March 15, 2015

It Happened on March 15th



"Beware the Ides of March." -- Watch out, Julius!

The Ides of March
"Beware the Ides of March." If there's one thing most of us know about March 15th, it's that that's the day Julius Caesar was killed. We have Shakespeare to thank for that -- his play Julius Caesar, and that particular quote, made such an impression that it is indelibly inscribed on our minds. 

But how many of us actually know what an "Ides" is? Contrary to popular belief, it's not merely the 15th of any month. The Ides falls on the 15th only in March, May, July, and October. On the other months, it falls on the 13th. 

To understand why this happens, you need to have a little background in the Roman calendar. The earliest Roman calendars were adopted from the Greeks, and consisted of 10 months, and a total of 304 days. The other 61 days fell in the winter, and were not assigned to any month. Now this is a calendar I can totally get behind. (I'm from Michigan, and I know I'd love to be able to ditch about 61 days of our winters.) 

Each month had three significant dates. The first was the Kalendae (from which the word calendar is derived.) The kalendae fell on the first of every month and it is believed that it was originally associated with the new moon. 

Next came the Nonae, which fell on the ninth day before the Ides. On our timeline, that would be the 5th or the 7th of the month. It was loosely associated with the half moon. 

Finally there was the Ides, originally the day of the full moon, which fell on what to us is the 13th or 15th of the month. 

The days in between were counted in their relationship to these three days. For example, March 2 was VI Nones, or 6 days before Nones. March 3 was V Nones, March 4 was IV Nones, March 5 was III Nones, and March 6 was Pridie Nones, meaning the day immediately before Nones. 

All this is pretty confusing, at least to me. On second thought, maybe I'll stick with the calendar we've got. 


Andrew Jackson in old age
Andrew Jackson's Birthday, 1767
For my money, Andrew Jackson is one of the most interesting Presidents we've ever had. He was a prisoner of war when he was only 13, and lost his entire family by the time he was 14. He married a woman who was not exactly free to marry. He fought in a number of duels. 

Jackson was the target of the first known Presidential assassination attempt, but the would-be assassin didn't realize who he was dealing with. The man's pistols misfired, and Jackson beat him with a cane until he was finally pulled away.


The First Internet Domain Name Registered, 1985
The first name registered was Symbolics.com. It was a computer systems firm located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

One thing I find interesting is how much money there can be in domain name resale. Some of the most expensive domain names sold include: Sex.com ($13 million), FB.com ($8.5 million), AsSeenOnTv.com ($5.1 million), and Toys.com ($5.1 million to Toys R Us.) 


Fabio's Birthday, 1959
His real name is Fabio Lanzoni, but he is known all over the world as simply "Fabio." Fabio began modeling at the age of 14, with the Italian edition of Vogue. When he came to New York, he walked into the Ford modeling agency without an appointment, and walked out with a contract. 

During the years 1987 through 1994, he graced the covers of over 400 romance novels, often posing with female model Liana Loggins. He's also appeared in various sitcoms, soaps, videos, and movies. His commercial for Nationwide Insurance was the most downloaded video of the 2006 Super Bowl. 

Fabio has written a number of romance novels himself, including Pirate, Rogue, Viking, Champion, and Comanche. In fact, he is the first best-selling male romance novelist to write under his own name.
Oh, and in his spare time he rides motorcycles. In fact, he owns 200 of them.

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