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dec 10, 2006, 11:30am

I started this group because the Mensa Literature email list seemed to be dying, and there are still a few of us from that list who want to talk about books. So, welcome to all of you from that group, and welcome to any newcomers, as well!

2vpfluke Første besked:
dec 10, 2006, 6:01pm

Well, this looks like an intersting group. I tried posting a messaage, and mentioned the book, the Preservationist by David Maine, using the 'Touchstone' rules. David Maine ahs bee read by over 50 people on this list when I followed the link, but I lost my original message. So, I'm sseing how this goes at this point.
Bob Campbell

dec 10, 2006, 8:25pm

Hiya Bob!

Yeah, you may be safer copying your entire message BEFORE you hit post. Sometimes the site is wonky while it experiences some growing pains. It's just gotten so huge the last few months.


4jillforman Første besked:
dec 11, 2006, 12:22pm

Hey Clare - I signed up for the site but can't find a link to add myself to a group? Jill
p.s. thanks for setting this up

dec 11, 2006, 1:30pm

I'll send an invite to your profile page.

Great to see you, Jill!!!

dec 11, 2006, 1:33pm

Nice to meet everyone. Clare convinced me to join MENSA this year, and I thank her for it, and my (US mail) mailbox filled with junkmail thanks her for it. ;)

Glad to be here!

dec 14, 2006, 4:13pm

Meddelelsen er fjernet.

dec 14, 2006, 4:25pm

I used the back door. I got a copy of an IQ test score from my high school, had it notarized and mailed it in.

dec 15, 2006, 12:36pm

So far, I've put 18 books in my "Library" on this site. I am putting in a few books that I've liked quite a bit that I've checked out of the library. -- Bob

dec 15, 2006, 12:40pm

I finally figured out how to get my messages from "unread" to "read". This is by posting a reply to the last message. I've just started reading Misquoting Jesus, which with alterations in the biblical text as passed down.

dec 15, 2006, 12:47pm

A month ago, there was an event in Bryant Park in New York City, called Great Read in the Park. This is just west of the main library. I was encouraged to sign up for a New York City library card. (I had thought that I was only entitled to a Queens Library card: NYC has three libraries, Queens, Brooklyn, and New York (covering the other three boroughs). So, on Wednesday, I checked out my first book from the Mid - Manhattan branch, across the street from the main library, which no longer circulates books. This is Redefining Urban & Suburban America, vol III, published by the Brookings Institution Press, edited by Alan Berube, Bruce Katz, and Robert E. Lang. A dull book unless you really like numbers and Census data. This book is generally unavailable on Long Island. -- Bob

12Meridiani Første besked:
Redigeret: jan 23, 2007, 1:29pm

Thanks for the welcome. I just joined the group. I've been a lurker on the Mensa Literature email list; I'll try to be more active in this group. :-) Ah, yes, I'm Karen, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

jan 23, 2007, 8:10pm

Well, I'm very please you saw fit to come out of lurk mode, Meridiani. :o) I hope you continue to post in here, and join a few of the other groups while you are at it. This site it awesome for book lovers of all types.

jan 30, 2007, 10:23pm

Noting the few shared books, only two are shared among three people: All aboard with E. M. Frimbo, world's greatest railroad buff… by Rogers E. M. Whitaker (3), The new American Bible by Catholic Biblical Association (3). I do have these two, and one can wonder whether railfans are more religious. Obviously there is quite a bit of diversity when you think there are 6 of us with 11,000 books, and very few are shared. (Two have no books catalogued and one is just starting.) I'm about half way through with 1,500 so far.

jan 31, 2007, 5:48pm

Hi vpfluke

I also own both Frimbo and the New American Bible. As a recovering ex-Catholic I can not call myself a religious person.

I also am one of two owners of the Beer and Whiskey League. But I am neither a baseball player nor a drunk.

But your observation is very interesting.

Dave in Duluth

feb 1, 2007, 10:11pm

Dave (Bemidjian),
I see we share 29 books in our libraries. One book, When Eastern Michigan Rode the Rails, I did help the author, Jack Schramm, in a minor way, while I lived in Detroit, Michigan. But, I co-authored with him a two-issue article in Motor Coach Age (60 pages) of the suburban bus history of Detroit.
Are you from Bemidji originally. I've been to Duluth once, and did a week's worth of "consulting" in Minneapolis for the bus system there.
Bob on Long Island
(p.s. Can you be in an island in an American dialect? You can be in Newfondland and in the Isle of Man)

feb 2, 2007, 1:31pm

Greetings from the very frozen north

Our libraries overlap in some amazing areas.

