StaRGazing 2010 Speakers

“Mindfulness, Leadership and Creativity” by Ronald Alexander

Ronald Alexander

Pioneering psychotherapist and teacher Ronald Alexander uses ancient Buddhist mindfulness practices and tools from positive psychology to show how you can tap into your core creativity to improve your communication and leadership skills. Based on his new bestselling book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss and Change, Dr. Alexander will explore how you can become a more effective leader both in your personal and professional life settings. The major areas of focus will be: resolving conflict, developing trust with those who feel threatened, addressing blind spots in self-esteem, healing blocks in creativity, and building support for transforming vision into reality. Individuals will leave with tools to activate and utilize their inner core resources of the creative unconscious as well as being able to utilize their Wise Open Mind through a three-step process for transformational change.

Ronald A. Alexander, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, leadership consultant and clinical trainer and the author of Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss and Change (New Harbinger Publications 2009). He is also the director of the OpenMind Training® Institute in Santa Monica, a leading edge organization that offers personal and professional training programs in integrative mind-body therapies, transformational leadership, and mindfulness. His unique method combines the wisdom teachings of the east with positive psychology and creative thinking into a comprehensive integrated, behaviorally effective mind-body program. This system combines techniques that support strategies of personal, clinical, and corporate excellence including leadership skills, creativity, communication, and conflict resolution. Dr. Alexander teaches workshops and training programs at major teaching centers throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. He has been a consultant and leadership coach working with the entertainment industry for over 30 years. Visit or

“Overpopulation and the Environment” by Shicana Lynn Allen

Shicana Lynn Allen

Shicana Lynn Allen has been a writer, educator, public speaker, and grassroots organizer on many important global and consumer issues for the last twenty years. Dedicated to providing information and encouraging awareness on a wide variety of health, food safety, alternative medicine, and environmental issues, she has coordinated campaigns and public outreach for many grassroots organizations. Shicana recently founded the non-profit organization Wild Blue Planet in order to educate and empower youth in the areas of reversing global warming and learning to create a sustainable future. Committed to fostering a transformation in public awareness on health and ecological issues, she strives to inspire individuals toward greater personal responsibility in addressing the global problems we face today.

“Ask the Sexologists” by Robert and Lisa Berend and Toni Castro

Robert Berend Lisa Berend Toni Castro

A wildly popular panel discussion where anything goes! Adults only!

Robert Berend is a lifetime Mensa member, and he and his wife Lisa have spoken at several AGs, RGs and many other venues. Robert has a Ph.D. in human sexuality, and Lisa is a registered nurse. They will be presenting “Ask the Sexologists” and “Fishbowl” at the 2010 AG in Dearborn.

Toni Castro has a background in BDSM, and is an experienced Sexologist. Toni was sole creator and Editor in Chief of Morphine Magazine, an L.A.-based fetish magazine which was recognized in the fetish/BDSM scene worldwide.

“Mentoring” by Ricky Brava

Ricky Brava will be telling us how, as an Ecuadorian immigrant raised in a poor New York neighborhood, he found a mentor who helped him decide to live his life in a manner that would fulfill his dreams. He wants to pass on the lessons he learned to become a mentor to others.

Ricky Brava is a very motivated young man who was raised in Queens, New York. An outstanding amateur boxer in his teens, he later turned himself into one of the top personal trainers in NYC. During six great years in that profession, he was always learning and staying motivated, picking up a wealth of knowledge from his high-ranking clients. He later decided it was time to broaden his horizons, and moved to Hollywood to make his mark in the entertainment industry. He is responsible for starting two successful internet businesses, Wagaami and Anti-Age Labs. He also opened his own music management company, Brava Entertainment Inc., managing two outstanding new talents, Bomb Town Sound and Aztoria. He currently resides in the heart of Hollywood.

“Improv Workshop” by Angela Bullock

Angela Bullock

Improvisational theatre is the art of telling stories by acting them out based on audience suggestions. Angela Bullock, a professional actress in New York, then Los Angeles, and now a play producer, will tell you about the centuries-old history of improvisational comedy acting, explore with you the techniques for learning improv, and lead you in a workshop of games designed to entertain while teaching you to lose your inhibitions with hilarious results. You will love learning to feel comfortable in a room full of people. Come have fun and let your inner actor shine.

Angela Bullock is a professional actor currently living in Los Angeles and has performed in theaters throughout the U.S., including The Public in NYC, The Guthrie in Minneapolis, Yale Repertory Theater in New Haven, Actors Theater of Louisville and Arizona Theater Company in Phoenix and Tucson. Her television credits include Law & Order, OZ, Third Watch, Judging Amy, Medium, The Sopranos, and most recently, Hawthorne. She has served as a National Board Member of the Screen Actors Guild and is currently rehearsing “Stray”, a play by Ruth McKee. “Stray” will open on October 17th at the Black Dahlia Theater in Los Angeles.

