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Friday, November 18th

15:00 | Blood Donation and Latest Technology | Dr. Catherine A. Mazzei | Trinity
Overview of blood donation from donor to patient with emphasis on recent technologies approved by the FDA to increase blood safety in this era of frequent emerging disease risks.


16:15 | Guided Play – Single-Player Game: “Friday” | Alan Alpert | Coastal
When you’re struggling to beat the board by strategem, there’s really no need for other players. So it is with “Friday”, an acclaimed single-player board game with lots of strategy and maybe a bit of luck. Combining deck building like “Dominion” with relentless draw stacks like “Pandemic”, there’s just no room left in this game to fit in other players.

The session host will set up and play the game, explaining the rules as they go, to make it easy for you to pick up and play a game yourself later on!


16:15 | What is The Brain Initiative? | Elna R. Tymes | Trinity
The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (R) (BRAIN) initiative is part of a new presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. Researchers intend to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. This picture will provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human brain to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought.


16:15 | Chocolate Tasting | Mike Eager | Tahoe
The Latin name for chocolate means “food of the gods”. Chocolate has a mystique, from being a state secret to its supposed aphrodisiac properties or soporific qualities. Mike Eager will provide an overview of the history of chocolate, and, best of all, offer tastes of a variety of chocolates.


16:15 | Paper Airplanes | Mike Borg | Yosemite
Build paper airplanes while you geek-out and chat about aeronautics with aircraft afficionado Mike Borg. Test your design against the others to win fabulous prizes!


16:15 | Paper Arts | Josie Burton | Yosemite
Come try out some fun, expressive paper arts with Art teacher Josie Burton in the Activities Room!


18:45 | Dare to Be 100 | Walter Bortz,M.D. | Trinity
An exploration of the science of longevity. Seeking deep knowledge of the human potential and its moral implications.


20:00 | Hungry, Hungry Humans | Josie Burton & Mike Borg | Yosemite
It’s time for a raucous live-action version of the classic game, Hungry, Hungry Hippos.Compete in teams of two, or just come to watch and laugh. The hilarity is infectious with this one!


20:00 | Lyric Theater: 1972-Present | Larry and Ann Byler | Trinity
A talk on the early beginnings of the Lyric Theater and how Gilbert & Sullivan Society of San Jose was born. Who were Gilbert & Sullivan? What is a Gilbert & Sullivan show like? How did they expand the repertoire into operetta and classical Broadway? What does it take to put on a show?


20:00 | Guided Play – Castles of Mad King Ludwig | Alan Alpert | Coastal
“Castles of Mad King Ludwig” is a very fun game where you select from all sorts of rooms to build the perfect (for a mad king) castle. A unique twist on a competitive bidding system brings strategy and competition for a well rounded board game of 2-4 players.

The session host already knows the rules and will set up the game in advance; perfect for players keen to learn a new game!


20:00 | Odd Man Out | Marty Nemko | Tahoe
Come see Marty’s one-man show based on his own life experiences: battling adversity, meeting the love of his life, earning professional respect, and ultimately sharing his acumen with thousands of clients.


21:00 | First Annual SFRM Dessert Bake-Off and Tasting | Hospitality | Hospitality
Cheer on your fellow Ms and sample some of their delicious, home-made dessert creations. Cookies, cakes and pies – whose submission will take home First Prize?


21:15 | How will modern capitalism end? | Eba Uren | Trinity
Since the 2008 financial crisis, banks, governments and financial markets have relied on central bank interventions such as quantitative easing and ultra low interest rates. Bank assets remain under pressure while government debt levels continue to grow. Economic growth is lacking in a majority of developed countries. Central bank interventions have become more extreme, including negative interest rates, corporate bond purchases and participation in financial markets. At the same time, the distribution of wealth has become increasingly distorted and now threatens to politically destabilize the West. How will the story end?


21:15 | Stop-Motion Lego Animation | Josie & Mike | Yosemite
Always wanted to try stop-motion animation? Bring your own smartphone or tablet and learn some simple techniques that will put you on the road to becoming an award-winning filmmaker (or just a dabbler–we won’t judge). Legos and other props provided, or bring your own objects to animate.


