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Granite Gathering

Notes from the Chair
as of 2/14/2011

The 2011 NH Mensa Regional Gathering RG taking place
Friday, Feb 18 – Sunday, Feb 20 at the
Best Western Hotel & Suites in Portsmouth.

 The Theme is “Mediterranean on the Atlantic

RG t-shirts
T-shirts can be reserved in advance by contacting the registrar or purchased at the RG.  All t-shirts are only $10 and quantities are limited!

Chocolate Lecture and Tasting on Saturday:
Due to demand, a second chocolate lecture and tasting has been added at 1:30 – 3:30 pm on Saturday, Feb 19, but advance tickets are required to cover the cost of the chocolate. Spots are very limited, so reserve tickets right away. Tickets may be purchased by paying $20 when you register, but you must RSVP in advance to by contacting Deb Stone @ (603) 856-7055 or  or Holly Green @ (603) 724-8630.

Description of the lecture and tasting is in the schedule below. The presenter is Richard Tango-Lowy, master chocolatier of Dancing Lion Chocolate in Manchester, NH.  More info on Dancing Lion Chocolate here.

RG Registration Information:
Walk - in rates are:  $75 for the week-end (3 pm Friday, Feb 18 until noon Sunday, Feb 20, Fri night dinner, Sat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Sun breakfast are all included). $55 for Saturday only (breakfast, lunch, and dinner included).

Map and directions to the Best Western Wynwood Hotel and Suites at 580 US Hwy 1 Bypass in Portsmouth NH):

From Rt 95N, take Exit 5 (US-1 Bypass/Portsmouth Circle) Continue straight until you enter the circle.
From Rt 95S, take Exit 5 (US-4/NH-16) toward Newington/Dover. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for US-1/Portsmouth Circle and merge onto NH-16S/Spaulding turnpike/US-4E. Enter the traffic circle.
From central NH, take Rt 101E to Rt 95N or come across Rt 4.  Merge onto NH-16S/Spaulding Tpk/US-4E via the ramp to Portsmouth. Enter the traffic circle.

Drive around the traffic circle until the hotel is on your right and take the road that turns off. The hotel entrance driveway will be on your right. The hotel phone number is (603) 436-7600.


Latest Program Schedule:

As of Feb 17, here’s what we have scheduled (final actual times may vary):


Friday, Feb 18

4:00 p.m. Hospitality and Games Room (Cutter) Open
Hospitality and Games Room will be open round the clock until Sunday 12:00 pm - Noon.

4:00 p.m. Music Room (Appledore) Opens
Available for jamming until 8:00 pm, bring your own instruments and music equipment.

5:00 p.m. Kids’ Room (Room 296) Opens
About our Kids’ Room: All children should have the name of a responsible adult and cell phone number written on the back of their name tag in case of emergency.
When there are no events going on, the Kids’ room will be available for kids to play, color, and have fun. Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by an adult to be in the Kids’ Room during the free-play times.

6:00 p.m. Italian Dinner, Hospitality 

6:15 p.m. Movie Room (Room 294) Opens
About our Movies: Our movies are “drop-in”-able. Come in when you can. Stay as long as you want. Go when you have to.

6:30 p.m. Casino Royale, Movie Room (Room 294)

6:30 p.m.  GenX/Y Mixer, Meet ‘n’ Greet Room (Room 293)
Get together with other GenXers (born from 1961 to 1981) and GenYs (born from 1976 to 1988). Meet up with old friends and make new ones! This is an unstructured, drop in event.

7:30 p.m. Teen SIG Hangout, Meet & Greet Room, 292
Teenagers, round up your friends and spend the evening hanging out

8:00 p.m. - Ice Cream Sundaes

8:30 pm Double Deck Cancellation Hearts Tournament, Games Room (Cutter)

8:30 p.m. Greek Myths and Legends, Kids’ Room (Room 294)

9:00 p.m. Blues Musician Arthur James, Appledore

9:00 p.m. Open Bar, Hospitality
Pete the Bartender returns by popular demand and will mix your drink to order. Adults over 21 only.

9:15 p.m. Vicky Christina Barcelona, Movie Room (Room 294)

9:15 p.m.  M-Available Meet & Greet with Blue Dot Single Ms, Meet n’ Greet Room (Room 293)
The M-Available SIG with The Smart Life's Single Ms invite you to come mix and mingle with some available Ms! Grab a drink from hospitality and come have some fun!

10:00 p.m. Kids’ Room Closes

10:30 pm Shrimp & Champagne, Hospitality

11:00 p.m. Life of Brian, Movie Room (Room 294)

12:30 a.m. Movie Room Closes


Sat, Feb 19

8:00 a.m.  Breakfast, Hospitality

9:00 a.m.  My trip to the 2010 World Cup – Jack Balcom, Badger
Jack is a seasoned World Traveler who took his son and some friends to the World Cup in South Africa last summer. Jack will be showing selected shots and sounds of the journey to include the matches, safari and other side trips. This was Jack's 5th trip to South Africa but this time it was remarkable how the Country came together. He will be able to answer any questions on traveling to and getting about in South Africa.

