by Bob Curtis, Local Secretary

January, 2017

January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after the Latin word for door (ianua) since January is the door to the year. The month is conventionally thought of as being named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology, but according to ancient Roman farmers' almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.

Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months totaling 304 days, winter being considered a month-less period. Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, so that the calendar covered a standard lunar year (354 days). Although March was originally the first month in the old Roman calendar, January became the first month of the calendar year either under Numa or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers differ). In contrast, each specific calendar year was identified by the names of the two consuls, who entered office on May 1 or March 15 until 153 BC, from when they entered office on January 1.

According to Theodor Mommsen, 1 January became the first day of the year in 600 AUC of the Roman calendar (153 BC), due to disasters in the Lusitanian War. A Lusitanian chief called Punicus invaded the Roman territory, defeated two Roman governors, and killed their troops. The Romans resolved to send a consul to Hispania, and in order to accelerate the dispatch of aid, "they even made the new consuls enter into office two months and a half before the legal time" (March 15). -- Wikipedia

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 temporarily halted. 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 is a sufficient number of 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 and our webpage at