Tag Archives: Grand Unified Theory


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Once upon a time, a youth lay on their back and gazed in awe at the starry sky. The moon waned as a dim crescent—God’s Thumbnail, some call it—which let the universal brilliance of consciousness resonate in the youth’s eyes. Billions of fireballs blazed above, and countless more stars couldn’t be seen. The cosmos had cracked its coat. Like a galactic exhibitionist teasing eternal entropy, the universe flashed a perfect picture of order defying chaos and displayed an unbashful interconnection with all its occupants, including the star-gazing youth.

If you remember… that youth was you. Regardless if your years are still young, you’ve reached middle-age or are now advanced in time, the wonder of universal questions remains etched in your mind. Who are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? And what is your interconnected place, purpose and meaning in the universe?

These are timeless queries people like you’ve asked since humans first consciously observed the heavenly heights. Long ago, your ancestors used their emerging awareness to question universal curiosities. It’s a natural thing for humankind to look for simple answers to straightforward questions and, no doubt, you’ve queried them many times during your earthly existence without receiving any clear response.

For centuries, sages and scientists pondered the meaning of existence within the universe. They’ve debated scientific theories and proposed philosophical solutions to deep puzzles boldly presented in the macro and micro worlds. You’ll find narrow common ground on who’s right and who’s wrong which leaves you to wonder what nature’s realities truly are.

Albert Einstein equated that science without philosophy was lame and philosophy without science was blind. That great scientific sage also spent the second half of his life looking for the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) that interconnects everything in the universe. That includes your place, purpose and meaning.

As wise and astute as Einstein was, he didn’t complete his mission of tying the universe into a nicely packaged bow. It’s not that he didn’t believe all parts of the universe were intrinsically interconnected. Einstein knew in his gut that all physical laws and natural processes reported to one central command. That, ultimately, is the universal dominance of consciousness that allowed your creation and will one day destroy you through eternal entropy.

This isn’t a religious treatise you’re reading. No, far from it. It’s simply one person’s later-in-life reflection on three interconnected and universal curiosities. What’s your place? What’s your purpose? And, what’s the meaning in your life?

To find sensible suggestions, it’s necessary to dissect what’s learned (so far) of universal properties and what’s known about you as a human. You’re a conscious being housed in a physical vessel and controlled by universal principles. You had no choice in how you came to be here, but you certainly have choices now. Those include placing yourself in a safe and prosperous environment, developing a productive purpose and enjoying a rewarding meaning from the limited time you’re granted to be alive.

At the end of this discourse you’ll find a conclusion about your place, purpose and meaning in the universe. It might be one person’s opinion, but it’s based on extensive research and over six decades of personal experience. However, for the conclusion to make sense you need to take a little tour through the universal truths.

Ahead are a layman’s look at the origin of the universe, classical and quantum physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy, neuroscience and the life-changing principle of entropy. It’s also a dive into what’s not known about the biggest scientific and philosophical mystery of all—how consciousness manifests through the human brain and how entropy tries to kill it. Now, if you’re ready to interconnect with the universe, here’s what your place, purpose and meaning truly are.

The universe is enormous. It’s absolutely huge. There aren’t proper adjectives in the English language to describe just how big the universe really is. Perhaps the right word is astronomical which means exceeding great or enormous.

People often use the word “cosmos” interchangeably with “universe”. That’s not correct. Cosmos refers to the visible world extending beyond Earth and outward to the heavens. The universe incorporates all that’s in the macroscopic or outward realm, but the term also drills down and incorporates everything within the micro-regions of molecules, atoms and then into sub-atomic realities where quantum stuff gets seriously strange.

In Chemistry, Biology and Physics 101, you learned you’re created of energized matter built of complex material formed by atomic and molecular chains. So is every set-piece in the micro and macro universe. All visible matter contains material made of atomic structures that strictly obey standard operating procedures set down during the universe’s birth.

How that happened is explained by a few different theories. Religious accounts, depending on the flavor, hold that an omniscient supernatural power created the universe at will and for a vain purpose. Current scientific accounts dismiss all supernatural contribution and exchange it with a series of natural orders called the laws of physics and non-tangible processes of the universe.

Most scientists don’t attach an intentional purpose to the universe. They leave that to philosophers who tend to argue with abstract thoughts that aren’t backed by hard evidence. Then, there are those who think the universe is simply a grand thought.

No matter who’s right and who’s wrong, there are a few facts you can personally bank on. One is that you exist in a physical form and use consciousness to be self-aware. That includes knowing you have a place in the universe, a purpose for being here and there’s a meaning to your life.