“Dance Lesson” by Ron Caspi

Ron Caspi

Ron Caspi has been dancing for 25 years. Recently he has returned from Israel where he has been living for the past year. He will teach you basic steps in Merengue, Cha-Cha and Tango so you can have a wonderful time exhibiting your newly learned skills at the masquerade ball on Saturday night.

“Forensic Linguistics: Real-Life ‘CSI’ with Word People” by Joe Devney

Joe Devney

Ransom notes, terrorist threats, stalker letters … the language used in these documents can give clues about their authors. Forensic linguists apply linguistic analysis to legal documents of all types, and work both with lawyers and law enforcement. This presentation will focus specifically on analysis of written evidence – criminal or potentially criminal communications – using real-life examples. Learn about what the language used in the document can tell us about its author, and the techniques used to find those clues.

Joe Devney is a “word person” himself. After working for many years as a professional writer and editor, he returned to school and then embarked on a new career as a linguist. He has a Master's degree in Linguistics from Georgetown University and a certificate in Forensic Linguistics from Hofstra University. (One of his Forensic Linguistic teachers was the FBI's first linguistic profiler.) He is also a long-time Mensa member. Email: Visit:

“Atheism in the Public Square” by Michael Doss

Michael Doss

Atheism is enjoying a resurgence in American popular culture, but at the same time, religious symbols, phrases and teaches are cropping up in more and more public places. We'll discuss some recent issues in California, including crosses on public land from Monterey to San Diego, and one Bakersfield woman's quest to put “In God We Trust” into every city council chamber in the state. We'll also talk about who's fighting these intrusions, the law and how it applies to both sides, and how “God” isn't as important as exposure for many religious fundamentalists.

Michael Doss is the California state director for American Atheists. In his official capacity, he helps to organize local groups in the state and spearhead civic and political projects such as monitoring city council invocations for sectarian bias and opposing religious encroachment into the public sphere. He also serves as an intermediary for atheists in California looking to utilize the national resources of American Atheists. When he's not fighting God for elbow room at city councils, Michael is a corporate media librarian and researcher, as well as father to a cute 3-year-old heathen.

“Adult Stem Cells – The Most Important Scientific & Health Breakthrough of Our Time” by Christian Drapeau

Christian Drapeau

Christian Drapeau is America's leading advocate for Adult Stem Cell research and the health applications of Adult Stem Cell science. He gained worldwide recognition when a Nobel Prize winning discovery in 2008 affirmed what Christian had been advocating for years: the role of Adult Stem Cells in the body is nothing less than its natural healing system. Christian will share how recent discoveries will usher in a new era in human wellness and how perhaps many diseases will be eliminated in our lifetimes!

The presentation is based on his best-selling book “Cracking the Stem Cell Code” wherein he demystifies the stem cell phenomenon and reveals the immense potential of Adult Stem Cell therapies, nutrition, and science. Christian co-founded Southern California-based STEMTech HealthSciences, now a multinational research and supplement manufacturing-distribution firm focused on adult stem cell science and stem cell nutrition. He travels more than 100,000 miles each year speaking at medical, scientific, public, and business events on six continents. Visit or

“Serious Games: Videogames for Changing the World and Lifelong Learning” by Dr. Christopher R. Harz

Dr. Christopher R. Harz

Everyone is aware of the growth of entertainment videogames, a global market in excess of $50 billion. Relatively few people outside of the profession are aware of Serious Games, videogames used for non-entertainment purposes, including education and training (for physicians, law enforcement, military, first responders, lawyers, K12 and universities, business teams, musicians, and so on), physical exercise, meditation, communicating with other cultures, designing virtual movie sets and buildings, therapy for serious illness (including PTSD), and a host of other applications that will surprise you.

Serious Games can stimulate your creative processes, help you collaborate with remote teams, or enable you to learn topics such as science and math more effectively than by traditional textbooks. The field is growing rapidly, and offers many job opportunities for both young and old for a range of talents, including teaching, art, programming, design, game technology, animation, audio, and for “agents,” advanced thinkers who can bridge different communities and help bring them together.

Christopher Harz is a marketing and production executive for Information Technology systems. He is VP of VirtualAgility, a leading producer of collaboration and coordination environments for the military and homeland security. Dr. Harz helped design and produce the first massively multiplayer online game worlds, including the $240 million 3-D animation virtual world, Simnet, for DARPA. He has produced both Serious Games (for training US and NATO forces) and entertainment games such as Spawn, The 5th Element, Titanic, and Xena, Warrior Princess. He worked as systems analyst on command and control, brilliant munitions, UAVs, combat robots and war gaming at the RAND Corporation, the military think tank. He holds MBA and Ed.D. (in educational technology) degrees from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Dr. Harz has been a frequent writer and presenter on virtual environments, Serious Games, the New Internet (IPv6), advanced weapons, and communications technology, and is a member of Siggraph, Mensa, and SPJ.

