Scribbles
by Bob Curtis, Local Secretary

February 2016

This month we enjoy the benefit of 2016's being a leap year. The Roman month Februarius was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old lunar Roman calendar. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless period. They were added by Numa Pompilius about 713 BC. February remained the last month of the calendar year until the time of the decemvirs (c. 450 BC), when it became the second month. At certain intervals February was truncated to 23 or 24 days, and a 27-day intercalary month, Intercalaris, was inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons.

Judging the scholarship essays took place at the end of January. The Wendy Sailer Scholarship is an award given annually by Northern New Jersey Mensa (NNJM) based on an essay contest. It is funded by contributions from members of NNJM and is given in memory of Wendy Sailer who was very active in NNJM.

In 1983, Wendy Sailer, a 34-year old computer programmer from Lodi, and her friend, Israel Weiner, 55, a professional proofreader and an amateur photographer from Garfield, were flying in his Cessna 182. On September 9th, they flew into a sudden storm over the Montana wilderness and their plane crashed in the Crater Lake area near Kalispell. For nineteen years search parties hunted for the plane but two hikers found the wreckage by accident on August 9, 2002.

Both Wendy and Israel had been very active members of NNJM. Wendy had served as Local Secretary and was a major supporter of the scholarship program. Their loss was devastating to many members who decided to establish a scholarship in her name. Funds were actively solicited through the 1990s, and the scholarship is still being paid out of what was raised then. (Yes, the scholarship still needs contributions. You can mail a cheque made out to Northern New Jersey Mensa, to our Treasurer, William Holzmann, 163 Morningside Road, Paramus NJ 07652.)

Our executive committee meeting took place at noon on Sunday, January 17, 2016. (Minutes are published on our website at http://nnjmensa.org) Lynn Anne Cutler has taken on her responsibilities as Membership chair. We do still need a SIGHT coordinator. You can find out more about Mensa's SIGHT program at http://www.us.mensa.org/connect/sight/ . Would someone interested in travel or travelers please volunteer!

The next Mensa Annual Gathering is at San Diego. The website is at http://www.ag.us.mensa.org.