New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for January 2016

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment


By Bart Geraci

Welcome to 2016. This will be a leap year, an Olympic year, a Presidential Election year and a Regional Gathering Year.

I want to thank all those who came to the end-of-the-year NOM Night party at our house.

This year we’ll have a relatively short Carnival season since Mardi Gras is February 9th.

We are having our first meeting this month on planning the 2016 New Orleans Regional Gathering, which will be December 9-11th.

The weather has been expectedly warm, even though cold spells come and go at times. The Saints didn’t do too well this year, but there’s always next season.

Let’s go Pelicans!

NORGY 2016 !!!

New Orleans Mensa is having a Regional Gathering in 2016 !

Dates: December 9 - 11, 2016

So The Story Goes Like This

By Bart Geraci

My friend owned a camping store in West Texas and I stopped by to see how he was doing. He

said that sales were brisk and that he was just getting in some new merchandise.

He said that he just got in a new tent that was relatively easy to set up.

“And,” he added, “it’s reversible too.”

“Really?” I replied, “Wow …”

“... I can’t wait to see how it turns out.”

Taz Talks

By Taz Criss, Region 6 Vice Chair

If you’re anything like me, you’re just starting to see the light after your holiday over-indulgence. The winter holiday time is always hectic. Between trips to see family and friends, work holiday parties, and possibly even fitting Mensa in somewhere, it often feels as though January is a welcome respite from it all.

January is not only the beginning of the new year, it is also a new beginning of focus for the American Mensa Committee. At the December meeting, the AMC devoted a full day to studying and revising our current strategic plan. The completed strategic plan will be published on the national website in the very near future as we solidify our broad goals into concrete points. Two of the largest points that were driven home to me through this process were the AMC’s commitment to leadership development and local groups.

The quarterly meeting included several points of interest. We received the results of the recent local group leadership survey. If you were one of the leaders who took part in this survey, I would like to thank you for the feedback. The AMC does receive the overall results from the various surveys that are sent out, and we use the trends identified in these surveys when we are making decisions about the direction of the organization.

Additionally at the quarterly meeting, we were given an update on our current testing program. In 2016, we will be transitioning away from the Mensa Admissions Test as our primary offering for prospects. The MAT is over 50 years old, and Dr. Frank Lawlis, our supervisory psychologist has determined that it is too outdated for our purposes. A new test has been chosen that is less than 10 years old. Proctors will be hearing a great deal more about this test in coming months, and all proctors will be given training on the new test before it goes live this summer.

The host group for MindGames 2017 was announced at this meeting. MindGames will be returning to the metro-DC area, hosted by Metropolitan Washington Mensa in the spring of 2017. We also received information on HIQORA, an international intelligence competition that American Mensa is a primary sponsor of. Entrance in this competition is usually $40, but any Mensa member can enter for free. You can find more information about HIQORA at

This AMC continues to be a great joy to work with. We do not always agree with each other by any stretch of the imagination, but there is a collegial atmosphere that is welcome, even when we categorically oppose each other on individual issues.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or general comments, please let me know. I have created a simple online form where members can offer feedback on any topic, both by name or anonymously. You can find this form at Of course, if you prefer, you can always contact me via email at

News and Notes for Young Mensans

From the National Office

Happenings & Celebrations


It’s Your Birthday!

If you were born in December, you share your birthday month with:


Paige D

Gifted Youth Intern, American Mensa |

get resources: |explore:

BrainFork: A Mensan Talks About Food : Egg Nog

by Bart Geraci

“Are you doing rosemary this month?”

I was but then I was thinking the other day … I know what an egg is, but what’s a nog?

“Carve the turkey, turn the ball game on
It's margaritas when the egg nog's gone
Send somebody to the Quickpak Store
We need some ice and an extension cord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rites
A box of Pampers, some Marlboro Lights
Hallelujah, everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the family.”
- Robert Earl Keen, “Merry Christmas from the Family” -

So this month, we’re looking at egg nog, despite the fact that this article is showing up in January, when the egg nog season is pretty much over. But we have a burning question to settle….

So what is a nog?

Homer: “I've figured out the boy's punishment: First, he's grounded. No leaving the house, not even for school. Second, no egg nog. In fact, no nog, period. And third, absolutely no stealing for 3 months.”
- The Simpsons TV show “Marge Be Not Proud” -

The "nog" part of its name may stem from the word noggin, a Middle English term for a small, carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol.

The Raw, the Cooked, and the Drunk

“Pumpkin spice lattes are egg nog for morning people.”
- John Oliver -

(Cue the Ennio Morricone music, please.)

To my taste, there are 3 types of egg nog.

So what is this proof number?

Clark: Can I refill your egg nog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
Eddie: Naw, I'm doing just fine, Clark.
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation -

Okay, in the old days, the way rum was determined to be good enough quality (as opposed to being watered down), a little bit of gunpowder was soaked in the rum. If the gunpowder ignited, it was “proof” that the rum was not watered down. The percentage of ethanol (C2 H6 O) in the rum at this proof level is around 57%, which is close to 4 parts in 7. So the proof number is 7/4 times the alcohol percentage … in the United Kingdom. In the USA, the proof number is a simple 2 times the alcohol percentage.


Fry: “Every Christmas my Mom would get a fresh goose, for gooseburgers, and my Dad would whip up his special egg nog out of bourbon and ice cubes.”
- Futurama TV show “Xmas Story (1999)” -

Well, that’s one way to create “egg nog”.

I know, I should be talking about how to make egg nog since it only comes around in November / December, but there’s plenty of recipes available. What’s more interesting is what to do with egg nog other than drinking it. I was looking at a container of pancake / waffle mix which is similar to a self-rising flour mixture. It said that for 1 cup of mix, add 2/3 cups liquid and one egg. I went hmmm….

Two-Ingredient Pancakes

1 (unit) pancake mix

1 (unit) thick egg nog found in dairy section, watered down as needed to proper consistency

(Water, like salt and pepper, never counts as an ingredient.)

Get the pan hot first before gently combining the two units together. Once the two units combine, there’s some chemistry going on with the leavening agents to produce some bubbles and rise. Cook until done.

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Last edited: 31-January-2016. Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at