2007 Schedule of Events

(Please note that this Regional Gathering has concluded!)



Friday, February 16


3:00 PM: Registration Begins

4:00 PM: Hospitality Opens

Game Room Opens

5:00-6:30 PM: Dennis Lynch presents Hearst and His Castle Program 2

Join Dennis Lynch, veteran Advanced Placement History teacher, Academic Decathlon coach, and 2002 Los Angeles County Teacher-of-the-Year, for a presentation on the life of media magnate, William Randolph Hearst, and his astounding creation of San Simeon. Whether you have visited The Enchanted Hill or not, Mr. Lynch’s photos and humor will entertain and intrigue as he regales you with stories of “Hearst and His Castle”.


5:00-6:30 PM: Ed You presents Werewolves Program 3

By night, werewolves kill off villagers. By day, angry villagers kill off other villagers ... that they think are werewolves in disguise. (But, oops, sometimes they just kill off “innocent villagers.”) “Werewolves” requires observation, some deduction, and a lot of bold-faced lying. Who will prevail? The werewolves? Or the villagers?


6:30-7:30 PM: Dinner Hospitality

7:30-8:30 PM: New Member Reception Program 1

Desiree Sagray hosts a reception for new members who wish to find out more about what Mensa has to offer. Stop by and say hello to our newest Mensans.


Arno Vigen presents I’m Smart – but I Still Can’t Write! Program 2

Heather Hale presents Networking Games Program 3

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave...” Join Heather Hale, Hollywood networking guru, as she helps everyone kick off the RG by weaving a fun and tangible Mensa web. Warm up for the Pub Crawl by turning some of these strangers into acquaintances. Learn something interesting about everyone in the room so you’ll be able to easily break the ice throughout the rest of the RG — and maybe even convert some of your new acquaintances into new friends! Learn to let go of your fears — and discover how much fun schmoozing can be! With the Oscars next Sunday, we’ll play a red carpet name tag game — with prizes to boot!


8:30-9:00 PM: GenX Meet & Greet Library

9:00 PM: GenX Pub Crawl departs, led by Justin Kis

9:00-10:00 PM: Filk Program 1

Filk singing started as a typo for “folk” at a science-fiction convention. Original melodies and parodies with a science, sci-fi, or social commentary theme. Most of the songs are humorous. Featuring GLAAM’s own Alan Stillson.


10:15 PM: Host TBA presents Wine Tasting Program 2

Carnelli Program 3

11:30 PM: Host TBA presents Joke-Off Program 1


Saturday, February 17


8:00 AM: Breakfast Hospitality

8:30-9:30 AM: Meet the GLAAM Board of Directors and RVC Hospitality

Join RVC Doug Miller and members of the GLAAM Board for this open time to visit. Consider this the GLAAM version of “Town Meeting” and feel free to bring your questions, concerns, or ideas to them. These are your representatives and a perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with them!


9:00-10:00 AM: Dave Felt presents Testing Program 1

Testing continues in this room through 12:00 noon.


Heather Hale presents Improv Games: “Whose Line Is It Anyway...?” Program 2

Yeah, yeah, yeah — we’d all rather sleep in — but what’re you here for? To have fun? To meet people? Maybe learn something new? Don’t miss this opportunity to do all three before most everyone else is even awake! Get up and flex some muscles that might not normally get exercised! Get out of your own box. Whether you’re a writer or an actor — or fiercely shy and think you don’t have a creative bone in your body — give this a shot. Led by Heather Hale, we’ll play group and individual writing games — with hysterical shares — followed by on-your-feet team improv games. Fun and silly. Thought-provoking and intriguing. But definitely NEVER boring or predictable — we promise! EVERYONE participates! Come and join the fun! (Or just hear about it all weekend.)


Sandy Hightower presents Greyhounds Make Great Pets Program 3

Come learn about this fabulous breed that has been around since 4000 BC. You’ll be surprised to find out how mellow, clean, easy and well behaved they are. The transition from racetrack to couch is an effortless one for these retired athletes.

Sandy has been involved in Greyhound Rescue for the past six years, owns two greyhounds of her own, and has had over 80 foster dogs live at her house.


Stratton Lindenmeyer presents Dr. IQ Trivia Library

Test your knowledge against Dr. IQ. Stratton will ask questions and invites audience members to bring ten of their own questions, too.


