Much Ado About Mensa

Puzzle #4 (Solution)

Monday 14th August 2017

My apologies for being a day late with this posting. The solution to the puzzle follows. The winner will be announced with next weeks puzzle.


The only lockers that remain open are perfect squares (1, 4, 9, 16, etc) because they are the only numbers divisible by an odd number of whole numbers; every factor other than the number’s square root is paired up with another. Thus, these lockers will be “changed” an odd number of times, which means they will be left open. All the other numbers are divisible by an even number of factors and will consequently end up closed.
So the number of open lockers is the number of perfect squares less than or equal to one thousand. These numbers are one squared, two squared, three squared, four squared, and so on, up to thirty one squared. (Thirty two squared is greater than one thousand, and therefore out of range.) So the answer is thirty one.

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Puzzle #4

Friday 4th August 2017

A high school has a strange principal. On the first day, he has his students perform an odd opening day ceremony:
There are one thousand lockers and one thousand students in the school. The principal asks the first student to go to every locker and open it. Then he has the second student go to every second locker and close it. The third goes to every third locker and, if it is closed, he opens it, and if it is open, he closes it. The fourth student does this to every fourth locker, and so on. After the process is completed with the thousandth student, how many lockers are open?

Please send your responses to

Thank you in advance for your support.

Steve / Editor

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Puzzle #3 (Update)

Friday 4th August 2017

Hi all,

We had one person respond to my inquiry regarding the correct answer to Puzzle #3. They were going to follow up after consulting with a friend. I haven’t heard back yet, but am leaning toward the original solution being valid. I will have to review the received responses, but I do not believe we received a correct response. If you submitted a correct response, please email me at

Puzzle 4 is posted in this issue.

Thank you,

Steve Cervera / Editor

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Puzzle 3 - Solution?

Sunday 30th July 2017

Hello All,

We have had a few responses to my request for input regarding the solution to puzzle #3. I had my doubts. Seems that so did some of you. One of the most common perspective was to relate this situation to the “Let’s Make a Deal” pick a curtain quandary.  That’s where my thoughts were going originally. But it nagged at me. Take a look art the correspondence below and let me know what you think. After too much time contemplating this, I finally made up my mind. I think the argument below misses the mark. Anyone else?

Final thoughts and the winner of the $10 Gift Card to the vendor of choice in our next edition,

Member submission:

In regard to puzzle number 3.  Look at it exactly the same with one single difference.  The guy drawing the marbles out of the bags is blind and has no idea what he draws. But he still goes thru all the same steps… draws a marble, puts it back, draws a marble again.   If he can’t see whether the marble he draws is black or white how would that possibly change the actual probabilities of the result?  Similarly, if a person can see the marbles, how would that possibly change the outcome? 

This seems like a variation on the classic flipping a coin where people erroneously think that knowing the results of a previous coin flip somehow changes the odds for the result of a subsequent coin flip.  The setup of this puzzle is intended to trick you into thinking it’s the “let’s make a deal” scenario where there IS human interference in the choices offered.  But it’s not the same.  It’s really the coin flip.. which is that each “draw” is an entirely separate event with exactly the same odd.

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Third Saturday Game Night (update)

Sunday 30th July 2017

Please everyone note that our “Third Saturday” Game event is on a Friday this month, one time only. That’s August 18th at 6pm. See you there.

Questions? Please contact: terrybandaruk@cox.netor

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August Birthdays

Sunday 30th July 2017
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August Mensaversaries

Sunday 30th July 2017
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June 24th Eastside DOSIG (Dining Out Special Interest Group) at Babbo’s in Queen Creek

Friday 21st July 2017

By Mary Prior

Eastside DOSIG is a lunch gathering for those Mensans and guests living in the East Valley—and anyone else who wants to join us.

Seven of us (James, Pete, Mary, Teri, Steve, Karen and JJ) showed up and took over their big booth to have Italian.  I had the lunch pasta with mushrooms and asparagus, Pete ordered pizza, and I don’t remember what else we ordered.  Most of it was pretty good, and we had three “doggy bags” because the plates were bigger than tummies.  Conversation was fast and interesting, and made a great appetizer.  We were too busy stuffing our faces to converse during lun

Next DOSIG will be July 29th from 12 to 2 pm at the Flaming Kabob, at 2252 E. Baseline Road in Mesa 85204.  Why?  Because I loved the name and it gets good reviews on Yelp! They serve both Mediterranean and American cuisine.  Their menu includes traditional gyros, falafel and hummus and kabobs and an interesting cucumber and yogurt salad; but they also have some very interesting entrees, including vegetarian entrees, stuffed lamb, as well as raw juice and beverages.  Turkish coffee, anyone?

Please RSVP via email or text to Mary Prior at or 206-551-5907.  I cannot take calls from 11 am–11 pm during the week because I am either on the road or at work.

