Welcome to Southeast Michigan Mensa!

Mensa is the largest of the international high-IQ societies. The purpose of our Southeast Michigan chapter is to provide opportunity for intellectual and social belonging and networking among diverse people. Bookmark this site to see SEMM’s calendar of events for members and their guests. In addition to local events and monthly meetings, SEMM hosts a Winter Bash (games party), SEMMer Bash (picnic), and a Regional Gathering held each April and known as SEMMantics. We're also on Facebook!

23 February 2015

Scheduled Speakers for SEMMantics

John Blinke
Our New Solar System
Remember when there were just nine planets, plus the asteroid belt? Our idea of what the solar system is like has changed. We’ll talk about the newest view of our local solar neighborhood. John is an electrician and thermograph for Ford and hosts the Rochester Area Mensa science discussion group. John is the recipient of a Mensa Service Award and has spoken at numerous Mensa Regional and Annual Gatherings, as well as the World Gathering in Orlando. His spare time finds him enjoying model rocketry, flying a drone, and experimenting with his microscopes, telescopes, and Van Graaf generator, amongst others.
Doug Grosjean:
Since the 1970s, human-powered vehicles, or HPVs, have evolved into streamlined two- or three-wheeled recumbent bicycles, sweeping all speed and distance records in bicycling with top speeds of over 80 MPH, and racing coast to coast in five days. Join Doug Grosjean as he discusses HPVs and shares one of his own.
Doug became interested in human-powered vehicles while looking for a way to make his bicycle commute faster and easier. He has been car-free since October 2012.  Doug currently works as a specialist (mechanic) in the Historic Operating Machinery department of Greenfield Village, and as a CAD designer at a fluid dynamics consulting firm. Doug is a member of the Michigan Human-Powered Vehicle Association (MHPVA), and his current daily driver is a carbon-fiber Quest XS velomobile,made in the Netherlands..
Candy Jones-Guerin
Social Media 101—The Basics of Social Media and Marketing for Small Business Success
This presentation is a guide for small businesses or nonprofits who have been using social media marketing but need some tips to take them to an intermediate level and/or add new channels to their marketing efforts. This seminar will give you a closer look at the popular social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. We’ll show you the benefits of using each, how other organizations are marketing with them, and some dos and don’ts of each channel. You’ll also get tips on how to tell if your social media activity is working. Candy is the owner of WebWorld Advantage and a ConstantContact Area Lead Expert specializing in new marketing techniques. She has worked with local governments, non-profits and corporations in Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Portugal, as well as in the United States and Canada.

