Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

“Actually, we get by with a little kelp FOR our friends.” The Cabrillo aquarium began in 1935 as a collection of marine specimens stored in the Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse. It concentrates on the marine life of Southern California. A rep from the aquarium will show us lots of beautiful images and tell us about the rich diversity and adaptations of our local sea life.

The Reptile Family

THE REPTILE FAMILY is bringing arachnids, amphibians, snakes and other reptiles! They inspire appreciation of the Earth’s most misunderstood creatures. Experience the wonder that only their exotic collection can bring. Presented in a hands-on format, these creatures will delight and educate. Animals will include: albino python, tarantula, water dragon, blue-tongue skinks, black-throat monitor lizard, and milk snake. All the animals are safe for touching and holding - if you dare!

Griffith Park Zoo

The Griffith Park Zoo opened in 1912 a few miles from the current Los Angeles Zoo site, with 15 animals! Don’t miss our zoo presentation -- come and learn more about some of the L.A. Zoo’s animal residents from the people who know them best. Get a fun, informative peek at wildlife with digital images, biofacts, and educational activities.

End-of-Life Options Act Information and Update

People have a lot of questions and misconceptions about the new End-of-Life Options Act (AKA Medical Aid in Dying). What does the law mandate? What protections are put into place? Who can participate? Do you have to be terminal? How do you find a doctor? Viki will present data from the first year and a half of the law being implemented, how the process works, and what are the requirements to participate. Viki will focus on what the law mandates and how it is going in California. At the end, people can discuss their own opinions once they know the details of the law.

Viki Kind

Viki Kind

Viki Kind, Mensa member, is a clinical bioethicist, professional speaker and hospice volunteer. Her award winning book, The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices For Those Who Can't, guides families and professionals who are making decisions for those who have lost capacity. Viki is known as “The People’s Bioethicist,” because she is a rare individual who bridges two worlds, that of the health care professional and of the family struggling to make the right decision. She is an honorary board member of the Well Spouse Association and has been a caregiver for many years for six members of her family.

The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane: American Popular Music 1950 – 59

American Popular music was in transition in the 1950s. The big band era was over. Groups like the Four Lads, the Four Aces and the Ames Brothers were popular. Vocalists like Eddie Fisher, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como dominated the charts. Women like Doris Day, Patti Page and Debbie Reynolds had major hits. New artists like Pat Boone and Bobby Darin made their debuts. Come hear how American popular music sounded before rock and roll changed it forever.

You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog: The Birth of Rock and Roll

You know it can’t be fun sitting home all alone. We’ll be having some fun tonight. Just let yourself hear some of that rock and roll music. With a whole lotta’ shaking going on. Don’t be a poor little fool and miss this program. Stick around until you get your kicks. It’s gotta be rock and roll music.

Craig Lancaster

Craig Lancaster

Craig’s programs on American popular music have, at long last, reached the music of the 1950s. There were two kinds of music in the 1950s: pop music and rock and roll. So Craig will be doing two programs. One on the nice pop music of the 1950s; and one on the “brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression” called rock and roll. This year, for a change, Craig will be talking about something that he knows. Craig was alive during the 1950s. (Yes, he’s that old.) Surprisingly, he is actually able to remember the songs he will play. He will share his memories (such as they are) of 1950s music with you.

Team Trivia

Get together in teams of six to solve trivia questions of general knowledge. Some questions will involve identifying photographs of people, places or things.


Now is your chance to be the star of the show. We will have scripts for six or more scenes. Audience members will be asked to select their role(s) and read their parts out loud hopefully with some expression.

Jana Bickel

Jana Bickel

Jana Bickel has been a member of Mensa for over 30 years and is a life member. In her Mensa career she has been San Fernando Valley Area Secretary twice, RG chairman twice and RG program chairman multiple times. She has been an active participant in the Urban Hike, Nova Toastmasters, and the Folksong SIG. A career civil servant, she is now enjoying retirement.

Five Myths About Nuclear Power

Wind can never supply more than 15% of total energy demand. Storage to provide firm power from wind and solar would cost about three times US GDP EVERY YEAR! Nothing but nuclear would work if the goal is to eliminate CO2 emissions. Five myths about nuclear power -- it's not safe, nobody knows what to do about spent fuel, it's too expensive, it leads to weapons proliferation, and there's not enough uranium anyway -- are all false.

Van Snyder

Van Snyder

Van Snyder is a semi-retired mathematician and software engineer with an abiding interest in nuclear power. Before the flowering of the world-wide web, studying nuclear power was difficult. But after reading "Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste," "Prescription for the Planet," and "Plentiful Energy," and using e-mail to correspond with the authors, learning became much easier. I am indebted to them for their assistance, patient tutoring, and references.

Parody Sing-Along, and Homophonia

Enjoy singing along or not in the zany world of parodies. Some of these were written by host Alan Stillson. If you’d like, BYOP (bring your own parody). Another game, Homophonia, is an interactive word game that involves quick identification of two consecutive homophones (words that sound alike) that are missing from a sentence An example is “She saw a man with a wooden BLANK away a mosquito.” The answer is shoe and shoo.

Alan Stillson

Alan Stillson, Mensa member since 1987, is puzzle editor of LAMentary and Oracle. He leads two SIGs, folk singing and the writers group. Alan recently retired as an adjunct mathematics professor and actively works as an author. He has eleven published puzzle books, has two produced musical shows and is working on the production of a peace concert. His website is and his e-mail address is