The RG is just days away - I hope you can join us. If you
haven't registered yet, you can still do so at the door. The
program book is now posted on
the web page - check it out. Musical acts are still being added, so the
Music Hospitality schedule
is not listed in the program book but will instead be available at the RG.
So far, it looks like we will have folk music and a blues duo on Friday
night and on Saturday, a pianist, a clarinetist, a folk song sing-a-long, a
folk/rock trio, karaoke, and more. There will also be jamming sessions
throughout the week-end, so do bring instruments if you have them!
as of 2/2/2009
T-Shirts for the 2009 NH RG are now available. Please
e-mail RG Chair Holly Green or
Registrar (also LocSec) Deb Stone if you would
like to order one. They cost $10.00, and are 100% cotton and available in
black or maroon (click pictures below) in the following adult sizes: small,
medium, large, X-large, XX-large, and XXX-large. They will also be available
for purchase at the RG.
as of 1/6/2009
I hope you will be joining us for the Granite
Gathering this year on February 13 - 15 at the
Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH.
Our theme this year is: Love Potion '09: a Mix of Magic, Romance, and
Friday night, the Great Crock Pot Cook Off
returns - just like magic - and we will have magical cream sodas
(creamsicles with vanilla ice cream and old fashioned root beer floats) for
dessert. Our ever popular shrimp will appear late in the
evening. Pete the Bartender also returns for both Friday
and Saturday Night.
Saturday will feature all the usual delicious goodies,
including waffles for breakfast, sandwiches
on various homemade breads, snacks all day long,
pasta dinner with assorted homemade sauces and
chocolate late in the evening. We have lots of interesting
speakers lined up, as well as a magician and a
juggler. We will also bring in a portable
planetarium and a Plymouth State University professor will give a
show for adults and a show for children. There will be game
tournaments for all and a magic tournament in the
late afternoon for the kids.
From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and
Story by Art Greenberg
Program Description: This book by University
of New Hampshire
professor Arthur Greenberg chronicles the beauty, mystery, truths, lies, and
even humor of chemistry. “From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story”
connects five centuries of the development of chemistry to human history
with 200 brief essays and a rich array of historical artwork, including 24
Arthur Greenberg is a professor of organic chemistry at the University of New Hampshire.
He joined UNH in 2000 as dean of the
of Engineering and
Physical Sciences and served a full five-year term in this position. Prior
to that he was Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina
(1994-2000) and this followed five years as Professor and Director of the
Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences at RutgersUniversity
in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He received his Ph.D. from PrincetonUniversity and his current research
interests include physical organic chemistry and environmental organic
chemistry. He has published 120 refereed papers and book chapters, authored
5 books, and edited 18 books.
View from the Top: Imaging
the Earth's Environment from Space by David Bartlett
Program Description: The last 30 years have witnessed a revolution in the use of aerial and
orbital sensors to image and study the Earth (AKA “remote sensing”). UNH’s
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) has been at the
forefront of research developing and applying these techniques. In this
presentation, examples of imagery and other data from remote sensors will be
used to demonstrate applications under development at EOS. Sample imagery
and research topics include assessment of forest health in the US and
Europe; mapping migratory bird habitat in the White Mountains; measuring
plant production in the oceans and on land; and, contributions to predicting
bird flu outbreaks in Asia.
David Bartlett holds a Bachelor's degree in Geology from AmherstCollege
and a doctorate in Marine Sciences from the University of Delaware.
He spent ten years as a research scientist at the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA)
Center, conducting studies of the environment
using sensors on Earth-orbiting satellites. His research interests are in
chemical interactions of vegetation with the atmosphere, causes and effects
of global-scale climate change, and management of coastal resources. He has
published extensively on the use of aerial and orbital sensors for
measurement of important environmental parameters. Since 1989, Dr. Bartlett
has been Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans,
and Space (EOS) at the University of New Hampshire. He is responsible for the
management of the Institute's research and educational programs and assists
the Director in planning and in developing new avenues for external support
of the Institute. EOS' research in space and Earth sciences is supported by
more than $30 million per year of grants and contracts. Dr. Bartlett is the
founding Director of the New Hampshire Space Grant Consortium, an
educational and public information collaboration of
Colleges, and science organizations. Dr. Bartlett continues his research in
applications of satellite sensors to assess large scale variation in
environmental conditions and the impact of terrestrial ecosystems on global
biogeochemical cycles. He serves on the Policy Advisory Committee of the New
Hampshire Sea Grant Program.
