The following talks and/or tastings are scheduled for the 2018 RG.  Please note that, although this schedule is fairly sure, it is far from complete, nor is it set in stone.  There are many items not listed here, we may add more items if we can find presenters and fit them in, and we may also move or delete items if necessary.

Tastings, in particular, may be canceled if not enough people sign up for them.  The good news (for us) is that we already have sold a lot of tickets, so cancellations are not likely; the bad news (for you) is that, because of advance sales, we've had to suspend sales of tickets for some of the tastings.  If you want to go to one of those and couldn't buy a ticket in advance, ask at registration when you check in; we may have had some cancellations.  Also, we remind you again that minors may not attend any of the alcoholic tastings (wine, beer, whisky, and hard sodas and ciders).  Please don't put us in the awkward position of having to ask someone to leave; if you do, we will NOT refund the ticket cost.

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Thursday, 9 PM – Midnight

Karaoke

If you like to sing, Karaoke is the place to be. Come sing to an appreciative audience, or join the crowd to applaud. Whether you sing or just listen, Karaoke is fun. Bring your favorite karaoke CD, CD+G, or cassettes, or choose a song from the extensive list of songs on hand.

Hosts:  Denise Whittington, Todd DeShan, Bill St. John, Kim Speed, Judy Lewis, Michael Partyka, Paul Whiteman, and Anne Whiteman are part of the “Saturday Singers” group, which performs at nursing homes in Plano twice a month.   They are bringing their equipment to RG to allow YOU to have an opportunity to perform!

Friday, 9:30

Yoga for Brain Health

 

In this Yoga class we focus on poses specially designed to help improve your mental health and keep your mind sharp and focused. In a fully developed human beings, 300 million neurons connect the right side of the brain to the left side. With various criss cross movements we activate both hemispheres in our brain. Doing this yoga helps reduces stress and improves your psychological health. This also helps opens up your brain and makes you more receptive, thereby increasing your sharpness and creativity while promoting mental clarity , calmness and inner peace..

Vinay Bohara is a certified yoga instructor. He was born in India and started doing yoga when he was about 8 years old. He studied yoga with many great teachers in India and in US. He started teaching yoga in 2006 at the Hindu Temple in Chicago and have been teaching at various places since then. He focuses on overall wellness and the mind, body and spiritual connection. In his classes he pays special attention on breathing and moving with the breath. His approach to yoga is to help everyone find a balance in life, on and off the mat. For him, to walk the path of yoga is a daily choice, and one that he make from his heart each and every day.

Friday, 11:00

Persecution and Conversion: The Story of Crypto-Jews in the Iberian Peninsula

The story of the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula stretches for more than a thousand years.  Jews living there experienced a Golden Age during the 10th and 11th centuries. Jewish life was also characterized by periods of violence and persecution during periods of Visigothic, Islamic, and Christian rule. The most significant of these persecutions occurred in 1391 and created the phenomena of Crypto-Judaism. Many Jews lived outwardly as Christians but maintained Jewish practices for generations.

Rabbi Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez is an engineer with a passion for Jewish history. He completed a master’s degree in Jewish studies at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies. He also studied at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership where he completed a Doctor of Science degree in Jewish studies. His focus was on Crypto-Judaism.  He received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Mesilat Yesharim and has been active in various organizations working with the descendants of Crypto-Jews. He is the currently the director of CryptoJewishEducation.com which offers online and in-person education in Jewish history, Jewish theology, and interfaith studies.

Friday, 1:30

Your Identity Is Showing


Ever feel utterly exposed as you go about your life online? Tired of wondering if you cleared your browser history before leaving the house? We hear you. More to the point, we see you – online.
So, let’s talk cybersecurity. Like basic hygiene, there are things that if you just learn to do, everyone will like you more. You’ll have friends, and not just the scary ones that want you to buy them gift cards to pay off your IRS tax bill.
Cybersecurity is changing fast and the threats are real. This session will give you some practical tools for protecting your online identity and securing your personal information. We’re not going to scare you and talk about how your identity is already owned by seriously well funded adversaries, but rather, what you can do that is pragmatic, easy and will reduce your overall risk.

