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La Morte di Caesare by Vincenzo Camucci (1798)

The Ides of March was made famous by Shakespeare in the play Julius Caesar (Act I, Scene 2), where a soothsayer warns Caesar “Beware the Ides of March”. Julius Caesar, was of course, assassinated in 44 BC on the 15th of March, a date known as the Ides of March. It’s really not so bad and ominous as days go if one understands more about the Roman calendar. The Romans didn’t count calendar days like we do. They used a reverse-count to reference days, always before and never after. Three days had names. The beginning of the month was called the Kalends, the middle called Ides, and they also had Nones, meaning 8th day before (or 9th day before and including) the Ides. The Nones occur on the 5th except by this rhyme: “March, July, October, May. The Nones are on the seventh day“. From this, it’s clear that for Nones on the 5th, Ides are on the 13th (short months), while for Nones on the 7th, Ides are on the 15th (long months). The Roman method of counting days was inclusive, so the Kalends, Nones and Ides would be counted as one of the days. For example March 3 (5 Nones) counts 3,4,5,6,7 (or 5 days) for the total. Romans would say like the following, apparently logical in Latin for them:

March 1: Kalends of March
March 2: 6 Nones of March (Ante Diem VI Nones)
March 3: 5 Nones of March
March 4: 4 Nones of March
March 5: 3 Nones of March (Ante Diem III Nones)
March 6: 2 Nones of March or Pridie Nones of March
(Pridie is Latin for “day before”)
March 7: Nones of March
March 8: 8 Ides of March (Ante Diem VIII Ides)
March 9: 7 Ides of March
March 10: 6 Ides of March
March 11: 5 Ides of March
March 12: 4 Ides of March
March 13: 3 Ides of March (Ante Diem III Ides)
March 14: 2 Ides of March or Pridie Ides (day before the Ides)
March 15: Ides of March
March 16: 17 Kalends of April (Ante Diem XVII Kalends)
March 17: 16 Kalends of April
etc…
March 30: 3 Kalends of April (Ante Diem III Kalends)
March 31: 2 Kalends of April or Pridie Kalends of April
(day before the Kalends)
April 1: Kalends of April

So, after Kalends one counts days before Nones, after Nones one counts days before Ides and after Ides one counts days before next Kalends. It’s a bit different for long and short months, but here’s a rhyme to help out:

On March the 7th, May, July,
October too, the Nones you spy;
Except in these, those Nones appear
On the 5th day of all the year.
If to the NONE you add an 8
Of every IDE you’ll find the date.

Fortunate for Shakespeare that the day Caesar was killed had such a nice ring to it that he could pen the famous line “Beware the Ides of March”, for if Caesar had been killed on the next day it would not have sounded as ominous to say “Beware the 17 Kalends of April”. Nevertheless, aside from it being the day of the death of Caesar there is nothing particularly foreboding for most of us about the Ides of March itself, and each month has an Ides as the Romans referred to them.

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I am a physicist, philosopher, and pedantic pain in the ass sometimes. Though my friends and family would never say so, I am sure they have thought this is true at one time or another. It is always my hope that I am also appreciated in this way for who I am, regardless of my perspective and viewpoints.

It is my belief that each person lives a life according to their own ideals, principles, and knowledge accumulated through time and experience. There is infinite variation in this way and, as such, there is no right or wrong way. There are individual ways with all the variation and shades of color.

I have started this blog here at wordpress with the desire to express myself as I have previously – with individuality, candor, reflection, and a bit ‘o humor when possible. The blogs with earlier dates represent the sum (for the most part) of my thoughts in such ways since 2005 on MySpace: Spocklogic’s MySpace (Myspace deleted all classic content in July, 2013, but have said they are looking into importing the blogs into the new Myspace – we shall see).

I have transferred them here as a legacy collection. The audience and format there is just not conducive anymore to these types of meanderings of the mind. I hope the new home here will give me a more flexible venue, and perhaps a new audience for for my expressions.

Here are some other ways you can learn more about me (introducing myself to you)…

spocklogic videos and players:

Youtube Videos. ; .Live Video. ; .Tao of Kung Fu Player. ; .Feynman ‘Fun to Imagine’ Player. ;

spocklogic media:

Pinterest. ; .Tumblr. ; .StumbleUpon. ;

spocklogic photos:

Flikr Photostream. ; .Picasa Web Album. ; .Photobucket.;

spocklogic music: (The original playlist service is unavailable now, but  you can still listen as a legacy list. These links should still work inside the new Playlist beta site. Well it’s fairly new configuration as of July, 2013, so we’ll see how it goes.)

Song Player  1. ; .Song Player 2. ;

spocklogic travel sites:

TravBuddy. ; .Virtual Tourist. ;

spocklogic personal ways:

Myspace. ; .Twitter. ; .Facebook. ; .Google Profile. ; .Yahoo profile. ; .Blogspot. ;

spocklogic professional ways:

LinkedIn. ; .ResearchGate. ; .Publications. ; .Slideshare. ; .NASA multimedia interview. ;

spocklogic connections (tying it all together):

Gravatar. ;

This is a survey of myself in a variety of ways, as well as I remember…

“If we remembered everything, we should on most occasions be as ill off as if we remembered nothing. It would take us as long to recall a space of time as it took the original time to elapse, and we should never get ahead with our thinking. All recollected times undergo, accordingly, … foreshortening; and this foreshortening is due to the omission of an enormous number of facts which filled them.” ~William James ‘The Principles of Psychology’ (1890), Chapter XVI – Memory.

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What am I? A collection of atoms, interacting with nuclear forces, electomagnetism and gravity which combine in some way of nature to produce me. Above that, just a collection of molecules, neurotransmitters and electrical impulses with a body of brain, flesh, bone and blood. Above that, just one creature among many spinning on a sphere in the solar system. Above that, one speck in the spiral arm of a galaxy among billions of galaxies. All of this and beyond, a collection of atoms in a grand collection of atoms. Am I just my atoms? What makes the collection of atoms in me particularly me, and not you or somebody else?

I am reminded by something the physicist Richard Feynman wrote:

I wonder why. I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder.

There is me (the physical body), and there is me (the essence of who I am). Are they different or one and the same? This is the philosophy of who I am and why I wonder. I am not just my atoms!  Bravely said, but I just don’t know. When I look at my social networking profiles, is it me, or just an image of me? Similarly, when I think of myself, is it me or just a thought of me?

Indeed, I have thoughts of eternity. I am my atoms and more it seems. I have always been part of the universe and will always be part of the universe. Ah, but will I always be me? This is the great mystery!