As said, this isn’t a religious paper. Religion can be a matter of faith but, then, so can science. The difference is that science relies on direct observation, proven experiments and the ability to replicate results. Science also depends on building hypothesizes, turning them into theories and then certifying them as facts.

No particular physicist claims sole authorship of the Big Bang Theory. Currently, the Big Bang Theory is the leading account for the universe’s origin, and it’s generally accepted throughout the scientific community as being the best explanation—so far—of where your structural matter originated. It goes something like this.

In the early 1900s, an astronomer named Edwin Hubble (the space telescope guy) was busy measuring galactic light and came upon his profound realization that the observable universe was expanding. Not only was the universe growing, Hubble exclaimed, but it was also accelerating its expansion rate. That led to a logical conclusion that the universe must have started in a singular place and at a specific time.

Some of science’s brightest folks worked on mathematical extrapolations and built the theory postulating that all matter and energy in today’s observable universe must have been once compressed in a singularity that exploded. That big bang started the time clock, created space, released energy and formed matter. It’s been growing ever since and, along the journey, you were created as an interconnected part.

This sounds like a pretty big undertaking. It also sounds pretty far out to think everything in the known universe was stuck in the space smaller than an atom where it was exceedingly hot and heavy. Well, guys like Einstein and Steven Hawking accepted the Big Bang Theory as fact, although Einstein famously quipped, “God knows where that came from.”

Without any other scientific direction to go on, what you see in the universe got started from a single point and is enormously here in its present form and place. The best-educated guesses place the universe’s age at about 13.77 billion years, give or take a few hundred thousand. This rough age-estimate comes from measuring Cepheid Variable Pulsating Stars (CVPS) with the Hubble Space Telescope which has proven to be quite useful once NASA got its foggy lens fixed.

The size of the observable macro, or outer, universe is impressive. Current measurements find the most distant visible electromagnetic radiation to be 46 billion light-years from Earth. That’s in every direction where the radio telescopes pick up the Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR) signal. Astronomers believe the CBR is a leftover mess occurring about 300,000 years after the Big Bang. If the true universal distance radius is 46 billion light-years, then the entire trip across occupied space is around 92 billion light-years in diameter.

That is a massive distance. It’s gigantic, humongous and colossal. Light, which is electromagnetic radiation, travels at 186,000 miles per second or 300,000 kilometers per second. That means that in one year a light particle can travel 5.88 trillion miles or 9.5 trillion kilometers. Multiply that by 92 billion and you’ll see that it’s a long, long way across the visible universe.

That’s just the macro universe that astronomers can see with current technology. Most scientists agree they’ve only explored something like four to five percent of the visible universe, and there’s far more out there than known today. This is an ongoing search with exciting discoveries emerging all the time.

To get a feel of where your physical place is in the macro universe is, you’re on the surface of a planet called Earth. Your home base is 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers from the sun which is a common-type star. It takes eight minutes for light to leave the sun and meet your eyes. To put this distance in perspective, a light particle can circle the Earth seven and a half times in one second.

The solar system extends a long way out. Pluto, which has returned its classification into the planet family, is seven hours distant from the sun via light speed. Going further, your planetary arrangement orbiting the sun is in one part of your home galaxy called the Milky Way. The sun is approximately 30,000 light-years from the big black hole at the Milky Way’s center, and you’re actually closer to the nearest independent galaxy than you are to the Milky Way’s core.

No one knows how many stars there are in the Milky Way. It’s a countless number. The current consensus is there may be a trillion stars in your home galaxy. Some astronomers feel there could be a trillion or more galaxies in the visible universe.

The Milky Way is part of a galactic bunch called the Local Group. These 54 assorted-shape star arrangements form part of a larger galactic collection known as the Virgo Supercluster. This is a big, big crowd but nowhere near what’s really going on out there.

Recent astronomical observations confirmed that beyond the Virgo Supercluster lies a monster called “Laniakea” which is Hawaiian for “Immeasurable Heaven”. This stupendous structure sits in a part of space called the “Zone of Avoidance” where the clouds of dust and gas are so thick that visible light is impossible to perceive. Astonishingly, Laniakea and the Virgo Supercluster are being pulled together across space and time by a behemoth force nicely titled the “Great Attractor”. No one knows what that force field is, but it’s powerful.

As you lay on the Earth’s surface and gaze at the starry sky, you’re not seeing reality. You’re only seeing light that left its emission point a long time ago. If you spot Andromeda, the only independent galaxy visible with your naked eye, you’re seeing that structure as it was two million years ago. For all you know, Andromeda may no longer exist.