“Creating Music through Animal Communicators”, a combination lecture and music session by Skip Haynes and Dana Walden

Skip Haynes

Skip Haynes is a Chicago native and attended Southern Illinois University and the Art Institute and American Academy of Art in Chicago. An art director as well as a musician, Skip was the lead vocalist/frontman and songwriter for Chicago folk rock band Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah from 1970-1982. He wrote the hit song “Lake Shore Drive.” He has been an Associate Art Director for NARAS and The Grammy Awards. He has written two books, the first being a drug rehabilitation self-help book called “How To Straighten Up Your Act and Keep The Money In The Country”, and “Road Stories, or How Did A Nice Guy Like Me End Up In A Band Like This?” A pet lover and animal rights advocate, he is also actively involved in numerous animal rehabilitation, rescue and educational organizations.

“Fame 101 – Smart's Just the Start in Personal Brand Strategy” by Maggie Jessup

Maggie Jessup

Maggie Jessup, former investigative reporter turned publicity maven, is America's leading publicist and a pioneering advocate for powerful personal branding. She will show you how to use your gift to join the Top 1% in any field. Get mediagenic, change your destiny, and quite possibly change the world. An insider's look at using next generation publicity and compelling personal branding to become the national leading voice in whatever you do. It's about personal celebrity with book deals, media attention, speaking engagements, strategic online strategies and other platform elements.

The presentation is based on her new book “Fame 101” wherein she reveals that the promotion, business, and branding models of Martha Stewart, Barack Obama, Suze Orman, Billy Graham, America's best-known gardener, and 75 other of America's Most-Notable all follow the same Fame Formula. Maggie works with best selling authors, celebrity scientists, iconic business leaders, and other remarkable people who want to expand their visibility, recognition, and income. Visit or

“Sexuality 101 – What They Didn't Teach You In High School” by Maurice Kaehler

Maurice Kaehler

Yes, our brains are the biggest sex organ in our body. Yes, our body can be one large erogenous zone. And yes, ecstatic sex is everyone's birthright. Learn some of the internal/external sexual “hot” spots of the male and female body. Learn two ways that increase your body's ability to feel pleasure and maintain pleasurable states of being. Awaken your brain to its own sexual potential. Erotic is Probiotic! Loving Smart is Loving Well!

This will be a short talk combined with an experiential workshop. Touch techniques will be taught and applied with a partner safely and respectfully. Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.

Maurice Kaehler, yoga teacher and pure food advocate, dedicated himself to promoting alternative healing therapies in 1988 following a bicycling accident that resulted in life-threatening injuries. In 1993, after years of intensive yoga study and practice, he began to teach, and is the founder of Swami O'Bryan's Yoga Studio specializing in Portal yoga. Clients have included many celebrities, such as Madonna and Tim Daly, and several large corporations. He co-founded CReMA – California Raw Milk Association – a consumer group that supports California pro-raw dairy legislation and raw dairy producers.

“Thoughts from the Bench: The Observations & Experiences of a New Trial Judge” by Karla Kerlin

Karla Kerlin

After having worked for 18 years as a Deputy District Attorney assigned to prosecute sex crimes and homicide cases, Judge Kerlin was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court. Her first assignment was the high volume Metropolitan Courthouse where she presided over a caseload which included all criminal misdemeanors from the City of Huntington Park. The cases included domestic violence, driving under the influence, petty theft, resisting arrest, gang injunction violations, and many other misdemeanor offenses. Judge Kerlin recently began a new assignment in the main Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles where she presides over 80 to 120 cases each day. This assignment is an exciting but stressful place to work with the courtroom filled with hundreds of people. Come join Judge Kerlin as she shares her observations and experiences as a new judge.

Karla Kerlin is a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger on October 30, 2008. She is currently assigned to the main Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles. Judge Kerlin runs Department 40 which has approximately 100 criminal misdemeanor cases on calendar each day. Prior to the bench, Kerlin was a Deputy District Attorney for 18 years assigned to the Sex Crimes and Major Crimes Divisions among other assignments. She regularly trained social workers, law enforcement, health professionals, victim advocates and prosecutors across the country with a specialization in sex crimes, domestic violence and child abuse. Judge Kerlin was a founding commissioner on the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women and served as the Chair for four years.

