2020 Program

Schedule subject to change.

Saturday Sunday

Friday, March 6, 2020
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
RVC2 Meet & Greet..........Henri Buccine-Schraeder....................Room 209
Meet with our own Region 2 Vice-Chair Henri Buccine-Schraeder. Ask questions, or just come in to say hi!
7:30 PM - 9:20 PM
What is a Game?.............Gil Hova...........Room 206
So how would you define what a game actually is? This is a surprisingly thorny question that has flummoxed philosophers all the way back to Wittgenstein. Game designer Gil Hova will take a look at several proposed definitions and compare their pros and cons.
Monster Trivia..........John Devoti....................Room 208
John Devoti has put together an impressive list of hard and harder facts of life. Teams of two will work together to find the answer to fifty diabolical questions. In most years, simply scoring in the thirties was enough to win. Come see if you can beat them.
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Dessert.................................Hospitality
The word "dessert" originated from the French word desservir, meaning "to clear the table." With an abundant selection of delicious cookies, cakes, and pies, we are confident that our fellow Snowballers will assist us in paying homage to the etymological roots of one of our favorite words by “clearing the table” of these confectionary delights.
9:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Hell's M's Meet & Greet..........Beth Weiss................Room 209
HELL’s M’s is the Party SIG of American Mensa. Stop by and find out who we are, what we do, and how to get one of the awesome attack owl t-shirts.
9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Karaoke...............Nick.............................Room 208
Rock on and sing the night away! Give Nick your favorite tune, and he’ll get you set up to dazzle the audience.
10:30 PM - 1:00 AM
LGBT Meet & Greet................Oriel Maxime et al...........Room 209
Meet with other members and supporters of our local Mensa Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community.
Saturday, March 7, 2020
8:00 AM
Wake-Up Walk...........Roger Herz............Hospitality
Join Roger Herz on a morning meander. Bring smile and sarcastic wit. Wordplay encouraged; puns permitted. Trombones and tubas discouraged. Wear at least one shoe. If weather inclement, not to worry, will do interior, with interim 14 seconds outside for permanent record cards/bragging rights.
9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Mensa Testing and Culture Fair Test............Douglas Mayo & Henri Buccine-Schraeder.....................Room 207
Every year a Standard and a Culture Fair Test session are scheduled for those that are interested in joining Mensa. If you know people who may be interested, tell them to get down here. The tests take about two hours. Bring a photo ID and two pencils. The Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test begins at 9:00 AM, and the Culture Fair test begins at 11:30 AM. Please arrive early to check-in and get a seat.
9:00 AM - 10:20 AM
K-9 Police Teams..................Sergeant Scott Kivet..............Room 208
Sergeant Scott Kivet of the Robbinsville Police Department will discuss the role of K-9 police dogs in narcotics enforcement. K-9 officers partner with police dogs in the execution of their duties and also take on the additional responsibility of training and caring for their police K-9s.
Braes, Brochs and Boundary Disputes.........Robin Marion.................................Room 209

Scottish history has been shaped by the rugged and beautiful landscape, the many peoples who have lived on it and left their marks (Neolithic peoples, Celts, Picts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Early Celtic Christians, Vikings, Roman Catholics, Protestants) not to mention the Loch Ness Monster, and their valiant efforts to gain or retain independence. They all contribute to the unique culture that is Scotland. Join Robin Marion as she speaks, in costume, and shares her slide show from Scotland.

Robin is a retired IT professional with interests in archaeology and foreign cultures.

10:30 AM - 11:50 AM
A Century of Asimov..........Ian Strock................Room 206
Isaac Asimov's business card read "natural resource," and he was. Author or editor of nearly 500 books, polymath, and science fictional icon, he was also a member of Mensa. January 2, 2020, was the centennial of his birth. Ian Randal Strock worked with Isaac for the last three years of his life, and got to know him very well. Come hear tales of who he was, what he meant to science fiction, and what legacy he leaves.
Success and Failure in Education and How to Navigate Toxic Leadership..........Dan Helm...........Room 208
Success and Failure in Education: In 2013 Daniel Helm wrote a book discussing how schools can be venues giving birth to student success with the help of adult effort or sanctuaries protecting the interests of self serving adults who hide how their ambitions and motives hurt students. In the discussion: Success and Failure in Education, Mr. Helm will expand his talk to include how human nature and behavior allows toxic cultures to thrive and how one must present objective truth despite the dangers to overcome toxic cultures in the workplace.
People Watching, Jersey Style................Joan Mysiak................Room 209
For many years Joan, a Jersey girl, has given us presentations on Natural New Jersey, focusing on the wildlife of our state. Now she switches to the other wildlife, namely, the People of New Jersey. With hundreds of vivid and revealing photographs, she introduces us to denizens of our state and the things they do with their lives from the ordinary to the weird. In terms of its people, our state is both unique and universal.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Escape from Snowball!..............Jordan Weiss....................Offsite

