mensa international journal may 2011 issue number 548
from the international treasurer... This has been my first term as International Treasurer, and I have had to decide, regretfully, not to stand for a second term. I have had health problems and also changes in my work situation, and just cannot commit to two more years. The good news is that Cyndi Kuyper, the Treasurer of American Mensa, is the only candidate for the role so will be my replacement. As Treasurer of a large national Mensa, she comes with the right experience and it is great to know the job will be in safe hands. So, on leaving the role, what are my impressions and what have I learnt? First, I do not think we make enough fuss about the International organisation of Mensa. Mensa is now in operation in around 50 countries, and every member in the world is part of this organisation, which gives opportunities to communicate with and meet intelligent people from around the world on equal terms. The experience of going to events outside my own country and meeting such interesting, lively, diverse people is one I will treasure for ever. And please don’t think this is only available to those of us who get elected to international positions - there are many events held world wide, most of them open to all members wherever they are, and I can say from experience that anybody who goes to an event, be it an AG,
mensa international journal may 2011
weekend gathering or just an evening in a restaurant, in another country, will get a brilliantly warm welcome. I know that international travel isn’t easy for everybody although it can be made easier through the Mensa SIGHT services - but there are other ways to be involved, including the excellent international website, with its lively discussion forums between people from all over the world. During my term with International Mensa, I have sometimes been asked, what good does it do, and why is it worth 5% of our membership money? Five percent - in my home country, that’s about the cost of a daily newspaper. For that you get the chances to get involved and meet new people as I have outlined above. But as well as that, Mensa is expanding world wide, slowly in some places, rapidly in others. As it does, then opportunities to get involved increase, and so do the resources available to Mensa worldwide. I was lucky enough to be at the 60th anniversary celebrations in Nottingham, England, and the party was on a scale which would have been unthinkable when I first joined Mensa 30 years before. So where might we get to in the next 60 years? I firmly believe that in terms of Mensa activity, we are only at the beginning. But, some members will still say, why does this need Mensa International? After all, Brit-
ish Mensa started up when two guys met on a train, and American Mensa started when a British Mensa member went there on holiday and missed his Mensa meetings back home. Can’t we grow in those ways? Perhaps we could, but whether or not we could keep the same standards is not certain. Mensa is internationally known now, and there are people who would be happy to cash in on the name without keeping to the rigorous testing standards which we need if we are to keep what is special about Mensa. What of the future? I believe we are in an exciting time for Mensa, we are seeing many changes but changes can bring problems. Mensa International still functions with essentially the same structure and number of staff it had when there were half as many countries involved. At the same time, more people communicate via the internet, more people travel to international events, we now have EMAG as well as the annual IBD meeting, and as we get bigger such issues as protection of the name become more complex. Each of these brings its own problems: how and when should we expand; is there a role for Mensa International in providing international publicity; what should the balance be between national groups and the international body- and within larger countries, regional groups? All this and more provides food for thought, and will continue to do so. As for me, I am looking forward to being just another Mensa member again, with the socialising and website chats, and hope to meet many of you again in that role.
Deborah Theasby 01
mensa international journal What Is Wi-Fi and How Does It Work?
by Thomas Hally
Recently, I purchased a Dell Inspiron 10 Mini-Notebook to add to my collection that consists of an old Gateway 5200S desktop, a Dell Vostro 1500 laptop, and a superduper HP Pavilion dv6, a toomany-GBs-to-remember laptop. I decided to set up a local area network (LAN) in my home since all of my computers are equipped with Wi-Fi (or the 802.11 Standard). So what exactly is Wi-Fi? The simplest answer is that Wi-Fi is a high-speed, wireless Internet connection. Wireless is the key word. A computer that has Wi-Fi capability does not need wires or phone plugs to function. Wi-Fi uses radio waves like cell phones do. When you have the necessary hardware in your computer you can connect to the Internet with a simple left click of your mouse. The hardware in your computer converts data to be sent into radio waves, which, in turn, are sent to the Internet and from there on to a router to be decoded. Wi-Fi-equipped computers operate with speeds of 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Thus your computer’s frequency is much faster than your cell phone’s. Wi-Fi captures radio waves and transmits them by means of an antenna. A wireless router receives the mensa international journal may 2011
signal and sends it on to the router to be decoded. The router sends the data (in binary: 1, 0) to the Internet via the Ethernet. This process is carried out in the same logical manner when the router receives information from the Internet. The router receives information from the Internet and it is decoded by the router which sends the data to a wireless adapter. Wi-Fi facilitates applications of wireless networks such as wide area networks (WAN) in vehicles or technology that allows you to switch from a particular wireless network to another without difficulty. Wi-Fi can transmit using as much as three bands simultaneously. Wi-Fi can also hop from one frequency to another without any problems. “Frequency hopping” is very convenient since it allows multiple devices (computers, television, cell phones, etc.) quick access to the same wireless connection simultaneously.
