[See below for previous issues]
 Terror Optional.
 Terror Compulsory.
"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
"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
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.
PLEASE TURN OVER
 Any injuries you sustain whilst turning over are your responsibility.
THIS PAGE HAS BEEN TREATED WITH CERTAIN PHEROMONES, UNDETECTABLE TO THE HUMAN OLFACTORY SYSTEM, WHICH WILL ALLOW ANY GERBIL TO LEARN THE OUSFG CONSTITUTION OFF BY HEART AS HE OR SHE EATS THE PAGE.
PLEASE PLACE THIS PAGE OF THE NEWSLETTER IN THE
CORNER OF A ROOM AND FORCE ANY ANNOYING PEOPLE WHO COME TO VISIT TO STAND
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.
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.
Every Sunday: Library Meetings from 8pm. Library is moving from 3 Venables Close to Alex'n'Archie's Non-Secret Non-Underground Non-Lair.
|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|
|13 Feb||5th Week||Wednesday||Author||Adam Roberts|
|20 Feb||6th Week||Wednesday||Discussion||Obscure Pick Reviews|
|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