“Empowering Caregivers Who Make Decisions For Those Who Are Losing Or Have Lost Capacity” by Viki Kind

Viki Kind

Professionals and families/caregivers struggle to make decisions for those who have lost capacity. In this presentation, you will learn the framework and tools you will need to get a good, ethical decision. These tools help give voice to those who can't speak for themselves. You will learn specific strategies and questions to use when guiding families through these difficult situations. These tools can be adapted depending on the person's level of incapacity and the situation.

Viki Kind is a clinical bioethicist, medical educator and hospice volunteer. Her book “The Caregiver's Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices For Those Who Can't” guides families and healthcare professionals through the difficult process of making decisions for those who have lost capacity. Viki has lectured across America teaching healthcare professionals to have integrity, compassion and to improve end-of-life care through better communication. Visit her website:

“Acoustical Mysteries of Ancient Maya Pyramids and Ballcourts Revealed” by David Lubman

David Lubman

The acoustical secrets of ancient Maya builders are only now becoming recognized. At Chichen Itza, Mexico, a World Heritage site, the pyramid of Kukulkan, chirps like the quetzal – a bird venerated by the ancient Maya as the “messenger of the gods”. Ornithologists have termed the quetzal “the most magnificent bird in the Americas”. If the chirp is intentionally designed, it is the world's earliest-known sound recording. The Great Ball Court at Chichen Itza is a versatile theater of the auditory senses. Its sonic features include a unique whispering gallery that allows spoken communication from distances of 500 feet. It can evoke such hallucinatory experiences as the fearful sounds of growling jaguars, menacing rattlesnakes, choruses of dead ancestors, and whooping flying ghosts.

David Lubman is an independent acoustical consultant/scientist who frequently lectures at universities and scientific conferences. Lubman's startling discoveries of ancient uses of sound engineering enliven the pages of dozens of magazines, journals, newspapers, and web sites including Scientific American. He is featured on History Channel and Discovery Channel DVDs. He was interviewed on Science Friday, PRI International, NPR, BBC, and German National Radio. Lubman is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). Lubman was awarded ASA's Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Medal in Acoustics (2004). He lives in Orange County, California.

“George Washington: Entrepreneur” by Dennis Lynch

Dennis Lynch

Few visitors to the splendid estate of Mt. Vernon realize that George Washington had turned it from a small tobacco plantation into a vast, thriving business enterprise that featured among other things the nation's largest distillery, a very successful milling operation, a vast fishery, and five separate farms where Washington experimented with crops, animal breeding, and farming techniques. While many of the Virginia planters died leaving behind huge debts, George Washington was a visionary entrepreneur who kept Mt. Vernon productive during very difficult times. Join Dennis Lynch for a PowerPoint presentation on Mt. Vernon that displays the many thriving enterprises that became a showcase for both domestic and foreign visitors of the day.

Dennis Lynch is a veteran Advanced Placement History teacher, Academic Decathlon coach, and 2002 Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year.

“Metabolic Typing” by Anju Mathur, M.D.

Anju Mathur, M.D.

Vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants and other nutrients have often been removed from our food by the effects of modern agricultural methods and food processing. Hence, their adequate supplementation in a nutrient-depleted body will greatly enhance the chance for a successful, long life. Metabolic typing is a system to evaluate a patient's highly individualized dietary requirements to know how the body is processing food, and then to provide customized nutritional dietary programs for one's metabolic type. Dr. Mathur will discuss the basic metabolic types and the nutrients that can assist in making your body run more efficiently.

Anju Mathur, M.D. – Diplomate of American Board of Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. After practicing traditional/conventional medicine with disappointing results, Dr. Mathur felt that many standard drug treatments cause untold side effects and help only to suppress symptoms of disease. During a personal health crisis she began to explore nutrition as a method of restoring wellness. She looked to the realms of so-called alternative medicine, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, to help herself and her patients. She opened Angel Longevity Medical Clinic, a Los Angeles anti-aging practice that focuses on customized nutrition, natural hormone balancing and fitness to discover the root cause of health problems, using pharmacological means only when necessary.

Visit her website at

“Anti-Aging Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy” by Anju Mathur, M.D.

Hormones are powerful substances that control multiple functions throughout the body. Hormone levels should be sufficient and balanced. Too little or too much of them is not conducive to long-term emotional, mental and bodily health. Bioidentical hormones are exactly the same hormones, molecule by molecule that your body produces. Derived mostly from plant sources, your body does not consider them a foreign substance and so does not cause any adverse reactions. Dr. Mathur will discuss how a balance of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, Cortisol, DHEA, melatonin, and growth hormone can boost energy, vitality, and libido, as well as lower risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and many other degenerative diseases in men and women.

Anju Mathur, M.D., Diplomate of American Board of Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine; residency in PGY1- OB/GYN and internship in internal medicine, Martin Luther King Hospital, Los Angeles; Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India.

