Much Ado About Mensa


RVC9 Column

Sunday 21st October 2018

From Mike Wong, RVC9

The Typhoon Mangkhut is raging outside and it is raining so hard that I can hardly see anything beyond the apartment building across the street.  The category 5 equivalent typhoon is weakening and will soon be lowered to category 4, but it is still uprooting fairly large trees while ripping large branches off others, blowing debris all over.  The normally busy streets are completely deserted as all the public transportation suspended services, it is literally a dead city.

The wind is coming in from the south east.  It is fortunate that the apartment we reside mostly face north, only one bedroom is facing east.  Rain water from the storm leaked through the bedroom wall without our noticing, flooding the floor.  We soaked up the water using up most of the dry towels, now we only replace the towels by the leaks every half hour to keep the room dry.

On the subject of natural disasters, the national office sends out emails to check on members when disasters struck.  We have had volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and the Hurricanes through the southern and eastern states earlier this year.  Please let us know you are okay when you receive these from Mensa.

I am currently visiting my ailing mother, this is something I started doing 3 years ago.  She was only supposed to last at most two years after being diagnosed, so I visit her as often as possible.  This is the first time my visit coincided with a major typhoon.  In some ways this brought back a lot of memories of my childhood as we prayed for major typhoons during school year so we can skip school.

Mom’s declining health over the last few years could be attributed to her having to take care of my father and her grandparents, while volunteering to help out with her social activities.  We were not aware of her declining health until it was too late, but by that time both Grandpa and father had passed away, Grandma was in late stages of dementia and bedridden.  I’m no stranger to burnouts as I’ve experienced that too.  There are a lot of Mensans that I see in our local groups who work way too hard, and I would like to caution them that it is not work sacrificing their health by overdoing it.

I apologize that this column may sound lacking in content, I had originally hoped to write about the planning meeting and AMC board meeting in Dallas.  The date was changed from the beginning of September to the end of September after my trip to Hong Kong was already arranged and can not be altered.  I did manage to visit Orange County’s monthly forum to present Art and Angie Mattson his national and regional service awards and her proctor and testing awards.  The presentation given by the public defender was informative and entertaining, I highly recommend attending that if you ever visit Orange County.  I will have more Mensa related material next month.

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Puzzlement #21

Sunday 21st October 2018

There were 9 responses to Puzzlement #20, 5 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Alys Carnesi was: He was donating blood. Joe Gruberman was second and Frank Pabian was third.

On to the puzzle:

Always talked of, never seen,
Ever coming, never been,
Daily looked for, never here,
Still approaching, coming near.

Thousands for its visit wait,
But alas, alas for all their fate,
Though they expect me to appear,
They never ever find me here.

Who am I?  (Hint:  I’m not Godot.)

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

POSTSCRIPT: The Grumpy Puzzle Maven is asking for your own favorite puzzlements to be published here. Please send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org and it will be featured along with your name in “lights.”

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RVC9 Column

Tuesday 16th October 2018

From Mike Wong, RVC9

Dear Region 9, I apologize for the tardiness of the September column.  It has been an exceedingly difficult column to write due to the unpleasant subject.  The computer hardware failures I encountered towards the end of August also  further contributed to the delay.

As many of you may know by now, we just had our Annual Gathering in Indianapolis at the beginning of July.  While we have had a lot of fun at the AG, there were also a few incidents that occurred over the week.  I am not going to give any further details about these unfortunate events here, as it is not helpful to delve into what has already happened.  It is far more constructive to think about what can be done to prevent or discourage similar occurrences from happening again in the future.

I have been approached by some concerned members who are outraged and/or disappointed by what transpired.  A few of these members had demanded that things to be done and have disciplinary actions taken against the offending parties.  I appreciate how some members might feel unsafe and threatened attending our future gatherings, when the perpetrators often simply just walk away with no repercussions and come back later to commit the same offenses again.  After thinking about this for some time, I am going to urge fellow members to report future incidents to the authorities.  Many times the victims simply choose not to pursue the matter any further, when this happens it makes it difficult for anyone else to proceed with any actions against the offender.


A common cause that has been attributed to most of these unfortunate incidents seems to be alcohol, as the persons involved were often in various stages of inebriation.  Most if not all gatherings provide free flowing alcohol, and as a result some members tend to over indulge. This leads to bad things happening as their judgment may have been seriously impaired.  While this may not be a popular idea, maybe gatherings should stop making alcohol so easily available.  I know this still will not prevent party suites from providing booze to the attendees, and members can still procure alcohol themselves elsewhere, but perhaps it will reduce the frequency of future incidents.