Central New Jersey Mensa is recruiting top problem solvers and puzzle experts to ESCAPE FROM SNOWBALL. Your first challenge will be to arrange your transportation to the escape room venue, just one exit down the parkway, registration is $26.50 per person. The event room starts at 1:00 PM sharp on Saturday, March 7th, and attendees must arrive by 12:45 PM. Due to the nature of escape rooms, once the event starts, latecomers will not be able to join the group, so be on time! The venue does not offer refunds or cancellations.

If you did not pre-register, please confirm availability with the venue: All In Adventures, (732) 351-2772, 250 Woodbridge Center Dr, Woodbridge, NJ 07095.

1:00 PM - 2:20 PM
Pun Off......... Jason Seiler..............Room 206
Are you a connoisseur of puns? Do your friends roll their eyes but laugh in spite of themselves when you say a punchline? If so, this tournament is for you! Compete against your fellow Mensans for a coveted trophy and be declared Dad Joke Champion! (Contestants need not be dads to enter).
Is it Real or ??.......................Joseph Haber.........Room 208

Joe will provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of synthetic (or lab grown) gems and imitation gems. He will show that there is a real difference between synthetic gems and imitations. In fact some materials can be both! He will also tell you why buying a synthetic gem can actually be the far better choice.

Joseph Haber is a Graduate Gemologist and a member of the Accredited Gemologists Association. Joe sells gems, jewelry and crystals from his business, “Middle Earth Treasures.” Joe has been intimately involved in the gem and jewelry industry for over forty years and has taught classes in Gem Identification.

YOUTH…inize Yourself...........George Scherer............Room 209
When I was young I was concerned about getting older. Now, I’m concerned about not getting older. All of us are getting older but that doesn’t mean that we have to get “old.” Humor may actually help us put more years in our life, even if it doesn’t it will certainly put more life in our years. In this presentation learn how to harness the benefits of humor and laughter to help us grow older gracefully.
8th Annual Operation Happy Sock ......Nick...............Room 210

We’re continuing to honor a beloved Snowball Hospitality organizer with our outpost of “Operation Happy Sock.” As many folks know, Shirley Connell was also devoted to animal rescue, especially cats. Thankfully it has become an annual event. People will be making toys for shelter cats with used socks, stuffing (fiberfill), and catnip. There will be 3 categories of people: those who brought socks and want to make the toys, those who just want to drop off socks, and those who want to make toys with others' socks. We will supply the stuffing and catnip. We will have a box at registration for those that want to drop off socks.

http://ohappysock.blogspot.com/

2:30 PM - 3:50 PM
Emerging Issues in Insurance...................Deb Stone................Room 206

Are you involved in ride-sharing? What about the gig economy as it grows? What will it mean when autonomous vehicles are really a part of our world? What kind of data should insurance companies gather, and how will they use it? How about those involved in the marijuana business, when the product is still illegal under federal law? Will insurance rates change to reflect what seems to be a pattern of increasingly severe weather events and natural disasters? Bring your questions about these (and other) insurance issues to this session and let's talk!

Deb is a 35+ year member of Mensa. She has been active at the both the local and national level for most of those years, including helping run RGs and AGs, and serving on local boards as well as being the 2015-17 AMC Chair and 2017-2019 AMC Treasurer. She is currently a trustee on the Mensa Foundation board, and loves to talk about that with anyone who will listen! Outside of Mensa, she is an actuarial and risk management consultant and also works in the real estate field as both a salesperson and in real estate investment.

Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma........................Ritu Chopra..................Room 208

Vicarious Trauma (VT) aka Secondary Traumatic Stress is common while dealing with people who have gone through traumatic life experience. A care giver or a service provider can also experience compassion fatigues or vicarious trauma.

The two major components of compassion fatigue are burnout and secondary traumatic stress. The victims's experience and its narrative can influence care giver in many ways. In order to increase personal strengths dealing with compassion fatigue or vicarious trauma, one needs to understand its symptoms, self-care techniques, and to help co-workers or friends who may be experiencing compassion fatigue.

This is interactive session with many helpful tips and techniques and better understanding of the symptoms.

Metal Detecting in NJ.................Joe Jorgenson & Peter Schichtel..................Room 209

Joe and Peter will discuss their hobby of metal detecting and share some of their best finds. They will also share two of their most memorable sites searched, a paper mill "pulp dump", and a Civil War picket post near Gettysburg PA. There will be displays from both sites among other finds.