10:30 AM - Noon: DMA presents The Realities of Reality TV Program 2

It is the programming the world loves to hate — but exactly how does reality TV get made, and how can you be a part of it? From casting how-to’s (and please don’ts) to the high stakes and blow-out budgets of mega-hits, this seminar answers the questions: Is reality TV real ... and could it be right for you?

Reality TV executive producer DMA (Donna Michelle Anderson) has been a successful writer, producer and show runner of dozens of highly rated non-fiction television programs for CBS, UPN, Fox, Bravo, BET and more. In this seminar, she presents an insider’s view of the world of reality TV. Through her production company, Tidal Wave TV, she regularly presents popular reality industry training events for the Producer’s Guild, Writer’s Guild, Stanford in Entertainment and more.

In 2006, former model, film story analyst and now-TV producer DMA launched “Planet DMA,” a public speaking and training experience offering practical insider tools to realizing goals inside and beyond the entertainment industry. She is the author of "The Show Starter™ Reality TV Made Simple System: Ten Steps to Creating and Pitching a Sellable Reality Show", as well as "The 1-3-5 Story Structure Made Simple System: The Nine Essential Elements of a Sellable Screenplay". Her production company Tidal Wave TV produced the broadband series “Hollywood Calls™,” an online call-in show that answers people’s questions on how to break into the biz (airing on www.planetdma.tv). Tidal Wave TV’s Show Starter™ production services arm sets up shows for existing companies and offers reality show seminars and training for professionals in the industry. DMA is an active member of the Producer’s Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and is a graduate, with honors, of Stanford University.


Tim Callahan presents Rewriting Religion Program 3

Tim Callahan is religion editor for Skeptic Magazine and the author of two books: Bible Prophecy: Failure or Fulfillment? (a debunking of Hal Lindsey, et. al.) and Secret Origins of the Bible (dealing with parallel myths and polytheistic origins of the Bible). Tim presents Rewriting Religion: The DaVinci Code and the Gospel of Judas, in which he will discuss the alternate views of Jesus as interpreted by those who buy into the basic DaVinci Code / Holy Blood, Holy Grail scenario, as well as the alternate view of Judas as proposed in the Gnostic Gospel of Judas.


Noon - 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00-2:00 PM: Rosemary Radford Ruether presents Goddesses in Western Religion Program 1

Rosemary Radford Ruether is the Carpenter Professor emeritus at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and is presently teaching at the Claremont School of Theology and Graduate University in Claremont, California. She is author or editor of 42 books, including Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History, University of California Press, Berkeley. Her talk on Goddesses in Western Religion will be drawn from this book. She will discuss how feminine images of the divine developed in Christianity from Ancient Near Eastern and Jewish roots. She will explore how such feminine images functioned in relation to gender. She will show how much of these feminine images were developed by clerical males for male interests but they also can be claimed by women as positive images for women.


Stratton Lindenmeyer presents Spelling Bee Library

Think you are good at spelling? Come on down and find out how you match up to your fellow Mensans.


1:00-2:30 PM: Mary Carney presents Precision Far Infra Red for Health – Onnetsu Method Program 3

Oriental health practices are grounded in the theory that stressed and tense cells constrict and tighten, eventually becoming “cold.” Applying a very specific range of Far InfraRed (FIR) frequencies plus heat, first on the spine, then at precise other points on the body, warms and relaxes such stressed cells, enabling them to take in the special FIR Life Force frequencies. These energies re-awaken and enliven the formerly tense, cold, and sluggish cells and activate their inborn abilities to “clean house,” and repair themselves. Sneak peek: www.gaiahh.com.

Mary has spent the last 34 years becoming progressively more practiced in applying CAM modalities. In 1987 she completed a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Theology and Sacred Healing with over 500 hours clinical experience in “hands-on” Polarity energy work. Followup studies included certification in Holographic Repatterning (1997), Vibrational Healing Massage Therapy studies (1996-1999), the Human Design System and the Multi-Dimensional Design System (1997-2003). Her 2006 Certification in the Onnetsu Method, Precision Far InfraRed Energy application has integrated her extensive CAM studies into a practical system that enables both client and practitioner to know which modalities and where energy support is most important. Mary has presented programs on these different disciplines at other Mensa and Annual Regional Gatherings.


Devin Knowles presents Beer Tasting Lounge

People who have spent time in Germany often claim that the beer there is better than it is here. But is that really true? Join us as we taste some American beers brewed in the German style, and decide for yourself. Space is limited to 20 participants.


