SFRM RG 2021 PROGRAM

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The program is for the most part in place but talks may still be subject to change.

Game Room

Formal Game Room open until Midnight. After Midnight, games can be played in hospitality. Games available include Scrabble, chess, backgammon, Encore, Clue, Yahtzee, Boggle, Blokus, Mensa Connections, Poker, ìSetî, Palabra, Uno, Dominoes, Cribbage, bridge, Parcheesi, Clue and many others.

Jigsaw Puzzles

We’ll always have a picture puzzle started. Drop into the game room and add a few pieces.

Legend

(A), (D), (E) are speaker rooms,
(K) is activities room,
(L) is games room and
(M) is debate room.

FRIDAY 21, 2021

 

 

4:00-5:15 | Findings from the 90+ Study (A) | What was in those Affidavits? A Linguist Examines Claims of Election Fraud (D) | TBD (E) | Shark Origami (K) | “Set" Game (L) | Debate Room: Separation of School & State? (M)

 

Findings from the 90+ Study   |    Dr. Elna Tymes    |    Room: A

What factors are involved in living to age 90 or older? Does drinking alcohol help or hinder longevity? What about coffee? Are there lifestyle factors that seem to be associated with a longer lifes span? Aren’t people over 90 more likely to have Alzheimer ‘s or another dementia? A UC Irvine professor heads an ongoing study that has followed the lives of some 1600 nonagerians from southern California for more than a decade with visits every six months.

Elna Tymes started giving talks to Mensa audiences at an Asilomar gathering many years ago. She has been presenting at RGs and AGs for over 20 years, mostly about various aspects of seniors and aging, the brain, memory, and Alzheimer’s and other dementias.  She’s been every officer of SFRM except treasurer.

 

What was in those Affidavits? A Linguist Examines Claims of Election Fraud   |    Joe Devney    |   Room: D

Following the US presidential election in 2020, the Trump campaign filed dozens of lawsuits across the country contesting the results. One lawsuit in particular received a lot of publicity. The plaintiff’s spokespeople repeatedly touted their 234 pages of affidavits that would prove their case in court in Michigan.
The lawsuit never went to trial—it was withdrawn within days. Still, it is interesting to examine the evidence that would have been presented: the affidavits. This talk will go beyond the basic legal question of whether these witness statements provide evidence of election fraud, and discuss what can be gleaned from the language of the affidavits about the writers or about how they were produced. Is the testimony consistent? Why are several passages repeated in multiple affidavits?

Joe is a long-time Mensa member Joseph Devney has a master’s degree in Linguistics, and formal training in forensic linguistics. He has given presentations to lawyers and to non-specialists about the field. He has also delivered papers to forensic linguistics conferences in the U.S., Portugal, the Netherlands, and China.

 

TBD   |    TBD   |     Room: E

TBD

 

Shark Origami   |   Activities   |   Room: K 

TBD

 

“Set” Game    |   Jim Lewis & Barbara Lytle   |   Room: L 

A Mensa award-winning mind game.  Twelve cards are dealt from a deck, on the table face up.  The cards have four features, color, symbol, shading and number.  A “set” consists of three cards on which each feature is either the same on all the cards, or different on all the cards.  Easy, right?  So easy you’re sure to pick out a “set” before your opponent.  You can learn it in two minutes, so come and demonstrate your mental agility.  Drop in or drop out as the spirit moves you.

 

Debate Room: Separation of School & State?   |   Jeff Fisher  |   Room: M

Thought-provoking questions about Separation of School & State? Is there something special about educating children that necessitates government ownership and operation of schools? How do we justify government control over curriculum and textbooks? Do education policies influence future voters? Does government’s current involvement fit with our notions of a free society? Or, should we treat education the same way we treat religion and freedom of the press: something so important that government shouldn’t touch it? What examples from history can inform us? Debate Room is a series of moderated, roundtable discussions, often on incendiary topics. It is NOT a shouting match! On the contrary, Debate Room tracks at various AGs and RGs have proven able to achieve a virtually pure signal-to-noise ratio even in rooms full of polarized Mensans. Understanding has been increased, and although strong views may not have been greatly changed, they have been refined while neutrals have become better informed.

Jeff Fisher created the Debate Room SIG in 2012 to preserve and promote Matt Cooper’s discussion format that was so successful at the Reno AG that year. The SIG has supplied several RGs and put on a Debate Room track at every US AG since.

