Tags: Sessions Annual Gathering, American Mensa, AG, Mensans, Lee Harvey Oswald, true Democracy, 10 commandments, Joss Whedon, public speaking, John F. Kennedy, President Kennedy, effective presentations, interventions, Young Mensans, San Diego, Jack Ruby, THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX, Local Group, Richard Nixon, Mensa members, William Castle, National Ombudsman, DEBATE ROOM, online discussion group, Dallas Jessup, distributed power, heart disease, Mensans Jan Carnell
Content: 6/28/2016
Sessions Annual Gathering
SESSIONS Satisfy your intellectual tastes with a smorgasbord of programming ranging from practical to fantastical, from sensible to nonsensical, from thoughtful to jokester. Indulge old interests or find new ones among these daily listings.
9:00 a.m. TECHNOLOGY: ASSISTING YOU IN SERVING YOUR MEMBERS (LEADERSHIP SUMMIT) This summit will cover various topics such as key technology trends from the recent Local Group Survey, looking at the Member/Prospect Tracker and upcoming Dashboard, sharing of best practices and solutions with your fellow leaders around the country, and a session by Beth Ziesenis, a leader on various technology trends who will discuss how to leverage many low cost/free options to help you serve your members better. More details to come as the agenda shapes up.
9:00 a.m. MENSA FOUNDATION BOARD MEETING See your Mensa Foundation Board in action! All members are welcome to attend and observe.
Sessions Annual Gathering
A brief history of American comic books (from a 1933 shoe store giveaway to a multibillion-dollar industry). How a murder/suicide at Harvard University led to an international effort to preserve key comic books for the US Library Of Congress. Included will be an amusing 10-minute Wisconsin Public Radio interview on the Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project.
1:30 p.m. virtual reality: THE TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, HYPE, PROMISE, AND RISKS PAUL HYNEK Go behind the scenes of virtual reality, the hottest technology out there. See how the Virtual Production Pipeline allowed James Cameron and others to actually step into virtual worlds during the making of Avatar, the Hobbit, Planet of the Apes, World of Warcraft, Halo, etc. See the current state of the technology and learn how your smart phone can both create and display unlimited virtual reality content for less than what you paid to Uber here from your hotel. Then go beyond the tech and the business, and peel away the hype to see how virtual reality really is changing the way we view the world, why some call it an "Empathy Machine" and how it can be used for both good and manipulation.
Sessions Annual Gathering
The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality
inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung
understandable and useful in people's lives. The essence of the theory is that
much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and
consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use
their perception and judgment. Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the
outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or
Introversion (I). Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information
you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called
Sensing (S) or Intuition (N). Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to
first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special
circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F). Structure: In dealing
with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to
stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or
Perceiving (P). Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in
each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a
code with four letters.
1:30 p.m. ACTIVESSLE DRAG: SERVICE WITH STYLE AND PURPOSE SISTER BESSIE MAE MOO-CHO, SISTER IDA KNOW, SISTER YESHE DID Drag queens and LGBT folks everywhere get dressed up to entertain, to play, and to enjoy being who they are in the community. But some of us crazy queers get dressed up for a purpose. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were such a group, dressing in their crazy, funky way to catch people's attention to make a difference in the world. They shock to make a point, make people uncomfortable to educate, strut their stuff to show others that it is OK to be who they are, and use their visibility and influence in the community to raise awareness for different causes, critical problems, and fundraising efforts. We also serve a quasi-spiritual function in the community, acting as counselors, confidants, and reminders that there is something more out there, however it is defined. Our mission: to promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt. Think of activessle drag as the meeting place of flamboyance, community
Sessions Annual Gathering
service and glitter. Come join the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on
a panel where we talk about what it means to each of us to be a Sister, and learn
how to make a difference in the world by having fun and discovering yourself.
1:30 p.m. GENE TIERNEY AND GAIL RUSSELL...WHAT BECAME OF THE BEAUTIFUL LAURA AND STELLA IN HOLLYWOOD? HOWARD GROSS Howard will focus on the fabulous but ultimately tragic lives of these two beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious women. He will add interesting facts about their friends and associates, such as John Wayne, Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, John and Jackie Kennedy and others. Aside from their acting, Howard will add remarks about women directors that will be a "lagniappe." (Come to the presentation and find out!)
3:00 p.m. WIND, PYRAMIDS & OBELISKS: USING THE WIND TO BUILD THE MEGALITHS OF ANTIQUITY MAUREEN CLEMMONS Dr. Clemmons developed a novel theory that ancient Egyptians built their pyramids by harnessing the wind, an abundant and natural resource. Not only has her work revolutionized theories of ancient construction, but it opened new opportunities in modern road and building construction. This lecture reviews her field expeditions where she erected first a 3.5-ton, then a 16-ton, obelisk using wind, and her experiments where she constructed a 156-ton pyramid in conjunction with 100 architecture students from Cal-Poly, Pomona. The History Channel documentary Flying Pyramids, Soaring Stones profiles her theory and research demonstrating ancient Egyptians could have harnessed the wind to build their monuments.
3:00 p.m.
San Diego -- known for its perfect weather, naval ties, and landmarks like the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park -- has a history as incredible as its stunning shoreline. In this illustrated presentation, San Diego historian Richard Crawford recounts significant events from San Diego's past, such as the great Rainmaker flood of 1916, the famous match race between thoroughbreds Seabiscuit and Ligaroti, the closure of the notorious Stingaree red-light district, and notable visitors to San Diego such as magician Harry Houdini, baseball legend Babe Ruth and aviator Charles Lindbergh. Scores of historical photographs accompany the presentation.
3:00 p.m. STONES IN THE MEMORY, REMEMBERING DDAY AND BEYOND TOM RICE Shortly after midnight of D-Day, June 6, 1944, in awful weather, 22-year-old Staff Sgt. Thomas Rice and thousands of other Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne division parachuted into Normandy as part of Operation Overlord, the largest and most complex military campaign in history. Rice ultimately landed miles from his intended drop zone, where he joined about 50 other Americans, and they battled in Normandy for over a month, during which Rice was twice wounded. From the Normandy campaign Rice went on to the assault on Holland and the Battle of the Bulge, where he was again severely wounded. This is a rare opportunity for a firsthand account of pivotal events in World War II and world history, as Tom Rice shares his recollections of D-Day and beyond.
Sessions Annual Gathering
The Case Against 8 is the award-winning documentary of the behind-the-
scenes look inside the historic case to overturn California's ban on same-sex
marriage. The high-profile trial first made headlines with the unlikely pairing of
Ted Olson and David Boies, political foes who last faced off as opposing
attorneys in Bush v. Gore. The film also follows the plaintiffs, two gay couples
who find their families at the center of the same-sex marriage controversy. Five
years in the making, this is the story of how they took the first federal marriage
equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. (This film is unrated.)
3:00 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: ARE SOCIAL MEDIA MAKING MENSA OBSOLETE? If Mensa accepts the top 2% and the US population is 330 million, American Mensa's membership should be more than 100 times what it is. Why are we such a small organization? Has the Internet's plethora of virtual social opportunities sated appetites for face-to-face interaction? What do you get from being here that you don't get online? How can we spread that benefit further? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
3:00 p.m. GENX MS MEET-AND-GREET Come mingle with your fellow GenXers while we play obligatory get-to-knowyou games and give you a preview of all the exciting things the GenX SIG has planned for this year's AG. Whether this is your first interaction with the SIG or you've been hanging out with us online or in person for years, we look forward to seeing you! (The GenX SIG is open to anyone born in 1961-1981.)
Sessions Annual Gathering
The presentation will be about the sociology of knowledge of risk terrain
modeling (RTM). RTM is an approach to spatial risk analysis that was invented
by Les Kennedy and Joel Caplan at Rutgers University and has been developed
in collaboration with Eric Piza. It is used to identify risks that come from
features of a landscape and model how they co-locate to create unique
behavior settings for crime. This presentation will discuss the adaptability of
RTM across different disciplines and fields and the overview of its applications.
Furthermore, it will be reviewed why risk terrain modeling is a good method to
choose for a variety of solutions. Lastly, the appeal of RTM will be discussed in
general terms as well as personally why I was drawn to RTM.
4:30 p.m. MENSA GOVERNANCE DISCUSSION JARED LEVINE Meet in advance of the annual business meeting to discuss amendments that are being brought before the membership for approval to be placed on the next referendum ballot, or ones being sent around via petition. If there are no such amendments, the discussion will focus on various items on the agenda for the upcoming American Mensa Committee meeting. Anyone interested in the governance of American Mensa Ltd. is encouraged to attend and contribute.
Americans have been staying up late with their favorite stars since 1954. Starting in 1962, Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show ruled the late hours for decades. An unknown performer could launch a career by a successful performance on the show. When Johnny retired, Jay Leno and David Letterman made news as both were considered to replace him. In recent years, Late Night changed again. Now shows compete for a fraction of Carson's audience as viewers use their DVRs, computers and smart phones to find their favorite programs. Dorian Hannaway, former Director of Late Night Programming at CBS, will take you behind the cameras for a fascinating look at a world where
Sessions Annual Gathering
movie actors, rock stars and presidents sit across the desk from a late night
host. Every day begins with a production meeting and ends with a new show on
the air. It's an exciting journey.
4:30 p.m. SURFING THE BORDER: ADVENTURES IN OCEAN CONSERVATION AND EXPLORATION SERGE DEDINA Serge Dedina is the Executive Director and co-founder of WILDCOAST, an international team that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and is the author of Saving the Border. Most recently he was named a Peter Benchley "Hero of the Seas" for his role in helping to preserve some of the ocean's most iconic wildlife hotspots, including gray whale lagoons, whale shark feeding sites, sea turtle nesting beaches and, more recently, coral reefs in Cuba. Dr. Dedina will discuss his adventures in protecting and exploring wild coastlines in California, Australia, Mexico and Cuba, all illustrated by beautiful and inspiring photos. Whether he is working to preserve California's ocean treasures, innovating new ways to preserve gray whale habitat in Baja or saving Mexico's mangrove lagoons with rock superstars Linkin Park, Dr. Dedina, always has a fascinating story to tell about why we need to conserve our coast and ocean.
The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is part of a new presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers intend to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. Long desired by researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, this picture will fill major gaps in our current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve
Sessions Annual Gathering
vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought. Elna has been
studying the brain and how augmented neural circuits may help in preventing
Alzheimer's Disease. She will discuss both what's happening with the Brain
Initiative and tentative findings from her dissertation on Alzheimer's and high
IQ individuals.
4:30 p.m. TEEN MEET-AND-GREET JAMIE UPHOLD Meet friends, old and new. Find out who's at the AG, make plans and catch up with your M Teen peeps!
4:30 p.m. GENY SIG MEET-AND-GREET The GenY SIG is for Mensa members born on or between the years of 1976­ 1996. Come to this session to meet the other don't-call-us-millennials that comprise Mensa. Hear about the super secret AG activities for GenY-aged members, get involved in organized and impromptu shenanigans, and learn the location of our very own party suite. You'll receive the offial invite at this session. If you can't make it, never fear. Approach and introduce yourself to any GenY member at the AG and see if you can get the lowdown. Or you know, just join the Facebook Group GenYMs (
4:30 p.m. GENY MEET-AND-GREET Mensa is social, GenY is connected, and we are framing the future of the group. Slacks, suits, shorts, jerseys, and gowns welcome ­ we don't discriminate on uniform! AG updates via @OfficialGenYMs (
4:30 p.m.
FRIENDS OF BILL W Sessions Annual Gathering
For Mensans and guests who are actively practicing any 12-step program. This is a non-hosted, informal program, not for observers or the curious, please.
5:00 p.m. 2016 AG KICKOFF AND WELCOME TO SAN DIEGO A quick kick-off celebration to open the night's performances.
5:30 p.m. CHESTER SANTOS, INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MEMORY CHESTER SANTOS A preview of Mr. Santos' full presentation on Thursday evening. This entertaining and educational mini-presentation will demonstrate to you how using your creativity and imagination can unlock your hidden memory super powers.
6:00 p.m. IN THE BELLY OF THE BLUES TERRY ABRAHAMSON Join Grammy-winning songwriter, playwright, and author Terry Abrahamson on his nearly 50-year journey onstage and backstage, with the performers who inspired the music that changed the world. Terry's rare music, videos, and hilarious stories put you right there, in the belly of the blues ­ from his first live look at Howlin' Wolf in 1969; to creating music recorded by Muddy Waters, Joan Jett, Clarence Clemons, Johnny Winter, James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, the Chambers Brothers, and George Thorogood; to landing in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and backstage with the Rolling Stones. Learn more about Terry and his book of blues photos and stories at
6:00 p.m.
The real world is messy and many feel under-equipped to make sense of the onslaught of data. Among its positive changes, the Common Core revamping of mathematics education introduces certain statistical concepts including linear regression early in the secondary school curriculum, much earlier than before where it was even previously required at all. The integrative approach, made possible by the introduction of graphing calculators and computer software into the classroom, creates an appreciation of a good linear fit prior to the formal understanding of relations and functions. The talk will be partly from the speaker's perspective as a post-secondary educator on the placement of regression within mathematical curriculum, as the topic applies to different career and degree pathways, and partly a practical explanation of regression ­ introducing the concepts with comfortable visualizations and a modicum of the necessary formulae for linear least squares regression. As time permits, the talk is entirely likely to go nonlinear.
6:00 p.m. MR. DODGSON AND MRS. HARGREAVES CRAIG LANCASTER The book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a wonderful subject for a program. This program, however, is not about that book. This program is about the personal relationship between Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Pleasance Liddell, the "Alice" in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The program discusses the lives of Dodgson and Alice Liddell, how they happened to meet and how the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland came to be written. The program also discusses the controversies in Dodgson's life including his photography of children. The program was presented at a Los Angeles Mensa RG, and was well-attended and well-received.
6:00 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Is diversity of personnel an unalloyed benefit for an organization? Does
homogeneity inevitably lead to the echo chamber effect? Does bringing in
people "who don't fit in" pay dividends that offset the costs, or will the conflicts
always be intractable? Does it matter which organization is making those
decisions? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated
discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker
gets a prize!
6:00 p.m. HAYFLICK REWOUND: IMPLICATIONS OF REVERSING THE AGING OF HUMAN CELLS MICHAEL WEST, PH.D. Our bodies are comprised largely of mortal cells. However, the reproductive cells that connect generations can replicate without limit, i.e. possess `cellular immortality'. We now have a profound understanding and methods of modifying these mechanisms. An important consequence of this line of research was the isolation of human embryonic stem cells and methods of producing them by cloning. The current state of the art and potential future trends in modifying human lifespan will be discussed.
6:00 p.m. TABOO BARBARA LYTLE, JIM LEWIS It's like the old TV game show Password on methamphetamines.
6:00 p.m. REGION 1 MEET-AND-GREET LISA MAXWELL Join RVC 1 Lisa Maxwell and other Region 1 members to get acquainted and talk about what is going on in your region.
6:00 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Proctors will register candidates for the American Mensa Admissions Test. The special AG test fee is $20. Test candidates must be at least 14 years of age, provide a photo ID and be a permanent U.S. resident. We will be using our new admission test for this session.
6:00 p.m. SINGLE MENSANS UNITE! ROB SALKIN If you're smart and single, this event is for you! There are about 2,000 geniuses here this holiday weekend. Find the right one for you! This will be a semistructured meet and greet after a brief introduction, including information about the M-Available SIG ( and other ways to meet single Mensans.
6:05 p.m. A VERY SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY THE NATION'S #1 CHER IMPERSONATOR & WINNER OF RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE, ALL STARS, CHAD MICHAELS CHAD MICHAELS Shantay, you stay: Dedicated to professionalism and excellence, this seasoned performer offers a comprehensive collection of Cher's "Bob Mackie inspired" costume wardrobe and an extensive repertoire of Cher's legendary performances from the last four decades.
Sessions Annual Gathering
A very special appearance by the pop/disco/Motown/R&B and Grammy-
winning legend.
7:15 p.m. A VERY SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY THE NATION'S #1 CHER IMPERSONATOR & WINNER OF RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE, ALL STARS, CHAD MICHAELS CHAD MICHAELS Shantay, you stay: Dedicated to professionalism and excellence, this seasoned performer offers a comprehensive collection of Cher's "Bob Mackie inspired" costume wardrobe and an extensive repertoire of Cher's legendary performances from the last four decades.
7:30 p.m. THE HUMAN MICROBIOME AND THE FUTURE OF PROBIOTICS STEVEN MARANZ About 100 trillion bacteria inhabit the gut of just a single human -- and we are now beginning to find out that they play an essential role in our physical health and psychological wellbeing. New advances in genetics are driving a quantum leap in our knowledge of the human microbiome -- the bacteria and other microorganisms inhabiting our gut, skin and tissues. Disturbances in gut microbial communities are associated with obesity, allergies, autoimmune diseases, autism, depression and many more adverse health conditions. There is an emerging link between these conditions and our hyper-sterile modern society. The good news is that knowledge is power: in the near future we will be able to manage our microbiomes for greatly improved health and wellbeing. In addition, the genetic potential of probiotics is just beginning to be tapped -- the next generation of probiotics will bring some startling possibilities to the table.
7:30 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Political strategist Karl Rove was bewildered when Obama's win contradicted Rove's polling data. The punditocracy correctly predicted that mostly-black precincts in the South voted for Hillary Clinton but they were surprised when mostly-black precincts in Michigan voted heavily for Bernie Sanders. What does demographic analysis get right, and why does it go wrong? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
7:30 p.m. THE WEREWOLVES OF THE SAN DIEGO AG ED YOU By night, werewolves kill off villagers. By day, enraged villagers kill off suspected werewolves. (But sometimes they mistakenly kill off "innocent villagers" -- oops.) "Werewolf" requires observation, deduction, and a lot of bold-faced lying. Who will prevail: the werewolves or the villagers? One funfilled game takes 25-40 minutes, and then repeats. Newbies are always welcomed. (Werewolf is similar to, but better than, "Mafia.") The village includes: 2-4 Werewolves, ordinary Villagers, and an assortment of special villagers with special abilities.
7:30 p.m. IQ SIG MEET-AND-GREET MARY ABBEY If you are a member or are a quilter or fan of the art, join us for our annual meet-and-greet. Learn about the Intelligent Quilters' SIG and be amazed at the samples of quilting that we will share for a show & tell. Be prepared for a lot of quilt talk and an enjoyable evening.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Join Firehouse for the hottest meet-and-greet on the San Diego agenda. Meet
your favorite Facebook heroes and villains in real life. Participate in the 3rd
annual Red vs. Blue Challenge, and grab some FH bling! If you're not a member,
that's OK. We will recruit you. You won't be sorry you came, but you will be
sorry if you miss it! Fans of bacon, boobs or beer? This is the party for you!