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Puzzle #3 - Solution

Saturday 15th July 2017

Fellow Mensans,

I have a dilemma. After reviewing the answer to the last puzzle. I am not sure that I agree with the published solution. I was hoping one of you would respond with similar logic that would open my eyes to an “aha experience”. Such was not the case. I received a few different answers but I wasn’t swayed that any were the correct answer. There is a subtle but complex dimension to the logic involved in determining the probability.

That being said, I am re-posting Puzze #3 and providing you with the published solution. I would like to ask for yays and nays or other ways of determining the actual odds/probability. What better audience? Thank you

Puzzle #3 Re-posted:

You choose one of two identical looking bags at random. One bag has three black marbles and one white marble. The other has three white marbles and one black marble. After choosing a bag you draw one marble out at random. You notice it is black. You then put it back and draw another marble out of the same bag at random. What is the probability that the second marble drawn is black?

Published Solution:

First, ask yourself, which bag did you choose?  Since you drew a black marble, and one bag has 3 blacks and the other 1 black, it is 3 times as likely you chose the 3-black bag than the 1-black bag.  So there’s a ¾ chance you drew from the bag with 3 black marbles and a ¼ chance it’s the bag with 1 black marble.

Now consider your second draw from that bag.  If you’re drawing from the 3-black bag (which will happen ¾ of the time) there’s a ¾ chance you’ll draw a black.  3/4 x ¾ = 9/16.  So on the second draw there’s a 9/16 chance you will draw a black from the 3-black bag.

If you’re drawing from the 1-black bag (which will happen ¼ of the time), there’s a ¼ chance you’ll draw a black.  1/4 x ¼ = 1/16.  So there’s a 1/16 chance you will draw a black from the 1-black bag on the second draw.

9/16 + 1/16 = 10/16 = 5/8.  There’s a 5/8 chance you’ll draw a black on the second draw.


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July Mensaversaries

Thursday 6th July 2017
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July Mensa Birthdays

Thursday 6th July 2017
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Report of the Second Annual "Meet the One-Percenters"

Wednesday 28th June 2017

In attendance were three Mensans, two ILIans - one who had never been there before - four members of both organizations - and Jennifer, my long-time friend and employee (ten years and counting.)

The Organ Stop management had reserved seven tables for us but I realized early on that I could “unreserve” three of them. So, I did.

To coin a trite phrase, a good time was had by all.

Bil Munsil,
Moderator of the Mensa GeneSIG and hamsig groups.
Mesa AZ

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East Valley DOSIG May 27th

Wednesday 28th June 2017

By Mary Prior
John and Judy Herrmann met me at C-Fu Gourmet in Chandler for dim sum, and it was really, really good.  It was a roomy, easy-going restaurant and we were quickly “attacked” by several ladies and carts of various dim sum small plates.  Their regular menu runs from Crab meat asparagus soup to flounder to squid and of course, all of the “regular” menu items served, and desserts from Lychee to mango pudding to almond Jell-O – but their menu is Hu-u-u-u-ge!
Our next East Valley DOSIG will take place Saturday, June 24th (it’s always the LAST Saturday of each month ) at noon at BABBO’s Italian Eatery on the border of Gilbert and Queen Creek, at 18521 E. Queen Creek Road (Shopping Center on the SE corner of Queen Creek & Power Road).  
Babbo (means “daddy”) is a relaxed restaurant and bar serving Italian fare in a contemporary atmosphere.  It is located on the far northeastern corner of the shopping center.  I particularly like their Pomodor Tomato salad, while my son prefers the Mista salad.  Menu ranges from Spaghetti & Meatballs, Neapolitan style pizzas to their roasted Brussels sprout and beet salad.  Check out the menu at
Please RSVP via email or text to Mary Prior at or 206-551-5907.  (I cannot take phone calls from 11 am – 11 pm.)

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StaRGazing 2018

Saturday 24th June 2017

Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa Regional Gathering
StaRGazing 2018
FRIDAY, Feb. 16 – MONDAY, Feb. 19, 2018
At the DoubleTree by Hilton on the waterfront in San Pedro


Early Bird Registration Rate – $99 – July 1-31
Rate goes up to $119, Aug. 1 – Sept. 30
Register at starting July 1, 2017
Or send a check payable to LA Mensa RG to:
GLAAM/LA Mensa, 115 W California Blvd #255, Pasadena CA 91105

Special discounted hotel rate at $159 (plus tax) for one or two
Call 1-800-222-TREE, reference GLAAM REGIONAL GATHERING 2018 or GLM
Or register online at

For additional information, contact Madeline Walker, RG Chair, at

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Puzzle #3 - Extension

Friday 23rd June 2017

Thank you for your responses. To date we have only one correct solution. You can do better than that. I will extend the deadline until next week.

Those who submitted….double check your reasoning.

Those who didn’t…double-check your vital signs :) 

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Puzzles & PRIZES!

Saturday 17th June 2017

Yes, you read that right. We will now have a very real prize given for correct answers to posted puzzles. Hold onto your hats….

As of June 01, 2017, a $10 gift card (winners choice of venue) or merchant) will be issued to a member randomly drawn from the correct responses submitted before the publication of the following puzzle.