Creating a Wireless Network
If you are thinking of building a wireless network in your home the first thing you must consider is to insure your computer has the correct speed. Fortunately, most new laptops and many desktops are built with wireless transmitters. If you happen to have a computer without Wi-Fi you can purchase a wireless adapter that plugs into the PC Card or in a USB port. Let’s assume you are a technology geek like me and have three,
four - or more - computers but not all of your machines have Wi-Fi. In order to turn your computer into a Wi- Fi “hotspot” you must use a wireless adaptor. Once you have installed your wireless adaptor your computer will automatically discover existing networks. Connecting to public hotspots is very convenient. If you want to replace that tired old Ethernet network, purchase a wireless router. A wireless router contains the following: 1) a port to connect to the modem (DSL); 2) a router; 3) an Ethernet hub; 4) a firewall; and, 5) a wireless access point. The wireless router allows you to wireless signals in order to connect a computer to others. Routers used in the home or business can cover up to 100 feet (or 30.5 meters). A large home may need repeaters for extension. Like wireless adaptors, many routers can use more than one Wi-Fi or 802.11 Standard. The 802.11b routers are a bit less expensive than 802.11, but because the standard is older, they are slower than 802.11a, 802.11.b, 802.11g, and 802.11n routers. Most people opt for 802.11g because it is faster and more reliable than the others. Security is a very import factor when you consider creating your own wireless local area network (LAN) (cont. on p03)
mensa international journal in your home or business. The same holds true for public WiFi in hospitals, coffee shops, and airports, etc. You should configure your router to create a hotspot your own local area network. Your network may be vulnerable to an alert hacker. Anyone who has a wireless card, whether a guest in your home or a client will be able to use your signal. Therefore, you
should take a few precautionary steps to ensure your security measures are up to date. There are, in addition, other steps you should take to keep your network private: 1) Wi-Fi Protected Access is part of the 802.11 wireless network security protocol.WPA provides security for your signature and password. Most public hotspots use WPA technology. 2) MAC or Media Access Control is a bit different from WPA. MAC works in conjunction with your computer’s hardware.
Each computer has its own unique MAC. When using MAC you must specify addresses allowed in your wireless network when you set up your router. MAC is very safe yet it is not 100 percent foolproof. Skilled hackers can fool MAC and copy an address and use it to get into your wireless LAN. Wireless networks are fast, safe (when security is in place), reliable, and inexpensive. Good luck in setting up your own wireless network!