Rated PG-13, for language. FB TOS will be enforced. No rats allowed.
7:30 p.m. PARAPSYCHOLOGY SIG MEET-AND-GREET A chance to have some face-to-face contact and discussion with members.
7:30 p.m. TWICE EXCEPTIONAL: INTELLECTUALLY GIFTED + ADHD DOUGLAS S. SNYDER Being intellectually gifted AND having ADHD is often misunderstood. The combination of marked strengths and weaknesses can be baffling to loved ones, friends, colleagues, and especially those living with both. Instead of looking at it as a problem to overcome, embrace that it can be your secret, super power when focuses on the combined strengths of each. Join Doug to learn how you can harness your inner ADHD to unleash your personal creative genius.
7:45 p.m. TIM LEE, POWERPOINT COMEDIAN TIM LEE A creative blend of stand-up comedy with science.
Sessions Annual Gathering
An AG favorite, the annual Mr. Mensa Pageant & Date Auction is proportionate
parts prowess, parody, and pandering. Join Nguyen 'Win' Pham (Mr. Mensa 2011)
in his fourth appearance as pageant host, and come cheer on your fellow
Mensan men as they showcase their talents & physiques to compete for the
crown. Bring those dollars, checkbooks, and major credit cards for your chance
to win a seat on the judging panel as well as a date with one (or more!) of the
contestants. Proceeds benefit the Mensa Foundation.
9:00 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: POLITICALLY INCORRECT, DISRESPECT, OR ASSAULT? Problems crop up when social identity conflicts with personal identity. All of us participate in multiple social identities: gender, racial, ethnic, cultural and of, course, intellectual. Have you encountered such conflicts, and how did you respond? Is code-shifting phonying-up or fitting-in? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
9:00 p.m. DOUBLE DECK CANCELLATION HEARTS STAN WARD One of the signature games of Mensa and Hell's M's, DDCH is basically Hearts played with 7-9 players and two decks, where a matching card played cancels out the first one for purposes of taking the trick. Lead rotates, no need to wait for hearts to be broken, no score setbacks on 50 or 100, no "bucket-O-pain." If none of that means anything to you, a full rules explanation will be provided. If it does mean anything to you, this variant is often called "guts rules" or "Ohio rules." Sign up in advance or show up to replace a no-show. Max 64 players.
9:00 p.m. GENY PRESENTS!
Join us in the Tiki Pavillion (The Lounge) to meet the GenY of Mensa. Listen to some great tunes while you sit and sip on our funky furniture.
Sessions Annual Gathering 9:00 p.m. HELL'S MS PREQUEL
HELL's M's is the party SIG of American Mensa -- we're all about making it a good party with good memories for everyone. In addition to that, we get to wear great black t-shirts! Our Meet & Greet is a great time to find out what we are and join the SIG as well as to weigh in on our direction for the coming year.
10:30 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: POLITICAL STEREOTYPES -- MYTH OR REALITY? Traditionally every Republican position on an issue could be predicted by the answer to the question, "Will this alleviate or exacerbate the servant problem?" Traditionally every Democrat position on an issue could be predicted by the answer to the question, "Will this increase or decrease people's dependence on the Federal Government?" Which, if either, of these positions is completely false? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
11:30 p.m. ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 British-American Musical horror comedy film directed by Jim Sharman. The screenplay was written by Sharman and Richard O'Brien, based on the 1973 musical stage production The production is a satirical tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through early 1970s. The film stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Join friends and family for a fun run. Walkers, Joggers, and Runners of all ages
and fitness levels welcome. We will go on a 3 mile jog starting in the parking lot behind the Royal Palm Tower. The route will take us along the scenic San Diego River Bikeway, and then we will turn around and follow the same route back.
Bring your running shoes and a bottle of water. Rain or shine, EVERYONE welcome. Please arrive in the parking lot at 7:30 a.m. We will have a quick warm-up and maybe a surprise. Then the run will begin. This has been an
annual event sponsored by the Mensa Running Club, a Mensa SIG open to
Mensans and their friends and family. We discuss our love (and hate) of running,
with a focus on supporting each other through our challenges. Join us on
Facebook (
9:00 a.m. AMC MEETING See your American Mensa Committee in action! Be the first to know about policies that affect all American Mensans. All members are welcome to attend and observe.
9:00 a.m. GETTING FOUND ONLINE -- HOW TO GET YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS TO PAGE ONE OF GOOGLE PENNY SANSEVIERI Getting to page one of Google isn't as easy as it once was. Sure you can run ads to get seen, but what does it take to get there organically? This class will cover ideas and strategies to take you from obscurity to page one and get found online. We'll discuss: Keywords: How to demystify what these are and find the right ones for your business. Blogging: Does it matter as much as it used to? Can social media drive visibility? Using images and video the smart way.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Zumba is a non-stop Latin fitness party, featuring dance rhythms such as salsa,
merengue, cumbia, and reggaeton. Mensans of all ages, shapes and sizes are
invited to join the party. No experience necessary. Please wear comfortable
clothes and sneakers, and bring a towel and bottle of water. No observers,
9:00 a.m. THE RACE TO THE MOON FRANCIS FRENCH In the 1960s, two superpowers were engaged in a titanic battle to land the first human on the moon. Why did America get there first? And why was the Apollo 11 crew chosen to make the first attempt? In this talk, Francis French will take you through the colorful personalities and risky decisions that led up to the historic moment of the first moon landing.
9:00 a.m. INTELLIGENT DESIGN AND THE BEING OF GOD LARRY PAARMANN I will briefly review the objections to intelligent design, claiming that it is not science, that it is concealed biblical creationism, and that it should not be taught in public schools. Included will be a brief history of intelligent design, indicating that the concept is not new, but has been around throughout recorded history. I will also indicate why I am using "Being of God" in the title, rather than "Existence of God;" this is not critical to the presentation, but is more philosophically correct. I will present a long list of distinguished scientists, including a few Nobel laureates, who have found arguments of intelligent design to be convincing, and are theists, at least in part, because of such arguments.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Was Dr. Jack Kevorkian a monster or ahead of his time? At what point in the
cycle of life does an individual have the unalienable RIGHT to choose end his or
her own life? Is the desire to die more than just a desire to escape pain? Do
Washington, Oregon, the Netherlands and Switzerland have the right approach,
with doctor approvals and waiting periods? How would YOU want to go? Debate
Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where
everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
9:00 a.m. PILOTING THE SR-71 BLACKBIRD -- THE FASTEST AND HIGHEST FLYING AIRPLANE EVER BUILT ROD DYCKMAN Lt. Col. Rod Dyckman not only piloted the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest and highest flying airplane ever built, on worldwide operational reconnaissance missions for agencies such as JCS and the CIA, but he also was commander of the unit. His address will cover (1) the Lockheed Corporation and the development of the Blackbird family of aircraft, (2) SR-71 Statistics, (3) a typical mission and areas of worldwide operations, (4) speed and altitude records, and (5) the program's end.
9:00 a.m. FRIENDS OF BILL W For Mensans and guests who are actively practicing any 12-step program. This is a non-hosted, informal program, not for observers or the curious, please.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Anxiety and depression are common experiences. There are some fairly simple
tools that can be used to calm these feelings and thoughts in addition to the
medications that are often prescribed by medical doctors. A variety of
breathing, visualization, self talk and thought monitoring tools will be
introduced in this workshop.
10:30 a.m. DANCING WITH WOLVES: THE PLIGHT AND MISADVENTURES OF WOLVES AND WOLF-DOG HYBRIDS IN CAPTIVITY CARRIE ANDERSON Learn about the many issues concerning the fate of wolves and wolf-dog hybrids that have been kept in captivity. The free spirit and innate behaviors of these animals make them unsuited for a captive life ­ and yet the will of some humans has forced these animals into a role that they are unable to fill. It is the animals that then pay the price. The speaker will share personal experiences and behavioral observations to help explain why wolves ­ like any other wild animal ­ are not pets.
10:30 a.m. SPATIAL ENRICHMENT THROUGH Video GameS GREGORY DANE CLEMENSON Video games have been played and enjoyed by kids and adults alike for decades. One particularly stimulating and engaging aspect of these video games is the visually stunning and complex open-world environments in which these adventures take place. In addition to being fun, recent scientific research suggests that the exploration of these open-world environments may provide specific cognitive benefits to our brain. This session will discuss current research with video games and how this relates to the underlying neural biology of our brains.
10:30 a.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries in America and is spreading internationally with similar progress, while still being federally illegal in the United States. Medical and social-use cannabis, as well as industrial hemp, all have the opportunity to change the world dramatically in the years to come. Beyond the incredible business potential, this progress impacts local economies, state's rights, environmental issues, medical research, and social justice reform. Although it would appear this industry seemingly came out of nowhere, advocates have been fighting for policy reform for decades. This presentation will touch on all these topics as we focus on the past, present and future of this movement from the perspective of a tenured policy and social advocate and successful businessperson.
10:30 a.m. DEBATE ROOM: NUCLEAR POWER Is nuclear power the carbon-free energy solution that even a Republican can like, or are even the newest reactor designs still so dangerous that you'd sooner burn coal or sit in the dark? Come prepared to wow us with science or tell us what problems must be solved (or can't be solved). Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
Each participant gets a printed handout with sample puzzles and puzzle solving tips and may borrow a pencil for interactive puzzle solving. There will be sample puzzles from four books ­ The Mensa Genius ABC Quiz Book, One Minute Brainteasers, Brain Warmer Uppers and Puzzles for Fifties Fans and Sixties Savorers. The first two books are official American Mensa puzzle books.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Participants will try 10 sample puzzles from each group. After a little time, Alan
will ask for answers and provide hints when needed. Alan will then go over the
puzzle solving tips and take questions. There will then be a brief contest for a
free autographed book for each of three solvers of a verbal challenge puzzle.
10:30 a.m. GRUNIONS AND THE CALIFORNIOS ABEL SILVAS Abel Silvas will speak about life in California during different historical eras: from 12,000 years before contact to the Europeans' arrival and Father Junipero Serra's Spanish Missions, followed by emancipation of the Mission Indians and their Land Grants during the Mexican Californio Rancho period, and finally, to the Gold Rush and their militias during the early American and Reservation periods. Silvas concludes that his people are still here and still fishing for grunion.
10:30 a.m. WEBHEADS SIG MEET-AND-GREET DAN TOBIAS The WebHeads SIG is the special interest group for those interested in web development. Whether you're a seasoned geek or a newbie, come to discuss web issues and get or give help for web problems, whether technical, graphical, or marketing-oriented. Which content management system or web development software do you use, or do you create raw code in a text editor? Talk about it here!
This is a chance for SIG members to meet other members we have known via email. This is also a chance for curious Mensans to find out if the Clergy SIG is really for them. The SIG is for clergy clear across the religious spectrum and provides an atmosphere of learning and fellowship.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Jerry Seinfeld once observed that for many, public speaking is their number one fear, with their number two fear being death. This means that some people would rather die than speak in public. Matthew Grob was once terrified of public speaking. But through observation, practice, and some training, he transformed into someone who both enjoys and is good at public speaking and effective presentations, and has been consistently highly rated in conference surveys. At some point, most people will be asked to make a presentation. It may be a toast at a wedding, or a speech at a conference. In this entertaining, practical, and engaging session, Matt will review some of his tips and tricks to help you through those events, as well as share some amusing anecdotes about when things did not go quite right. The session will focus on both audience engagement, and effective use of audio-visual tools.
11:00 a.m. BLOOD DRIVE Research suggests that blood donation may improve insulin sensitivity, relieve iron overload, and hasten inebriation. However, the best reason to give blood is that your donation of one pint can save the lives of up to three people. Please take a few minutes to donate! You'll be glad you did. FAQs including eligibility are at
Sessions Annual Gathering
Heat pipes use the latent heat of vaporization of a working fluid for highly
efficient transport of heat from various devices ranging from laptop computers
to space satellites. They can transport heat on the order of 1,000 times more
effectively than a metal conductor such as copper. A micro-gravity heat pipe
experiment that was conducted in the mid-deck area of the Space Shuttle
Columbia (STS-52) will be discussed. The objectives of this experiment were to
compare ground test data with actual flight results and analytical predictions.
An equation was derived for spinning heat pipes that's still in use today.
Although the speaker did not fly on the Space Shuttle, some of the adventures
associated with training and working with astronauts will be discussed.
12:00 p.m. ECOCIDE PREVENTION: RESEARCH ON GREEN BEHAVIORS DAVID BEZANSON The empirical literature on interventions that increase pro-environmental behavior, intent, values, and attitudes will be reviewed. Many interventions have been found to increase temporarily these dependent variables as well as predisposing and enabling variables. The latter include happiness, empathy, environmental awareness, health, and a shift in identification from egocentric to world-centric identification. Nature-connectedness activities, psychoeducational groups, and meditation are the most-researched interventions. The methodologic quality of most of this research is rather "green." Thus, experimental recommendations are offered. Reconceptualization of environmental destruction as a complex form of psychopathology is outlined to generate new research and more effective interventions. If longitudinal research shows these behavioral measures to have long-term effect, this would be a very cost-effective approach to revive ecosystem health.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Advanced technologies such as computers, genetic engineering, nanotech,
robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) are progressing at an accelerating pace.
Futurists speak of a time called The Singularity when progress will be so rapid
that humans can no longer comprehend it. Wells shows that the pace of
"progress" is too rapid for us to safely adapt. He discusses several of the most
frightening hazards to our survival and develops simple mathematical formulas
for survival probability. Professional mathematicians have vetted his
formulation, which is based on statistical indicators of progress: Gross World
Product, number of papers published in science and engineering, and
production of electricity and selected minerals. Wells makes a case for
developing friendly superhuman AI as quickly as possible, hopefully a nurturing
artificial overlord that will protect us from ourselves. The danger is that it may
not be as friendly as we hope, but the alternative is unacceptable risk.
The Anthropocene extinction event is in full swing, yet we are oblivious of it!
Rather than dwelling on the negative, we look towards the future. Today,
agricultural technology can easily feed an ever-growing human population. In
the information age collaborating and advancing science and technology is as
easy as fun and games! The latest advances in reproductive biology allow us to
replace greed as the main human motivator with the more natural desire to
procreate. Now is the time to relegate consumerist capitalism to the past and
live the way nature intended for all living organisms. But, as history teaches us,
provoking or destabilizing the sovereigns that keep their trigger finger on the
nuclear button is not wise. To change such an intricate, advanced and
accomplished system from the inside out is not feasible. Instead, the solution is
for high IQ individuals to exit the system, design the society of the future and
put human evolution on a new track. We strive to separate ourselves from the
consumerist domain, create our own network of independent city-states, seek
unity in the physicality of dress and architecture, while seeking diversity in
Sessions Annual Gathering
culture and society, whereas adhering to the three basic ideals of developing
Science and technology, living in harmony with nature and honoring individual
freedom. As our numbers grow, consumerist capitalism bleeds out. Gradually
we become fully independent, and hopefully, win a bloodless battle for all of
12:00 p.m. MEDIEVAL TITILLATIONS: SALACIOUS STORIES FROM OLD SPAIN STEPHEN FLOYD Ribald jokes, sex, flatulence and scatological references galore -- who knew that the literature of Medieval Spain was so naughty? Add to that a bit of witchcraft and some disgraced monks as well. In this entertaining and fast-paced interactive presentation, Stephen Floyd, who's always ready for a little literary prurience, offers an uncommon view of life in Old Spain.
1:30 p.m. MY CONVERSATIONS WITH JACK RUBY, AND WHY HE KILLED Lee Harvey Oswald HILLEL SILVERMAN 53 years have passed since the killings of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald. The legacy that survives them is one of skepticism and intrigue. The Warren Commission, a House Select Committee, the Assassinations Record Review Board, and Oliver Stone's movie J.F.K. all produced different theories about what happened. Was Jack Ruby -- Lee Harvey Oswald's killer -- working for the mob? Was he enlisted by them, or perhaps the CIA, to kill Oswald and erase forever the truth about who really killed President Kennedy? Hillel Silverman was Jack Ruby's rabbi and is one of the last men still alive who knew Jack Ruby intimately -- knew him both before and after he killed Oswald, visited him in his Dallas jail cell for months, and testified at his trial and before the Warren Commission. Rabbi Silverman will discuss Ruby's character, his failings, and Ruby's self-justification of a crime that, after 53 years, still mystifies the American public.
Sessions Annual Gathering 1:30 p.m. THE ART OF BAD POETRY JUDSON WRIGHT
Stand on (the) toes (of giants) in this (enlightening) exam(ination) of (one of) the old(est) (unintentional) pastimes of human kind: bad poetry. Learn the (important) function of this (ig)noble art (why it truly matters as much as Descartes), And hone your own skill with (dud) rhymes (bring Advil): Become empowered, inspired, deprived. So if you're a writer, a reader, or a twit (or if you're just tired and need to take a s()it), come join (be enlightened), have laughs (or be frightened). From San Diego to Mogadishu, The Art of Bad Poetry is for you!
1:30 p.m. ARDUOUS JOURNEYS: THE TRANSNATIONAL MIGRATION OF North KoreaN REFUGEES GEOFFREY FATTIG The plight of North Korean refugees has garnered increasing attention due to the findings of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on North Korean Human Rights. North Koreans first began leaving the country during the famine of the mid-1990s, with the vast majority settling in South Korea or living surreptitiously in China. While some have also made it to third countries such as Canada and the United States, the automatic extension of South Korean citizenship to North Korean refugees complicates the asylum claims of those individuals who wish to settle beyond South Korea. This presentation will provide an overview of the varying challenges facing North Korean refugees as they seek to build new lives outside the DPRK. It will also touch on related issues with the aim of providing a comprehensive understanding of the subject. These include the reliability of refugee accounts, controversy over the politicization of the North Korean human rights movement, and the current state of the COI process.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Bill Shipper returns to the AG to entertain you with delightfully funny songs
guaranteed to keep you laughing well into next week. Bill brings new quirky
songs from his new CD such as "Esther the Esteemed Equestrian" and "Addicted
to Distraction," as well as the pun-rennial favorites "My Lover Loves Liver,"
"Tears on My Spreadsheet" and "Dirty Data." Musical Mensa wordplay at its
1:30 p.m. RED BRAINS, BLUE BRAINS: WHY WE VOTE SO STUPIDLY SCOTT ROBINSON How much of our political and social bias is based on thought, and how much is based on emotion? What does neuroscience have to say about our personal politics? The most current research is presented in this entertaining survey.