I grew up and attended high school in Bemidji and later came back for a short time, did some work with the PBS channel, taught for one year at the college and marries the fottball coach's daughter.

I worked with the Kingsley Group, a railroad consulting firm, for a time, mostly on projects for Norfolk Southern and Conrail. I did get east occasionally, and actually saw a Long Island rail road train once, at Penn Station.

I have been a depot agent and in train service for several roads, starting with the Northern Pacific right after high school.

Currently I am watching with interest a proposal for commuter rail in Duluth...the tracks are perfectly sited for a city that is 40 miles long and two miles wide, and, except for one mile around Rices Point yard, are underutilized and could easily support service with Budd Cars or equivalents. There was a one week test in that manner last year.

I think I envy you your current job.

Otherwise, railroadly, I have been a part of a small team cataloging the train photos of Ronald Nixon. He left his collection of 30,000 train photos to a college in Montana, which after trying graduate students on the job, decided to try people with good railroad knowlege, a small group of railroaders and very serious railfans. Now we may have a chance to do captioning on three other big collections, so I have something to do while a major illness makes it necessary to slow down.

In Long Island? Well, CBC often uses the phrase "in Newfoundland", so it must be legit.

Take care and stay warm.


feb 10, 2007, 11:45am

I'm not in Mensa though I'm sure I'd qualify. I never really saw the need though. Any thoughts on the benefits?

Redigeret: feb 10, 2007, 11:58am

Well, it benefited me greatly when I lived in Illinois. I had real trouble connecting with folks with common interests capable of adult conversation. This may sound really pompous of me, but as a stay-at-home mom, I was starved for something other than 'mommies at a play group' level chat. This was before I discovered the glories of the internet, by the way. ;o)

I've been living in Connecticut for 6 years now, and I have yet to attend a single mensa function, but I still pay my dues. Here I have found a couple of book clubs that suit my needs nicely. Oh and I belong to a couple of wonderful message boards, too.

feb 10, 2007, 4:09pm

Hi Morphidae

I took the test on a challenge in 1979. I attended my first Mensa function, a Christmas party, in 2006. I had not paid dues for a number of years, but last year my wife reupped my membership as a surprise gift.

I think clamairy makes the best case for membership...you get people that can provide tremendous conversations and you can stimulate each others interests and open whole new horizons. It is easier to do that today, with the internet and the chance at a network of e-friends. In 1979 you had to be part of the right college community or a very unusual work environemnt to get that kind of stimulation.

And if you have a preference for really smart women (or men), Mensa is a pretty good way to meet some.

Dave in Duluth

feb 10, 2007, 5:43pm

Oh, I was smart and got myself a smart one already. :) We met over the computer, on Commodore 64's no less, back in 1989. I may have him take the test too. It would be great if we could both be involved.

Redigeret: feb 11, 2007, 5:56pm

You don't actually need to take the test. I used an IQ test score from HS to get in. If you visit the mensa website and snoop around some you'll find a list of acceptable tests and scores.

You may find you've already got the what you need to get in!


feb 10, 2007, 6:05pm

Yes, I already checked. My SAT score wasn't quite close enough and I didn't take an IQ test in high school. I'd been in gifted classes since 1st grade and I assume they didn't feel the need.

feb 10, 2007, 6:47pm

Well, you're welcome to join us in here in the meantime. :o)

mar 30, 2007, 10:01pm


Pardon me for butting in - I'm not a current member. Just read a post on Site Talk which mentioned Mensa, and have to ask if Mensa has a new recruitment program. :-)

Here's the quote:

". . . Even went so far as to call me dumb. Hmm. MENSA never thought so and I've turned them away twice. So did my parents. Never wanted to join a cult..."

I went ahead and took some umbrage (grin), but maybe y'all could confirm that Mensa hasn't started going door to door hassling innocent people to get them to sign up? :-)

Redigeret: mar 31, 2007, 9:33am

LOL! Not as far as I know! But, like many organizations, I think our members are aging, so we're probably looking for fresher meat.

Edit: I joined after I saw an add in Discover magazine, BTW. I've been a member for 13 years.