22:00 | Harry Potter Cocktails, Mocktails, and Wizarding Snacks | Hospitality | Hospitality
Sample Hogwart’s favorite drink – butterbeer! Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions will be available. Perhaps grab an edible Olivander’s Wand, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and other Wizarding treats.


22:30 | Idiocracy Cry-Along | Josie & Mike | Yosemite
Join your fellow smartie-pantses in lamenting the spread of anti-intellectualism while imbibing a fresh glass of Brawndo–it’s what plants crave! Tissues provided.


Saturday, November 19th

9:00 | Ecocide Prevention: Research on Green Behavior | David Bezanson, Ph.D. | Trinity
What are the keys to caring more for the environment and being intrinsically motivated to have a lifestyle with a sustainable environmental impact? What are the advantages of having a friendly, natural relationship with the ecosystem? The empirical literature on interventions that increase pro-environmental behavior is reviewed. Learn about empathy, happiness, environmental awareness, health, world-centric orientation, and meditation. Implications for formal education, policy, and individual lifestyling are explored.

9:00 | Sudoku Tournament | James MacWhyte | Tahoe
You’re good at Sudoku, but are you the best? Pit your logic and pattern recognition skills against other Sudoku aficionados in an attempt to win the title of SFRM Sudoku Champion!
If you’d like to compete, just show up! Observers are also welcome, and you can try out some of the puzzles without competing if you wish.

10:00 | Mensa Admissions Test | Stephanie Thornton | Carmel

10:30 | Robotics: Hands-on STEM for High School Students | Gary Koerzendorfer and students from Los Gatos High School | Trinity
The FIRST Robotics Competition prepares students for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math. Founded by Segway Scooter inventor Dean Kamen, the students receive a challenge in January and have six weeks to design, build, wire, program, and refine a 120 Lb metal robot for competition. But FIRST is more than robots – the robots are a vehicle for students to learn valuable life skills. Students leave with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future. Colleges and Universities are convinced – they allocate $25 Million in scholarships to attract these students.

10:30 | Self-Portraits: Ink & Oil Pastel | Josie Burton | Yosemite
Inspired by her recent visit to the art museums of Paris, Art teacher Josie Burton will lead you in a drawing activity to create a self-portrait in ink and oil pastel.

10:30 | Intro to Pen and Paper Role Playing Games | Alan Alpert | Coastal
Pen and paper (or tabletop) role-playing games, like the legendary Dungeons and Dragons, have been a key historical influence on gaming groups, predating computer games or even modern german board games like “Settlers of Catan”. Don’t just take my word for it, check wikipedia. But don’t be intimidated when you read “Games are of indefinite length”. The combination of a free-form unbounded structure and hundreds of pages of basic rules makes the genre very difficult to get into for most people. This unique session will provide an easy introduction for players with no previous role-playing game experience. Your host has read all 575 pages of the GURPS 4th ed. basic rule set, and will explain the ten or so pages that are actually relevant to this scenario on an as-needed basis. A custom scenario, of definite length, has been specifically prepared for this event, and after the game there will be time for a brief discussion of how a game with experienced players might differ from the introductory scenario. Or D&D vs GURPS, any RPG Q&A is OK after you play.

13:30 | IP: Building Blocks of Silicon Valley | Cecily O’Regan | Trinity
Intellectual Property is the cornerstone of all start-ups in the valley. If you’d like to know more about the different types of intellectual property and how they are used strategically, this is the presentation for you.

13:30 | UnMensalympics | Josie & Mike | Yosemite
Take a break from life’s stresses and join us in a decidedly silly tournament of wacky physical challenges, including pantyhose bowling, a twerk-off, Mega Jenga, and more! Fabulous prizes will be awarded to the winners.

13:30 | Whisky from Around the World | Hospitality | Hospitality
Don’t know much about whisky? Or on the flip side, do you have some unique whisky insights or bits of arcane trivia you’d love to share with an appreciative (captive) crowd? Join us for a whisky tasting and sample four different types from around the world. Find out more about your own personal preferences around Appearance, Nose, Palate and Finish.

Attendance is limited to 20 participants. Reserve a spot by adding yourself to the sign-up sheet in Hospitality.

