Much Ado About Mensa
There were 9 responses to Puzzlement #10, ALL had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Sky Shipley was the correct answer: November does not have 31 days. Ann DeVlaeminck was second and Susan Sackett was third.
On to the puzzle:
You just washed five pairs of socks, ten socks in all, unless your name is Addams. You discover that the Sock Monster has eaten two of the socks. Which is more likely, that you have four matched pairs of socks or that you have three matched pairs and two orphan socks?
There were 12 responses to Puzzlement #9, all but one had the correct answer. The first one, submitted by Nancy Allen was the correct answer: ¼ or 25%. Scott Holloway was second and Will Hepburn was third.
On to the puzzle:
Prof. Te Deum was just finishing his lecture about the history of US-Soviet nuclear weapons negotiations when he noticed that one of his less promising students was dozing off. ‘Mr. Napper! Tell us what important talks concluded on November 31, 1969.’ Napper roused himself enough to say ‘The first SALT talks in Helsinki, Finland.’ ‘Wrong! Nice try but no cigar!’ said TeDeum with no hesitation whatsoever. Why could he say so so quickly?
Postscript - Perhaps one of you has a puzzlement of your own to contribute? Include it with your response to this one and you will be credited, instead of the Grumpy Puzzlement Maven.
July 28, 2018 Dining Out
From Mary Prior
…at the Angry Crab at Hawes & Guadalupe in Mesa.
Clockwise, beginning with bottom left: John, Judy Elain, Tereri, Mary, Cara, Scott and Jason
We all met up at the Angry Crab restaurant in Mesa. What a good time we all had. The menu’s feature is the boiling bags, which could be shrimp (head on or off), lobster, crab, King crab legs, crawfish, mussels, snow crab legs, Dungeness crab. Appetizers include oysters on the half shell, fired clams, fried calamari, and the menu was really vast. They also had Beef, chicken and pork items for order, as well as baskets instead of the boiling bags.
Terri and Elaine decided to split a boiling bag of lobster, then when they were told they could pick out their lobster and that the kitchen doesn’t crack the lobster for them, they change their minds and went for the King Crab Legs! Judy went for the boiling bag of mussels, Scott went for the whole crab, and first-timer Jason went for the beef! I had the fried cod with coleslaw and cornbread. I don’t remember what everyone else had. But it was unanimous that the food was delicious! Conversation ran amuck all around the table, and we caught up on what had been happening with all of the “regulars.”
AND HEADS UP!
August 25th Dining Out at Noon will be at Ah-So Teppanyaki & Sushi House of Japan, 1919 S. Gilbert Road, Mesa (NE corner of Gilbert & Baseline). The menu has quite a good variety depending upon what you want and what you want to spend, but you can get something for about $10, or up to $22 for the big one.
September 15th Dining Out @ Noon will be at Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom at 1656 Alma School Road in Mesa. This is also close to the light rail, if after our lunch you want to join some of us in taking the light rail downtown to the AG Hotel (Grand Sheraton), to meet Allison and Brian, our Co-Chairs, and perhaps some of the national staff and learn more about our AG which will be held July 3-7, 2019, right here in Phoenix! (The date change is because I won’t be available for the last Saturday in September.)
October 27th Dining Out @ 4 pm will be at our favorite German restaurant, Zur Kate, 4815 E. Main Street, #16, Mesa, AZ. I will be there much earlier, because the line starts forming early. We had such fun when we were there in May. This is a tad late to celebrate Octoberfest, but what the heck! They are not open for lunch, only dinner, which is why we will be there when they open!
Please, please RSVP via email at email@example.com or text me at 206-551-5907. Because of work and the time it takes to get there, I cannot accept phone calls during the week between noon and midnight.
There were 19 responses to Puzzlement #8, All had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Ron Draney was the correct answer: She was both deceased and ineligible as a woman to vote before 1920. Nancy Allen was second and Alex Vrenios was third.
On to the puzzle:
A square rug is six feet on a side. It overlaps a smaller rug, also square, three feet on a side. The corner of the larger rug lies in the exact center of the smaller. Discounting the fringe, what portion of the smaller rug is covered by the larger?
Even after an extended period, there was only one answer that was close enough to be accepted. Key to understanding the question was that it was a HORSE race and beyond that, no prize to Jennifer because it was a claiming race. Out of 6 submissions only Diana identified Jennifer as a horse.
On to the puzzle:
One of the splendid ironies of the history of American political live which rabid partisans never tire of pointing out is that when he ran for the Presidency Woodrow Wilson was so unpopular that his own mother didn’t vote for him. He won anyway in spite of that fact. But why didn’t she vote for her son?
To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Editor: Why are LocSecs LocSecs?
From Richard Morris, GPM LocSec
We’re talking origin, not motivation. While neither of those questions are really clear, here’s my theory on how the title came to be.
Mensa was created smack after World War II, in Britain. Britain, the same wonderful country who had been allied with USSR and who gave us Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, et. al. Not to put too fine a point on it, in some elements of British society there was a degree of admiration for the USSR, its system and its leader, Stalin.
Interesting thing about the Soviets, their meetings were run in compliance with nearly the same Roberts Rules of Order which backstops Mensa’s by-laws in our meetings, only written in Russian. Stalin, being no dummy, realized in that environment the person who set the agenda of meetings, the one who decided what was to be decided, was the person with the real power. Consequently, while he held many titles, the one which enabled him to rule a vast empire was General Secretary of the Supreme Soviet.
It seems probable, therefore, that an Oxford student would select Secretary as the title of the leader of the body that evolved to be Mensa.
Zip across the Atlantic. When Mensa established a toehold on this continent, New York seems to have been the center of activity. As other cities hived off it became desirable to distinguish between Secretaries. So before too long each local group had its own Local Secretary.
Now for a coup of economy and marketing. Is it more economical to say six syllables, or fewer if you can? If you can carry the same denotation in two syllables, why not use them? Therefore, LocSec.
HA! What’s the first thing a marketer looks for before the start of a product rollout? A way to distinguish her/his product from others. If your product is a group of people different in some way from everybody else, how do you distinguish it from the others? Create features unique to the group.
