New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for September 2012

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment

From the Editor

Peter Salomon

Well, this is it, the last La Plume de NOM that Iíll be editing now that Iíve moved up to North Carolina. Itís been an honor and a pleasure to work with such dedicated, supportive, and enthusiastic people as the New Orleans Mensa membership and ExCom! Thank you to everyone! This is also the month that HENRY FRANKS is released!! Itís been a long, surreal journey and Iíve loved sharing it with you. For more information: Thanks, again, to New Orleans and New Orleans Mensa!! And go Saints!! Iíll be back for the Saints in the Super Bowl!

So The Story Goes Like This

Bart Geraci

I was vacationing among the Greek islands taking one of the ferries. I noticed that there were a few horses on this ferry, which reminded me of my youth in West Texas. I found the handler and asked him where the horses were going. He said that there was a new government policy to re-establish the horse population on many of the Greek islands.

They had beautiful horses of all colors. I saw a bluish-white horse and I said to the horse playfully as I fed him a carrot, ďAnd where are you going? Santorini? Ios? Crete?Ē

The handler said, ďNo, none of those. Look, what color is he?Ē

I looked but I didn't get it. He then explained to me...

...that all Rhodes needs: two roans.


Roger Durham

With the Reno Annual Gathering in the rear-view mirror, preparations are getting into high gear for the Fort Worth AG in July 2013. Cochairs Carol Hilson and Karen Brack, along with the rest of their team, are working overtime trying to keep track of all the little details that go into the making of an AG. Speakers are being lined up, entertainment booked, tours arranged, and menus developed. If you plan to go (and I hope you do), make your hotel reservations soon, if not immediately, as the main hotel is filling up rapidly.

If youíve never been to an AG, I urge you to take advantage of this oneís proximity. Since we try to hold the AG in a different part of the country each year, in order to give everyone a chance to attend one in a nearby city from time to time, there wonít be another one in our region for many years to come. As Iíve mentioned in this space before, after 2013 the next three AGs will be held in Boston, Louisville, and San Diego.

One good reason to attend an AG might be that it gives one an opportunity to sit in on a meeting of the American Mensa Committee, Mensaís board of directors. Many members donít realize that AMC meetings are open to all members. You canít speak during the meeting, but you can listen to the debates and talk to the AMC members during breaks. Thatís not as important here in Region 6, of course, as in other parts of the country, since we have at least one and sometimes two meetings in the Dallas/Fort Worth area every year, due to the presence of the national office in Arlington, but few people visit the local AMC meetings. Thatís understandable, since the meetings here donít have any social events to accompany them.

When our meetings are held in conjunction with the Annual (or even a Regional) Gathering, though, you can watch the AMC for as long as you care to, then slip away to Hospitality or an interesting program. We do try to meet in conjunction with RGs whenever we can, although the AMC has a rule against meeting on holiday weekends, which rules out many of the larger RGs. Our December meeting this year, however, will be held in conjunction with the New Orleans RG, and I hope to see many of you there. Feel free to come by and observe the AMC meeting in New Orleans, or next summer in Fort Worth.

In the meantime, donít forget Lone Star Mensaís upcoming RG in Round Rock, just north of Austin, over the Labor Day weekend, and North Texas Mensaís RG in Dallas over Thanksgiving weekend. Check their respective websites for details.

Roger Durham


Bart Geraci

First, I'd like to thank A & R for hosting the August NOM Night at their house. We all had some wonderful food and played a few games afterwards. I got to bring my ďUncle Chestnut's Table GypeĒ that I won at the 2011 Mensa Mind Games and played against 2 other members. It's an odd little game that's a combination of Chinese Checkers and Chess where you root for turning your opponent's piece into an ear. Again, thank you A and R for a wonderful evening.

Third (we'll do Second later), the RG is coming along, and we now have registrants from Florida and Alabama. Our website is at and we now have a way you can pay using PayPal online. It didn't make the most recent Mensa Bulletin, but it should be in the next one.

Second, we're meeting at Mama Mea's on Lake Avenue this month. Our default restaurant, Salsas Por El Lago (on Lake Marina Drive) has closed. The owner has reopened into a much smaller place on Veterans Blvd in Metairie, close to the CVS (formerly C's Pharmacy). So Mama Mea's will be our new default location.

Fourth (our counting has resumed normalcy), approximately 1/3 of our members live on the Northshore. It would be wonderful to have a Northshore coordinator to serve our members by scheduling get-togethers over there. While that is somewhat a pressing need, I'd like to take the opportunity to ask some of our members if they would be interested in holding a ďmini-regionalĒ get-together. For instance, someone might want to meet at a coffeehouse down in the CBD on a Thursday afternoon, or at a music venue in the Marigny on another night, or play chess outdoors on a Sunday afternoon in Lafreniere Park. Or in the Elmwood area, Kenner, or even on the Westbank. Just think about (1) what is it that you enjoy doing and (2) where around your neighborhood that you would like to hang out for a few hours once or twice a month. As your LocSec, I am happy to promote any and all activities that you may be interested in.

