News & Notes

August is a month that still deserves at least some respect. Named for Augustus (the Revered), who was the adopted son of Julius Caesar and the first Roman Emperor, August marks the beginning of the next school year for some of you and it signals what is to come ahead during the ‘-bers’.

First, Mid-America Mensa has won the SAPPHIRE award again this year. Besides marking a high level of service to MAM’s members, this award shows that we are continuing to build MAM’s story, that we are sincerely working well together and we are having fun as a local group, and that we do truly like each other to a significant degree. So, congratulations to Mid-America Mensa for winning an American Mensa Jewel Award in recognition of MAM’s continuing service to our members!

Next, as some of you know, the Ad Astra Mensa group meets at the Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant in Topeka. Recently, they reported discussion of M-related subjects such as: communications with the dead, women’s soccer and pay equity, Great Courses, relative distribution on the intelligence curve of men and women, Yellow Jacket protests in France, pick-pocketing, astrology, Mercury Retrograde, travel, history of Mensa in Topeka, caring for elderly parents, difficulty in communications, computer technology, feminism, sexism, the Bible, David & Goliath, books, what we like about Topeka, personal lives, extraordinary experiences, solar eclipses, grandchildren, conflicts between career and family obligations, Paris, religion, and many other topics.

If you are a Mensan in Topeka, Lawrence, and vicinity, check out the Mension for information regarding a possible meeting in Lawrence, and please contact John with any ideas that you may have about programming so that Ad Astra Mensa could better serve Topeka, Lawrence, and vicinity.

Finally, there seems to be a growing push for more local Mensa family fun. So, join us Saturday, August 17th, from 1 to 3 pm at Kansas City Ice Center,, 19900 Johnson Drive, Shawnee Mission, KS 66218 for a skating event. Look for more details like admission and skate rental rates in the Mension, and please RSVP to indicate your intention of attendance on the Mid America Mensa Facebook group page (see the Event tab):

Q&A: Rob Swenson on Mr. Mensa

Q1/ What was the 2019 Mr. Mensa contest like? Can you describe it to us?

Rob/ The Mr. Mensa contest is a sort of beauty pageant with legs, talent, question, and date auction segments. We had 7 men competing this year, with several doing stand up comedy routines, two singing (including one song as a proposal of marriage), and a sword fighting martial arts demonstration. The judges are women from leadership positions within Mensa as well as a raffle ticket winner and a seat auction winner. This is a fundraiser for the Mensa Foundation, and it raised about $10,000 this year.

Q2/ Have you tried winning other awards and contests? How did you join up with Mensa?

Rob/ I have not done this sort of thing before, but decided to this time. I joined Mensa in 1992 with an admission test at the Plaza Library. [Edited for brevity.]

Last year at the AG in Indianapolis several friends encouraged me to compete this year as we watched the competition.

Q3/ How much of it was based on previous experiences (talent) and how much of it is just the luck of show business?

Rob/ I think the talent portion of the contest is fairly key. The winner this year danced to the song “Wrecking Ball” in a Magic Mike -type routine, which the crowd and judges all loved.

Q4/ What is the purpose of the Mr. Mensa contest?

Rob/ The purpose is to raise money for the Mensa Foundation, which gives scholarships.

Q5/ Was it fun? Do you plan to participate in Kansas City next year?

Rob/ Yes, it was both nerve wracking and fun. In addition, an M friend from Las Vegas organized a flash mob during the time between when the judges tallied their scores and the winner was announced. It started with my daughter dragging me onto the dance floor as a song came on, and the rest of the group joined us, culminating with me dipping my daughter at the end of the dance.

I will absolutely compete in 2020 in Kansas City, and have every intention of stepping up my talent game for my second try.

News & Notes

July, in my humble opinion, is a rare treat. It can be a really hot time not only because of the heat we all associate with this month, but it also offers lots of exciting things to do. Stay informed over this next month as many events will come to their fruition in Mid-America Mensa. Next year at this time we’ll all be talking about the American Mensa Annual Gathering 2020 scheduled to be in Kansas City.

July Walkabout will find us at Antioch Park, July 6th at 11:00 am. Check out the July Mension for the heavenly details (and the right contact info). Walkabouts are about walking and any Mensan can join in with this group.

Do you like great community theater? We have a new Community Theater Special Interest Group (SIG) starting up — so, you’re in luck! We’ll select different community theaters around the metro area so we’ll be able to sample a variety of productions from all parts of the Kansas City area. To get into contact with the SIG Coordinator (Rob) for more info or to RSVP for attending these SIG events, join the Mid America Mensa Facebook group and look for event details as they become available. Currently, the theater tour will begin with Hanging by the End of a Leash, July 19th in KCMO. Other scheduled events include Mamma Mia! in Leavenworth (August) and Bright Star in Olathe (September).

Finally, Mid-America Mensa will revisit CultureQuest — or rather we’ll look at Everything You Always Wanted To Know About CultureQuest (But Were Afraid To Ask). Maybe you missed out of getting on a team this time around. Maybe you would simply like to know more about CultureQuest before joining up. Well, CultureQuest Revisited was planned (for Sunday, July 21st at 2:00 pm) to quench your thirst for this kind of knowledge. After all, it’s all about cultural trivia which isn’t really trite (or trivial) at all! Join us on July 21st for all the answers to your most pressing questions.

News & Notes

June is usually a banner month and it is the official start of summer. Do you feel lucky? The sixth month of the year is somewhat lucky especially if you are having a wedding or if you just want to see another significant event like the Summer Solstice. Both of these events in June are remarkable for many of us. In addition, it’s perhaps the most fun time of the year. This web editor is thinking that this is possibly because of the longer daytime hours and the warmer daily high temperatures. It does seem like June offers something for everyone to find enjoyment in just by accepting and embracing it.

The Millennial/Gen X team got their tail-ends handed to them at trivia night at the Hi-Dive, so they are upping the ante and playing for money in June at the Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill trivia night, June 5th. Trivia starts at 8 pm and each player puts in $5 (no matter team size). Be there at 6:30 pm to help us stake a table, and order one of the tasty, tasty burgers. According to The Food Network’s Meat and Potatoes and The Pitch, their burgers are the best in Kansas City. If you’re a Millennial or GenX-er and a Mensan, then come join us!

The Full Moon SciFi SIG launch event in April was fun. Everyone seemed to enjoy the campy send-up of Octaman provided by the folks from RiffTrax. So, next don your Browncoats and Jayne hats because we ‘aim to misbehave’ and screen Joss Whedon’s terrific ode to being on the wrong side of history: Serenity. Check the June Mension for more details (and the right contact info) about attending this shindig event. Hopefully more Mensans will want to connect with this new SIG! Also, join the FullMoonSciFi Yahoo group for a chance to participate in selecting the content of future screenings.