Janus or Juno?
January has a slightly contentious etymology. It’s traditionally said that it was named after the god Janus. Which would make sense, given that he’s the god of beginnings and endings.
But…there’s also evidence from farmer’s calendars that it might actually have been named after the goddess Juno, queen of the gods. (Others cite June as belonging to Juno…)
Early coin from the Republic featuring Janus.
Of course, history and language being what they are, it gets even muddier when you factor in that the early Roman calendar began with March. There’s no definite answer to when this changed-possibly because they had one regular and one ritual calendar.
Whether or not he could lay claim to the first month, the first day of each month was sacred to Janus. Continue reading
November 4th is sometimes considered the anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.
Howard Carter’s began what he expected to be his last funded season excavating in the Vally of the Kings November 1rst. He started off by having his workers clear out the area where Rameses VI’s workmen had built their huts.
November 4th they found the rock cut steps that would lead to Tutankhamun’s tomb. They cleared out and found the door by the end of the 5th, but wouldn’t actually enter until his patron joined them some weeks later.
You see the wonderful multicolor corn everywhere in New England this time of year. I always want to take pictures, between the contrast in textures and all the colors they contain.
I also normally think of the geneticist Barbra McClintock and her discovery of jumping genes, which I’ve mentioned before.
But I don’t actually pay much attention to the varieties of corn themselves.
To wrap up Earth Science Week it seemed appropriate to mention the pioneering geologist and professor, Florence Bascom.
When she got her doctorate in geology in 1893, Bascom was the first woman to obtain a doctorate from Johns Hopkins.
She was the second woman to have a PhD in geology in the United States. (The first was Mary Emilee Holmes, University of Michigan, 1888.*) She is also credited with being the first woman to be hired by the United States Geological Service, the first woman to present a scientific paper at the Geological Society of Washington, and the first female officer of the Geological Society of America.
Split ammonite fossil earrings in 14K gold fill.
Since today is National Fossil DayTM, I wanted to do a bit of a show-and-tell. I love working with fossils in my jewelry, and a number of them have ended up on here, so I thought I’d do a brief overview of the ones I use most often
Fossils are fascinating. Just think for a minute about the intricacy of ancient life that they preserve. They’re like little time capsules.
Okay, so I didn’t know this was a thing, but I found out there is a National Fossil DayTM here in the States. It’s the Wednesday of Earth Science Week in October.
Now that is my kind of holiday. The idea behind it is to show how much we can learn about the past (and possibly predict about the future) from fossils and the need to understand and preserve them.
The National Park Service has some great art and articles as well as a list of related events-check to see if there’s anything going on in your area!
Sir John’s Hatter
Today is Mad Hatter Day. (At least in the US. I guess it’d be June 10th in Europe.) Mad Hatter Day was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.