You Are the Mess You Make by James Krasner
Program Description: Storage is a growth industry in America today because we have too
much stuff. We pack our things in closets and attics and Tupperware bins,
and we never seem to be able to get rid of anything. Rather than decrying
our materialistic ways, this talk offers a defense of mess by looking
closely at the relationship between memory, identity and accumulated
objects. Why can't we stand to get rid of clothes that no longer fit, broken
knick-knacks and books we'll never read? By using gerontological studies of
space management, as well as literary and cultural examples, we can find the
hidden message in our mess.
James Krasner is an associate professor of English at the
of New Hampshire where
he teaches British literature, the Bible as literature, and secondary school
English teaching. His research interests include British Victorian
literature, interdisciplinary studies, aesthetics, and science and nature.
He was a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006.
The Presidential Book of Lists by Ian Randal Strock
Ian Randal Strock is the author of The Presidential Book of Lists.
The book grew from his search for comparisons of the Presidents, and not
finding the book he wanted, he wrote it. In this interactive, trivia-laden
talk, he'll take the audience on a verbal journey through 219 years of the
US Presidency, pointing out interesting facts and fascinating connections.
Stupid Author Tricks by Ian Randal Strock
Ian Randal Strock is an author, but he's also
an editor. He's seen the good, the bad, and the truly outrageous ways
authors sabotage their own careers, and shares the best, worst, and
funniest. It's easy to learn how not to do it when you're laughing at the
truly clueless (no names will be used). He's been collecting stories about
authors (as opposed to stories by authors) for twenty years, and shares them
to be both instructive and entertaining. Non-writers welcome (after all, the
world needs far more readers than writers).
Ian Randal Strock is the author of The Presidential Book of Lists: From
Most to Least, Elected to Rejected, Worst to Cursed -- Fascinating Facts
About Our Chief Executives (Random House/Villard, October 2008, ISBN
978-0-345-50736-5) and the keeper of the blog at
http://uspresidents.livejournal.com. His fascination with the Presidents
dates to his childhood, but when he realized he was unlikely to ever become
President himself, he turned to studying and writing about them.
In his other guise, Strock is
an editor, author, and reporter. He started as the Deputy Editorial Page
Editor of Boston's
Daily Free Press, before realizing
the science fiction was the life for him. Moving to New York, he started as the Editorial
Assistant of Analog and Asimov's
science fiction magazines, rising to the position of Associate Editor before
he left to publish and edit his own
Artemis Magazine. He's also been the News Editor of
Science Fiction Chronicle, and currently edits and publishes
SFScope.com, the online trade journal of the speculative fiction fields.
He's been on both sides of the editorial desk (sometimes simultaneously) for
In addition to all that,
Strock blogs at
http://ianrandalstrock.livejournal.com. He was the President of Greater
New York Mensa, Editor of GNYM's
Mphasis , and chairman of GNYM's RG, before moving on to being
of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
What Makes Us Human by Wil Howitt
We humans share almost 99 percent of our genome with our closest
living relatives, the chimpanzees. Yet the differences between humans and
other primates are striking. How did we come to be this way, and what
caused this divergence? We will investigate the genetic and fossil
evidence, and discuss various theories of how we became human. The result
may surprise you!
Disclaimer: This talk
includes frank discussion of sexual behavior, both human and ape. We really
can't talk about primates without talking about sex. If this will offend
you, please be elsewhere.
Speaker Bio: Wil Howitt is a doctor of computer science and electrical
specializing in physical acoustics and psychoacoustics. He has worked at
MIT and BU, developing human auditory system models and speech recognition
systems. He also enjoys drumming, dancing, and playing didjeridu and other
rhythmic instruments. He teaches Taoist martial arts, rides a black BMW
motorcycle, fences with a German longsword, and looks around a lot
10,670 miles by Lori & Ron Norris
This summer, Lori and Ron, took a nine-week coast-to-coast driving
trip enjoying some of the spectacular scenery this country has to offer.