Every secret society has a secret handshake or the equivalent. The thing that distinguishes Mensa from, say, Rotary, is what some would call jargon, others would call argot and yet others would call buzzwords. So using LocSec and all the other truncations, acronyms and initials separates us from everybody else.
Plus, it gives a reason for non-members to say, ‘LocSec? What’s that?’ And that, friends, is what we in the craft call a perfect intro to a selling opportunity. 'Let me tell you about it!’
From Mike Wong, RVC9
Hello Region 9! Another Annual Gathering has come and gone, and to those who did make it there, what a great party and such a good time! To our members who missed it, here is a brief breakdown of the recognition our region received at the event.
Congratulations to all our award winners this year, Mensa would not be the same without all your contributions.
GLAAM member David Ilan (a fellow escape room devotee) has won the prestigious 2018 Intellectual Benefits to Society Award. David is an artist famous for his pointillism style (drawing with only dots). His STEM pointillism promotes STEM education and features a student on a science book with 4 leaves, with each dot represent a real student. He has won a Volunteer Service Award from President Obama and he has been featured prominently in the Mensa Bulletin.
Phoenix Phive came in second (winning $350) and OC Disorders was third (winning $300) in Culture Quest this year. Culture Quest is a trivia contest in which teams of up to 5 Mensans gather together at the end of April each year to tackle a long quiz which tests them on their cultural literacy.
Tucson, Channel Islands, and Hawaii won the Emerald award for Class III (200 to 399 members) groups, while San Diego and Orange County won the Sapphire award for Class II (400 to 899 members) groups. These jewel awards broken down by size (900+ members would be Class I) are awarded for their participation in Mensa events such as Mind Games, Culture Quest, Mensa Testing Day, and Leadership Development Workshops. As usual, GLAAM and GPM are noticeably missing from the list, and it constantly baffles me as these are two of our biggest and best run chapters.
Major Kudos to Angie Mattson from Orange County for SWEEPING the Mensa testing awards. She won both the Abbie Salny Proctor of the Year Award and the Dave Felt Testing Coordinator of the Year award. Thank you Angie for your amazing work in proctoring and testing from a novice proctor, I aspire to becoming half as good as you are someday.
Art Mattson from Orange County was awarded the Chairman National Service Award and also a recipient for the Margot awards. Both awards are for his years of service to Mensa at both the national and local levels.
Your assistant Regional Vice Chair Desiree Elliott from Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa won the Certificate of Appreciation for her years of dedication and efforts to the betterment of Mensa. I certainly would be at a loss and much less effective without her help and guidance.
Art Mattson from Orange County and Richard Morris (your current LocSec of Greater Phoenix Mensa) from Phoenix are the winners of the Regional Service Award for their years of hard work and continued service to Mensa.
Thank you to all the award winners listed above for their contributions. Mensa would not be the same without all that you have given to us, we appreciate each and every one of you.
There were 10 responses to Puzzlement #6, only 5 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Sky Shipley was the correct answer: 29cm. He starts inside the front cover of Vol. 1 and ends inside the back cover of Vol. 5 leaving the front of 1 and the back of 5 unperforated. Ed Goheen was second and Evan Bauer was third.
On to the puzzle:
After a long and grueling race, Jennifer saw the finish line dead ahead, put on a burst of speed and won the race by several feet. But she received neither the $1,000 prize for winning nor the crystal trophy that came with it. Why?
There were 12 responses to Puzzlement #5, 10 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Brant Saperstein was the correct answer: A surname. Ann DeVlaeminck was second and Nancy Allen was third.
On to the puzzle:
A termite wanting an education finds an reference work of five volumed in a row and begins chewing straight through them starting with page one of Volume 1 with the intent or continuing to the last page of Volume 5. If each of the books is 6cm thick including covers which are .5cm each how far will he travel in search of knowledge?
To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to email@example.com
A Secret to Achieving Permanent Weight Loss (Other Than Divorce)
Reprint of the MAAM article by Dave Pivin in July of 2012
No, it’s not some miracle pill or buying your food from some over-hyped diet plan or even hiring a personal “coach.” I’m just going to skip right to the answer, simply put:
DON’T EAT SO MUCH!
Sure, easy for me to say. But here is what I have learned over the past 10 years since I weighed over 300 pounds and how I permanently lost over 100 pounds. How you do it makes all the difference. It’s neither quick nor a diet. It’s about un-learning the bad eating habits that got you to that undesirable weight and how you educate yourself in good habits that result in permanent loss.
First step in the process of adding years to your life is to discuss your current condition with your doctor and formulate a plan. Set a goal to achieve your ideal weight over an appropriate time scale. You will find that you will have to make some changes. Like I said, it’s bad habits that got you to where you are at. It may or may not involve changes to your current exercise routine, but the highest priority, the one with the most leverage, in my opinion, is to consume fewer calories.
Here’s what my doctor suggested to me: “Try restricting your calories to less than 1800 per day to start out.” He didn’t tell me to exercise beyond what I did at work or my infrequent hiking/walking. He gave me a “cheat sheet” of good nutritional meal plans with typical calorie counts. Seemed reasonable, but I then realized that it not only is it important to keep your diet balanced to stay healthy, you need to understand the nutritional value of what you eat along with the costly calorie “penalty” of continuing to eat the same quantity of the items you like.
The learning process for food value is a key to success in the long term and there are many aids in that area, ranging from printed calorie/nutrition guides to on-line programs that help you track everything you eat. And yes, it’s true, “there is an app for that.”
Read the labels on packaged food and visit the nutrition pages on restaurant web sites. If you simply record the calories of everything you currently eat for two weeks without trying to reduce your intake or change your choices you may be surprised. Weigh yourself at the start and end and see what average calorie count per day has resulted in what weight change. From there, calculate what your new average should be to lose 1.5 to 2 pounds per week by using the estimate that 3,000 to 3,300 less calories per week will mean losing about 1 pound. (YMMV and it works both ways.)
