We closed out May activities with our very first lecture in MAM’s new Theodore Talks series. Dr. John Laudun <johnlaudun.org> gave a very interesting, thorough, and complete discussion of Vernacular Knowledge: Looking for Intelligence in Unexpected Places with his speech based upon the concept of genius loci, or the spirit of a place. He explained how folklore has evolved from a philosophical matter to something more akin to anthropology in its study. We looked at examples of this trend by exploring: 1) the amazing crawfish boat of Louisiana; 2) a country Mardi gras near Mermentau Cove (in Louisiana); and, 3) the pirate and treasure legends which still exist today. He concluded his remarks and storytelling with a very helpful summary and some practical advice. First, folklore opens up our minds and helps us to learn about our place in the world. In this way, storytelling creates community, it gives us a thrill in the acquisition of knowledge, and assists in the documentation of history. Finally, stories have the power to connect all of us and they teach us to practice listening to others. Our oral traditions and the preservation of memories offer a creditable and confident variable for a high level of curiosity and change in our lives.
Ad Astra Mensa Zoom Meeting
Ad Astra Mensa (Topeka, Lawrence, and environs) met virtually via Zoom on Monday, May 10th. Topics discussed included books we have read or plan to read, TV shows we have watched, what else people have been doing, what the new normal is going to be, education, liberal arts, humanities and what “humanities” means to different people, engineering, mathematics, computer science, connections between computer science and musical abilities, connections between computer science and mathematics, people who have both developmental disabilities and phenomenal memories, puns, travel plans, the Bible as literature, the fact that the King James version of the Bible was written by poets, the differences between different versions of the Bible, vaccinations, language, and possible formats for future Ad Astra meetings. If you would like to discuss these topics, or others that interest you, please join us virtually on Monday, June 14th at 7:00 p.m. Look in the June Mension for all of the details about this event.
In June, we are meeting in person. Bonito Michoacan, 1229 E Santa Fe, in Olathe, KS, has an outdoor dining area and we have reservations for six. If more want to attend, we can add to the number, but six-tops is the largest ‘together’ seating. Please RSVP if you’re interested.
Something to look forward to – MAM’s Paul Hough has volunteered to host Games at his home in August. He intends to host four times per year — in August, November, February, and May.