Visit her website at

“The Human Comedy” by Vanda Mikoloski

Vanda Mikoloski

Mensans had such a ball “contributing” to Vanda's show at the Pittsburgh AG that she's back to be with her favorite audience! Mensans' favorite stand-up comic will be riffing about the “Ridiculous Reality of Being a Human Being”. Intimate, hysterical, philosophical, irreverent reverence … referencing wisdom and nonsense from “What the Bleep”, “The Secret”, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Das, Alan Watts, Byron Katie, Robert Anton Wilson, Tom Robbins, Ramana Maharshi, Werner Erhardt, Socrates, AA, yoga, “channels”, and L.A. traffic. Vanda brings both ahas and hahas to the stage – questioning our P.O.V. about our P.O.V. and marveling at the human predicament … illuminating spiritual principles and transformational distinctions like fireworks.

Topics include: quantum physics, voices in our heads, alcoholism/addiction, what a jerk she can be, being a bad yoga teacher, relationships (or lack thereof), depression, and enlightenment.

Vanda Mikoloski was a runaway from prep school, a stripper, an initiate of an esoteric mystery school, a drug addict, a successful comic (Showtime, Lifetime), and a yoga teacher for the Dixie Chicks. She left show biz at 33 to follow her spiritual path and “check in rather than check out”. After the success of “What the Bleep Do We Know?”, Vanda loaded her home into her Honda and drove to L.A. She is single, living six blocks from Venice Beach. Check out a video demo on her web site, Enlighten Up! with Vanda Mikoloski.

“Forces of our Subconscious” by Mario Mónico

Mario Mónico

HypnoTherapy is an area of the Mental Health Counseling that is growing. Deep inside the subconscious areas of our minds lies 88% of the cause or root of our behaviors that create our reality in all areas of our lives. Our conscious area is only 12% and with that, we try to fight the 88% that rules our lives. In our mind we possess an area called Primitive mind and this area is where we have the reactive areas of fight or flight. Hypnosis has gradually been accepted in areas like: dental work, chiropractic work and some surgeries. More people are choosing Clinical Hypnosis for procedures that are leaving behind some side effects of traditional anesthesia procedures.

Mario Mónico is a professional Certified HypnoTherapist trained at Hypnosis Motivational Institute in Tarzana, California. Mario is equipped to offer clinical hypnosis for clients who want to work on behavior modification and change their habits. He possesses certifications to perform Smoking Cessation and Weight Loss Programs among others. Contact information:

“UFO's – Ours or Theirs?” by Steve R. Murillo

Steve R. Murillo

Whether you believe that UFO's are terrestrial or extraterrestrial, you will be intrigued by the best photographic evidence that the Mutual UFO Network has in its collection. Officially formed in 1969, Mufon investigates sightings, promotes research, and educates the public on the UFO phenomenon and its impact on society. Steve Murillo, Mufon Section Director for Los Angeles, invites both believers and skeptics to challenge the conventional view and decide for yourselves.

Steve R. Murillo is a southern California native and graduate of the US Naval Academy, 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. He is owner and broker of First Manhattan Mortgage & Realtors, 1992 to present.

Steve holds a Black Belt and is an instructor in Kyokushin Karate. He's also a hang glider pilot and an active member of the Sylmar Hang Gliding Association.

He is a Past-President Manhattan Beach Rotary Club 2007-2008, District 5280 Membership Chairman 2008-2009, and State Section Director, MUFON LA, year 2000 to present.

“What Really Drives the Non-Profit Economy?” by Marilyn Neece

Marilyn Neece

Passion, funding, volunteers, organization – what really makes a non-profit successful? In this economy more people need help but increasing donations is a challenge. Find out how business principles applied to the non-profit world of grants, volunteers, and boards of directors can give your favorite charity the boost it needs.

Marilyn Neece, MBA, Management Consultant, helps non-profit organizations develop and implement their growth strategy. She has years of hands-on experience as Manager of two Chambers of Commerce, fundraiser for Whittier College and The Claremont Colleges, Non-Profit Instructor at Cal Poly Pomona Pomona College, and was the Whittier Woman of the Year for organizing the Whittier Narrows earthquake recovery.

“Now Flying Through a Solar System Near You: The Dawn Mission to the Asteroid Belt” by Marc Rayman

Marc Rayman

The ambitious and exciting Dawn mission, launched in September 2007, is NASA's latest venture into the solar system. The spacecraft will orbit both Ceres and Vesta, which are among the last unexplored worlds in the inner solar system. They are the two largest residents of the asteroid belt, that vast collection of bodies between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres is so large that it is included in the category of dwarf planets, along with Pluto. The alien landscapes Dawn will reveal should provide humankind with a new perspective on the solar system. Such a mission would be impossible without the use of ion propulsion, a technology that has mostly been in the domain of science fiction, but which was tested extensively on the Deep Space 1 mission, paving the way for Dawn.