That being said, here is this weeks puzzle:

You choose one of two identical looking bags at random. 

One bag has three black marbles and one white marble. 

The other has three white marbles and one black marble. 

After choosing a bag you draw one marble out at random. 

You notice it is black. You then put it back and draw another marble out of the same bag at random. 

What is the probability that the second marble drawn is black?


So many paths I can go down with puzzles I publish. I’d like your suggestions (and contributions). Word Puzzles, Number Puzzles, Sudoku  (not a fave of mine, but I am open-minded), etc. I will deviate from the norm from time to time, but I will always try to publish something challenging (relatively speaking) and hopefully fun.

NOTE: Your responses are indicators of your support of this effort. Want more…contribute more :)  Thank you


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East Valley DOSIG May 27th

Saturday 17th June 2017

By Mary Prior

John and Judy Herrmann met me at C-Fu Gourmet in Chandler for dim sum, and it was really, really good.  It was a roomy, easy-going restaurant and we were quickly “attacked” by several ladies with carts of various dim sum small plates.  It was almost overwhelming to see so many options.

Their regular menu runs from Crab meat asparagus soup to flounder to squid and of course, all of the “regular” menu items served, and desserts from Lychee to mango pudding to almond Jell-O – but their menu is Hu-u-u-u-ge!  And there was so much food left over, I had enough for 2 lunches at work.  Whatever did we do before microwaves!?!

Our next East Valley DOSIG will take place Saturday, June 24th (it’s always the LAST Saturday of each month ) at noon at BABBO’s Italian Eatery on the border of Gilbert and Queen Creek, at 18521 E. Queen Creek Road (Shopping Center on the SE corner of Queen Creek & Power Road). 

Babbo (means “daddy”) and is a relaxed restaurant and bar serving Italian fare in a contemporary atmosphere.  It is located on the far northeastern corner of the shopping center.  I particularly like their Pomodor Tomato salad, while my son prefers the Mista salad.  Menu ranges from Spaghetti & Meatballs, Neapolitan style pizzas to their roasted Brussels sprout and beet salad.  Check out the menu at

Please RSVP via email or text to Mary Prior at or 206-551-5907. 
(I cannot take phone calls from 11 am – 11 pm.)

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EDOSIG Lunch at San Tan Flat in Queen Creek

Saturday 17th June 2017

By Mary Prior

A few of us met for lunch on April 29th at San Tan Flat.  We ate outdoors, and it was very pleasant as we had a table in the shade and a nice breeze.  They serve a variety of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and quesidillas, along with soups and salads and they even sell S’mores kits!  As you can see, there’s a lot of space, including bandstands and dance floor.  Evidently they also cater to an older crowd as well.  We talked about coming back on a Friday or Saturday night. 

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Eastside Dining Out Special Interest Group (SIG) is off to a great start….

Saturday 17th June 2017

By Mary Prior


Our first event was held March 25th at Waldo’s BBQ in Mesa.  I was late getting there, and although via RSVPs I expected about 6 or 7 people, including my oldest son and his wife, I was amazed to see there were about 13 people already seated, and three folks volunteered to sit in a booth beside our table.  The foods was excellent, as usual.  I have eaten here several times, and so far, it’s my favorite east valley place for BBQ.  There’s also a hokey gift shop next door to the pig.  (There’s also a big metal pig out front)!  It is on the north side of Main Street.

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June Mensa Birthdays

Wednesday 7th June 2017
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June Mensaversaries

Wednesday 7th June 2017
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Wednesday 31st May 2017

The answer to Puzzle #2 was submitted by Nick Dodson:

1. Rear man says “I don’t know” because he sees either 2 black or a 1 black and 1 white. If he saw 2 whites he would have known that his is black.

2. Middle man says “I don’t know” because he sees a black hat. Having heard the rear man’s reply he then knows that he and front man are either both black or 1 black and 1 white. If he sees a white then he knows his is black. But since he sees a black, he must reply “I don’t know”.

3. Front man has heard his buddies. He figures that if he had a white, then middle man would have known that his own was black. Therefore, front man knows that his must be black.

Good job Nick…and thank you to all who submitted responses.

Look for a new puzzle and an exciting announcment in my next post!

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It’s Official!  Arizona Scholarship Winners Are:

Sunday 28th May 2017

By Mary Prior

There are 24 restricted national scholarships awarded, from $500 to $2,500 each.  “Restricted” only means that they qualified for scholarships that specified a field of study or such a military person or LGBT applicant.  Then there are 20 regional awards and a lot of local awards.  This is open to anyone.  There are also scholarships specifically for international students and Mensa Members!

The winner of the $600 Greater Phoenix Area Mensa Scholarship is Savanna Palafox of Buckeye.  Awards are handled by the Mensa Foundation, as they “host” our funds for the award, which allows us to provide 401©(3) status for anyone who donates to our scholarship fund.  If we ever have an event to raise money for our fund, anyone who donates something with a high value can take advantage of that and claim it on their taxes.  (Hint, Hint!)