5:30-6:30 | Wine and Cheese Reception | Patio
6:30-7:30 | Buy Your Own Dinner Break
8:00-9:15 | How To Do Your Own Satellite Mission (A) | Who Tells Your Story? You Should (D) | TBD (E) | Sardines and Throw, Throw, Burrito! / Avocado (K) | David and Goliath Game (L) | Debate Room: The Gig Economy (M)

 

How To Do Your Own Satellite Mission   |   Adrian Tymes    |   Room: A 

In this talk, Adrian Tymes will walk the audience through a high level view of how to build, get launched, and operate their own satellite. The talk will center around a hypothetical “EgoSat” design, chosen to be a minimum viable satellite mission. No technical competence is assumed, but following through on the suggested program will require (among other technical feats) getting a FCC amateur radio license.

Adrian Tymes is a jack of all trades and master of some, having worked in fields from IT to nanotech to biotech and beyond.  He is CEO and founder of CubeCab, which is aiming to democratize space by developing a launch vehicle dedicated to small satellites, as they currently have to make do with whatever launch opportunities they can find.Day: FRIDAY 

 

Who Tells Your Story? You Should   |    Karin Jones   |    Room: D

We all have a story to tell. Putting it writing and making it accessible to those who want to read it can be a challenge. This session presents a way to proceed in a systematic, organized manner that can help you get started. There is also an opportunity for regular follow-up to keep you on track to finish. This can be used to tell your own story or those of your parents and grandparents. Just half an hour to one hour per week is all it takes. Get a jumpstart here in this session.

Karin is the designated Keeper of the Memories and Photos for her family and retired Special Educator. As an Ambassador for Forever.com, she is helping others tell the stories of their parents and grandparents as well. She is a member of Mensa Hawaii.

 

TBD   |    TBD   |    Room: E

TBD

 

Active Games: Sardines and Throw, Throw, Burrito!/ Avocado   |   Activities   |   Room: K 

We have two copies of the dodgeball-inspired card game, Throw, Throw, Burrito! (by the creator of The Oatmeal ​ webcomic). This game is very fun and requires quick thinking and quick movement, and will take place entirely within the Activities Room. Join us!

 

David and Goliath Game   |   Jim Lewis & Barbara Lytle   |    Room: L

A simple card game, until you try to come up with a strategy that works.

 

Debate Room: The Gig Economy    |   Jeff Fisher   |    Room: M

Thought-provoking questions about The Gig Economy Can adults in a free society be trusted to choose mode of employment for themselves, or should experts in government deny us the option to be contractors and force us to become highly regulated employees, even if that means we become unemployed instead? Who is really being helped, and who is hurt when government butts in? Debate Room is a series of moderated, roundtable discussions, often on incendiary topics. It is NOT a shouting match! On the contrary, Debate Room tracks at various AGs and RGs have proven able to achieve a virtually pure signal-to-noise ratio even in rooms full of polarized Mensans. Understanding has been increased, and although strong views may not have been greatly changed, they have been refined while neutrals have become better informed.

Jeff Fisher created the Debate Room SIG in 2012 to preserve and promote Matt Cooper’s discussion format that was so successful at the Reno AG that year. The SIG has supplied several RGs and put on a Debate Room track at every US AG since.

9:30-11:30 | Pandemic People: Understanding Trauma in the Age of Identity (A) | Movie: Jaws (D) | The Post? COVID Joke-Off (E) | Open Play: Mega Jenga; Adult Coloring Books (K) | Time's Up! Game (L) | Debate Room: Genetically Modified Organisms (M)

Pandemic People: Understanding Trauma in the Age of Identity    |     Gabriel Bellman    |    Room: A

Drawing on current and historical pandemics, this engaging talk will draw on personal and historical narratives of living through fires, floods, pandemics and volcanos to shape how transformative events can help us create more meaningful societies and how to capture the best parts of them in our daily lives.

Gabriel Leif Bellman helped launch the ‘True Life’ series at MTV.   He has directed several successful documentary films, and is the co-founder of the Frozen Film Festival. He has had two feature operas performed at Juilliard and by NYC Opera and   has spoken on the “Future of New Media and Narratives.”  He is a founding regular of Omnibucket’s Action Fiction and he has performed regularly at SF’s LitQuake.  His short plays have been performed by SF’s “Music Scene,” “Theater Pub,” and “Pint Sized Plays” among others and his full length play “I Like That” had a run at SF Piano Fight in 2015.  He is an attorney and mediator in San Francisco.

