New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for July 2015

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment


By Bart Geraci

Now we’re in summertime, so it’s important to keep cool and well hydrated.

Even though it’s hot this month, there’s still a lot of events in our city. July 2-5 is the Essence Festival, July 9-12 is the New Orleans Running of the Bulls, July 15-19 is Tales of the Cocktails, July 30-August 2 is Satchmo Summerfest, not to mention the smaller festivals that happen every weekend.

July 2015 marks the 10th Anniversary of the New Orleans / Baton Rouge AG. I was on the Audio/Video committee. I still hear from people who said that they had a great time here. In fact, more than one person had confessed that they really don’t remember that much except they had a great time here. This tends to happen to out-of-towners who discover that our bars are open around the clock, and that you can take your drink with you in a go-cup. And that you can buy liquor in a convenience store. And we have drive-thru daiquiri shops.

So let’s go VooDoo and Zephyrs!

So The Story Goes Like This

By Bart Geraci

So I had a friend come over one morning to help me move some things out of the house. When the doorbell rang I opened it and I said “Hello”.

I was not expecting my friend to come in surrounded by balloons, hair standing straight up, and about a dozen socks magnetically attached all over his body. He said “Well, as you can see, my day is not starting out well.”

I then went over and got some metal, electrical wire, jars, and other things and I quickly put it together and tossed it to him. “Hold it in one hand, and flip the lever with your other one.”

Instantly, the balloons fell, the socks fell, and his hair returned to normal.

I said “Happier?”

He said “Happier…

...I’m ex-static!”

News and Notes for Young Mensans

Lisa Van Gemert

Happenings & Celebrations

July 4: Sidewalk Egg Frying Day:

You know you’ve always wanted to try! Don’t forget to use a skillet to avoid a gooey mess.

July 7: Strawberry Sundae Day:

To celebrate go out to your favorite ice cream parlor or make your own strawberry sundae at home for a nice summer treat (here’s a recipe for a strawberry-rhubarb sundae (!

July 11: Cheer Up the Lonely Day:

Promote kindness toward others and spend some time cheering up someone with upbeat conversation. Visit a nursing home or volunteer. Send a card or call them on the phone if they live too far away to visit. Check out sites below for the fun notes you can send to others!

July 24: Amelia Earhart Day:

Want to know more about the famous aviation pioneer? Visit


July is National Blueberry Month (make a blueberry smoothie - try the recipe below).

1 pint fresh blueberries or 2 cups (10 ounces) frozen blueberries, slightly thawed

1 cup pineapple, orange and strawberry juice blend or pineapple-orange juice

1 container (8 ounces) lowfat vanilla yogurt

2 teaspoons sugar

In a container of an electric blender combine blueberries, juice, yogurt and sugar. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Serve immediately in tall glasses. Garnish with blueberry skewers spiraled with thin strips of orange peel, if desired.

Yield: 2 portions

The United States produces over 90% of all of the blueberries in the world. The blueberry is grown in 35 states in the United States.

The month of July was named after Julius Caesar in honor of the Roman Emperor’s birthday.

Shark Week begins July 5th (

Benefit Highlight:

Young Mensa members can review books sent by publishers including Random House, Candlewick, National Geographic and Harvard University Press. Reviews may be published in Young Mensan Magazine, and may also be sent to the publisher. Find out more by visiting!

It’s Your Birthday!

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

Lisa Van Gemert

Youth & Education Ambassador |

get resources: |explore:

From a Lexophile Contest

By Cool Bob Myers

"Lexophile" is a word used to describe those that have a love for words, such as "you can tune a piano, but you cant tuna fish" or "to write with a broken pencil is pointless."

A competition to see who can come up with the best lexophiles is held every year in an undisclosed location. This year's winning submission is posted at the very end.

And the cream of the twisted crop:


We’ve uncovered a scandal involving some gates, but we don’t know what to call it.

Scene at editor's desk

From the RVC

By Taz Criss, Region 6 Vice Chair

I’m sitting at my laptop on the day after the election results were announced, trying to find the appropriate words to introduce myself to all of you. I suppose it would be best to start with “Hi, I’m Taz.”

I am a second generation Mensan who grew up in the organization. My parents joined together a year before I was born in Austin, TX. All through my childhood, I remember going to some type of Mensa event at least 3 times a month, though it was often an even more frequent occurrence than that. I tested at the Annual Gathering in 2001 and joined during the renewal period of early 2002. I have been a member continuously since that time and am now a life member.

I have held a variety of positions within Gulf Coast Mensa, my current local group. At one time or other I have served as RG Chair, Newsletter Editor, Treasurer, Webmaster and Membership Officer. I have worked fairly extensively with several SIGs, including serving as a member of some SIG ExComms and holding the position of TeenSIG National Coordinator for 5 years.

Growing up in this organization has given me what I believe to be a unique perspective on Mensa. That does not mean that my perspective is always right or that I know all. It does mean that I am truly passionate about this organization, and I am always looking for ways to contribute to it. Whether it is working directly with the local groups of this region or collaborating with my fellow AMC members, I am excited to hit the ground running in my new role.

I am looking forward to not only working virtually with the members of this region, but also to getting to meet many of you in person. While large events such as AGs and RGs are great opportunities for this, I realize that they are not always convenient for members to attend. As a result, I am currently working on a travel schedule for the next two years that will allow me to visit each of the local groups in Region 6 personally. I will share details of these plans with all of you as they get ironed out.

Before I sign off, there are two people I would like to particularly thank. The first is Roger Durham, our outgoing RVC. After 6 years, he has left a lasting impression upon our region. I am personally grateful for his willingness to serve as a resource to all of us and appreciate the knowledge he has generously shared with me through many conversations.

The second person I would like to thank is my more-than-worthy opponent in this election, the ever-gracious Bob Bevard. Bob has been committed to American Mensa, Region 6, and his own local group, South Texas Mensa, for many years. I am looking forward to being able to work with him on future projects within our region.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, you can contact me via email at (my Mensa alias has not been set up yet)

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Last edited: 12-July-2015. Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at