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.
In Ancient Rome, as one of the four Agonalia, this day in honor of Sol Indiges was held on December 11, as was Septimontium. Dies natalis (birthday) was held at the temple of Tellus on December 13, Consualia was held on December 15, Saturnalia was held December 17–23, Opiconsivia was held on December 19, Divalia was held on December 21, Larentalia was held on December 23, and the dies natalis of Sol Invictus was held on December 25. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.
The Anglo-Saxons referred to December–January as Ġēolamonaþ (modern English: "Yule month"). The French Republican Calendar contained December within the months of Frimaire and Nivôse
December contains the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day with the fewest daylight hours, and the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the day with the most daylight hours (excluding polar regions in both cases). December in the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to June in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the astronomical winter is traditionally 21 December or the date of the solstice.
Meteor showers occurring in December are the Andromedids (September 25 – December 6, peaking around November 9), the Canis-Minorids (December 4 – December 15, peaking around December 10–11), the Coma Berenicids (December 12 to December 23, peaking around December 16), the Delta Cancrids (December 14 to February 14, the main shower from January 1 to January 24, peaking on January 17), the Geminids (December 13–14), the Monocerotids (December 7 to December 20, peaking on December 9. This shower can also start in November), the Phoenicids (November 29 to December 9, with a peak occurring around 5/6 December), the Quadrantids (typically a January shower but can also start in December), the Sigma Hydrids (December 4–15), and the Ursids (December 17-to December 25/26, peaking around December 22). ---Wikipedia
Angela Daidone, our testing coordinator, advises that she has scheduled the next testing date for candidates on December 8th.
Activities for our gifted youth: Stephanie Janssens has resigned as Gifted Youth Coordinator. I have been recertified by AML as acting Gifted Youth Coordinator and Jennifer Ferrara, the mother of one of our gifted youth members, has stepped up offering to help out by organizing some activites. On September 27th and October 18th she organized very successful evening astronomy programs at Montclair. The next event will be December 6th also at Montclair. This will be about how we remember things we learn. You can email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org . See the first page of our website http://www.nnjmensa.org for up to date information about our events for Gifted Youth.
Mid-Hudson Mensa continues to encourage us to participate in their events. They have an events page at http://tinyurl.com/MHMEVENTS
Central Jersey Mensa continues to invite us to join them in beer tasting. Central Jersey Mensa has also started a whiskey tasting circle. And a weeknight tasting, Email Jason Weiss, email@example.com, for more details.
You can visit our NNJM Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/nnjmensa/ and our website at http://nnjmensa.org.
Our scholarship program: If you can, please contribute to help support the 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 when adequate funding is provided. Some members have begun funding this scholarship again. Please consider making a contribution by sending a check to our Treasurer, Bill Holzmann.