If you’re looking for love in February, then you’re in the right place. Mid-America Mensa (MAM) members love having good food, health, and interesting conversations with other MAM members as well as other people in general. Among all of the new and interesting things happening around Mid-America Mensa in February are a review of (and look ahead to) the Ad Astra Mensa meeting via Zoom; plus, Ethnic Eats and more about this year’s Mensa Foundation scholarship essay contest are featured.

On January 11th, Ad Astra Mensa (Topeka, Lawrence, and environs) met virtually via Zoom. Topics of discussion included the assault on the U.S. Capitol, the news media, the meaning of truth, the importance of seeing other people’s points of view, whether there is an objective reality, walking a mile in the other person’s moccasins, the Covid-19 pandemic and how people are coping with it, use of face masks and face shields, the manipulation and reliability of data, family, and the holidays. Long-time Topeka Mensan Dr. Irving Cohen announced forthcoming publication of his latest book, Fighting Covid-19: The Unequal Opportunity Killer. Advance orders of the book are being handled through a GoFundMe campaign with a copy mailed as soon as available (3-4 weeks) for a $20 donation. That URL is: https://www.gofundme.com/producing-dr-cohens-book-on-fighting-covid19. Ad Astra Mensa will meet again virtually via Zoom on Monday, February 8th at 7:00 pm.

Also, in January, MAM members zoomed in to celebrate the New Year and winter season with a span of soups circling the globe; for example: a Thai basil soup from Whole Foods, Vietnam Cafe’s Pho Do Bien, a gumbo from Southern Kitchen, and a farm-style tomato soup partnered with grilled cheese sandwiches cut in more or less mathematically accurate triangles. Because February and Valentine’s Day go together, we’ll think of Valentine-style dishes from the various ethnic cultures we enjoy. Ethnic Eats will meet again next via Zoom on Saturday, February 13th at 1:00 pm. MAM members: Look for the details for this event in the February Mension.

Finally, in February, our scholarship judges will be busily scoring every applicant’s 550-word goal statement. Judging involves reading essays submitted by scholarship applicants and scoring them with points to determine the winners. For those who may be participating in this Mensa activity, remember: “It’s not just about rhetoric, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The judges look for evidence of capability, determination, and that all-important grit that scholars will need in tough times.” (RVC7 Rich Olcott) Judges may judge at either the local or regional level but may not do both in the same region. Good luck to all!