Mensa Bulletin features

September 18, 2018
Letters From the Edge
Letters From the Edge

With a nudge and some notes from his beloved, a widow attempts to move on with his life while again cherishing the life he once had. Husband and wife no more — nevertheless, she attempts to make him whole.

By Randall Noon • Illustration by Melissa Milton
September 7, 2018
Take Your Car and Drive It
Take Your Car and Drive It

In the future, it is decided that all cars will have to be self-driving. Just before the new mandate is to go into effect, one man wants a last turn behind the wheel — a last turn at real freedom.

By Joshua Ramey-Renk • Illustration by Michael McKenzie
August 20, 2018
You Are a Language Inventor
You Are a Language Inventor

Incredible as it may seem at first thought, practically every sentence that you speak and write during your lifetime has never been spoken or written before in human history. Without realizing it, we all spend most of our waking hours inventing language.

By Richard Lederer
August 8, 2018
Standing Up in Slow Time
Standing Up in Slow Time

When the wife of a mom-and-pop auto shop visits a local school, she finds her next fixer-upper in the form of a scared young pupil. Are empathy and kindness sufficient tools to repair this fragile boy?

By Susan Howard Montgomery • Illustrated by M.C. Matz
July 9, 2018
This Dictionary Illuminates the Meaning of Everything
This Dictionary Illuminates the Meaning of Everything

What the pyramids were to the ancient Egyptians the Oxford English Dictionary is to English language scholarship — the most impressive collective achievement of our civilization. The difference is that inside the OED pulses something alive, growing, and evolving.

By Richard Lederer
June 29, 2018
The Real Frankenstein and Its Author
The Real Frankenstein and Its Author

Published anonymously in 1818, this year marks the bicentennial of Frankenstein, one of the most famous works of English Romanticism. Two hundred years later, a question lingers: Did we misread who the true monster author was?

By John Lauritsen
June 4, 2018
Straight Talk from a Noted Brain Doc, a Mensan
Straight Talk from a Noted Brain Doc, a Mensan

Norwegian neurologist and Mensan Dr. Kaja Nordengen, author of the bestselling scientific divulgation Your Superstar Brain: Unlocking the Secrets of the Human Mind, became in 2014, at 26, the youngest female medical doctor in Norway.

By José Beltrán Escavy
June 1, 2018
Artistry to a Point
Artistry to a Point

Mensan artist David Ilan is trying to make a point — several points, actually. In some ways, Ilan is no different from other artists whose works distill larger themes into discrete subjects; their creations are microcosms for meaningful messages. What sets apart Ilan’s work is his embrace of the macro and micro.

By Lisa Gunner
April 16, 2018
Space Walker Maps the Next Giant Leap for Mankind
Space Walker Maps the Next Giant Leap for Mankind

“Freak accidents” are not typically associated with a successful run as an astronaut. For Dr. David Wolf, however, spacefaring has not so much defined his career as it has augmented a jam-packed life story.

By Chip Taulbee
March 9, 2018
Pilgrimage as a Teaching Tool
Pilgrimage as a Teaching Tool

Reading bits of history can be fascinating, but walking through them breathes life into printed facts. But it’s not just the cultural, historical, and artistic knowledge from which students can benefit on pilgrimages.

By Steve Cooper
February 27, 2018
From Our Tribe: Survivor & Mensan Chrissy Hofbeck
From Our Tribe: 'Survivor' & Mensan Chrissy Hofbeck

How does a Mensan excel at Survivor? Getting on the show is hard enough, but apparently Saran Wrap proves useful. While on the show it helps to be good at math. Hofbeck shares her secrets with a fellow New Jersey Mensan and fan of the show.

By Iris Grossman
February 16, 2018
Hotsy, a Narrative History
Hotsy, a Narrative History

A mother's selflessness and her daughter's shame. A cruel nickname and an abandonment of the same. If Altrua St. Trudy cannot outgrow her family name, she'll have to outshine it.

By Harley Staggars • Illustration by M.C. Matz
January 8, 2018
Fire, Swords, and Magic
Fire, Swords & Magic

Swords and knives have historically played a significant role in African culture, with their creation seen as tied to magic, mythology, and history all at once.

By Joseph Mogel • Illustrations by Jonathan Moore
October 12, 2017
Where Should Americans Look for Health Care?
Where Should Americans Look for Health Care?

In a new documentary set to air in November on PBS, Mensan Suzanne Garber lays bare some of the frustrating intricacies of the U.S. health care system in light of how other countries operate and how their citizens engage in their own health.

By Chip Taulbee
September 19, 2017
I Was Not
I Was Not

I wasn’t supposed to yank this wailing woman out of a La-Z-Boy, wasn’t supposed to get clubbed in the head with a bottle of Beefeater by an uncle who thought I didn’t know enough to care. I wasn’t supposed to celebrate my 40th birthday in Buffalo General’s room 720.

By Greg D'Alessandro • Illustration by Jonathan Moore
July 27, 2017
Pick Your Brain
Pick Your Brain

From Modafinil and similar nootropics to gene editing and brain-computer interfaces — will our seemingly endless quest for neuroenhancement forever end in "Flowers for Algernon"?

By Paul McKinley • Illustrations by Megan Sullivan
June 30, 2017
The Game
The Game

Michael felt the bourbon glaze numb his face as it always had after… how many? He stopped counting years ago, in the days when the high was a little higher and the morning climb back to reality not so treacherous.

By James Shepard • Illustration by M.C. Matz
June 19, 2017
Tensions in an Accelerating World
Tensions in an Accelerating World

If you feel like the pace of life is speeding up, that news, information and new technologies are moving faster and faster, you’re not alone. A new global survey on financial, political and social issues reveals future-shaping divides.

By Robert Moran • Art by Paula Wilson-Caziér
June 2, 2017
Backstage at the Bee
Backstage at the Bee

You are more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to make the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. That’s reality for the approximately 11 million students who have participated this year at some level in the annual spelling challenge. Staggering odds, sure, but my student beat them more than once.

By Deb Gribben
April 13, 2017
Democratize Disaster Response Decisions
Democratize Disaster Response Decisions

Without inclusive planning, society’s most vulnerable remain most at risk, expert says

By Chip Taulbee
March 3, 2017
Building Our Emotionally Intelligent Future
Building Our Emotionally Intelligent Future

How will the development of affective computing and artificial emotional intelligence transform our relationship with technology?

By Richard Yonck • Illustrations by Michael McKenzie
February 14, 2017
Potluck Supper
Potluck Supper

The annual Potluck Exhibit Social was Mrs. Rose Marie Charlotte Pelman's time to shine. But for her husband, Roy? Not so much.

By Fran Dupont • Illustration by Cherie Fruehan
February 7, 2017
Gay Coding in Hitchcock Films
Gay Coding in Hitchcock Films

In typical Hitchcock-ian fashion, the “Master of Suspense” often employed in his films subtle references to gay culture, defying conservative attitudes of the late '50s.

By Scott Badman & Connie Russell Hosier
July 7, 2014
My Digital Memory
My Digital Memory

After sustaining a traumatic brain injury in an auto accident, Thomas Dixon was forced to record new experiences, one tweet at a time, lest he forget about them forever.

By Thomas Dixon • Illustrations by Tim Ogline