 

Friday, 8:00

A Chinese Wine Tasting: Ancient Chinese Wine and How It Shaped China's Society

This talk describes wine making in early China beginning with the technical description of why Chinese wine is actually a beer and showing how ritual bronze wine vessels were used as land grants. 

As the Shang Dynasty emperors used wine, women, and song to build a coalition empire the Western Zhou who conquered them eliminated wine from rituals and imposed a top down militarized government which evolved into the seven mass killing machines called the Warring States.

Bruce Jones is an independent scholar who studied at Taiwan National University and has lectured at conferences in Canada, France, and the US. He specializes in research on Chinese ritual bronzes.

NOTE: This tasting is free, but seating is limited; tickets will be required to participate. Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis at the Registration Desk beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

NOTE: Chinese wine is stronger than American wines. Attendees who wish to drink must please do so responsibly. PLEASE do not drive a car after this event. Uber or Lyft arrangements should be made in advance.

Friday, 8:00 p.m.

No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em.

This tournament is free to enter and free to play. There will be no money involved, just bragging

rights. You don’t have to be an experienced player in order to participate; however, this game will move

fast. We suggest that you understand the basics of the game before entering the tournament as no

quarter will be given. World Poker Tour rules will apply. That said, the game will remain friendly.

Proper poker etiquette is suggested. Any disputes or questions of rule will be settled by one of the

tournament coordinators. We will use quickly escalating blinds and antes in order to speed up the game

and try to finish within 2 to 3 hours. Those who are eliminated are free to start their own side games, if

desired. But, please, no money in the game room.

Anne Whiteman is a 10-year member of North Texas Mensa and often participates in the standing monthly Texas Hold ‘Em party to benefit the North Texas Mensa Scholarship fund.  And, she occasionally  finishes in one of the top 3 places, so you have seen her picture on the cover of the M-AURA several times!

Fri. 9:00p.m.

Jam Session/Sing-A-Long/Hootenanny

 

…we haven’t really figured out what to call it, but bring your musical instruments, voices (no judgments) ears, whatever it takes for you to enjoy people making music together for the sheer joy of it.

Saturday, 9:30 to 4:30, QIII

A Silent Auction to Benefit The North Texas Mensa Scholarship Foundation opens at 9:30 a.m. and final bids must be in by 4:30. Bid generously on new and gently used items donated by Mensans.  

Sat. 9:30 a.m.

New Technology in Forensic Science, and Issues for Transition into Practice

 As technology grows at a staggering pace, it seem forensics is stuck in the past.  These are issues that often arise from the fact that high reproducibility and trust in data is paramount, since this technology will be used to prosecute while protecting the civili liberty’s of individuals.  This creates a great many problems when trying to create new instrumental techniques and methods for law enforcement.  Within this seminar I will illustrate 3 hurdles when trying to implement new techniques from the chemistry lab to the field application, or practitioner’s hands.  I will show these with 3 new mass spectrometric instruments developed in the lab for detection of illicit drugs on the breath and in the environment, and define these within the scope of the law.  In conclusion, I will make the case for a quality control lab where these new tools can be tested against the industry standards, and help move new technology into the hands of practitioners.

Dr. Guido F. Verbeck, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is an expert is mass spectrometry, specifically instrument design and development.  Dr. Verbeck received his PhD as a Proctor & Gamble fellow in Chemistry at Texas A&M University. Dr. Verbeck has developed ion cyclotron resonance, time-of-flight, and ion trap mass spectrometers over the past 20 years, and has been a member of the analytical community for 23 years. Among this design portfolio, Dr. Verbeck has developed a field chemical sendor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 3 novel commercialized  mass spectrometers for forensic and analytical uses, and a number of novel analytical applications for single cell and forensic analysis. Dr. Verbeck’s appointment is currently at the University of North Texas as the Associate Dean for Research within the College of Science.

How Does a Computer Do What it Does?

Computers are all around us.  They’re so common place that we sometimes forget what a marvel of electronics they are.  We download and use and appreciate all of the apps and the games and the convenience that they bring to our lives.  You have them on your desktop, in your lap, in your hand.  But they also run your dishwasher, diagnose your car, maintain the temperature in your house.  So what do they fundamentally do?  And how are they made?  We will take a closer look at computer architecture and how computer hardware is organized and made.

