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 May and known as SEMMantics. We're also on Facebook!

18 November 2014

SEMMantics 36

SEMMantics 36 has a new date

 

An “RG” is a Regional Gathering, so called because even though it is hosted by a local group of Mensa, it is such a special event that members come from surrounding groups, as well. Our RG is called “SEMMantics” and is the only RG in Michigan. Next year, it will be held on a new weekend: April 24-26, 2015.

 

The RG runs from Friday late afternoon to Sunday afternoon. One-day registrations are available, but most people come for the weekend. The registration is a super bargain compared to most conferences, especially since it includes all meals and 24-hour hospitality. The earlier you register, the less you pay. There is a discount for current Mensa members and although members can always bring guests, you must come with a current member to register. Children 5-18 are ½ price, and kids under 5 attend for free.

 

The kids hang out at the kid’s room, which is away from alcohol and has it’s own schedule of amazing activities, especially on Saturday. The list of gifted children speakers and activities is probably the best of any RG in the country, thanks to Melissa Jenkins and her helpers. Watch Melissa’s column for details.

 

There will be a lineup of fascinating speakers you won’t want to miss. See another article from Tiffany DeVos seeking volunteers to speak. Contact her now, as she is hard at work lining up super presentations. She will write more about who will be on our schedule in the coming months. Join the Saturday morning hike, aqua aerobics, or take a dip in the pool.

 

Two areas are open all weekend: the hospitality room and the games room. Avid gamers spend most of the weekend in the games room; it is great to have true peers to play against. Local M Karen Smith brings an amazing assortment of games, all available in the games room.

 

There are many different types of tournaments throughout the weekend. In addition to “regular” games (poker, euchre, songburst, double-deck-cancellation hearts, cribbage etc.), there will be special SEMMantics only tournaments, such as MensaBowl, Carnelli, and Movie MashUp. Contact Joan Rayford if you would like to lead a new tournament or game.

 

Hospitality is stocked with fruit, munchies, good beer and wine, a wide assortment of sodas, water, and coffee. We always have some healthy things and something for those who cannot have sugar or gluten, as well as those sinful treats you only eat at a party—which this pretty much is, for three days. You will always find conversation in the hospitality room on an endless array of topics, and since many people at an RG are new to each other, jumping into a conversation is not only okay, but encouraged. An RG is a great place to meet new people!

 

Did I mention the wine tasting and Chocolate Orgy Friday night, and the beer tasting and Decadent Desserts on Saturday night? Since there is so much to do and most of us are up far later than usual, staying in the hotel is recommended.

 

Planning our annual RG is done by a Team of volunteers. Why don’t you join us? It’s a great way to learn new skills or get more active in Mensa. We will make use of whatever time or talents you bring. Our meetings will be at 7 pm on January 22, February 18, March 26 and April 9, 2015, at the RG hotel. Can’t attend those dates? We have jobs that need to be done that don’t require meetings or need to be done that weekend. Do give me a call or email me.

 

The E-Registration system for SEMMantics is available at mensadetroit.com/semmantics.  Either a credit/debit card or a PayPal account is needed at the time of registration.

 

Jean Becker, SEMMantics Chair

JeanKBecker@nullgmail.com

810.229.2113

20 October 2014

Winter Bash

Saturday, January 17, 2015
6:00pm – 11:00pm

Berkley VFW Hall
3025 Coolidge (Between 11 and 12 Mile Road)
Berkley 48072

There will be salad, pizza, beverages, munchies, a pool table, dance floor and darts. Also featuring Magic: The Gathering, Rock Band 3 and other games.

Plenty of free parking!

In advance through January 9, 2014:
$12 for ages 12 and up
$8 for ages 11 and younger

At the door:
$15 for ages 12 and up
$10 for ages 11 and younger
Children 4 and under: Free

To use PayPal, go to PayPal.com and click on the “Send Money” tab. Enter e-mail address:
semmantics@nullsbcglobal.net and your payment amount. If registering more than one person,
please enter each registrant name in the Comments section on the confirmation page.

Or please fill out form and mail with check made payable to SEMM to:
Harley Berger
7269 Creeks Bend Court
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Any questions? Call 248-210-3563.

07 October 2014

The 2015 RG team is looking for new volunteers

The Regional Gathering is the biggest Mensa event of the year in Michigan. If you have attended SEMMantics before, you know how special it is. If you would like to get more involved, this is a perfect way to become part of our team.

