New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for July 2014

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment

Call For Member Participation

By Kevin Chesnut

All New Orleans Mensa members are enthusiastically invited to become involved in the various activities of the group. Your skills and creative talents have great potential to benefit your fellow members. Whatever you may have to offer, just contact any officer – they are all listed on Page 9.

You may find some of the many events listed on the monthly calendar appealing. Or you may want to consider becoming a certified proctor for the official Mensa test, as Bart mentions in his monthly LocSec message below. Also, please tell anyone that you think might make a good Mensa member about the testing opportunities described on Page 3.

Finally, any and all contributions to your newsletter, La Plume de NOM, are welcome. If you remember any of my previous offerings, remember this: I’ve got more childhood anecdotes, and I’m not afraid to use them!

So the Story Goes Like This

By Bart Geraci

So I went to see someone that I had not seen in a while. It turns out that he became an author, and like many authors in history, led a rather solitary life. We met at a local grocery and he invited me over to his house.

He took me to his back room which didn’t have a computer set up but an old-fashioned manual typewriter, which in this day and age, has a bit of an antique look to it. I asked him about it. “It was owned by one of my favorite authors from the 40s. The only modification I had to make was that one of the letter buttons on the bottom row was broken, so I had to replace it with a similar sized piece of metal.”

I replied “But it’s not labelled…”

“Ah, I’ve become a touch typist, so I don’t need to see it. It’s been broken for about 5 years now.”

I said “Well, it’s just like the saying...”

“...long time no ‘C’.”


By Bart Geraci

By the time you get this newsletter, I’ll probably be in Boston at the Annual Gathering. I’ve made every one since 1989 (Atlanta) and no, I’m not going to try to name them all (1990 Orange County).

At the June NOM Night at Chateau Coffee Cafe, I was happy to see 11 people show up. One of the perks of coming is that your first drink is absolutely FREE. Next time you come to a NOM Night, just let the cashier know that you’re with us and we’ll take care of you. On a related note, you may have heard of the accident at the cafe; they have reopened since then.

While our Dinner SIG and our Celebration SIG are still going on strong and are well attended, I’m happy to report on our newer SIGs. The games SIG, Bon Temps Joueurs, has attracted a loyal following. With a large collection of games available, you’re likely to play something different each month. The lunch SIG, Smart Set Lunch Club, provides a nice way for people who work downtown to meet for lunch. Some of the lunch restaurants provide some type of parking validation, so members from all over the region can join us.

This month we have a testing session on July 12 at the New Orleans Museum of Art. For the month of July, the testing price will be $25 (instead of the usual $40). This brings me to the next point:

We Need More Testing Proctors!

Since we hold testing sessions many times a year, we need more people in our group to pass the certification needed in order to become a proctor. For more information on what it entails, see:

Speaking of testing, the cost of taking the Mensa Home Test price is only $1.00 if you enter in a code. See the article below for details.

The show “King of the Nerds” is putting out a casting call again; another article has the details.

New Orleans is getting much hotter now, so keep hydrated and enjoy your snowballs.

Let’s go Zephyrs!

BRAINFORK: A Mensan writes about food

Bart J. Geraci

Still on summer break. See you in the fall!

Mensa Home Test Now $1

American Mensa is providing each Proctor and Testing Coordinator a unique code for the Mensa Home Test. The code allows a prospect to take Mensa's online practice test for just $1.

Use the discount code TST9542ZQ (valid through August 31, 2014).

This low-cost way of practicing helps prospects get a sense of what to expect on the official test.

This code allows you to take the online practice test as many times as you want for $1 each time. The test is accessible at .

Mensa Testing Date – July 12 – Only $25

Take the official Mensa Admission Test for just $25 (a $15 savings.) Mensa is the largest and most recognized association for people who share just one common trait: high intelligence. We are a community of knowledge seekers who enjoy conversation and camaraderie. And we would love for you to join us! One in fifty people qualify, why not you? Don’t delay, this special pricing is a limited time offer and is valid only from July 1 - July 31, 2014. Find your nearest testing session by visiting .

Are you King of the Nerds?

The TBS Network is currently casting for the third season of the reality show “King of the Nerds.” You must be 18 years or older to be considered for this opportunity.

