New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for June, 2013

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment

So The Story Goes Like This

Bart Geraci

I was helping out a local police station somewhere in West Texas when we came along a crime scene. I saw the policeman get a cage out of the car and pull out a...

“Wait, that looks like a crab ...”

“It is,” and he let the critter roam around the scene.

“... and what are you doing with it?”

“Well, we've found that crabs have even better sense of smell than dogs, so we let him roam around and pick up the scent in order to capture who did this.”

“... and may I ask why is it green?”

“Well, lobsters are normally green and they don't turn red until you put them in boiling water. Same thing here.”

“... and this works?”

“Very well,” he replied. And I had determined that in fact, the whole police department...

… was very proud of their lime crab.


By Bart Geraci

So if this column smells like Ouzo, it's because I've just come back from the Greek Festival here in New Orleans. This year they're celebrating their 40th year. It's located down the street from our house, so I've always gone as long as I can remember. I always end up buying boxes of their famous Greek pastries and getting some of that lamb meat roasted over an outdoor rotisserie.

This month we're having a special event with a trip to the Aquarium – and we're even paying for some of the tickets!

We've also decided to raise the reimbursement amount for people hosting NOM Night to $100.00. If you are interested in hosting it at your house on the second Saturday of the month, let us know.

I've also noticed that we have about 40 lapsed members in our group. So check to see if you forgot to renew.

I like the fact that our group gives back to the community by presenting awards at the local Science Fair. Another way that we can give back to the community is through the Mensa College Scholarship Program ( ). Every year, a lot of local groups around the country announce their willingness to participate by naming a scholarship chairperson. The students who compete for the scholarship do so through a 550-word essay. Our group would judge all the competitors in our geographic area and decide which ones to submit to the regional judges. The deadline to announce our intention to participate is August 1. If you wish to become our chairperson, or you wish to be one of the judges, please let us know soon.

Next month is the American Mensa Annual Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas. This will mark my 25th consecutive Annual Gathering. I started with Atlanta in 1989, followed by Orange County, Kansas City, San Francisco, Orlando, Cambridge (Boston), St. Louis, Houston, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Long Beach, Philadelphia, Dallas, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, Birmingham, Denver, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Portland, and Reno. 2014 will be in Boston, followed by Louisville and San Diego. Thanks to all these groups that have put on an Annual Gathering; I have enjoyed them all.

Let's go Zephyrs!

BrainFork: A Mensan talks about food

By Bart Geraci on a Summer hiatus. See you in the fall!

From the Editor

By Kevin Chesnut

Whether your schedule changes a lot or not so much during the summer, here’s hoping yours will be safe, pleasant, and completely hurricane-free.

… Or Sometimes Like This

By Kevin Chesnut

It was time for the Action Movie Stars Club’s annual costume ball. This year’s theme – classical composers.

“I believe I’ll portray Beethoven,” said Sylvester. “I’ve always admired his perseverance through his hearing loss.”

“I’m going to dress as Mozart,” said Bruce. “I find his brilliant body of work created during such a short life extraordinary.”

Arnold simply stated, “I’ll be Bach.”

You may have read some of these puns and thought, “I can top that.” Send us your best (or worst)!

Young Mensans



Remember, La Plume always welcomes submissions from the members of our clever and talented group. Going somewhere interesting this summer? Looking forward to an interesting event or experience? Tell us all about it afterwards – in words, photos, poetry – any way you like!


Bright is the brightest monthly newsletter for smart kids like you, courtesy of Mensa For Kids and the Mensa Education & Research Foundation! Every issue is full of games, puzzles, activities and fun stuff to think about. Tell your friends they can subscribe at, and if you're more of an 'online' Bright kid, you can play a number of games at


Why not make American Mensa's Annual Gathering a family affair? Scheduled July 3-7 in Fort Worth, Texas, the AG will have numerous programs and opportunities for fun for children and teens.

Spark!, two full days of structured programming for children ages 4-12, is sponsored by the Mensa Foundation and enables parents to attend AG events while their children enjoy cerebral and kinesthetic activities. There are also opportunities for youth and their parents to meet and develop friendships, including a Meet & Greet for parents while their kids enjoy a movie.

Teens are also welcome at the AG, where they will find a number of programs, games, a scavenger hunt and other opportunities for fun. This includes the Teen Room, a hangout space dedicated to teens ages 13-18.

And don't miss family events such as the visit from the Noble Mobile Planetarium and the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center. Information on all of the great Youth Programming can be found at

Visit the AG website at for more information and to register.

From the RVC

Roger Durham, Region 6 Vice Chairman

By the time most of you read this, or soon afterwards, the American Mensa election will be over, and at the Annual Gathering in Fort Worth, a new American Mensa Committee, your national Board of Directors, will take office. Some of the members will be the same, some will be new, and some may be in new positions. I know many of you will be coming to the AG this year, and I hope that some of you will take advantage of the opportunity to attend the AMC meeting and get acquainted with the people who will lead American Mensa for the next two years. Of course, that means taking some time away from the terrific array of games, speakers, and other activities that are planned for the AG, but it might be time well spent if you have an interest in the future of our organization.