Finally, our former Secretary Lisa Maxwell, has resigned from the AMC board shortly after the Annual Gathering.  Lisa is a very hardworking and dedicated individual, I have really enjoyed the brief time I have served with her on the board.  She will be sorely missed.  On a related note, our neighboring region up north (region 8) had Sandra Lackovic resigning from her position as RVC 8 shortly before the Annual Gathering, the board has appointed Sue Ann Gilmore as the Region 8 coordinator at the AMC board meeting held at the AG.  Alexis Wise has resigned from the position of Marketing Officer and was replaced by Alexander Huth.  I apologize for not including these important information in my previous column as I was too excited writing about the prestigious awards Region 9 has won.

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Puzzlement #20

Sunday 14th October 2018

There were 13 responses to Puzzlement #19, 8 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Frank Pabian was: Dice. Sky Shipley was second and Larry Bond was third.

On to the puzzle:

A nameless former Mensa member entered an office and gave his name.  'Ah, yes, they’ve been expecting you.  While you’re waiting have a cookie,’ said the receptionist.  Being the person he was he was he filled his pockets with cookies (now we know who he is).  When he was summoned through the inner door he realized that they had been waiting for him.  The last thing he remembered was being stabbed by a masked man and seeing blood squirt from the wound as he lost consciousness.  Some time later he came to to find that his wound had been bandaged and nobody was in the room.  Quick as he could he stole through the inner door, past the receptionist and was gone.  He reported the event to no one.  Why?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #19

Sunday 7th October 2018

There were 13 responses to Puzzlement #18, only 7 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Richard Soger was: Don’t offer an award. Susan Sackett was second and Peter Bergonzi was third.

On to the puzzle:

Academe has certain forms which must be followed in order to honor the seriousness and high purpose of the institution.  Therefore when a Math Department TA ordered ‘multiple units of pseudo-random number generators’ what did she want?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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October Mensaversaries

Wednesday 3rd October 2018
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October Birthdays

Wednesday 3rd October 2018
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Puzzlement #18

Sunday 30th September 2018

There were 29 responses to Puzzlement #17, EVERYONE had the correct answer, the first one, submitted by Philip Carlisle was: Any lion who has not eaten in 2 years would be dead. Laura Swanson was second and Les Eastman was third.

On to the puzzle:

Mensa ExCom (not GPM) had fallen on financial straits and badly wanted to reduce expenses.  They decided to offer a $25 reward for good money saving ideas.  Newbie Know-it-all who had just moved into the area and was visiting ExCom for the first time immediately claimed the reward.  What, in inimitable Mensa fashion did he suggest?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #17

Sunday 23rd September 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: Based on feedback from participants I have shifted the posting of the Puzzlement in the MAAM to mid-afternoon Sunday, followed shortly by the MAAM Digest email. 

There were 23 responses to Puzzlement #16, only 7 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Randy West was: The truck was ON the train. Robert Faerber was second and Alex Vrenios was third.

On to the puzzle:

An intrepid explorer was captured by cannibals.  He so entertained them so effectively with tales of his travels that they decided not to eat him, but because he’d trespassed on their sacred territory he was to be killed anyway.  But they gave him a choice:  Did he want to be burned at the stake, did he want to be thrown into a den of lions who hadn’t eaten in two years, or did he want to be boiled in oil?  Which choice offered him a chance of survival?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org.

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Puzzlement #16

Sunday 16th September 2018

There were 21 responses to Puzzlement #15, 18 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Steven Perlmutter was: Zero, the sun doesn’t shine at midnight in Aruba. Alex Vrenios was second and Joseph Dwork was third.

On to the puzzle:

A 300 car railroad train approached an intersection at 60 miles an hour.  At the same time a ratty old pickup truck, 450hp, no lights, no horn, no brakes also going a mile a minute, approached the same intersection.  The train and the pickup both whizzed through the intersection at the same time with no damage to either.  How can this be?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Want Mensa and GPM to grow?  Are you an avid reader?

Thursday 13th September 2018

Become a BOOKMARK INSURGENT!

What the hell is that?  It’s a plan we’ve cooked up to expose people who are likely Mensa prospects to the idea of joining.  We’ve designed a bookmark that shows people how to find out about joining Mensa.