The universe can play a lot of tricks on an observer. But one thing the universe never does is change its basic operating rules. Space, time, energy and matter follow strict laws that apply everywhere throughout the universe. Whether you’re on Earth, in Andromeda or around Laniakea, all fundamental forces behave the same way.

There are four fundamental forces in the entire universe—both in the macro and micro worlds. Those are electromagnetism, gravity, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. Space, time, energy and matter all adhere to these four forces from which many physicists have tried to find a common denominator to frame the Grand Unified Theory (GUT).

So far, no luck. Einstein spent the second half of his life working on a unified theory. His intuition told him unification lay in an infinite pool of information which is the non-visible and non-tangible factor that gives space, time, energy and matter its direction. This information or intelligence principle certainly seems to be real, and it’s captured in the acronym STEMI for Space, Time, Energy, Matter and Information or intelligence. It might also be universal consciousness.

Information permeates the entire universe. It somehow laid down the four forces emerging from the Big Bang and then made other rules or laws of physics which carried throughout the entire regions of reality. However, what the rules say about operating the outward cosmos are not exactly the same rules as those governing sub-atomics.

What directs your existence in the macro world adheres to classical or Newtonian physics. Down in the microcosm realm, though, your matter and energy have different masters. The wee parts of you behave according to quantum physics which are somehow interconnected back into classic physics and STEMI.

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Ever taken an IQ test? If you did, you probably marked around 100. That’s the average where over 80 percent of all people fall in. Maybe you scored higher—say 140. That’d put you in the top 2 percent where Mensa members like Stephen Hawking resided. Or, you could be down in the 80s which some consider slow. But don’t feel bad if you’re sub-100 because Steve Jobs got an 86 and he made out just fine.

IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient. That’s an arbitrary scale where mental cognitive functions are examined and given a numeric value. How valid is it? Well, there are divided opinions on IQ meanings. Some brilliant savants need velcro for shoelaces while Muhammad Ali, who scaled 76, handed out exceptional jabs of wisdom never mind dealing knock-out blow interviews.

If you’ve never taken an IQ test, here’s your chance to do one online. There are lots of sites available. Some are credible. Some are not. One belongs to Mensa and that worldwide organization for the gifted is considered the leading authority for rating and linking people with exceptionally high IQs. Their acceptance mark is 132. It has to be verified under proctored conditions. But, then, Mensa membership has its perks.

Can you make the Mensa club? You just might. But, first, let’s look at what science says about intelligence, where it comes from and where it’s going—especially artificial intelligence or AI. We’ll see how intelligence is classified as well as investigate human traits more important than book smarts. It’s interesting to know some famous people’s IQs and who are the top 5 of all time. We’ll sample a Mensa exam and give you the opportunity to test drive one. Then we’ll check how I made out qualifying for Mensa.

True intelligence is tough to define. It’s subjective and objective at the same time. That makes defining intelligence controversial. Possibly the best analogy comes from Albert Einstein who said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Einstein never took an IQ test and he’s estimated to have ranked pretty high mentally. Practicality was a different story. He theorized relativity and the space-time continuum but couldn’t balance his checkbook. Socrates also had a go at defining intelligence. “I know that I am intelligent because I know nothing,” the great philosopher said. Then Socrates dismissed the brain as being part of the body’s cooling system and concluded intelligence came from the heart.

The word “intelligence” comes from the Latin verb “intelligere” which means to comprehend or perceive. This developed into the Greek “intellectus” or “understanding” and the phrase “intellectus intelligit” that translates to “understanding understanding”. This play-on-words describes a general mental capacity involving the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think in abstract, comprehend complex ideas, communicate and learn from experience. It’s more than book learning, academic skill or test-taking smarts. Intelligence is the ability to make sense of things, catch on quick and figure out what to do.

There are many theories of intelligence. They come from scientific disciplines like neurology and psychiatry. They flow from philosophers and learned scholars in education. Even religious groups take a crack at rating intelligence. Regardless of where opinions come from, two main forms of human intelligence are universally recognized.

  1. Crystallized intelligence encompasses factual knowledge gained through education and life experiences.
  2. Fluid intelligence is the ability to process information, make logical decisions and inhibit irrational emotional impulses.

