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Space Art and Astronomical Art for Mensans

Mensa audience at costume parade
An audience of Mensans at the costume parade

Last Halloween weekend I attended the Chicago regional Mensa gathering known as HalloweeM. Held at the Sheraton Chicago Northwest in Arlington Heights, this four day event brings together Mensans and features presentations, games, food, drink, and a costume parade.

This was the second HalloweeM that I’ve attended as a speaker. At last year’s HalloweeM I gave two presentations. One was my The Universe According to Monty Python presentation which deals with a range of astronomical and cosmological topics. My other presentation was Algorithmic Art: Where Art Meets Math – a personal favorite of mine as it deals with a topic that fascinates me. You can read more about my exploits at that HalloweeM at Mensa, Algorithmic Art, and Monty Python.

My original schedule called for me to speak Friday night. My presentation that evening was Art And The Exploration of Space which is a history of the evolution of space art and the ways in which art has been used with respect to space exploration.

Later that evening while thoroughly enjoying the ample quantities of food and drink served up to the attendees, I was approached and informed that one of the speakers for Saturday had to cancel and would I be interested in coming back and giving another presentation. I promptly said yes and then proceeded to scratch my head trying to decide which talk to give. I did not want to repeat either of the presentations that I had given last year. I finally decided on giving one of my newer presentations – The Art of Astronomy, a talk I had recently given at the Hinsdale Public Library. This presentation deals with astronomical art as opposed to space art. Think of astronomical art as being about nature and space art as being about the human exploration of space.

In addition to my presentations, and lots of eating and drinking, I also attended a few other programs. The most interesting, and which I unfortunately missed the first half of, was That We May Never Forget: Chronicling the Life and Experiences of a Child Holocaust Survivor by Paul Argiewicz, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. His was a moving story. One thing that particularly struck me was his deep love of the United States. I feel that this man has a far greater appreciation of our country than many of our native born citizens who have known no other way of life.

Ad Astra, Jim

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