Movie: Jaws   |     Room: D

Come in your favorite shark onesie (suggested attire just for fun).

The Post? COVID Joke-Off   |   Pete Antoniak   |   Room: E 

Bring your favorite jokes. Awards will be made for the best by category.   We will try to entertain and educate.  In as much as no jokes are off-limits,  probably not for children.

Pete is a long time MENSA Member from San Bruno.  A Civil and Environmental Engineer, a retired Naval Commander and currently President of EdUGames.com.  He has led over a dozen Joke-Off over the years.

Open Play: Mega Jenga; Adult Coloring Books    |   Activities   |   Room: K 

Come play a large-format game, or color a page in an adult coloring book.

 

Time’s Up! Game  |   Jim Lewis & Barbara Lytle   |   Room: L 

A fast-paced game of giving and picking up on clues. The same set of famous names is used for each of three rounds. In each round, one  member of a team tries to get his teammates to guess as many names as  possible in 30 seconds.  In round 1, almost any kind of clue is allowed. In round 2 no more than one word can be used in each clue (but unlimited sounds and  gestures are  permitted). In round 3, no words are allowed at all, only sounds and gestures.

Debate Room: Genetically Modified Organisms   |   Jeff Fisher   |   Room: M 

Thought-provoking questions about Genetically Modified Organisms Abomination or miracle – Is the future of food golden-rice good or franken-food evil? Can GMO tech improve the environment by reducing pesticide use, or does it threaten our very existence? If we don’t trust GMO food, then what about fiber, timber and fermentation? And even beyond that – Can we (should we) modify mosquitoes to block diseases? Debate Room is a series of moderated, roundtable discussions, often on incendiary topics. It is NOT a shouting match! On the contrary, Debate Room tracks at various AGs and RGs have proven able to achieve a virtually pure signal-to-noise ratio even in rooms full of polarized Mensans. Understanding has been increased, and although strong views may not have been greatly changed, they have been refined while neutrals have become better informed.

Jeff Fisher created the Debate Room SIG in 2012 to preserve and promote Matt Cooper’s discussion format that was so successful at the Reno AG that year. The SIG has supplied several RGs and put on a Debate Room track at every US AG since.

SATURDAY 21, 2021

9:00-10:15 | The German Jewish Exodus (A) | 5 Love Languages (D) | Quantum Blockchains (E) | Debate Room: Copyright & Patent Rules (M)

 

The German Jewish Exodus   |   Bernie Unger   |   Room: A

Bernie Unger is a child of the holocaust. Both of his parents immigrated independently from Germany to the United States in a modern day Exodus that is full of peril, impossible plot twists and serendipity. World economic and political backdrop will be covered to show how decisions made in Washington, London, Berlin and elsewhere translated into actual events in the narratives.

Bernie joined Mensa in 1966. He’s a Caltech and UCSB graduate, now retired with his wife Judy in Discovery Bay, CA after a career in Chemical Engineering. He now spends his time trying hard to keep the boat docked in his backyard running and sea-worthy, all made possible because of events described in this presentation.

 

5 Love Languages   |   H. Stanley Jones   |   Room: D

The five love languages are different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Not everyone communicates love in the same way, and likewise, people have different ways they prefer to receive love. The concept was developed by Gary Chapman, Ph.D.

Stan graduated from UCLA and USC. He was born in Decatur, Illinois and moved to California. He later moved to Hawaii in 1999. He is a CPA, Cert Assoc Exec and Cert Speaking Prof. He enjoys genealogy and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Stan married Karin in September 2019. He has a daughter and two sons, six grandchildren and currently, eight great-grandkids.

 

Quantum Blockchains   |   Dr. Melanie Swan   |   Room: E

This talk provides an introduction to quantum computing, blockchains, and future-class markets applications such as Born machines, quantum walks, and Lightning Network payment channels. Quantum computing offers a more scalable energy-efficient platform than classical computing and supercomputing, and corresponds more naturally to the three-dimensional structure of atomic reality. Blockchains are a decentralized digital economic system made possible by the 24-7 global nature of the internet.

