by Bob Curtis, Local Secretary

December, 2016

December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman Calendar, which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name. The fact that monkeys have hands should give us pause, but it also seems to have given us the decimal numbering system. The Roman numeral for ten is X (which looks like two V's [the Roman numeral for 5] put together); it is thought that the V for five is derived from an open hand (five digits displayed), and X for ten from both hands. Incidentally, the Chinese word numeral for ten, is also a cross: +. December contains the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day with the fewest daylight hours.

Nisha Zoeller, our scholarship chair, is getting ready for the annual scholarship essay judging which will take place on January 29, 2017. She needs some members to volunteer to do the judging. Please help out! You can contact her at or 973-541-4881.

Activities for our gifted youth are ongoing. Check with Stephanie Janssens on Facebook or email her at for further information. Stephanie advises me that she plans on setting up a tour of the UN and a tour of a Llama farm as well as setting up a monthly game night. NNJM's young mensan Facebook page is at

Angela Daidone advises me that she is scheduled to begin Mensa admission testing at the Rochelle Park library as soon as there are sufficient test takers.

Mid-Hudson Mensa continues to encourage us to participate in some of their events. They have an events page at

You can visit our NNJM Facebook page at