News & Notes

May is another exciting month in which to embrace traditional roots – and, of course, there are May flowers – before other outdoorsy adventures really start to get warming up. In a sense, May is like a goddess (Maia) for all of us to anticipate and to appreciate her natural beauty. Traditionally, one major event in which to participate is graduation (or Commencement) from whichever school you might be attending. Indeed, May is ‘grow time’ so don’t let it slip past you.

Among all the social events happening in May here in Mid-America Mensa land are these following few for members to consider joining in on:

First, Walkabout KC is going to Loose Park on Saturday, May 4th at 11:00 am, for walking through the famous rose garden. As noted earlier in April’s News & Notes, we’ll see if there are any May flowers after a month of showers! Check the May Mension for more details (and the right contact info) about attending this next walkabout event.

Second, Ethnic Eats has a new contact person (Paul) if exploring a wide variety of cuisines and atmospheres is on your plate. What’s next on Paul’s schedule for Ethnic Eats is (hint:) Salvadoran on Saturday, May 11th at 1:00 pm. Check the May Mension for more delectable details (and the right contact info) about attending this next dinner event.

Also, in May, the Full Moon SciFi SIG will explore the Ghost in the Shell franchise. Join in for a bit of Japanese immersion and don’t forget to check out the FullMoonSciFi Yahoo group where you can rub elbows with other alpha-nerds. Check the May Mension for more details (and the right contact info) about attending this extraordinary event.

News & Notes

April is usually a month when we can maybe see what may be just about to happen. April showers bring May flowers, right? This month can be exciting in other ways too if you think about it, and if you are willing and able to look for the beauty coming out all around. Many new opportunities are just about to spring up before us here in Mid-America Mensa.

First, MAM’s walkabout is about walking. If you want to come and get physical with a group of other members, then join us at Roe Park, 10400 Roe Ave. in Overland Park, KS, on Saturday April 6th, 11:00 am. Check out the April Mension for more details (and the right contact info).

Next up, the very first event of MAM’s new Full Moon SciFi SIG (Special Interest Group) will be RiffTrax Live: Octaman. For those who are interested, this event will be at the AMC Town Center 20, 119th & Nall Ave. in Leawood, KS, on April 18th, 7:00 pm.

Tickets are available online at:

Also, seats are filling up fast! We currently have the block of seats from E3 to E8. If you wish to sit near the group then consider getting seats near this block.

Finally, if drinking and enjoying coffee, or rather caffeine, is your thing, then check out the April Mension for more details (and the right contact info) about the Caffeine Crawl. This year’s spring crawl is April 26-28. We’ll be looking for a route to take together on Saturday morning, April 27th. It’ll be a good time!

Climbing SIG News

In order to make our Climbing SIG (Special Interest Group) more accessible to MAM members who may be wanting a ‘higher’ Mensan experience, a one-hour open climbing session is being offered on the 4th Sunday of any month whenever we are climbing at Apex (Overland Park), or this next May and June for instance. There are many technical (and some mental) aspects of climbing we all should learn too; so, if you would like to participate during an hour of free coaching, please contact Mark ([email protected]) ahead of time. Find additional details – like the minimal cost of a day pass and shoe rental – in the March 2019 issue of the Mension.

In addition, following below is a quick summary of the various bouldering grades:

  • VB: Basically, a ladder with large holds.
  • V: Also, a ladder with large holds, just a tad more difficult than a VB. In climbing gyms, it’s typically labeled a VB.
  • V0: A simple climb the uninitiated can do, but it requires some shifting of body weight.
  • V1: Has some complexity, usually you have to figure out the sequence. Still, it is possible to simply muscle up it.
  • V2: Smaller handholds and footholds. Usually it has a crux or two that must be solved. Most V2s can be muscled up, but some cannot.
  • V3: Tricky sequence, difficult balance, foot switching, flexibility demand, or similar issues. Few of these can be muscled up. It is here where you find experienced climbers who climb only occasionally.
  • V4: Think of a V3 that has either much more demanding balance or some holds that are poor. These cannot be muscled up. Here is where most climbers stop their progression. They become V4 climbers and that’s as far as they go.
  • V5: Think of a V4 with poor holds. These are “finger tippy,” pinch grip, or “slopers;” all require a great deal of hand strength and perfect body positioning relative to the hold.
  • V6: Think of a V5 with either worse holds or even more gnarly balance.
  • V7: Think of a V5 with both worse holds and even more gnarly balance.
  • V8: As of this date, V8 is the hardest any of us have ever attempted but we don’t have a clear picture of what makes it a V8.

So, what do you think: Are you interested in gym climbing?