Marc will describe the Dawn mission and its use of ion propulsion as well as its two exotic destinations. He also will share the excitement of controlling a spacecraft in deep space.

Marc has a Ph.D. in physics and is chief engineer and mission manager for Dawn at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. A lifelong space enthusiast, he has played key roles in a wide variety of space projects. He is very active in communicating the thrill of exploring the cosmos, and his Dawn blog is popular in many galaxies. He also enjoys dancing, hiking, and skiing.

“Clinical Virtual Reality: A Brief Review of the Future!” by Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D.

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the many forms of Virtual Reality that have been applied across a diverse range of clinical disorders and research questions. It will then present a detailed overview of the use of VR for Exposure Therapy for anxiety disorders, addictive behaviors and with OIF/OEF military personnel with PTSD. This will be followed by some brief mention of research and clinical applications of VR for cognitive assessment/rehabilitation, motor rehabilitation, pain distraction and social interaction. The social interaction overview will conclude with a description of an emerging project that involves the creation of artificially intelligent virtual human “patients” for clinical training. A VR Headmounted display will be used to demonstrate some virtual reality programs that can be run from an off-the-shelf laptop computer.

Albert “Skip” Rizzo received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is a Research Scientist at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies and has Research Professor appointments with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and at the USC School of Gerontology. Dr. Rizzo conducts research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. He is the associate editor of the journals CyberPsychology and Behavior and The International Journal of Virtual Reality, is Senior Editor of the MIT Press journal Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, and is on a number of editorial boards for journals in the areas of cognition and computer technology. In his spare time, he plays rugby, listens to music and rides his motorcycle.

“Los Angeles History and Religion – Sex, Sin, Salvation!” by Richard Rossi

Richard Rossi

Sister Aimee Semple McPherson was a fabled female faith healer, the most famous evangelist in the world in the 1920's, and front page news, especially when she vanished at Venice Beach in 1927 and was put on trial on morals charges. The Los Angeles District Attorney accused Aimee of an alleged affair with her married radio engineer. Richard Rossi wrote and directed two films about her, most recently “Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story”. Richard knew the world of Pentecostalism first-hand, having worked as a healing evangelist before questioning religion and leaving scripture for script, heading to Hollywood to explore his creative inclinations. You will learn about the inside world of fundamentalism, filmmaking, and more.

Recent acting roles for Richard Rossi include: the husband of a female faith-healer in Sister Aimee (finalist for best feature in Milan), and an A-list director in the Hollywood tale Live Fast, Die Young, which led the Laemmle in receipts. Richard will be directing and acting in his next film which starts shooting in Fall, 2010 and is titled Baseball's Last Hero: The Roberto Clemente Story, a baseball biopic. Richard also teaches guitar privately and at Los Angeles Valley College. Richard's first novel, “Stick Man”, will be released April 2009. Visit

“Men & Women: Vive la difference!” by Penelope Salinger, LCSW

Penelope Salinger

Men are not just “hairy women who know what they're supposed to do but choose not to.” And women are not just “smaller, weaker men who let their emotions run away with them.” Is it possible to bring about peace between the sexes? Yes! When we understand how specialization provided for the survival of our species, we can stop expecting each other to behave as members of our own gender might. I will share research-based tips on how to listen and talk more effectively with members of the complementary sex and the importance of respecting and even celebrating our differences.

Penelope Salinger, LCSW, is passionate about creating peace between men and women. She draws from her participation in the year-long PAX Mastery and Leadership program created by Alison Armstrong (, as well as material from Deborah Tannen, John Gray, and brain chemistry researchers such as Louann Brizendine. Other influences include the work of couples therapists such as Barry and Joyce Vissell and Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks. Penelope is also a singer/songwriter with a new CD of original music entitled “I'm Here to Love”. Visit

“Doing the Naughty with Symmetry” by Al Schwartz

Al Schwartz

“Commons sense” is often a degeneracy that fails through symmetry lowering. Audience volunteers will mock common sense from balls to paper dolls. We'll pummel the alphabet and embarrass tape. We will end with a desktop experiment to torment both classical and quantum gravitation, for physics assumes a degeneracy.

Al Schwartz was educated by horrified teachers, escaped from New York, the bane of two universities regretting standardized test scores, and a noisome adult. He's the subject of a Ph.D./Psych project that caused scoring boxes to serviced, then redirected to female rats. Uncle Al is an industrial organic chemist with patents for human implants (EP0438043) and annoying roaches (US5859057). He annoys smug theorists with mundane experiments. He authors a monthly OC Mensa Oracle column, “Jawbone of an Ass”.