Dr. Melanie Swan is a Research Associate at University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies. She has a PhD from Purdue University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy, Blockchain Economics, Quantum Computing, and Quantum Computing for the Brain.

 

Debate Room: Copyright & Patent Rules   |   Jeff Fisher   |   Room: M

Thought-provoking questions about Copyright & Patent Rules Should researchers be able to “patent DNA” (and what does that mean anyway)? Does American culture gain anything from granting Disney lifetime + 75 years protection for a cartoon mouse that had already been created? Is it okay for software patents to lay claims to functions that are then left to “a programmer of ordinary ability” to build later? How should IP policies be changed? Better yet, can you articulate a vision/mission statement for copyrights and/or patents that can act as an organizing principle for “good” IP policy? Debate Room is a series of moderated, roundtable discussions, often on incendiary topics. It is NOT a shouting match! On the contrary, Debate Room tracks at various AGs and RGs have proven able to achieve a virtually pure signal-to-noise ratio even in rooms full of polarized Mensans. Understanding has been increased, and although strong views may not have been greatly changed, they have been refined while neutrals have become better informed.

Jeff Fisher created the Debate Room SIG in 2012 to preserve and promote Matt Cooper’s discussion format that was so successful at the Reno AG that year. The SIG has supplied several RGs and put on a Debate Room track at every US AG since.

9:30-11:30 | Mensa Admissions Test

9:30 – 11:30   |    Mensa Admission Test    |    Room: Carmel

Non-members are invited to take the proctored Mensa 
Admissions Test to qualify for Mensa membership.

 

10:30-11:45 | TBD (A) | If You've Long Been Unwanted (D) | How Stem Cell & Gene Therapy are Changing the Face of Medicine (E) | Neurographic Drawing (K) | Wise and Otherwise Game (L) | Debate Room: Close a Department! (M)

 

TBD – Science Students   |   Gary Koerzendorfer   |   Room: A

TBD

 

If You’ve Long Been Unwanted   |   Marty Nemko   |   Room: D

Whether professionally or personally, some people are usually rejected or ignored. This session will discuss approaches both to change and to acceptance.Marty is Career and personal coach, long-time columnist in the Intelligencer and presenter at the RG.

 

How Stem Cell & Gene Therapy are Changing the Face of Medicine   |   Kevin McCormack   |   Room: E

For years people have talked about the promise or regenerative medicine but increasingly now we are talking about the reality of regenerative medicine. New approaches are helping cure diseases and disorders that were once untreatable. And California is at the center of this research. We’ll see real life examples of people whose lives have been changed, whose lives have been saved by these new therapies and explore what the future holds.

In 2004 and again in 2020 California voters approved ballot propositions that first created and then refunded CIRM (the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine), California’s Stem Cell Agency. With more than $5 billion available to fund research California has become a global leader in stem cell research.

Kevin McCormack is the communications director at CIRM. He considers himself to be the official translator for the agency, working to turn complex language about equally complex science into everyday English that anyone can understand. Before joining the agency he spent more than 20 years working as a journalist, most of that in TV news here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

Neurographic Drawing   |   Activities   |   Room: K

TBD

 

Wise and Otherwise Game   |   Jim Lewis & Barbara Lytle  |   Room: L

The first part of an actual but little known saying (one of 2500 from around the world) is provided to the players. Then, with a little wit and imagination, each player composes an ending to go with the beginning. Players then try to figure out which one of the submitted “sayings” is the real one. For example, how would you complete the old Irish saying: “It’s not easy to put pants on….”

 

Debate Room: Close a Department!   |   Jeff Fisher   |   Room: M

Thought-provoking questions about Close a Department! From time to time, attention-seeking politicians talk about closing one or more cabinet level departments, but they usually have trouble naming names and giving details. We Mensans don’t have any special interests to brown-nose, so let’s name some names and hash some details. What department would you close? (and why?) Is there an odd agency or office there worth salvaging? What would you do with it? And if someone else’s target is a department you’d keep, then how do you justify it? What’s its Constitutional source of power? Debate Room is a series of moderated, roundtable discussions, often on incendiary topics. It is NOT a shouting match! On the contrary, Debate Room tracks at various AGs and RGs have proven able to achieve a virtually pure signal-to-noise ratio even in rooms full of polarized Mensans. Understanding has been increased, and although strong views may not have been greatly changed, they have been refined while neutrals have become better informed. 

