OUR TWO AMBASSADORIALSCHOLARS at WVRC on May 20th.
MASAKI NAKODA led the Pledge. DR COLBY SMITH gave the Invocation. “Let us each reflect, according to our beliefs. We are thankful for our Rotary fellowship together and for the good fortune to be able to assist others. Let us also be thankful for the love and trust of our friends and family and think to ourselves; Is it our innate cunning, wit and talent that has given us our successes in life? Or has the patience and favor of those around us supported our efforts to pursue goals we would have otherwise thought impossible? COLBY, well done.
Yes, it was a close call, but we did survive the absence of LENNY for the song. However, his stand-in, RICK BROUS, still had to undergo the current description of the Song Leader in this case and its been obvious to all of us, of course RICK has always been interested in education. This produced a Graduation Cap, as shown off by Prexy ED, which was then advocated as the proper costume for RICK. With Memorial Day looming, he chose to take us through My Country Tis Of Thee, and we done downright good.
We had at least four Visiting Rotarians. One of them is a frequent visitor, Renato Romano, who belongs to the B.H. Club, and was accompanied by his wife, Alice, and I think she hangs her hat in the Valley somewhere. Janet Reboa and Paul Aslan were the other two, with Janet from B.H., and Paul from Rancho Park. Jack Paul was a Special Guest, sponsored by PP STEVE SCHERER and introduced by PP CHRIS BRADFORD. Our other Special Guest was Terry De Sousa, sponsored by the Newman clan and if the creeks don’t rise, both of them will become members next week! NICK KAHRILAS brought Pat Norton, who played football for UCLA and has been with us before. This led to the introduction of the Head Table, composed of P.E. GORDON FELL, STEVE PETTISE, and one of our Speakers, Binh Nguyen, plus Masaki Nakoda, another Speaker, and PP MIKE NEWMAN. It developed during this time that Prexy ED and P.E. GORDON both attended the recent District Conference, and according to one source, GORDON was photographed SEVEN times, while ED was only shot ONCE! However, this imbalance was corrected when the difference of six was multiplied by 10, thus creating a $60 fine for GORDON.
Prexy ED provided some highlights of last week’s District Conference, among them that he and STEVE PETTISE shared an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and ED JACKSON and Prexy ED played in the golf tournament, losing only 29 balls enroute. However, the political highlight was the tennis match between Prexy ED and incoming DG Doug Baker, which Prexy ED unashamededly threw, thus assuring WVRC of good relations with the aforementioned DG Baker. WVRC received 14 awards, and the two best Speakers were Ethicist Michael Josephson and R.I. Rep Wyn Spiller. We hosted the breakfast session on Sunday, providing each attendee a copy of MYRON TAYLOR’S The Four Way Test. Our recently-deceased members, SLOSSON VIAU, HOWARD HENKES, RICHARD ROBINSON and JACK HARRIS were remembered along with others. In summary, a great time was had by all and next year it will again be in Palm Springs, so save the date!
We were reminded that the Demotion Party is set for Saturday, June 26th at the Beach Club. Invitations are out, and speaking only for myself, I would remind Prexy ED that the event will be well attended, if for no other reason than to be sure there is no way he could remain in office! I believe this ‘surety effect’ was first exercised by the passing of some feared Hollywood Executive - those attending his service just to be sure he really was dead…
New Officers will be installed on Tuesday June 8th, at the home of SALLY BRANT. The new officers are Kathie Gauld and Eloise Siskel as co-presidents, Roz Nelson and Sook Heikkilla as co-vice presidents, Pat Anderson Recording Sect, Marie Rolf Corresponding Sect/Newsletter, Margie Downie Treasurer, and Marie Rolf, Advisor. Jessie Robinson will chair Hospitality, luncheon coordinators Eloise Siskel for Tuesday meetings and Kathie Gauld for Wednesday meetings, Shirley More Membership, Adell Quilico Nominations, Margie Downie Roster, Pauline Harris Thought for the Day coordinator, Pat Anderson Windmill/website coordinator, and Roz and Don Nelson 2010 Party preparations. 11:30 is starting time, and $20 is the cost to Margie Downie, please. Gordon Fell will discuss the coming year’s program, and all Westwood Rotarians and their spouses are invited. Peggy Bloomfield will direct the new officer installation ceremony. And over 30 Rotarians and spouses attended the Union Station visit and luncheon, which was coordinated by Shirley More. Happiness rice was a feature, with tomato-shrimp and swirls of spinach, and was enjoyed by all. But we’re not done yet! The 2010 Fun Party will be Saturday, August 28th, in the gardens of Peggy Bloomfield’s home. As noted above Roz and Don Nelson are coordinating this, so call them if you can help, please.
