New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for July/August 2009

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment

Brain Teasers

Below are the answers from the last issue.

  1. Take the letters ERGRO. Put three letters in front of it, and the same three letters behind to form a common English word.
    A: Underground
  2. What do the words below have in common?
    A: Each can have ‘ant’ appended to form a new word
  3. Which of the following words is the odd-one-out?
    A: The Ibis is a bird; the rest are mammals

Loc Sec Report

by Gerry Ward

I have been working very hard to make NOM an enjoyable experience. However, lately it seems as though I have to wear too many hats. i am filling in as Gifted Children’s Coordinator until we can get someone to plan and who knows what kids like when they are 11 to 14. I taught kindergarten, and we only have 2 of our 15 Young Mensans in elementary school. 10 are in middle school, and 3 are in high school. It would be best if a Mensan parent would volunteer . Then you would know what kids that age level like, and you could bring them. You would not have to do something every month.

Also, I work on weekends, have to get someone to cover for me, and lose pay. It would be nice to take the kids places during the week in the summer, but then the parents would be working. The requirements for GCC are an interest in doing things with intelligent kids and having a background check to show that you have no criminal record. Please email me if you want to do activities with our youngsters.

Our Gen-X coordinator told me that she needs help and would like to have a co-Gen-X coordinator. Therefore we need a volunteer to plan some activities that would mainly appeal to those born between 1961 and 1981 at intervals decided upon by the two of you.

The Northshore has had no activities since January, and needs a coordinator. One activity per month, a dinner, a play, or a sports activity would be good. How about it? Volunteers? If necessary, pick out something and email or phone me and I will set it up for that month. Then another “Northshorean” can send me an activity for the following month in another town. Look, I even bought a GPS so I could find my way around there to attend the events!

I messed up my Mensa email list and lost it on the computer, so I had to reconstruct it from the currently paid up membership list. If you gave me your email privately and did not give it to national, I don’t have it anymore. Please email me so I may put you back on the list. Also. those of you who didn’t give yours ro National, but would like to receive updates from me, please email me and let me know. I always use blind copy and never give out email addresses given to me privately, but things do come up between newsletters. Also I send out a reminder on Sunday night for the SIGS that I coordinate, and it comes in handy when I need to get the your opinion on a matter sent down by National.

- Gerry Ward

From The Regional Vice-Chairman

by Roger Durham

In my 35 years of Mensa membership, I have noticed that the favorite pastime of some Ms (very few, thank goodness) seems to be pontificating at length on subjects about which they know little or nothing. I don’t know why they do this, perhaps in order to make themselves seem more knowledgeable, and hence more interesting, than they actually are, but for whatever reason, they insist upon doing so at every opportunity. Now, unfortunately, an opportunity has arisen which they find well-nigh irresistible.

Some of you are undoubtedly aware that American Mensa Ltd. has, for the last couple of years, been involved in a lawsuit against a foreign company which applied for trademark registration of a name which included the letters “mensa”. AML opposed their application, and when they declined to make some modest changes in their logo, a suit was filed. All of this was a normal and rational reaction to an attempted infringement on our name, which we have spent a great deal of time, effort, and money to publicize over the years.

Last month this lawsuit finally came to trial, and while the jury found in our favor on the issue of our ownership of (and hence the right to defend) the trademarked name “Mensa”, they were unable to award us monetary damages, due to an unfortunate ruling by the judge. Consequently, AML was unable to recover our attorneys’ fees, which were much higher than anyone had expected at the commencement of the litigation, when it was believed that the parties would be able to reach a settlement. As a result, the AMC has voted to make some minor adjustments in the current year’s budget to help offset the expense of the lawsuit.

Now, a notice of appeal has been filed, and thus the lawsuit is still on-going, so the AMC members, including myself, cannot yet divulge the details of the actual litigation, but I can tell you that the costs of the suit are being paid, and the budget adjustments are largely limited to details of administration affecting the way that the AMC and the National Office operate. There are a very few proposed new programs which will be postponed for a year or two, but no current member benefits will be affected. In other words, you will not even be aware of the changes that have been made.

There are, however, a handful of ill-informed and irresponsible members who have chosen to disseminate false and malicious rumors that Mensa is somehow “broke” and facing financial ruin. Nothing could be further from the truth. The AMC Finance Committee and National Office staff have done an excellent job of managing our resources so that the outcome of this litigation, whatever it may be, will have virtually no impact on the activities and benefits available to the membership. If you hear otherwise, it is from someone who is either ignorant of the facts, or deliberately trying to stir up trouble for their own amusement.
- Roger Durham

July is Testing Month!

by Rene Petersen

We will be administering the MENSA Admission Test on Saturday, July 25th at the Canal Street Presbyterian Church Office located at 4302 Canal Street (at Canal and S. Hennessey), New Orleans, Louisiana. There is ample parking available in front of and on the side of the Church.

Registration will begin at 12:30 and the test at 1:00 PM. The test for admission to MENSA actually consists of 2 tests, both of which will be administered during the testing session. The entire session last around two hours. There is a nominal fee of $40.00 for testing. During the month of July this fee will be reduced to $35.00. Please tell any friends or family who may be interested!
Rene Petersen
Testing Coordinator

Little Easy

by Bob Bevard

I wander through New Orleans
A City I have known
A place I have played
A place I have loved

The City takes me by the hand
She leads me through
The Quarter, The Marina
And more, much more

I taste the delectable
I sip the nectar
I listen to the music
I see the beauteous artwork

I view what is left
And what is not
I wonder, wonder Why?
Why bother, why try?

The City isn’t there anymore
But it is...
I will keep coming back
To have the City take me by the hand

To wander through New Orleans
To play
To love
To watch and to see

How they bother
How they try
To make the Place That Care Forgot
Live, Play, Love, Sing, and Dance

As I wander through New Orleans
I understand-Care Remembers
I know-if I can wander through
New Orleans is!

Bob is a professional development speaker & trainer who has done an extensive amount of work in NO and in LA. When he saw NO after the hurricane and the effort being put into the city, this poem poured out of his brain.

SynRG 2009 in Houston

by Phil So

All those who attended SynRG 2009 in Houston this last Memorial Day weekend had a great time. Highlights include MaDiana’s “Nectar and Ambrosia” liqueur tasting, Anne’s fantastic, all-inclusive Hospitality Suite and Chris and Patty’s Chocolate Tasting. A real thrill was the Blues Trio consisting of Clarence Parker, Leonard Brown and Robert Mason rocking-out the audience Saturday. The Neemidge’s “Name the Movie Game”, Hugh’s Philosophical Discussion, Amanda’s Belly Dance demonstration and the Toga Party were also hugely popular. The Kid’s Track events (Treasure Hunt, Kid’s Casino, Mini Golf and Show and Tell) were also a lot of fun. The adults found the kids to be tough opponents in the Chess Tournament. It gave us great pleasure to welcome many new attendees from out of town and out of state.

Many thanks to all the volunteers, especially those from out of town, who lent a hand and made this event go so smoothly.

Visit the GCM web site ( or “MENSA – Gulf Coast Chapter” on facebook for more (color) photos from SynRG 2009 and the most up to date information regarding SynRG 2010.

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These pages and all content Copyright (c) 2009 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.
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