13:30 | Boggle Tournament | Alan Alpert | Coastal
In the competitive word game space we have an exciting and real-time option this year, “Boggle”! Each round the player with the lowest score for that round will be eliminated. Last man standing wins personal glory and a copy of the game to take home.

13:30 | Computer History Museum | Mike Eager | Meet in lobby
See tours for more information, additional charge

14:00 | MBTI Testing | Vicki Brown | Carmel
Are you interested in Psychological Type and Temperament? Do you plan to attend the “Well-Tempered Mensan” session on Saturday night? Do you know your MBTI® Type code preferences?

Vicki Brown will be providing RG attendees with the opportunity to take the MBTI inventory on Saturday afternoon. This is the self-scored version of the inventory, so you’ll be able to see that there are no tricks up any (computer) sleeves.

$20 per person for materials.
Duration – one hour.
Two sessions: 2pm or 3pm.
We have the room until 4pm. 2pm attendees may remain for the full two hours. If required, we can move to the lobby for discussion after 4pm.

14:30 | Pac Man Cookie Decorating | Hospitality | Hospitality
Miss the 80’s? So do we. Relive the golden age of arcade video games (and the lost hours of your misspent youth) with everyone’s favorite ghost-dodging icon. Decorate a cookie in the shape of Pac Man, Pinky, Inky, Blinky or Clyde. Cookies, frostings and other decorative elements will be provided.

14:45 | Gonzo Trivia | Mark Jackman and Kat Estrada | Yosemite
Hosts Mark Jackman and Kat Estrada bring you Gonzo Trivia, an especially fun and challenging pub-style trivia game. We will play as teams, so bring your friends or come find some others to join!

15:00 | Historic & current wineries of Santa Clara Valley | Steve Ferree | Trinity
We will learn about the wineries currently found in Santa Clara Valley and also take a look at the past as we learn about the long term history of wine in the valley and how it effected the wine industry throughout California.

15:00 | 3D Printing and the Future of Your Own Creativity | Nick Kloski | Tahoe
Come learn about 3D printing from Nick Kloski, a Mensan and author of Amazon’s #1 3D printing book “Getting Started with 3D Printing” (published by Maker Media).

Learn about the latest trends in 3D printing, and how you can use this burgeoning field to repair objects around the house, or launch the next great consumer product.

Focus will be on free tools that allow you to create 3D models quickly, and we will have computers set up for you to try some 3D modeling out for yourself. If you bring a smartphone with camera, you can even create a 3D model of someone else during the session!

15:00 | Guided Play- Robo Rally | Alan Alpert | Coastal
Programming industrial robots is all fun and games until somebody loses an optical sensor array. That’s why “Robo-Rally” let’s you get that out of your system with a harmless board game. On top of an adversarial racing game with lasers, strategy is required because you’ll queue up all your actions in batches of five. The game supports up to eight players, plenty of room, and is so easy a robot could play it – but we won’t allow them to take spots from our human players.
The session host already knows the rules and will set up the game in advance; perfect for players keen to learn a new game!

16:00 | Nacho Bar | Hospitality | Hospitality
Grab a plate of warm, cheesy nachos and customize it with your favorite toppings. Salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, black beans, veggies and more will be available to create your ideal combination.

16:15 | Hubble Space Telescope | Ronald Sheffield | Trinity
Background of Hubble building before launch, highlighted by preparation and conduct of the last Hubble servicing mission STS-125. Also recent and historical Hubble pictures of the universe will be shown.

16:30 | Introduction to Sword-Fighting | | Yosemite
Admit it: you have always wanted to be able to use a sword like Errol Flynn, Zorro, and Wesley from The Princess Bride. Now’s your big chance! Our guest sword-fighting experts will wow you with a demonstration of their swashbuckling skills, and follow up with a lesson on some of the basic steps. Be sure to come back later for our Princess Bride Quote-Along, where you can battle a willing foe–to the death, or worse: to the pain!

16:30 | Quiddler Tournament | Corey Coughlin | Coastal
Quiddler is called “the short word game”. It’s a combination of rummy
and Scrabble , you use cards with letters on them to spell words and
earn points. In this tournament, we’ll start in small groups and play
until there’s one winner!

