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In Our August 2014 Issue

Jul 31, 2014 08:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Check out the August issue today!

The dog days of summer are here...does anyone happen to know where that expression came from, by the way? I was curious, so I searched the internet and this is what I found, courtesy of

The phrase dates back thousands of years to ancient Rome. “Caniculares dies,” days of the dogs, was what the Romans called the period of time from the first week of July to the second week of August. Therefore the dog days of summer only refer to the last part of the summer, not the whole season. So that explains when and where the phrase comes from, but why dogs? The explanation is rather cool, especially if you like astronomy.

You might have heard of a constellation named Orion. Often referred to as "The Hunter," Orion is a prominent constellation that is visible throughout the world. Nearby is the constellation Canis Major, which is Latin for "greater dog." According to constellation lore, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs.

Located in Canis Major is a star named Sirius, also called the "Dog Star." With the exception of our sun, Sirius is the brightest star visible from Earth. The brilliant, blue-white star’s name comes from the Greek word for “searing.” Because Sirius is so bright, it was easy to track, even for early astronomers. During April and early May, Sirius was visible in the southwest after sunset. But by the time mid-summer would come along, Sirius would rise and fall with the sun and get lost in the daytime light. However, the ancients knew that the Dog Star was still there, up in the sky with the sun during the hottest time of the year. They reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year. Hence the expression "dog days."

But does Sirius actually add to the heat of the summer? The answer to that question is no, it does not.

According to Penn State University Professor and former Storm Analyst for The Weather Channel, Dr. Jon Nese: "Sirius is very luminous; if it suddenly replaced our sun, daylight on Earth would be about 25 times brighter than it is now!" But while Sirius may be bright, the effects of its energy do not affect Earth as much. "Sirius is also about half a million times farther away from our sun--something the ancients didn’t know." So if the sun is a traditional lightbulb, Sirius is an LED light. So as it turns out, when the ancients blamed the Dog Star for boosting the heat during the summer, they were barking up the wrong tree (sorry, not my pun!). (

So back to The Bellingham Bulletin--specifically, what is in our August issue that you should check out? Plenty.  So take a quick peek here or a leisurely browse through the PDF (below). Happy reading!

Thumb_danamancini-kidsMancini Family Reaches Out for Help as Fate Deals a Cruel Hand
Dana Mancini fights for his life against lung cancer; he lost his wife, mother of his three daughters just a year ago. Read more 


Big Ryan's Tall Tales Keep All Ages Entertained
The audience at the Bellingham Public Library was just delighted with the performance of seasoned storyteller Ryan Racette. Read more 


Eagle Scout James Ulsh Honored
James Ulsh built a wooden pergola at Wrentham Manor senior housing development as his Eagle Scout project. Read more 

Thumb_unsungtinajohnKahiouteas Named "Unsung Hero"

The Bellingham Business Association recently honored Tini Kahiouteas with their "Unsung Hero" Award. Read more 

Thumb_mariagerriorA Familiar Face Returns to Pool Pro & Spa
Maria Gerrior has returned after an 7-year absence to once again make sure everything runs smoothly at John Murray's Pool Pro & Spa. Read more 


Crooks Gives History Lesson at Bellingham Senior Center
Bellingham Historical Commission Chairperson Marcia Crooks is holding a series of history presentations at the senior center. Read more 


Starrett’s Hockey Career Reaches New Heights
Bellingham's Beau Starrett was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the third round--but Starrett plans to attend Cornell University first. Read more 


Bernard Was MVP in BHS’s First Super Bowl Victory
Where are they now? Ken Hamwey reports on 1995 BHS graduate Jeremy Bernard Read more 


Blue Star Planetarium Comes to Bellingham Library
A blow-up planetarium makes it possible to bring the stars to the children at Bellingham Public Library. Read more 


BHS Title Team Honored at State House Luncheon
Ken Hamwey starts off his Sports Spotlight with the BHS boys and girls championship teams at the MA State House. Read more 


Learning How to Use Food to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease
Research has shown that some foods are more beneficial to your brain than others. Read more 


Library Holds “Magical” Summer Reading Kickoff
Magician Peter Bouie, the opening event for Bellingham Library's summer reading program, bills himself as a "magician for non-believers." Read more 

Committees Formed to Study School Transitions, Closings
Parents are understandably concerned about the impact the shifting of grades between schools will have of their children. Read more 

BHS Announces 4th Quarter Honor Roll
Read the names of the students who achieved the honor roll at Bellingham High for the 4th quarter of 2013-14 school year. Read more 

Pulaski Blvd. Meeting Results in Suggestions for Improvement
Everyone agrees that something needs to be done to beautify Pulaski Blvd, but what--and who'll pay for it--remains to be seen. Read more 

Selectmen Discuss Phone System, Beautification Needed
Twenty bids received from companies who want to upgrade the town's outdated telephone system; Selectmen jump on the Pulaski Blvd bandwagon. Read more 


Bellingham Council on Aging Announces August News & Events
The Council on Aging offers lots of interesting activities, much of it free, as well as community outreach. Read about their August plans. Read more 


Bellingham Library Announces August 2014 News & Events
Read this summary of upcoming August events and programs at Bellingham Public Library. Read more 

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