STEVE PETTISE introduced Binh Nguyen. She comes to us from Hanoi in Vietnam, where they don’t yet have any Rotary Clubs. However, she is sponsored by the Hawthorne RC here. She had a power point program, which illustrated her talk. Binh lives north of Hanoi, in an apartment with her husband and 2-year old son. Her family has always encouraged her dream of studying in the U.S., and they continue to provide motivation for her to strive harder in her experience in the U.S. She graduated from in International Economics from the Foreign Trade University, which was established in 1960. Her course at UCLA will lead to a certificate in Business Fundamentals, which is a 9-month course. When she returns to Vietnam she will once again be working for Ericsson Vietnam.
She is acting as an Ambassador of Goodwill through presentations to Rotary Clubs in District 5280. She hopes to bring about a better understanding in Rotary about Vietnam. At the same time, this will give her an opportunity to understand more about Rotary specifically and the U.S. generally. She believes there will soon be Rotary Clubs in Vietnam. Her hobbies include shopping, traveling, and dancing. She is really impressed with the overwhelming quantity and variety of goods in supermarkets as well as online stores here. She hopes that the Vietnamese market, with its 86 million residents, will draw more attention from American companies. This will provide Vietnamese consumers with more and better choices in goods and services. She can be reached, by the way, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PP MIKE NEWMAN briefly introduced Masaki Nakoda. MIKE is his sponsor, and Masaki now lives at Mike’s home in Westwood. Masaki had a power point presentation, which I will attempt to summarize. He grew up in a town located between Kamakura and Zuski, thus near the seacoast, in Japan. His sponsoring Rotary Club is Kawasaki Marine Rotary, and they have about 50 members. He had a slide showing one of their meetings, and with the flags in the background, it looked similar to WVRC. Masaki graduated from Waseda University, majoring in physics, with a side interest in automobile design. He describes himself as being entrepreneurial, doing design work, and he is also a backpacker, and has founded and works with a local soccer club. His other interests include board sailing, travel, and again, soccer.
His professor at UCLA is Benetri Pervogoulis, who is Greek (which explains his complicated name). His subject is artificial intelligence, and computers are of course a major tool in this area. Robots are what it provides. Other areas where it applies are aircraft and blimps, small boats, and independent cameras. He provided a brief history of the auto industry, which started in 1909 OVER 100 years ago! They were immediately superior to horses, since they were faster, and cheaper. And the immediate effect was to build roads and bridges, plus the birth of the oil industry and its infrastructure. As the auto developed it created social changes, among them the emergence of teenage drivers. Other areas where artificial intelligence will have a vastly expanding effect is in medicine, particularly surgery.
The first movie about AI was in 1927, Metropolis. A humanoid robot more and more resembles a human, and each movement has to be controlled, usually by different circuits. If you ask why the bioped resembles humans, the answer is that we have developed the best features of our being, and copying them makes the most sense. Essentially, robots are thus more maneuverable and can provide social interaction. As humans developed, they grew taller, as did robots, of course. Today they are being used in search and rescue operations, in art, and education. And of course we see drone aircraft, which is a branch of robotics, in action in our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This focus will lead to fewer and fewer humans, and more and more robots in future wars. In his opinion, Masaki believes that the eventual annual value of robots will be twelve trillion, which is what our present total economy provides. His contact number is (310) 736-0875. Masaki ended his presentation by thanking WVRC for our hospitality and interest in his time with us.
We thank Binh and Masaki for their help in knowing more about what they are studying here at UCLA. This was followed by the usual wine drawing, for a bottle of Kenwood Vintage red. This wine is reputed to be what the workers will drink at lunch breaks while remodling Pauley Pavillion, and it was won by MADISON GORTISAN.
Thought for the day:
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.