How to Prepare for AG Activities

This page has all the info you need to get the most out of these activities:

Trivia Tournament with Peter Sells – Friday at 9:00 p.m. (Atlantic)

The hit of the 2021 AG is back, and spectators are welcome. This is a competition for individuals, and it’s every Mensan (or guest) for themselves! 


  • Peter, the quizmaster, reads a question aloud, while also showing the question in print in a screen-shared PowerPoint slide deck
  • After the question is read, a 30-second countdown timer appears on the screen
  • While the countdown timer is running, players send their answers to the quizmaster using the Zoom chat (answers sent before the timer begins counting down, or after time expires, will be eliminated)
  • The quizmaster will award points based on the order in which the answers were received
    • 5 points for the first correct answer
    • 4 points for the second correct answer
    • 3 points for the third correct answer
    • 2 points for the fourth correct answer
    • 1 point for the fifth correct answer
  • After the 30-second answer period ends, the correct answer is revealed to everyone, the leaderboard is updated, brief conversation (and lots of laughs)
  • Lather, rinse, repeat 

East Coast Cooking Workshop with Shirley Hubley-Spears – Saturday at 11:00 a.m. (Atlantic)

Cook along with Shirley as she shares the secrets of making authentic Maritime fish cakes with homemade tartar sauce and side salad. For dessert, Shirley will teach us how to make a delicious cake with the blueberries Nova Scotia is known for. The ingredients and equipment you will need to have ready are below.

• 1½ pounds of salt dried cod (can substitute fresh or frozen cod)
• ¼ cup butter
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 6 cups mashed potato
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2 tablespoons dried savoury (can substitute parsley, dill, or tarragon)
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
Stovetop burner/element
Pot large enough to boil fish, with water
Pot large enough to boil potatoes, with water
Large frying pan
Mixing bowl
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
• ½ cup mayonnaise (or homemade mayonnaise)
• 1 small dill pickle, chopped very small (3 tablespoons)
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
• 1 tablespoon capers, chopped, optional
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
• ½ to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
• Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Mixing spoon
Cling film / other covering for bowl while refrigerating

• baby spinach
• tomato
• cucumber
• red onion

• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ½ cup lime juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon salt and pepper (or to taste)

Combine ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.
• ¼ cup shortening
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1¾ cups flour
• ½ cup milk
• 1¼ cups blueberries

Topping (optional)
• ¼ cup flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup margarine 
Oven preheated to 350° F
9″ x 9″ baking pan
Mixing bowl
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Large spoon

Rug Braiding with C. Tweedsmuir – Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (Atlantic)

Rug braiding is an age-old tradition, and provides an economical way to reuse existing household items to create new ones. The preparation and materials are portable and flexible, suitable for those with little bits of time here and there during the day.

This session is divided into three segments. A PowerPoint presentation and examples will be used during the workshop because a picture is often worth a thousand words when time is tight. Participants are encouraged to chime in with questions or comments during the workshop. Be prepared for anecdotes and tangents!

  • Segment 1 deals with the selection and preparation of materials for the braiding process. In this segment, we will consider the different materials’ properties, how to select and process fabrics, and the intended end product.
  • Segment 2 consists of setting up and braiding the initial strand, how to join strands, change colours, and hold the strand between braiding sessions. Alternative methods of creating and joining strands (crochet, braid-lace-as-you-go) will also be covered.
  • Segment 3 focuses on shaping the braided strand into simple shapes (round, oblong), lacing the strand and securing it in place, and finishing the piece. Suggestions for cleaning, care, and anticipated durability will be included.


  • Old T-shirts: 4 (four) or 5 (five) T-shirts of different colours, any content type (i.e., cotton, polyester-cotton blends, polyester, etc.)   – AND / OR –
  • Old trousers / slacks: 4 (four) pairs of slacks in different colours (e.g., blue jeans, black slacks, and green corduroy, any size), preferably all-cotton or a polyester-cotton blend
  • A pair of sharp, sturdy scissors for cutting fabric
  • A darning needle (or similar thick, blunt needle)
  • A roll of cotton kitchen string (NOT thread nor quilting thread)
  • Several clothes pins (office bull clips will also work for this session)
  • Optional: strong cuppa coffee / pot of tea (or your beverage of choice)

Games (throughout the AG)

Depending on which game you’d like to play, you may need to install software and/or check that your computer meets the game’s requirements. Below are links to the official sites for the games we will be playing. If you have technical issues or questions, please use our contact form to ask for help well in advance. Getting that done early helps our support crew to make sure everyone has fun at the AG.





  • What you need: Any standard web browser, and the larger your monitor, the better!