Speaking of which, I always enjoy being able to report on things that the AMC has accomplished during the last two years, but this time I regret that I must report to you something that we have not accomplished. Two years ago, in June of 2011, based on a discussion that took place at the spring AMC meeting that year, I told you that the new and improved American Mensa website would have a place where interested members could see the job descriptions for all national appointed offices, and post their resumes for the AMC members to review. Two years have gone by and that has not happened, for one reason or another. I don’t know why it hasn’t happened, but I have reminded the AMC of our promise to provide you with this opportunity, and asked that such an area be added to the national website as soon as possible.

And while on the subject of volunteering, let me take this opportunity to encourage each of you to consider serving as an officer of your local group, especially those of you who belong to our smaller groups. Several times in the past couple of years I have been contacted by local officers here in Region Six, asking what could be done if no one was willing to run for election. In some cases, they couldn’t even find anyone to serve on a nominating or election committee. The ultimate answer, in such cases, is that if absolutely nobody can be found to serve as local officers, your group will be disbanded and the members reassigned to another group, but that is definitely a last resort. Before doing that, as Regional Vice Chair, I have the authority to appoint new officers for your local group, but that is a power I have exercised only rarely and very reluctantly. You can save everyone a great deal of heartburn and mental anguish by stepping forward when your group needs new officers. Being a local group officer isn’t terribly difficult, it doesn’t really take that much time, and both the national office staff and I will be happy to help if you run into problems.

In the meantime, see you at the AG!

New Orleans Mensa Executive Committee Meeting

Submitted by Claudia D'Aquin, Secretary

May 10, 2013
Members present: Bart Geraci, Claudia D'Aquin, Phil Therrien, Gerry Ward
5:15 p.m. - Meeting called to order:


  1. We administered the Mensa admissions test on Saturday, Feb. 16, at our new site, the New Orleans Museum of Art. Two people tested; one of these has since joined.
  2. Kevin Chesnut is our new editor; he has produced his first newsletter with Bart’s assistance.
  3. Science Fair - February 27, 9:00 AM- 12:00 noon, at UNO. Bart and Ben Rauch were the only two judges. Winners were selected, and our awards were presented at the end of the event. Winners receive Mensa certificates as well as their prize awards. [Clarification: winners received personalized certificates on the behalf of New Orleans Mensa, not certificates of MENSA membership. -Bart-]
  4. Culture Quest took place on Sunday, April 28, at Bart's house. Bart, Phil Wilking, Kevin Chesnut, and Richard Garrett were on our team. Results are expected in June.
  5. Daniel Pounder has agreed to serve as our North Shore coordinator. Gerry has offered to contact Daniel to help him to set up a dinner on the North Shore.
  6. Treasurer's report: Phil submitted his updated annual report to Bart. Our account balance is $10,819.00, as of March 31, 2013.
  7. ASIE document, which is Actions Still in Effect, is in process, not yet completed.
  8. Last meeting, René mentioned that we should start to work on cultivating candidates for office, for our next election. We will start talking to members.
  9. Update on the idea of a scholarship fund: We need to find a scholarship coordinator who would be willing to follow Mensa National Guidelines for this. A scholarship committee should eventually grow out of this. We will announce this is in the newsletter to see if someone steps up.


  1. We have 40 lapsed members as of the most recent roster. Bart will send out a reminder mail, email and also snail mail.
  2. Bart reported that Mensa National is considering giving a smaller portion of member dues back to local chapters, because several chapters have significant money on deposit. We discussed some ideas for using some of the funds we have on deposit for member activities.
  3. Gerry, as our Gifted Children Coordinator, requested funds to arrange a day at the Aquarium for our young Mensans. We decided to offer to pay the cost of entry for each of our young Mensa members and any minor children of our adult members who would like to participate in the activity, and one adult parent or guardian for each child. Gerry will work on selecting a date in June for this.
  4. Gerry has contacted Country Day School, and they have offered to host a games night for the young Mensans. She will contact the young Mensans to see who is interested in this.
  5. We have a new young Mensan, Alexander Adams, who is going to write a column for our newsletter. He will major in music at LSU. His first column appears in the May newsletter.
  6. We need to do a final accounting of the RG finances and then deposit any remaining funds in our regular account. We will leave the RG account open with the minimal amount required on deposit, in anticipation hosting our next RG. Phil will prepare the final accounting for the next meeting.
  7. Phil suggested trying to find members to host NOM nights again, and increasing the amount offered to the host of the party to $100 each NOM night. Claudia made a motion to accept this idea; seconded by Bart. Vote was unanimous. The motion passed.
  8. Claudia suggested that we offer a NOM night SPECIAL sometime soon, for which members would not have to pay the $3.00 entry fee. We will explore this idea by looking for a member to host.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:40 PM.
Next meeting: Saturday, August 10, 5:00 p.m., Bart's house.
Submitted by Claudia D'Aquin, Secretary

NORGY 2012 Final Report

By Phil Therrien, Treasurer
Startup/Transfer from NOM Acct
AMC Transfers
PayPal Setup
PayPal Transfers
Cash Deposits
Subtotal Income
PayPal/Bank Fees
Supplies / Miscellaneous
Food & Hotel Costs
Subtotal Expense
Gross Income (Loss)
Account Setup from Basic
Net RG Income (Loss)

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Last edited: 05-Jun-2013 . Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at