Jeff Fisher created the Debate Room SIG in 2012 to preserve and promote Matt Cooper’s discussion format that was so successful at the Reno AG that year. The SIG has supplied several RGs and put on a Debate Room track at every US AG since.

3:00-4:15 | Ask not what AI Ethicists can do for you... (A) | Gonzo Trivia (D) | Beginning Bee Keeping (E) | Live-Action Battleship: Pirates and Sharks edition! (K) | Debate Room: Alt History (M)

 

Ask not what AI Ethicists can do for you…   |   Masheika E. Allgood   |   Room: A

We’ve all seen the headlines of AI gone horribly, horribly wrong. There are books, presentations, even movies on AI ethics and the danger of biases in AI systems. But you’re not a data scientist, what does any of this have to do with you? We desperately need more people of different backgrounds and lived experiences to participate in the decision-making if we want to avoid the dystopian future we’re currently building. Come learn about the conversation on AI and its role in society.

Masheika Allgood is an AI Ethicist and the founder of AllAI Consulting, LLC, a platform for providing AI education across various industries to people with non-tech and non-AI backgrounds. Masheika holds an LL.M in Litigation and Dispute Resolution from George Washington University, a JD from Florida State University, and a Masters in International Business from FIU.

 

EXTRA LONG SESSION: Gonzo Trivia   |   Mark Jackman and Katie To   |   Room: D

Our popular Gonzo Trivia! returns, with its usual potpourri ofdevilishly difficult questions. Gonzo Trivia! bears a striking resemblance to regular general-knowledge trivia, but over 70% more Gonzo! These are pro-grade trivia questions that are challenging, interesting, and even enlightening, with answers that make you go “Ah!”Hosted with a classic gameshow vibe by Mark Jackman and his trusty Vanna (Katie To), the scoring awards more points when you know things that others do not. Come as a team, or come as you are and we’ll place you with a team as they form.

 

TBD Beginning Bee Keeping   |   John Mein   |   Room: E

TBD

 

Live-Action Battleship: Pirates and Sharks edition!   |   Activities   |   Room: K

We will build mini catapults and paper boats that we will float in small tubs of water. Load the catapults with marbles or wads of paper and shoot them at the boats to try to sink them. If successful, cries of, “You sunk my battleship!” will be heard around the room. Possible addition of remote-controlled shark in the water tubs to add chaos!

 

Debate Room: Alt History   |   Jeff Fisher   |   Room: M

Thought-provoking questions about Alt History Reach back in time to change one tiny thing to cause a cascade of big changes… The objective in this session is to produce the greatest positive effect (however you define “positive”) using the most subtle, single almost unnoticed tweak in the time stream. What’s your butterfly, and why? Debate Room is a series of moderated, roundtable discussions, often on incendiary topics. It is NOT a shouting match! On the contrary, Debate Room tracks at various AGs and RGs have proven able to achieve a virtually pure signal-to-noise ratio even in rooms full of polarized Mensans. Understanding has been increased, and although strong views may not have been greatly changed, they have been refined while neutrals have become better informed. If interested in proposing topics for future gatherings, please join the Debate Room SIG (groups.io/g/DebateRoom).

Jeff Fisher created the Debate Room SIG in 2012 to preserve and promote Matt Cooper’s discussion format that was so successful at the Reno AG that year. The SIG has supplied several RGs and put on a Debate Room track at every US AG since.

11:45-1:30 | Lunch | Banquet Room
1:30-2:45 | History of Chocolate (and Tasting) (A) | Astronomical! Distances and sizes in the universe (D) | Celestial Navigation - How it works (E) | Dry-land "Shark-Polo" (K) | Debate Room: Climate Change Solutions (M)

 

History of Chocolate (and Tasting)   |   Michael Eager   |   Room: A

Chocolate is one of the world’s favorite foods. Along with its rich flavor, it also has a rich history, starting as a bitter beverage for kings in Central America, to a Spanish state secret and the drink of the wealthy, to a variety of bars. Mike will discuss the history, manufacture, and appreciation of chocolate, along with a tasting of a variety of domestic and international chocolate bars.

Mike first started presenting chocolate tastings at the Wine Country RG in 1984 and has presented at most SFRM RGs and at several AGs. Lately, he’s been trying to perfect a recipe for chocolate ice cream, after creating an outstanding non-dairy chocolate gelato. He has a drawer full of both domestic and exotic chocolate. He’s also active in Mensa.

