Saturday, August 2. We're in the middle of a part of the summer that has been known as the Dog Days since antiquity. I'll explain why that is below.
As you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here. We care!
IAN is a great group to join, and a good place to learn to write diaries. Drop one of us a PM to be added to the Itzl Alert Network anytime! We all share the publishing duties, and we welcome everyone who reads IAN to write diaries for the group! Every member is an editor, so anyone can take a turn when they have something to say, photos and music to share, a cause to promote or news!
Ok, we do have a diary schedule. But, when you are ready to write that diary, either post in thread or send FloridaSNMOM a Kosmail with the date. If you need someone to fill in, ditto. FloridaSNMOM is here on and off through the day usually from around 9:30 or 10 am eastern to around 11 pm eastern.Monday: BadKitties
Thursday: art ah zen
Saturday: Dave in Northridge
Usually, the period from July 16 to August 24 is the hottest part of the summer. Climate change has destabilized that notion some, but I'm sure you might have wondered, why "Dog" days? If you have studied astronomy, you probably know why.
What characterizes this period is the fact that that the brightest star in the night sky at other periods, Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (or the Big Dog), rose and set at the same time as the sun, and the ancients thought that this magnified the power of the sun to heat the earth. This shows up as early as Homer's Iliad:
And aging Priam was the first to see himCanis Major, Orion's dog.
sparkling on the plain, bright as that star
in autumn rising, whose unclouded rays
shine out amid a throng of stars at dusk–
the one they call Orion’s dog, most brilliant,
yes, but baleful as a sign: it brings
great fever to frail men. So pure and bright
the bronze gear blazed upon him as he ran.
Folk wisdom picked it up too:
Common wisdom said that the days would make women more passionate and men more feverish, and dogs themselves would succumb more easily to rabies, lethargy, and madness. People under the influence of Sirius were called “star struck,” “dogging,” or “dog tired” and we retain these uses today.Incidentally, the Inuit call this star the "Moon Dog." The Tohono O'odham, the Blackfeet and the Cherokee associate the star with the dog, while the Pawnee and the Osage (and, incidentally, the ancient Chinese) associate it with the wolf or (in the case of the Osage) the coyote. Dog days. Ancient concept. Persistent, too.
I'm helping a friend celebrate his birthday tonight and I might not be online while this diary is active. Happy Saturday, all.