Paul Whiteman is a retired electrical and systems engineer who has an up close and personal look at how computers have evolved over the years.  He holds bachelor degrees from Sothern Methodist University in both electrical engineering and physics and has been involved in the design of the semiconductor manufacturing lines for microcomputers and related components.  He has worked with computers from mainframes to minicomputers to microcomputers to digital signal processors. 

Saturday, 11:00

Blockchain Explored


Let’s discuss what blockchain really is, why it’s useful and what its challenges are as it silently works its way into our economy. More specifically, let’s talk about the strategy of implementing it, what are the inflection points where the technology is likely to become more useful, and why you should ignore the noise out there about Bitcoin.
This talk is a heads down, Mensa speed drive through the technology where we will focus on some fundamentals, but mostly on what’s likely to be next in this field. Plenty to discuss, disagree about and even go write some code in support of. Bring your best arguments for or against the technology as there is plenty of room for forward looking, grossly speculative and mostly unsupported statements about where this train is going.
Did you miss the talk? Come see us in the SecSIG room where all Bitcoin conversations can be had for token indulgences of Beer and Food.

11:00 Sat.

Name that Movie

Name That Movie consists of short clips from about 40 movies.  Each movie clip represents one or more themes.  We ask that you identify each movie and the themes.  Play as individuals or as a team of up to 5 people. We try to make each clip interesting on its own, so even if you don't know movies very well we hope the game will be entertaining.  Clips (not the movies themselves) are chosen to be PG or G rated.  We'll provide a key with information about each movie and themes at the end.

Geri and John Neemidge are long-time Mensans and have presented their Name That Movie game at every LonestaRG, at other RGs, and several AGs. They love all sorts of movies and enjoy finding new and different ways to tie them together to amuse and challenge game audiences.

Saturday, 1:30

“The Cyber Journey of a Widget”

Have you thought, “I wonder what cyber processes a widget has to go through before it reaches me?”  Well, if you’re like most people, probably not, and you probably haven’t lost any sleep over it!  But, if you ever took a good look at the cyber journey of a widget, you would see a very impressive suite of systems.  This includes:  contracts with suppliers, vendor master, supply chain, bill of materials, specifications, manufacturing processes, customer master, distribution systems, and go-to-market systems.  Once the widget reaches the retailer, it is finally available for you to purchase.  So, come and explore these processes!

Presenter Biography

Anne Whiteman has a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Mathematics from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, as well as an MBA in General Business from SMU in Dallas.  She has worked in Information Technology for 35 years.  She is a retiree from Texas Instruments, and currently works for PepsiCo.  Anne has worked as a Programmer/Analyst, Project Leader, System Analyst, Business Analyst, and Functional Analyst.  She has worked on many different applications during her career:  Benefit Systems, Stockholder Records Systems, Human Resource Systems, Manufacturing Systems (of HARM missiles and semiconductors), Distribution Systems, Accounts Payable, Customer Master, Vendor Master, and Go-to-Market  Systems.

Saturday, 3:00

Cloud Cybersecurity 101

Do you ever wonder how organizations keep your data safe from hackers? And what actions you can take personally and professionally to reduce your risk exposure, enabling you to get better sleep at night? With threats and cyberattacks on the rise, and with nearly all data on our phones and computers co-existing in cloud locations, it is important to realize that Security is a shared responsibility among not only hosting providers, businesses, and third-party SaaS applications, but also.. You! Come explore the concepts of Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability of data in modern computing environments such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), learn how organizations protect and monitor the security of continuously deployed services in multi-tenant architectures, and receive a few tips and tricks on how to further safeguard your digital life.

Forrest White has a B.S. in Computer Science from The University of Texas in Austin. After graduating, Forrest has worked as a Systems Administrator at Indeed, and since 2012 as a DevOps and Information Security Engineer at RetailMeNot. In his current role, he leads and manages the information security engineering and operations teams, conducts incident response and business continuity planning activities, and is passionate about championing for security and risk mitigation throughout the development of new Product features. Outside of work, Forrest has completed 500 hours of training in kundalini yoga and gong therapy which he uses to share meditation practices with friends and communities, assists with safety functions at Burning Man inspired regional events across Texas, and is the owner of two happy cats who enjoy a scenic view of the Colorado River in downtown Austin.

