Eyewire’s Dog Days of Summer

dog days of summer, summer, competition, fun, science, dogs


Have you ever heard the term the “dog days” of summer? Ever wondered exactly what it means? You may know that the “dog days” of summer refer to the period of late summer that is often oppressively hot and sticky. What you may not know is that this term has nothing to do with your pups digging big ole holes in the middle of your backyard and then lying down in them while they pant happily and make a concerted effort to cool off.

The “dog days” actually refer to the period of summer when the brightest star visible from Earth, Sirius, occupies the same region of the sky as the sun. In the summer Sirius rises and sets alongside the sun. Sirius is also part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog, and sometimes referred to as the “Dog Star.” The ancient romans believed that this star gave off heat and added to the sun’s warmth, thus creating those long, hot summer days.

But since we’ve already had a competition about the stars, let’s learn more about dogs! It’s summer after all (for many of us, winter for others!) so let’s kick back, relax, and have a little fun in the sun with our canine companions.

dog days of summer, calendar, science, competition

Accuracy Herding Hour

Thursday, August 20 – 8-10 AM ET
Friday, August 21 – 2-4 PM ET and 10-12 PM ET

If you really love having all your ducks in a row, or all your sheep in a circle, you definitely have something in common with herding dogs. These breeds of dogs come in lots of shapes and sizes, but they have one thing in common which is their love for getting livestock to gather in one place. The herding instinct is so strong in some of these dogs that they have even been known to herd family members, especially children!

Some herding breeds you may know: Old English Sheepdog, Border Collie, Australian Shepard, Corgi (surprise!)

Some other interesting herding breeds: Puli, Finnish Lapphund, Briard, Swedish Vallhund

1st Place Accuracy – 10,000 points
2nd Place Accuracy – 8,000 points
3rd Place Accuracy – 6,000 points
Achieve 95% Accuracy – 5,000 points
Achieve 90% Accuracy – 3,000 points
Achieve 80% Accuracy – 2,000 points
1,000 points for anyone under 80% who still plays at least 20 cubes in either slot.
(These bonus thresholds are non-cumulative, i.e. they will not combine. If you earn 3rd place, for instance, and presumably got over 95% accuracy, you still earn a 6,000 point bonus, not 11,000.)

Highest accuracy for at least 20 cubes completed = 1 face mask or notebook
2nd and 3rd highest accuracy = 1 sticker or magnet each
(Thanks to @susi for sponsoring swag! Face masks are newly available for this competition!)

Hound dog Hunt

Saturday, August 22 @ Noon ET – Thursday August 27 @ Noon ET

“You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, crying all the time.” Elvis wasn’t wrong, some hounds make a sound called “baying.” If you want to be alerted that your furry friend’s hunt has ended, or if you just need someone to talk to, this sound might be like music to your ears! If you don’t really need to know every time your neighbor walks by or a squirrel is going for a stroll, you might want to consider another companion – or try hanging out with one of the few hounds that doesn’t like to howl!

Hounds come in many flavors – some have amazing noses, others are endurance runners, and some are great at fitting into tight spaces. But one thing’s for sure, the hunt’s not over til the hound says it is!

Some hounds you may know: Foxhound, Beagle, Basset Hound, Dachshund

Some other interesting hounds: Irish Wolfhound, Basenji, Borzoi, Afghan Hound

Each merger found – 1,000 points
7,500 additional points if all 12 are found
200 point bonus available on each merger to the player whose guess is closest
250 point bonus available to any player who guesses within 10 voxels of a merger

Highest scorer based on accuracy/mergers = 1 face mask or notebook
2nd and 3rd highest accuracy = 1 sticker or magnet each 

Border Collie Trivia

Sunday, August 23 @ 11 AM ET – Tuesday, August 25 @ 11 AM ET
Power Hour Tuesday, August 25 @ 11 AM ET

Of course, intelligence is subjective and will vary from person to person, or in this case, dog to dog. But it is generally agreed that Border Collies are at the top of their class when it comes to smarts. On top of their impressive agility and athleticism, Border Collies are usually able to learn new commands with 5 or fewer exposures.

These dogs need humans who want to get out and about. They are not couch potatoes – they want to learn new things and be put to work. But if you’re a good match for a Border Collie they’ll make an awesome, loyal companion, who will surprise you with their quick wits and bold personalities. And they’re probably pretty good at trivia too!

Runners up for most intelligent dog breed: Poodle, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher

For every question —
1st to answer – 300 points
2nd to answer – 200 points
3rd to answer – 100 points

Top player = 1 face mask or notebook
2nd and 3rd = 1 sticker or magnet each

Toys vs Terriers

Monday, August 24 @ 11 AM ET – Wednesday, August 26, 2020 @ 11 AM ET

It’s time for a battle of the (mostly) small dogs! Toy dogs are what they sound like – small dogs whose main job is companionship and fun! They’re great for people in smaller city apartments and highly portable on planes, trains, and automobiles.

Some Toys you may know: Pug, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu

Terriers don’t have small size as a requirement, but originally their main job was to hunt vermin, and smaller stature often helped with that. Terriers are often high spirited with lots of energy, and can also be stubborn, but still make lovable pets.

Some Terriers you may know: Scottish Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Bull Terrier (like the one in the Target commercials!)

Starting Lineup – top 3 players on each team, who earn 75% of their score in bonus points
All Other Players – earn 50% of their score in bonus points
Winning Team – 20,000 additional points
Each Team’s MVP – 5,000 additional points
(The winning team is determined by average points per player, with 2x weight given to Starting Lineup players. To qualify for any of the above bonuses or affect the team score, players must earn a minimum baseline of 2,000 points.)

Top player on the winning team = 1 face mask or notebook
Raffle for 4 of 50% top of players on winning team = 1 face mask or notebook + 3 stickers or magnets

Why so Sirius? Marathon

Wednesday, August 26 @ 8 AM ET – Thursday, August 27 @ 8 AM ET

For our last event, let’s bring it back to the dog who started it all, Canis Major, AKA the Great Dog, AKA the Goodest Boy. What kind of dog is Canis Major? A sky dog!

In Mythology Canis Major is thought to be following Orion, the Hunter, another well known constellation, and is perhaps pursuing the hare constellation Lepus.

One live cell will be designated the “marathon cell,” with a 3x points multiplier!
Cube count bonuses: 3500 points per cube traced.
SC bonuses are doubled on all cells.
Every 3 SCs counts for 1 cube toward naming eligibility & per-cell completion bonus.
50 cubes = 5,000 points per completed cell, plus rights to vote on a new name for the marathon cell
200 cubes = 10,000 points per completed cell, plus rights to nominate a new name for the marathon cell

Top player = 1 face mask or notebook
Raffle for 5 of 25% of players (most cubes with highest accuracy) = 2 face masks or notebooks + 3 stickers or magnets

Whether you love the dog days of summer or just the dogs of summer, this is the competition for you! We hope you have a doggone good time. Let the Dog Star guide your way!

Dog Days Closing Ceremony

Begins at 4:00 PM on Friday 5/29

Come celebrate the end of this competition, where admins will recognize everyone’s achievements. As always, we will include a round of promotions for Scouts, Scythes, Mystics, Moderators, and Mentors. If you’d like a promotion, you can request them here.

Artwork by Daniela Gamba