 

Astronomical! Distances and sizes in the universe   |   Edmund Pieret   |   Room: D

A brief overview of the sizes of objects and the distances between them in the universe – truly astronomical numbers

 

Celestial Navigation – How it works   |   Bruce Rowe   |   Room: E

In a former life, I went to sea, professionally. One of the most common questions I got on shore was, “How do you guys know where you are? There’s nothing around you except waves and sky.” The answer is a little complicated. It took humanity about 2000 years to figure it out. But, it is something everyone can understand.

Bruce went to sea for 20 years of his life, doing navigation. He started out on a tuna boat and worked on oceanographic research vessels, bulk carriers, containerships and tankers. He has also sailed extensively on a variety of small boats. A recent trip went from San Francisco Bay to Oahu and back

 

Dry-land “Shark-Polo”   |   Activities   |   Room: K

TBD

 

Debate Room: Climate Change Solutions   |   Jeff Fisher   |   Room: M

Thought-provoking questions about Climate Change Solutions Leaving aside the science claims and political realities — Let’s brainstorm all manner of solutions, from new energy sources to CO2 mitigation to coping. Get your futurism geek on to discuss the pros and cons of geo-engineering, alternative energy sources, changing behavior, legal/regulatory incentives etc. Debate Room is a series of moderated, roundtable discussions, often on incendiary topics. It is NOT a shouting match! On the contrary, Debate Room tracks at various AGs and RGs have proven able to achieve a virtually pure signal-to-noise ratio even in rooms full of polarized Mensans. Understanding has been increased, and although strong views may not have been greatly changed, they have been refined while neutrals have become better informed.

Jeff Fisher created the Debate Room SIG in 2012 to preserve and promote Matt Cooper’s discussion format that was so successful at the Reno AG that year. The SIG has supplied several RGs and put on a Debate Room track at every US AG since.

4:30-5:45 | Hunting for ET (A) | Art Tunes (E) | Paint Night with Josie Burton (K) | Debate Room: What should everyone learn by the end of high school? (M)

 

Hunting for ET   |   Seth Shostak   |   Room: A

It has been nearly 60 years since the first attempt to find radio signals that would betray the existence of intelligent beings beyond Earth. So far, nothing has been heard. Why? Could it be that we simply need to give these experiments more time? Or should we put more emphasis on other strategies? We discuss the fundamental assumptions that underlie our current SETI searches, and how we might lessen their inherent limitations. What else should we be doing to look for E.T?

Seth Shostak is Senior Astronomer and Institute Fellow at the SETI Institute. With degrees in physics and astronomy, he has a long history of research in radio astronomy and in SETI. He has authored 4 books and written 600 popular articles on science and technology, and hosts the weekly science radio show/podcast “Big Picture Science.”

 

Art Tunes   |   Betty Hass and artists  |   Room: E

A combination art and music presentation. Art inspired by music and music inspired by art. Artists: Lisa Cooke, Isy Cooke, Ian Fink, and Betty Hass. Musicians: Michael Cooke, Michael Maher, and Marty Nemko. Hosted by Betty Hass.

Betty Hass is the editor of the San Francisco Regional Mensa newsletter, “Intelligencer”. She is an artist and cartoonist. Her “Smart Alec” cartoons are published in 30 Mensa newsletters all across the country. This will be her second presentation of “Art Tunes” at an SFRM RG.

 

Paint Night: Victorian Mansions   |   Activities   |   Room: K

Okay, it’s not actually nighttime, but Art teacher Josie Burton will lead you through the process of creating a lovely painting. We will be working in oil pastel and watercolor, inspired by the cakes
 and confections of Bay Area artist Wayne Thiebaud. No prior art experience is required, but this is recommended for people ages 12 and up. And feel free to bring a beverage of your choice as 
long as it has a lid. Space is limited, so come early!