1:15-3:30 PM: DMA presents Every Story Begins With a No: The Simplest Step in (Re)Writing Your Sellable Script Program 2

Whether you’re facing a blank page one on your screenplay software or 130 pages of your “it just doesn’t work” first draft, getting a story properly started is the biggest challenge of writing a script. It’s also the biggest hurdle to getting a completed script past a reader at a production company or studio and into the hands of a buyer. But believe it or not, starting a story is simple! Just say “no.”

Producer, author and former story analyst DMA (Donna Michelle Anderson) presents her “character arc machine” that lets you easily generate the heart of a sellable script — or quickly pinpoint and correct the core problem with your rewrite. Character arc is the “3” in DMA’s popular “1-3-5 System” of story structure, which she has taught at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and numerous film festivals, production companies and professional gatherings nationwide.


2:15-3:15 PM: Alan Stillson presents perennial favorite Puzzle Games Library

Interactive puzzle solving contest, hosted by Alan Stillson, will involve short word puzzles.


2:30-3:30 PM: Viki Kind presents Social Dancing Program 1

The DJ’s playing and you want to dance. Learn basic steps and moves to feel more comfortable on the dance floor.


3:00-4:30 PM: Brian Madsen presents Mormon Temples and Family History Centers Program 3

Genealogists know that the Mormon Church has a mountain (literally!) of family history records which it makes freely available to the public through a network of Family History Centers, the largest of which (outside Salt Lake City) is right here on the grounds of the Los Angeles temple on Santa Monica Blvd. Learn from a knowledgeable ex-Mormon how to use those records, and learn why the church devotes so much of its resources to collecting that information and making it available for your use. This is not just a genealogy presentation, and not just a religious one, but rather it is part genealogy, part theology, and part history.


3:30-4:30 PM: Ed You presents Werewolves Library

A repeat of the Friday night’s game. See that description above for details.


3:30-5:00 PM: Michael Wong presents Cheese Tasting Lounge

Have you heard about the Wall Street banker who gave up her career to learn to become a cheese maker? Or the Japanese prime minister who felt insulted when he was served “Mimolette” by the French president? Join Michael as he recounts the various cheese anecdotes as we sample a variety of fromage with a heavy bent on the French ones. Space is limited to 15 participants.


3:45-5:00 PM: Stephen Scaia presents TV Writing Program 2

Stephen Scaia is currently an Executive Story Editor on CBS’s post-apocalyptic thriller, “Jericho.” He and his writing partner, Matthew Federman, have also written for “E-Ring,” “Judging Amy,” and developed a pilot for FOX about treasure hunters. Steve’s done it all to pay his dues — from night PA on a sitcom to a job as the concierge of the Beverly Hills Country Club — but his big break came as an assistant on “The West Wing.” His mother is very proud, even if she constantly reminds him that he’s splitting a salary with someone else.


4:00-5:00 PM: Alan Stillson presents Name That Tune! Program 1

Alan will play a few bars of a song on the piano, and you provide the title.


5:00-6:00 PM: Ed You presents Palabra Program 3

What RG Games Room would be complete without a Palabra Tournament? Ed will teach, host, and have plenty of Palabra sets available for members to indulge in and play (and purchase). Enjoy this easy to learn and fun to play Mensan favorite that increases in popularity every year.


6:00-7:15 PM: Banquet with Hal Rudnick as Mayor Villaraigosa Program 1

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be portrayed by Hal Rudnick. Hal has been performing comedy in Los Angeles for years. His sketch and improvisational comedy skills can regularly be seen in the premiere comedy theaters of Hollywood including The Groundlings, The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, and Improv Olympic. He has also appeared all over TV including Comedy Central, ABC, Lifetime, Fox’s Fuel TV as well national commercials. He has his fingers crossed that he won’t have the lowest IQ in the room.


7:30-8:30 PM: Richard Lederer presents keynote Presidential Trivia Program 2

9:00 PM - Midnight: RockDaddy! Program 1

This highly accomplished and entertaining group is composed of music industry pros who’ve played in bands with big names like Ray Charles, Edgar Winter, Stephen Bishop, Peter Tork, The Drifters and many others. Lead singer Kate Harris’s works have been featured in films like Legally Blonde and What Lies Beneath. Not tied to any one musical genre, the band’s repertoire includes hits from the 50’s through the 90’s, plus swing and jazz standards, disco and country.


MERF Auction Program 3

In an effort to increase our giving to benefit Scholarships for undergraduate students in our area, GLAAM is supporting a local MERF Scholarship. This is your opportunity to get more involved and contribute in this tax deductible and fun way. Stop by and see what looks interesting; enter bids on those you find interesting; and throughout the evening stop by to check on the status of your bid.


