Thursday, August 5, 2010

I got an email this morning announcing a Hot Offer for the Dog Days of Summer. Who wants anything hot right now? It’s pretty rough here in the middle of the country. Some folks visiting from Minnesota asked a local shop owner the other day if there was any way possible it could get any hotter. I suppose that’s like asking, while in Minneapolis in the middle of January, if the thermometer could drop any lower.

I always thought Dog Days originated because everyone said it was so doggone hot. But, it actually came from ancient Europeans, not old Arkansans. When the skies were being mapped out by constellations, one was named Canis Major, the big dog. The brightest star in Canis Major is Sirius. The star was so bright it was thought the earth received heat from it. Now you know why Sirius radio’s logo is a dog with a star eye. Maybe you already did and I’m just the last one to figure it out.

In the summer Sirius rises and set with the sun. In late July and early August it’s in conjunction with the sun and ancient Romans thought it was like a heat booster for the sun. They named the 20 days before and 20 days after the conjunction the “dog days”. So today Dog Days are between July 3rd and August 11th and obviously we understand the heat has nothing to do with the far away star, but from the earth’s tilt.

Whatever the reason, it’s hot. My remedy is drink lots of water, stay in the pool or run through the sprinkler whenever possible and eat more ice cream. August 11th is coming and Dog Days will officially be over, but I’m not expecting cool breezes. My friend Spike White would say, “It’s summertime. It’s supposed to be hot.”

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