 

Debate Room: What should everyone learn by the end of high school?   |   Jeff Fisher   |   Room: M

Thought-provoking questions about What should everyone learn by the end of high school? In addition to reading, writing, ‘rithmatic and all the “I’ll never need this” academic lessons taught in school, what should be included to prepare students for life and civic participation? A little psychology to navigate dating and courtship? Parenting? How to read a contract? Investing? How to start a small business? How to self-diagnose common ailments (and when to dial 911)? How to navigate common bureaucracy (e.g. benefits)? Applying and interviewing for a job? Enough economics to see through bad campaign promises? Debate Room is a series of moderated, roundtable discussions, often on incendiary topics. It is NOT a shouting match! On the contrary, Debate Room tracks at various AGs and RGs have proven able to achieve a virtually pure signal-to-noise ratio even in rooms full of polarized Mensans. Understanding has been increased, and although strong views may not have been greatly changed, they have been refined while neutrals have become better informed.

Jeff Fisher created the Debate Room SIG in 2012 to preserve and promote Matt Cooper’s discussion format that was so successful at the Reno AG that year. The SIG has supplied several RGs and put on a Debate Room track at every US AG since.

5:45 - 6:45. | Prepaid Dinner | Banquet Room
KEYNOTE | 7:00-8:00 | How the Mythic Origins of Silicon Valley can save the Bay Area’s Future | Banquet Room

How the Mythic Origins of Silicon Valley can save the Bay Area’s Future    |   Paul Saffo   |   Banquet Room

Why does Silicon Valley produce one revolution after another? Conventional wisdom credits big visions, great management, and a history of success. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Silicon Valley’s unique edge is built on the rubble of failure, poor management, and a crucial third ingredient – myth. Myth is the hidden force behind the success of Silicon Valley. Moreover, myth is the single most important factor in ensuring the continued success of our region. And it turns out that the mother myth that matters most is far older than you would ever guess…

Paul Saffo is a Silicon Valley-based forecaster who helps corporate and governmental clients understand and respond to the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. He teaches at Stanford where he is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Engineering and is Chair of Future Studies at Singularity University. Paul is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University

8:30-10:15 | Great Women Of Jazz (A) | Movie: Winchester (D) | Joke Off (E) | The Werewolves of Rohnert Park (K) | Taboo Game (L)

 

Great Women Of Jazz   |   Suzanne Brooks   |   Room: A

The old saying, it’s a man’s world,” has been true in the history of the jazz world. Opportunities for women as instrumentalists were few. Encouragement was limited. Those women who became stars in the world of jazz were usually vocalists. It isn’t that women couldn’t blow a horn or lead a band, society just resisted it. So women took the avenue open to them–vocalization–and excelled at it.

Despite their powerful influence on the world of music, the names of many fantastic women jazz singers remain largely unknown. Their significant contributions–compositions and recordings-largely went unknown. This presentation, “Great Women of Jazz,” was conceived and developed to present a collection of vocalists and some of the songs for which they were noted in the context of the evolving forms of jazz, from its earliest beginnings to the 1990s–a century of vocal music which encouraged and assisted social progress for jazz and for women.

Our presentations and accompanying narrative are not intended as imitations, but rather as representations in the context of the times and lives that led to the evolution of the music. This show is dedicated to those great women vocalists who created and shaped the genre and to
whom we owe a great musical debt.

Suzanne Brooks, Singer/Speaker: multi-lingual vocalist, songwriter and literary writer/speaker; hula dancer; The Jazz Generation band was established as a multi-ethnic, multi-generational band in 2003.
Charlesetta Stalling, Narrator: Co-Director, Total Communication;
WomenWorldCulture Educational Programs Director,

Musicians of The Jazz Generation:
Chris Lee; Sam Berns; Scott Welsh; Carmelo Farruggia

Movie: Winchester   |   Room: D

Come in your favorite Victorian attire to Winchester (suggested attire just for fun).

 

Joke Off   |   Ed Marshall   |   Room: E

All attendees are invited to come and share their jokes and humorous anecdotes. Racist, homophobic, and sexist material is discouraged. Blonde jokes are okay. Last time was a lot of fun, let’s have even more!”.Ed is a life time member of Mensa, lives in Marin and has happily presided over SFRM RG Joke Offs.

 

The Werewolves of Rohnert Park   |    Activities   |   Room: K

TBD

 

Taboo Game   |   Jim Lewis & Barbara Lytle  |   Room: L

It’s like the old TV game show Password on methamphetamines.