 

Saturday, 4:30

Wine Tasting

Most people think of champagne when sparkling wine is mentioned, but sparkling wines are produced around the world. By EU law, the name champagne can only be used for sparkling wine produce in the champagne region of France. Outside of this region,  sparkling wine is known by names such as prosecco, cava, sekt, espumante, cap classique, or cremant.

This tasting will present some of these wines from outside of the champagne region and will discuss the varied methods used to produce the “sparkle” in sparkling wine.

Walt Hebert has been a member of Mensa for over 40 years, most of that time as a member of  North Texas Mensa. He has no formal training in wines, but has had the good fortune of tasting sparkling wine in several countries. He will share the information he has acquired on the subject and will provide you with the opportunity to taste and experience for yourself.

Saturday, 8:00 pm

Movies so bad that they’re good. We’re going to watch terrible movies, full MST3K style – that means people will talk back to the movies.  People who hate spoilers should avoid this activity.  If you like to quietly enjoy the terrible movies, this is not the event for you. 

What are we going to watch? That’s up to you.  Bring your best worst movie in DVD format. We will discuss our options, and decide by vote of all present which one(s) to watch. 

First show will be no worse than PG-13, if you want to bring the younger kids, and shows after the first one could be rated R.

Midnight Champagne Celebration –Midnight

On Saturday night, come to Hospitality for a night cap!  There will be a Midnight Champagne Celebration to celebrate the conclusion of another successful RG!  Not a champagne drinker?  Stop on by anyway, because there’s always the usual beer, wine, soft drinks, and water!  And, if you’ve worked up an appetite with all the activities of the evening, you will be able to find some snacks as well!

Host:  Our fearless RG chairperson, Karen Brack, will be your host for this event!  Stop by and tell her “Thank You” for the AWESOME job she has done in organizing this year’s NTM RG! 

Karen says: Anne wrote that, not me. Thank you, Anne, but this is the time for us to thank the WHOLE COMMITTEE who worked so hard to pull off this adventure! Please make a point to be there for this. And Party Animal Voting will also take place at this time. Look for people wearing the Hell’s Ms t-shirts for details.

Friday and Saturday Nights.  For specific times, see sign-up sheet outside the room.

Escape Room

We all grew up hearing about the Techno-Terror Crisis of last century. I’m not talking about those crappy Hollywood vids "Smart Phone Uprising" or "Bluetooth Vengeance". I mean the 7 days that almost destroyed every company in the world, big or small, and put us on the verge of the second economic collapse. It all started with weird stock price fluctuations. Then corporate networks taking on a life of their own and locking out system access. Some even going so far as using build security systems to “liquidate” the company’s “biological assets”. When it started spreading to the Mom & Pop cyber-cafes, people thought it was the end times.

Then it stopped, just as abruptly as it started.

Of course the conspiracy theorists had a field day. Government project gone rogue. Hacker taking the world hostage. Alien attack. Little pixies playing pranks. You name it. Each new unfounded theory on the net made it harder to sift through the actual facts. As the decades passed, the serious research slowly stopped.

Only we knew the answer. And we never planned on sharing. Now it seems like we have no choice. Two days ago, our monitors noticed a familiar pattern of stock price fluctuations. We can’t risk history repeating itself and last century’s solution isn’t going to cut it this time.

CybeRG Escape Room 2018 - Step into the near future where you and up to 3-5 of your best buddies try to get through a series of locks, puzzles, hacked passwords, and "ancient" cultural references to cut the power to an AI getting ready to melt down the world economy

Sunday, noon, hospitality

EVERYONE needs to come to hospitality for this event. RG committee members do this work as a labor of love. We even pay for the privilege! This is the time for all attendees (and the Chair) to thank the committee members for all the hard work they did to bring you this wonderful weekend. It’s important. Really. It means a lot. We’ll also be announcing all winners of all contests! Whee!