Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Now that August has begun the Northern Hemisphere is well into the sultry time of the summer known as the Dog Days of Summer.

The term has its origins from ancient cultures interpretation of astronomy. Around this time Sirius aka the dog star rises around the same time as the sun. The star is the brightest star besides the sun. Egyptian culture noticed Sirius rose right before the Nile flooded and served as a watchdog or reminder for Egyptians to prepare and celebrate the return of rains. Romans believed the star caused the warm weather. They feared these days due to the heat and what they believed were a related increase in animal attacks.

Today the term dog days makes one think of dogs being lazy in the heat. However, as remarked in Romeo and Juliet, the heat can cause one to be more prone to violence. Hot summers are the stereotypical time for riots and short tempers.

5 comments:

Michael said...

Don't forget about summer romances--"flings," if you will.

Adrian said...

"Hot summers are the stereotypical time for riots and short tempers."

Perhaps that's why everyone who can afford to leaves Washington in August.

Catholicgauze said...

Adrian,
No poopey!

Michael,
If you only knew what I am trying to do right about now...

Goethe said...

To get some relief from the dog days I (and 7 other kayakers) did a circumnavigation of Manhattan in a kayak yesterday. The sights from the river are different from your views in D.C., but often just as magnificent. The only bad section was the Harlem River stretch through the Bronx. Two hours of unmitigated urban ugliness, a reminder of the devastations of the "Sixties." If you go to this link, you can download a great coastal map (2006 Recreational Map for Paddlers) for your records; it shows the course of our paddle: http://www.goingcoastal.org/maps.html

Catholicgauze said...

Thanks for the link Goethe!