So, back to my case. I first used a program on my Palm PDA that had a database of common foods and I entered everything I ate into that. This allowed me to manage to my budget. I found it was easy to do that and so much so that I was able to easily stay under 1600 calories. In this way I lost my first 80 pounds at the average rate of 1.5 pounds per week. The doctor was pleased, my blood pressure went down, my tri-glicerides got more into balance, although he said I could exercise more. However, this is not the end of the story…
Even though I dropped the weight, I wasn’t close enough to being at a healthy weight. I had slacked off a bit in my calorie tracking and still didn’t exercise. However, I had learned a whole new set of “good” foods and what to avoid at all cost. I had drifted back up by 20 pounds over the course of a few years and then a wake-up call. A coronary artery blockage sent me to the emergency room. In spite of passing a treadmill stress test the week before and always having consistently low cholesterol I had to have five stents put into two blocked coronary arteries.
I needed to continue my weight loss and complement this with some exercise once I was released to do so by the cardiologist. At this point, I retired from working and had a lot of free time so I started riding bike a few days a week around the neighborhood. First 2 miles, then 4, then 6, then 8 and finally 10 miles each time I went out. I also began doing it more often until I was out every day, making friends with the other “regulars” running or riding in the neighborhood.
So over the past 10 years I learned what I can eat habitually yet still stay under 1600 calories average. I can still have pizza, chocolates, burgers and the like, but I just have to stay in budget. Speaking of budget, I now spend less on food! Holidays provide challenges, but keep the average around your budget and you will do fine. Today I use an app on my iPhone that tracks everything and even has a bar code scanner for packaged food UPC codes to lookup the information automatically.
In summary, I have learned that diets can’t possibly work, since they are always temporary. Only a permanent change in habits can achieve permanent weight loss and a longer, healthier life.
Photo at the top shows “before” on an Alaska Cruise in 1998 where I was approaching 300 pounds and below is “after” where I have lost over 100 pounds and completed a bike ride of 25 miles with daughter-in-law Lisa.
[To further attest to the permanence of the change up until today, 17 years later, I weigh 207 pounds, still 100 pounds less.]
There were 8 responses to Puzzlement #4, 5 had the correct answer, but the first one submitted, from Alex Vrenios was the correct answer: “no difference.” It’s all about punctuation. Joe and Sky were 2nd and 3rd.
On to the puzzle:
President George W. Bush has a short one. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had a long one. Naz rarely uses his. Madonna no longer has one. What is it?
To submit an answer, click HERE.
There were 16 responses to Puzzlement #3, 15 had the correct answer but the first one submitted, from Mohammed Abdullah was that the the numbers were 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Alex Vrenios chimed 45 minutes later. Ann DeVlaeminck was a close third. Based on the response, this was quite easy.
On to the puzzle:
What is the difference between a dollar and a half and thirty five-cents?
To submit an answer, cliquez ici.
How many Mensans does it take to put on a Regional Gathering?
Answer: To find out, contact James Giunta firstname.lastname@example.org
There were 21 responses to Puzzlement #2, 14 had the correct answer but the first one submitted, from Stephen Stuart was that there was only one going, the narrator. It was not known if any of the menagerie were coming/going to the fair. Nancy Allen chimed in a minute later. Daniel Arquette was a close third.
On to the puzzle:
The sum of five numbers is fifteen. The product of multiplying the numbers together is one hundred twenty. What are the numbers?
To submit an answer, click HERE.
There were 10 responses to the first Puzzlement, three had the correct answer but the first one submitted, from Dan Weaver, was: “The parents and the child were born prior to July 4th, 1776.” Alex Vrenios was second, Larry Bond was a distant third.
On to the puzzle:
As I was going to the fair
I met seven jugglers and a bear.
Each juggler had three cats.
Each cat had seven rats.
Each rat had two mice.
Each of the mice had nine lice.
Lice, mice, rats, cats,
Seven jugglers and a bear,
How many in all were going to the fair?
To submit an answer, click HERE.
Eastside Dining Out SIG - May 26
From Mary Prior
We had such a good group show up for this event at Zur Kate (to the smokehouse) German restaurant in Mesa! It was really a good thing I got there before the thundering herd showed up or we would not have gotten a table large enough for all of us. AND to our good luck, they did indeed have an accordion player perform (or a John called it, a “stomach Steinway”).
Clockwise, L-R: Tina, Bert, Nikki, Keagan, Les, Mary, Judy and John.
Tina is John’s sister, and just bought a house in the area. We had such a good time, and the menu made it so very hard to choose.
Each weekend they feature a “special” and this Weekend it was the Goulash ($13). I had the Schnitzel Hostein, with a Potato Dumpling and Saurkraut, which was yummy. They also had my almost-favorite German Wein, Piesporter Micheslberg (Piesporter Goldtropfchen is my favorite, but hard to find). Others ordered the Jaeger Schnitzel, Poinishce Wurst and so much more. The sides also included spätzle (noodles), German potato salad (served warm) and red cabbage. They also feature gluten-free items.
The consensus was that we will indeed do this again. But I think we’ll make it an “added” event so we can perhaps try the Rouladen (2nd weekend) or the 1st weekend’s baked hamhock. Of course I want to go the 3rd weekend, which features Stuffed pork roast (stuffed with bratwurst). OMG!
And of course, we were forced (ha-ha) to try dessert—the Black Forest Cherry Cake and the Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce—with a whole bunch of forks so everyone could have a taste!
Next month, June 30, we will be dining out at noon, our normal time, at the Union Grill and Tap, 1686 North Higley Road, #101 in Gilbert. They have a really unique menu that makes my mouth water already.
Please email or text your RSVP to Mary Prior at email@example.com or 206-551-5907.
Region 9 Scholarship Winner Announced
From Mary Prior, Mensa Region 9 Scholarship ChairM
Following is Molly Pavey’s essay that she submitted at the local level, and which won her $600 by way of a Region 9 Diana Mossip Memorial Scholarship toward pursuit of her freshman year at ASU in Tempe. Molly is from Mesa.
Within Chemical Engineering, a high level of education is heavily required for professional success. My desired field demands a professional with a strong understanding of a blend of sciences, in addition to an emphasis in engineering concepts. I have always carried passion for the sciences, and I am thrilled at
learning about how the sciences and engineering combine. In a world that is exceedingly dependent on mass-scale chemical production, it is necessary to enter my career with as much preparation as possible.
However, due to the increased global scale of chemical markets, I must also prepare for international business. The fastest growing market in the world for chemical product consumption is China. In combination with large global reliance on Chinese mining for precious metals, I am eager to get involved in Chinese markets. My passions lie in STEM, but I have become increasingly aware of how critical China is to the chemical industries. Therefore, I will have to incorporate a new goal of obtaining bilingualism in Chinese, in addition to my STEM studies.