Midnight: Fishbowl Program 2

A free-wheeling, non-judgmental forum where you can ask those questions you have always wanted to ask of members of the other sex — and actually get some answers! There are sure to be many laughs and maybe a few revelations.



Sunday, February 18


9:30-11:00 AM: The Puccini Breakfast Program 1

Purchase the Sunday morning breakfast and enjoy soprano Serena Sagray singing a program of Puccini’s music, with an emphasis on the changes and development of his work over time.


11:00 AM - 12:30 PM: Dr. Richard Kulkarni presents Astronomy TBA Program 2

S. R. Kulkarni is the McArthur Professor of Astronomy and Professor of Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. He served as the Executive Officer for Astronomy from 1997-2000. Kulkarni obtained his undergradute degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and his PhD from UC Berkeley. He served a brief period as a postdoc at UC Berkeley and Caltech before joining the faculty rank at Caltech in 1987.

Prof. Kulkarni's primary interests are the study of compact objects (neutron stars and gamma-ray bursts) and the search for extra-solar planets through interferometeric and adaptive techniques. He serves as the Interdisciplinary Scientist for the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) and is co-PI of the Planet Search Key Project (also on SIM).

His awards include the Alan T. Waterman Prize of the NSF, a fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a Presidential Young Investigator award from the NSF and the Helen B. Warner award of the American Astronomical Society and the Janksy Prize of Associated Universities, Inc. Kulkarni was elected as Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994), Fellow of the Royal Society of London (2001) and Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (2003).


Jay Friedlander presents RG Adventure Library

Come join the fun with the RG Adventure! It’s basically a scavenger hunt for adults. Walk off your breakfast and enjoy some fresh air as you and your team search for clues in a race to solve a puzzle. Not only a fun activity, but a great way to make some new friends.


11:00 AM - 5:30 PM: Kid’s Track Program 3

12:30-1:30 PM: Lunch Hospitality

1:00-3:00 PM: Rich Kapnick presents Porn as a Business Program 1

Workers in the sex industry will discuss their motivations and experiences — demonstrations optional. What makes this industry tick? What are the trends in the business? Department of Justice attitudes toward adult content? Atendees must be 18 or older ... and should leave fulfilled.


1:30-2:30 PM: Alan Stillson presents Folksongs Program 2

Alan will provide the piano and the song books, you provide the voice. Enjoy the pleasures of group singing, from folk songs of the 50’s and 60’s to Broadway show tunes, country, and rock music.


1:30-3:00 PM: Jared Levine presents Chocolate Tasting Lounge

Chocolate isn’t JUST for adding into desserts. It is comfort food that stands alone brilliantly. Some (especially Mensans) would even call it one of the basic food groups. Come savor the sumptuous silkiness of chocolate. We will taste a range of chocolates, from white and milk chocolate to semi-sweet, dark, and bittersweet chocolate, as well as a few with the additional enhancing flavor of orange, hazelnut, or coffee. Space is limited to 20 chocoholics.


3:00-4:00 PM: Richard Lederer presents Confessions of a Verbivore Program 2

3:15-4:15 PM: Carnelli Program 1

4:30-5:30 PM: Viki Kind presents Ballroom Dance Program 1

Learn how to swing dance. We will start with the basics. You don’t need to bring a partner. Come join the fun.


Dr. Nayyer Ali presents Theology, History, and Modern Trends of Islam Program 2

Nayyer Ali, MD, will give a broad survey covering the basic theology and history of Islam. Join Dr. Ali as he provides an overview of the historical development and contributions of Islamic civilization, concluding with a brief look at the major trends shaping the Muslim world in the present age.

Dr. Nayyer Ali was born in Pakistan in 1963 and came to the U.S. in 1966. He grew up in Long Beach, California and studied history at Stanford University. He received a medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989. After completing a residency in internal medicine, he pursued subspecialty training in critical care. He has been working in Long Beach as a critical care doctor since 1995. Nayyer joined the board of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in 2001, was elected vice-chairman in 2003, and served as chairman from 2004-2005. He is co-author of “In Pursuit of Justice: The Jurisprudence of Human Rights in Islam” with Dr. Maher Hathout. In addition, he writes a weekly column for Pakistan Link newspaper.