They drove through 29 states and 2 provinces. They will share stories
and pictures with you.
Speakers: Ron Norris has belonged to Mensa for almost a quarter of a century
and is the Program Coordinator for Rhode Island Mensa. Ron is a high-school
math teacher in his spare time. Lori has been a member of Mensa for 18
years and currently serves as the RVC (Regional Vice Chairperson) for Region
1 and is currently running for her second term. Lori is an attorney
practicing in Warwick,
RI. Ron and Lori enjoy
traveling especially to the Caribbean
during winter vacation and for extended summer camping trips. The rest
of the year they enjoy escaping for long weekends and Regional Gatherings
whenever possible. And for those of you who haven’t heard, Lori and
Ron were married on their way to the NH RG
in 2001 and actually spent their honeymoon with us.
the Middle Ages by Tchipakkan
Program Description: Most people have a general idea of medieval
witches and wizards from fairy tales, and modern witches stories of the
“burning times”. What we think of as magic is a way of making effects in the
real world using mechanisms and techniques that were developed through many
cultural and personal perspectives. I'll concentrate on Europe between the 6th and 16th centuries, and attitudes
toward magick and witches, and perhaps lean more toward some of the less
Speaker Bio: Tchipakkan is an artist, writer, healer, and soothsayer, author of Divine Cookies and the Rune
article series in The Blessed Bee
Pagan Family Magazine. She
practices and teaches RuneValdr and Reiki, huna healing, herbalism, and
soothsaying with runes, palmistry, tarot, and other systems.
Education in Exile: Teaching
in a Tibetan Refugee Community in the Himalayas by Carolyn White
When His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet was forced to flee his
homeland in 1959, he settled in Dharamsala, a hill station in
the Himalayan foothills of northern India. Dharamsala is now the
center of a vibrant Tibetan refugee community: it is the seat of
the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and home to thousands of
Tibetans who have escaped political and religious oppression in
their homeland and followed their leader into exile. It is also
a backpacker’s paradise, with tourists from around the
world—drawn to the town’s mountainous landscape and promise of
spiritual awakening—mixing with the Tibetan and Indian residents
in a true cultural mélange. In 2007, Professor White spent her
six-month sabbatical living and working in Dharamsala, where she
taught English to Tibetan refugees and experienced firsthand the
beauty of their ancient, rich, and tragically threatened
culture. Join Carolyn for a discussion of her adventures in
India, where she braved monsoon downpours—and roaming
livestock—to get to language class; learned about the rules of
cricket from sports-crazy monks; studied Buddhist philosophy
with a respected lama; and discovered that ultimately her
Tibetan students were the true teachers.
Carolyn White is the head of public services at the University of New
Hampshire Manchester Library, where she focuses on library instruction and
reference services. Her research interests include information literacy,
faculty collaboration, and peer tutoring in the library. Professor White is
very interested in the history and civilization of Tibet, and is the
secretary and web master of the Monadnock Friends of Tibet, a New
Hampshire-based Tibet support group. As a result of this interest, and as a
result of her deep concern about the current plight of the Tibetan people
and their nation, she pursued a long-held dream by spending her academic
sabbatical in the foothills of the Himalayas, teaching English to Tibetan
refugees in Dharamsala, India, home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the
Tibetan Government-in-Exile. While in Dharamsala, she put her library skills
to good use as well by reorganizing a volunteer organization’s community
Community Preparedness: the First Step by Captain Eugene Heighton
Program Description: Learn how you, as a local
community member, can partner and engage volunteer services and create a
framework to enhance local community disaster readiness.
Speaker Bio: Captain Eugene Heighton is the
Interim Director at NH Citizens Corps, an organization that has as its
mission harnessing the power of every individual through education,
training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and
better prepared to respond to threats of terrorism, crime, public health
issues and disasters of all kinds.