 9:30 a.m.  General Play Time - Kids’ Room (Room 296)
When there are no events going on, the Kids’ room will be available for kids to play, color, and have fun. Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by an adult to be in the Kids’ Room during the free-play times (we are not a babysitting service).

9:30 a.m.  Toy Story 3, Movie Room (Room 294)

10:00 a.m.  Life in Paris – Pictures & Stories – Henry Smith, Appledore
This presentation is a collection of images and stories Professor Smith has collected over his many years of ongoing travels to French soil. Informative and entertaining, he shares his keen interest in life in France, social and political, past and present – the bouquinistes, art and graffiti, his personal encounters, the open air markets, cemeteries and so much more!

10:00 a.m.  M-trepreneur SIG, Meet ‘n’ Greet Room (Room 293)
A lot of us haven't been doing well in the present economy.  Since the kind of jobs that we used to have don't seem to exist anymore, perhaps we've got to figure out how to create our own.  This is intended as a brainstorming session to talk about ways we can create businesses that may make some of us a living.

10:30 a.m.  Meet for Tour of USS Albacore, near RG Registration Table
This will be a self-guided group tour.  The USS Albacore was a prototype submarine of the post-WWII era, and was a key to the shape and fin design of today's modern submarines.  The story of the Albacore is the story of 1950s submarine design.   It has been on 'dry land' in Portsmouth since the last 1980s.

10:30 a.m.  Kids Scrapbooking – Sue Follansbee, Kids’ Room (Room 296)
Scrapbooking activity for boys or girls - Simple mini scrapbook and everything needed to decorate it and have it ready to bring home and add pictures.

11:00 a.m.  Advocates, Agendas, & Naysayers – Arthur Greenberg, Badger
Science and technology play major roles in our lives. We directly and indirectly make decisions about what we think to be true, likely to be true, exaggerated, or false. This may involve decisions to spend extra to purchase “totally organic foods,” choose to inoculate children against disease, or how to power one’s house. We vote on policy by supporting candidates and government initiatives on incredibly complex issues, including climate change, federal regulation of food and drugs, nuclear power, and off-shore oil drilling. Professor Greenberg discusses the need to critically assess the avalanche of information we receive on a daily (even hourly) basis from a wide array of sources having a wide array of credibility.

11:30 a.m.  UFO Sightings in New England – Vic Zeller, Appledore
This talk will be based on UFO stories told to me as a teacher of Physics, Astronomy and General Science and on investigations for MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network. Sightings include speeding lights, nearby globes, orbs, wing shapes, triangles , black "football fields", beams of light,and creatures...but seldom flying saucers. The moon, Venus, Sirius, airplanes and searchlights are commonly reported. Questions may be asked, and Vic will suggest some answers.

11:30 a.m.  Fantastic Mr. Fox, Movie Room (Room 294)

11:30 a.m.  Meet the RVC – Lori Norris, Room 292

12:00 p.m.  noon Lunch, Hospitality
Sandwiches on homemade bread with salad.

1:00 pm  Sustaining ORGANICzational Momentum – Jack Mastrianni, Appledore
Have you ever felt that the organization you are a part of has a hard time sustaining momentum or success?  Do you ever feel that the organization is stuck and can’t seem to grow or move forward?  If the answer is yes, then this presentation is for you!
We will explore:
- What makes organizations tick
- How and why organizations have radically changed in recent times
- Why momentum is increasingly difficult to maintain.
- That the secret to understanding organizations is found in understanding living organic, natural systems
- What you can do to get your organization out of the doldrums and on the path to regenerative growth

1:00 p.m.  The Evolutionary Horror Story – Wil Howitt - Badger
War correspondence from the ongoing arms race we call evolution.  This is a guided tour of the oddities of nature -- the strangest, creepiest, and most bizarre things that live on this earth.  Half a billion years of evolution has created all kinds of odd creatures, and we will introduce you to all the oddest.  Includes the Top Ten Weirdest Ways to Get Food, the Top Ten Weirdest Ways to Have Sex, and the Top Ten Most Dangerous Things Alive That You Never Want to Deal With.  Includes mature themes and language, may not be appropriate for children.

1:00 pm  Magic the Gathering, Kids’ Room (Room 296)
Come play Magic The Gathering (tm) with others. We will have some cards there, but feel free to bring your own deck.

1:15 p.m.  Zorba the Greek, Movie Room (Room 294)

1:30 pm  Meet for Tour of Red Hook Brewery, near RG Registration Table

1:30 p.m.  Cacao Story: A Taster's Guide to Understanding Chocolate – Rich Tango-Lowy, Room 295 (Tickets Required)
We'll talk history. Politics, economics, religion, conquerors, pirates, mayhem, murder. We'll talk of truths, myths, and deliberate and not-so-deliberate misunderstandings. We'll talk chocolate. How do you make it? When is dark dark? A milk/dark paradox?  Is white chocolate really chocolate? About that makeup you're wearing...We'll taste chocolate, some of the best in the world. We'll taste with each of our fives senses and with our minds. We'll taste nuance and character and fragrance and flavor. We will learn to see chocolate as it is: Theobroma Cacao, food of the gods.
This presentation will last 2 hours.

