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, known as SEMMantics.

16 September 2018

October Monthly Gathering – Edible Insects and Human Evolution Your Ancestors Ate Insects … So What’s Bugging You?

Grossed out by that maggot squirming in your apple?

Your ancestors weren’t. In fact, they probably would have popped the offending creature into their mouths and relished its savory flavor. At least, that’s what Wayne State’s assistant professor of anthropology Julie Lesnik thinks. Dr. Lesnik studies how people (and their prehistoric relatives) have gathered, farmed, and cooked insects for food.

Dr. Lesnik’s presentation will draw from her new book, “Edible Insects and Human Evolution”, where she argues that people have been eating bugs for millennia, and our current disgust is a relatively new phenomenon. She incorporates research in human ecology, primatology, and paleoanthropology in order to reconstruct what insect consumption looked like in our earliest ancestors, and advocates for insects as a sustainable protein source that should be used more today, to feed the world’s growing population.

Julie Lesnik received her B.S. in Anthropology from Northern Illinois University in 2003 and her M.S. in Kinesiology and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2011. She joined the faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Wayne State in 2014. Her work has been supported by the Leakey Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her book, “Edible Insects and Human Evolution”, was recently published by the University Press of Florida and has been featured by NPR and National Geographic.

Join us on Saturday, October 20 at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, to hear Dr. Lesnik’s view on the past and future use of insects as a food source, and for a free sample of Crickets! Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

26 August 2018

September Monthly Gathering – A Whirlwind History of How English Got from Beowulf to Blogging

Join us on Saturday, September 15, for a very different program. Our guest speaker will be author and Professor of English, Dr. Anne Curzan, Ph.D., who explores linguistics and the history of our ever-changing language at the University of Michigan. During this informative and entertaining presentation, Dr. Curzan will take us on a tour of more than 1500 years of the history of the Englishlanguage, and share her lively insight on how our language has evolved. You may recognize Dr. Curzan from “That’s What They Say”, the Sunday morning show she hosts on Michigan Radio stations around the state, including WUOM-FM, locally.

Professor Curzan’s research interests include the history of English, language and gender, corpus linguistics, historical sociolinguistics, pedagogy, and lexicography. She can be found talking about language on the blog Lingua Franca for the Chronicle of Higher Education, in short videos on the LSA Wire, in the column “Talking About Words” in Michigan Today, and on the aforesaid “That’s What They Say”on Michigan Radio. Her TEDx talk at UM called “What makes a word ‘real’?” has over 1.2 million views on the national TED site. Sheand her co-author Lisa Damour also run T.A. training workshops around the country.

Professor Curzan is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English and Associate Dean for Humanities in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, at the University of Michigan. She holds faculty appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Educationas well. She received the University’s Henry Russel Award for 2007, the Faculty Recognition Award in 2009, the 2012 John Dewey Award,and the Linguistic Society of America’s Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award in 2016.

Join us on Saturday, September 15 at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, to hear this very different program. Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

19 August 2018

The NEMM (Tri-cities MPS) Salon Potluck Lunch is Cancelled

After a long run, the Salon Potluck lunch event hosted by NEMM (Tri-cities MPS) is no more. Thank you to all who joined them over the years.

You can still join them for their Dinner Group event which meets the second Wednesday at 6:00pm.

05 August 2018

August Monthly Gathering – A Cold War Tragedy: The United States in Vietnam

The involvement of the United States in Vietnam spanned five different presidencies and was a direct consequence of our diplomatic strategies and domestic politics of the Cold War. In those senses, our involvement was inevitable. However, different presidents dealt with the Vietnam Problem (anti-colonial action, organized around Communist ideology) in radically different ways. After the Korean War, many diplomats and soldiers were aware of the dangers of excessive commitment; our allies in Europe and Asia issued similar warnings. Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy showed caution; Johnson bet heavily on fighting and winning a military struggle there; Nixon played a complex, equivocal game. The outcome of course was destructive to presidential reputations and deeply divisive. In some ways we still have not recovered from the divisions of the Vietnam Era.

Our guest speaker Bruce Zellers was born and raised in southeastern Michigan. He graduated from Oakland University and received an M.A. in history from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has taught at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor since 1983 and has been a Special Lecturer in the History Department of OU since 1990. He specializes in 20th Century American military history, particularly the Cold War conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. His book reviews have appeared in a number of journals over the years, but most recently in the Michigan War Studies Review and the Journal of Military History.

Join us on Saturday, August 18th at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, to hear this story of what was arguably America’s most tragic war. Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

02 July 2018

2018 North American Unicycle Convention and Championships

Come cheer on SEMM member Joan Rayford as she performs at the 2018 North American Unicycle Convention and Championships.

The North American Unicycling Competition and Convention (NAUCC) is an annual week-long unicycling competition in which U.S. and Canadian riders compete in a number of events including freestyle competitions, MUni races, track and field events, distance races, hockey, and basketball. It is also the qualifying event for the Unicon.

July 8-14, 2018 in Livonia, MI

Visit the NAUCC website for more details and locations of events.