Just sign up and we’ll send you a supply of the bookmarks.  Bring them with you whenever you go to the library of a bookstore.  When you’re browsing just slip a bookmark in any book you pick up.  And put one in the books you check out when you return them.

What kind of book?  Doesn’t matter.  If you’re interested enough to pick it up anybody else who’d interested enough to pick it up is a possible Mensa recruit.  It really is as simple as that.

Interested?  Willing?  Send your name and mailing address to the LocSec and we’ll fix you up. locsec@phoenixmensa.org

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It's Official! Adam Savage will be our Gala Dinner Guest at the 2019 Phoenix AG!

Thursday 13th September 2018

On-screen builder and famed debunker of myths Adam Savage has spent his life gathering skills that allow him to take what’s in his brain and make it real. Luckily for us, he’s also drawn up plans for a tasty, entertaining gala.

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Puzzlement #15

Sunday 9th September 2018

There were 18 responses to Puzzlement #14, 13 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Alex Vrenios was most like the Grumpy Puzzle Maven’s answer: It can happen if there is a spanking wind from the East carrying a hot air balloon from Little Diomede Island on the US side of the Baring Straits to Big Diomede Island in Russia, a distance of about three miles.. Robert McAtee was second and Sky Shipley was third.

On to the puzzle:

The island of Aruba is famous for perfectly consistent weather, but to everyone’s surprise it started to rain on New Year’s Eve as the tourists were counting down the last minute to the new year.  Since the probability of rain that time of year is less than one in a thousand, what is the likelihood that the sun will be shining brightly 72 hours later?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Letter to the Editor

Friday 7th September 2018

The Grumpy Puzzlement Maven replies: “What Does the Puzzlement Test?”

Setting aside the fact that MAAM and the Puzzlement is available to everybody at the same time, when they choose to read it being individual option, Denis’ observation is correct but I fail to see how it is a flaw.  Is he somehow conflating submitting the answer first with ‘winning’?  Is getting one’s name in MAAM such a prize?  If so, Editor must be really be doing a great job with his publication.  But if that’s a prize, Dr. Franklin can ‘win’ any time he wants to by submitting an article or letter (as he has often done in the past).

IMHO solving the puzzlement is in itself ‘winning’.  As with nearly everything else in Mensa, the prize is self-satisfaction earned by reasoning it out, suggesting that we may be as smart as The Card suggests we are. 

All that being said, I encourage Denis and all other GPM members to be involved in everything GPM does. After all, it’s The Law.  Sturgeon’s Law:  90% of everything is just showing up.

GPM (emphasis on the ‘Grumpy’)

[Editor’s Note: The puzzlements are posted directly in the tumblr blog, gpm-maam, at 3 AM Sunday. The MAAM Digest email is sent out at 4 AM Sunday with all the previous week’s postings. Your comments are welcome to editor@phoenixmensa.org.]

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Letter to the Editor

Friday 7th September 2018

From Denis Franklin, “What Does the Puzzlement Test?”

I hope you will print this letter so that others will tell me whether there is a flaw in my reasoning.

Please allow me to submit the opinion that the Puzzlement contest is fundamentally, logically flawed because of its primary rule, which is irrelevant to the puzzle itself.

If everyone received the puzzle at the same time, then the fact that a response arrived first  would measure some quality of the person submitting it.  But given that many folks process their e-mail in one daily batch, and that the time for doing so varies among individuals, therefore the elapsed time between receipt of the puzzle and the response can vary widely and randomly among those responders, over spans of time that may easily be much greater than the time it takes to work out the puzzle.

Whereas those who do their e-mail on a portable device, by setting an alarm for incoming e-mail, can arrange to see the puzzle the moment it comes in and, if they are also a bit obsessive about puzzles or about winning contests, can solve and respond to it immediately.  The fastest among such contestants is the one whose answer arrives first.


Because of this procedural flaw, the Puzzlement contest is to that extent rigged by a bogus criterion that does not test what it is implied to test: i.e. which contestant is the fastest solver of the puzzle in question.  The game is, to that extent, unfair. 


I have very occasionally been intrigues by one of the puzzles, worked out an answer and submitted it, but I have always known that the order in which the answers were received meant nothing.  That conclusion, one could say, solves the logical puzzle within the Puzzlement competition, but I don’t suppose I’m the first to have mentioned it.  ;-)

Denis

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Puzzlement # 14

Sunday 2nd September 2018

There were 23 responses to Puzzlement #13, 17 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Stephen Stuart was: Statement #9 was the one true answer. Ron Draney was second and Scott Holloway was third.