Please review the flier below for details. We (American Mensa) have vetted this casting call to the best of our abilities. By moving forward with this casting call, you alone accept all the liabilities and/or rewards that may/may not come based on your involvement with this program.


The contact information for the casting agent is:

Kim Clevenger

Supervising Casting Producer


310-360-4745 office

310-360-4649 fax

News & Notes for Young Mensans

Lisa Van Gemert

Happenings & Celebrations:

July 10 Teddy Bear Picnic Day

July 11 Free Slurpee Day (Get yours at 7-11!)

July 14 Bastille Day

July is National Ice Cream Month (find 25 recipes for homemade ice cream here: ).


Teddy Bear Picnic Day: To celebrate with your Teddy Bears and friends, read the real story behind Teddy Bears, and eat Gummi Bears, Teddy Grahams, make a bear cake (see a how-to video here ), or even have a picnic for breakfast with these Teddy Bear pancakes ( ). But please don’t feed the bears!

Bastille Day: Want to know more about this French holiday? Visit Create a crossword with what you learn and send it to We will print up to five in our magazine! If reading is more your style, try The French Revolution by Gail B. Stewart.


Be sure to “like” the Mensa Foundation’s Facebook page to get trivia questions especially designed for youth every weekday. Find the page at

Benefit Highlight:

Members receive a 33 percent discount when they buy three or more books from LifeBound, whose books, programs and curricula follow a stair-step developmental path for students from Grades 5-12 and beyond into college and career.

Visit to look over the selection of books, study guides and other materials. To receive the 33 percent discount, enter the coupon code MENSA at checkout.


Lisa Van Gemert Youth & Education Ambassador |

get resources:

find more:

From the RVC

By Roger Durham, Region 6 Vice Chair

Several years ago, I promised in this column that I would not hesitate to seek your advice if something came up on the national level that did not seem to have an obvious right or wrong side. In keeping with that promise, I must now ask for your guidance on a matter that is currently scheduled to come before your Board of Directors at our summer Board meeting in Boston. The posted agenda for this meeting contains proposals for some rather extensive modifications to our current procedures, and I am faced with some very difficult decisions on a few of the proposed changes.

The first change that is causing me some heartburn is a proposal that would solve the problem of filling mid-term vacancies in the office of Regional Vice Chair. New York law provides that an office which was elected by fewer than all of the voters cannot be filled by appointment, as we would do for a vacancy in any of the other Board positions. In order to avoid the expense of special elections, the Board has established a system whereby the local groups in a region which loses their RVC mid-term for any reason will be divided up among the neighboring regions until the next regular election. This process has not yet had to be used. Now it is proposed that the problem be solved in a different way: by having the RVCs elected nationwide, so that vacancies in that office can be filled by appointment just like the other offices. The obvious drawback is that the majority of voters would be voting to choose between people they had never heard of, for an office which would supposedly represent someone else.

The second proposal I am unhappy with comes from the Finance Committee. They want to avoid the necessity of periodic large dues increases by indexing dues for inflation. This proposal calls for automatic annual increases of 2.5%, beginning in 2015. I understand the need to offset inflation, but this idea seems to encourage financial irresponsibility. It also seems to assume no membership growth.

I would like to support our national leadership in these reforms, but I have some serious reservations about the wisdom of making some of these changes. If you have strong feelings about these issues, either pro or con, I would really like to hear your views before I vote on the proposals. Some of them, of course, require changes to the national by-laws, which would have to be ratified by the membership in the next election, but I don’t want to vote for measures which I’m fairly sure the members will not approve.

You can read the exact wording of the proposed changes on the national website in the posted Agenda for the summer 2014 Board meeting. Please take a minute right now to look over these changes, as well as the rest of the revisions, and let me know if, on balance, you favor or oppose the proposals. I need to hear from you before I leave for Boston on July 2, so please don’t delay. You can reach me by email, at

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These pages and all content Copyright (c) 2014 by New Orleans Mensa, all rights reserved. Mensa and the Mensa logo (as depicted for example in U.S. TM Reg. No. 1,405,381) are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by American Mensa, Ltd., and are registered in other countries by Mensa International Limited and/or affiliated national Mensa organizations. Mensa does not hold any opinion or have, or express, any political or religious views.
Last edited: 26-Jun-2014. Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at