Martin H. Leaf
Priming in the Media—An Emerging Danger
As the technology of manipulation increases and viewer awareness of these techniques remains low, more and more manipulation by the media takes place below the viewer’s level of awareness. This talk will touch upon the types of manipulation, priming, and some examples of promoting offensive ideologies without the viewer’s awareness. This practice is threatening to everyone. Martin H. Leaf is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Detroit Law School, where he was a recipient of the AmJur Award in criminal law. Martin works as a trial attorney in Keego Harbor and as Chairman of the HP Benson Foundation, Inc. The foundation’s mission is to keep media free of unfair manipulation by the means of viewer education and lawsuits against media companies.
Bonnie Mulliner:
Herbs 101
This how-to experience will detail the uses of wild medicinal herbal infusions, such as dandelion oil and capsaicin for arthritis and lavender water for linens. Decorative uses of herbs will also be covered, as will how to recognize medicinal herbs during nature walks. The session will conclude with a tutorial on drying and preserving medicinal herbs. Bonnie Mulliner is a certified medical assistant who currently works as a triage assistant for the University of Michigan Health Services. Her interests lie in using natural remedies to avoid the side effects that accompany mass-market pharmaceuticals. She is also a Reiki master and an energy worker.
Sofia Nelson:
Michigan Prisoner Reentry
Roughly 1.8 million people in Michigan have criminal records. More than 40,000 people are incarcerated in Michigan’s prisons at any given time. Nelson will discuss the various legal and social barriers faced by people returning to their communities from prison and jail. Sofia Nelson is a graduate of Yale Law School and an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. 
Paul Phipps
Homebrewing: From Grain to Glass
This session will cover the basics of home brewing and how easy it is to get started in the hobby. We will discuss: 1) a step-by-step process; 2) ingredients that go into beer; and 3) the flavor contributions both techniques and ingredients make to the finished beer. Paul is a knowledgeable home brewer; in February, his brown ale was awarded first place in the home-brewing competition at Eternity Brewing Company in Genoa Township.
Harry Ringermacher
Is the Universe Ringing Like a Crystal Glass?
We know the universe has been expanding since that discovery by Edwin Hubble in 1929.  In 1998 it was discovered that its expansion has been accelerating for the last 6 billion years toward “the big rip”. In 2014 I have found that the universe is not only accelerating its expansion but also is ringing while expanding—in a sense, it is “breathing.” I’ll talk about my latest research on the expanding, accelerating, ringinguniverse. Dr. Ringermacher is a retired Senior Research Physicist from the General Electric Global Research Center. He is the chairmain of the American Mensa Copper Black Creativity Award Committee and is the only Mensan to win the award twice.
John D. Speth:
Neanderthals: Could They Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time?
Ever since their first discovery, Neanderthals have gotten a bad rap. But were they really dimwits or humans with mental capacities much like ours? Are they ancestors or failed experiments in human evolution? Our views are changing rapidly, with new insights from archaeology, biochemistry, and genetics. Though we remain far from consensus, the plot has thickened…John D. Speth holds an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship (Emeritus) for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education; he is also Professor (Emeritus) of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Curator (Emeritus) of North American Archaeology in the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Dr. Speth studies hunter-gatherers, past and present, New World and Old World. He is interested in the evolution of forager diet, subsistence strategies, and food processing technologies and, more specifically, in the ways that hunter-gatherers (and small-scale farmers) cope with seasonal and inter-annual unpredictability in their resources.
Steven C. Stanford:
Henry Ford: The Way He Worked Us
What would it have been like to work for Henry Ford? This talk explores the impact of the moving assembly line on working at the Highland Park Plant and how the Five Dollar Day and the Sociological Department revolutionized factory work. We then go on to talk about the impact of unionization on the Ford empire and finally come to see how Henry Ford transformed work for all of us today.
Steve is an author and lecturer specializing in subjects involving the early auto industry. Steve serves on the board of directors for the Henry Ford Heritage Association, a group that promotes an accurate and balanced history about Henry Ford and his accomplishments. In addition, Steve is a member of The Society of Automotive Historians, The Early Ford V8 Foundation, The Michigan Historical Society, and the Michigan Society of Oral Historians. Steve operates H is for Henry Publications in Howell, Michigan.
James E. Trosko: 
The Imperative of Scientific Concepts of Human Nature To Solve Global Bioethical Crises
Human beings are moral animals. However, today we have life- threatening global ecological, health, and psychological/social crises, due to the misuse of knowledge and technologies, caused by bankrupt philosophical and religious views of human nature that give rise to conflicting ethical values. New scientific views of human nature are required for universal use of knowledge and technologies. James E. Trosko, Ph.D. is a Professor-Emeritus in the Department of Pediatrics/Human Development, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University. His current research interest is in how radiation and epigenetic chemicals can alter human adult stem cell numbers during development that might lead to chronic diseases later in life (Barker Hypothesis), and the use of adult stem cells, grown in three dimensions, for both drug discovery and toxicity safety assessment.


23 February 2015

List of Games for SEMMantics XXXVI

Sing along

Movie Mashup
Joke Off
Magic the Gathering
Rock Band
Double Deck Cancellation Hearts


17 February 2015

February 2015 Speaker

Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Seminar

Are YOU ready for the Zombie Apocalypse? If you’re prepared for zombies then you’re prepared for anything! Join us for this informative, interactive, workshop that includes steps to take in preparing for and responding to an emergency or disaster, in particular, a zombie outbreak/pandemic. Learn about the history of zombies, how to recognize the symptoms of zombie infection, alert and notification of zombie and other threats/hazards, what can be done to evade the undead, how to avoid detection/infection and surviving a zombie confrontation.