On to the puzzle:

Phineas Partly Cloudy bet that under the right conditions he could travel by hot air balloon from US to Russia in under two hours.  Can this be, and if so, what conditions are required.

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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September Birthdays

Saturday 1st September 2018
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September Mensaversaries

Saturday 1st September 2018
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Puzzlement #13

Sunday 26th August 2018

There were 18 responses to Puzzlement #12, only 3 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Brent Saperstein was: They are playing DOUBLES on the same team.. Diana McClure was second and Mark Mach was third.

On to the puzzle:

Which of these statements is true?
1.  Exactly one of these ten statements is false.
2.  Exactly two of these ten statements are false.
3.  Exactly three of these ten statements are false.
4.  Exactly four of these ten statements are false.
5.  Exactly five of these ten statements are false.
6.  Exactly six of these ten statements are false.
7.  Exactly seven of these ten statements are false.
8   Exactly eight of these ten statements are false.
9.  Exactly nine of these ten statements are false.
10.  Exactly ten of these ten statements are false.

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #12

Sunday 19th August 2018

There were 9 responses to Puzzlement #11, only 3 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Scott Holloway was the correct answer: Three pairs and two orphans. Peter Bergonzi was second and Evan Bauer was third. Consider this: In order to have “orphans” as stated, each pair is unique and a single sock has only one “sibling” to be paired with. If the puzzle statement didn’t have the word orphans in it, then each pair could be identical to every other pair and you would still have 4 pairs no matter which two went missing.

On to the puzzle:

Two tennis players played five sets.  Each of them won three sets.  How can this be?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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What’s the latest on the AG?

Tuesday 14th August 2018

The best way to find out is to attend our meeting with the 2019 AG Co-Chairs on Sunday, September 16th at the Hilton Garden Inn Midtown,  2pm.

Brian and Allison will be on hand to fill us in as much as possible on what they have planned and to answer any and all questions from GPM members and any other Mensans who may stray in.

See the Calendar listing for specifics.

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Puzzlement #11

Sunday 12th August 2018

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?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #10

Sunday 5th August 2018

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.

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July 28, 2018 Dining Out

Saturday 4th August 2018

From Mary Prior

…at the Angry Crab at Hawes & Guadalupe in Mesa.

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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 mgprior66@gmail.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.  

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August Mensaversaries

Wednesday 1st August 2018
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August Birthdays

Wednesday 1st August 2018
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Puzzlement #9

Sunday 29th July 2018

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?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #8

Sunday 22nd July 2018

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 editor@phoenixmensa.org

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To the Editor: Why are LocSecs LocSecs?

Tuesday 17th July 2018

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!’

QE(?)D

Richard Morris

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RVC9 Column

Wednesday 11th July 2018

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.

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Puzzlement #7

Sunday 8th July 2018

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?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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July Birthdays

Sunday 1st July 2018
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July Mensaversaries

Sunday 1st July 2018
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Puzzlement #6

Sunday 1st July 2018

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 editor@phoenixmensa.org

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A Secret to Achieving Permanent Weight Loss
 (Other Than Divorce)

Tuesday 26th June 2018

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.]

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Puzzlement #5

Sunday 24th June 2018

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.

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Puzzlement #4

Sunday 17th June 2018

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.

Bonus Question:

How many Mensans does it take to put on a Regional Gathering?

Answer:  To find out, contact James Giunta james.m.giunta@gmail.com

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Puzzlement #3

Sunday 10th June 2018

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.

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Puzzlement #2

Sunday 3rd June 2018

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.

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Eastside Dining Out SIG - May 26

Monday 28th May 2018

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 mgprior66@gmail.com or 206-551-5907.

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Region 9 Scholarship Winner Announced

Monday 28th May 2018

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.

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A Puzzlement!

Thursday 24th May 2018

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.

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GPM Scholarship Winner Announced

Thursday 24th May 2018

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.

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RVC9 Column

Monday 14th May 2018

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.

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GPM ExCom Officers for 2018-2019 Announced

Friday 11th May 2018

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

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May Birthdays

Thursday 3rd May 2018
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May Mensaversaries

Thursday 3rd May 2018
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Prescott Area MAD Event

Thursday 3rd May 2018

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.

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GPM MAD

Saturday 28th April 2018

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.

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To the Editor...

Monday 16th April 2018

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.
Denis Franklin

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