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Memo to Signatories, December 2007
from Founder and Chief Scientist Allen Tough
and Principal Investigator H. Paul Shuch

Dear Signatories,

As 2007 draws to a close, we wanted to bring you up to date on happenings in our personal lives, within our families, and with our Invitation to ETI project.

Allen began the year 2007 by vowing that it would be better than 2006. No more "head first" falls, no more interaction with paramedics, no more trips to the Emergency department. So far, he has been 100% successful. Multiple System Atrophy is a challenge to live with, but a truce seems to have been achieved this year.

Cathy and Allen are happy to report that his children (both Signatories to the Invitation to ETI) are settled with very fine partners. Susan and Russell are experimenting with car-free life and the Hundred-Mile Diet in Winnipeg. Videos of Paul and Paula's moving and inspiring wedding are on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPC66YIzRUE and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLSId85FhkE. They were married on the top of a cliff on Long Island, with the ocean in the background. Allen and Anne Tough also had a celebration party for them in Toronto.

Other items, too, on the web might interest you. We revised and integrated the years from 2002 to 2007 in the story of Allen's academic career at http://allentough.com/about. We also added a photo gallery at http://allentough.com/photos. Prof. Gretchen Bersch interviewed Allen in Alaska in 2000. She recently produced an excellent 45-minute DVD that covers his interest in futures studies and SETI as well as adult learning and change. You can buy the DVD at http://conversationsonlifelonglearning.com or borrow it from Allen.

Paul Shuch's daughter Erika (also one of our Signatories) announced her engagement in August! Before doing so, fiancee Allen sought her father out to ask for her hand. Paul's response: "you're both mature adults, and need not ask permission of me, or anyone else. But if it's my blessing you're seeking, you certainly have that." So, now, Paul, his wife Muriel, and all six of Erika's siblings are planning to converge on San Francisco next July, for as lavish a wedding as this family has seen in quite a while. While her choreography continues to achieve national acclaim, and her performance art to attract rave reviews, it's heartwarming to see so prominent an artist behaving like a giddy adolescent in the presence of her intended. As the couple will be 34 and 41, respectively, and neither has ever been married, the bride's parents are covering the wedding costs. "For this one only," Paul emphasizes. "Next time, you're on your own."

After a brief hiatus from his early retirement, Paul completed his year as Visiting Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Lycoming College in June, with distinction (but without receiving an offer of a permanent position). Just as well, as he has now returned to Plan B: traveling. In addition to a month-long Beechcraft trip around the US last summer, a visit to Arecibo Puerto Rico with Muriel in July, and his usual jaunts to Germany, he returned to India (his second lecture tour there) in September, and enjoyed his first ever visit to Russia in October, to participate in celebrations marking the 50th Anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1. (Muriel gathered from his emails that he drank entirely too much vodka in Moscow, a fact not in dispute.) While there, he was invited to give a paper to the Russian Academy of Sciences. He will be returning to India in February, to serve as keynote speaker at a student engineering conference. Just last month, Paul was named Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Heidelberg University of Applied Sciences, a title that carries with it no salary, but gives him a base of operations when in Europe (and, hopefully, an affiliation which he can springboard into some grant funding). Of course, none of these activities will preclude his continuing as Principal Investigator and webmaster for the Invitation to ETI.

We are very pleased to wish a happy 90th birthday this month to one of our most distinguished Signatories, Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Also, we have added one new Signatory since our last missive. Please join us in welcoming artist Richard Clar into our diverse group. You can read his biographical sketch, linked from http://ieti.org/who. While you're there, you may wish to review your own introductory paragraph. If it's not as current as you would like, please feel free to email Paul an update. And, new photos are always solicited -- just send him a GIF or JPG, at least 150 pixels wide, as an email attachment.

We are hoping that 2008 will be a year of SETI success, and thank all of you for helping to bring us closer to Contact.

Allen and Paul

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The Invitation to ETI was founded by Prof. Allen Tough
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