[See below for previous issues]

OUSFG Newsletter

Hilary Term 2002 AD*

*(Date of publication. Any members reading this newsletter through a timewarp have no right of legal redress for inaccurate dating.)

Contents Of Terror[1]

  1. Contents... "Recursion's a powerful mathematical concept."
  2. New Committee of Terror[2]... "Most of them wanted to suck out our brains."
  3. Context Quotes..... "You can say it, but it's not French."
  4. Ramblings of A Semi-sentient Newsletter... "Nothing and nobody in the world can stop me now!"
  5. Blank Page.....................
  6. Pets Corner........... "Hello, Gerbilsoc?"
  7. Printing Error..... "Move along, nothing to see here."
  8. Pests Corner........... "Hi, I'm a tourist."
  9. Advertisement....................
  10. Pedant's Corner............ "Hello, Ian/Tom!"
  11. Editorial...... "All Praise to the Bewildered One!"
  12. Termcard......."WARNING: Do not stick to face."
  13. Venues....... "Maybe someday we will find the cities of gold."

[1] Terror Optional.
[2] Terror Compulsory.

New OUSFG Committee

Effective[1] 18th February 2002

"You'll take power from our cold dead hands!"
-Thomas W. Anderson, shortly before surrendering the Treasury to Lyndsey.
Mike Froggatt
Angharad Green
Lyndsey Pickup
Newsletter Editor
William Ramsden
Speaker to Animals
Niall Harrison
Video Representative [2]
William Ramsden
Alex `n' Archie
Beard of OUSFG
Alex Cameron
Ghost in the Machine
Tim Adye
Dead Hand of the Past
Niall Harrison
Gideon Nisbet, Damian Cugley, and Duncan Martin
Chief of Special Projects
Thomas W. Anderson
The Haggard One
Tim Adye
Genital Piercing Officer
Zanussi (Thomas W. Anderson)
[1] Allegedly.
[2] Who arranges the presence of appropriate videos at video meetings, not who ensures that the views of videos are fairly represented in the society.

Context Quotes:

"I think, in that case, we just have to kill the chair." -Alex Williams

"This is fondling, not insertion." -Duncan Martin

"We don't advocate constitutional rape, do we?" -Alex Williams

"The definition of `fondle' means `to update'." -Niall Harrison

"The dissenting voices have to be louder." -Ian Snell

"It all depends on keeping the joystick straight." -Alex Cameron

"It's a monitor lizard, but it doesn't sit on top of a monitor." -Lyndsey Pickup

"...general acclaim."
"Isn't he the villain out of `Highlander II'?" -Jo Charman and Thomas W. Anderson

"We can sell any of the other Rings of Power." -Ian Snell

"Sauron might have been standing there and just said: `Ooh, cool!'" -Ian Snell

"The biology of Star Trek: sounds dodgy." -Alex Cameron

"The newsletter will be in the Gerbils." -Lyndsey Pickup

"Democracy is optional." -Ian Snell/Alex Cameron

"Would you mind waiting for twenty minutes whilst I survey Lyndsey?" -Niall Harrison

Ramblings of a Semi-sentient Newsletter

Hi there, this is your newsletter speaking! You know, the several sheets of A4 paper fetchingly arranged in a landscape format and stapled together so as to look cunningly like a book? (Hint: If you are seeing these words then you are probably looking at me now.)

Just thought I'd ask how you're enjoying reading me, and to remind you to have a read of my elder, and more sentient brother, the Constitution, sometime. Apparently it contains a really, really good recipe for Lemon Curry...

Anyway, the other day I was floating above Christchurch College, as you do when you're a semi-sentient conceptual life-form whose concept hasn't yet been inaugurated, and it suddenly occurred to me that this whole notion of dimensional transcendentalism isn't maybe as way-out as a lot of you scientists seem to think. After all, you don't question the idea of a thinking newsletter, do you? (Hint: Even thinking `yes' in response to this question may cause me to self-destruct, thereby removing several of your more important fingers.) What would physicists and biologists across the world actually say if a fleet of spaceships, travelling faster than light by the simple medium of `going faster' turned up on our doorstep, screeched to a noisy halt in Outer Space, then came down and said `Hi', revealing themselves to be, in fact, giant robot mice? "Oops, sorry," would seem to be a good answer. Well, this is the tale of that terrible, tragic day. Or it would be, if it had happened. Hold, please...

Anyway, the other other day I was... hoi, stop picking your nose! Tut, disgusting habit. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes... Anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway, giraffe.