1:30 p.m. COME AND MEET THOSE DANCING FEET... DON JACOBS And what better dance to show those feet than with a dazzling foxtrot. Don will make it simpler than 3.14. Come learn to do what you dared not dream, how to dance. Experience or partners not needed, just a strong desire to have a fun time. Who knows who you may meet with those dancing feet. (Adult Class 1)
1:30 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: WATER, THE NEXT GLOBAL CONFLICT Forget oil -- many say water will be the resource the world will finally go to war over. Water may be the ultimate driver for the Middle East turmoil. With climate change causing both droughts and floods, water supplies will be moving and people will follow. Is technology (such as Graphene panel desalination) going to provide the answer in time? Will population stabilize before the
Sessions Annual Gathering
conflicts hit? Will plastic and overfishing make the oceans lifeless? Debate
Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where
everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
1:30 p.m. THE STRATTON LINDENMEYER MEMORIAL SPELLING BEE JONATHAN ELLIOTT Stratton was one of the Los Angeles chapter's most colorful characters (as well as one of its smartest) for some 50 years until his passing earlier this year. Among his many special quirks, he would administer Spelling Bees in which he would sometimes "accidentally" mispronounce the word to be spelled, which of course made things more challenging for us. This year's Spelling Bee will pay homage to this tradition, so make sure not to rely completely on the administrator's pronunciation, because it is not always going to be completely correct!
1:30 p.m. INTERTEL MEET-AND-GREET LINDA WOODHEAD Intertel is a high-IQ society for those who have scored at or above the 99th percentile on a standardized IQ test. Intertel nurtures a sense of camaraderie between members and provides opportunities for them to communicate and express their unique views. Founded in 1966, Intertel currently has about 1400 members worldwide. Current members are invited to meet their fellow members. Potential members are invited to meet current members and learn about joining.
M-Atheists SIG is an active online discussion group
( with 1000 members. Once a year we get together in person at the AG. If you're an atheist but not an
Sessions Annual Gathering
online-group-joiner, stop by to meet some of your fellow critical thinkers face-
to-face, brain-to-brain.
3:00 p.m. FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT OUR PRESIDENTS RICHARD LEDERER Did you know that John F. Kennedy is not the youngest man ever to occupy the Oval Office and that Barack Obama is only our sixth brown-eyed president? Can you name two American presidents, each of whom succeeded his successor? Mensa Bulletin columnist Richard Lederer offers a treasury of insights into and fun facts about the feats, fates, families, foibles, and firsts of our American presidents. This PowerPoint performance brims with everything you ever wanted to know about our chief executives. Come prepared to laugh and learn and acquire a number of presidential bar bets that you'll almost always win. For the novice to the American History buff, this is a feast that will include a look at presidential election patterns over the past 120 years and what they may bode for the upcoming election.
3:00 p.m. SAN DIEGO'S WATERFRONT THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD JIM BREGANTE Jim Bregante, a native San Diegan, will take you on a historical journey along the waterfront and Little Italy, from the 1930s to the present. Jim is a docent for the San Diego Maritime Museum and a member of the San Diego History Center and the Italian History Society. Jim shares his experience of growing up in Little Italy, near the vibrant waterfront life, via a PowerPoint presentation featuring pictures from historical and family archives. The presentation depicts his family's start in the fishing industry, his experiences on the waterfront as a youth and life in Little Italy. Jim's memories are shared and treasured by many San Diegans and its visitors.
3:00 p.m.
Enjoy a chance to exercise your creativity and humor, interact with other playful people, and share some laughs. A variety of lively exercises from the world of improvisational comedy will give your creative thinking skills a fun workout. This is an active workshop where everyone will be participating simultaneously. No prior experience necessary.
3:00 p.m. A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A RENAISSANCE PHYSICIAN PHILIP J. GOSCIENSKI A historical period that has been described as the making of modern man was also the making of modern medicine. This presentation provides an overview of the Renaissance with particular emphasis on medical practices of the day and how they influenced today's physicians.
3:00 p.m. MY TRIP TO NORTH KOREA: A GLIMPSE OF LIFE INSIDE THE HERMIT KINGDOM GREG KAMIN North Korea probably does not rank high on most people's list of travel destinations. But because of its isolation, it is one of the most unique places in the world. This talk is a trip report from a people-to-people delegation taken three years ago. Take a glimpse of life inside a country that most know about only from headlines, and few Americans have ever visited.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Hundreds of thousands of us provide billions of hours of unpaid care for family
members and friends with Alzheimer's and dementia. It's exhausting --
physically, emotionally, and financially. Talking with others about it can help.
We'll share information, tactics, tips, and coping strategies. Come this meet-
and-greet to listen or share.
3:00 p.m. SONGWRITERS CIRCLE PENELOPE SALINGER This is an opportunity for Mensan songwriters to share their original songs. Although we won't be able to sit around a campfire, we'll each have a turn in the circle (and perhaps more than one go-round) to share a song we've written. Non-songwriting listeners are very welcome, too ­ there may be some singalong choruses!
3:00 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: FOOD Doing a dinner party has gotten so difficult now that everyone has their own personal dietary issues. Paleo, Vegan, Adkins, organic, gluten, GMO, allergies/sensitivity, locally sourced, corn-based, fair-trade, even euphony ("If I can't pronounce it, I won't eat it!") ­ we have developed an extensive vocabulary of meal-time hot buttons. What's yours and why, or do you just eat what's on the plate? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
3:00 p.m. BOGGLE TOURNAMENT CHARLES GODFREY Boggle is a three-minute word-search game. We will be playing on a five-byfive grid with a minimum word length of four letters, using the normal scoring rules. Please arrive at least five minutes early for table assignments.
Sessions Annual Gathering
SIG members and curious others are invited to share time and space.
3:00 p.m. GEN-M BOOM PLUS SIG MEET & GREET Open to Mensans worldwide born in 1964 or earlier, Baby Boomers and older. We were one of the most dynamic generations ever, we brought about enormous change. We're still a vibrant force, both in Mensa and in the world. Come join us to share both memories and current day experiences.
4:30 p.m. THE MAN FROM 1926 JAMES TRAIN The Man From 1926 will describe life in the 1920s, highlighting the similarities and the differences with the present day. Attendees will be able to examine and use artifacts from the time, including a gramophone and records, box camera, stereopticon, and his Model T Ford. Most of these items are not normally seen outside of "don't touch" museums, but these are "hands on" displays. Attendees will leave with a clearer picture of life in the 1920s than they can get from books, videos or museum visits. They will gain an appreciation of the technological and social advances we have made in the last 90 years, as well as what we as a society have lost, and perhaps they will also ponder what elements of life in 2016 are worth preserving for future generations.
Sessions Annual Gathering
That a history is possible of something considered as marginal as table games
should make us rethink their place in culture. They elicit casual competition
and amiable company but also display systems of gameplay that can dazzle us
aesthetically with the cunning and elegance of their designs. (One of the marks
of a beautiful game is that it be capable of allowing for "beautiful moves.") Every
game, to be sure, from mancala and proto-backgammon forms in ancient
Middle East to modern-day Clue and Catan, is the product of historical forces
like divination, technology (paper for playing cards), leisure, inventive minds,
and other games. But the play mechanisms of great games ultimately stand
above their sources. Chess and poker seem to us both inevitable and
breathlessly original, along with scores of others perhaps less familiar to us yet
also contributing to the growing heritage of sedentary, competitive recreation.
4:30 p.m. A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH PHYSICIAN PHILIP J. GOSCIENSKI It began with a nugget no larger than a thumbnail but it transformed the United States. Physician-adventurers followed the gold, bringing old ideas as well as newly emerging medical discoveries. It was a unique period in history that tested a physician's skills and stamina.
4:30 p.m. SCORPION UNLEASHED: PROTECTING AMERICA FROM CYBER ATTACK WALTER O'BRIEN Walter O'Brien is the founder and CEO of Scorpion Computer Services, CEO of Scorpion Studios, the founder of, and Executive Producer of Scorpion, the hit CBS-TV drama with more than 26 million television viewers that is inspired by O'Brien's life. In his presentation, O'Brien talks Concierge Up and facing the exciting 21st century challenges in artificial intelligence, technology and security.
4:30 p.m.
Perquackey is a three-minute word search game given a pre-determined selection of approximately 12 letters wherein you find words of at least 3 letters in length by arranging and rearranging the given letters. Bonus points are awarded for completing consecutive word-length columns of 5 words each.
4:30 p.m. THE PUEBLO INCIDENT- A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT JAMES KELL On Jan. 23, 1968, the USS Pueblo, an unarmed U. S. Navy vessel, while sailing in international waters, was attacked and illegally seized by North Korea. Although previously unknown, by evening the ship would be in headlines around the world. This will be a firsthand account by Chief Petty Officer James Kell, Assistant Officer in Charge, Special Operations. Along with the rest of the crew, he survived 11 months of torture by their captors, before being freed by a pressured, false confession, by the U.S. government.
4:30 p.m. BURNING MAN MEET-AND-GREET JUDY HECHT Wear your Tutu, or your Wedding Dress, your Bunny Suit or your Bling! Here is your opportunity to meet other M's who love the Burning Man Community and are dedicated to radical self reliance, self expression, gifting, and immediacy. Let's talk about why Black Rock City is a place unlike any other on earth. Are you willing to become yourself and lose your labels? Are you brave and bold enough for the Playa? Find out now! (Leave your inhibitions at the door!)
Sessions Annual Gathering
Put faces to the names of the people who volunteer, work on the board and are
interested in playing a bigger role with the Mensa Foundation.
4:30 p.m. AL-ANON The friends and family members of those with problems share their experiences and learn how to apply the principles of the Al-Anon program to their individual situations. This is a non-hosted, informal program, not for observers or the curious, please.
6:00 p.m. TOO LEWD FOR LARRY FLYNT TERRY ABRAHAMSON Grammy-winning writer Terry Abrahamson recounts his life in the eye of the pop culture hurricane, including his killing of Morris the Cat, triggering the Home Mortgage Market collapse, writing music with Muddy Waters, and creating the 1985 Hustler Magazine ad parody "Jerry Falwell Talks About His First Time," which inspired the landmark US Supreme Court freedom of speech case and the movie The People vs Larry Flynt. Plus Oprah, Sting, the Frozen Pizza murder/suicide 25ў off coupon, and more!
6:00 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: MARRIAGE Should government restrict marriage to "one-man, one-woman?" Should government force everyone to honor other partnerships as marriages? "Gay marriage" gets the headlines, but with over 20 percent of all American adults now single, is there a larger issue here than the headlines (and politicians) want to admit? Should government just butt out and administer contract law in a way that doesn't tell us what is or is not a "marriage?" Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
6:00 p.m.
25 trivia questions, one bonus.
6:00 p.m. TEN YEARS BEFORE THE MAST: A FOREMAST HAND AT THE MARITIME MUSEUM OF SAN DIEGO DAVID CLARK One of the world's greatest maritime museums is in San Diego. The Museum's volunteer maintenance and sail crew is dedicated to preserving not only historic ships, but also the skills required to sail those ships. David will talk about maintaining and crewing the Museum's tall ships, including the 1863 barque Star of India, the world's oldest actively sailed ship, and San Salvador, a replica of the first galleon to explore the coast of California.
6:00 p.m. BURNING MAN HAPPY HOUR RANDI LEWIS Relaxed get together for burners to hang out in person and grab a beverage and/or snack. Check out the bulletin board to get the location or just follow us after the SIG intro talk.
6:00 p.m. REGION 6 MEET-AND-GREET TAZ CRISS Join RVC 6 Taz Criss and other Region 6 members to get acquainted and talk about what is going on in your region.
6:00 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
If you are a Gifted Youth Coordinator, a LocSec or anyone else who works with youth in a Local Group (or who would like to), join us and get new ideas, ask questions, and share insights. Find out what resources are available to you, and get the full scoop on serving youth in a Local Group. Note: No childcare will be provided for this event.
6:00 p.m. A NEW SPACE ARCHITECTURE CHET RICHARDS This presentation examines the cost drivers for spacecraft, and for transportation. It validates the projected low cost of reusable rockets. It also suggests that costs for spacecraft can be lowered by two orders of magnitude through using a manned orbital factory for the final assembly of spacecraft. Assembly would be inside the facility with people working in a shirt-sleeve environment. Spacecraft buses, and many types of sensors, would be built from mass produced, and therefore low cost, plug-and-play functional modules. With the new availability of low cost testing in space, module and sensor development would return to traditional low cost rapid prototyping techniques. Developmental costs would therefore also be reduced by orders of magnitude.
Sessions Annual Gathering
(In 2014 Ed You used three minutes from this play, dressed as a nun, to help him win the title of "Mr. Mensa." At the 2015 AG, an all-Mensan cast and Ed performed the entire play, and received a standing ovation. Now he's doing it AGAIN.) Sister gives a class to the audience, explaining the intricacies of Catholic doctrine. Then some former students return as adults, exemplifying how those doctrines work in real-life. This hilarious satire is so brilliantly insightful, so wickedly funny, as it lampoons Catholicism, it was banned by the church. So if you're easily offended, please don't attend. If you're not, get there early for a good seat. Q&A will follow, time permitting.
7:15 p.m. BALANCE AND SWING: LEARN TO CONTRA DANCE! KEVIN LEWIS Live music will be provided by Atlantic Crossing, a Celtic-themed folk and contra band from L.A. The dance starts at 8 p.m. (after the beginners' lesson at 7:15) and will go until approximately 11 p.m. All dances taught by the caller. All dances to (awesome) live music. You absolutely do not need to bring a partner. Contra dancing is very social and the etiquette is to not dance with the same partner twice. During the course of the evening, you will dance with everyone, both same and opposite sex. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, especially comfy shoes. No pointy heels please. Sponsored by the San Diego Contra Dance Society.
Sessions Annual Gathering
This presentation reviews the Form 1040 with itemized deductions and a
business. The speaker will point out what the IRS looks for on a tax return and
how to prepare for an audit. New tax laws will be discussed as well as old
expiring laws that have been extended.
7:30 p.m. IMPROVISATIONAL COMEDY SHOW BY OUTSIDE THE LINES JACQUIE LOWELL Enjoy a variety of comedic sketches created on the spot, based on audience suggestions. If you are quick ­ and loud ­ you might see your favorite hobby, exotic animal, fictional character or vacation spot brought to life onstage. This show invites you to think as well as laugh, and it's family-friendly (upbeat, clever and clean).
7:30 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: SEPARATION OF STATE AND CHURCH Was America founded as a Christian nation? Are atheists too aggressive? Should the U.S. military keep its "Spiritual Fitness Test"? Should taxpayers pay for rebuilding churches after a weather catastrophe? Is opening government meetings with a prayer OK (SCOTUS says yes)? Should blasphemy be illegal (Europe may say yes)? Do all beliefs deserve equal respect? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
By night, werewolves kill off villagers. By day, enraged villagers kill off suspected werewolves. (But sometimes they mistakenly kill off "innocent villagers" -- oops.) "Werewolf" requires observation, deduction, and a lot of bold-faced lying. Who will prevail: the werewolves or the villagers? One fun-
Sessions Annual Gathering
filled game takes 25-40 minutes, and then repeats. Newbies are always
welcomed. (Werewolf is similar to, but better than, "Mafia.") The village
includes: 2-4 Werewolves, ordinary Villagers, and an assortment of special
villagers with special abilities.
6:00 p.m. DISCOVERING THE HUMAN CALCULATOR IN YOU SCOTT FLANSBURG Scott Flansburg believes any1 can be a human calculator. Expect to learn revolutionary techniques to improving your mental calculation skills and unlocking the secret to numbers in an exciting and fully interactive and hands on experience from The Human Calculator®.
7:30 p.m. WHAT A WASTE! ACE HOFFMAN Any operating nuclear power plant is capable of catastrophic accidents (as happened at Fukushima and Chernobyl). But a permanently closed plant can also have a catastrophic release of radioactivity because of the radioactive waste stored on site. DOE is trying to find somewhere in America that will "consent" to "temporarily" storing nuclear waste. Will any tribe, town, community or state be foolhardy enough to agree to accept the waste? And if so, then what?
7:30 p.m. LEADERSHIP M-POWERMENT MEET-ANDGREET KURT WEBER, LAURA SMITH It isn't our Grandmother's Mensasaur any more! Come and meet some of the people you've only met online and brainstorm new ways to recruit for Mensa. Our organization has the potential to grow so very much. Spend a short while
Sessions Annual Gathering
getting to know others who share your passion for leadership and recruitment
in Mensa!
7:30 p.m. PARENTS OF GIFTED YOUTH MEET-ANDGREET JAMIE UPHOLD Are you parenting a gifted child? Perhaps you're interested in meeting other parents doing the same? Parents and GYCs are invited to gather for this opportunity to talk. Note: No childcare will be provided for this event.
9:00 p.m. #BRAVERELATIONSHIPS: THE ART OF CONNECTION AND COMMUNICATION KERRI MOEHLENPAH MFT II often hear partners say "I love you but I'm not in love with you." (Stop. What does that mean exactly?) Or, they will look at the other person and roll their eyes and huff with a sigh that smacks with contempt. At one point or another, my guess is that you've experienced something like this -- whether with your boss and co-workers, your parents and siblings or your spouse/partner. Many times these behaviors and words are the result of gridlocked communication, disconnection and a negative overall feeling towards the relationship in general. Learn what you can do to initiate changes in your relationship. Having a #BraveRelationship takes courage, commitment and risk. Do you know what it takes?
Everyone has a least-favorite government department, agency or program. What's yours? Suppose you could vote it off the island. After you close that agency, how would you handle whatever mission it had been created for, or can we do without it entirely? On the flip-side, why would you keep the government
Sessions Annual Gathering
institutions that others in the room want to close? Debate Room is not a heated
debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard,
and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
9:00 p.m. MEMORY FUN 101 - MEMORY TRAINING FOR EVERYONE CHESTER SANTOS U.S. Memory Champion, Chester Santos -- "The International Man of Memory" -- is one of the world's foremost experts on memory training and has helped thousands of people around the world to realize the benefits of an improved memory and sharper mind. He's given memory improvement tips on CNN and PBS, and has been a guest speaker at Berkeley and Harvard. Chester is the author of Instant Memory Training for Success.
9:00 p.m. OH, HELL BARBARA LYTLE, JIM LEWIS A strategy card game where sticking it to your opponents is half the fun! Very easy to learn.
10:30 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: GUN CONTROL OR GUN RIGHTS? Would restricting guns reduce gun violence, as it did in Australia? Or are restrictions in America impossible, as Sam Harris maintains? Does a U.S. citizen have an unrestricted right to bear any weapon under all circumstances? If not, who gets to decide what the limitations will be? Does the NRA speak more for gun enthusiasts or gun manufacturers? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
Sessions Annual Gathering FRIDAY, JULY 1
8:00 a.m. NATIONAL OMBUDSMAN ELECTION BALLOT COUNTING SESSION MEGAN EDWARDS Official tallying of all ballots cast for the election American Mensa's National Ombudsman. (Please note: Because the AG is earlier than usual this year, the possibility exists some ballots may not arrive in San Diego in time for this session. If all the ballots do not arrive in San Diego in time for this session, no ballots will be counted at this time. The ballot tally session will be rescheduled for Saturday, July 2nd at 9 a.m. in Crescent.) Observers are welcome as space permits.