We also had two winners at the regional level—the Karen Cooper Memorial Scholarship for $600.  Those winners were Jacquelina Briseno of Phoenix and Juliana Martinez of Oro Valley

And did you know that Tucson gives THREE $1,000 Scholarships?  Their winners were:

  • Javier Jeffery 
  • Meena Venkataramanan

  • Victoria Carotenuto

The application process is very simple, and requires an essay about yourself—What degree are you are working toward?  How or why did you choose your goal?  What have you done to achieve it?  What are your future plans?  And it’s roughly 500 words.  You do have to enroll for the fall semester after your application in an accredited post-secondary institution in a degree or certificate program.  I’ve seen applications from potential aerospace engineers, a 12-year old, a 94-year old, an artist, a minister, computer engineers, nurses aids, doctors, nurses, veterinarians, teachers, writers, even chefs and or mechanics!  The only limits are the ones you put on yourself.   

Don’t forget!  Every September 15th kicks off a new scholarship year, which concludes on January 15th of the following year, with funds available to the winners for a fall semester.  You may apply on line at anytime between September 15 and January 15 every year.  

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Sunday 28th May 2017

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Puzzle #2 Solution

Sunday 28th May 2017

The back man can see the hats worn by the two men in front of him. So, if both of those hats were white, he would know that the hat he wore was black. But, since he doesn’t know, he must see at least one black hat ahead of him.

Knowing this, if the middle man saw a white hat in front of him, he’d know that his own hat was black, and could answer the question correctly. But, since he doesn’t know, he must see a black hat on the front man.

After it becomes apparent to the front man that neither of the men behind him can answer the question, he realizes the middle man saw a black hat in front of him. So he says, correctly, “My hat is black.”

Thank you for your responses. Winner will be announced next week along with more information about prizes. Happy Memorial Day! 

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Wednesday 17th May 2017

The Speaker Slots are starting to fill as a wide variety of interesting speakers have raised their hands to present at the Greater Phoenix Mensa Regional Gathering, Phoenix Phiesta XXXV, held on Thanksgiving Weekend, November 24-25, 2017.

Is there a topic where you’d like to share your knowledge with fellow Mensans? Do you know someone who would be a great presenter?

Take action now and become a RG presenter! Have the opportunity to deliver your presentation to up 35 gathering participants, sell your products after your talk, AND get your name out to 1000+ Phoenix area members.

The Details

  • Dates  –  Friday, November 24 AND Saturday, November 25

The Process

Submit your topic for the initial screening of speakers to Barbara Chatzkel at and include:  

  • Full name
  • Contact info – email address AND phone number
  • Title of Presentation
  • 150 word presentation summary – no attachments

 Topic submissions are due June 12, 2017. First screening will be completed by June 26, 2017. Selected presenters will be notified by July 5, 2017 and asked to submit a fuller proposal.

Questions: Contact or 623-680-0515

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Puzzle #2

Saturday 13th May 2017

There was a great response to the puzzle challenge I posted a couple of weeks ago. Thank you to all who participated. Seeking out these type of puzzles most of my life, I am familiar with many obscure puzzles. I’m guessing the same is true for many of you. I cannot guarantee uniqueness, but as I search for challenging content, I will try to eliminate those I have seen before unless they seem particularly interesting and/or a little bit of fun. This is one such puzzle:   

Three men, members of a safari, are captured by cannibals in the jungle. The men are given one chance to escape with their lives. The men are lined up and bound to stakes such that one man can see the backs of the other two, the middle man can see the back of the front man, and the front man can’t see anybody. The men are shown five hats, three of which are black and two of which are white. Then the men are blindfolded, and one of the five hats is placed on each man’s head. The remaining two hats are hidden away. The blindfolds are removed. The men are told that if just one of the men can guess what hat he’s wearing, they may all go free.

The man in the rear who can see both of his friends’ hats but not his own says, “I don’t know”.

The middle man who can see the hat of the man in front, but not his own says, “I don’t know”.

The front man who cannot see ANYBODY’S hat says “I know!

What color was his hat and how did he know?

Keep those cards and letters coming :)

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May Birthdays

Saturday 6th May 2017
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May Mensaversaries

Saturday 6th May 2017
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and the winner is....

Saturday 29th April 2017

Stephen Stuart was the first correct answer received for last weeks’ puzzle. Congratulations Stephen, and thank you to all who submitted responses. No prizes this week, but I am working on getting approval.

Here is Stephen’s solution:

  • If you turn on a light, wait a minute, then turn it off, the corresponding bulb will be off but hot. 
  • So there are 3 states for a bulb: on, off/hot, and off/cold. 
  • Turn on switches 1 and 2, wait a minute, then turn off switch 2. 
  • Run up to the attic, note which bulb is on (switch 1), and touch the off bulbs:
  • Hot is switch 2, cold is switch 3.