“Daedalus, the Labyrinth, and Crete: A Mystery Unraveled and Rewound” by Sandra Smith

In the late nineteen century, Sir Arthur Evans began evacuations of the monumental ruins at Knossos, Crete. He understood and reconstructed the ruins as the Palace of the great King Minos. A hundred years later Rodney Casttleden reexamined the ruins and now suggests the structure was a temple dedicated to the worship of The Goddess. But for four thousand years, while the ruins themselves lay buried, stories told of the Labyrinth in the center of the structure. These stories tell of illicit sex, hideous monsters, and heroic escapes. In the center of this mythic web stands Daedalus, the great inventor.

Sandra Smith grew up in the San Fernando Valley and attended Los Angeles Public Schools during the heady days of the space race. She comes from a family of storytellers, so her favorite school activity was Show and Tell. She still loves public speaking, even though now she does a lot more telling and a lot less showing. After amassing an eclectic assortment of academic degrees, (BA in Sociology, MA in Library Science, California State Secondary Teaching Credential) she made a career in Civil Service (ornamented by another degree, an MBA). After decades of diligent drudgery, she retired and took up travel. She has been able to enhance a life-long interest in myths and folklore by visiting sites she only knew from books.

“How to Give (and Receive!) a Great Massage” by Shannan Stearns

This is a seminar on how to give and receive a great massage. Shannan Stearns will be teaching some basic techniques and giving a demonstration in “hands-on healing” through energy work (basic manipulation of the Chi) – at least that's what she has been told is what she does. Come and either get or learn to give a great massage. Everyone welcome. A volunteer is needed for for the “hands-on healing” demonstration. If you have a sore back or neck that just won't go away, then see Shannan.

Shannan has been doing this seminar at RG's and AG's for 10 years and has been doing massage and “hands-on healing” for over 20.

Songs and Games hosted by Alan Stillson

Alan Stillson

Filk got its name when a group of people at a sci-fi convention met to sing folk music and parodies and there was a typo on the program. The name stuck and the genre still lives. There are filk groups throughout the world, including greater LA. If you like sci-fi, science and social musical satire, you'll love this stuff. Alan Stillson is the leader of the GLAAM Folksong SIG and an active filker. Other LA-area filkers will be invited, but we don't know if the hotel has a port for beaming.

An hour of fun group singing from some of the best pages of our folksong SIG songbook. Bring your own acoustical instrument if you have one with you. One of life's few certainties is that this program is always a hoot. Alan Stillson is the leader of the GLAAM Folksong SIG.

Sudokugrams, Alan Stillson's ninth book (co-authored by Frank Longo and published by Sterling in 2007) and seventh official American Mensa puzzle book is the first Sudoku variation book to use letter play (anagrams). You'll love the way that the logic of sudoku is integrated with word skills. Alan will cover a few sample puzzles and we'll group-solve some others. You can get a heads-up by clicking onto and trying the sample puzzles. Autographed copies of Sudokugrams and Alan Stillson's other books will be available for purchase.

Alan Stillson is the author of several books including “The Mensa Genius ABC Quiz Book”, “Match Wits With Mensa”, “One-Minute Brainteasers”, and “What's Your CQ?” He is the puzzle editor for GLAAM and his puzzles and articles have been published in the national Mensa Bulletin. He has an MBA from the University of New Mexico and an MS and BA in mathematics from Queens College. Visit his website:

“Astrology” by Jack Taube

Jack will discuss the theoretical basics of astrology, the technique of horoscope construction, the uses of astrology and how it can be helpful in our lives. The symbology of the planets and signs will be explained. Time permitting, questions will be taken.

Jack Taube holds a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences with a major in Psychology from the City College of New York, and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a psychotherapist and a family and children's counselor. He had a 30-year career as a probation officer, and has attended and participated in the United Nations international conferences on crime. Jack has studied the paranormal field for forty years and taught astrology at the Carol Ricter Institute for 25 years. When not involved in the above activities, Jack flew airplanes and participated in competitive yacht racing.

“Knights of GLAAM 2010 Chess Tournament” hosted by Ronald B. Talkov

Ronald B. Talkov

Chess is one of the finest and oldest strategy games around. With its delicate balance between tactics and strategy and the finely differentiated moves of the various pieces, many consider it the finest board game in the world.

At the RG, you will get a chance to play in a tournament directed by Mensan Ronald B. Talkov, who is a former children's chess tournament organizer and coach. There will be a short talk on chess just before the tournament. There is no entry fee.

There will be first and second place awards for Adults 18 and over, Youth 11-17, and Children 10 and under. Sign up sheets will be available at Registration until one hour before the tournament on Sunday. The tournament is expected to run approximately two hours. While we will have some chess sets on hand, please bring your own, just in case we run out.