Fifth, I've been one of the many judges for this year's PRP (Publication Recognition Program). I've spent a fair amount of time reviewing newsletters, articles, and websites of other chapters across the country. It was hard work, but it was illuminating to see what other groups are doing. Like a cat who ate some cheese to attract a mouse, I await with bated breath for the results.

Sixth, congratulations to our editor, Peter Salomon, for the publication of his book ďHenry FranksĒ.

Seventh, I also want to profusely thank Peter for the excellent work he has done with our newsletter. I remember the first newsletter that he put out was just so much better than what I've seen before. I thank him for his patience for putting up with my (quite often) post-deadline submissions. I thank him for going along with some April Fool's editions. I thank him for continuing as our editor even though he moved to North Carolina in June. Thank you so much, Peter. We'll miss you.

A transition period reminds me of this quote:

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
So taking that to heart, I'd also like to welcome Renee Aguilar as our new Editor. It's a position she's held before and I'd like to thank her so much for taking over. I look forward to working with her.

Finally, September 9th marks the return of regular season Saints football. Who Dat!

2-For-1 Deals Aren't Limited to Stores...

American Mensa has declared October 2012 to be Mind Challenge Month, while October 20th is the Mensa Testing Day. Our fine chapter is one of many who is holding a Test session on Mensa Testing Day. To encourage people to challenge their friends, spouses, co-workers, etc. to take the Mensa Admissions Test, American Mensa is offering this deal: Anyone who signs up to take the test with a ďchallenge buddyĒ will receive two-for-one pricing. Thatís two tests for $40 ($20 each)! Plus, all test takers will receive a code good for their choice of a specially designed promotional item.

A Remembrance

I am sad to announce the passing of a member, Frederick Hodnett, who has been a member continuously since 2005, though his low Mensa number suggests that he first joined many years before that. We wish to convey our sympathies to his family.

Input From Young Mensans Needed

Our Gifted Childrenís Coordinator, Gerry Ward, wants to hear from young Mensans for some activities that they would be interested in. You can email her at

Help Us With NORGY 2012

For NORGY 2012, we are looking for many of our members to help. We are looking for someone to lead the hospitality committee and someone to be the Registrar. In addition, we welcome people to help us staff the hospitality room during the gathering. We are also looking for items that we can use to fill goodie bags with.

A Message From The New Editor

by Renee Aguilar

Itís like dťjŗ vu all over again! Allow me to (re)introduce myself as the new (or not so new) editor of La Plume de NOM. I was the editor from 2000 Ė 2002. Iíve been a member for most years since then, but I havenít been very active, as life got in the way of a good time. I certainly enjoyed those years of putting La Plume together and participating in the Celebration SIG, a Dinner Club or two, and many NOM nights. Iím looking forward to seeing some old friends again and meeting new ones. Our magazine can be as interesting and informative as our members are, so please consider sending in a contribution Ė a drawing, an essay, a poem, a restaurant review, a book review, a movie review, a recipe, or whatever is interesting to you.

To let you know a little about me, Iím a Senior Assistant Parish Attorney in Jefferson Parish. Iím fortunate that I work with smart and funny people and that I truly love my work. My husband works in the oilfield by day and plays guitar in a rock band by night around town. Our daughters keep us most entertained and quite busy. We live in Marrero and quite frankly we like Westbank living. Weíre theme park people and we enjoy vacations to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, and similar destinations.

Iím also an overweight, undertall, adult-onset endurance athlete, having completed one marathon, eleven half-marathons, and one duathlon; all since 2009. I donít finish first. In fact, sometimes I finish last or close-to-last, but I finish with a smile.

If you have a contribution or a suggestion for La Plume de NOM, Iíd love to hear from you. My email is


New Orleans Mensa EXCOM Meeting

by Claudia D'Aquin, Secretary

August 11, 2012

home of Bart Geraci

Officers present: Bart Geraci, Claudia D'Aquin, Phil Therrien, Rene Petersen.

Meeting was called to order at 5:00 PM.

Next EXCOM Meeting: November 10, 5 PM, Bart's house.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:00 PM.

Submitted by Claudia D'Aquin, Secretary

The BRAINFORK plan...

by Bart Geraci

...for the October issue is to talk about an edible rock that has caused the rise and fall of every civilization known to man....

In the meanwhile: Now is your chance to write an article for publication in La Plume de NOM!! Just email your article to the new Editor, Renee Aguilar:

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Last edited: 02-Sep-2012 . Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at