5:30-6:30 PM: Dinner Hospitality

6:30-7:30 PM: Rabbi Stephen M. Robbins presents Kabbalah and Science Program 3

Join Rabbi Robbins for a comparative analysis of the neurobiology of consciousness and theoretical cosmology with the fundamental principals of Kabbalistic thought and practice.

Rabbi Stephen Robbins, M.A.H.L., D.D., Psy.D. is a graduate of UCLA in history and sociology, and Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, where he received a Masters of Arts degree in history and was ordained in 1972. He graduated Ryokan College in 2000 with a doctorate in psychology. He has served in a wide variety of capacities as Rabbi. He was the director of the Hillel Foundation at the University of Cincinnati, 1970-1973, and at U. C. Berkley, 1973-1978. While in those positions he taught at several colleges and universities as adjunct professor and lecturer. He served as Rabbi for Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 1978-1993. In 1993 he left the conventional rabbinate to found a new spiritual community, N'vay Shalom. with his wife, cantor Eva Robbins. He also began teaching and practicing Kabbalah both at their community and at the University of Judaism, where he has been teaching since 1978. He opened his practice in spiritual psychology, therapy and healing which he continues to this day. He is the co-founder and past president of the Academy for Jewish Religion/California where his is professor of mysticism and liturgy and practical rabbinics which opened in 2000. The academy is new kind of Jewish seminary. It is a trans-denominational school that trains rabbis, cantors and chaplains from a unique approach that is a non-denominational/pluralistic and spiritual-based philosophy, and that integrates tradition and textual study with contemporary and practical knowledge. The academy is now over 60 students and located next to the campus of UCLA. In 2006 he founded the Robbins Institute for Integral Wellness through which he is a consultant on wellness and management leadership training to corporations and universities. He is currently working as such with the University of Southern Califorina and other businesses and executives. The rabbi is the descendant of an ancient family of mystics and kabbalists. His doctoral studies are in the impact of trauma on the brain development and the function of the autoimmune system. The study of psychoneuroimmunology and post-traumatic stress is relatively new field. He has worked to integrate this area with the latest developments in the study of consciousness.


7:30-9:00 PM: 1st Annual Stand-Up Spectacular Program 1

Lots of professional stand-up comedians will have you in side-splitting laughter on Sunday night. On the roster are Frank Coniff (of MST3K fame), Erica Doering (most widely heard on the Mancow radio show), Andrew Solmssen (host of the New Faces show at the Hollywood Improv), Amanda Egge (Hollywood stand-up and Mensan; host of the popular, and notorious, “Dirtiest Sketch Contest” at the UCB theater in Hollywood), Brandon Burkhart (prolific sketch comedy artist), Shawn Carlo (staff writer for the critically-acclaimed, current-events-based sketch comedy show Big News at IO West in Hollywood), Matt Manser (prolific stand-up comedian), and the “horrifying” Erik Charles Nielson.


Texas Hold ’Em Games

9:00 PM - 1:00 AM: Club GLAAM Program 1

Our highly enjoyable casino night returns on Sunday night, hosted by a professional DJ for your dancing and karaoke pleasure.



Monday, February 19


8:00-9:00 AM: Breakfast Hospitality

9:30-10:00 AM: Monday Morning Media Exchange Program 2

You’ve brought your various forms of media and received vouchers. Now it’s time to redeem them. Come back and claim those items for which you have sufficient vouchers! Browse the trades from your fellow Mensans and take home that gem that is “new to you!”


10:00-11:00 AM: Steve Barnes presents Biotensegrity: the Body in Spiritual Evolution Program 3

The pancultural aspects of body-mind dynamics in the spiritual arena. Most specifically, the way Tai Chi, Yoga, Sufi spinning, African dance and so forth all use physical motion in service to spiritual enlightenment.

Steven Barnes has published over two million words of science-fiction and fantasy. He is also an NPR commentator, dual black belt, and holder of certificates in Ericksonian Hypnosis and the Russian-based Circular Strength Training. He created the Lifewriting™ school of fiction writing and personal improvement. He lives in Southern California with his wife, novelist Tananarive Due, daughter Lauren Nicole, and son Jason. His twenty-first novel, CASANEGRA, co-written with his wife and actor Blair Underwood, is due from Atria books in June.


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM: Jana Bickel presents Jane Austen Program 3

For anyone who is a fan of Jane Austen or who would like to be a fan, Jana Bickel is giving a talk on the life and works of Jane Austen with reference to the times in which she lived. If you enjoyed the books or the recent movies, here is you chance to hear more.


12:15-12:45 PM: Raffle Program 3

1:00 PM RG Concludes....