Joe Jorgensen
58 year old resident of Pompton Plains, N.J. Joe started in the hobby of Metal Detecting in 1973 ( 46 years ). He is the president of the East Coast Research and Discovery Association for 19 years. He is a self-employed contractor. He’s a past mayor of Pequannock Township, 2009. He collects: coins, stamps, tools, bottles, etc.

Peter Schichtel
- Peter was born and raised in North Jersey and spent his childhood exploring the fields, streams, and woodlands, looking for treasures and rarities. He’s passionate about metal detecting, looking for bottles, Indian Artifacts, gems, and collecting relics. He studied Archaeology and US history at CCM, Montclair State, and Uppsala College. He was part of the dig at the Parsippany Petroglyph Site and the Passaic Basin in Essex Co. Along with Joe Jorgensen, he lectures at venues including the NJ / NY Fossil and Gem Shop. For the past four years, Peter has contributed as a writer of the American Indian Artifact column for American Digger Magazine.

Craft Break and........Andrea Gallini Giarnieri.......Room 210
Andrea Gallini Giarnieri is not only our registrar, she’s crafty. No, not THAT way… She has presided over Snowball’s drop-in craft break for a number of years, and it seems to keep growing and expanding its territory—hence the “. . .” part. Bring your projects, one & all! You can come and go at any time.
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
True Greed Tournament....................Beth Weiss........................Hospitality
True Greed A Dicey Game of Personality, was developed by a Mensan as something to do with your hands while in a conversation around a table. But yeah, there are bragging rights for the winner. Watch if people play conservatively, appropriate for their score, or truly greedily. Only 1s and 5s count for score so try not to go bust! No experience necessary—True Greed is quick to learn.
4:00 PM - 5:20 PM
Introduction to Home Brewing.........................Jim Poserina.....................Room 206

Some people have hobbies that yield flower gardens or knitted scarves or painted figurines. My hobby yields something different: a pint of beer, a mug of hard cider, and a glass of wine. I'll show you how I do it, covering the ingredients, equipment, and procedures that are needed to participate in the nearly ten-thousand-year-old tradition of brewing.

Jim Poserina is a 20-year member of CNJM, a Cash Cab champion, and a published sabermetrician. He has been brewing beer at home since 2003.

Trivia Redux................Theo Lambros & Robert Witheridge.................Room 207
Put your knowledge to the test! Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the smartest of them all?
SETI - Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence..............Dr. Harry Ringermacher.....................Room 208
Is ET already here? We'll check that and go on to the search for life in our Galaxy. Recent findings of thousands of planets around suns by the Kepler planet probe makes it much more likely to find life everywhere. How do we look for it? Where do we look for it? Will it find us? That's what SETI is about!
Aikido Principles Applied to Leadership. Be a Better Self to Lead Others......................Franck Mounier.................................Room 209

You will learn the key principles of Aikido, a very peculiar martial art based on the blending of energies. Through examples, you will see how these principles fit in many business situations and can be very beneficial to leaders. By extension, this can also be applied to many daily life situations.

Franck is a retired executive leader from the pharmaceutical industry. He led global franchises up to more than one billion dollars and worked on four continents. He developed his leadership skills through the different cultural environments in the US, Europe, Japan, and Africa. Among others, he worked with governments to create coalitions and lead team efforts to allow access to life-saving drugs to cancer patients in developing countries, positively impacting thousands of lives.

Franck is a black belt aikidoka practicing in New Jersey. He started Aikido in Japan at the Hombu Dōjō, the Aikido World Headquarters, the very place created by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of this martial art.

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Keynote: Game Theory 101..............Oriel Maxime...................Ballroom (first floor)

What do election politics, reality television, and murderous pigeons have in common? Game theory - the study of conflicts of interest. Come enjoy this highly-interactive, no-math survey of key ideas and theorems of this fascinating science. Bring your curiosity and life experiences: the applications are endless. PLEASE plan to arrive on time or a little early for reasons that will become apparent during the program!

Oriel is your classic, all-around math geek. He has a degree in Applied Mathematics from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and greatly enjoys all aspects of the subject, ranging from the recreational to the highly abstract and technical. He has also done a lot of study in the area of recursive functions, computability, and various complexity classes.

He adores games and puzzles of all sorts: he plays them, creates them, and sometimes even publishes them. Oriel's quest in puzzle creation is discovering complexity hidden within simplicity. Bends puzzles are easy to explain and hard to solve, and they are a great example. The lore of NP-completeness has been a good source of ideas for problems with this property (three-coloring a planar map, for instance).