To begin towards this goal, I have recently applied and been accepted into my university’s Chinese Language Flagship Program. This is a federally-funded college program for students seeking fluency in critical foreign languages. As a result, I will spend the next three and a half years of my Bachelors taking extensive courses in Chinese Language and Chinese Culture fluency, while also seeking a degree in Chemical Engineering.
Between my major studies and my Flagship studies, I have much of my undergraduate career planned out. In the upcoming summer, I hope to complete a year’s worth of Chinese language studies in about eight weeks, in Taiwan. Upon my return, I will then continue sophomore year with a combination of science, engineering, and further Chinese courses. Outside of my academic studies, I will also begin sophomore year to seek opportunities in research and internships within either Chemical or Engineering
focuses, to gain experience and seek specific passions within the Chemical Engineering field. One reason for selecting my current university is its extensive program in encouraging undergraduate research opportunities in the STEM fields, so I am confident I will find access to legitimate lab-research, and witness cutting edge developments in engineering in real time.
Once I have acquired my Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering, I will then undertake the Capstone Year for the Flagship Program. In this, I will spend a year living in China, studying for a graduate degree in Chemical Engineering at a Chinese university. I will also undertake an internship in my specific field of interest while in China, to acquire first-hand experience. During this year, I hope to complete the first year of my Master’s program, and solidify fluency in Chinese through extensive cultural exposure.
Upon my return from a year in China, I will complete my Master’s studies in the America, while undertaking language fluency testing to receive official certification of professional fluency in Chinese. As a result, from the moment I complete a Master’s program, I will be able to enter the Chemical Engineering field not only in English-speaking nations, but also Chinese-speaking nations. Through my expanded capabilities, I am confident that I can seek a STEM career for which I can make a positive contribution.
A child is born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents who were also born in Boston, Massachusetts. And yet the child is not a birthright US citizen. How can this be?
This is the first in a series of puzzles submitted to the MAAM. The first correct answer, which will appear in MAAM with the next Puzzlement, earns the answerer the invaluable reward of seeing her/his name in print and a rise in the estimation of all other puzzlers. Send answer to MAAM Editor.
GPM Scholarship Winner Announced
From Mary Prior, GPM Scholarship ChairM
Following is Evan Pittman’s essay that he submitted at the local level, and which won him $600 toward pursuit of his freshman year at Brown University in Rhode Island. Evan is from Phoenix.
As a child with two military parents, I’ve grown up in a home where national security and politics are the regular dinner table conversations, and I understand the global threats our democracy faces. As a minority kid attending schools in four different states because of military family transfers, I understand the challenges people of color face every day across America. I expect to address American policy around these issues and more as a future Member of Congress.
The path has been clear to me for a long time. In fourth grade, when my classmates were playing Pokémon, I was studying the Presidential and district demographics of each state, trying to guess election outcomes. When I won the regional forensics championship, I was hooked.
Although not always available because of military deployments, my parents have been generous to a fault with their time, energy and resources, ensuring that I had great teachers, coaches and opportunities. During high school, I participated in community leadership training and volunteered with various causes; as a rising high school senior, I was selected for an internship with the re-election campaign of a U.S. Senator, and attended American Legion Boys State, ultimately being elected President of the Senate and winning the award for best patriotic essay. The following summer, I was fortunate to be picked for an internship with a second U.S. Senator’s office during the interesting time of confirmation hearings and the healthcare debate.
My success in academics, sports, music and community leadership throughout middle school and high school ultimately led to my acceptance at an Ivy League university.
In college, I’m studying statistics and math to gain the basic analytic skills needed in the intelligence field; like generations of my family before me, I will serve, either with military intelligence or a civilian intelligence agency, to better understand the global issues America faces in the future.
I have identified a one-year master’s degree program in risk analysis that I plan to apply to prior to my military service; after completing military service, I intend to enroll in business school, with the goal of working in banking and finance; in national security, as well as local and national politics, one must “follow the money,” and I will need to become proficient in this area. Developing analytical financial skills will help me become a better officer, businessman, and eventually, politician.
Perhaps more than ever in our lifetime, American politics needs a calming voice of reason, and I believe I can be that voice; I’ve always been told “Of whom much is given, much is expected,” and I know this is where I can contribute. The the way to help bridge the racial and cultural divide in America is through local politics, elected office, commissions and civil rights organizations and platforms that lead to more representational government and fairness. After my two internships with U.S. Senators, it is clear to me that the needs of underrepresented communities will be met only when advocates can select and pair statistical data and facts with policy knowledge and the passion to make a difference; I want to be part of the solution for my own community, and for a generation who want to believe in fairness and opportunity for all Americans, regardless of skin tone, and I am well on my way.
From Mike Wong, RVC9
Dear Region 9, as of the writing of this month’s RVC column, I would have finally finished the requirements of becoming a Proctor. GLAAM had just finished training 2 proctors in our area when both members decided to move to other areas for personal reasons. That left us in a bit of a hole because we also just had 2 other long time proctors retire from “active service”, which left us with only 1 active proctor for a very large area (currently 3rd largest local group). As with many other volunteer positions within local groups, usually one person who has been serving the position of testing coordinator and proctor tends to stay in the role for a long stint with no attempt to seek replacements, so when he/she inevitably has to leave the role the group has to scramble to find someone else to do the important job.
I promptly turned in my proctor application and began the rather long process of getting certified as a proctor. One of the requirements of becoming a proctor is that candidates have to observe 2 Mensa tests being administered by an actual proctor (we can substitute one of these with online training), while we also have to be observed giving 2 real tests by a proctor. Since GLAAM offers only 1 test per month, this usually takes a minimum of 3 months. It actually took me 6 months because I missed 2 test sessions due to trips to Hong Kong, and there was a month when we did not schedule a test. This lengthy process makes building a thriving testing program for a local group difficult because when the only proctor leaves, a proctor from out of the area needs to come to help train the new crop.
