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Mensa Bulletin Features

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
Cyberethics in the 21st Century: The Reign of the Machines

Machines have helped humanity achieve groundbreaking scientific and technological advancements. But now we must ask ourselves the question at the center of the cyberethical problem: At what point do machines no longer serve as an extension of the person, but the person becomes an extension of the machine?

By Hon. John McClellan Marshall
Sex and the Singular Pronoun

You’re sitting at a table, and after a long time elapses, someone finally brings the food. Why are they called the “waiter”? Senior Bulletin collumnist Richard Lederer makes the case for the singular pronoun, historically, philosophically, and lexicologically.

By Richard Lederer • Illustrations by Jana Duca
Isaac Asimov: Writer, Polymath, Chemist, Mensan

The prolific writer profoundly and indisputably impacted the science fiction genre, but on a more granular level Asimov influenced and inspired countless individual scribes. One of them, a Mensan and former coworker of Asimov’s, explores his legacy both in literature and on a personal level.

By Ian Randal Strock & Richard Lederer
The Brahmanization of the American Lexicon

Americans might not know it, but their language — the lexicon of the everyday spoken and written word — is changing, a product of America’s diverse ethnicities and large immigrant populations.

By Vinod Jain
Fibromyalgia: A Painful Puzzle

Fibromyalgia is a chronic and often debilitating condition that affects around 3 percent of the world's population and has vexed physicians for centuries. Dr. Casey Okamoto guides us through the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of this painful condition.

By Casey Okamoto
Too Darn Smart

The truth is, my son was a lot smarter than I was, and you could see that coming before he started to walk or talk. Little did I know that Mike's smarts would get him into a world of trouble.

By Tom Bixby • Illustrations by Linda Hensley
Says You! — A Mensa-worthy Romance

If you’re like me, it gets harder and harder to find the kind of creative, ingenious puzzles that challenge your imagination and mental agility. That changed when I fell in love with a radio show. And what happened when it loved me back changed my life.

By Linda Ferrazzara
The Interplanetary Marshmallow Test

Putting humans in space isn’t about exploration or national pride; it isn’t even about science. It’s about survival. A species that can look past short-term costs to the long-term benefit wins. It wins in the only way the universe cares — by staying alive.

By Paul McKinley
Lafayette, We Are Here, Again

It began with my sixth great grandfather, once a deputy sheriff of Frederick County. There, during the American Revolution, he formed and outfitted a militia company to support the war effort. Almost 250 years later, in August, our story came full circle with my visit to a grave in the French capital containing soil from Bunker Hill.

By Donald C. Sheehan
Multiversal

Our bond forms so tightly that it’s fundamental — a quantum interaction. Over space and time, we are always together, somewhere in the multiverse.

By Chris Coultas
Inside the Network Neuroscience Theory of Human Intelligence

Like the brain, studying human intelligence can be curious, particularly when it comes to correlating quantitative measurements with specific biological factors. That is what makes so impressive the research of Dr. Aron K. Barbey, winner of the 2019 Mensa Foundation Prize.

By Chip Taulbee
Un-Conventional

A constitutional convention held today would be a prime target for influence by those who harbor ambitions of becoming American royalty, running the nation like a feudal kingdom, and further reducing or eliminating the ability of We the People to influence government.

By Lee Helms
Jerome Findlay Quidley III

Jerome Findlay Quidley III was not a man of God. But he was a respected member of Hootlani, a bootlegger’s paradise at the end of the earth. When a viper enters the Garden of Eden, Jerome Findlay Quidley III must make an important decision: where to head from here.

By Steven Levi • Illustration by Michael McKenzie
Everybody Plays the Fool

How do we keep autopilot from kicking in to make us hang with a decision not in our own best interest? And how do we resolve the resulting cognitive dissonance? The key is to be aware of this tendency that exists in all of us and consciously combat it.

By Leonard Gaston