Thank you all for your responses to the puzzle last week. There were several correct responses, and a couple of very interesting “out-of-the box” responses. Some involved extension cords, drop lights, advanced yoga moves, or a second person as a relay. Nice tries, but no cigar. One of the more entertaining solutions came from Peter Bergonzi, who wrote the following:

“Alternative solutions to attic lights puzzle.

  • Use a mirror.
  • Use a friend.
  • Travel faster then electricity.
  • Deconstruct Heisenberg.
  • Add a gated circuit such that if lights A and B are switched on light A will burn at ½ intensity and light B will not burn if switch A was flipped first, else light B will burn at ½ intensity and light A will not burn. Leave light C illuminated at full intensity.
  • Let the dog eat the homework.”

I am working out the details for this to become a recurring feature with some nominal prizes. I am also seeking submissions and am open to suggestions for other fun and/or interesting puzzles/contests/friendly competions. More info to come. It’s been fun. It’s been real. It’s been real fun. Stay tuned.

Steven W Cervera - Editor

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Puzzles anyone?

Saturday 22nd April 2017

Hello fellow Mensans,

As I contemplate some additional content for this page, I thought some puzzles/brain teasers might be welcome. I am even thinking of offering some nominal prizes for the first (or first three?) correct answers. To that end, I am posting this and will be reviewing responses and considering any suggestions for content. 

Here is the first in a series of   puzzle:The correct answer and the name(s) of correct submitter(s) will be posted in my next contribution.

There are three switches downstairs. Each corresponds to one of the three light bulbs in the attic. You can turn the switches on and off and leave them in any position. How would you identify which switch corresponds to which light bulb, if you are only allowed one trip upstairs?

Please submit your answers and/or suggestions by clicking here

Thank you for your participation.

Steven W Cervera - Editor

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Article of Interest from Prescott Minds in the Pines Meeting

Saturday 8th April 2017

Will Hepburn, GPM Area Coordinator from Prescott reports:

Our Monday (April 3rd) meeting included one of the liveliest discussions we have ​ever had.  I think everyone present contributed in some way, making it really fun.  Thanks, again to Chuck Post for his brilliant presentation,  “The emerging impact of the Nag Hammadi Scrolls.”

Pete Percy mentioned this touching article that his daughter recently had published in the NY Times on Fukushima nuclear disaster families search for lost members that continues to this day.  Interest in the article at the meeting was very high and I was asked to pass it along to local Mensans.

Here is a brief description of the article: The winning story in the Feature Writing category, “I Have No Choice but to Keep Looking,” by our contributing writer Jennifer Percy, visits the coast of Japan, where more than five years after the tsunami that killed tens of thousands, the families of the dead still search the sea for their loved ones — a heartbreaking testament to love and devotion in the face of unimaginable loss.

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April Birthdays

Monday 3rd April 2017
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April Mensaversaries

Monday 3rd April 2017
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Saturday 25th March 2017

More and more, the trustworthiness of information is based on the perceived trustworthiness of the source. Since our founding, this nation has consistently placed that trust in its museums and libraries. Even today, libraries and museums are considered honest purveyors of information and places for conversation on issues of local and national significance. Read more in this article from the Smithsonian Insider

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Dez’s Dialogues

Wednesday 15th March 2017

Voting will begin April 15 and continue through the end of May.  (International balloting is from April 15 – May 15). Region 9 does have two candidates for RVC and the bylaws are addressed below.   

Mensa Cares! is taking place on April 29, 2017.  The National Community Service Committee is encouraging all chapters to schedule a community service event or project that will happen on or around April 29, 2017.  Hopefully many of the chapters in Region 9 will be so inclined, but at the time of this writing, I was only aware of GLAAM having actually scheduled something. (Region 8 has four chapters participating!!)  Part of the reason we encourage community service is that over 1/3 of our members have expressed an interest in it.  So just like gaming, dining, and speaker events – community service is one more thing that you can meet and bond with your fellow Mensans while doing! It turns out that a lot of our Gen Y folks have an interest in this as well, so it is a great way to see some turn out from the younger crowd that many chapters have been trying to engage with.  Hopefully it will be a fun activity that leads to more down the road! 

GLAAM’s RG over Presidents Day weekend was a blast, despite the “Centruy of the decade” that seemed to limit walk-ins and even cause some cancellations because of transportation issues.  (Really – trains AND planes cancelled because of weather in Los Angeles – who knew it could happen??) We are still looking forward to San Diego’s RG over Memorial Day and many have started making plans for Mensa Hawaii’s RG in October!  

The Bylaw Amendments: Proposal 1:  Election period.  This changes the AML election period to match the international period of April 15 – May 15.  This is sought primarily to help make the transition from one AMC to another a smoother and easier process. The current system means that election results are often not known until around June 10th, which means that a brand new AMC is publishing the agenda late; having limited time to make appointments for the Board and the national committee chairs, liaisons, and members.  The additional two weeks helps to avoid those problems and it makes it less confusing with international. 

Proposal 2: Incorporate Minimum Standard Constitutional Requirements.  This is exactly what it sounds like.  International has asked us to update our bylaws to include a variety of requirements that we are essentially bound by anyway, but it avoids confusion by putting the provisions within our own policy documents.  