[1] Any injuries you sustain whilst turning over are your responsibility.

Pets' Corner


THIS IS A PRINTING ERROR. Please ignore it and it will go away. If you speak to it, or in anyway consciously acknowledge its existence, it will feel honour-bound to attack the Earth with a fleet of warships and reduce the entire Homeworld to a smoking heap of burning rubble. By reading this far you have thus single-handedly brought about the eventual fall of human civilisation, and death on a massive scale. Thanks a lot.

Pests' Corner





Kills all known life-forms!
Time- the gods' cleanser!
100% death rate, or your money back.

"I liked it so much I bought the company! Heh-heh-heh!" -James Stoker

"Time is fun and easy to use" -Tim Adye

OUSFG is not responsible for any injuries caused by use or misuse of products promoted by our advertiser.

Pedant's Corner:

Sample Pedantry: (`Tom' type)

on the constitution: it wouldn't be in the mess it is today if Ian hadn't got his meddling hands on it.

on life and the universe: nothing to see here, move along please.

Why Pedantry is Good:

Today, we're going to talk about pedantry. Now, you may think, "I know all about pedantry; I go to OUSFG." Incidentally, James, it's `Ooh-su-fu-g', and I'd give the phonetic pronounciation if only I could find it on this trice-damned pro-science biased Word. However, let's just imagine what life would be like if we didn't have pedants. Well, for a start, very few people would be able to tell the difference between `The man ate the sausages' and `The sausages ate the man', if no one was in the least pedantic about word order. In German, the same would apply if no one was pedantic over cases. And before someone dismisses that as a silly example, it seems to me quite feasible that, given that in this instance, the word order doesn't usually affect the meaning of the sentence, it could be argued that making a fuss about someone saying `The sausages ate the man' was unnecessarily pedantic. After all, sausages are inanimate. This is all very well until either a) people start hypercorrecting similar sentences involving wild boar, or b) Niall or Tom succeed in creating All Terrain Assault Sausages. So, grammatically, pedantry is vital, since once we've lost those distinctions, it's almost if not entirely impossible to get them back again.

What about moving beyond grammar though? This is what the Online Oxford English Dictionary says about `pedant':

2. A person who overrates book-learning or technical knowledge, or displays it unduly or unseasonably; one who has mere learning untempered by practical judgement and knowledge of affairs; one who lays excessive stress upon trifling details of knowledge or upon strict adherence to formal rules; sometimes, one who is possessed by a theory and insists on applying it in all cases without discrimination, a doctrinaire.

In short, someone who looks at details. "Excessive stress upon trifling details of knowledge or upon strict adherence to formal rules" sounds like a rather good quality, for at least a certain amount of the population. Pedants are therefore vital in any technical job, in writing, certainly in script editing, proof-reading, accounting, film or television making, medical work... the list goes on.

W.J. Ramsden


Well, and here we are. Welcome to the first OUSFG newsletter to be produced under my inexpert hand, and possibly the last to ever include the words `Alien Flying Zebedee Space Monster from the Nineth Circle of Hell' in that order. The society has just had its AGM, which means that we now have a shiny new Committee, untainted by allegations of sleaze, corruption, or bewilderment. Under their expert guidance I feel sure that, in the coming year, the society will finally succeed in its long-held objective of conquering spaaace.

You hold in your hand a newsletter which has been the result of a mayfly's lifetime of toil and hardwork. This mayfly has now gone to a better place. It is my sincerely held hope that you will all enjoy the fantastic free gift enclosed with this issue- one Hydrogen Atom! Remember, if you and another friend with a hydrogen atom can find someone with an oxygen atom as well, then you can make an Molecule of Water! Ace! If you think your Free Atom has become detached or damaged during transit then please ask your Porters' Lodge or Postman, and they will be happy to provide you with another one free of charge.

Please do play with your atom sensibly, and whatever you do, don't split it.

The big thing coming up this term is the banquet, which is now over, unless you can pay Tim to send you back into the past. The big thing coming up next term is the Punt Party. The exact date of this will be announced nearer the time, but will probably be a Saturday, with the Punt Party Writers' Meeting taking place the night before, and going on... and on... and on... Please, please, feel free to come up with plot ideas. Let's try and make it at least half-way coherent this year, shall we? Oh, and let's have a big hand for our best punters. Let's have the big hand swing round and knock them off the punts into the Cherwell.

Enjoy your newsletter and remember, OUSFG: You make it what it is.

W.J. Ramsden.