You boy, are you chewing in class? No? Why not? There was a time when there was no better way to irk a teacher than to chew gum in class. But German schoolchildren are now being encouraged to chew to increase concentration and encourage learning. In a pilot project in a primary school in Bavaria, pupils are being given sticks of gum and told to chew them during lessons and at break time. It follows research concluding that continuous chewing stimulates the brain. “The positive effect of chewing probably lies in the fact that the part of the brain in the brain stem that keeps us alert is constantly stimulated, as a result of which the attention level rises, as does the flow
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mensa international journal may 2011
of blood to the brain and with it the ability to learn,” said SiegfriedLehrl, head of the Society of Brain Training and a scientist at the University of Erlangen. Meanwhile, Hans Dasch, head teacher at the Volkenschwand primary school in Bavaria, said he had decided to introduce gum chewing because “children need to come to school without any fear and to feel contentment. The learning environment needs to match their needs, which is why we’re encouraging them to chew gum during break time and in lessons.” He added that sugar-free gum had an added health benefit in that it kept teeth clean. The plan has met with scepticism in some quarters. Some people fear it will encourage antisocial habits, while others worry about the disposal of
the chewed gum. “Estimates for Germany’s towns and communities show that around 900 million Euros are spent on cleaning chewing gum from our streets every year,” said Thomas Paulwitz, a historian who criticised the project in a newspaper column. He said inner cities were plastered with an average of 35 pieces of gum a square metre, and each piece took two minutes to remove. Claims have long been made about the benefits of gum on concentration levels. In 2002, scientists from the University of Northumbria found that people who chewed gum had a 35% improvement in their ability to recall words. Soldiers of the U.S. military have been supplied with free gum since World War I due to the belief that it boosts concentration and helps to relieve stress. Reprinted from British Mensa Magazine, February 2011. Ed. Brian Page
mensa international journal Dates for your diary... May 20 – May 23, 2011 Mensa Canada invites International Mensans to Canada’s Castle in the Rockies for its 2011 Annual Gathering (AG) at the five-star Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Visit our registration site at http://www.mensa2011ag.ca/ or contact Vicki Herd at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (403) 243-6144 for details. 10 June 10 - June 13, 2011 Mensa Charming Austria 2011 at Illmitz, a very charming town at Lake Neusiedl in the most Eastern province Burgenland, just 64 kms Southeast of Vienna Airport, close to the Hungarian border. https://www.mensa.org/event/mensa-charming-austria July 7 – July 10, 2011 Mensa Midnight Sun Meeting Lapland, Finland. Santa Claus Village, METLA climate research, White water rafting, Huskies, Intelligent people, Sauna, Games, Fun, and as a special guest star The Midnight Sun. Information at www.mensa.fi/midnightsun2011. Members only.
Advance notice of International meetings
EMAG 2011: The 2011 Eurpoean Mensa Annual Gathering in Paris, France from 3-7 August. IBD meeting 2011: The 2011 IBD meeting will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria from 13-17 October.
Chair: Mr Willem Bouwens Trompenburgstraat 6-G, 1079 TX Amsterdam The Netherlands email@example.com Tel: +31 (0)20 661 2718 Director Admin: Ms Sylvia Herbert 16 Farley St, St John’s, Worcester, Worcestershire WR2 6JD England firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44(0)1905 422231 Director Development: Ms Bibiana Balanyi Mensa HungarIQa, H-1426 Budapest 72, Postafiok 99 Hungary email@example.com Tel: +36 209 135175 Treasurer: Ms Deborah Theasby 115 Bevercotes Rd, Firth Park, Sheffield S5 6HB England firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)114 2497435 Dir. Smaller National Mensas: Ms Christine Warlies Alleestr. 62, 66953 Pirmasens, Germany Tel: +49(0)6331 31 657 Skype: christine.warlies, email: email@example.com Hon. President: Dr Abbie Salny 407 Breckenridge, Wayne NJ 07470 USA Tel: +1 973 305 0055 SIGHTCoordinator: Mr Richard Kingston SIGHT@mensa.org Int. SIG Coordinator: Mr Markus Schauler firstname.lastname@example.org Ombudsman:Mr Martyn Davies email@example.com Editorial Staff Editor: Ms Kate Nacard 407/23 Corunna Rd, Stanmore NSW 2048 Australia firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +61 2 9516 1024 Science: Mr John Blinke, Johnb44221@cs.com Books: Mr Tom Elliott, email@example.com Feature Articles: Mr Thomas Hally, firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Director: Mr Michael Feenan, Slate Barn, Church Lane, Caythorpe, Lincolnshire NG32 3EL, UK Tel/Fax+44(0)1400272 675 email@example.com The Mensa International Journal (MIJ) is produced under the auspices of the Mensa International Board of Directors. Pages 1-4 of each issue of the MIJ must be published in every national Mensa magazine. Publication of pages 5-8 is recommended but optional. Opinions expressed in the MIJ are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other individual or any official Mensa body. Submission Guidelines: Language: English only. Text: MS Word (Windows), .rtf (Word/Mac), plain text, PageMaker (Windows) Length: 500 word limit. Send by e-mail, fax, snail mail to the Editor. The Editor reserves the right to include or edit submissions for space and content considerations. All unoriginal submissions must be accompanied by written permission for publication from the original author.Permission is granted for MIJ articles to be reprinted in any Mensa publication provided that the author, MIJ and MIJ’s editor are acknowledged. Permission must be sought from the MIJ editor for reprinting of any part of the MIJ in non-Mensa publications. mensa international journal may 2011
Published on May 10, 2011