Proposal 3:  National Hearings Committee Amendments.  This changes the existing rules to specifically exclude any Hearings Committee Member from being in the executive session that reviews the decision of that hearing committee.  It further lays out the additional possible members of the Hearing Committee if we need look beyond past Chairs of Mensa. The change regarding executive session participation was a procedural hole that needs to be fixed. 

Proposal 4:  Conflicting Bylaw Amendments.  It says that if two proposed bylaws pass and they conflict with each other, the one receiving more “yes” votes will control.  We had no prior provision to address conflicting bylaw amendments that could be passed in the same election and wanted to make sure we had a procedure if it happened.  

Proposal 5:  Housekeeping Amendments.  These really are housekeeping issues and language fixes to avoid ambiguity.  There is no intent to make any substantive rule changes with these updates. 

Proposal 6:  National Appointees Amendments.  This changes the name of Development Officer to the Marketing Officer and gives a focus for the Director of Science and Education since it had never before been provided.    
Region9-talk mailing list

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Grand Canyon Trip Anyone?

Wednesday 15th March 2017

From Mary Prior

I am thinking of starting a “travel” sig – M-Explorers, perhaps.  And the first place I want to go is to the Grand Canyon, which I have never seen except from the air.

I have done a bit of research and am tentatively thinking of the weekend of April 7-9.  There is a vacation house that will host 9 people, complete with kitchen etc., 30 minutes from the Williams Train and 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon, that rents for about $400 per night, including tax.  Divided by 8, that would give us $50 a night give or take $20 and tax.  

My idea would be to drive up Friday (probably car pooling), and check in, then explore the area around Williams, and perhaps take the Train.  Then on Saturday, get up early and head for the Grand Canyon where we can all explore as much or as little as we choose.  Some could hang around and do the museums, some could go hiking, etc. We are open to suggestion.  

There are other options, such as the Holiday Express in Williams, which would run about $225 (including taxes) per night for each of 2 rooms, which would have 2 queen beds in each room. It also provides a free breakfast. I also looked up the Grand Canyon Lodge, which cost is about double that, but might be an experience of a lifetime.

James Guinta and I were talking about seeing some of Arizona and surrounding areas on the weekends since we are not native to Arizona.  And the weather should be nice in April. He has also not seen the Canyon.  There are other places I want to see as well, such as Montezuma’s Well and Castle, and several other sites.  I’d also like to go to the Kitt Peak Observatory.  

Are there any Mensans out there willing to go exploring with us?  I will need to know within the next week or so regarding the Grand Canyon trip.  Otherwise, I will make plans without you. 

Please text Mary Prior at 206-551-5907 or email me at  I cannot take phone calls between 11 am and 11 pm because I am at work.  

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New East Valley DOSIG  (Dining Out SIG)

Tuesday 14th March 2017
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Want to help GPM?

Monday 13th March 2017

Per the Motion passed by the ExCom yesterday, Disa McAlister, Helen Goldman and Julie Garner have been appointed as the Nominating Committee for GPM’s upcoming Election with Disa McAlister as Chair.

You have until May 1st to nominate one or more candidates for each opening on the Executive Committee. Any current member of the local group in good standing may declare his or her candidacy in writing (email or mail) to the Chairman of the Nominating Committee by such deadline. Regarding eligibility, any officer shall serve no more than two consecutive terms. For reference, archived print issues of MAAM and GPM Quarterly show the history of ExCom Officers. That archive may be found HERE.

The membership of the local group shall be notified of these nominations in the MAAM no later than May 1st.

The offices to be filled are:

  • Local Secretary
  • Assistant Local Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Recording Secretary
  • Member at Large 1
  • Member at Large 2
  • Member at Large 3

No later than May 5th additional nominations may be made by petition signed by ten (10) members of the local group and delivered to the Chairman of the Nominating Committee. Should there be more than one nominee for any office, the Committee shall become the Election Committee and conduct an election per the Bylaws.

Nomination solicitation and member notification methods available to the Committee are the eUpdate, MAAM and GPM Quarterly. The eUpdate is issued each Friday at 5PM, posting in the MAAM is available at any time and the next GPM Quarterly printing will be issued and mailed by the first or second week of April.

Thank you for your service to GPM.

Dave Pivin

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From the Editor

Sunday 12th March 2017

Greetings fellow Mensans, Mensians, Mensanites, Mensonians,
(who decides such things? so much to learn…so little time)

As the new editor of the GPM newsletter, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Steven W Cervera. I go by Steve, but always print or sign my name as Steven W Cervera in honor of the memory of my father, who was taken much too early from a woman who loved him as much as any woman ever loved any man.

I was born and raised in Bronx, New York, a second generation American who found paradise in Arizona with my best-friend/wife, Josee and my larger than life and even bigger than me son, Steven II. My daughter LyneaAnn, and my absolutely and completely lovable grandson Daniel are still back East but are nearly convinced they should join the West coast clan. After too many years in corporate America, my current dream, shared by my “boo”, and accepted with an eye-roll by the rest of my family, is to start an alpaca ranch in Sierra Vista. They are just too darned cute!