2:30 pm  Conducting 101 – Lisa Maxwell, Badger
The goal of this interactive workshop is to share a brief overview of the orchestral conductor’s role and responsibilities, the tools he or she uses, and to instruct the participants in the basic beat patterns used by the conductor.  The participants are not expected to have any prior knowledge of music or conducting. During the latter portion of the workshop, the participants will be given an opportunity to conduct music.

3:00 p.m.  Snacks (Mediterranean sweets and cookies), Hospitality

3:00 p.m.  AG Update, Room 292

3:00 p.m.  Psychic Shields and Other Basic Energy Techniques – Tchipikaan, Appledore
This is the stuff Tchipikaan feels should be taught to every grammar school kid in first and second grade, but it isn't. There is an energetic as well as material component to everything around us, and our lives work better if we know how to work with that rather than try to ignore it.

3:00 p.m.  Scavenger Hunt, Kids’ Room (Room 296)

3:45 p.m.  Under the Tuscan Sun, Movie Room (Room 294)

4:00 p.m.  Cacao Story: A Taster's Guide to Understanding Chocolate – Badger
(Tickets Required)
We'll talk history. Politics, economics, religion, conquerors, pirates, mayhem, murder. We'll talk of truths, myths, and deliberate and not-so-deliberate misunderstandings.
We'll talk chocolate. How do you make it? When is dark dark? A milk/dark paradox? Is white chocolate really chocolate? About that makeup you're wearing...
We'll taste chocolate, some of the best in the world. We'll taste with each of our fives senses and with our minds. We'll taste nuance and character and fragrance and flavor.
We will learn to see chocolate as it is: Theobroma Cacao, food of the gods.

4:00 p.m.  Music Room (Appledore) Opens
Available for jamming until 8:00 pm, bring your own instruments and music equipment.

4:30 p.m.  Magick in the Ancient Mediterranean World - Tchipikaan, Appledore
From the Pyramids to the Pillars of Hercules. In Rome, Greece, Anatolia, Lebanon and Egypt our forefathers (and mothers) used magick to attract love (or sex), fix horse races, will court cases, and get even with those who annoyed them. They used sheets of bowls, lead and nails, food, amulets and charms.  We'll cover as many techniques, and amusing and alarming stories as we can.

4:30 p.m.  Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament, Tournament Games Room (Room 295)

5:45 p.m.  Mamma Mia! , Movie Room (Room 294)

6:30 p.m.  Greek Dinner, Hospitality

7:30 p.m.  GenX/Y Mixer, Meet ‘n’ Greet Room (Room 293)
Get together with other GenXers (born from 1961 to 1981) and GenYs (born from 1976 to 1988). Meet up with old friends and make new ones! This is an unstructured, drop in event.

7:30 pm  The South Pacific Islands, A Glimpse – Jane Davis, Badger
The islands of the Caribbean are certainly more frequented by tourists and cruise ships but the culture of the South Pacific Islands goes back some 3000 years and much of the island ways are still in evidence today.  Whether you are in the Samoan, Tahitian, Hawaiian, or other groups of islands, the people are mostly gracious but conditioned to tourist visits and sales.  What might be seen as an insane rush to sell trinkets, run tours, provide guide service, etc to ship travelers is often an infrequent event for the islanders and hardly gives the visitor an honest view of daily life.  One must get out of the tourist shuffle and ask questions and more importantly, listen to the answers.  The geography of each island varies little but the differences are there to see, as are the influences of the countries that claimed the various islands through recent history.  Jane Davis will to present some observations and invite discussion on the islands and the several stops made in New Zealand as well.

7:45 p.m.  West Bank Story, Movie Room (Room 294)

8:00 p.m.  Dungeons and Dragons, Tournament Games Room (Room 295)
For all ages. Join the party of adventurers as they make their way through their adventure! We’ll be playing by 3.5 Rules. We have some dice and books, but feel free to bring your own. If you want to make your character ahead of time, you can. 4rth level – the DM reserves the right to make changes. We’ll have a few pre-made characters available as well.

8:15 p.m.  The Social Network, Movie Room (Room 294)

8:30 p.m.  Poker Tournament, Games Room, Cutter

9:00 p.m.  Open Bar, Hospitality
Pete the Bartender returns by popular demand and will mix your drink to order.

9:00 p.m.  Folk Musician Jane Fallon, Appledore

10:00 p.m.  Kids’ Room Closes

10:00 p.m.  Chocolate Feast, Hospitality

10:30 p.m.  Eat Pray Love, Movie Room (Room 294)

12:45 a.m.  Movie Room Closes


Sun, Feb 19

8:00 a.m.  Breakfast, Hospitality

10:00 a.m.  Kids’ Room Closes

10:00 a.m.  Awards and Announcements, Appledore

 

Please find the registration form and hotel information here.

See you there!

- Holly Green, 2011 NH RG Chair

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