Redigeret: mar 31, 2007, 11:00am

Hi Clam,

Just trying to figure out how people could "turn away" Mensa not once, but twice. And in 2 generations.
The image of wild-eyed Mensa cultists harassing a family is intriguing. There are some nutty people in Mensa, but I'd hope they haven't been elected to run the outfit. :-)

Edit: Talked into pulling out my SAT scores by someone I met at my first SF con, 30 years ago. Lapsed. :-)

Redigeret: mar 31, 2007, 11:23am

Well, you should still join us in here, myshelves. Half the people who attended the monthly dinner meetings for chapter I used to belong to weren't dues paying members, either. ;o) Lapsing appears to be trendy, for mensans, anyway.

mar 31, 2007, 11:43am

Hmm. Freeloading was very much frowned upon in my chapter. One or 2 meetings, was ok, but after that people were expected to pay up.

mar 31, 2007, 11:54am

Well, if they were attending the official meetings in Chicago, that would have been true I'm sure. These were the casual monthly dinners for one of the suburban off-shoots of the chapter. None of us cared.

mar 31, 2007, 12:07pm

No offense, but LT has enough intelligent people, and stimulating talk, that I haven't felt any need to seek out "certified" intelligent people. :-)

In fact, when I was active in Mensa, I was surprised to find that the people I knew in the SF community read a lot more of every type of literature.

Redigeret: mar 31, 2007, 2:06pm

I formed this group to supplement/replace the official mensa Literature List, because it was dying a slow and painful death. The list 'owner' moved us to a new server, and we lost half (or more) of our members. To make things worse, the list was set up so that hitting reply to incoming msgs meant that emails were only going to one member, instead of the whole group. So, many of the folks gave up and stopped posting.

It doesn't seem to have worked, though. Hardly anyone is using this group. It's sad because I've been talking to some of these people, like Bob (vpfluke,) for years.

Edit: On the plus side, many of these folks joined LT because I set up this group, and they have found other groups to join.

Redigeret: mar 31, 2007, 2:21pm

I think that the internet has pretty much eliminated the problem of "Isolated M's." As soon as I got online, I discovered lists, geared to various levels of expertise, for every conceivable topic --- and plunged in. I have more in common and more to talk about with someone who has read a few dozen books on the same subject than I'm likely to have with someone who scores in the same test range but hasn't read those books.

The old bit was that outside Mensa no one undertood what you were talking about. Certainly not true on the internet.

Redigeret: mar 31, 2007, 2:30pm

I agree 100%. I joined mensa before I got wired. I was living in a town in the Mid-West where so many residents had complained about paying taxes to a library that they didn't ever use that it was no longer free to residents. You had to pay $80 to join for a year, and you could only borrow from that one small library. I needed mensa then.

Edit: My point being that I was living a non-book reading zone.

mar 31, 2007, 5:00pm

Hi Clamairy and all

A paid public library. Where was that so I can mark the place on my map and make sure I never contribute to its economy? On one of my projects in the south I did hear a county board in Kentucky voted to stop funding the public library because it was of interest only to elitists.

Thanks for starting the group. Maybe we all need to use it more. It is good to know that it is available, even if the internet has made most of us less isolated.

Dave in Duluth

mar 31, 2007, 5:17pm

Damairy & bemidjian: Its not just in the midwest. I'm in the metropolitan Northern NJ area. Our town doesn't have a library (its too small), but we could contract library privileges from other nearby towns. We do have library privileges from the county library, about 12 miles away. Therefore, according to our town fathers, there's no need, and besides, everything is on the Internet, say they. I should tell you, this is an upper-class, upper income area in which I live. Do I feel ill? So no matter, we all need people with whom we can talk about something other than the price of gas!!

On another note, I've been a member of Mensa for over 30 years & have gone to only one meeting, but I still pay my dues. The newsletter is a good way to find out what's happening locally, even if I don't attend.

mar 31, 2007, 5:43pm

Who are you calling Dam, Leel? :o) Yeah, I also pay my mensa dues, and don't attend. I now live in Connecticut, where one library card gets you access to any public library in the state. Dave, the town that had an $80 fee was in Northern Illinois, and I know that was an anomaly. At least, I hope it was...

mar 31, 2007, 7:46pm

Whoops, sorry clamairy. Should have put on my glasses!

Oh, I have a library card in the next town--for $165/yr, and I can use it in the entire county. For academic material, though, I use my university--I'm doing a Ph.D.