I am a somewhat colorful and sometimes insightful combination of geek and artist. I delight in discovering the simplicity of our complex universe but agonize over the analysis and understanding of the dynamics of  cause and effect in our human interractions. Nothing touches me like the laughter of children, and nothing infuriates me more than the greed and envy of lost souls or the arrogance and contempt of bullies. I’ve learned of life and love from my both my parents. Each the most caring and loving and giving people I have ever known.  For the gift of their love I will be forever indebted. 

While most of my current experience has been in the world of Information Technology, in my college days and as a newlywed I aspired to be a graphic artist. I worked in print and audio-visual media for corporate and educational clients as a researcher and production assistant. I loved the field but with a child on the way I began searching for a career with a steady paycheck. I took an interesting path, Air Traffic Controller, Autopsy Assistant, Taxi/Limo Driver, Burger King Manager, even early morning newspaper deliveries to remote areas. Whatever it took to pay the rent and feed the baby. In the 90’s computers finally became interesting enough and popular enough that I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up and spent the next 20 years in IT.

Up until recently, I was a proud to be supporting our nations’ Armed Forces at Ft. Huachuca. I voluntarily relocated for the privilege.  I now reside in a little section of paradise called Sierra Vista.  

With more than my fair share of experience picking myself up and starting over, I just earned my AZ Real Estate license and am investigating opportunities in local markets while also exploring other IT Consulting roles until I can make my alpaca dream come true.

Last but not least, I love my wife, my family, my creator, and my country. It is a pleasure and an honor to be a part of this organization. I look forward to facilitating and contributing to an ongoing dialogue and exchange of ideas.

Thank you and respectfully,

Steven W Cervera

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A message from Dave Cahn - Candidate for First Vice Chair

Saturday 11th March 2017

Members and local groups count. Or do we? Mensa has turned away from members and local groups and become a highly-centralized corporate behemoth. I want to turn Mensa back toward us.

The AMC should listen more, govern less, and cut costs instead of raising dues. This could also provide more funds and support for local groups. I favor more transparency and fewer executive sessions. AGs should be returned to local groups.

The national office performs numerous expensive activities that volunteers can do as well for free, discouraging member involvement and stifling creativity. National should instead use members’ expertise; provide usable tools and reports to local officers; and help local groups enhance members’ experience, thus increasing retention rates. The office should ask us what we need or want, not give us what they think we should have. The new “improved” website shows what can go wrong when we are ignored. The executive director should be evaluated on how well the office serves current members.

 During six years as National Ombudsman, I listened carefully to members’ concerns and helped resolve problems, often defusing disputes before positions became hardened. I will put these same skills to work for you as First Vice Chair. Understanding and truly considering differing viewpoints will help rid Mensa of the “us vs. them” mentality. After being a Mensa member for more than 40 years, serving with four different AMCs, I know how the AMC works–and how it sometimes doesn’t.

 An attorney admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, I also am a Wharton economics graduate. I served as a diplomat in Afghanistan and Mexico, a U.S. treaty negotiator, a Congressional staffer, General Counsel for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and chief editor for the Secretary of HUD. In these roles and as a journalist and businessman, I have traveled extensively throughout the world.

 I will work with AMC to make sure that We ALL Count!


Join the discussion of issues that affect Mensa’s future at or contact me directly at or 301-627-5126. 

If you agree that We Count, I would be honored if you would vote for me for First Vice Chair. Thank you.

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March Birthdays

Friday 3rd March 2017
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March Mensaversaries

Friday 3rd March 2017
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Scholarship Statistics for 2016-2017

Sunday 26th February 2017

by Mary Prior, Scholarship ChairM

For those of you who like statistics and information, following is submitted regarding our Scholarship Program: 

A total of 118 essays were submitted overall.  Seven of the 118 did not follow the instructions and put their own names in the essay (a big no-no).  The other one started with gibberish but did not provide an essay.  There were 26 essays submitted by males; 60 submitted by females; and 32 I couldn’t identify as one or the other.  Fifty-two of the applicants were still in high school and at least 51 were in college; 1 was a grad student going for a Masters; 1 was a grad student going for a Doctorate.   

Following is the number of essays submitted for each community.  

Because you may use your home address, a military address or a school address which you are attending, the following also were submitted: 

 APO (Military Post Office) - 1
San Diego - 1 

Following were the majors (and minors) of interest listed for the applicants, although 8 did not list any field of interest. 

There were 17 who did not list a college to attend next year and following are the schools planned to attend next year:

The way that we judge is also very different now.  It can all be done via email with the use of PDFs. 

I download the applications and essays from the Mensa Foundation;  I then separate the essays from the applications and enter each application number in a judging sheet.  So as a judge, what you get are the judging sheets listing the essays by number and the essays.  Usually I will wait until October to start sending the essays.  By the Christmas holiday, we usually have received about half of the essays that will eventually be submitted.  So you have lots of time to go through these at your leisure. 

