¡Rábanos Radiactivos!

Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2203rd Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3651, August 2,2007.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:fredpatten@earthlink.net

Nippon 2007 in 2007! Denvention 3 in 2008! Salamander Press #2686


Last Tuesday my sister Sherrill brought me to her apartment again. I caught up with more of the fanzines that had been sent to me during the previous six months, and we watched a Philo Vance murder mystery, The Kennel Murder Case (1933), and episodes of Azumanga Daioh on her TV.

Last Thursday Michael Burlake brought me to the LASFS meeting, which was a "double 50 celebration" - LASFS meeting #3650, and Mike Glyer's File 770 #150. Three birthdays were also celebrated (Ed Green, Tom Safer, and Bugs Bunny), two of which were also Saints' Weeks, with a yummy chocolate birthday cake (I got two pieces). Karl Lembke brought me three books from the L.A. County Library. I offered Marty Cantor one of the more humorous 1910 proposals for the new Portuguese national flag that I thought might amuse LASFen, as an Apa L cover - the "something for everyone" conglomeration with a crown, a liberty cap, a general's cap, a sailor's cap, a civilian homburg, stars & comets, a cannon, an anchor, an arrow, a fasces, the traditional Portuguese Order of Christ cross, and the ancient Portuguese coat of arms (five shields with five silver studs each) as a modern hand of cards (four fives surrounding the ace of hearts) -- but he said that Apa L is well supplied with covers for the foreseeable future. Long obituaries were given for Roy Lavender, who died the previous week, and for Jerry Bixby, who died in 1998 (I did not catch why we were honoring Bixby at this time), and a short obituary for animator David Hilberman. I was asked to say something for Tom Safer's Saint's Week, but I could not think of anything that I had not said in previous years, so I added to the short obit for David Hilberman. Mike Glyer handed out a boxful of copies of File 770 #150 to celebrate its occasion. There were lots of reviews of the final Harry Potter novel, but since the reviewers were instructed to avoid any spoilers, none of them amounted to much more than that it was flawed but was still a satisfactory conclusion to the series. What with the long obituaries, the long reviews, and a long auction, we had to leave as soon as the meeting ended before the program of Bugs Bunny cartoons began.

I spent Saturday afternoon & evening at Sherry's apartment again, mostly working on a new review for Anthro and printing out on Sherry's printer my recent reviews for The Flipbook. Animation World Magazine published my first review for them since I had my stroke, of The Anime Encyclopedia (Revised and Expanded Edition). I listened to a review music CD from Geneon that I don't really understand being sent; Penalty Life by The Pillows, a Japanese rock trio something like The Monkees. If you like The Monkees' style of music enough that you would enjoy a sort-of imitation of it with Japanese lyrics (I do, enough to keep this), you will probably enjoy Penalty Life (40 minutes) -- but I have never claimed to be a reviewer of Japanese pop music. (I see from the Internet that The Pillows had an American tour in 2005, the year this CD was released in America, and they have an anime tie-in because they did the music for the anime hit FLCL; but looking at the Internet reviews of Penalty Life which analyze it in terms of the 2005 alternative rock music scene, I would be totally out of my depth to say more than that it sorta reminds me of The Monkees. Geneon's CD blurb: "The Pillows have done hard time with their recent album, "PENALTY LIFE," and it's finally breaking out to the U.S.! Known for their definitive, hard J-rocking, frenetic punk style music to the smash anime hit, 'Fooly Cooly,' the trio of Sawao Yamanaka, Sato Shinichirou and Manabe Yoshiaki provide another reckless, exhilarating ride, powering their way through 11 new song tracks, layered with incendiary guitar play over a rock-out and shout, breakneck beat. Clench your fist, bob your head and start dancing to this full-length album, featuring songs such as "Terminal Heaven's Rock," "Dead Stock Paradise (sung in English)" and more.") We got a Chinese take-out dinner delivered, and watched The Casino Murder Case (1935), which I found most interesting because Sgt. Heath (who had been played by Eugene Pallette in the two previous Philo Vance movies) was played by Ted Healy; the only movie I have ever seen him in. Healy is notorious as the vaudevillian straight-man lead of Ted Healy and His Three Stooges who, after becoming a Hollywood actor at the dawn of the talkies, got rid of his slapstick partners because they were cramping his rise to solo stardom. Based on his hammy clowning in The Casino Murder Case, Healy would have never gotten near stardom on his own even if he had not been killed in a drunken brawl (which he started) at the Trocadero two years later.

