Why IS It Called January?

Hey, folks. We’re about halfway through January already. But have you ever thought about why the first month of the year is called “January”? Well, it’s all thanks to Janus. No, not the James Bond villain from Goldeneye. No, not one of Saturn’s moons. Like a lot of modern naming conventions, it goes back to the Romans. According to Cicero and other ancient writers, Janus was their god of beginnings and transitions. It sounds kind of lame at first glance, but there some awesome implications when you think about it. Every gate, door, ending, marriage, harvest, boundary, and shifts between war and peace were his domain. This guy was responsible for the flow of time itself. He even had two faces (no, not like that one guy) just so he could look into both the past and the future at the same time.

And you thought Doc Brown was awesome.

“January” is a reference to Janus by way of the Latin word Ianuarius. It – along with Februarius – were supposedly added to the calendar by Numa Pompilius, the legendary second king of Rome. That dude was responsible for creating a lot of religious and cultural traditions in the empire, some of which still lingers in modern times. Ever hear the term “vestal virgin”? Yeah, that was his idea. So was the construction of Ianus geminus, the Temple of Janus. It had doors on both ends (of course!) which were only shut during peacetime. That last part was really rare, because, you know, it was Ancient Rome. If you were a king and got to close the temple to symbolize peace for the empire, you earned some serious bragging rights. It’s like having “Won the Nobel Prize” on your resume.

Oh, one last thing: Today’s entry was posted on January 14th. According to some Roman calendars, today is marked as dies vitiosus. It basically means that something is bad or faulty about that specific day. One calendar, the Fasti Verulani, gives us the reason: it was Mark Antony’s birthday. You know, the guy who loved Cleopatra so much that he betrayed the empire and tried to go to war against Augustus? Even if you’re not well-versed in history, I’m pretty sure you can figure out how well that went down. Let’s just say the consequences (both short and long-term) were…messy. You know you’ve messed up when your enemies can legally declare your birthday to be inherently evil.

I’m Blogging On Sunshine

Hey, folks. Tonight I was informed that The Part Time Monster nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award. I’d like to thank her for that; it’s really good to know that people are reading and enjoying my work. I don’t know if I have a sunny disposition, but if I can get you to smile and think, then I’ll know I’m doing something right. I couldn’t find the exact origin of the The Sunshine Blogger Award, so I’m just going to copy its rules from the aforementioned page:

1. Nominate 10 other blogs
2. Write 11 facts about yourself.

Aaaaand the nominees are….(In no particular order)

  1. Stefan Praetorius Naurin
  2. SathyaSaiMemories
  3. AngelArt Star
  4. LenzExperiments
  5. The Ellieverse
  6. Living in the Moment
  7. Ed Mooney Photography
  8. Lula Avila
  9. Morrighan’s Muse
  10. Shikha It’s The Little Things

Wow, that was actually really hard. I’ve seen some many awesome blogs already this year thanks to the Zero To Hero challenge, so choosing just ten is just…ugh. Anyway, 11 facts…

  1. I’m currently the sixth highest-ranked Chun-Li on the Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition PSN worldwide leaderboards…I play that too much.
  2. I have habit of memorizing whole movies, including The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyessy. Same goes with song lyrics.
  3. I once won a game of chess in four moves.
  4. I love LEGOs, particularly the Architecture series.
  5. I’ve talked my way into an exclusive museum exhibition and a software convention by just being honest, polite, and asking questions.
  6. My long hair gets me mistaken for being female constantly, even when I don’t shave. I’m still learning to enjoy it.
  7. I’ve come close to dying four times.
  8. The States aside, I’ve been to a dozen countries: Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, France, Spain, Morocco, Gibraltar, Thailand, and Aruba. Someplace in South America is likely next.
  9. My writing voice is much, much louder and upfront than my real one. IRL, I’m the quiet guy in the corner with a book.
  10. I hunger for super-spicy food.
  11. I’m at a crossroads at my life; my previous career is over, and I have no idea what direction to go in. I don’t have a dream, and sometimes that terrifies me.

Versatility, Thy Name Is Me!

http://versatilebloggeraward.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/versatile-blogger.jpg

Hey, folks. Tonight I was informed that Morrighan’s Muse nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award! I’d really like to thank her for that; I’m very grateful for my readers, and versatility is something I strive for both on and offline. I’m still pretty new at this whole blogging thing, but I’d like to think that I’m getting a little better every day. Thus, here are the award’s rules, taken verbatim from the official page:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. (I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Aaaand the nominees are….(in no particular order)

  1. The Travel Monster
  2. Outlook In Life
  3. Jonas Journeys
  4. Scribbles And Wanderlust
  5. DaVida Nature Photography
  6. Lens and Pens by Sally
  7. The Silver Leaf Journal
  8. The Syllabub Sea
  9. The Urge To Wander
  10. Greeneyedchess
  11. Photography Journal Blog
  12. Shannon’s Creative Work
  13. ArtKorppi
  14. Cappy Writes
  15. Amy Flynn Designs

Wow, that was surprisingly difficult. As for the seven interesting things…

  • I’ve been to a dozen countries, and there will be more next year. Yet I’ve never seen snow fall…
  • I have waist-length curly hair that often gets me mistaken for a woman, even when I don’t shave. I stopped caring years ago; it makes me look good.
  • My video game reviews have reached 1,684,823 hits as of the hour of this writing.
  • I’m really shy and introverted in real life; my writer’s voice is much, much stronger than my physical, soft-spoken one. I’m also far more snarky in really life.
  • I paid for my college education out of my own pocket.
  • I once won a game of chess in four moves.
  • I don’t have a dream, and sometimes that terrifies me.

Thanks again, folks. Have a good Monday!