New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for March/April 2005

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment


by Anne Osteen Stringer

Most of this issue is taken up by the revised bylaws printed in the center of this issue. Several months ago, the Excom discovered that the only copies of our bylaws available were almost illegible as well as being woefully out of date (written more than forty years ago.) The bylaws in this issue are the result of a lot of hard work by the Excom, especially Phil Wilking who headed up this endeavor. They have been approved by National Mensa and the membership will be asked to vote on accepting the revised bylaws ninety days after publication.

Susan Hill regretfully resigned as editor due to personal and job issues. I will continue as interim editor, but I need help. If you are interested in serving as editor, contact me or Rene.

Neville sends an impassioned plea for speakers for the AG and proposes an explosive new SIG. Thanks to Pat for the lovely cover art.

It’s that time of year when one’s thoughts turn to renewal. Birds are nesting, plants are budding, and Mensa memberships are renewing. You can renew online by visiting Don’t forget to renew before March 31. We don’t want to lose you.

Proposed New Bylaws for New Orleans Mensa

by Phil Wilking

As many members may not be aware, our current bylaws leave something to be desired, particularly in the area of elections, where a Byzantine "nominating committee of the whole" process is prescribed.

In addition, the original papers are in extremely poor physical condition in the archive of Mensa National Headquarters. I asked National for a copy of our current Bylaws as they had them in their official records and most of the pages they sent me are illegible.

Therefore your local officers have been engaged in a project to rewrite our Bylaws completely. It has been our intention to write absolutely clear duties and responsibilities for each office and other position of trust in our chapter, and to change the procedure to nominate and elect officers into a straightforward nominating meeting and then an election meeting arrangement.

In addition, we have noted that (as is usual with so many organizations) it is extremely difficult to find willing qualified candidates for office. We therefore propose to change the terms of elective office to two years each from the current one year terms to halve the number of job searches our chapter must endure. We do not propose simply to extend the terms of the present officers; the longer terms would take effect only after the next elections, so the effective date would be January, 2006.

The regulations of American Mensa prescribe a lengthy procedure to amend local bylaws. Your officers have accomplished the first parts: we have proposed new Bylaws to the headquarters Bylaw Committee, they have listed the changes they require or suggest, we have incorporated the changes and resubmitted, and they have approved the revised proposal for submission to the local membership for an up or down vote.

The next step is to publish the proposal to you, the membership, which is being done in this issue of La Plume de NOM.

Following this publication, we are required to wait at least 90 days before conducting the vote. This wait is to allow time for careful consideration of the proposal before a decision. So, in a little more than three months after you read this, you can expect to be asked to vote on the new Bylaws proposed here.

Please read the proposal carefully. The changes from our current practice are in the nomination and election process and in the terms of office. The rest of it is an attempt to codify what we already do in "real life," so that all members can know exactly who is supposed to be doing exactly what.

The bylaws proposal is stored here, as a PDF file. You can get a free PDF reader called Adobe Acrobat at


by Neville Mayfield


The AG is coming! The AG is coming!

Do you know how to speak?

Do you know anything interesting?

Do you have a cause, a curse, a controversy, a consuming passion, a fascinating avocation or vocation?

Do you know someone who does? A group? An organization? A society? A club? A coven?


We need 100 - 150 more presenters for the AG. Especially desired are folks who can present on anything related to New Orleans, Louisiana, or the South, but virtually any subject is fine.

If you, or someone you know, might be willing to take part in the AG as a presenter, please let me know ASAP! The closing date for the published program is approximately the end of April.

Help us put on a really memorable AG for everyone!

Neville Mayfield:

New Orleans Mensa Forms S & M SIG

(Shooting & Marksmanship, that is. Scotch those naughty Mensa thoughts!)

Are you afraid of guns? Have you never touched a gun and don't want to? Do you think guns are a dangerous anachronism that belong only in movies, on TV, and in the past? Do you wish guns could be forbidden and confiscated? Do you love guns? Do you have an armory in your rec room? Have you ever thought about getting a gun for protection in one of America's most dangerous cities? Are you a closet Daniel Boone? Are you curious about how guns actually fit into modern American society?

If any of these sentiments apply, then the new S & M SIG is made for you.

At the moment, our goal is to locate a shooting range for target practice, and engage in various discussions about guns - one of society's current hot-button topics.

Membership requirements are simple; some interest relating to guns.

At our last NOM Night, it was discovered that quite a few of the members present had guns or were possibly interested in shooting activities, so our goal is to arrange a regular venue for such activities. Members without guns or experience are cheerfully invited, as we'll be happy to give anyone basic safety and marksmanship instruction, and provide loaner hardware. We currently have nine members - three women and six men. Ladies, you need guns more than men do - call and ask me why!

For more information, call or email Neville Mayfield

To join, please provide your name, address, phone #, email, and caliber of gun (if any - some ranges have caliber limitations).

Remember; a paper punch is not the most entertaining way to perforate paper!


American Mensa has partnered with for a massive online game that will rouse the intellect (and hopefully enhance the bank account) of one of our own. Urban Challenge Online (UCO) may be the biggest game in history, and it’s the perfect entertainment diversion for Mensans everywhere.

Based on the adventure racing series Urban Challenge, UCO is played completely online. You and a friend race through cyberspace to identify 12 “checkpoints” that are discovered by solving 12 entertaining and shrewd clues. Be one of the first 10 teams to submit the correct answers to all 12 clues and you win an all-expense paid trip to New York City to complete in the event finals for the one million dollar prize.

If the thought of applying your unique aptitude toward winning the big prize isn’t enough motivation to register , do it for Mensa. We want a Mensa team on the receiving end of the $1 million prize! So, spread the word about Urban Challenge Online throughout Mensa. Members should follow this link to UCO and enter to play: When you register enter the unique referral code: MENSA.

Enter the code word to enter into a separate, semi-secret drawing for two round-trip tickets anywhere in North America. Only those who enter the referral code will be registered for the round-trip ticket drawing.

Mind Games 2005

Mind Games 2005 is on track to be one of the largest competitions yet! Game manufactures have begun sending in their new games and more than 80 people have registered to attend. Registration closes March 31, so register today at The event will be held April 15-17 at Tampa’s Double-Tree Hotel, Tampa Westshore Airport.

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