9:00 a.m. LEO SZILARD: THE UNKNOWN GENIUS BEHIND THE BOMB WILLIAM LANOUETTE Leo Szilard (1898-1964) defied conventional scientific norms, revolutionizing both physics and biology, and created in the 1920s the basis for "information theory" and in the 1930s the "nuclear chain reaction" and designs for the first nuclear reactor. With Albert Einstein, Szilard first sparked the Manhattan Project then crusaded to ban the bomb. Szilard's impish, contrarian spirit challenged Nobel laureates ­ and leaders such as President Truman and Soviet Premier Khrushchev ­ to rethink their policies. (He personally convinced Khrushchev to install the Moscow-Washington Hot-Line.) In biology, Szilard's ideas later won others the Nobel Prize. His science fiction and political satire influenced peers, and he created the first political action committee for arms control in Washington and helped found the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, where he was a fellow. This talk explores the many worlds of Leo Szilard, revealing an amazing mind at work and at play.
9:00 a.m.
How well are you communicating? Are you required to give presentations, trainings or briefings? Do you want be a more effective leader? Discover how to gain instant rapport and establish credibility with others. Whether giving instructions, working with clients, presenting ideas, interviewing, training or public speaking, this interactive session will dramatically enhance your confidence, credibility and "charisma" factor. Based on solid research, this lively leadership development workshop illuminates valuable skills for speaking, training, managing and leading in today's workplace. In this program, you will * Assess your communication style * Learn the 7 vital modalities of listening * Discover tips to enhance retention and learning * Boost productivity and team morale * Gain tools to apply immediately in all areas of your life. BONUS: * Tips for dealing with difficult people!
9:00 a.m. GILGAMESH A HERO FOR THE AGES SANDRA SMITH The story of Gilgamesh is often considered to be the oldest literature known to civilization. Five thousand years ago, Mesopotamian scribes pressed cuneiform characters into clay tablets. In 1853, archeologists found the tablets and started translating them. In this ancient source they found themes that were echoed centuries later through many subsequent western Mediterranean cultures. These themes, as interesting as they are, do not represent the greatest attraction Gilgamesh has to offer. At its core it is an adventure story. Hear an accomplished storyteller unfold the tale of the impetuous young Gilgamesh. Follow him and his friend, Enkidu, as they battle monsters and resist the advances of goddesses. Empathize with Gilgamesh over Enkidu's death, and understand his attempts to learn the secret. Immerse yourselves in this engaging saga and connect with an unexpectedly familiar past.
9:00 a.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Ms. Lane takes the audience on a journey through the brutal assault, when snatched right out of a business day, she suffered at age 40; a nine-month hospitalization; three year's work reclaiming her sanity and her life, and ultimately achieving a vigorous, satisfying life. In down-to-earth terms, she relates the life-changing perspectives she gained in recovery. Childhood beliefs hobbling her freedom, assumptions preventing her growth, and misconceptions about life and relationships that had barred her from intimacy -- slowly fell away. Damaged lives can be repaired. Using humor and anecdotes, Ms. Lane freely offers sensible solutions and hope. Without relying on religion, curious practices or crystals, she brings promise for a bright and satisfying tomorrow. Now, at age 73, she thrives in a rich, full life.
9:00 a.m. DEBUNKING THE 12 MOST COMMON CLIMATE CHANGE MYTHS TOM LETTINGTON There has recently been a significant positive sea change of public awareness and acceptance with respect to reality of the climate change threat (Quoting POTUS, Putin, and The Pope). While more and more skeptics are acknowledging that climate change is real and is already happening, there remains a great deal of misplaced doubt that it is caused by human activity. There is still misinformation in the public sphere and an active denial movement designed to derail the urgently needed efforts to mitigate and adapt to Global Warming and climate change. The emphasis of this presentation is to address the most common arguments against the reality of man-made climate change and why they are totally wrong.
Sessions Annual Gathering
human history can be read as an ongoing series of alternations between power
concentrated in a few hands and power distributed among many. Thomas
Piketty writes that the post-WWII era of distributed power is coming to a close
as economic elites are back on the ascendant, and that this trend is inevitable.
Is he correct, and would its final stage be compatible with the ideals of
American democracy? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced
moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most
interesting speaker gets a prize!
9:00 a.m. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO BLEND IN SOCIETY AND ACHIEVE GOALS FERNANDO VILLAFUERTE Most Mensans are considered rare or awkward by the rest of society. Fernando will focus on the "Emotional Intelligence" that, from his point of view, is nothing more than a set of tools to work in groups of various types in order to achieve personal or global goals. He will talk about everyday dilemmas with practical examples, and pragmatic reasoning, showing that with small adjustments, peculiar people like Mensans could achieve from noticeable to great results in a society unready to relate with us.
9:00 a.m. SET TOURNAMENT CHARLES GODFREY Set is the card game of visual attributes. Discover the three cards that form a set from the 12 laid out on the table. Age is no advantage and requires no specific language skills. Please arrive at least five minutes early for table assignments. No experience necessary.
Sessions Annual Gathering
This is a time for current members of the SIG to meet and greet and get
acquainted, and for prospective members to see what we are about. Everyone is
9:00 a.m. REGION 2 MEET-AND-GREET CAM SMART Join RVC 2 Cam Smart and other Region 2 members to get acquainted and talk about what is going on in your region.
10:30 a.m. AGING AND SEX: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX LYNN BROWN ROSENBERG Following the path taken in her memoir, My Sexual Awakening at 70, the speaker will discuss her journey to sexual and emotional freedom after having been raised in a repressive environment. Attendees will gain insight into what she did in order to break free, with the added challenge of doing this at 70 years old. This program will inspire attendees to take their own journey.
10:30 a.m. ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING You're an American Mensan and you want to know what's happening with your organization. Come to the ABM and hear reports from the Chairman, Treasurer, and Executive Director of American Mensa and the President of the Mensa Foundation. All members are urged to participate in the Annual Business Meeting, where they have a voice and a vote.
Sessions Annual Gathering
There are a great many myths being promoted as fact by physicians, dentists
and dieticians. Following these myths, instead of learning about them and then
doing the opposite, will shorten your life and greatly raise your risk of cancer,
heart disease, diabetes, dementia and many neurological conditions. Just a few
of the myths that I will cover include: saturated fats and a high fat diet leads to
heart disease; fluoridated water reduces tooth decay; vaccines are safe and
effective at reducing many disease; keeping cholesterol below 200 will reduce
heart disease; an aspirin a day will increase life span; whole wheat and whole
grains are healthy foods. Learn the facts and improve your health while you
lower all your risk factors.
10:30 a.m. TIANANMEN WEST: WHY NIXON ORDERED THE KENT STATE MASSACRE JENNY DEASON COPELAND The presentation will cover the main topics of the soon-to-be-released book of the same title. Select chapters will explain at a high level what happened and then delve into the mind of Richard Nixon to divulge evidence on two topics: could Nixon have ordered the massacre at Kent and why would he have done that. The research behind the theory that Nixon ordered the massacre has covered 30 years and included Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI, CIA and NSA. The repercussions of this research to the author and her family will also be revealed. The screenplay titled "Tiananmen West" has been shopped around Hollywood with no sale. A few executives who heard the pitches suggested writing a book first and the author took that advice.
10:30 a.m. FARM BOY TO FIGHTER PILOT TO POW RALPH KLING These are the firsthand, personal anecdotes and adventures of Ralph Kling, a farm boy who became a fighter pilot in World War II. The story will trace episodes from learning to fly the P-47, to missions around D Day. It will depict the day he was shot down, the days spent as a POW in Stalag Luft III, and the
Sessions Annual Gathering
days when the POWs were taken on a forced march in the snow and in boxcars
to Mooseborg. It concludes with the importance of "LIBERATION" as depicted in
the EX-POW Monument at the Miramar National Cemetery.
10:30 a.m. SMARTMOUTHS: 8 SPEAKING SECRETS OF LEADING INFLUENCERS DALLAS JESSUP Author and communications expert Dallas Jessup tears aside American society's veneer of Kardashianism to expose a rich culture of powerful contemporary rhetoric; disruptors who drive amazing social, business, and technological change. An award-winning speaker herself, Dallas Jessup spotlights the tools and tactics of impactful Smartmouths and gives us a framework to identify, analyze and judge for ourselves today's most powerful speeches and spoken words. Dallas shares 8 Speaking Secrets of Leading Influencers anyone can use to elevate their own communication skills for awesome impact. Exceptional American rhetoric didn't stop with JFK and MLK. Global online platforms empower innovators and disruptors to share big ideas for amazing impact. Have a world-changing idea? Viral marketing pioneer Dallas Jessup will show you how to captivate audiences and spread the word. Cool tactics from this Silicon Valley insider and speaking pro.
10:30 a.m. DEBATE ROOM: AUTHORITARIANISM, BOGUS POP PSYCH OR REAL THREAT? A half-century ago, Adler defined the "authoritarian personality" as one who finds comfort in a strict set of rules and in the authority figure who imposes them. Within the past decade the word has been appearing in the literature of Political Science and in newspaper Op-Ed pages. Is the notion valid, and is it relevant to today's political conversation? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
10:30 a.m.
Many professionals have their favorite time-saving, productivity-increasing, rear-kicking technology secrets. This lively, interactive session gives attendees the opportunity to introduce their favorite technology tools to their colleagues.
10:30 a.m. BIG BRAINS AND BLOOD GLUCOSE: HOW DOLPHINS MAY HELP STOP THE DIABETES PANDEMIC STEPHANIE VENN-WATSON Bottlenose dolphins and humans share large brains, long lives and similar metabolism. We also share a condition called metabolic syndrome (prediabetes), which affects one in every four people globally. Using a One Health approach, veterinarians, physicians, and scientists throughout San Diego are joining together to improve both dolphin and human health, including the discovery of a fish-based nutrient that may reverse diabetes. Learn about our community's search for common cures to improve global health.
10:30 a.m. ISOLATED M FAMILY REUNION RUTH DANIELLE Current, former and prospective Isolated Ms are invited to a family reunion! We haven't had one of these for awhile, so we look forward to connecting names with faces, finding out what makes each of you isolated and catching up with each other's adventures. Isolated M encompasses American Mensa members who live outside the U.S. and those who feel isolated because of distance from their group or an inability to attend events. Our members live in more than 45 countries! Y'all come!
10:30 a.m.
legal profession INTERNATIONAL MEET-
Sessions Annual Gathering
A short meeting of Mensa legal professionals. Exchange of contacts, working opportunities, law-related jobs around the world, lecturing in U.S. or Europe (exchanging opportunities). Everyone is cordially welcomed to make short presentation on this topic or to listen. Ondrej Pridal will be speaking about working as a Supreme Court judge in Kosovo (within the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), about the European Unified Patent Court (UPC) and briefly about lecturing in Europe.
12:00 p.m. PHILOSOPHER VS. VISIONARY: LIMITS TO THE RATIONAL MIND IN ITS ABILITY TO PERCEIVE REALITY THOMAS NEHRER Author, international speaker, adventurer Tom Nehrer explores ideas introduced by philosophers from ancient Greeks through British and German Rationalists and Idealists ­ how those ideas changed western thinking, how they found their way into common notions. Heraclitus, Locke, Descartes, Spinoza, Nietzsche and others: how did their views differ from precepts of Gautama the Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu or modern mystics? How clearly can the rational mind delve into metaphysical insights? How much does the belief structure affect interpretation ­ and thus perception? Attendees should come prepared to examine their own world view ­ many commonly held "truths" will be exposed as mere ideas, not aspects of reality.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Divorce represents one of the most staggering existential and emotional breaks
in anyone's life. Despite the life disruption and emotional pain of divorce, the
phenomenon is ubiquitous; a frequently cited statistic is that 50 percent of
marriages will end in divorce. When most people think of divorce,
"collaboration" most likely does not spring to mind. However, in the 1980s, a
movement began in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, which has since spread
throughout the western world ­ collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is
an out-of-court team approach that involves collaboratively trained attorneys,
mental health professionals and financial planners. Hear a selected panel of
experienced Southern California professionals describe the collaborative
divorce process and hear horror stories and war stories arising out of the
alternative to collaborative divorce ­ going-to-court divorces.
12:00 p.m. DEPRESSION UPDATE: DIAGNOSIS, DRUGS, BRAIN STIMULATION, PSYCHOTHERAPY MARK ZETIN Criteria for diagnosing depression have changed with DSM-5. Some antidepressants have additional benefits such as treating chronic pain and improving cognitive performance. Depression in bipolar illness is generally not treated with antidepressants but rather with atypical antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Brain stimulation techniques such as VNS, rTMS, and ECT are useful for treatment resistance, but many drugs can augment antidepressant response (atypical antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, stimulants, methylfolate) as can bright light, aerobic exercise, and omega 3 fatty acids. Ketamine represents a novel treatment approach but requires IV infusions. Mindfulness has been shown effective in preventing recurrences of depression and CBT has been used for acute treatment of depression.
Sessions Annual Gathering
This presentation will show the business and financial aspects of a film from a
studio perspective and what makes a film project economically viable. It will
follow a film's life cycle from theatrical release, through pay per view, digital,
DVD and finally television syndication. No matter how interesting a story or
concept, a film project must appear financially attractive for a studio to
consider involvement. For anyone contemplating writing a script or producing a
film, the business insights gained from this talk will enhance your ability to
create a project that has a shot at success and avoid those that are dead-ends.
12:00 p.m. HOW DO THEY DO THAT? SECRET TECH WEAPONS FOR MENSA MEMBERS BETH ZIESENIS Joing Your Nerdy Best Friend, a.k.a. Author Beth Ziesenis, to discover how to use free and bargain technology tools you never knew existed to work more efficiently with your teams, create professional-level graphics and wow your colleagues. This high-energy session will give you 30+ tools that will leave people asking "How DO they do that?"
12:00 p.m. BRAIN FITNESS -- A SHORTCUT THROUGH MENSA LABYRINTH PREDRAG DYUKIC By organizing tournaments in IC Development Games, we strengthened the sense of belonging through connecting members at the local and national level and increased attendance at Mensa gatherings. These games are simple, of short duration, easily adjustable and fun. They enhance brain capabilities such as associations and decision making while improving cognitive performance.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Come mingle with your fellow GenXers while we play obligatory get-to-know-
you games and give you a preview of all the exciting things the GenX SIG has
planned for this year's AG. Whether this is your first interaction with the SIG or
you've been hanging out with us online or in person for years, we look forward
to seeing you! (The GenX SIG is open to anyone born in 1961-1981.)
12:00 p.m. REGION 3 MEET-AND-GREET JULIA ASHLEY Join RVC 3 Julia Ashley and other Region 3 members to get acquainted and talk about what is going on in your region.
12:00 p.m. FRIENDS OF BILL W For Mensans and guests who are actively practicing any 12-step program. This is a non-hosted, informal program, not for observers or the curious, please.
Being a Mensan does not mean you have no learning differences. In fact, learning issues like dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders are over-represented on our end of the bell curve. Gifted kids who have been compensating pretty well through high school tend to hit the wall when they get to college and are surrounded by peers of like ability but no learning issues. IEPs and 504s end at high school graduation. Learn how colleges are reaching out to and supporting twice-exceptional students (gifted and learning disabled) and which colleges are doing it best. Also hear about common adaptive technologies for learning differences and what students must do to access the support they need to succeed.
As a sequel to the highly acclaimed 2015 Face the Music program, Richard Lederer and Bill Shipper team up again to deliver a fun-filled session exploring wordplay in music and song. These two sparring punsters will combine newly musicalized linguistic gems with a few old favorites to bring you another delightfully entertaining concert.
1:30 p.m. SEX & RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGES OF SUPER SMART PEOPLE CLAUDIA SIX IIn my private practice as a clinical sexologist and relationship coach, it has been my experience that super smart people often experience a specific subset of difficulties whose impact is underestimated. This can show up as difficulty finding a relationship, or maintaining one long term. People suffer unnecessarily and this can be alleviated. In this talk I will describe some of these traits, the relationship and sexual challenges they create and how to navigate them intelligently to create a satisfying romantic and erotic life. My book, Erotic Integrity: How To Be True To Yourself Sexually, addresses how to find sexual authenticity -- for smart people and not so smart ones, too.
1:30 p.m. HACKERNEST HARDWARE/SOFTWARE HACK SESSION ANNIKA THURLOW Get your Nerd on and geek out with HackerNest-M! Bring your arduino kits, Raspberry PIs, RFID toys, sensors, robots, laptops and anything else you want. Show us what you've made or build something cool. Everyone is welcome to join in, talk tech and meet the HackerNest-M Tech Community. Kids welcome!
1:30 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Blaise Pascal wagered on faith to hedge his bets against Judgment Day. Why not wager on faith in a world verging toward nihilistic chaos? If multiple worlds are possible, if all we can imagine necessarily exists in the vastness of space and time, then why not embrace the historic teaching of the Catholic Church? "I believe, help thou my unbelief" is the theme of this talk.
1:30 p.m. THE DISPLACED PERSON: STORIES FROM ARMENIA AND HAITI, TOLD VIA WORDS, VIDEO, AND SUGAR ART LINDA KHACHADURIAN In 1955, Flannery O'Connor's short story, "The Displaced Person" was published. Sixty-one years later, the plight of the refugee still resonates. Through the work for her organization, Charitable Confections, a 501(c) 3 public charity that assists educational nonprofits in developing nations, Linda Khachadurian has noticed parallels between disparate groups of people -- the Syrian Armenians fleeing to Armenia for refuge from the conflict in Syria, and the Dominican Haitians being forcibly repatriated to Haiti by the Dominican government. In her presentation, Linda will delve into the politics and personal stories of these displaced people from her recent and ongoing travels to Haiti and Armenia as part of her nonprofit work. Linda's upcoming (autumn 2016) edible art show will serve as another expression of this topic; at the end of this talk, she will discuss the process involved in creating sugar sculptures.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Both are hot, but dancing is a lot more fun and a lot less messy in your arms.
You can dip salsa when you're dining but when you dip while you're dancing, it's
a lot more exciting. Eating salsa will please your mouth. Dancing salsa will
please your soul. Go for the good stuff. DANCE!!! (Teen Class)
1:30 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: APPLE VERSUS THE FBI Was Apple right to refuse the FBI's demand for a back-door into their cryptography, or does the government's mandate to protect its citizens override their right to privacy? Would the existence of a US-supported backdoor raise the likelihood of international hacking or reduce the threat of international terrorism? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
1:30 p.m. SIMPLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR COMPLEX PEOPLE TERESA WONG Teresa says that there are natural leaders, but most of us are not so inclined. To create and see a project to successful completion requires energy and enthusiasm. Teresa's presentation, in which she describes her diverse Asian and Australian experiences in project and team management that offer innovative ideas for any kind of endeavor. Her enthusiasm may ignite Mensans' passions to organize great events creating excitement for the next interesting project.