Termcard: Hilary 2002

Every Sunday: Library Meetings from 8pm. Library is moving from 3 Venables Close to Alex'n'Archie's Non-Secret Non-Underground Non-Lair.

Other Meetings

Other Meetings
16 Jan  1st Week Wednesday Videos The Shining and Ghostbusters
23 Jan  2nd Week Wednesday Silly Games
30 Jan  3rd Week Wednesday Videos Pitch Black and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
2 Feb  Saturday SF Film Con?
6 Feb  4th Week Wednesday Videos The Thirteenth Floor and Spy Kids
9 Feb  Saturday PicoCon
13 Feb  5th Week Wednesday Author Adam Roberts
16 Feb  Saturday Banquet
20 Feb  6th Week Wednesday Discussion Obscure Pick Reviews
23 Feb  Saturday Videos Reboot
27 Feb  7th Week Wednesday Videos Ginger Snaps and Shrek
6 Mar  8th Week Wednesday Discussion Mike - Apocalypses

Wednesday Discussion and Author meetings start at 8pm in the Blue Boar Room of Christ Church College (on St Aldates; see map). Ask the porter or one of the men in bowler hats for the door code for the locked door halfway to the room.

Wednesday Video meetings start promptly at 8pm; gather at 7:30pm to avoid missing the start. These take place in the St John's College (on St Giles; see map) JCR video room.

The Banquet will be held on Saturday of 5th Week (16 Feb) in Balliol Hall. We meet at 7:30pm in The Massey Room (drinks reception), with the banquet starting at 8pm.

Please note that the fact that more than half this Termcard is out of date is the reader's responsibility. Kindly read this newsletter in a more sensible time period.


You've heard the when, now for the where. As for the why, for that you must search in your own hearts.

St John's Video Meetings: Either gather inside the archway by St John's College Porters' Lodge at around 7:55pm, or go straight to the JCR Video Room, if you know the way. Be prepared to fend off hordes of Militant Buddhists trying to steal the room.

Library Meetings:These, bar the meeting at the start of Seventh Week, which will largely consist of Library moving manoeuvres, will now be based at Alex `n' Archie's house in Cranham Street. It is, for those who have avoided it so far, located behind a rectangular red door numbered `48', and is reached by going on past the Radcliffe Arms, past another pub, upon the right side of the road.

Discussion Meetings: Go to Christchurch College, go through the arch at the left rear corner of the front quad, go to the door you can see directly ahead of you and howl at the moon until a Christchurch student (they're the ones with the horns and tridents) punches in the code and lets you through. If you can, take note of the code and tell OUSFG. Then go through the building, out into the hidden quad, turn left, across the plain, down a flight of steps and input the same code into the door marked `Seminar Room'. If you still don't know the code, bang on the basement windows of the room to the left of the door. Once you're in, turn left and say `hi' to OUSFG.

Space:We have not yet scheduled any meetings in space. Should we do so your wisest course of action is to hijack a Shuttle. [IMPORTANT: Do not leave ship without spacesuit unless you are in possession of three or more immortality points.]

Jeune Street:Go along the High Street until you cross the bridge. [IMPORTANT: Do not jump in the river- this does not lead to Ian and Ruth's] Then proceed along the right hand side of Iffley Road until you reach a turning labelled `Jeune Street'. Go to the correct numbered house and knock.


"Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh." -James Stoker

"You'll take power from our cold dead hands!" -Thomas W. Anderson

"It is a capitalist enemy of the people." -Vlad Ilyich Ulyanov

"Back! I am a servant of the Secret Fire; You shall not pass!" -Gandalf the Grey

"You are not dead. I am not a weird angel. I am a Transformer." -Megatron

Some Old Newsletters

Here are some random newsletters from the ancient and revered days when OUSFG had cyberpresidents. 'Txixt then and now, while an OUSFG president has been just the thing if you want to know exactly what is meant by a metonym, they are unlikely to be good companions on the infobahn. Today, we can announce a great step forward: a literate cybercommittee! This is just what one would want from the forward-looking SF group that brought you Sfinx and the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy. Mark my words: in a couple of years' time, everyone will be hopping on the cybermetonym bandwagon.
HTML 4.0 Checked... Best viewed with ANY browser! http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ousfg/misc/newsletter-02ht1.html last modified 4th March 2002 by
William Ramsden, <william.ramsden@st-johns.oxford.ac.uk>
and formatted for the web on 9th June 2002 by
Tim Adye, <T.J.Adye@rl.ac.uk>