“Discover Wellness and Hope Through Upper Cervical Care” by Johnny Truong, D.C

Johnny Truong

Upper Cervical Care is a unique form of healthcare that focuses on the intimate relationship between the first two bones in the neck and the brain stem. This relationship is essential to the body's ability to preserve and restore health. The brain stem works like a telephone cable with thousands of individual wires or nerve fibers sending signals back and forth between the brain and spinal cord to every cell, organ and system in the body. Interference to the normal flow of communication between the brain and body can lead to irreversible spinal degeneration and chronic ill health.

Dr. Johnny Truong is a brainstem specialist. It is estimated that there are only 70 doctors with his specialized training in the entire country. His primary focus is the accurate detection and correction of the devastating effects of vertebral interference at the upper neck area. He is a board certified Blair Upper Cervical Technique Instructor. He has a successful practice in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and has helped thousands of patients find hope through this unique form of healthcare. Visit

“GeoCaching – A High-Tech Hobby For the Whole Family” by Tony Vaca

Tony Vaca

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. Children are welcome to attend this program.

A formerly active Mensan and an active GeoCacher with over 1,000 finds to-date, Tony Vaca will take a few minutes to explain the technical aspects of this hobby, a few more minutes on containers and camouflage, and then a few more minutes on the social, family and competitive nature of the sport. When those few minutes are done, he will lead the horde on a hunt of local caches in and around the hotel grounds. Some are actual hides and others he will place for purposes of the RG.

If you have access to your own Global Positioning System receiver (GPSr), please bring it to the session. The more units, the merrier. Sturdy shoes and long pants might be necessary, but diehard cachers don't need no stinkin' protection.

“Your Credit Report and How to Raise Your FICO Scores” by Tony Vaca

Didn't they always say that your mistakes were going to go on your permanent record?

Tony Vaca is a local Realtor®, Real Estate Investor and formerly active Mensan. His past RG and Las Vegas and New Orleans AG topics on “Zen and the Art of Craps”, “Dating and Sexual Tension” and “Purchasing a Home in Today's Market (2005)” were well received. He will speak on the importance of creating and maintaining a high FICO score, the responsibilities of credit reporting companies and how to clean up your credit report and improve your scores, quickly, easily and legally. Contact at

“Shibari vs. Kinbaku – East vs. West – Learning the Ropes in the Art of Rope Bondage” by Tony Vaca

Tony Vaca, a formerly active Mensan, will present a demonstration in the Art of Japanese and Western Rope Bondage. Physiological hot spots, red flags and safety pointers, history, technique, terminology and materiel will be discussed as he applies his rope media to his human canvases. Due to the adult content in this program, it is only open to attendees 18 years and older.

“Digging for Dinosaurs” by James Van Winkle, P.E., Ph.D.

James Van Winkle

Almost all children, at some point early in their life, discover the fascinating world of dinosaurs. For most of us that will fade as we mature into functioning adult members of society. But for some, there is an awakening of that interest later in life, and for a fortunate few, there may be opportunities to experience the thrill of hunting and digging for dinosaurs first hand. This presentation relates the personal story of a retired civil engineer and public works director who rediscovered his love of dinosaurs and fossils and found ways to participate in scientific field investigations and dinosaur digs in Montana.

James Van Winkle received his doctorate from U.C.L.A. in water resources systems analysis in 1980. He worked for 33 years in municipal governments as City Engineer and Public Works Director for the cities of Inglewood, Santa Clarita, and South Pasadena in California. Since his retirement in 2003, he has conducted after-school enrichment classes in rocks, minerals and fossils at a local elementary school. In addition to his interest in paleontology and geology, he is an amateur astronomer, a wood carver and stamp collector.

Visit his web site at

“The Werewolves of the LA RG” hosted by Ed You

Ed You

By night, werewolves kill off villagers. By day, angry villagers kill off suspected werewolves. (But oops; sometimes they just kill off “innocent villagers.”) “Werewolf” requires observation, some deduction, and a lot of bold-faced lying. Who will prevail: the werewolves or the villagers? Since an average game take 15-20 minutes, new players can join quickly. (This game is similar to, but better than, “Mafia.”)

“Lawyer Games”, a posthumous tribute to former-member Myron Faverman, hosted by Ed You

Myron used to run this game of questions and deductions and now Ed You will run it in his memory. Sample: “The music stopped. The woman died. How?” Ask a series of “Yes” and “No” questions to deduce the events of her death. Then start another riddle.

Ed You is an actor, singer, clinical pharmacist, and former game entrepreneur. You might know him as “The Palabra Pimp,” as “the alpha wolf” when he's playing Werewolf, or as the clueless, incompetent “Inspector You” when he's leading the Mensa Murder Mystery Games.