Calling all Membership Officers, LocSecs and other leaders! Want to improve your member experience but don't know where to start? Let data be you friend! I'll share the results of Mensa's membership surveys from this past year, as well
Sessions Annual Gathering
as tips and tools for you to collect additional information from your members to
help inform your decisions. Take the guesswork out of what people are looking
for in their Mensa Experience, and let the data do the talking!
1:30 p.m. TREASURE HUNT ART MATTSON, MEGAN EDWARDS In a combination of puzzle solving and scavenger hunt, teams of six race to solve puzzles of various sorts (easy enough to solve) that identify the objects (easy enough to find) the Masters of the Hunt want. Participants must procure the actual objects and deliver them to Hunt Central. Time is of the essence since teams are racing against each other to be first to solve each problem. Points are awarded for each correct response ­ more if you are first, then fewer on a sliding scale. The hunt takes 90 minutes. Are you up to the challenge?
1:30 p.m. LONDON SIG MEET-AND-GREET JOHN ADAMS BMAG London September 2016! Outside London and the Internet, this is the only meeting of American Mensa's London SIG. Whether you live in London, have visited, or are just interested in the city with the largest Mensa local group in the world, you're welcome to join our discussion of Mensa events in and around London and find out about the London SIG email lists and the British Mensa Annual Gathering in London in September 2016.
1:30 p.m. DISNEYLAND MEET-AND-GREET BRIAN MADSEN What can be more fun than visiting Disneyland together with your Mensa friends? Mensa members throughout Southern California visit Disneyland at least one Sunday each month. This SIG is a group for Mensans who love Disneyland, Disneyland Resorts, and anything Disney. Do you have an annual
Sessions Annual Gathering
membership and look for someone with whom to go? Maybe you are coming
into the SoCal area and want to spend time with others of like mind? Learn
more at the Disneyland Mensa SIG Meet & Greet!
1:30 p.m. PROCTOR AND TESTING COORDINATOR MEET-AND-GREET LARAE BAKERINK Open to all Proctors, Proctors-in-training and Testing Coordinators. This session is to discuss some of the ins and outs of the testing program and will allow lots of time for Q&A.
3:00 p.m. TEEN MURDER MYSTERY HUNT The Mix 'n' Mingle Murder Mystery Party -- an experience where guests participate in the story by becoming characters, suspects (maybe even the killer!), and working to solve the mystery. Think of it as a LIVE game of CLUE! Each participant is given a character, Mayhem Money, secrets about their character, and a bit of dirt on other characters.
3:00 p.m. MY FATHER BORIS KARLOFF: MORE THAN A MONSTER SARA JANE KARLOFF With the viewing of home movies, film clips and my father's last interview, combined with a candid Q&A session, I hope to give those in attendance a glimpse behind the makeup of one of the kindest, gentlest Monsters that ever lived.
Sessions Annual Gathering TARA TRAVIA
This presentation will discuss the nature of traumatic events, the current diagnostic criteria (briefly), the neurology of trauma, and current effective treatments, focusing on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Yoga as an ancillary therapy will also be discussed. Presentation will include anecdotes of cases and how various aspects of current therapies can be used to reduce anxiety and stress in one's life. *Anecdotes may trigger memories and anxiety in some. Individuals should be cautious about their tolerance for such discussion.*
3:00 p.m. CAREFUL! DON'T STEP ON THE SEA LION. UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL IN THE GALAPAGOS. MARCIA BRANDES If you've always wondered what it would be like to live in Eden, a small group trip to the Galapagos islands will satisfy you in more ways than one. Being neither predator nor prey, humans are ignored by most of the creatures that inhabit these fabled islands. Birds, sea lions, giant tortoises and iguanas share the paths and the beaches with travelers, while sea turtles, killer whales and even sharks keep snorkelers and boaters company in the water. This presentation will focus on opportunities for wildlife photography but will also include photos and descriptions of Quito and the Otavalo Market in Ecuador. The speaker will offer professional quality photography, photography tips, history of the islands, personal stories, and information about planning a trip of your own to this fascinating part of the world.
The U.S. is estimated to lose over $71 billion annually in religious tax exemptions. Is it fair for a community to supply police and fire protection to a property owner gratis? Should religious leaders get tax preferences? Should the IRS resume investigating suspicious groups that claim to be churches? Do the
Sessions Annual Gathering
spiritual and humanitarian services provided justify the tax preferences or
should churches subsist on fee-for-service as physicians do? Debate Room is
not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone
gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
3:00 p.m. THE POWER OF RESPECT, OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO EPISTEMIC ENGAGEMENT DEBORAH REISDORPH, ESQ. In our endeavors to enhance our intellectual capacity, we may encounter obstacles to epistemic engagement through unnecessary interpersonal conflict. Understanding the power of respect, and the tools that enable leaders and learners to establish structure and a safe environment for enhanced interaction, benefits all participants regardless of background and experience. Realizing the adverse impact of micro-aggression, implicit bias, abusive conduct and bullying on the brain, can enable you and I to remove obstacles to epistemic engagement and the process of learning. Through stories, studies and interactive exercises you will gain in this session, tools and strategies that enhance your learning experience so that you can optimize your intellectual capacity on a daily basis without interference.
3:00 p.m. BUILDING A FULL-SCALE REPLICA OF THE SAN SALVADOR, CABRILLO'S FLAGSHIP OF 1542 DAVID CLARK This presentation will discuss the story of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's voyage of discovery in 1542, set within the context of world events, and how this voyage ultimately became the "origin story" of California. The talk will continue with the Maritime Museum of San Diego's own project of researching, designing, and constructing a full-scale operational galleon of the 16th century as well as her mission in the future.
3:00 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering FTW*! BILLIE LEE
(*for the win) Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. Learn how you can use games for self-improvement aims such as weight loss, increased social ability and the mastery of new skills like programming and pole-dancing. Hear about the emerging business philosophy that uses game mechanics to drive profits. Finally, Mensa leaders can get some game-based tips to encourage active participation from local groups.
3:00 p.m. SKI SIG MEET-AND-GREET JOHN ADAMS No dues, no newsletter -- just snow skiing. We have an annual ski trip in February/March. Join us to hear about this years trip to Telluride and plans for the upcoming season.
3:00 p.m. REGION 5 MEET-AND-GREET BAKER RING Join RVC 5 Baker Ring and other Region 5 members to get acquainted and talk about what is going on in your region.
3:00 p.m. M-SPORTSFANS SIG MEET-AND-GREET M-SportsFans ( provides a forum for discussion about all things related to major amateur/collegiate/professional sports, including statistical trends and analytics advances, innovative ways to improve the fairness and excitement of the sports we love, sophisticated (or unsophisticated) water-cooler talk about recent/upcoming games and current events in sports, and offers the opportunity to participate in fantasy leagues
Sessions Annual Gathering
and prediction pools. If you are interested in joining, please email the
Coordinator (mailto:[email protected]) or follow us on
Twitter (
4:30 p.m. MEET CLIFF, THE MAILBOT GARY SAMAD See a demonstration of a practical, real-world helper robot that drives down the street and retrieves my mail. Learn how to build your own robot, or if technically challenged, at least learn about the interesting twists and turns encountered while building a machine that has to live in the real world, not in a lab or factory. I am one of the founders of the San Diego Robotics Club and have competed in autonomous robotics competitions, judged robotics competitions, and mentored high school robotics teams. I have been building autonomous robots (robots that control themselves and are not remote controlled) since 2010.
4:30 p.m. GIANT SHIFTS: ENERGY TRENDS RESHAPING AMERICA'S FUTURE JIMMY VALLEE Based on his new book, Giant Shifts, the author identifies non-energy trends coming in finance, education, society, business and technology resulting from the remarkably changed global and U.S. energy landscape. Taking on the role of futurist, the speaker looks at trends, data, and history to identify and describe the several possible energy-driven futures open to us ­ which ones come to pass will depend on decisions we make today. Learn the real story behind the recent tectonic shifts in the oil and gas industry and what's coming next from the author, a high visibility energy mergers and acquisitions insider with an unmatched depth of industry experience. For more information, visit
4:30 p.m.
By the time women won the right to vote in 1920, they had been thriving at every level of filmmaking ­ as directors, producers, editors, and writers ­ for almost two decades. Before 1925, women wrote half of all films. Alice Guy, Lois Weber, Mary Pickford, Anita Loos and Frances Marion were just a few of the powerful women who produced, directed and wrote hundreds of films and were paid as much or more than men. How they rose to prominence, why they thrived and what happened to push them out.
4:30 p.m. FRANKENSTEIN -- THE CLASSIC 1931 HORROR FILM SARA JANE KARLOFF A very special screening of the original 1931 classic horror flick Frankenstein, starring Colin Clive, Mae Clark, John Boles, and Boris Karloff, in his iconic role as The Monster. The film will be introduced by Boris Karloff's daughter, Sara, who will provide us with some little known facts. Film running time is 70 minutes.
4:30 p.m. TECHNOLOGY BEST PRACTICES FOR MENSA VOLUNTEERS LISA MAXWELL Just got appointed or elected to a volunteer position in your local group and looking for tools to make the job easier? Maybe you've been in a role for a while now, but your exComm/newsletter/monthly events (choose your own) has become stagnant and you're looking for ways to get new traction? Join us to learn about technology tools and best practices that can help you achieve more in your volunteer roles.
4:30 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Beer has been a staple beverage of humans for 10,000-11,000 years. In fact, many anthropologists have argued beer drove modern human evolution by conceptualizing humanity's first production line. You will be exposed to experience the actual process of brewing in the modern era, and then move on to tasting and evaluating a selection of beers made at our brewery. The day ends with a Q&A sure to help you become a more discerning beer connoisseur and better home brewer! Attendance limited to first 60. (21+ ID required)
4:30 p.m. MONOPOLY TOURNAMENT JONATHAN ELLIOTT The classic American board game. Buy and trade properties until you complete at least one color group, then purchase buildings to increase your rent values until you bankrupt your opponents and take over their holdings. With learning from past experience, both the preliminary round and the final will use the `short-form' rules in which you are dealt two starter properties at random and must pay full price for them before play begins, and you must have completed at least one Monopoly in the prelim before you may advance to the final.
4:30 p.m. SCUBA SIG MEET-AND-GREET JOHN ADAMS Even if you've never experienced the weightlessness and beauty of SCUBA diving on a tropical coral reef, you're welcome to join other deep thinkers in the SIG that goes places. We'll answer your questions about diving and give an update on plans for the upcoming trip to Cozumel.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Join RVC 10 Thomas Thomas and other Region 10 members to get acquainted
and talk about what is going on in your region.
4:30 p.m. REDHEAD MENSANS: 2% OF THE 2% ROB SALKIN Come meet fellow redheaded and ginger-loving geniuses! This event is for those who have, had, or appreciate orange, auburn, strawberry blonde, or any other fiery shade of hair. Expect a mostly unstructured meet and greet after a brief introduction, including information on Ginger City, USA and the League of Extraordinary Red Heads.
6:00 p.m. HOW TO GET FACEBOOK AND FOUR GOVERNMENTS AS SPONSORS JJ BEH & SHAHARRIS BEH This talk walks you through how HackerNest, a nonprofit that builds local tech communities around the world, managed to secure Facebook, Airbnb, and four orders of government (UK and Canadian) to sponsor DementiaHack, the world's foremost dementia hackathon. A blunt, anecdotal, and probably hilarious account of how partnerships were formed with some of the universe's most popular brands and most recognizable governments.
Are you at the top of your professional game but you're not getting the recognition and income you deserve? Maggie Jessup, best-selling author of Fame 101, has your answer: Thought leader marketing with just the right amount of publicity for an aura of professional celebrity. Thought leaders are the go-to experts in their fields, they have more influence, get the best jobs or business opportunities, and they make more money. They have more career fun
Sessions Annual Gathering
too. PR and professional personal branding expert Maggie shares her thought
leader marketing formula anyone can use for professional success -- the strategy she uses daily developing the careers of high-visibility high-impact
professionals. For more information on Maggie Jessup:
6:00 p.m. EXTREME ELECTIONS -- WHY VOTERS ARE FALLING IN LOVE WITH POLITICAL OUTSIDERS MATTHIAS MOEHL President Donald Trump was a joke in a Simpsons episode back in 2000. Now the joke could become a reality. All over the globe -- and even in Mensa -- voters suddenly find anti-establishment candidates very appealing. Is everybody just going nuts or can data and political science explain what is going on? Matthias looks at how elections are decided and shows why yesterday's answers aren't good enough for tomorrow's problems. Democracy needs an upgrade if it wants to survive.
6:00 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: DEVALUING THE FETUS OR REVALUING THE WOMAN? It's one of the oldest moral isssues humanity has faced ­ whose life is more precious, a mother's or the child she's carrying? Societal concensus has fluctuated from one side to the other across geographies and over the centuries. In Western societies the majority view appears to have shifted in the past 50 years. Why is that, and is the shift morally defensible? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
Sessions Annual Gathering
Meet active and sporty Mensans who enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, running,
windsurfing, sailing, water skiing, tennis, archery, and other active sports. Try a
free water skiing lesson. Share sport and fitness tips. Hear about our
adventures in Providenciales, Ixtapa, and Martinique. Practice your French, in
preparation for our upcoming Gathering in Guadeloupe. Singles and solo
travelers are especially welcome. All ages are welcome, including teens and
seniors. International members are welcome.
6:00 p.m. L'CHAIM SIG RICK MAGNUS Come join fellow Jewish Mensans as we welcome the Sabbath.
7:00 p.m. GALA DINNER AND KEYNOTE SPEAKER WIL WHEATON Actor, writer and blogger Wil Wheaton is the hottest ticket in town. Get yours now for a night of fun stories and insights from the gaming aficionado and popular actor, best known for his roles in Stand by Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Big Bang Theory. But first, Mat Plendl, the Los Angelesbased, critically acclaimed, internationally renowned hula hoop artist, will be presenting his world-famous hula hoop act as seen live and in person across the globe, and currently appearing nightly in "VEGAS! The Show" at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. (This is a ticketed event, not an open AG event.)
The author of The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves Scoundrels & the History of American Comedy presents a hidden history of stand-up, from Jack Benny's plagiarism woes to the Mafia run nightclubs of the 1940's to firsthand
Sessions Annual Gathering
experiences with pal Mel Brooks. Exclaim magazine called a recent show
"heroin for comedy nerds. ...human encyclopedia Kliph Nesteroff shared dozens
of unforgettable stand-up-related tales.... The depth of his knowledge about the
history of American comedy made this entire show utterly engrossing."
"Wonderful ... Important..." - Steve Martin "Jaw-dropping anecdotes ..." - Merrill
7:30 p.m. TRAVEL TO EXTREME LATITUDES -- THE NORTH AND SOUTH GEOGRAPHIC POLES KENNETH LEVINE What is it like to travel to the geographical poles as a tourist? Ken will describe and show slides of his trips to the South Pole (January 2003) and the North Pole (September 2004). The talk will include discussions of the history of the early expeditions to these areas. (Note: An article on the South Pole trip appeared in the April/May 2015 issue of the Mensa Bulletin.)
7:30 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: CONTROLLING COSTS IN US HEALTHCARE ObamaCare is all about paying for healthcare, not much about controlling costs. Whether supported by taxes or insurance premiums, costs are on a steady rise. How can that trend be stopped or reversed? Would a national drug plan a la Canada rein in drug costs? Can we switch from fee-for-service to something else, and if so, what? Can hospitals survive without resorting to $25 aspirin tablets? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
Sessions Annual Gathering
By night, werewolves kill off villagers. By day, enraged villagers kill off
suspected werewolves. (But sometimes they mistakenly kill off "innocent
villagers" -- oops.) "Werewolf" requires observation, deduction, and a lot of
bold-faced lying. Who will prevail: the werewolves or the villagers? One fun-
filled game takes 25-40 minutes, and then repeats. Newbies are always
welcomed. (Werewolf is similar to, but better than, "Mafia.") The village
includes: 2-4 Werewolves, ordinary Villagers, and an assortment of special
villagers with special abilities.
7:30 p.m. NAME THAT TUNE: 1950'S AND 60'S ALAN STILLSON This long-standing interactive AG and RG tradition will be played once more. How quickly can you associate a few notes with the title of a song you haven't heard in umpteen years?
7:30 p.m. CHOOSE DEMOCRACY AS YOUR NEW RELIGION ERIC LAFAYETTE Democracy is a light at the end of the tunnel which made the world a much better place for you and me and millions of people. Do not forget that in our Constitution and our book of laws as in a true Democracy most of the 10 commandments of the Bible are already included but Democracy goes much further by adding crucial components: Democracy gives you the Freedom of speech, you can criticize your government or a church plus you with your vote can decide in which direction your country should go, In addition you have the protection of our system of courts to defend yourself against unjust treatments and dangerous bullies. The USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are among the only true large Democracies in the world which means that you can also be a devoted Democrat who help maintain a high level of Democracy in the USA as well as support Democracy all over the world. The ideals of Democracy are
Sessions Annual Gathering
extremely inspiring and could be of great help in your every day life especially
in the fight against bullies. I will include the audience very much and it will be
more a discussion than a one sided lecture.
7:30 p.m. HELL'S M'S ANNUAL MEET-AND-GREET HELL's M's is the party SIG of American Mensa -- we're all about making it a good party with good memories for everyone. In additional to that, we get to wear great black t-shirts! Our Meet & Greet is a great time to find out what we are and join the SIG as well as to weigh in on our direction for the coming year.
7:30 p.m. HARNESSING YOUR YOU: LESSONS IN LEVERAGING YOUR TALENT, NETWORK AND PERSONAL BRAND NAJEEN RIAZI We have all had moments of disappointment and frustration. From being typecast to profiled to merely put in a box smaller than anything our imaginations would usually allow, we've all felt the discomfort of not being able to show the world our best selves at one moment or another. Whether it's stereotyping, bullying, or a desire to grow that has pushed you to evaluate your personal brand, come join a conversation about growth, personal development and leveraging some surprising resources to put your best foot forward. Young Mensans: Come hear from a fellow life-newbie about building your personal brand, leveraging your network and finding your best you. This talk is specifically targeted to younger Mensans, career switchers, those interested in learning some new strategies to keep up with ever changing life in the professional world and those interested in learning a little more about themselves.