So the answer is, for those who can afford it, yes, you have library privileges.

apr 3, 2007, 10:42pm

Well, I am still chugging along. I have now entered in over 3,000 books into LT, and some day will make it up to 4,000. I don't think people who read everything spend a lot of time talking about it. My current novel is Wetware: a novel by Craig Nova -- not the Wetware by Rudy Rucker. I've just started it, and it's about a person who is creating human life from chemicals, a woman to fall in love with, and a male to have a buddy. It's reading pretty well, if you like science fiction. I have just finished The Heartbreaker by Susan Howatch, dealing with the experiences and healing of a male prostitute in the City of London at an Anglican Healing centre (St. Benet's) - probably not everyone's cup of tea, but a good read nevertheless.
Bob Campbell

apr 14, 2007, 11:28pm

I'm not in Mensa but I could have been; Just followed the link about Mice and Mensans because I enjoyed Robert M. Price's online article "Of Myth and Men" and I keep losing it. I realize that's a pretty loose connection.

If you're looking for a good NF book, Evolution by Carl Zimmer is as smooth and interesting as some novels.

apr 14, 2007, 11:51pm

Dear Dave, (Re #35)
We lived one summer (1960) in Newport, RI, while my stepfather went to the Naval Justice School. I was 15. There was a library only about two blocks from where we lived, however, it wasn't the public library in Newport. It was the Redwood Library, a venerable private library that one had to pay a fee to join. So my mother signed me and my sister up, so we didn't have to walk a mile to get to a library. This was a great place to be as we could open our windows and hear the Newport Jazz Festival and the folk Festival, climb a wonderful beech tree, walk among colonial homes, visit our eccentric landlord who was listed in the Boston Social Register. A married man, he once dated my great aunt when she visited: he driving a second hand telephone truck. His wife looked like the only effort on her curly hair was to collect it into a large band without combing. She drove their beat up looking for third hand furnitue to fill up their 35 room house.
The one thing that impressed me about the Redwood Library was their complete collection of bound Atlantic Monthly magazines.
I also remember the summer (1957) we spent in Palm Beach, FL. There my mother had us join the library their whose name, I believe, was the Society of the Four Arts. The librarian here introduced me to the deeper world of rare books and beautiful bindings. I also remember their bamboo garden.
So, non-public libraries weren't all that bad. Do others have memories of private libraries. I think the Library Company of Philadelphia was a paid institution at one time and I'm sure that the Boston Athenaeum still is.
Bob Campbell

Redigeret: apr 15, 2007, 1:06pm

Dear Bob

I will certainly agree with you that certain private libraries are a very valuable resource. The ones you cite are superb.

The ones that get me all warmed up and hostile are those that are the only library available in a community. Many of us who are products of small towns or isolated areas would have been very severely deprived if Andrew Carnegie had not made the town an offer that was accepted and nurtured, or had the bookmobile not come by with a freshly washed window on the world every two weeks.

I know that my janitor father and waitress mother could never have afforded a library membership during my early years. And there must be many smart young people growing up in areas where libraries have today been privitized or eliminated as elitist luxuries or unnecessary things when "everyone has access to the internet" who are going to be deprived of a treasure.

Today I live in a town where the public library system has five books for every local resident. The hours keep getting cut back, but the treasures are still there for the asking.

Would it be so everywhere.


Dave in Duluth

currently reading James Tiptree Jr. courtesy of the Public Library

Redigeret: apr 15, 2007, 2:41pm

I couldn't live without my local public libary here on Long Island. About 8 years ago, there were slivers of communities here without access to a public library because of the variation between the boundaries "village" supported libraries versus "school district" supported libraries - these not being coterminous (unlike New England). A state law was passed to rectify these anomalies, the details of which I don't remember, but everyone has access regardless of where they live.
Books I have checked out right now include The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs, Wetware: a novel by Craig Nova, and Tree of Souls: the Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz.
Bob Campbell

apr 15, 2007, 4:18pm

Oh Bob, I loved The Know-It-All! Wait until you get to the part where he tries to join mensa! :o)


apr 28, 2007, 5:22pm

I did read the funny part about Jacobs joining Mensa based on his SAT scores, and then took the test later....

Maybe I should buy this book at some point.


okt 20, 2007, 10:32pm

my wife and i passed the test for Mensa back in 1980 and she came out a halfpoint higher than me. I was highly pissed. We didn't join, however. We both came from country backgrounds and we get along just fine with one book a lifetime people. and this site takes care of all my needs.