Cohousing: "Drawing on the strength of community
to live sustainably" by Françoise Paradis
Program Description: Cohousing visionary
and project developer, Françoise Paradis, Ed.D., will give a presentation on
the characteristics of cohousing and its many benefits – for the individual,
the community and the environment. The concept originating in Denmark
in the 1970's, is growing in popularity in this age of "Green"
consciousness, and the desire of many for a greater sense of connection and
community. Many cohousing communities are a mix of families, retirees
and single individuals who share some time together at weekly community
meals, engaging in common interests or just helping each other out by
sharing errands, tending a garden, childcare, or pet sitting.
The number of cohousing communities in the United States is
on the verge of doubling, with 111 cohousing communities nationwide, another
113 are currently in the process of development. One of those new
projects, being developed by Dr. Paradis with support from members of the
community, is Greensward Hamlet, located in Buxton, Maine.
Dr. Paradis is quick to point out, "These are not 'hippie
communes', but an intentional way to live independently AND in community at
the same." It is a well documented fact that people are happier,
healthier, more productive, and live longer when they are connected to a
nurturing social network. In addition, Dr. Paradis promotes the
sustainable use of geothermal, solar, and wind power for generating energy,
greatly reducing the "carbon footprint", energy consumption, and monthly
Participants will learn the characteristics that make
cohousing communities unique and timely in the 21st century
Speaker Bio: Françoise Paradis is a
psychologist by profession and a sociologist at heart. Her bachelor's
degree from the University of Maine was in sociology and her doctoral degree
from Boston University in Counseling Psychology. Her world view,
influenced by growing up in a large Franco-American family in northern
Maine, starts with the "whole" that encompasses all the "parts." Thus, in
her work as a psychologist she focuses on enhancing the client's community:
their family life, social circle, support network, and living environment.
It was a natural progression for her to initiate a "green" cohousing
community at a time when our planet is in jeopardy.
Asperger's Syndrome / High-Functioning Autism:
Probing the Diagnosis and the Population by Robert Lagos
Program Description: This talk will
examine the nature of the diagnosis and research, as well as the symptoms,
characteristics, and issues involved for persons with Asperger's Syndrome
and High Functioning Autism, and also against certain stereotypical
Speaker Bio: Robert S. Lagos is
employed as a computer programmer/analyst/developer for a company in
Portland, Maine, which is dedicated to health and health insurance, and has
been in this industry for about 20 years. He is a graduate of UCLA
(University of California at Los Angeles) with a Bachelor's degree in
Chemistry and a certificate in the upper-division extension program in
Computer Science. He is also a musician (pianist), but is not currently
He has been a member of Mensa since October 2005.
He was diagnosed with autism (in 1980), and is currently the facilitator for
the Maine Adult Asperger group which meets monthly in Portland, as well as
an advisory board member for the Maine chapter of the AANE (Asperger
Association of New England).
Formation of the Many Conspiracy Special Interest
Group by Kevin Tremblay
Program Description: Kevin Tremblay,
founder of the MC-SIG, is a Maine Mensa member from Ripley. From early
childhood when his parents, relatives and neighbors (those he trusted) tried
to fool him that there was a Santa Claus, he knew something was wrong in the
universe. Why lie to give him presents? It did not make sense. That is a
warping conspiracy. There are thousands more.
From Kris Kringle to the third building collapsing at the
World Trade Center on 9/11, there are conspiracies. Disinformation,
misinformation, truth paired with lies; are techniques, and technologies
exist, that are used to shape thinking and behavior. MCSIG proposes to
explore these events, capabilities and investigate the world of “non-lethal
weapons” to elicited meaning out of the chaos of conspiracy theories. The
approach of our news sources that say: “we report, you decide,” is spin that
is used to led mass thought to slanted views.
The areas suitable for this group’s discussion are:
MK-Ultra, Remote Viewing and Stargate, L. Ron Hubbard, Nazism, Gang,
Vigilante or Cause Stalking; Andrija Puharich, the False Memory Foundation,
Reptilians, Aliens and Demons; Religions and Occult Sciences, Mind Control,
Cybernetics, New World Order, Chemtrails, Illuminati, Secret Societies,
Eugenics, and the Biodiversity Treaty and Declaration of Human Rights; are
some of the subjects to discuss in the MC-SIG.
No subject should be considered taboo. Some subjects are
wise not to discuss in public! Help shape MC-SIG. Join and belong! May the
force be with you.