 After Christmas until the deadline of January 15th is when we get the rest of the essays.  I try to send them as I download them so you won’t be quite so inundated.  Nevertheless, it gets a tad bit intense in January.  I have to have the judging sheets back at least a week before the February 15th deadline to submit the scores to national—which means I have to input all of the judging scores into a final tally sheet, then input these scores directly into the Mensa Foundation Web site no later than midnight of February 15th.  Then we wait.

 We will  not find out the results of our judging until mid- to late-June of this year.  The scholarships are awarded directly from the Mensa Foundation.

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Stay engaged, stay intellectual and stay with Mensa

Saturday 25th February 2017

American Mensa is your cosmic constant amid the changes of your life — graduations, careers, relationships and everything in between. And just think what you’d miss without Mensa: the Bulletin’s stimulating stories, that connection with friends to explore ideas and play games, and SIGs, where you fit in on a micro-level. Click here for more information.

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Third Saturday Game Night Comments

Saturday 25th February 2017

By Judy Hermann

On the third Saturday in February my husband, John, and I attended a games night at the home of William and Terry Bandaruk. Not only had we brought food, but William and Terry had a wondrous selection of food and drink, enough to feed everyone for days if we got snowed in. This has been on my mind since my husband and I just returned from a month in Oregon where there were several ice and snow storms during our stay. And since the game night hosts, and my husband and I were the only guests, we had all the food to ourselves. Nom.  

We began the evening by trying a game my son gave me as a gift for the holidays called “The Castles of Burgundy”. This is one of those strategy games where players accumulate goods and build things in a limited amount of turns. I learned this all later by looking it up on Wikipedia. It was kind of complicated to figure out reading the rules for the first time during game night. We quickly put it back in the box and moved on to another game.

 William is fond of “Ticket to Ride” and has the 1910 USA version. The player chooses goals of train routes to build across the United States. It was a relief to play something less complicated, although William’s familiarity with the game showed. After William (of course) won, he explained his strategy for winning, which I will now keep a secret so that I can win at the next game night.

Our third and final game was “Can’t Stop”, which was a favorite of a mutual friend of the Bandaruk’s and ours, Bob Kegel, that passed away a year and a half ago. This is also a simple game where one moves markers up columns on a board depending on die rolls. The first person to win three columns wins. The name of the game comes from wanting to keep gambling by rolling the die and moving up the columns, however, if there are no legal moves available, the player goes bust for that turn. 

I am hoping that the large quantities of food, the variety of games and friendly Mensa faces will entice you to come to the next game night at the Bandaruk’s the third Saturday in March (March 18). Bring your favorite food. Bring your favorite games. Come prepared to lose at “Ticket to Ride”.

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GPM Member Appreciation Day

Saturday 18th February 2017

GPM members are hereby invited to the next Member Appreciation Day (MAD) in Tempe Kiwanis Park.  Come gather with fellow Mensans because as always it means there will be good food, drink and conversation as well as a $50 Gift Card Giveaway (must be present to win) to one lucky winner from the attendees.

Sunday, March 5th, Noon to 4 PM.  Location is at Kiwanis Park in Tempe at Ramadas 10, 11, and 12.  The Ramadas are covered and are immediately adjacent to Parking and Restrooms. RSVP to Jim Delton, by clicking and state the number of adults and kids who will be joining the FUN. We want to see you there…

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Joining Mensa has never been easier!

Saturday 18th February 2017


We’ll review your past test scores for FREE in February.
(regularly $40)

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Mensa reaches out to gifted youth

Saturday 18th February 2017

Young Mensans (under 18) are one of the fastest-growing segments of Mensa’s membership. There are thousands of Young Mensans across the nation, and Mensa offers programs and services specifically designed to meet their unique needs.

Mensa has full-time staff who support Young Mensans and their families. We invite you to explore what Mensa offers gifted youth and see how becoming a part of the Mensa family can benefit your child. For more information click here.

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$5K Scholarship from ESET

Saturday 11th February 2017

For Women interested in STEM / Cybersecurity 

I personally subscribe to ESET.  And this was an email I received from them that I thought I would share with you.

Here’s something you can feel good about: ESET is offering a $5,000 scholarship to a woman pursuing a college-level degree who aspires to the cybersecurity field. Applications accepted Feb 1 – March 15, 2017.

Why is this so important?

For one, it’s been predicted that by the year 2020, the world will need 1.5 million more information security professionals. ESET has a video online featuring girls who attended ESET’s Cyber Boot Camp 2015, which has gone from zero girls to 40 percent female participants.

Second, diversity is critical for the future of technology, as ESET’s Sr. Security Researcher Stephen Cobb highlighted in his recent TEDx talk (see the “white male effect,” as well as for the future of our workforce, as our security researcher Lysa Myers has written.

Chances are you know a woman who’s interested in technology, so share this info today!

I am assuming (yes, I know) that there are links to the above articles and video on the ESET web site.  


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