To make SEMMantics happen and keep costs down, many member volunteers are needed. Jobs to be done range from small, one-time tasks to major responsibilities. Helpers are needed both before and after the actual RG.

Every year many volunteers return to do the job they did last year, or try a new one. But people move, have babies and that sort of thing—so we always need new team members. This year, these big jobs are open: Publicity Coordinator, Speaker Chair and Volunteer Coordinator. Registration is fully or partially waived for those who fill any major RG position.

We have spots for extroverts (seeking speakers or helping with hospitality) and introverts (scribe, shopping, making signs and other behind the scenes jobs to be done). We are especially in need of new members with fresh, new ideas. Working on the RG is a fun, safe way to try something different, with plenty of returning volunteers who can help.

You are invited to be part of the SEMMantics 2015 team from the very beginning. We will gather at our RG hotel, the Holiday Inn and Suites, 37529 Grand River Avenue, Farmington Hills MI 48335, on Thursday, November 13th, at 7 pm. We will set future dates that night, so please contact me before the meeting about your preference, if you can’t be there. We usually meet once in January, February, March and April, and always finish before 9 pm.

November 13th is the only time we will meet before the holidays. At that meeting we will set policies, talk about new events, speakers, and briefly critique SEMMantics 2014. If you cannot make any meeting in person, we are happy to have you participate via Skype or phone. Not all jobs require attending our meetings, but we welcome anyone who can, as that is where the great ideas are usually hatched.

To learn more or volunteer please contact JeanKBecker@nullgmail.com or 810.229.2113. Also look for future articles as the RG takes shape. And definitely make a note that SEMMantics 2015 will be held on April 24-26 next year.

07 October 2014

November Monthly Gathering: Subliminal Messages in the Media… Effective Communication or Mind Control?

Our presentation for November, by Sylvan Lake trial attorney Martin H. Leaf, will demonstrate, with examples, subliminal messaging and persuasion in modern media. According to Mr. Leaf, advertisements, entertainment and the news/informational media speak two languages; One we are consciously aware of, the other is only understood non-consciously or subliminally. The result is that there is a growing gap between how the media, especially advertising, TV, movies and software, can affect beliefs and even behavior, with or without our awareness. When does this type of influence become unfair? What are the legal, moral and ethical issues of this type of subtle, and often camouflaged, messaging? Are subliminal messages protected by the First Amendment?

In addition to litigating, Mr. Leaf devotes his time to educating the public regarding the often dangerous waters of the “ocean of media” that envelopes us. He is also president of the HP Benson Foundation, a public watchdog group working to stop abuses by the media.

Please be aware that a few of the examples included in the presentation will portray subliminal messages of a sexual nature. You should, therefore, keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to attend. This program may not be suitable for minors.

WHEN: Saturday, November 15, 2014
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

07 September 2014

October Monthly Gathering: Great Lakes Shipwrecks: Secrets of the Deep

David Trotter has been involved in searching, diving, exploring and documenting new discoveries in Great Lakes Shipwrecks for over 35 years. His solving of “history’s mysteries” has made significant contributions to the history of our Great Lakes and provided new exploration opportunities for sport and technical divers to enjoy. Join us on Saturday October 18th, when Mr. Trotter will be with us to describe his adventures “in the deep”.

The Canton-based Trotter’s discoveries have been featured on the Discovery Channel, PBS, and NBC and in The New York Times. His articles on Great Lakes shipwrecks have been published in historical journals and national scuba diving publications.

He has searched for and found shipwrecks in all of the Great Lakes, except for Lake Ontario. Trotter spent years of effort to discover the largest schooner built in Canada, the 250-foot long Minnedosa. As a result of this odyssey, more than 2,000 square miles of Lake Huron were surveyed, with 80-90 new wreck sites discovered along the way.

Two of his finds were the steamers Daniel J. Morrell, lost in 1966 and the topic of a previous Mensa presentation, and Goliath. The Goliath was designed by John Ericsson in 1846, 15 years before he designed the ironclad Monitor of Civil War fame.

“I’m very passionate about the chance to discover and explore, to be at the right place at the right time to unwind mysteries,” he told USA Today in 2012. “Some people ask me what is the most exciting wreck I’ve found,” he added. “I say it’s the next one.”

David Trotter has been involved in Great Lakes Shipwrecks, searching, diving, exploring and documenting new discoveries for 35+ years. The solving of “history’s mysteries” has made significant contributions to the history of our Great Lakes and provided new exploration opportunities for sport and technical divers to enjoy.

WHEN: Saturday, October 18, 2014
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