Financial Planning by Chuck Bovaird
Program Description: An informational
speech covering the basics of investment. asset classes, investment
accounts, financial products, basic concepts of financial planning, and
basic strategies in financial planning.
Speaker Bio: Chuck Bovaird started off as
a financial advisor at MassMutual, and then later moved to Prudential. He
primarily does retirement planning for his clients. He also works with small
How to play safely as an adult, with or without a
partner: The ins & outs (so to speak) of romance in the 00's, or
"Naught-ies" as one might say ;-) by Denise (Penkalski) Brown
We will have fun talking about protecting yourself and those
you care about, the technical plusses and minuses of various materials and
accessories (props will be on hand), and will try to field any technical
questions you may have. This is an adult themed discussion, and is not
intended for younger attendees.
Speaker Bio: Denise is both a Mensa
member and the sole proprietress of her own business(home-parties and online
store) for over 2 years, with hopes of one day opening a boutique.
Climate Update and Changes in Climate Change by Ric Werme
Program Description: NH Mensa has
offered a talk in each of the last several RGs on global warming and what's
happening on the subject. Last year one of our members, Ric Werme, realized
it was finally time to pay attention and this year he's giving the talk.
There will be a little bit of everything - CO2, ocean currents, solar
minimum, fading sunspots by 2015, and even temperatures. Hint: it looks
like the world is cooling. Spread the word!
Speaker Bio: Back in 1974 when Ric
Werme joined Mensa, he was already interested in meteorology and
climatology, in addition to pretty much anything else that is related to
science. However, after finding that programming computers was more fun,
his career has been working as a software engineer on operating systems and
Ric has testified to the NH Governor's Climate Change Task
Force about the importance of separating conservation measures from climate
change because the reasons for conservation goes beyond climate. That
testimony and much of his climate-related interest (or is that obsession?)
over the last year is recorded at his
climate web site.
At the end of this month, Ric will be attending American
Mensa's Colloquium 2009: Weather or Not - the past, present, and future of
Ghost Quest by Raven
Duclos, Beckah Boyd, and Katie Boyd
Ghost Quest is a paranormal society based out of New
Hampshire that has been in operation for over seven years. They have
investigated some of New Hampshire's most haunted places! They are an all
female team consisting of Raven Duclos - Psychic Medium, Beckah Boyd -
Psychic Medium and Katie Boyd - Demonologist and Occult Sciences Expert.
Each came to the group with previous experience, Katie - has studied the
Occult for over 20 years and Demonology for the same amount of time. She
blends the two to create a neutral system that helps the client expel the
negative or demonic entity. Katie is the author of Devil's and Demonology in
the 21st Century which will hit stores at the end of the month. Raven Duclos
is a psychic medium who knew from the age of three that this plane was not
home. She uses her abilities in Ghost Quest to speak with the spirits in a
home and help those same spirits cross over if they choose (and sometimes
even if they don't). Beckah Boyd is also a Psychic Medium with over fifteen
years practice and seven years professionally. She has worked with some of
New Hampshire's top businesses as a consultant and reader at corporate
events. She lends her abilities to validate spirit hauntings and give
closure to families. She also uses her abilities to cleanse the home, help
spirits cross over and find vortexes. Ghost Quest uses a mix of spirituality
and hard evidence to validate the hauntings. Using the same tools that many
other groups do, they go in with a skeptic's eye and are on a never ending
quest to find out exactly what goes bump in the night.
Antarctica: More than Just Ice by Jane
Program Description: Jane Davis's
recent trip to Antarctica was an adventure tour that took her to the
continent itself, rather than just the outlying islands. Crossing the Drake
Passage twice was an experience all its own but more of that on the 14th....
Speaker Bio: Jane Davis is a two-time
cancer-survivor who decided, after beating her 6-month death sentence in
2002, to see as much of the world as possible and to share the experiences
with others in order to expand their view of their own backyard. She has a
BA in Communications and an MSB in Business and has worked as a professional
photographer and videographer in a long career of trying a little bit of
everything. She is the mother of three grown children and is used to them
answering the phone with, "HI Mom, Where are you now?"
Get Involved! Volunteer! (It's half the fun, ya know!)
to grab your piece of the glory...
More Coming Soon!!
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