus; and it explains what systems analysis / operations research is all about, why one would do it, and gives examples. If you are ever stuck in the logistics business, or the analysis business, or even the strategy business, and you have not read Herman;s book, go do so immediately. Then read it again, because you won’t have got some of his better points the first time, but they’ll be more apparent after you get through to the end. If you know calculus, read this book.
Subject: April jobs report: Hiring slows, unemployment falls
“….the unemployment rate fell to 8.1% as 342,000 workers dropped out of the labor force. At 63.6%, the portion of the adult population participating in the job market is now at its lowest level since 1981 <http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/03/news/economy/unemployment-rate/index.htm?iid=EL> ….”