10:30-0:00 | Lightning Talks (D) | Karaoke (E) | Open Play: Mega Jenga; Adult Coloring Books (K) | Oh Hell! Game (L)

 

Lightning Talks   |   Andy Lampenfeld   |   Room: D

This is your chance to share your thoughts with a guaranteed-intelligent audience! 
A Lightning Talk is brief (like lightning), but not too brief to make a good point — or 
several good points, if that’s your intention. Each speaker will have up to 5 minutes 
to be serious, funny, silly, exciting, trivial, or “over the top”. For those wishing to 
give a Lightning Talk, a sign-up sheet will be available at Registration and Hospitality, 
as well as at the event itself.

Andy Lampenfeld is a longtime member of Mensa, and likes to talk.

 

Karaoke (1,000 songs)  |   Neil Harris   |    Room: E

Come and sing (solo, duet, sing along, or just listen.)
Mainly 60s Rock and Roll. I’ll also have some folk music and standards, and best songs from the
70s, 80s, 90s,and 2,000s. Bring your voice and have some fun.

 

Open Play: Mega Jenga; Adult Coloring Books   |   Activities   |   Room: K

Come play a large-format game, or color a page in an adult coloring book.

 

Oh Hell! Game   |   Jim Lewis & Barbara Lytle  |   Room: L

A strategy card game where sticking it to your opponents is half the fun! Very easy to learn, 3 to 20 players can participate. Play it for a while, and when the cards don’t go your way, you’ll find yourself saying “Oh Hell!”

SUNDAY 22, 2021

9:30-10:45 | A Taste of Ballroom: Rocking my World (A) | The Quillen Trilogy (D) | Current Hot Topics in Bioethics (E) | Scattergories (L)

 

A Taste of Ballroom: Rocking my World   |   Martin J. Grosz (馬田霆)   |   Room: A

What does it feel like to dance a Rumba? How is it different from dancing Salsa or East Coast Swing? Join me in some dancing, to find out. We will dance a few styles, using short sequences of foot movements, called patterns. The event is for people who have never danced, can walk quickly, and know: right, left, forward, backward, etc.  The class is progressive. If you arrive late, please enjoy watching from the side of the room.  The Bay Area has a wealth of opportunities to learn more dancing.

Martin (馬田霆) is a social ballroom dancer, performer, and teacher. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

 

The Quillen Trilogy    |   Jacquie Gentry   |   Room: D

Life member Jacquie Gentry discusses her three mystery novels and answers questions about writing, etc

Jacquie Gentry (pen name J.E. Gentry) is a life member of Mensa. After years as an English teacher, she became a lawyer and law professor. She has traveled extensively and now lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is somewhat like her central character, Clara Quillen, but in the books Clara is better looking, nicer, younger, and much wealthier.

 

Current Hot Topics in Bioethics   |   Rita Charles   |   Room: E

Focus will be on the ethical, legal, and social dimensions of current research and bioethical considerations currently in the news. Current Federal guidelines attacking Science, the new CRISPR Cas9 technology, the Theranos scandal, chimeric animals, and the move to safely translate research into human applications.  We will briefly discuss several of these topics to further discussion and debate.

Rita Charles holds degrees in Law, Immunology Biological Anthropology and Molecular Biology. Dr. Charles authored “American Indian Medicine” and founded LAWGENE. Currently she is involved in Biomedical Ethics, works in Biotechnology and the application pf Law, Genetics and Medicine to Global Health Development.

 

Scattergories   |   Jim Lewis & Barbara Lytle  |   Room: L

Right off the top of your head, name a restaurant, fruit, toy, Halloween costume, and weapon. And make sure they all begin with the same letter. If “C” is the letter, you might answer Chinese, Cantaloupe, Cap Gun, Clown, and Catapult. But be unique. If your response is the same as an opponent’s, you score nothing!

11:00-11:45 | Prepaid Brunch | Banquet Room
KEYNOTE | 11:45-1:00 | Why America Needs More Than Two Political Parties | Banquet Room

 

Why America Needs More Than Two Political Parties   |   Dan Schnur   |   Banquet Room

In the 21st century, we no longer rely on three television networks or five buttons on the car radio. So why are we stuck with only two major political parties, both of which are increasingly inadequate to meet the needs of a changing economy and society? Join Dan Schnur, senior advisor to the California Common Sense Party, for a discussion on why our state and nation would benefit from a new alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.

Dan Schnur is a Professor at the University of California – Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Public Policy, and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications, where he teaches courses in politics, communications and leadership. Dan has also taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University and George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.