Two main theories around intelligence are attributed to Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg. Gardner, a Harvard professor, itemized seven specific components of intelligence—musical, bodily-kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal. The idea behind his theory explains why some people are better than others at skills like numbers, words and relationships. Sternberg disagreed. He broke intelligence into three groups—analytical, creative and practical. Those are abilities to solve problems, deal with new situations and adapt to changing environments.

Charles Spearman hypothesized that one factor generally framed intelligence. He called it the “g-factor” and postulated all people are basically the same—only some are better at things than others. I’m not sure I follow that simple reasoning and tend to agree with mainstream theories of intelligence being divided into distinct categories. It seems some people are clearly at ease with particular intellectual domains and there’s no single factor explaining performance across a wide range of intelligent abilities.

Anatomy and neuroscience have taken a good, hard look at what constitutes intelligence. They see it developing as electro-chemical signals being transported through interconnected neuron circuits. Basic brain structure monitored by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows most “intelligent” interactions occur in the frontal or parietal region and are centered in the anterior cingulate cortex. This is called the Parietal-Frontal Integration (PTI) theory and it’s supported by scientific evidence.

There’s one problem with the PTI theory. It can’t account for consciousness. Without consciousness, there’s no intelligent operation in the brain and science doesn’t have the remotest grasp on the nature or origin of consciousness. Consciousness is suspected to be the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) that unites the basic known physical properties of space-time and energy-mass into one single explanation of the universe. At the center of the GUT is the source of intelligent consciousness and God only knows where that came from. But that’s another discussion.

Over centuries, educators recognized various students have various cognitive abilities. At the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries, German psychologist Wilhelm Stern was tasked by a government public school commission to devise a way for detecting children with significantly below-average intelligence and mental retardation. The idea was to economically group these kids into Special-Ed classes rather than lock them inside expensive asylums.

In 1905, Alfred Binet developed a scoring system for the intelligent quotient Stern was looking for. Binet used a ratio of mental ability to chronological age and based it on a point system with 100 being average. Anything below 100 was classified in retarded degrees and anything above was considered advanced. It was like ignition timing on an internal combustion engine. Lewis Terman at Stanford University in the United States realized Binet was on to something so Terman fine-tuned the IQ test into what’s known as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. It’s still in use today as the industry standard.

The Stanford-Binet 5th Edition IQ Range Classification goes like this:

  • 160+ —      Brilliant
  • 145-159 — Very gifted or highly advanced
  • 130-144 — Gifted or advanced
  • 120-129 — Superior
  • 110-119 —  High average
  • 90-109 —    Average
  • 80-89 —      Low average
  • 70-79 —      Borderline impaired or delayed
  • 55-69 —      Mildly impaired or delayed
  • 40-54 —      Moderately impaired or delayed
  • 39- —          Not classified

When the Stanford-Binet IQ Test was first used, there were official classifications for people who scored low. The terms “moron”, “imbicile” and “idiot” were dropped in recent years out of correctness but we all know buzz words for smart and dumb people. Today, “switched-on” and “switched-off” are part of the Urban Dictionary. So are “privileged”, “backward”, “enlightened”, “dimly-lit”, “high-brow” and “half-wit”. We’re not allowed to say “retard” like I was teased as a kid. It’s now replaced with “mentally-challenged” which I’m not. My mother had me tested.

So the logical question is, “How did human intelligence develop to the point I’m at today?” Anthropologists agree homo sapiens jumped down from the primate tree around 2 million years ago and made a huge mental leap forward when they learned to cook food. That took intelligence in harnessing fire just as it took intelligence to invent simple machines like the wheel and axle, the screw, the pulley and the inclined plane. Despite what creationists say about evolution, the evidence is empirical that our brains progressively evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to expand a field called intelligence. Genetics, diet and social interaction played a big part.

Discoveries and inventions made life easier. They gave humans more time to refine arts, literature and sport. Devices evolved into complex machines like smart cars and computerized guidance. Our evolution has arrived at the point where intelligent machines are in daily use and moving forward fast. We’re at the threshold of implementing Practopoiesis. That’s the conceptual bridge between biology and artificial intelligence. AI is here and it’s a matter of time before computerized brain implants are real.

That might be good and that might be bad for the human species. We’ve always struggled between haves and have-nots. Social advancement intrinsically links to out-thinking a competitor but societies have a way of balancing fairness in weak vs. strong. We’re able to see a line between naturally knowing and not being able to know.

It’s important to know IQ testing is not meant to identify character or personality traits. It’s strictly a ranking of intelligence to form a baseline for comparison. But the Stanford-Binet equation is recognized as a valid and useful measure for psychological and legal purposes. It forms part of a criminal defense strategy to establish mental culpability and the United States Supreme Court established anyone with a score of 70 or less is exempt from the death penalty.

