New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for March/April 2006

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment


by Anne Osteen Stringer

Since my last column, we’ve been slapped upside the head by Katrina. Lives lost, homes destroyed, property ruined, and the city we love changed, maybe forever. From our exile, or maybe from our own homes, we watched in horror--bodies in the street, people dying from lack of medical care, the incredible loss of control. There is not one of us that has not been affected by this storm. I would like to collect the stories of New Orleans Mensans during the storm and its aftermath. This was possibly the worse natural disaster in American history–certainly the worse in our lifetime. I know everyone has lots to do rebuilding our homes and our lives, but please take some time and write a few paragraphs about your experiences and mail or email them to me. I will not publish without your permission, but may use them for a future article.

Many of our members have not returned to the city, but New Orleans Mensa is still alive. We have a new slate of officers and NOM Nights have resumed. Celebration, Dinner, and Coffee SIGs are still active and meeting.

The picture on the cover was taken by Richard in happier times. Like Andrew Jackson, New Orleans Mensans are still standing.

Region 6 News

by Ray O’Connor RVC6

During the month of April, American Mensa will evaluate prior evidence for free. (The fee is usually $30.) This will be a great time to encourage friends to submit their scores for membership. To take advantage of this offer, candidates will need to visit the American Mensa Web site between 4/1 and 4/30. Instructions on submitting scores for free will be linked from the home page.

March is the last month for your annual dues renewal. While there are valid financial reasons why some do not renew their membership, surveys indicate that the most common reason is that they simply didn’t receive enough perceived value for their membership. Have you looked at the member benefits? A member told me he saves more than his annual dues in car insurance savings. You won’t know the value of member benefits unless you go to the web site and check them out.

The region 6 local group member retention contest has one more month. As of Jan 31, Baton Rouge leads the small groups with 23% growth since June 2006. Lone Star Mensa leads the large groups with 18% growth. The region average is 13%.

If you are thinking about coming to the World Gathering I urge you to take advantage of the savings by registering in March. The rates increase by $20 on April 1.

Gatherings Calendar:


By Patti Armatis

Well, I'm doing it again this year-- NOM Night on April 8th will be our annual book sale--so y'all should drag out your old, unloved books for inclusion in this sale. Proceeds to NOM Treasury. Unsold books donated to Salvation Army or Symphony Book Fair.

Book prices will be $0.25 for paperbacks, $0.50 for hardcovers or large softcovers, and other "special" items at higher prices.

Anyone wishing to bring books in advance of the event may deposit them "behind the bush" near my front door or call me to make arrangements.

NomComm Seeking Volunteers

by Stormie Kullman

The National Nominating Committee is seeking volunteers. Each local group may appoint a representative to the committee for potentially more than 130 members. The representative of a local group may be a single Mensan or a group, but each local group will be able to appoint only one spokesperson to the NomComm. I anticipate that, while not every group will appoint a representative, the response will be great enough to give us broader coverage and make it possible to seek new candidates from within the local group structure who, perhaps, have not been approached before

Since most of the NomComm representatives in the past 4 or 5 years have been electronically linked, our business is conducted online. This does not mean you must be online but it helps. The current timeline has been developed to accommodate snail mail.

The NomComm conducts two meetings at the Annual Gathering in even years. The first meeting is procedural, where the procedures and policies are reviewed and any changes are discussed, ensuring everyone is aware hhow the committee functions. The second meeting at the AG is a “Meet the Candidates” session that allows the candidates to address the assembled NomComm personally. Each candidate is allowed a few minutes to speak followed by a brief Q&A period.

NomComm representatives are entrusted with the duty of encouraging candidates to run for election. Candidates may be the incumbents, past officers, or members who have been active nationally, regionally, or locally.

Why should you volunteer? Because it’s a way to serve Mensa, to have a hand in shaping the direction of Mensa without committing to a prolonged term of service. The NomComm serves from the spring AMC meeting (usually in March) through to October 1 in even years. You will learn about the political workings of the organization and get aquainted with some pretty terrific people.

To volunteer, contact your LocSec to have him/her send your name to the National NomComm Chair.

News From National


Proctor Recertification Due March 31

The March 31 deadline for Proctor recertification is right around the corner. Proctors who have not submitted their materials–applications, endorsements and open-book tests on the updated handbooks should do so as soon as possible. The only additional requirement is that the Proctor must have conducted a testing session since April 1, 2004. If you have any questions, please contact A’Nelle Nelms at or call 817-607-0060, ext. 129.

Forum Moderators Needed

National Mensa has received a number of great ideas for general Interest online discussion forums and needs members to moderate them. If you are interested in heading a forum on books, movies, travel, job banks, science fiction or any other topic, information for moderators can be found at

Colloquium 2006: Revolution in Cosmology

Registrations are still available for this weekend of intense intellectual exploration to be held Oct. 6-8 in Albany, NY. Join fellow Mensans for a stimulating mix of information, revelation and discussion of the greatest mystery in the past 100 years–the recent discovery that a mysterious new kind of “dark matter’ and “dark energy” makes up 96% of the “stuff” of the universe. Unforeseen by even Einstein, this demands a new unified Quantum/Space/Time Theory. Listen to internationally recognized speakers, then question these speakers in panel discussions. Share your thoughts with fellow Mensans, these experts, and others at this international gathering. Visit for more information and to register or mail to Colloquium 2006, American Mensa, Ltd. 1229 Corporate Dr. West, Arlington, TX 76006-6103.


CultureQuest will be held on Sunday, April 30, 2006. Team captains must submit registrations by Friday, March 31.

Back to the La Plume de NOM main page.
These pages and all content Copyright (c) 2008 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: 15-Mar-2009 . Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at