The Mensa admission testing is one of the most effective ways to recruit new members and the National Mensa awards groups for conducting testing. A local group gets $25 each month if they have at least one testing session, and an additional $15 is paid for each individual who takes the test (except for candidates using free testing vouchers). So in addition to getting new members, local groups can use this as a extra source of income. For smaller local groups, this extra money can be quite significant.
So if you have a four year degree and any interest in volunteering for this important program, contact your Local Secretary or Testing Coordinator for more information.
Finally, it is almost time for the Annual Gathering. This year it will be held at Indianapolis from July 4th to 8th. To those who have never been to an Annual Gathering, it is one of the most fun and enjoyable experience you can have as a Mensa member. Every year, around 2000 Mensans gather on July 4th weekend for a giant 5 day party for non-stop revelry. I hope I will see you at Indy and some of you will consider coming to my Region 9 meet and greet.
GPM ExCom Officers for 2018-2019 Announced
The Nominating Committee presented a full slate of ExCom members with no additional petitions or contested positions, therefore those nominated are considered elected and will take office on July 1st.
LocSec - Richard Morris
AsstLocSec - Lynn Floyd
Treasurer - Marni Landy
RecSec - Dave Pivin
Member at Large 1 - Jim Giunta
Member at Large 2 - John Perez
Member at Large 3 - Jim Delton
Prescott Area MAD Event
From Colleen Eagle:
The Prescott Area Mensa Member Appreciation Day held April 26 was well attended, and brought many local Mensans and their guests together to enjoy a taco party. The delicious menu items and custom drinks were provided by the hosts, Pete and Susie Percy, and David and Colleen Eagle.
Group founder and former area coordinator Will Hepburn was singled out for “extra-special” appreciation for his past service to the group.
A spirited discussion about the future of Prescott Area Mensa followed, eliciting many good ideas. That feedback, along with telephone responses received prior to the meeting, makes it clear that members are looking for more variety in meeting times, and for presentations, discussion, and debate on substantive and controversial topics. The new area co-coordinators, Pete Percy and David Eagle, now know their mission.
Save the date: the next Prescott Area Mensa meeting is being scheduled for June 2. Details will follow. A slide show may be found HERE.
GPM members were appreciated at the 2018 Spring Member Appreciation Day at Sahuaro Ranch Park in Glendale on April 15th. See the slide show HERE.
To the Editor...
From Dennis Franklin re: “History Detectives” – A Personal Experience
Old Navy Ship…
When I looked at the in-focus version of the picture of the ship Dave Pivin was describing, the first thing I thought of was that it was not a Navy design nor a warship. And it did not have the characteristics of a freighter either. In fact it looked very much like a smaller version of the two passenger ships on which I worked as a bellboy and elevator operator starting in the summer of 1951: the SS America, and later the SS United States.
While the official article refers to it as a “cargo” ship, it is described as having carried about 200 troops, conveying them to wherever they were needed. In the common parlance of the day it would have been called a “troopship”. In the days when we believed we must have a maritime service that could easily be converted in time of war to wartime purposes, passenger ships were usually designed to carry troops and, in their holds, related cargo. Without significant armament, they relied upon speed fog, and darkness to outrun U-boats and enemy ships. Possible because none of our enemies had radar at the time, and they didn’t know we had developed the ability to see long distances and in the dark.
The SS United States, built in about 1948-50, carried about 2000 passengers, but could be converted to carry 10,000 troops in time of war. With four engine rooms, she could travel at something just over 48 knots, or above 55 mph. Imagine a ship a thousand feet long coming at you at what was then, in most places, the speed limit for automobiles! The original Queen Elizabeth once cut a destroyer in half and sank it while running at full speed, in the dark, carrying 15,000 troops.
Many smaller passenger-cargo ships were built and used after the war for circumnavigating, say, South America, or for inter-island trade in the pacific. I think it was Delta Lines that had four such ships making continuous runs around South America.
Anyhow, the profile for the ship in Dave’s story is much more that of a PASSENGER-cargo ship.
Here, for comparison, is a picture I took of the SS America in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1951, trying out a new Retina 2A, 35 mm camera I had bought that day, a 17-year-old working on the ships after my first year in college, in order to make the next year’s tuition.
Thanks for the memories, Dave.
From Mike Wong, RVC9
Dear Region 9. I just returned from another trip to Hong Kong in which I got to spend my birthday with family and also celebrated my mother’s birthday with her, hopefully I will be able to do that again next year.
As a side note, I finally got in touch with the leadership of Hong Kong Mensa during this trip. The chairman got me in touch with the local SIGHT co-ordinator and I was able to attend their monthly dinner/forum. The speaker was a fellow who is a major Sudoku maven (he ran all the sudoku columns of local newspapers and came up with the proof that you need a minimum of 17 numbers for a unique board), retired Biochemistry professor, started the first Hong Kong quiz show (subsequently fired after 1 year because his questions were too hard), debunker of the supernatural/aliens/paranormal, puzzle enthusiast, etc. etc. An all around interesting guy. Mensa is a true international organization and resources like the tremendous SIGHT program allow us to meet friends all over the world, I highly recommend that members who travel to get in touch with local chapters of locales they are visiting and participate in local Mensa events.
Relating this to the subject of contentious matters that came up in our Denver AMC meeting, I now see why members may fear reprisals from foreign members if we institute the guest membership system. I am still of the opinion that SIGHT will function as intended and that the guest membership offers ADDITIONAL benefits on top.
The other major contentious issue that came up was the proposed formation of a European American SIG. They went through the whole process of applying to become a an official SIG and presented themselves to the board for a vote to their formation. I am of the opinion that people who want to be bigots are free to do so, while others can ridicule them and call them out for their small-mindedness. In the end the board chose to deny the formation of this group. While I support the board’s decision to reject this SIG, I still disagree with it due to free speech and fairness.
GLAAM recently had a volunteer luncheon at Buca di Beppo in Pasadena, this is a way for the chapter to recognize the contributions of local members who worked hard the immediate past year who volunteered their time as officers or host activities. It is important for us to show appreciation to those who provide value to fellow members and make Mensa what it is. The Orange County annual brunch was held in the Costa Mesa Country Club the day after, the speaker was the conductor from the Pacific Symphony and he gave a very interesting presentation on Conducting. Many thanks to the ExComm of OC board for an enjoyable brunch and talk. Long time OC member Art Mattson (who contributed and volunteered for years, he was our RVC a few terms ago) has recently been diagnosed with cancer, please send prayers and well wishes.
