Happy Valentine’s Day! Can a place be your Valentine? This year, I’m in Istanbul, my second love, but my first will always be New York City. Still, I’ve never quite gotten the appeal of souvenir T-shirts that announce where you’ve been or what places you love most. There was a nice trend after September 11, 2001, of people wearing “I (Heart) NY More Than Ever,” which made sense and contributed to the solidarity of that time, and the trend has been revived in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. But otherwise, why do you need to declare your love for a place while you’re still in it? Flickr user em_photos2010 captured this family, who evidently couldn’t love New York more, as they all wear their hearts on their sleeves (so to speak). We’re not sure where they are wearing their shirts (other than outside Johnny Rockets, which are all over the world, including some cruise ships), and I’m guessing NYC is not their hometown, but maybe it’s a second love.
In case you decided to save your Valentine’s Day celebration for this weekend, you may want to show your Valentine how worldly and well-traveled you are and find a new way to say “I love you“. Traveler and photographer Kien Lam, who previously brought us the amazing Speeding Around the World in Under 5 Minutes, has made a special romantic video to capture the essence of love around the globe. Show Your Love shows us how similar love is, no matter the country, language, or medium, incorporating 15 different languages from Arabic to Braille to Swahili in love letters, music, texts, and other creative ways to express your feelings.
Show us your love and leave us a mushy comment in your native language!
People often think Valentine’s Day is a modern invention, a diabolical conspiracy of florists and greeting card companies to suck money out of poor chumps who should be able to show their love without spending a dime. Actually, sending Valentines is older than modern commercialism.
The BBC reports that the first use of “Valentine” in the English language was in a letter dated 1477 from Margery Brews to her suitor John Paston.
Opening her letter to John with “Me ryght welebeloued Voluntyne”, the 17 year-old Margery shows some old-school teen angst by asking why he hasn’t written her recently. John, who was 33, had asked for her hand in marriage but didn’t get the dowry he wanted. The relationship between Margery’s father and John deteriorated and it looked like the marriage would never happen until the pair’s mothers intervened and saved the day. Love triumphed, something that didn’t happen as much as it should have in the 15th century.
To hear the whole letter read in Middle English, check out this link. It’s amazing just how much you can figure out.
The love note comes from a collection called the Paston letters. More than a thousand letters from this wealthy family dating from 1422 to 1509 survive and give an amazing insight into the life of the gentry in the decades before Henry VIII. They’re housed in the British Library in London. Watch the video below for a quick tour courtesy of Rick Steves.
The Bronx Zoo has come up with a good way to show that special someone you care–name a giant cockroach after them.
The BBC reports that for ten bucks you can buy the rights to one of the zoo’s 58,000 giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and name it after that special someone who bugs you more than anybody else. The zoo says they sold 1,000 dedications in the first day of the promotion. Perhaps their tagline helped: “Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever.”
Indeed they are. They’ve been around since before the dinosaurs and they’ll probably be around after we’re long gone. The Bronx Zoo has some interesting facts about the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, like that they can grow to three inches long and the hiss they make can be as loud as a lawnmower.
They’re nutritious too. Check out our 8 bug-eating videos including two on eating cockroachs. Also check out the far less disgusting but much more educational the video below.
[Photo courtesy user Husond via Wikimedia Commons]
Forget chocolate and flowers – how about treating your loved one to sex in a restaurant bathroom?
You’ll need to travel to Toronto for the experience, but Mildred’s Temple Kitchen has announced that they’ll encourage any of their guests to use their bathrooms for some Valentine’s day nooky.
Now, I’m no prude, but I don’t think I’d be too comfortable standing in line with other couples as we patiently await our turn to have sex in a bathroom.
Sure, Mildred’s says they’ll provide a maid for the day to keep things clean, but I think I’d much rather just get a hotel room for a couple of hours than try to mess around in a cramped bathroom that was just used for the same purpose by the previous couple.
Still, even though the restaurant claims that having sex in a bathroom is on a list of 101 places you should have sex before you die, I’m just not convinced that doing it on a day when the restaurant promotes and encourages it is so exciting. If you really want to spice things up, do it on a day that is not promoted as “have sex in our bathrooms day”.
Of course, thanks to the Internet, viral stories like this are a fantastic way to create buzz for any company, and I don’t think Mildred’s Temple Kitchen will have any open tables for Valentine’s day – even if half the tables are filled by pervs waiting to catch a glimpse at couples heading to the bathrooms.