9:00 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering DAMIEN
Damien, a formerly active Mensan, will present a tutorial and then a demonstration in the Art of Japanese and Western Rope Bondage. Physiological hot spots, red flags and safety pointers, history, technique, terminology and material will be discussed as he applies his rope media to his human canvases. This is a topic of an adult nature, so it is requested that proof of age over 18 be provided prior to the start of the presentation. (21+ ID required)
9:00 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: PAYING FOR US HEALTHCARE Is there a next step for U.S. health care? ObamaCare depends on for-profit insurance companies ­ is single-payer (extended Medicare) a desirable or workable option? Should a national coverage plan include everyone, even noncitizens, tourists and illegal immigrants? If you don't like ObamaCare, propose an alternative. Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
9:00 p.m. CARMINA BURANA SING-ALONG DAVE CAHN An annual event! Sing along with (or just listen to) a recording of the bawdy, lustful songs of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. You don't need a good voice to enjoy this. Lyrics (in Medieval Latin, Middle High German and a few verses of Old Provenзal) will be provided. If you have a copy of the score, please feel free to bring it.
9:00 p.m. MEXICAN TRAIN BARBARA LYTLE, JIM LEWIS A version of dominoes that you can learn quickly. Any number can play.
Sessions Annual Gathering
9:00 p.m.
Join us in the Tiki Pavillion (The Lounge) as we celebrate our first 40 years. Founded in 1976 as a safe haven for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Mensans, GaySIG continues its proud tradition of acceptance, and is dedicated to providing a welcoming space to all Mensans.
9:00 p.m. NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES 101 DAN PUNZAK General introduction to the topic of near death experiences (NDEs) including analogies from physics on how the mind can function when the brain is not functioning. It includes how NDErs lives were changed as well as related topics such as End of Life Experiences (ELEs) and After Death Communication (ADC).
9:00 p.m. BDSMENSANS: SMART KINKSTERS ROB SALKIN What's hotter than someone who shares your kink? Someone who shares your kink and can hold an intellectual conversation post-aftercare! This semistructured meet and greet event is for anyone with a kink curiosity, regardless of experience. All will be welcome to ask and answer questions about any aspect of the kink community, including how to get involved online and with local kink communities.
9:00 p.m. Y3K DANCE BAND After the gala dinner is over, and open to all AG attendees, Y3K means "YEAR 3000", and is a modern band specializing in familiar and fun live dance hits. Specializing in playing current hits from the 80's, 90's and today, not just the classic oldies, Y3K is the band for events where all ages will be present. With
Sessions Annual Gathering
three lead vocalists, 4 part harmony, male and female vocalists, keyboards,
guitar, bass, drums and percussion, Y3K has the tools and talent to accurately
cover hits from any decade, so everyone joins in the fun.
9:00 p.m. SERENITY Serenity is a 2005 American space western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of Whedon's short-lived 2002 Fox science fiction television series Firefly and stars the same cast, taking place after the events of the final episode. Set in 2517, Serenity is the story of the captain and crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The captain and first mate are veterans of the Unification War, having fought on the losing Independent side against the Alliance. Their lives of smuggling and cargo-running are interrupted by a psychic passenger who harbors a dangerous secret. The film stars Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau and Chiwetel Ejiofor. (adapted from Serenity is a 2005 American space western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of Whedon's short-lived 2002 Fox science fiction television series Firefly and stars the same cast, taking place after the events of the final episode. Set in 2517, Serenity is the story of the captain and crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The captain and first mate are veterans of the Unification War, having fought on the losing Independent side against the Alliance. Their lives of smuggling and cargo-running are interrupted by a psychic passenger who harbors a dangerous secret. The film stars Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
10:30 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: DRUG LEGALIZATION How much of our legal woes are tied to drug trafficking? How do you think that drug legalization would affect the future? Which institutions would win, which lose? Would the legalization experience of Portugal hold true for the U.S.? Do some drugs, such as meth, always need to be illegal? Is legalization of pot inevitable? How soon? Can it still be withheld from under-25's, whose brains it
Sessions Annual Gathering
will damage? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated
discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker
gets a prize!
10:30 p.m. CARNELLI TOURNAMENT DAN TOBIAS Play this title-association game, invented by Mensans Jan Carnell and Jim Lange. See why this game has been popular at Mensa gatherings for decades. No experience necessary; rules will be taught. Visit for more information, or just show up.
10:30 p.m. CHARADES TOURNAMENT DAVE CAHN Our non-competitive format is fun for newcomers and experienced players alike. Act out titles, quotations, gag sayings, punch lines, etc. Discover your inner mime. Guess what others are trying to convey. Instructions provided before we start.
SATURDAY, JULY 2 8:45 a.m. HIQORA The 2016 High IQ World Championships are an educational and intellectuallystimulating competition for the world's brightest and most gifted minds. Participants of all ages and countries engage in a wide-range of innovative activities and questions to test intelligence in quantitative puzzles, gamesbased learning and real-world IQ aptitude tests.
9:00 a.m.
For the curious, this presentation describes the standard duality of gender (male and female) then shows alternatives that call into question this way of thinking. Using phenotypic and genotypic evidence, the session will show that there are many alternatives to using animal and human examples. Genetics, for example, will demonstrate that there are many variations to 46 XX and 46 XY. Human anatomy is also subject to significant deviation from the "norm." You'll also hear about behaviors that support this idea. Bringing examples from other species, it will become clear that we need to shift our thinking in terms of the simplicity of gender duality. Questions will be entertained, plus there will be abundant jokes and visual aids. Prepare to shed some misconceptions and gain new knowledge.
9:00 a.m. ZUMBA FITNESS NAOMI HOROVITZ Zumba is a non-stop Latin fitness party, featuring dance rhythms such as salsa, merengue, cumbia, and reggaeton. Mensans of all ages, shapes and sizes are invited to join the party. No experience necessary. Please wear comfortable clothes and sneakers, and bring a towel and bottle of water. No observers, please.
Trafficking in persons is the fastest-growing international crime and one of the largest sources of income for organized crime. It is also estimated that nearly 300,000 American youth are at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation at any given time. Yet our society is largely in the dark about this crime against humanity. This presentation is designed to educate individuals about sex trafficking and its definition, identification and treatment.
Sessions Annual Gathering
9:00 a.m.
What would the perfect curriculum include? What do most people not know that would prepare them for life? Dating? Parenting? Evaluating political candidates? How to be truly safe (real vs. imagined risks)? How loans and credit cards work? Investing? The medical system? Purchasing shelter and transportation? Finding a job? Picking lottery numbers ( just kidding)? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
9:00 a.m. LEADERSHIP INTERACTIVE TRAINING TAZ CRISS Taz Criss and her team are seeking feedback on the first lessons in the new Leadership Interactive Training program. Learn more about the scope of the project, how all the puzzle pieces interact, and how this new training can benefit your local group leaders.
9:00 a.m. ASIAN MENSA GATHERING KYMBERLEY WILSON The Asian Mensa gathering is now the third major Mensa event internationally. A brief history of the event will be given, together with some views of the exotic locations of past events. Finally there will be a plug for the 2017 event in Australia.
Sessions Annual Gathering
This meeting will take place only if the ballot count could not be conducted on
Friday, July 1st, at 8:00 a.m. (Note: Because the AG is earlier than usual this year,
the possibility exists some ballots may not arrive in San Diego in time for the
Friday meeting. If this happens, the official count will be held at this backup
ballot counting session. Observers are welcome as space permits.)
9:00 a.m. REGISTRATION FOR THE AMERICAN MENSA ADMISSION TEST Proctors will register candidates for the American Mensa Admissions Test. The special AG test fee is $20. Test candidates must be at least 14 years of age, provide a photo ID and be a permanent U.S. resident. We will be using our new admission test for this session.
9:00 a.m. THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE GUSTAVO ARELLANO Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, author of Orange County: A Personal History and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, and lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes "ЎAsk a Mexican!," a nationally syndicated column in which he answers any and all questions about America's spiciest and largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States, won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column, and was published in book form by Scribner Press in May 2007. Arellano has been the subject of press coverage in national and international newspapers, The Today Show, Hannity, Nightline, Good Morning America, and The Colbert Report, and his commentaries regularly appear on Marketplace and the Los Angeles Times. Gustavo is the recipient of the Los Angeles Press Club's 2007 President's Award and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus
Sessions Annual Gathering
with a 2008 Spirit Award for his "exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic."
Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two
Mexican immigrants, one whom was illegal.
10:30 a.m. ATHEISM: MISPERCEPTION AND CURRENT RAPID GROWTH IN THE US JEFF ARCHER The president of the Atheist Coalition of San Diego will discuss common misperceptions of atheism and atheists by believers and the rapid growth of atheism among black Americans and ex-Muslims.
10:30 a.m. CALIFORNIA: STATE OF COLLUSION JOSEPH TULLY Author/attorney Joseph Tully exposes the institutionalized chaos of California's criminal "justice" system, where psychopathic cops, prosecutors gone rogue and shady jurists abuse the power we the people have invested in them. Criminal defense and civil rights lawyer Tully toils daily on behalf of people caught up in the tsunami of official wrongdoing grown out of control. His stories of police misconduct, illegal backroom deals, and judges behaving wretchedly will amaze and shock even the most jaded Mensans.
Andra Clarke weaves stories from her mother's recollections as a photographer and cigarette girl at Hollywood's ultra posh and ultra famous Ciro's Nightclub. Ciro's was located on Sunset Boulevard, or The Strip, from 1940-1957 during Hollywood's heyday, and its patrons dined, danced and were entertained by top names of the day. Names such as Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Sophie Tucker, Judy Garland, Liberace, Nat King Cole, Joe E. Lewis, and Sammy Davis Jr. Elite Hollywood regulars at the club included Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Cary
Sessions Annual Gathering
Grant, Humphrey Bogart, and many more. Along with research on the movie
stars and other celebrities who frequented or performed there, the
presentation will feature images from the private collection of Clarke's mother.
Those images are compiled in Clarke's new book, Ciro's: Nightclub of the Stars.
Most of these images have never been seen before by the general public.
10:30 a.m. PHOTONS TO ELECTRONS: A BIT ABOUT THE IMAGE SENSOR IN YOUR CAMERA ERIC FOSSUM Inventor of the camera-on-a-chip that is used in a billion+ smartphones. The image sensor is the chip at the heart of every camera. It converts light (photons) to electrons and bytes. We'll talk a little about how that works, from microlenses and color filter arrays to the device physics of semiconductor pixels and circuits for their readout. We will also talk about a possible nextgeneration image sensor, the Quanta Image Sensor that counts every photon that hits the camera chip and a possible real paradigm shift in creating images in the future. This talk will inform an audience with a wide range of backgrounds, from photography enthusiasts to physicists and computer scientists.
10:30 a.m. HOW TO DEFINE YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE IN 42 MINUTES SHAHARRIS BEH I'm not a life coach and I'm not selling anything. Life is simple; people make it complicated. This talk gives you a straightforward, effective framework you can use to define your life's purpose in 42 minutes or less. If you have only a vague idea of what you want to do with your life, are overly analytical and plagued by indecision -- and you want to change that -- then this talk's for you. Together, we'll stomp out myths around "purpose," explore simple but powerful tools to help hone your identity, and make sure you never utter vague, meaningless
Sessions Annual Gathering
statements. (See: "I want to have an impact" or "I want to make a difference".) I'll
give you the tools to identify your concrete, well-defined purpose. You decide
what to do with it.
10:30 a.m. DEBATE ROOM: CORPORATE PERSONHOOD A corporation is a state-created "person," empowered to engage in contracts and own property. Recent Supreme Court decisions have granted corporations the rights of religious expression and financial "free speech." Should corporations be allowed to vote? Should they be required to serve on juries? What's the corporate equivalent to jail time? In what way does a shareholder expressing a claim of ownership differ from a slaveholder expressing a similar claim? Debate Room is not a heated debate, but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
10:30 a.m. TOWN HALL MEETING WITH NATIONAL OFFICE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND SENIOR STAFF Do you have questions about how the National Office operates? Would you like to put a name with a face? Do you not know all the new people in the office? Here's a great opportunity to join Executive Director Pamela L. Donahoo, Sr. Director of Membership and Strategy Trevor Mitchell, Director of Finance David Peery, Foundation Director Jill Beckham, Communications Director Charles Brown, Director of Strategic Brand Partnerships John McGill, and IT Director Matthew Needham for a town hall meeting. This is not a formal presentation. The content will be determined by the audience and what they want to know.
Sessions Annual Gathering
10:30 a.m. UNDERACHIEVERS MEET-AND-GREET SAM WALTZ We are a sympathetic ear for under- and other-achievers. We are a SIG for Mensans who have been told, "You're not living up to your potential!" If you feel you've been left behind, aren't where you want to be in life, or don't know where you want to be, we are here for you.
10:30 a.m. REGION 9 MEET-AND-GREET DESIREE ELLIOTT Join RVC 9 Desiree Elliott and other Region 9 members to get acquainted and talk about what is going on in your region.
10:30 a.m. AL-ANON The friends and family members of those with problems share their experiences and learn how to apply the principles of the Al-Anon program to their individual situations. This is a non-hosted, informal program, not for observers or the curious, please.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Jeff Archer's presentation will be based on his book, The Mother of All Battles:
The Endless US-Iraq War, published in English and German. There will be
photos previously never been seen in the U.S. Archer is up-to-date on the
current situation in Iraq in which the Islamic State (IS) controls about a third of
the country. He will give a detailed account of how IS began and the reasons for
its creation and growth. His book was the result of almost 20 years of research,
in which he interviewed close to 1,000 Iraqis (ambassadors, scientists,
educators, musicians, cab drivers, cooks, and many others).
12:00 p.m. DIFFERENCES IN CODING THINKING AND MUSIC NON-THINKING ANTHONY SARAIN A comparison of the different mindsets used in creating software code and improvising music. Although there are similarities in the requirement of know the language, the implementation of the language is very different.
12:00 p.m. LEARN TO JUGGLE! RON REFF This class takes you into the basics of three-ball juggling, and perhaps will lead to a challenging but rewarding hobby. Studies show that people who learn to juggle increase the grey matter in their brains! While juggling may seem and be difficult to master at first, it becomes easier once you've learned the basics and practiced it. For those who already juggle, I can teach some add-on tricks. Tennis balls will be provided, but attendees may bring their own juggling balls, clubs, rings and/or other juggling props. Unicycles, power tools, knives or fire props are NOT allowed. Class is limited to 25 participants.
Sessions Annual Gathering
This presentation explores the cycle of poverty in the context of education,
including humorous anecdotes of the speaker's experiences teaching math and
coaching basketball at a school near the Mississippi delta. The speaker offers
lessons and solutions that need to be explored to improve education in
impoverished areas. Many government and national theories on education are
wildly misguided because the policymakers do not understand what actually
happens at these schools. In the presentation, the speaker clarifies which
theories hold weight and which need to be abandoned for the improvement of
the American education system.
12:00 p.m. THE CASE OF TORONTO: YAMS ARE THE FUTURE OF MENSA! ROSEMARY HORWOOD Rosemary is a YAM (Young Adult Mensan) and the first YAM national coordinator in her Mensa. Her workshop will feature ways to attract other young members with strategies that have increased Canada's membership growth in recent years. Rosemary's three key leadership functions and actionable steps can be duplicated and implemented to have positive effects on worldwide Mensa membership.
12:00 p.m. PALABRA TOURNAMENT JONATHAN ELLIOTT A perennial hit at Mensa gatherings, this card game combines elements of Scrabble and Poker. Use your letter cards to make words or straights or flushes, and score the number of points indicated. Multiply your word/straight score by 2 or 3 for each card showing 2 or 3 stars. Double your word/straight score if all cards are the same color. Build on recently-played words and straights to increase your score, or `shave' points from your opponent's play by showing one or more matching letters, or lay down your Joker card to wipe out a recent high-scoring play.
12:00 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering REGION 4 MEET-AND-GREET George HayNES
Join RVC 4 George Haynes and other Region 4 members to get acquainted and talk about what is going on in your region.
12:00 p.m. TIME EXPOSURE MICHAEL GALILEO Time isn't real, but it rules our lives. Time is an illusion. Time is a tool. Time is cumulative. Time has size. Time is a secondary force; a cast off property that is a by-product of the ongoing electromagnetic dynamic that drives our universe in each moment from what it is to what it becomes. Time is an invention used to coordinate the creation and construction of man's world. Man first created a system of time by monitoring moon phases, which eventually evolved into a system of "years," or revolutions around the sun. The earth travels 584 million miles in its circle around the sun. That equals 1.6 million miles each day, or 18.5 miles every second of earth. That would be the size of a second-18.5 miles. If we live for 72 years, that's approximately 2.25 billion seconds, but the universe only gives them to us one at a time. The second that we're in is called the "Now." The choices you make in the "Now" create the possibilities that will exist in the future, which eventually and inevitably becomes the "Now," relentlessly, at 18.5 miles per second. If you believe in Time, that is. "Time Exposure" is an attempt to unveil the illusions of time and show it for what it really is- a man made construct; a by-product of the electromagnetic dynamic that drives our world moment by moment from what it is to what it becomes, and a tool which, if used properly, can be employed by man to create a world of higher quality.
Celebrate the accomplishments of Mensa members and Local Groups at our awards presentation. Share the highlights of the year and see which groups win big! All members are welcome to attend. Afterwards, we will preview the 2017
Sessions Annual Gathering
Annual Gathering in Hollywood, Florida!
1:30 p.m. BETTER FRIENDSHIPS, BETTER LIFE TODD NEWMAN The strength of social bonds is strongly linked to happiness, healthiness and longevity. But the average adult has fewer and more shallow friends with increasing age. With a modest commitment you can buck this trend. See what science has to say about deeper friendships and learn steps you can take to improve yours.
1:30 p.m. VICTORIA-CON BILL PLACHY The first world's fair was held in London in 1851. Called the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, it amazed British and foreign visitors alike. Housed in Hyde Park in a fantastic iron and glass building called the Crystal Palace, it hosted over six million visitors in its short (five and a half months) life. With over a million feet of displays from all over the world, it had live steamdriven machines like a Jacquard loom that ran on punched-card programming, static displays from a stuffed elephant to the Koh-i-Noor diamond, furniture, clothes, and just about every other possible feature of mid-Victorian life. It was organized with astonishing speed by a wonderful cast of prominent (and often quite eccentric) Victorian characters. It bred a host of imitators in the ensuing decades, but none could match the glory and spectacle of the original.
A high intelligence quotient (IQ) is touted as being predictive of positive outcomes such as educational success and higher socioeconomic status. Yet, less is understood about high IQ as a potential risk factor. In this session, Ruth
Sessions Annual Gathering
shares the important findings of her recent research involving more than 5,000
participants from American Mensa. Each member responded to a survey which
helped to examine a potential relationship between high cognitive ability and
various psychological and/or physiological overexcitabilities. They were asked
to self-report prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as conditions
involving immune and inflammatory dysregulations including allergies, asthma,
auto-immune disease, and autism. These responses were then compared to
national averages. She discusses the significance of the surprising results of
this study and how they may be relevant to you or someone you know.