On Monday I was back at Sherry's apartment. It really is much easier to write at my tabletop iMac while sitting at my desk there than on my MacBook laptop on my stomach in my hospital bed. We went out for dinner at Marie Callendar's.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Vanamonde #741 - (Hertz) My elementary school teachers had us use pencils, and pens with scratchy iron nibs that we had to keep dipping in inkwells. I cannot remember whether ballpoint pens first appeared during my upper elementary school or junior high years, but I do remember the teachers banning them - Papermates -- because their ink blobbed and smeared all over everything.

Godzilla Verses #150 -- (DeChancie) So there was another #150 to celebrate last week. ## Harry Warner's fanzine collection was apparently much smaller than Bruce Pelz's fanzine collection, so it is debatable as to which should be the ninth wonder of the modern world. Pelz sought out fanzines to build up his collection, while Warner's collection grew from fanzines sent individually to him over the decades. ## Well, Walt Kelly's daughter attends the furry conventions that make her a guest-of-honor and pay her expenses, anyhow.

De Jueves #1541 - (Moffatts) When I watched the movie Suddenly (1954) a couple of weeks ago, I had remembered that Frank Sinatra and Sterling Hayden were the main stars, but I had forgotten that Paul Frees had a major supporting role as one of Sinatra's two gangster henchmen. It is the only movie that I can remember Frees actually appearing in rather than providing a background or cartoon voice for. Very enlightening. ## In the 1920s Portugal did not print its own paper money. Most countries had their paper money and postage stamps printed by one of the few companies in the world with the most advanced and highest-security printing presses: the American Bank Note Company in New York, Thomas de la Rue in London, Gesiecke & Devrient in Munich, and a few others. Portugal's banknotes were printed by Messrs. Waterlow & Sons, Ltd. of London, in the name of the Bank of Portugal in Lisbon, which put them into circulation. What Alves Reis did was to forge credentials identifying himself and his henchman, Marang van Ysselvere, as top-ranking executives of the Bank of Portugal and go to Sir William Waterlow in London on a "secret mission" to have them print the extra currency to save Portugal in a crisis with its colony of Angola. Some accounts say Alves Reis counted on the Waterlow executives' sense of apathy towards Portugal's frequent changes in governmental ministries to not examine his credentials more closely. To quote snippets from the lengthy The Effects of The 1925 Portuguese Bank Note Crisis, by Henry Wigan: "Between 1910 and 1926 there were 9 presidents, 45 ministries, 25 uprisings and 3 short-lived dictatorships. In the period 1920-1925 alone there were 325 bomb incidents." [...] "Reis referred to the project as an official, but highly secret, Bank of Portugal effort to provide a loan of £1.3m to Angola, at a 2% commission if arranged to the Bank's satisfaction. Alves Reis persuaded both the printers and his collaborators that, since the Bank of Portugal directors were bitterly divided over the whole deal, it had to be done with the utmost secrecy and that he was to be the sole intermediary between the printers and the Bank." Another website says: "The Bank of Portugal sued Waterlow and Sons, and finally won, the case being settled in the House of Lords in 1932." Returning to Wigan: "In the Bank Note Case trial of 1932, Mr Justice Wright referred to the elaborate fraud as 'unparalleled in the history of commercial swindles.' A Law Lord referred to 'the dramatic circumstances of a crime for which in the ingenuity and audacity of its conception and execution it would be difficult to find a parallel.'" [...] "It goes without saying that Waterlow's incompetence played a pivotal role in facilitating Reis's plan." Switching to the final judgment of the case, Banco de Portugal v. Waterlow and Sons, Ltd. (1932), "In the course of 1925 Messrs. Waterlow, as it has been found by the Courts below, and as they admitted on appeal, were guilty of a breach of an absolute duty to the Bank under the contracts referred to, because, without authority from or the knowledge of the Bank, they printed and delivered to one Marang van Ysselvere 580,000 notes of 500 escudos of the Vasco da Gama type. Marang was one of a group of criminals, among whom was the Portuguese Minister at the Hague. The criminals having obtained the notes from the Messrs. Waterlow introduced them into Portugal and proceeded to put a very large number of them into circulation there. [...] Sir William Waterlow, accompanied by two other of his directors, had interviews with Colonel Lucas in London, who was acting on behalf of the Bank, and eventually left for Lisbon, where he arrived upon December 13. Meantime the Bank had been exchanging the notes in the way above mentioned. It ought here to be said that no suggestion has been made or can be made, against the honesty of Messrs. Waterlow. They were, just as much as the Bank was, victims of Marang's fraud; but when Sir William Waterlow arrived in Lisbon he was an object of suspicion (as indeed the Directors of the Bank themselves had been) and was for a time kept at arm's length, [...]" (http://law.ato.gov.au/atolaw/view.htm?locid='JUD/*1932*1AC452/ftF1') (The British trial named Marang as the main criminal because he had been the front man who had appeared at the Waterlow offices in London; but the Portuguese courts concentrated on Alves Reis as the organizer and head of the conspiracy.) Sir William Waterlow was never considered personally criminally guilty, but his reputation was pretty well ruined. In 1961 Waterlow and Sons was acquired by the De La Rue Company, whose website claims they today print the paper currency for over 150 countries.

