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Articles from April 2007

What's Cooking in Region 1 - April 2007
by Marghretta McBean

At the March AMC (American Mensa Committee - Mensa's board of directors) meeting, we voted to formally designate the Mensa Foundation as the sponsor of our Colloquia. With its 501(c)(3) status, it is hoped that the opportunity of making a tax deductible contribution might encourage more corporate and individual patronage. Clearer lines of communication and responsibility in producing a Colloquium were also addressed. The 2007-2008 budget was also approved; I made one of the dissenting votes. While budgeting is an art not a science, I felt that the income expectations were far too optimistic - a 32% increase over this year's budgeted income which is itself short of the actual amount. Hopefully I will be proven wrong: despite the increase in testing fees and prior evidence evaluation, many more people will continue to take that first step towards membership.

If you are reading this column, it probably means you were a member as of 1 April, and entitled to vote in both our national (full disclosure: I am running for Chairwoman) and international elections. Look for for the ballots in your April issue of the Mensa Bulletin. In addition to the traditional paper mailed-in ballot, there is an Internet option as well.

It's Taurus Time, and I would like to wish all my fellow bulls the Very Best in Birthday Wishes. Of special note may Oleg Bayborodin and Lorenzo Perez (Boston Mensa); Jack Peregrim (Connecticut/Western Massachusetts Mensa); Christopher Neylan, Traci Nagy, Kevin Thompson, and Salvatore Negri (Greater New York Mensa); M Lee Ribblett of New Hampshire & Maine Mensa; Alex Peters and Harvey Nisselson (Northern New Jersey Mensa); George Merusi III of Southern Connecticut Mensa and of Jacques DuPuis of Vermont Mensa enjoy our Day of Days - May 7th.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799), another brilliant Taurus, was an Italian mathematician who is credited with studying planar cubic curves which are symmetric about the y-axis and approach the x-axis as asymptotes. The so called "Witch of Agnesi" got its name from a Brit who did not speak Italian too well and mistook versiera ("that which turns" or "sine curve") as avversiera ("witch"). I'm in high geek(ette) mode now, just having finished reading "She's Such A Geek!", edited by Annalee Newirtz and (Ms.) Charlie Anders.

I made this Finnish Pancake as part of my Mother's Day brunch for my mother when I was six and considered old enough to use the oven. It's really easy and delicious.:

Finnish Pancake
glass of mead

  • 2 oz. (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. milk or half-and-half
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • pinch of nutmeg
    1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, milk, eggs and nutmeg and whisk lightly, leaving batter a little lumpy.
    3. Melt butter in a 12-inch cast-iron (or one with a heatproof handle) skillet. When very hot, pour in batter.
    4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.
    5. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if desired and serve with jam, preserves or marmalade.

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