Finally, San Diego Mensa will be having their RG at the Town and Country hotel (the same one for the San Diego AG) at the up-coming Memorial day weekend. It is hosted by our AMC chair LaRae and will be tons of fun , I hope to see some of you there.
Come join the “MAD” fun Sunday!
We like to get members and their guests together outdoors in the Spring and Fall and have a picnic-style gathering called Member Appreciation Day at various parks around the valley. For Spring of 2018 we will meet on Sunday, April 15th in Glendale. Details HERE.
“History Detectives” – A Personal Experience
Article by Dave Pivin
The premise of one of my favorite PBS shows, History Detectives is that people bring artifacts to the team of investigators to get a question answered about the article. For example, “Was this an original Ronald McDonald costume?” The investigators followed leads and interviewed experts to answer the question and usually delight the owners of the artifacts.
So I have recently tried to organize my large collection of old slides, prints and negatives by putting them into storage boxes, arranged chronologically as best I can. This required looking through each packet or envelope to guess when they were taken as not all of them were marked or had writing on the back. I have a stack of 14 boxes but only one box of the very old ones.
As I was going through some of the negatives in the oldest box that had been saved by my mother in old shoeboxes, I found this one that triggered a renewal of a search for the identity of the photo on the wall above the fireplace. It was taken at Christmas in 1949. I would turn 4 in two weeks. My sister Dolores was 17 and in her senior year of high school.
Every year, my mother would put all the Christmas cards on the fireplace. Above them was an old black and white photo of a Navy ship. That ship, I was told, was one that my father had helped build during WW2 in the shipyard in Providence, RI. He had learned the plumbing trade from his father and took the job to help in the war effort as he was not drafted when the war started. This photo stayed up on the wall well into the 1950s.
In the early 60s it was taken down and replaced with one of my paint-by-numbers paintings and I lost track of it. Several years ago, I tried looking through Naval history sites on the internet, but didn’t get very far in my search and I gave up. So now, after over 60 years, I tried again to search for the ship that my father helped build.
I began to collect what little I knew about the ship’s construction to start a search. It was built during the war in the shipyard in Providence. I recalled that that dad called it the Kaiser shipyard. So now off to Google.
‘Kaiser shipyard Providence’ search term led to Kaiser Shipyards in Wikipedia. The shipyard in Providence was located at Fields Point, just south of downtown at the head of Narragansett Bay. The Fields Point Wikipedia entry led to the name Walsh-Kaiser Company, that had taken over operations of an earlier attempt to establish a shipyard under the Emergency Shipbuilding Program shortly after Pearl Harbor.
Walsh-Kaiser Shipyard in Providence started with Liberty Ships, made famous for the extreme rate of launches, although no records were set at that location, Kaiser had built the SS Robert E. Peary at Richmond, CA yard #2, that launched in only 4 days, 15 hours, 29 minutes from the time her keel was laid.
So looking through the Walsh-Kaiser page there was a list of all the ships they built in the period from 1943 through September of 1945: liberty ships, frigates and Artemis class attack cargo ships. Referring to the photo on the wall, that I clipped and adjusted below, I noted that it was not a liberty ship, or a frigate, based on a comparison to ships of that type, so it had to be one of the Artemis class cargo ships. But which one?
So each of the ships listed by name had a link to more details and some photographs. I started down the list and noted that the first one pictured was first of the class, the Artemis and she had the same characteristic shape and I was sure I was on the right track. Then I clicked on the link to the USS Sirona AKA-43 and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here was the same photograph that hung over the fireplace.
And a BIG Thank You …
From Mary Prior
… goes to Jan Redding, Virginia Lester, Leon Gilner, Mark Motta, Jane Bottenstein, Patrick Brennan, Philip Carlisle and Alex Vrenios!
These brave Ms were the volunteers who judged the Region 9 Scholarship Competition, e.g., the best of Region 9. We had 134 essays, and they were able to pull it together and get the results to me in plenty of time for my deadline to submit the region winners to the national competition.
And now we wait. Sometime in mid to late June we will get the results of the 2017-2018 competition, and find out who won the local and regional scholarships.
The Mensa Foundation’s scholarship competition is and always has been near and dear to my heart, as I did not know until I was 35 that I could go to college. And that was a big eye opener. My first semester I signed up for 12 semester credits… evenings … and survived! I worked full time, and was in the Navy Reserve at the time.
I started out in the 70s as a judge, and found it fascinating. The variety of essays and people, the age range (from 12 to 90s), cultural and educational backgrounds, were all not just enjoyable, but interesting. I judged every year until I moved to Seattle, then became the local Scholarship ChairM, where I served for more than 10 years. And that was before it could be done online. I was so enthusiastic and put out the word to local schools—and the first year we had more than 400 essays! That was a grueling weekend.
Since I moved to Phoenix, because it means a lot to me and what it can mean for the winners, I became the local chair for Greater Phoenix Mensa. And for the first time, this year, was Region 9’s ChairM.
I cannot thank each of my judges enough—including the local judges: Judy Herrmann, Sky Shipley, Homer Baker, Mark Mach and Donna Prior.
Without the help of volunteer judges, the program could not and would not happen—and every year the Mensa Foundation awards more than $80,000 in scholarships! Because of each and every one of you who volunteered.
As a reminder, the program commences on September 15th each year and concludes January 15th of each year. The program is open to anyone willing to write an essay about themselves, their goals, and what they’ve done to achieve those goals. There are no age limits, and there are scholarships available for graduate work as well. One that goes unclaimed many years is for someone doing graduate work in history. There is a scholarship for a veterinarian, and can apply to continuing education in the field.
Once again, a grateful thank you to all of you volunteers. You are appreciated more than you know.
FREE FOOD AND FUN!
We like to get members and their guests together outdoors in the Spring and Fall and have a picnic-style gathering at various parks around the valley. For Spring of 2018 we will meet on Sunday, April 15th in Glendale. Details HERE.