1:30 p.m. TEACHING STEM WITH MUSIC TIM GRIFFIN Join award-winning teacher/singer/songwriter/science geek Tim Griffin for funny, kid- and adult-friendly songs about physics, botany, engineering, and that weird thing on your lunch tray. Tim will also share some research into the cognitive benefits of incorporating the arts into regular K-8 classroom instruction. This will be very similar to the presentation Tim did as a plenary lecturer to the AAAS in 2015.
1:30 p.m. LEARN HOW TO HUSTLE LEGALLY DON JACOBS We're not talking about hustling money, we're talking about hustling women (and men). We're referring to dancing. What were you thinking about? Although the 80s have come and gone, disco music is alive and well. So now is a good time to learn the ones, twos, threes and fours. No. You don't need to wear a leisure suit or hot pants, just bring your dancing shoes or socks and get ready to look just like John Travolta (sort of). For a good time see Don. And, as always, no partner required. (Adult Class 2)
Sessions Annual Gathering
Immigration is such a 20th century word. What's happening now is population
flow as soils are depleted, aquifers are pumped dry, rising seas flood coastal
cities and ever more people struggle over ever scarcer resources. Assimilation
systems designed to accommodate hundreds or thousands of newcomers are
now faced with millions. Have national boundaries become irrelevant save as
taxing districts? Has globalization prevailed in a way we never expected?
Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion
where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
1:30 p.m. TAKING CARE OF YOUR MENSA VOLUNTEERS BILL ZIGO Mensa is a volunteer organization, and we're all volunteers. But every volunteer had to start somewhere. Volunteers go through periods of learning, periods of good and bad performance, and unfortunately, burnout. Bill will cover ways to bring new volunteers on board more efficiently, how to work with volunteers being challenged, and how to deal with re-enthusing ­ or dismissing gracefully ­ volunteers who have burned out or lost interest, to hopefully get them excited again.
1:30 p.m. DUMB THINGS SMART PEOPLE DO ABBIE SALNY An amusing commentary of real-life mistakes and faux pas committed by otherwise highly intelligent people. They have used their intellect to get themselves into predicaments dumb people would never think of! This presentation is an annual favorite at AGs because Abbie never runs out of new and amusing true stories. Come find out if there is any truth to the rumor that "the smarter you are, the dumber your 'M'istakes are." This year, there are even more new stories!
Sessions Annual Gathering
Given a funny and unusual old saying from around the world, and with a little
wit and imagination each player write your own ending to go with the
beginning. The made-up sayings are read aloud along with the actual old
sayings, and everyone tries to guess the real one. You'll get points when other
players think your ending is the real one, and points for guessing the real old
1:30 p.m. MEET THE COMMUNICATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS NANCY FARRAR, TONY JACKOWSKI We are Tony Jackowski (Communications Officer) and Nancy McMahan Farrar (Development Officer), and we'd both love to hear from members with ideas, questions, etc. concerning how we communicate with our members and how we market ourselves outside of the organization. Please come by, meet us and let us know what you're thinking!
1:30 p.m. KINDNESS MADE AUDIBLE: BEDSIDE SINGING FOR/WITH THOSE AT THE END OF LIFE PENELOPE SALINGER What can we do for those we love as they near the end of life? The Threshold Choir, with a network of chapters throughout the world, carries on the ancient tradition of providing song during life's transitions. In small ensembles of 2 to 4 singers, our calling is to sing at the bedsides of those who are seriously ill and/or dying. We sing gentle songs from a variety of traditions to soothe, comfort, uplift, and bring peace. When a recipient is awake and alert, we may inquire about the person's favorites and include songs that s/he, family members, and caregivers can join in on. In other instances, we softly create a supportive soundtrack for the recipient's inward journey. This session will explore the principles of providing song at the bedside and will include a demonstration of bedside singing.
1:30 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Come meet local group treasurers and group/event budget makers as well as the national treasurer. This will be a meet and greet event with some suggested topics of discussion, including getting the biggest bang for the buck, keeping the right amount of money in the bank, and sharing best practices year-round.
3:00 p.m. MORE THAN FIFTY SHADES OF GREY: UNDERSTANDING AND PREVENTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE BETH WHITTENBURY This session will explore the lines between legal and illegal conduct in the workplace. The presenter will provide participants with her special formula for determining whether a given set of facts actually constitutes an example of legally actionable sexual harassment. We'll look at real-life examples as well as hypotheticals to apply and test your understanding of the key principles of the law. Come join our lively discussion and learn how you can still compliment someone without harassing them as well as how to respond to harassment if happens to you.
Join us for a special screening of William Castle's House on Haunted Hill, the
1958 cult classic motion picture starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart and Elisha
Cook. Horror legend Price is in his element as the mysterious millionaire who
invites a houseful of guests to spend the night in a supposedly haunted
mansion. Following the film, Joe Jordan (author of Showmanship: The Cinema of
William Castle) and Thomas Page (screenwriter of Castle's 1975 feature, Bug) will
discuss the late director's legacy and participate in a Q&A with the audience.
At age 12, Bill Marx got his first job as prop man for his adoptive father, Harpo Marx, and at 16, he became his musical conductor/arranger. From the 1949 show at London's Palladium through their synergistic jazz albums for Mercury Records in the '50s, father-son collaborations wove their careers together until Harpo's death in 1964. Bill studied composition at Juilliard School of Music and has written concertos for harp, piano, alto saxophone, flute, violin, and the first of its kind, a double harp concerto. He has scored motion pictures, television, theater and ballet, concertized as pianist for Columbia Artists, and recorded with top jazz and pop artists including Doris Day, Stan Kenton, Allan Sherman, Groucho Marx and two albums with his father, Harpo. Bill Marx will share intimate memories of the special bond that he had -- and, he would say, still has -- with both of his parents and his ever-evolving musical career with the silent Marx brother. He will present both his piano artistry and many humorous anecdotes about his weirdly fortunate life in the Marx Brothers' orbit.
3:00 p.m. SCIENCE, SCIENCE FICTION, AND THE SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF WILL GREENWAY Discussion of the compromises made to depict science in fiction for the sake of popular entertainment. Do we need real science in our movies, or would they be ruined? Topic presentation, discussion and Q&A.
Sessions Annual Gathering
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt embarked on his first visit to California.
Before leaving, he reached out to naturalist John Muir with a special favor: to
act as the president's tour guide in Yosemite. That three-day trip helped shape
the destiny of the National Park Service until now had remained one of the
lesser-know chapters in Roosevelt's legacy.
3:00 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: GLOBALIZATION: THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY TO THE US? Globalization means U.S. products can be sold anywhere (assuming we produce competitively), but also that your IT job could migrate to India in a second. The TPP treaty was negotiated in secret between twelve countries and scores of multi-national corporations, with minimal input from Congress or interested NGOs. Are we better off economically being isolationist or cooperative? Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
3:00 p.m. SUCCESSION PLANNING: HOW PREPARING YOUR REPLACEMENT KEEPS THE ORGANIZATION HEALTHY RICHARD KLYSZ Richard is interested in what happens when involved members leave the group. Is there a succession plan and is there an efficient transfer of volunteer skills? Does the group have to start from the beginning? Continuity may be lacking when the board or active members change or disappear. Better management styles could help as well as good record keeping. Richard will discuss how preparing your replacement keeps your Mensa group healthy and growing.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Whether you are an experienced duplicate player, or just a party bridge
enthusiast, this is the tournament for you! This friendly, non-sanctioned event
is a great opportunity to try duplicate bridge, where you don't have to hold all
the good cards to win. Bring your own partner, or we'll try to match you up with
another player, if available.
3:00 p.m. GENY SIG LEADERSHIP SESSION BILLIE LEE The GenY SIG is for Mensa members born on or between the years of 1976-96. Are you the GenY Coordinator for your Local Group? Do you want to be? Our goal is to have more GenY representation in local groups around the country and the world. Come to the planning session and learn about volunteer opportunities. Share your ideas for making GenY SIG an active force for good and fun in Mensa.
3:00 p.m. MEET THE NATIONAL OMBUDSMAN DAVE CAHN Join Dave Cahn, American Mensa's first elected National Ombudsman, and several regional and local group ombudsmen for a free-ranging discussion of the role of ombudsmen and how Mensa conflicts and complaints can be resolved informally without disciplinary action. This is Dave's 6th and final meet-and-greet, and we hope to introduce the newly elected National Ombudsman at this session.
M-Atheists SIG is an active online discussion group ( with 1000 members. Once a year we get together in person at the AG. If you're an atheist but not an online-group-joiner, stop by to meet some of your fellow critical thinkers faceto-face, brain-to-brain.
Sessions Annual Gathering 3:00 p.m. FRIENDS OF BILL W
For Mensans and guests who are actively practicing any 12-step program. This is a non-hosted, informal program, not for observers or the curious, please.
3:30 p.m. TEEN MURDER MYSTERY HUNT The Mix 'n' Mingle Murder Mystery Party -- an experience where guests participate in the story by becoming characters, suspects (maybe even the killer!), and working to solve the mystery. Think of it as a LIVE game of CLUE! Each participant is given a character, Mayhem Money, secrets about their character, and a bit of dirt on other characters.
4:30 p.m. THE CONTROVERSIAL "ROSWELL SLIDES," OR, THE MUMMY FROM OUTER SPACE ROBERT SHEAFFER In 2015, a group of UFO researchers claimed to have two Kodachrome slides showing what was supposed to be the body of a dead alien from Roswell. With great fanfare, they established an elaborate back-story for the slides, and set out to reveal the slides to the world in a commercial presentation -- but when they did it quickly blew up into a huge fiasco!
4:30 p.m. REMOVING THE BRAKES ON ACCELERATION KERI GUILBAULT Acceleration is one of the most effective research-based interventions for highly capable gifted learners (Colangelo, Assouline, & Gross, 2004). Parents who seek an appropriate education for their highly gifted child may find themselves considering subject or grade acceleration as an option at some point. When communicating these possible options with school administrators and educators, parents may be met with opposition based on myths or
Sessions Annual Gathering
misunderstandings. In this session, parents who may be considering
acceleration for their gifted child will hear stories from other families who have
gone through this process. Current and seminal research in the field will be
shared. Myths about acceleration will be dispelled and tips for navigating the
process will be discussed in this interactive session.
4:30 p.m. WILLIAM CASTLE AND HIS HAUNTED HILL JOE JORDAN, THOMAS PAGE Joe Jordan (author of Showmanship: The Cinema of William Castle) and Thomas Page (screenwriter of Castle's 1975 feature, Bug) will discuss the preceding film, Castle's cult classic House On Haunted Hill, the late director's legacy and participate in a Q&A with the audience. William Castle not only owned the production of his films, but the promotion as well. Following his death in 1977, his impact on the business was appreciated in ways that nobody expected. Castle was one of the very few filmmakers who personally mastered the entire process of movies from the advertising to the cost of film stock and technical details. He was and is the template of the absolute independent producer. You don't need to attend the screening to enjoy this presentation.
4:30 p.m. BATMAN: A HISTORY OF THE CAPED CRUSADER FRASER SHERMAN Batman is one of the few fictional characters known worldwide, famous to people who've never even read a Batman comic book. The full story behind his creation has been obscured for years: who really created the Masked Manhunter? What were the inspirations and influences? Beyond that, the presentation will look at how Batman has changed and evolved over the years, frequently in response to the way he's been portrayed in movies and TV.
4:30 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a quantum reality where all truths exist and don't exist at the same time? Are you confused by others who fail to see that which is obvious to you? Are you interested in learning simple techniques to alter your personal reality, understand others, and find happiness? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the perfect session for you. The presenter spent the last 20 years trying to understand why he is always happy and why others seem so sad. The result is a simple, step-by-step process of understanding how individual realities are formed ... and a glimpse into the unique world of someone who lives in multiple simultaneous realities.
4:30 p.m. DUCK SOUP: THE 1933 MARX BROTHERS COMEDY CLASSIC BILL MARX A special screening of the 1933 Marx Brothers comedy classic, starring Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo (in his final film role), and featuring The Marx Brothers' favorite straight woman, Margaret Dumont. The film will be introduced by Bill Marx, son of Harpo, who will share memories of growing up with the famous and close-knit brothers. After the movie, stay on for Bill Marx's full length presentation about his life, his music, and his family. Film running time is 68 hilarious minutes.
Over the past couple of decades, RGs have slowly been changing. Have hotels have become stricter on what is permitted? Are attendees looking for something new and different? This panel discussion will look at some of the challenges that RGs are facing.
Sessions Annual Gathering 4:30 p.m. REGION 8 MEET-AND-GREET SUEANN GILMORE
Join RVC 8 SueAnn Gilmore and other Region 8 members to get acquainted and talk about what is going on in your region.
4:30 p.m. SEE WHO WEARS THE HIGH IQ CROWN Meet and congratulate the top 12 performers in the 2016 High IQ World Championships (HIQORA), a new educational competition for the world's brightest minds. The Awards Ceremony will crown the winner from among those 12, who advanced through two rounds from among 2,000 registered participants from 60 countries. The finalists hail from the United States, United Kingdom, Philippines, Romania, Czech Republic, Singapore, India, Ireland, Italy and Hong Kong. American Mensa is a global sponsor of the competition, which is presented by PSCL.
6:00 p.m. POLYAMORY VS MONOGAMY LEON FEINGOLD Ever feel you didn't understand monogamy? Incredulous that some people find happiness with ONE PERSON? From the Greek and Latin for "many loves," polyamory recognizes that with honesty, communication and respecting boundaries, you CAN have meaningful, loving relationships with multiple partners simultaneously, as long as everyone involved knows and consents. (18+ ID required)
Sessions Annual Gathering
On a warm summer's day in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted with such violent
force that the resulting ash buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The
abandoned sites -- buried under a thick layer of volcanic dust, ash, and debris --
were rediscovered in 1748. Surprisingly, both cities were found mostly intact.
This presentation takes you on a tour of the sites and presents the history of
that horrific day when many thousand people died from the erupting volcanoes,
hot gasses and suffocating ash. Since it's unearthing over 250 years ago, the
cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum -- their buildings, artifacts and skeletons --
have taught us much about everyday life in the ancient world.
6:00 p.m. AN ORIGINAL WORK ON CLIMATE CHANGE MUKESH PRASAD This presentation features original work in climate change that was originally published on Usenet (an early Internet social network used by researchers around the world that died out when commercial interests took over.) In summary: CO2 molecules can absorb heat only in certain frequencies, not indiscriminately. (CO2 has a limited "spectrum.") When the energy in these certain frequencies was exhausted, a "pause" occurred in CO2-caused warming. Climate models failed to account for this, and therefore their predictions of linear warming failed. Satellite data verifies that the energy in these frequencies has reached bottom. Since 1998, the CO2 has been going up linearly without any reduction. Therefore the warming "pausing" suggests my work may be the correct explanation. This work is taboo for any climate change publications. I believe the reason is that the U.S. Government is funding more than $21 billion a year, but only for work fighting the warming. If there is no warming, much of this funding might dry up, and funding contracts may become invalid upon admission that there is no warming.
Sessions Annual Gathering
The process for making liqueurs and cordials is simple and straightforward, and
the results are divine. (The Irish Cream recipe alone will make you VERY
popular.) Methods will be discussed and demonstrated, and there will be an
opportunity for a tasting. (The tasting will be first come, first served, and
probably only one taste per attendee). At press time we are planning to taste
pineapple rum, Irish Cream, and bacon-flavored whisky. Limited quantities of a
hard copy handout will be available, and a soft copy can be e-mailed. (21+ ID
6:00 p.m. HIGH SCHOOL ROBOTICS: INSPIRING STUDENTS TO EXCEL IN STEM, COLLEGE, AND LIFE GARY KOERZENDORFER The FIRST Robotics Competition prepares students for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math. Created by Segway Scooter inventor Dean Kamen, the students are given a challenge every January and have six weeks to design, build, wire, program, and refine a 120 Lb (55 Kg) metal robot that must survive multiple competitions. But FIRST is more than robots -- the robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect, of the program nor themselves. They leave with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future. Colleges and Universities are convinced -- they allocate $25 million in scholarships to attract these students.
6:00 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: IMMIGRATION AND THE US ECONOMY Do we need even more immigrants? Are we allowing enough in now? Have Syria and the flooding island nations changed your opinion? What are the practical limits and risks to more open borders? Is helping other economies the answer? Is uniting families more important than importing brains and entrepreneurs?
Sessions Annual Gathering
Why should the US overload its capacity to offset global instability? Debate
Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where
everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
6:00 p.m. ENCORE BARBARA LYTLE, JIM LEWIS Your team will get an ordinary word, and you've got to help them out by thinking of a song that has that word in the lyrics. Any song will do, even old commercial jingles or TV theme songs. Actually, you'll have to sing at least eight words of the song, but no one cares how badly you sing or if you're off-key ­ just sing it!
6:00 p.m. LIFE MEMBER MEET-AND-GREET DAVID MCCALLISTER All Life Members are welcome to stop by and meet and greet one another.
6:00 p.m. YOUR BRAIN SUCKS BRIAN DUNNING Live demonstrations and audience participation are guaranteed to make every brain in the room fail. The human brain is terrible at collecting data, and yet so many of us make important decisions based on personal experiences. This will convince you that your personal experiences are an awful way to learn anything.
6:00 p.m. TEEN SCAVENGER HUNT Scavenge the grounds of the hotel to find and take pictures of a list of fun and unique items. A camera/phone will be required to participate. Judging will begin at 7:05 p.m. -- no entries will be accepted after that! Fun times and
Sessions Annual Gathering
laughter are sure to be on the agenda. Extra points for originality; bribing the
judges is acceptable. (Ages 13-19 only.)
7:30 p.m. SECRETS OF MENTAL MATH ARTHUR BENJAMIN Learn how to do rapid mental calculations from Dr. Arthur Benjamin, called "America's Best Math Whiz" by Reader's Digest. In this entertaining and fastpaced performance, Dr. Benjamin will demonstrate and explain amazing feats of mind, including lightning fast multiplication, squaring, number memorization, and calendar calculating.
