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Mensa Bulletin Features

Mensan’s Elam Ending to Close NBA All-Star Game Again

We’ve all seen it: crisp, competitive basketball games devolving into foul fests in the final minutes. It’s time for basketball to finally demote a once-indispensable element of the sport — the game clock.

By Nick Elam
More Than We Think

We might not all look or sound like what people think of as the typical Mensan, but we’re all here in this little community of outliers together. And that’s pretty cool. So, I think I’ll stick around.

By Ronni Peck • Illustrated by Kirsten Wahlquist
My Father and the Fitz

About 180 years ago, Henry Fitz built his first telescope, a beautiful wood, brass, and glass 6-inch achromatic refractor. Years later, one of Henry’s creations became a beloved member of our family, bringing us closer to the stars — and each other.

By Rick Clarke
There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Dyslexic Genius

If you know a brilliant little dyslexic Einstein of your own, make sure they get the best academic and emotional support. But also give them a solid exposure to the many new assistive devices that make life so much easier.

By Carol Barnier
The Fine Art of Snowplowing

Oh, plowing the snow’s an art, no question about it. Takes years of experience to get’er down good and proper. So there ain’t no way the city’s gonna turn loose a young tenderfoot like you in a blizzard like this — not on his own, anyways.

By Greg Jenkins • Illustrated by Jon Moore
Assembling a Dream Team USA for the International Quiz Olympiad

For 20 years the International Quizzing Association has been running major international quiz events such as the Quiz Olympiad. Ken Jennings led the last squad, maybe you’ll be on the next? If you’re able and interested, there could be a spot for a Mensan or Mensans on the national team.

By Paul Bailey
Pandemic Pastime: Virtual Choirs

On March 13, my hyper-busy life came to a screeching halt. I was no longer able to see family living in a senior care facility where I had been a daily visitor. No running a million errands, no restaurant dinners with my spouse, no face-to-face chats with friends. But in the newfound space and quiet, I discovered — or rediscovered — my voice.

By Jaylene O'Keefe
Coffee Rings

While the memories gather and swirl, I go to take a sip from my coffee cup. I insert my finger through the small handle and, for the first time, notice a small ring of coffee outlining the base of my cup. And I remember it all — the glorious early years of a passionate and unfulfilling love affair with professional wrestling.

By Drew Toney • Illustration by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan
A Beastly Contest

Senior Bulletin columnist Richard Lederer invites you to become a groupie and make up your own collective nouns for animals or for people — a prickle of porcupines, an aroma of skunks, a rash of dermatologists, a brace of orthodontists.

By Richard Lederer
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Co-authoring a Novel

Distinct writing styles and clashing egos. A fallout between childhood friends. Editors who couldn’t see past rose-tinted glasses. Bestseller Nelson DeMille swore off writing collabs for decades until finally teaming up with his son, which, he says, brought the two closer together.

By Nelson DeMille
Western Religions’ Influence on Piratical Endeavors During the Golden Age of Piracy

Greed or necessity often motivated piracy, while politics have influenced the warfaring of privateering. But like politics and economics, religion was inextricably linked to its deep history.

By Joseph Mogel
Transmogrify

A lifetime of laughter bloomed spiderwebs in the corners of Edna’s eyes, but with time her world had grown dull and colorless. Suddenly, however, she’s given license to cut loose and paint the town red.

By Abigail Rose Manis • Illustrated by Amanda Mattison
A Tale of Two Authors

A mutual love of history brought these M’s together to discuss their new novels that explore from different perspectives the story of Jacoba/Giacoma dei Settesoli, a rich Roman noble who shares the crypt of St. Francis of Assisi.

By Susan Watts and Tinney Sue Heath
Test, Drugs, and Ethics: A Discussion With Our New Supervisory Psychologist

Dr. Renee Lexow, discusses stimulants for test-takers, maintaining mental health during a pandemic, the ethics of sharing IQ test results, and more in a sweeping convo with Director of Membership Timothy Brooks, CAE.

By Timothy Brooks, CAE, Director of Membership
Old Is New Again

Brainbelts — emerging islands of creativity and innovation — have transformed local Rust Belt economies through collaboration between business, academia, and regional governments by working together with ingenuity, new technologies, and new materials.

By Vinod K. Jain
Do Nonhuman Animals Have Rights?

In the discipline of philosophy, there is a legitimate debate over whether there are such things as nonhuman animal rights. Philosophy professor and Mensan Elliott R. Crozat takes a closer look at the issue from both sides.

By Elliott R. Crozat
Trainwreck in Heels

With its charming idiosyncrasies and unexpected opportunities for authentic belonging, my Mensa family is one I have held dear since my entry in 2010. As I approach the close of my first decade of Mensanhood, I realize I have much for which to be grateful about this whimsical, wonderful group.

By Nguyen Pham, Mr. Mensa 2011 • Illustration by Kirsten Wahlquist
I Live in Fear Jay Will Quit Starbucks

At his local Starbucks, Matt finds an oasis from the perpetual state of near-anxiety in which he and other New Yorkers like him operate. It’s a calm before the storm of a coming workday — thanks in large part to Jay’s personal touch.

By Matthew Grob • Illustration by Amanda Mattison
Viral Words

As the coronavirus wraps its tentacles around our planet and the number of infections and deaths burgeons, you might be wondering why this respiratory pathogen is dubbed COVID-19.

By Richard Lederer • Illustration by Cherie Fruehan
A Brave New Intelligence

As we brave the third wave of AI, we’re likely to see the development of technologies that will radically change the ways we interact with our world and with each other. But whether any of this results in AIs that can actually think about and experience the world as we do, only time will tell.

By Richard Yonck