There Are Only Wasted Words In These Two Spaces - (Cantor) Your assessment of the LASFS' executive disinterest in the Westercon is troubling. Has the LASFS received copies of the latest Westercon Program Book to see if the Westercon's Bylaws are printed in it as required? Is the LASFS Board of Directors following the 2008 and 2009 Westercons closely enough to be reasonably sure they will be held as required, including publishing the Bylaws in their Program Books and, I believe, making sure that the names on the membership badges are printed in a required size? There have been complaints in the recent past that these requirements were ignored, &/or that nobody ever made sure that the individual Westercon Committees knew about them.

S.F.F.A.M. #500 - (Merrigan) "Authorities", or at least Internet posters, seem to be divided as to whether the "real" Dracula, Vlad Tepes, was Vlad III or Vlad IV.

I Ideograph Zebras - (Gold) I enjoyed Pullman's The Golden Compass and its two sequels very much, although the name of the trilogy is His Dark Materials. ## There is a detailed illustration of the "counterfeit" 1925 Portuguese 500 escudo banknote at http://africanbanknotes.com/jan07/Alves%20Ries13050.htm, which shows that its serial numbers had only five digits. In fact Waterlow warned that it could not print the additional quantity of banknotes that Alves Reis wanted because they would exceed the range of serial numbers. Alves Reis told Waterlow to go ahead and duplicate some numbers because the new notes would only be used in Angola where they would not conflict with the notes in Portugal. The courts considered this extremely suspicious instruction as significant evidence that Waterlow should have checked Alves Reis' bogus credentials more closely. Of course, Alves Reis began circulating the new notes in Portugal, gambling that any investigators of the sudden flood of 500 escudos bills would concentrate on examining them for evidence of phony printing plates, which they would never find because they were printed from the genuine plates; and that nobody would notice that some serial numbers were duplicates. ## Valhalla was never a Disney film; its studio just hired a number of Disney animators to give it a high-quality animation look. The animation studio was Swan Film Productions A/S in Copenhagen, which declared bankruptcy in 1987, the year after its release. Many of the animators got together in 1988 to start a new studio without the incompetent old management, A. Film A/S, which has been quite successful both in producing original Danish animated features and in subcontracting parts of foreign features like Balto and All Dogs Go to Heaven II (U.S.), Felidae (Germany), Asterix and the Vikings (France), and El Cid: The Legend (Spain). One of its movies, Help! I'm a Fish, was shown a couple of weekends ago at the New York International Children's Film Festival. ## Presumably ballpoint pens were a lot more efficient by the time you went to grade school.

Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) Thanks for the reprint of "Robert A. Heinlein's Legacy" from The Wall Street Journal.

Jul-Aug 2007 - (CLJII) Benito Mussolini, 1883-1848? Elizabeth the Queen Mother. 1990-2002?

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