We hope that you are enjoying a great summer. We have noted how quickly it is flying by. To help “preserve” the joy of these last remaining weeks a bit, we wanted to break from our normal e-newsletter subjects of home improvement, roofing, and energy efficiency and bring you a few “Surprising Facts” about summer.
Maybe, if you have any remaining summertime gatherings with friends and family, you can amaze them with your knowledge of summer trivia. Or, better yet, just send a link to them if you think they may want to share in these snippets of summer goodness
- The “Dog Days of Summer” are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) and officially began with the first sighting of Sirius at sunrise. The ancients evidently believed that Sirius’ energy was combined with the sun’s when they were so close together in the sky and this brought about the hottest weather of the year in the northern hemisphere. According to John Brady in Clavis Calendaria, the Dog Days were believed to be a time when “the sea boiled, the wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.” Interestingly, Sirius was uniformly recorded to be a red star by the ancients, which is a real problem for standard evolutionary stellar theory. All astronomers agree that Sirius is a blue-white star today. According to the standard stellar aging model, such a change in color should take billions of years.
- Watermelon is a vegetable and not a fruit and, in fact, it is summer’s most popular vegetable. It is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family. The average American eats 15 pounds of watermelon a year and these juicy favorites are 92 percent water.
- July is National Ice Cream Month. More Americans buy ice cream in July than any other month. Americans each consume about 5.5 gallons of ice cream per year.
- Summers spent throwing a Frisbee back and forth owe their game to the Frisbie Baking Company whose empty pie tins were the product’s inspiration.
- In 1816, the northeastern United States experienced snow and cold weather throughout the summer. Scientists cited a volcanic eruption in Indonesia as the cause.
- The frequency of a cricket’s chirps fluctuates with the temperature. If you count a cricket’s chirps for 15 seconds and add 37, you will have the approximate outdoor temperature (in Fahrenheit).
- While air conditioning is a mainstay now, and theaters are still kept very cold, the Folies-Bergere theater in New York began offering air conditioning in the summer of 1911 to lure audiences in to watch films and cool off.
- Even though June 21, Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year, it’s not the hottest, due to something called seasonal temperature lag. This is because it takes a while for the oceans to let their stored summer solstice heat back into the air, making it hotter in July and August than in June.
- Solstice comes from two Latin words “sol,” meaning “sun,” and “sistere,” meaning “to stand still.”
- The names of the key summer months have Roman origins. June is named after Juno, who was the wife of Jupiter. Marc Antony named July after Julius Caesar and August was named after Caesar’s nephew, known as Augustus.
- France’s Eiffel Tower can grow by more than 6 inches in summer due to the expansion of the iron on hot days.
- School summer vacations were invented by educator Horace Mann in 1840.
- Ice pops were invented by accident in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson. He mixed soda and water and left the mixture out overnight with the stirring stick still in it. Since the temperature was low, the mixture froze. He patented the idea in 1924.
- Kennebunkport, Maine, perhaps best known as a summer retreat of George W Bush, hosts an annual carnival called the Dump Festival where they crown “Miss Dumpy”. Started in 1965 to honor the “importance of the old-fashioned town dump”, the Kennebunkport Dump Association was a 40-member group consisting of one president and 39 vice-presidents, who started “meeting at the dump, drinking beer and shooting rats”. Entrants for the Miss Dumpy contest, held each July, have to dress in an outfit consisting wholly of rubbish, such as grapefruit skins, metal cans, and even discarded fish.
- If you or your children are just wrapping up a depressing summer job, fear not. Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett’s first job was at his grandfather’s grocery shop. Bill Murray sold chestnuts outside a grocery. Orlando Bloom worked at a clay-pigeon shooting range. Beyoncé swept up in her mother’s hairdressing salon. Brad Pitt dressed up as a chicken to promote a restaurant. And, in the event you can’t get any satisfaction from those jobs, Mick Jagger sold ice cream.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these facts and are having a great summer. If you should find yourself in the market for a new roof this fall, give us a call at 919-900-1100, email us or visit our website for additional information. We’re North Carolina’s metal roofing experts: McCarthy Metal Roofing Systems.