From Mike Wong, RVC9
Dear members of Region 9. It has been a very busy month. GLAAM has had a very successful RG during the President’s Day Weekend. I have returned from my whirlwind trip to Denver for the March AMC Meeting, made a brief detour to Phoenix due to a flight cancellation, got back to Los Angeles to host a couple of events, and left the States for Hong Kong to visit my ailing mother.
At the RVC session during the RG an interested member asked about the demographics of Region 9 this year. I thought it might be interesting to share the numbers with you all:- Channel Islands - 235, GLAAM- 2026, Hawaii - 213, Orange County - 785, Phoenix - 954, San Diego - 855, Southern Nevada - 333, Tucson - 258, Utah - 210. For a total of 5869 members as of March 11th.
Several contentious issues came up during the meeting that I thought I should share a little more details about them just in case you do not have time to check the minutes, we will not be able to cover all of them in this column so it will continue next month.
The most controversial issue discussed at the meeting was offering guest membership for non-Americans. Different national Mensas have different due rates, UK charges 60 pounds ($83.42), Hong Kong charges HK$250 ($31.39), etc. As you can see here, UK has a fairly high annual dues while HK charges less than half. In Britain, there are members with homes in other countries where the dues are significantly lower, being Mensans they simply switch over to the country with cheaper dues and continue to attend events and enjoy the benefits of the British Mensa. People who do the switchover to save money has become significantly large that they eventually instituted the Guest membership policy (one pound more than the actual dues) to combat the behaviour.
In our case, the rationale behind the motion was to offer a way to extend all the benefits gained by membership in American Mensa to folks from other national Mensa groups. It would allow for access to the Mensa Bulletin (highly prized by members), discounts to gatherings and other things, as well as access to member areas of our website and Mensa Connect plus other member exclusives.
The response from the general populace was tremendous. We received emails from many members demanding that the board should vote this motion down, as this would appear to alienate international members and do more harm than good. The board listened to the public outcry and the motion failed, international members will still pay higher guest rate at AGs ($40) and not have access to the Mensa Bulletin, our website, and Mensa Connect.
Finally, a final reminder that the Mind Games will be held April 20-22 in Denver at the Crown Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center. Fellow board game enthusiasts might want to check the event out and join fellow Mensans in selecting the 5 best new games that came out last year to be awarded the Mensa Select label
February 24th Eastside Dining Out SIG
From Mary Prior
February’s last Saturday dining out was at Cornish Pasty (pronounced PASTee). Turns out I was the only one there. But that is okay, because this is also a way to get me out of the house and to try new and different—or familiar—foods.
I was delighted to find Scots Eggs on the menu, so I started with that. I haven’t had one of those since at a Renfair some years ago. They are a heart attack waiting to happen, but I do so love them. A hardboiled egg surrounded by sausage and deep-fried. With mustard.
They had quite an interesting menu. In case you don’t know the history, pasties were what the Cornish miners would take to work with them for lunch. They are all sorts of good things stuffed into a somewhat hard pastry and then baked. And since the whole point was to try something new I tried the Oggie (the favorite, I was told, of the founder’s great-grandpa in Bisbee). It is made with steak, potatoes, onion and rutabaga, with a side of red wine gravy. The pastry was harder than I imagined, but I guess if you were carrying it around for lunch, it would have to be fairly hardy. The taste, especially with the red wine gravy, was good. And I had a glass of pinot noir to go with it.
I don’t often get down around Mill Avenue where the ASU folks hang out, so the people watching was a tad different, but enjoyable. My biggest complaint was the lack of parking.
The next EDOSIG will be on March 31st at The Olive Mill, 25062 S., Meridian Road in Queen Creek. They also say they have dairy-free, gluten-free and vegetarian options, and if you want to tour the mill itself it takes about an hour. I have been wanting to try this for some time, and have heard some rave reviews. Then in April, I am looking at the High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill at 2540 S. Val Vist Drive in Gilbert, just to have something completely different.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 206-551-5907. I am at work M-F from about noon until 11 or midnight, and am unable to take phone calls at work.
From Mike Wong, RVC9
Hello Region 9! I have unfortunately caught the Flu that has been plaguing the country and it has kept me bedridden for more than 2 weeks. As a result of that, I was unable to make the trip to Phoenix for Brian & Allison Reeves’ informal site walk thru and meetup with local members (though it allowed me to listen in on the Finance Committee’s budget meeting).
One of the main item on the agenda that we will be voting on at the March AMC Meeting in Denver will be to vote on the aforementioned budget. While I can not go into details on the exact budget before it is presented to the board and voted on, listening in on the budget was quite an educational experience, and I am happy that some of the more extravagant items are cut from the budget.
As the end of March is quickly approaching, our free testing voucher program is also coming to an end. I can not emphasize enough on how this is an excellent opportunity for someone who is interested in joining us to take the test without having to spend a dime. I know most of us out there are procrastinators and like to leave things till the last minute, so let this be the reminder the last minute is indeed approaching and make this tremendous program the success it should be!
Just a note, I will be visiting Hong Kong again for most of March and I might not be able to get back to your inquiries as quickly as I should as my computer access can get sporadic. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, things will be back to normal in early April.
While we are talking about things happening in April, if you are a gamer like moi, Mind Games is coming up again and it will be held April 20-22 in Denver at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center. For those who are not familiar with the event, it is a 3 day gaming marathon where the participants are given a list of new games to play, and they judge how good these games are. The top 5 games will be awarded the coveted Mensa Select seal of approval, while copies of the games are given out to the attendees. My good friend Jennifer Massicot Jewell will be organizing the event, let’s help her make this the BEST Mind Games ever!
Finally, I have started hosting a Supper With Our Rvc Nine on First Friday dining group in GLAAM where we dine at some of the finest and/or newest restaurants in Los Angeles. Feel free to drop by SWORNoFF and check out some of the great restaurants in L.A. with me, we can talk Mensa and chat about whatever you feel like (including religion and politics) over a nice dinner. NO CELL PHONES!!
Regional Judges for the Scholarship Competition Are Needed Now!
From Mary Prior, Region 9 Scholarship Chair
We are about to begin our regional scholarship judging, which must be completed prior to March 20, 2018. I am in dire need of judges, so anything you can do to help would be appreciated. I need a minimum of three to four judges, most of whom have to be Mensans.
