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1.37 seems to be something of a (very minor) magic number in fandom. While its origin is not completely clear, one major outbreak of 1.37ness is well-documented.

In response to an earlier version of the article below, Chip Hitchcock reports that “1.37” was a common in-joke/notion in fandom since the mid-70s and cites Guy Harris's apazine in Apaloosa, named after the Fine Structure Constant, which is approximately 1/137.

Probably unrelated trivia: Windycon IV in 1977 was themed "The 137th Annual Loganberry Festival in Trollsbreath, Latvia."

SCIFI, George Flynn and 1.37[edit]

George Flynn a NESFA member who had a widely-respected reputation in fandom for taking a careful analytical look at things most smofs just guessed at: convention growth, convention demographics, budgets, sizes of fandoms, voting patters, etc.

At Chicon IV in 1982 there was an issue of the hoax newsletter (reportedly edited by Mike Glyer, among others) which repeatedly quoted Flynn as commenting on any number they m/a/d/e/ u/p/ reported. For example, if the hoax newsletter reported that the Chicon IV Board of Directors had paid for 27 dinner meetings for itself, they'd then make up a quote from George that this was 1.37 times greater than any previous Board's expenditure. And so on -- everything was 1.37 times greater or smaller.

In 1985 SCIFI's $10,000 donation to the Connie Bailout consisted of 100 checks for $13.70 plus a single check for the remaining balance.

A few years later, when SCIFI made a temporary loan of $20,000 to the NESFA Lunar Realty Trust #1, it made it in the form of 100 checks for $137 -- each delivered by a different route (by hand at conventions, by mail, etc.) and one check for the balance.

Publication 1982
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