He has been published by Penny Press Logic Problems, by Games Magazine, and by Kadon Enterprises. As an active member of Mensa, he runs a Logic Problem Tournament twice a year at two of the gatherings and has spoken several times on Game Theory.

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Dessert.................................Hospitality
The word "dessert" originated from the French word desservir, meaning "to clear the table." With an abundant selection of delicious cookies, cakes, and pies, we are confident that our fellow Snowballers will assist us in paying homage to the etymological roots of one of our favorite words by “clearing the table” of these confectionary delights.
9:15 PM – 11:00 PM
Movie Night: Airplane! (1980) 90 minutes............................Room 210
An American satirical disaster film written and directed by David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams, and produced by Jon Davison. It stars Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty and features Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Lorna Patterson. The film is a parody of the disaster film genre, particularly the 1957 Paramount film Zero Hour!, from which it borrows the plot and the central characters, as well as many elements from Airport 1975 and other films in the Airport film series. The film is known for its use of surreal humor and its fast-paced slapstick comedy, including visual and verbal puns, gags, and obscure humor.
9:30 PM -
Werewolves of Ziggy Hollow.....................Bill “Ziggy” Zigo..................Room 206
Werewolves is a social interaction game where the players are villagers, some of whom have been infected with lycanthropy. At night the werewolves eliminate a villager, and the next morning the remaining villagers lynch one of their own, hoping it's a werewolf. Villagers with special powers add complexity to the game. Play begins when we have a quorum. Bill is a Mensan and gamer from New York.
10:00 PM - Midnight
14th Annual CNJ Mensa Snowball Spelling Bee..............Robert Witheridge and Theo Lambros...............Room 207
Beekeepers Robert Witheridge and Theo Lambros invite you to swarm on over to the 14th Annual CNJ Mensa Snowball Spelling Bee. Do you have what it takes to be named the Queen or King Bee? A diverse assortment of rounds and words will be presented for the apian enjoyment of all. If you always have the last word—let’s prove it!
10:00 PM - 1:30 AM
Double Deck Cancellation Hearts Tournament............Stan Ward.............Hospitality
104 cards, two queens of spades, and 26 heart points you can take the hard way. You know the old saying: We're all friends at the hearts table--but drop a queen on someone anyway. Winners of the first round advance to a finals table.
11:15 PM – 2:00 AM
Movie Night: Inception (2010)150 minutes............................Room 210
A science fiction action film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who also produced the film with his wife, Emma Thomas. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. He is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person's idea into a target's subconscious. The ensemble cast includes Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.
11:00 PM – Midnight
Champagne Tasting.................Jordan Weiss................Seminar Room
Have you ever wondered why champagne is so expensive? What makes that appellation worth so much? Isn't that a mountain range? Come find out at 11:00 PM on Saturday night in the Seminar Room!
Midnight
Champagne and Strawberries...............................Hospitality
Didn’t get enough champagne yet? Come to Hospitality for champagne and strawberries!
Sunday, March 8, 2020
8:00 AM
Wake-Up Walk...........Roger Herz............Hospitality
Join Roger Herz on a morning meander. Bring smile and sarcastic wit. Wordplay encouraged; puns permitted. Trombones and tubas discouraged. Wear at least one shoe. If weather inclement, not to worry, will do interior, with interim 14 seconds outside for permanent record cards/bragging rights.
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Multimedia Swap Set-up...............Diane Smith................Room 209

Bring your items to Diane, arbiter of all things swap-worthy, before 10:00—if SHE says it’s too old, out-of-date, incomplete and so on, you get to bring it home with you. If your items pass muster, you’ll get a ticket for each item to use to get another gently-used something when the Swap opens. At 10:00 you can trade your ticket in for that book (game, what-have-you) you’ve had your eye on. Once the ticketed customers have their shot, the rest of the crowd can have a go. Remember: judgments of the Swapmeister are arbitrary, capricious, and final.

In a change from past years, once you are in the room to drop off items, you will not be asked to leave and stand in line. You will still only be able to take one item at a time and turn in your ticket before going back for another.

NOTE: Please remember that NO “X” rated items will be accepted.

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Multimedia Swap...............Diane Smith...............Room 209
Now’s your chance—pay attention to the Swapmeister! In a change from past years, once you are in the room to drop off items, you will not be asked to leave and stand in line. You will still only be able to take one item at a time and turn in your ticket before going back for another.
11:00 AM - Noon
Hail and Farewell..............Erin R., and Josh Fishkind............Room 206
Winners are acknowledged, thank-yous are proffered, announcements are made. The only thing left to do now is register (cheap) for Snowball XLVII, say goodbye to your cronies, and safe home! See you next year!

top of page