7:30 p.m. DEBATE ROOM: THE FUTURE ROLE OF UNIONS Unions gave us retirement, improved working conditions protection, pensions, liberal lawmakers and much more. They have also been accused of favoritism, corruption, featherbedding, and adding costs that kill American global competitiveness. What should the role of unions be now, if any? Debate Room is not a heated debat, but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
With adult entertainment becoming increasingly accessible (oftentimes for free) due to the Internet, how has that impacted the industry? This panel brings together adult industry media professionals and an anti-piracy expert, to discuss the changes the business of porn have undergone over the past 10 years. In addition, the panel will discuss the changes mainstream media, and society as a whole, has experienced as a result of porn's accessibility, and where we see adult entertainment evolving over the next decade.With adult entertainment becoming increasingly accessible (oftentimes for free) due to the
Sessions Annual Gathering
Internet, how has that impacted the industry? This panel brings together adult
industry media professionals and an anti-piracy expert, to discuss the changes
the business of porn have undergone over the past 10 years. In addition, the
panel will discuss the changes mainstream media, and society as a whole, has
experienced as a result of porn's accessibility, and where we see adult
entertainment evolving over the next decade. (18+ ID required)
7:30 p.m. THE WEREWOLVES OF THE SAN DIEGO AG ED YOU By night, werewolves kill off villagers. By day, enraged villagers kill off suspected werewolves. (But sometimes they mistakenly kill off "innocent villagers" -- oops.) "Werewolf" requires observation, deduction, and a lot of bold-faced lying. Who will prevail: the werewolves or the villagers? One funfilled game takes 25-40 minutes, and then repeats. Newbies are always welcomed. (Werewolf is similar to, but better than, "Mafia.") The village includes: 2-4 Werewolves, ordinary Villagers, and an assortment of special villagers with special abilities.
7:30 p.m. TRIVIALIST KELLIE WHITE Trivia with a twist, it is a list! Fun for all levels. Entertaining and informative. Trivia questions where the answer is a short list, and you name as many as you can. Kid friendly, as almost everyone can name a few but few (if any) can name all of them. Everyone can name a few of the seven dwarfs, but how many can name them all? Accessible to all ages. From the Oregon RG.
Sessions Annual Gathering
Is there a pattern in economies? Nothing as absolute as planetary orbits but as
reliable as the features of the four seasons? Re the pudding test, can those
sighting this rhythm safeguard -- even expand -- their savings and investments?
Can they measure how bountifully our economy is behaving -- or not? Actually,
places that have tapped into this particular bounty, such as Singapore, have
been able to minimize taxes on one's labor and capital, creating a context in
which most of the populace prospered, with sufficient social surplus to pay
citizens a dividend. The indicator itself is as little recognized as evolution or
continental drift or relative time were, even by those who should now better.
But it's also an indicator that has invariably yielded insight to those who track
7:30 p.m. ALOHA HAWAII ANTON ANDERSSEN After 38 tourist visits to Hawaii, Anton Anderssen has learned how to get the very best value out of a vacation to the Aloha state. Learn about the luaus, shopping hot spots, cultural landmarks and yummy cheap eats. Invaluable for people who will attend the 2017 Hawaii RG in Honolulu.
7:30 p.m. POLYAMORY SIG MEET-AND-GREET Ever feel you didn't understand monogamy? Incredulous that some people find happiness with one person? From the Greek and Latin for "many loves," polyamory recognizes that with honesty, communication, and respecting boundaries, you can have meaningful, loving relationships with multiple partners simultaneously, as long as everyone involved knows and consents. Polyamory SIG was founded in 2009 by Leon Feingold, a polyamory advocate who has made dozens of media appearances on its behalf including The View, HuffPo, and HBO, and has most recently was a featured speaker at TEDxBushwick in March 2015.
7:30 p.m.
Sessions Annual Gathering
In the past many civilizations have disappeared due to natural forces or human action. As a result, much culture has been lost forever, and in some cases scientific knowledge has been set back centuries. Our society today faces a variety of threats, some of which could wipe out civilization and lead to the loss of not just knowledge but also literature, music, drama and the like. A Knowledge Ark is a way of safekeeping our accumulated knowledge, as well as culture and lore just in case of an event that ends or seriously harms technological civilization. It is a way to ensure that our descendants don't have to re-invent many technological innovations or re-discover scientific principles.
8:15 p.m. COSPLAY CONTEST Calling all Deadpools, Aeriths and Master Chiefs: We're bringing the celebrated phenomenon at fan conventions to the Annual Gathering!
9:00 p.m. DANCE WITH BUMPASONIC Bumpasonic is a high energy, all live, dance band that performs modern dance music and a wide range of classic dance favorites. Bumpasonic will keep the dance floor jumping all night long, playing hits from Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Meghan Trainor, and Magic!
U.S. copyright is now lifetime of creator + 75 years. Is that too long, just right, or way beyond encouraging creativity? Could creativity actually increase if works became public domain sooner? Should software squatters be allowed to
Sessions Annual Gathering
claim every idea under the sun by waving their hands and asserting that a
"programmer of ordinary quality" should someday to all of the real development
work or should patents deliver real, finished inventions? Debate Room is not a
heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to
be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
9:00 p.m. STATE OF THE ADULT ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY KELLY SHIBARI, MARK KERNES, ALEC HELMY, AIDEN STARR, ELA DARLING With adult entertainment becoming increasingly accessible (oftentimes for free) due to the Internet, how has that impacted the industry? This panel brings together representatives from two of the adult industry's largest media publications, as well as performers who also are directors and producers, to discuss the changes the business of porn have undergone over the past 10 years. In addition, the panel will discuss the changes mainstream media, and society as a whole, has experienced as a result of porn's accessibility, and where we see adult entertainment evolving over the next decade. (21+ ID required)
9:00 p.m. TEXAS HOLD'EM TOURNAMENT STEPHEN BURNHAM This tournament is Texas Hold'em. It's just like what you see on TV. Come win the admiration of your Mensa peers by beating them in a poker tournament!
There is no space safe enough when Thierrion Kagan & Kate Quigley take the stage for a night of stand-up comedy. You've seen Kate on Playboy TV, as the host of "Undercover." She's also played the Laugh Factory, Hollywood Improv, and Comedy Store. If you're familiar with Playboy at all, or you're familiar with
Sessions Annual Gathering
Thierrion's Firehouse antics, you don't need to be told that this presentation is
strictly intended for audiences 18 and up. WARNING: This program carries a
strict "no crybabies" policy, and no refunds of your time will be given. (18+ only,
please. Seriously. Don't hold us responsible for your poor parenting. Come on.
You're not at a zoo in Cincinnati. Nobody will be shooting us if your kid hears
our jokes.)
9:00 p.m. TANTRIC SEX: HOW YOU CAN ENJOY THE BENEFITS (EVEN IF YOU'RE MORE LEFT- BRAINED) MARTIN BURNS, ESQ., C.T.E. You've probably heard about the high orgasms from tantric sex, which transcends typical sexuality into a conscious connection to heart and the potential for spiritual experiences. Tantra is typically taught from an experiential, right-brain perspective. That works well for the 98%. But the challenge for those of us in the 2% who may also be left-brain dominant, is how to slow our "busy minds." The left brain, intrigued by these experiences, may seek to "logically" understand it, "busily" asking mental question after question, only to defeat the very experience sought. There is very little left-brain oriented teaching of Tantra. Your (humble) speaker studied under a half dozen different Tantrika Yogis and Yoginis in the 90's, and will share his left brain understanding of what Tantra is, and "how" it happens. Finally satisfying the questions, allowed him to just be "present." You'll also learn ways to overcome sex-negative conditioning and a few ways of "thinking" that can open your heart. Finally, you'll hear about other levels of higher experiences and awareness that may exist. M's with skills in Tantra, or any energy discipline ("Tai Chi," "Rei-KI," Acupuncture, energy focused yoga), are invited to participate and add to the discussion. (21+ ID required)
Sessions Annual Gathering
Should government restrict marriage to "one-man, one-woman?" Should
government force everyone to honor other partnerships as marriages? "Gay
marriage" gets the headlines, but with over 20 percent of all American adults
now single, is there a larger issue here than the headlines (and politicians) want
to admit? Should government just butt out and administer contract law in a way
that doesn't tell us what is or is not a "marriage?" Debate Room is not a heated
debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard,
and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
SUNDAY, JULY 3 9:00 a.m. CHRISTIAN COMMUNION SERVICE WILLIAM LORING This celebration of the Holy Eucharist, following the Anglican tradition, provides an opportunity for Christian worship and fellowship for those of us who are not too smart to leave a little room for God in our lives.
9:00 a.m. THE SILENT MANIPULATION OF TELEVISION AND FILM (OR HOW TO LIE FOR FUN AND PROFIT) STEVEN L. SEARS I am a liar by profession. I create worlds that don't exist, filled with characters who defy logic, doing things that seem superhuman, for goals that would never occur to most people. And I can convince you it's all real. That's my Superpower. I can seduce you and mesmerize you with a message. I can subtly play with your emotions and pluck your primal social evolutionary strings, pushing you into different emotional states. I can manipulate you. I can propagandize you. I can proselytize you. And you will willingly allow me to do it without knowing it. At its worst, it's "propaganda," at its best, "enlightenment." In my case, it's called "entertainment." And I'm very good at it. Fear me. Or not. I get paid either way. This discussion is really about how to succeed in the television and film
Sessions Annual Gathering
business. It's a fascinating study on the human condition in the illogical
business setting of Hollywood. It's how writers, directors, actors and others
have learned to play with your mind and preconceptions in order to sell a
product. But it will also deal with the darker side, the side that allows us the
same access to manipulate people's opinions and feelings. If you've ever wanted
to write a film, create a TV series or write a novel, I'll take you through the
process. Not just the business and the mechanics, but how to get into the mind
of your audience and convince them YOUR lie is real. Or, at least, real enough
for them to pull the Trojan Horse through the gates.
9:00 a.m. THE MONTY HALL MATH PROBLEM: MARILYN VOS SAVANT WAS RIGHT! RICHARD WYLIE The Monty Hall Math problem involves a contestant choosing one of three doors with the intention of winning a worthwhile prize. Two of the doors have no prize at all. The math problem was published in Savant's column in "Parade" magazine on Sept. 9, 1990. After Monty opens an "empty" door (one not chosen by the contestant), the contestant is given the option of changing his choice of door. Marilyn said that the contestant's chances of success will be increased if he chooses the other remaining door (different from his first choice). Many "knowledgeable" (and condescending) people disagreed with Marilyn, and the topic eventually received front-page coverage in the NY Times on July 21, 1991, and also received attention in England. Will the Mensa audience agree or disagree with Marilyn? A comprehensive explanation of the solution to the problem will be presented.
9:00 a.m. DEBATE ROOM: DEALER'S CHOICE The Stackkeeper picks the topic for discussion. Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
After losing his leg to an IED in Afghanistan, Eric challenged himself to run an Ironman triathlon. During this presentation, we will explore his journey from the frontline to the finish line. We will examine the mindset and techniques used to battle and conquer the adversity we all entertain in order to cultivate a renewed enthusiasm for life.
9:30 a.m. SUNDAY BRUNCH OF LANGUAGE AND LAUGHTER RICHARD LEDERER Sunday Brunch comes with a speaker this year. Mensa Bulletin columnist Richard Lederer will take you on a joy ride through the glories and oddities of our marvelous English language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell. Enjoy a feast of fabulous food and a banquet of words with Mensa's wordstruck, word-besotted, word bethumped Wizard of Words. During his performance, Dr. Lederer will answer questions about puns to punctuation, pronouns to pronunciation, diction to dictionaries, and palaver to palindromes. Dr. Lederer would love to meet you at the closing brunch!
10:30 a.m. THE PARADISE OF LEARNING: HOW AND WHY REWARDS WORK FOR ANIMALS ADINA SOBO Since Pavlov first conditioned a dog to salivate at the sound of a bell, investigations into operant conditioning have found out far more about what our brains are doing when we learn, and how to best teach any organism with more working neurons than a flatworm. This form of brain-based learning may appear to be due to physical rewards (treats), but the real reward comes from
Sessions Annual Gathering
the pleasure center of the brain. This presentation will begin with a little
history and biology, and then delve into animal examples and applications for
human learning.
10:30 a.m. BURNING MAN? NAKED PEOPLE? HIPPIES WITH ALTERED CONSCIOUSNESS? DRUNKEN ORGIES? WHY DO MENSANS GO TO THE NEVADA DESERT TO CAVORT IN THE WIND AND DUST ALONG WITH THOUSANDS OF OTHER PEOPLE? JUDY HECHT Burning Man is an opportunity to explore living in a community dedicated to radical self-reliance, self-expression, gifting and immediacy. It is a place unlike any other on earth, filled with magnificent art, music of every genre, treats of all kinds, and whimsy galore. Here you become yourself and lose your labels (and sometimes your clothes). People of all ages and demographics come from every corner of the world. For those people it becomes home. Join us and learn why it made the list of 100 places to see before you die. Come home to Black Rock and discover yourself.
10:30 a.m. DEBATE ROOM: DEBATER'S CHOICE The topic for discussion will be chosen by the assembled multitude. Debate Room is not a heated debate but a fast-paced moderated discussion where everyone gets to be heard, and the most interesting speaker gets a prize!
Sessions Annual Gathering
What's so hilarious about Schrodinger's cat, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle,
and glow-in-the-dark jellyfish? The Big Bang Theory, TV's highest-rated sitcom,
features an assortment of very smart characters wisecracking about these and
other real-life high-IQ concepts -- and now you'll be able to, too. Part one-man
colloquium, part comedy routine, this talk just might show you enough of
what's fun and funny about science to earn you a spot on Sheldon's couch.
10:30 a.m. CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS WORSHIP SERVICE JESSICA MATHEWS Worship service conducted by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Visitors are welcome. Reverence is requested. One Sunday each month, in connection with optional fasting and prayer on behalf of the needy, LDS members sing hymns, offer prayers, partake of the sacrament (bread and water) if appropriate, and are invited to share their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as the Spirit moves.
10:30 a.m. THE BEATLES' GUIDE TO LOVE AND SEX SCOTT ROBINSON The Fab Four were famous for both their love songs and their love lives -- but how did their songs and their lives intersect? And what does their music say about the changing cultural attitudes about love and sex in the '60s? This informative talk will entertain Beatles fans and cultural observers alike.
Sessions Annual Gathering
GNH (Gross National Happiness) is alive and well in Bhutan! Nestled at the
eastern end of the Himalayas, it has allowed foreigner visitors since only 1974.
Today it restricts visitors to pre-paid short-term guided tours, requires all
citizens to wear the national dress in public areas, and is the first nation in the
world to ban smoking. What views! What colorful dress! What amazing
ceremonies! What happy people! Intrepid Traveler Ruth Danielle shares photos
and experiences from her March visit.
12:00 p.m. HAIL TO THE CHIEFS! (AND THEIR VICE PRESIDENTS, AND FIRST LADIES...) IAN RANDAL STROCK A trivial and numeric exploration of the 43 presidents (and their 44 administrations), as well as their vice presidents and spouses, along with a look at the average president and how he can predict the winner of this year's presidential election. Rather than ranking the presidents by public opinion polls, or by how obnoxious the public finds them, Ian Randal Strock sets out to find a scientific basis for comparing and contrasting the presidents. Originally, he thought that those numbers could tell him what he needed to do to become president. So far, he hasn't had much luck with his own campaign, but he did distill his research into "The Presidential Book of Lists" (which Random House published in 2008) and the forthcoming companion volumes, "Ranking the First Ladies" and "Ranking the Vice Presidents" (which Carrel Books will publish in July and August of this year).
12:00 p.m. SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK -- WHAT'S NEXT? CAROLINE MCCULLAGH The current Page Turners Editor for the Mensa Bulletin will give you an overview of what goes into writing a book or an article and preparing it for publication. Everyone has a book that they could write. Sometimes the process is overwhelming, though. Come find out how to get started or -- for many, the
Sessions Annual Gathering
bigger problem -- how to finish. There will be time for general questions at the
end of the talk, and Caroline will make time to talk to anyone about a book they
have submitted or will submit for review.
12:00 p.m. CASINO WAR STORIES FROM A VEGAS LAWYER & HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR COMPS AND WINS MARTIN BURNS, ESQ., C.T.E. Be prepared to hear some fun war stories of monster wins and losses, as well as pitfalls to avoid, from a Las Vegas casino & gaming lawyer who has represented players for 24 years. You'll hear how to get the best "deal" at the tables and slots, and the most comps for hotels and shows. Casinos typically comp one bet for every five made per hour -- you can do a lot better! If you have a favorite game, you'll learn how to shop for the best way to play, and which games and machines provide the best odds, expected value, and the tax implications. You'll also learn how to avoid "The New Years Eve Nightmare!", a sneaky tax scenario that can turn a winning New Years Eve trip into a big loser.
1:30 p.m. DATA VISUALIZATION: LEARN IT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT JENNY RANKIN Even before Florence Nightingale diagrammed soldiers' changing mortality rates to save lives, we have seen clever design used to convey statistics and other complex concepts. As our communication of high-stakes data becomes increasingly visual, we need to ensure this communication is effective. This session will share best practices for data visualization that are based on the presenter's quantitative research but presented in an engaging, user-friendly manner. These best practices (which involve Over-the-Counter Data Standards) have been shown to double, triple or quadruple (depending on the practice applied) viewers' likelihood of understanding the data being displayed. Attendees will learn how to access free tools to create data displays and free
Sessions Annual Gathering
resources for improving the manner in which they communicate data.
Fascinating examples throughout history will illustrate the importance of
making data "over-the-counter" so it is easy to use.
1:30 p.m. BETWEEN HYPE AND REALITY: ARE MOOCS COMING OF AGE? STEVE WELCH The New York Times declared 2012 "the year of the MOOC," but almost four years later, Massive Open Online Courses are still evolving and still looking for the right niche to fill. MOOCs were originally intended to bring Ivy League quality education to the under-educated masses of the world, with the only requirements being an Internet connection and a thirst for knowledge. It hasn't quite worked out that way. Today, more than 70 percent of MOOC students already have a degree. But does that mean that MOOCs aren't relevant? Today, many courses are neither massive nor open, and some argue that they aren't really courses, either. But few could argue that ­ whatever they are ­ course providers like Coursera, edX, Udemy, Khan Academy, Linda and others are having a profound impact on education of different types and at various levels. Where are MOOCs today, where are they going, and why should you care? Join us for this discussion on one of the most exciting developments in education in decades.
2:00 p.m. 'TIL THE LAST DOG IS HUNG TRIVIA QUIZ JIM LEWIS, BARBARA LYTLE For those who just can't get enough AG, or those who have some time to kill before they need to go to the airport, stick around and answer some trivia questions. Come and go as you please. Quizmaster Jim Lewis has been writing and presenting trivia quizzes for San Diego RGs for 10 years, and he will hit you up with some his easiest and some of his most vexing questions.
Sessions Annual Gathering © 2016 American Mensa (, Ltd. All rights reserved.


File: sessions.pdf
Published: Tue Jun 28 11:19:58 2016
Pages: 118
File size: 1.61 Mb

Nemasket River Myths, 41 pages, 0.19 Mb

, pages, 0 Mb

, pages, 0 Mb
Copyright © 2018