18:00 | Keynote: The Torturous Path of US-Cuba Relations | Jonathan Showe | Tahoe
The US and Cuba have been doing a ‘dance of scorpions’ for over half a century. Presidents Obama and Raul Castro have initiated a process of normalization of relations, but is it inevitable? At best it will be a long and winding road ahead! The outcome will bear heavily on regional and global political relations, economic growth for both countries and addressing an array of issues as wide-ranging as drug trafficking, divided families, hurricane watching and ocean pollution. What are the obstacles and opportunities? And why does it matter?

20:00 | The Well-Tempered Mensan | Vicki Brown | Trinity
Do you wonder why some people seem so much like you, while others seem so different in how they view the world? Do these differences lead to communication issues with coworkers, friends, or family members?

Psychological Type & Temperament describe the patterns underlying how people think and act. By learning about these patterns, we can improve communication and bring better understanding and control to life’s interactions.

20:00 | Princess Bride Quote-Along | Josie & Mike | Yosemite
It is inconceivable that you would miss this opportunity to shout out your favorite lines to this movie adaptation of the classic kissing book. Peanuts will be provided if anybody wants one, unless you’re allergic, in which case, prepare to die! Have fun storming the Activities Room and try your hand at some foam swordplay, but don’t get too out of hand, or we’ll most likely kill you in the morning!

21:00 | California Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Pairings | Hospitality | Hospitality
Which wines pair best with which cheeses? Chardonnay and Brie, Cabernet and Cheddar? These are some suggestions, but experiment and discover your own favorite matches. More interested in a sweeter pairing? Try matching the local wines with different chocolates to enhance their flavor. California wines, assorted cheeses, cured meats and dark chocolates will be on offer. Non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider will be available as well.

21:15 | The Un-MBA | Marty Nemko | Trinity
Street-fighter yet ethical ideas for how to succeed in business.

22:00 | Hungry, Hungry Humans | Josie & Mike | Yosemite
It’s time for a raucous live-action version of the classic game, Hungry, Hungry Hippos.Compete in teams of two, or just come to watch and laugh. The hilarity is infectious with this one!

22:30 | Intro to Pen and Paper Role Playing Games | Alan Alpert | Coastal
This is a repeat of the previous RPG session. The same scenario will be played again by a new group of players.

23:00 | Werewolves | Josie & Mike | Yosemite
Compete against your fellow Mensans in this classic bluffing game where you might be a deadly werewolf or a bloodthirsty villager. Try to figure out who is lying and who is telling the truth before your side bites it!

Sunday, November 20th

9:00 | Hike to Ulistac Natural Area | Roberta Maguire | Lobby
Join us on a five mile hike to an oasis amid the high tech. Ulistac Natural Area, on the site of an original Ohlone Indian settlement, offers forty acres of trails highlighting the seven native habitats of California.

9:00 | Current Hot Topics in Bioethics | Rita Charles | Tahoe
1) Furor over Drug Prices Puts Patient Advocacy Groups in a Bind: the rising price of the allergy treatment EpiPen 2) Swedish Designer Babies: baby born with DNA from three people 3)Mouse Eggs Made From Skin Cells in a Dish 4)Current Status of California’s Right to Die Laws

9:00 | Victorian Paper House | Mike Borg | Yosemite
Join architecture nerd Mike Borg as you build Victorian houses out of paper and swap stories about your favorite buildings.

11:00 | Language & Identity in a Geopolitical Hotspot: Ukr | Asya Pereltsvaig | Tahoe
Since 2014, Ukraine has been entangled in a conflict with Russia, which cost over 8,000 lives and caused a humanitarian crisis. This conflict has been presented by Russian and Western media as being about language and ethnic identity. Putin claimed to protect “Russians” who live in the Donbas region. Western media spoke of “two Ukraines”: the nationalistic, pro-Europe west and the pro-Russian east. Political leanings, as indicated by the voting patterns since 2002, support this virtual divide. But as I show in this talk, the ethnolinguistic landscape of Ukraine is far more complex and language is an outcome rather than a cause of the conflict

13:15 | Winchester Mystery House | Mike Borg | Meet in lobby
See tours for more information, additional charge