Before we look at how your IQ Test is structured and where you’ll mark, let’s see who’s been tested and how they rated. Many famous and infamous people have their IQs recorded and psychologists have speculated about where historical figures stood. We’ll break the categories down into science/invention, politics/military and arts/entertainment.


  • Albert Einstein — Swiss physicist — 160
  • Albrecht von Haller — Swiss medical scientist — 190
  • Benjamin Franklin — American inventor — 160
  • Bill Gates — American inventor/businessman — 160
  • Blaise Pascal— French philosopher — 195
  • Charles Darwin — English botanist — 165
  • Edith Stern — American computer engineer — 198
  • Francis Crick — British discoverer of DNA — 134
  • Henry Ford — American automaker — 125
  • Immanuel Kant — German philosopher — 175
  • Isaac Newton — English scientist — 190
  • Leonardo da Vinci — Italian inventor/artist — 190
  • Marie Curie — French chemist — 185
  • Paul Allen — Microsoft co-founder — 168
  • Ruth Lawrence — British Mathematician — 175
  • Stephen Hawking — British theoretical physicist — 160


  • Abraham Lincoln — US President — 140
  • Adolf Hitler — Nazi leader — 141
  • Andrew Jackson — US President — 120
  • Angela Merkel — German Chancellor — 136
  • Benjamin Netanyahu — Israeli Prime Minister — 182
  • Bill Clinton — US President — 137
  • Barak Obama — US President — 130
  • Boris Johnson — British politician — 79
  • Donald Trump — US President — 156
  • George Armstrong Custer — US Cavalry leader — 80
  • George W. Bush — US President — 125
  • George S. Patton — American WW2 general — 151
  • Hillary Clinton — American politician — 143
  • John F. Kennedy — US President — 117
  • Margaret Thatcher — British Prime Minister — 176
  • Ronald Raegan — US President — 103
  • Ulysses S. Grant — US Civil War general/US President — 110
  • Vladimir Putin — Russian President — 130


  • Andy Warhol — American painter — 86
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger — American actor/politician — 135
  • Asia Carrera — International adult film star — 156
  • Bobby Fischer — American chess master — 187
  • Brittany Spears — American singer — 104
  • Charles Dickens — British writer — 180
  • Cindy Crawford — American model — 154
  • Conan O’Brien — American television host — 160
  • Geena Davis — American actor — 140
  • James Woods — American actor — 180
  • Jodie Foster — American actor — 132
  • John Travolta — American actor — 90
  • Lisa Kudrow —American actor — 161
  • Madonna — British entertainer — 141
  • Mayim Bialik — “Amy Farrah-Fowler” on Big Bang Theory — 163
  • Nicole Kidman — Australian actor — 132
  • Paris Hilton — American celebrity — 120
  • Quinton Tarantino — American movie director — 165
  • Robin Williams — American actor/comic — 142
  • Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) — British actor — 178
  • Tina Fey — American entertainer — 143
  • Tom Cruise — American actor — 94
  • Vincent van Gogh — Dutch painter — 150+

That’s a pretty diverse and well-known crowd but they’re not the smartest— at least not as recorded IQ goes. That mark of distinction goes to these five.

  1. Marilyn vos Savant holds the Guinness Book of Records as the smartest woman alive. She’s best known for her high score but is an accomplished author and advice columnist. Ms. vos Savant repeatedly broke the 200 mark in IQ tests.
  1. Kim Ung-Yong is a Korean child prodigy. By the time he was three, Kim was fluent in five languages and could read and write all. He became a NASA engineer but returned home where he quietly teaches university classes. Kim has an IQ of 210.
  1. Christopher Hirata is an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology where he began professing at 14. He won the Physics Olympiad gold medal at 13 and scored 225 on his IQ exam.
  1. Terrance Tao is a Chinese genius who teaches advanced mathematics at the University of California. He’s won every math prize there is. It’s probably due to his IQ being 232.
  1. William James Sidis is no longer alive but has the distinction of the highest human IQ score ever recorded. There are discrepancies in test methods but it’s generally accepted he pushed close to 300. Sidis was an oddball and actually quite unstable. He attended Harvard at age 11 as a math student and went on to learn over 40 languages. His political activism got Sidis jailed and he died young. It was a cerebral aneurysm. Literally, his brain exploded.

