February, 2018


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.

February observances in Ancient Rome include Amburbium (precise date unknown, Sementivae (February 2), Februa (February 13–15), Lupercalia (February 13–15), Parentalia (February 13–22), Quirinalia (February 17), Feralia (February 21), Caristia (February 22), Terminalia (February 23), Regifugium (February 24), and Agonium Martiale (February 27). These days do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.

Under the reforms that instituted the Julian calendar, Intercalaris was abolished, leap years occurred regularly every fourth year, and in leap years February gained a 29th day. Thereafter, it remained the second month of the calendar year, meaning the order that months are displayed (January, February, March, ..., December) within a year-at-a-glance calendar. Even during the Middle Ages, when the numbered Anno Domini year began on March 25 or December 25, the second month was February whenever all twelve months were displayed in order. The Gregorian calendar reforms made slight changes to the system for determining which years were leap years and thus contained a 29-day February.—Wikipedia

Angela Daidone, our testing coordinator, advises that she will continue the testing of candidates in February.

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

Central Jersey Mensa continues to invite us to join them in beer tasting. Email Jason Weiss,, for more details.

Central Jersey Mensa has started a whiskey tasting circle:

“Hello whisk(e)y drinking Mensans! Come join the NJ Whiskey Circle for our second event on Saturday, February 17th from 2-6pm. For round two, we’ll be drinking a variety of Scotch, including Auchentoshan Three Wood, a whisky from the Highland region, and finishing with The Glenlivet 18. Afterwards we’ll discuss our favorites over pizza and another dram (or three) before heading home. The cost is $60, which includes whisky and food. This event requires a minimum of eight attendees, please RSVP and pay no later than Tuesday, February 13th. Contact me [Jason Weiss] at or 937-238-2651 for details and directions. You can send money to, or find me at the CNJ Monthly Gathering. See you there! - Jason Weiss”

You can visit our NNJM Facebook page at and our website at

Some members have expressed a renewed interest in our scholarship program.  If you can, please contribute to help support our program. 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. (Yes, the scholarship still needs contributions. If you can, please mail a check made out to Northern New Jersey Mensa, to our Treasurer, William Holzmann, 163 Morningside Road, Paramus NJ 07652.)

In 1995, a great friend and supporter of NNJM, Irwin Arnold  Meit, a neo-natal nurse, passed away at the age of 54. Contributions were made by members and his friends, and the Irwin A. Meit Memorial Scholarship was begun in 1996 for an adult who is studying for a career change. Unfortunately, this scholarship ran out of funding (about 2010) and has not been awarded since. We would be happy to re-institute this scholarship if adequate funding could be provided. Please consider making a contribution.

Activities for our gifted youth:  Stephanie Janssens is on temporary leave as Gifted Youth Coordinator but you can email her at for further information. NNJM’s young Mensan Facebook page is at

The next meeting of the Executive Committee is scheduled for February 18,  2018 at 1:00 pm at Angela’s home in Rochelle Park.