The judging is done entirely via email so you my feel free to judge in your pajamas, or stark naked if you so choose. The main thing I need is your brain and a commitment to judge all essays. If we have more than 100 essays, we will do a first round quick judging to narrow it down to a more reasonable fine-tuned judging. If you were a judge for the local scholarship competition, you cannot just at the regional level.
Each essay is up to a maximum of 550 words, and are about the author—what he/she want to do, what he/she has done so far to achieve it, and more about the author. The 550 word limit equates to a tad bit over one page, double-spaced.
It will be Tuesday before I am able to access the essays and download them as PDFs to send to the judges. I have the judging criteria as well as the judging sheet in Excel.
Region 9 consists of all of Arizona except the Tucson area, Southern California, southern Nevada and Utah. If you know of anyone in the region interested in judging, please contact them and let them know. If they are Mensans, they are most welcome—if they did not judge their local scholarship essays.
Please contact me ASAP at email@example.com if you are interested.
January 27th Eastside Dining Out SIG
From Mary Prior
On Saturday, January 27th, we met at the unusual time of 5 pm for dining out at Pita Jungle, a place I’d heard of but never visited. The reason it was late because the co-chairs of the 2019 AG – which will be in Phoenix July 3-7, 2019 – were visiting and I needed to be at the 11 am meeting at the old RG hotel.
John and Judy Herman were there, as well as Stephen Stuart. So the four of us really enjoyed the food there. I know John had a giro, Judy had, I think a salmon entrée, I ordered the antipasto starter for all of us, Stephen went for chicken, and I tried a really different type of meatloaf, with spices I couldn’t identify. I also tried their red sangria, which was very tasty. It was so good, I completely forgot about taking pictures!
Everyone really enjoyed their meals, but I still can’t identify some of the spices in the meatloaf. Maybe next time I’ll try a giro. Stephen was the first to leave, but John and Judy stayed to chat and munch.
If anyone has a favorite spot in the East Valley, I’d love to set up an EDOSIG lunch!
The next Eastside dining out will be on Saturday, February 24th, at noon, at the Cornish Pasty at 1941 West Guadalupe Road (in the middle of the shopping center at S. Dobson and W Guadalupe.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 206-551-5907.
“I am Groot!”
Member of the AZ Clan - Dave Pivin
Four Peaks Snowfall
Viewed from a warmer location along Bush Highway - Dave Pivin
GPM Member Adds Scoring Technology to AZ Science Bowl
Our yearly endeavor to encourage and reward STEM (Middle and High School) students is upon us. Feb 17 will be the High School AZ Science Bowl and March 10 will be the Middle School competition. Both are held at ASU-West, 4701 W Thunderbird Rd, Glendale. Each winning team (and their Coach) will get a trip to Washington DC to compete in the (DOE) Nationals!
Volunteers are needed for score keeping, room monitors and timekeeping, but no experience is needed. For those who have participated before, Rules Judges, Scientific Judges and Moderators are rewarding jobs.
The competition consists of school teams from throughout Arizona. The teams are four students, one alternate (optional), and a teacher who serves as a coach. Together, they face-off in fast-paced question and answer rounds and tested on a range of science disciplines. The rounds are an amalgam of current Jeopardy and College Bowl in the 1960s. The students are knowledgeable, quick and competitive. It gives us a window into how good our future will be.
The high school question categories are: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Energy, Mathematics, and Physics.
The middle school question categories are: Life Science, Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, Energy, Mathematics, and General Science.
Volunteer information and times are HERE.
One of our long-time members, Gene Holmerud, is computerizing the operation of the competition. Details are HERE then double-click the first video, then open the comments. This system raises the professional level of the event literally into the clouds.
Technical details of the scoring system may be found HERE.
February Mensa Birthdays
GPM Original Games Night Returns!
Saturday, January 27 6:00 to 11:00 PM - Returning to it’s regular slot, same good fun. Fourth Saturday of each month. BYO Beverage, and a snack to share – non-messy finger foods are best, but hey, we have napkins! Owl is $2.00 per person. SO, WBC. New host, Chris Ingle may be contacted at email@example.com or by cell at 520-240-9810. Location is near the intersection of Baseline Rd and Loop-101 in Tempe. Map and more info is available to members HERE.
From Mike Wong, RVC9
Dear Region 9 members, I apologize for the tardiness of last month’s RVC column. I was still getting my bearings after 2 months of non-stop travel and it took awhile for me to get back into the groove of hosting local events and executing my RVC duties. Most of you will probably see 2 columns for February as my January column missed the deadline of most Region 9 local newsletters.
The new communication tool Mensa Connect from Higher Logic is now online. Members who are net savvy and those who checked the Mensa website recently may already have signed on and played a little with the application. Mensa Connect works like yahoo groups and social applications like facebook, but is linked to the Mensa database. Membership lists such as current AMC members, current LocSecs, proctors, etc. are automatically updated, those who no longer volunteer for a specific position or whose membership expired will be purged when their statuses change. Updating all these membership information each year used to be a massive and time consuming task, the advantage of handling over this to Higher Logic is not only do we automate the process, they also take care of archiving all old messages.
A task force was formed and headed by GLAAM’s own Billie Lee (who also serves as our Second Vice Chair on the AMC) a few months ago to test this software and it went online December 5th. As of now thru March 1st. we are in the process of creating local elists and communities for Local groups, by April 1st. the migration process should be completed and all local elist will be turned off. If you have been active on old local elist, be aware that it may not be operating for much longer.
I received a nice email from a Region 9 member inquireing about becoming a proctor because he has read about the problem with Southern Nevada, I was very excited about his enthusiasm and the positive experiences he had with his proctor when he initially joined. I can not emphasize enough about the importance of our proctors, who are responsible for bringing in most of our new members and are probably the first Mensans most prospective members meet when they take the admission test. I have submitted my proctor application recently and hope to join our fine team of proctors some time early in 2018. On the subject of the Mensa test, the special code for free testing as the program is due to expire at the end of March, please take advantage of this.
Finally, Phoenix has been chosen as the site of the 2019 AG. The AG co-chair Brian and Allison Reeves will be having an informal site walk thru at the end of January. They are scheduled to arrive on January 26th. and leaving before noon on January 28th. They are hoping to meet with as many local members as possible. I will try my best to be present for part of this.