Attendees learn what to include in their Zombie Attack Plan (ZAP), Zombie Emergency Preparedness (ZEP) Kit, and how to get involved in their local Zombie Emergency Response Team (ZERT). Handouts and certificates of completion are provided to all attendees, and the skills you learn will be applicable to many other emergency situations as well.

Our presenter Susan Sanderson is a certified Professional Emergency Manager (PEM) with the State of Michigan and a Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She has been teaching emergency preparedness and response for over ten years to citizens, schools, churches, non-profits, businesses and organizations, and was featured in a local NBC-TV news report as an advocate of community preparedness education. She is also a member of the Zombie Research Society.

WHEN: Saturday, February 21, 2015
6:00pm: The ExComm meeting begins. All members are welcome to attend.
7:00pm: Mingling begins.
8:00pm: Program starts.

ADMISSION (Exact change appreciated)
Adult members: $4, Adult guests: $5; Children 13 and under: $3
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

LOCATION: Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church
23925 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI 48075

18 January 2015

Bring Out Your Dead!

Did you know our Regional Gathering (April 24-26) has a special suite just for children, and a full schedule of activities especially for them? Watch Melissa Jenkins’s column for details. Melissa is also looking for parents to help during the weekend.

Back by popular demand: Saturday morning “take-it-apart-party” where kids (and their adult helpers) take apart various things to see how they work.

We need your junk to make this happen. Got an old or broken mechanical or electrical device? Please bring it to the RG so they can be disassembled to see what makes them tick. (Clocks, anyone?)

Some adult helpers are also needed, so if a few of you could bring some small basic tools (screwdrivers, pliers) that would also be great. (No sledgehammers, please.)

08 December 2014

RG Hospitality

Hi. My name is Kathy Phipps and I’ve been a member of SEMM since early 1987 and I’ve volunteered for the 2nd year to coordinate Hospitality at the RG. Please note, this year the RG has been moved earlier, April 24-26, to hopefully conflict with fewer graduations.

Last year we did something new with hospitality. I coordinate the purchasing and getting everything to the hotel, set up and break down, and the people and getting things out are coordinated by someone else. Who wants to spend all weekend in Hospitality?

If you’re like me, you might have some diet restrictions/preferences. One reason I volunteered for purchasing was to make sure there was a good selection of items I could eat. In the past, I have stayed away from events due to the food selection. Never fear this is the case at the RG. Several years ago, we started introducing healthier snacks such as veggie trays, cheese trays, nuts and fruit. I myself am low carb so be sure that there will be plenty of options there. Coincidentally, low carb options also cover sugar free and gluten free for the most part although we will have some more specific gluten free and sugar free items.

We also have a good selection of soda (diet and regular), water (regular and flavored) and non-carbonated beverages (ice tea and lemonade). The coffee is the good stuff from Starbucks. For those not under any restrictions, plenty of chips, chocolate and other candy can be found. And again this year, hot dogs will be available pretty much round the clock. Planning is key so as I’m writing this in December, I’m making my lists and checking them twice.

The meals provided by the hotel are a compromise between feeding a hoard and keeping prices reasonable. Friday night is pizza, Saturday noon is a taco bar and Saturday night is a pasta bar. If you believe you will not partake, please let the registrar know so we don’t have to pay for a meal that we don’t have to. There will also be a “decadent dessert” bar – and again, if you’re going to skip, please let us know.

It takes a lot of time to organize a party for over 100 people and “many hands make light work” so please consider arriving early to help set up Hospitality or staying an hour or two on Sunday to help pack up and go. Also, I know the schedule isn’t out yet , but when it is out, please consider volunteering an hour or two of your time in Hospitality. None of that, “I don’t know what to do”. There will be signs and a check list in the prep suite. We’ve made it fairly easy, no slicing or dicing but just getting things out and tossing what needs to be tossed. There will be space on the online registration for volunteering as well as a request from the Registrar in April.

Hope to see you there!!