Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fun and Facts

  • The names of the 12 months on the calendar originated from the old Roman practice of starting each month on a new moon. The original Roman Calendar was 304 days long and had 10 months that began with March. In 46 BC Julius Caesar changed it to Julian Calendar that had 365 days. In 1582, Pope Gregory XII amended the calendar and the year became 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 20 seconds long. This was known as the Gregorian calendar.
  • Do you know that Arabic numerals (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) are descended from Indian numerals and the Hindu-Arabic numeral system? These numerals were developed by Indian mathematicians and were passed on to the Arabs further west by the Persian mathematicians in India. From there, these numerals reached North Africa and Europe and their shape modified along the way. They are commonly known as Arabic numerals in Europe and the Americas because they were introduced to Europe in the tenth century from Arabs of North Africa.

  • The game of Snakes & Ladders was created by the 13th century Indian poet, Saint Gyandev. It was originally called 'Mokshapat'. The snakes stood for vices while the ladders represented virtues. The game was played with cowrie shells and dices. With time, the game underwent several modifications, but its meaning has always remained the same, i.e. essence of the game was that the ladders or good virtues take people to heaven while snakes or vices take people to a cycle of re-births.


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