These smart folks come from diversified backgrounds and have equally diverse personalities. They’re different, yet alike. Psychologists have found six characteristics that high-functioning people have in common, regardless of their IQ level.

  • They’re highly adaptable
  • They know what they don’t know
  • They’re intensely curious
  • They ask good questions
  • They’re sensitive to other people
  • They’re open-minded and critical of their own work

So that’s a wrap of how some scored on their IQ tests and how they operate. Now—how about yours? I’ve lined up a Mensa website where you can try your intelligence but, to practice, here are sample questions for helping you prepare.

Pear is to apple as potato is to?

  • Banana
  • Radish
  • Strawberry
  • Peach
  • Lettuce

There are 1200 elephants in a herd. Some have pink and green stripes. Some are all pink. Some are all blue. One-third are all pure pink. Is it true that 400 elephants are definitely blue?

  • Yes
  • No

If it were two hours later, it would be half as long until midnight as it would be if it were an hour later. What time is it now?

  • 18:30
  • 20:00
  • 21:00
  • 22:00
  • 23:30

What same three-letter word can be placed in front of these words to make a new word?


“If some Smaugs are Thors and some Thors are Thrains, then some Smaugs are definitely Thrains.” This statement is:

  • True
  • False
  • Neither

The price of an article was cut 20% for a sale. By what percent must the item be increased to again sell it at the original price?

  • 15%
  • 20%
  • 22 ½%
  • 25%
  • 30%

Which one of the five is least like the others?

  • Ham
  • Liver
  • Salmon
  • Pork
  • Beef

If you count from 1 to 100, how many 7s will you pass on the way?

  • 10
  • 11
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21

Sally likes 225 but not 224; she likes 900 but not 800; she likes 144 but not 145. Which does she like?

  • 1600
  • 1700

Jack is taller than Peter and Bill is shorter than Jack. Which of the following statements is the most accurate?

  • Bill is taller than Peter
  • Bill is shorter than Peter
  • Bill is as tall as Peter
  • It is impossible to tell

What is this word when unscrambled?


Which of the five designs is least like the other four?

  • A
  • Z
  • F
  • N
  • E

Find the missing number:


John received $.41 in change from a purchase at the drugstore. If he received six coins, three of the coins had to be:

  • Pennies
  • Nickels
  • Dimes
  • Quarters
  • Half-dollars

Only one other word in the English language can be made using all the letters from the word INSATIABLE. Can you find it?

If FP = 10 and HX = 16, what does DS = ?

What letter appears next in this sequence? B-V-C-X

Cattell III B has 158 questions. Cattell IV A has 317 questions. Which one is more difficult?

“A fish has a head 9” long. The tail is equal to the size of the head plus one-half the size of the body. The body is the same size as the head plus the tail.” How long is the fish?

  • 27”
  • 54”
  • 63”
  • 72”
  • 81”

I tried 60 of these Mensa test questions and was allowed 20 minutes. After that, the process timed out. That’s 20 seconds per question. It doesn’t give much room for calculating, googling or phoning a friend. I’ll admit I guessed on some — especially the fish.

It’s not my first go-around on an IQ test but was my first try with Mensa. Back in high school, we were given IQ tests as some sort of socialist experiment. We were never shown scores so I don’t know my outcome. I was never a shining light in grade school but was smart enough to slide through by friending the smart kid.

I sat beside Terry Blaney (we called him Terry Brainey) and I glanced across as Terry whizzed through our IQ test. I checked off what I saw him do then guessed the rest. My bet is Terry’s IQ hits 140 or better. He went on to get an engineering degree and I became a cop. I never kept in touch with Terry but you can’t hide on the internet. So I found him on Linked-In and see he retired as a VP with Shell Oil. Now Terry runs his private petroleum consulting business in Shanghai and I’m a wanna-be crime writer doing blog posts like this.

Which brings to my own intelligence and also to yours. Over the years, I’ve slid a lot further on bullshit than on gravel. And my experience firmly proves that bullshit baffles brains. But I know it’s hard to BS the computerized Mensa format so I gave it an honest go. Here’s the link if you’d like to try it: https://www.mensaiqtest.net/

I did the best I could with 60 questions within 20 minutes. Man, that was a challenge. Some were easy. Some took a pen & paper. Some were pure guess and some were gut feel. But all required an application of intelligence no matter how you approached. Then I hit the calculate button and got this:

The bastards wanted 19.92 Euro to release my score. That’s over 20 bucks US—25 up here in Canada. They accept Visa, Mastercard and other forms of payment but I hit the escape button and left.

I guess that’s the mark of intelligence.