Valentines Day Is Bizarre
Will You Be HumpDay's Valentine?
Valentine's Day is this week and that can be a stressful time for everyone. Booking dinner reservations, picking out gifts, or just the pressure of trying to find a date can cause unneeded stress. Why not take your mind of trying to live up to the Valentine's expectations and just unwind with this week's edition of HumpDay!
Valentines Day, a day to celebrate love, is one of the most popular holidays in the US. Each year, Americans spend over $20 Billion on cards, gifts, jewelry, and dinners to celebrate their relationships and the presence of love in their lives. But, where did Valentine’s day come from? Who is Valentine and why does he/she have a day?
The origins of Valentine’s day go back to ancient Rome and the pagan festival known as Lupercalia, a festival held in honor of the She-Wolf who nursed the founders of Rome as babies (Crazy I know). Lupercalia was a fertility festival that was held each year on February 15th and included ritual sacrifices, covering people in animal blood, and whipping women with animal hides to “increase their fertility”.
By the 5th century A.D., the catholic church grew tired of the gross and bizarre Lupercalia festival and decided to replace it with a new holiday. Pope Gelasius I moved the holiday to February 14th and decided that the day would be held in honor of Saint Valentine.
Saint Valentine was a roman priest in the 3rd century during the rule of Emperor Claudius II. Emperor Claudius got the Roman army involved in a series of wars which required vast numbers of young men to abandon their families for long periods of time. Being away from their families for so long made the soldiers homesick and crushed their will to fight. In order to prevent families from bringing down the army’s morale, Claudius outlawed marriage so no young soldier could have a wife and kids to miss while away at war (Messed up I know).
Saint Valentine didn’t approve of the ban on marriage and frequently held private marriage ceremonies for young couples who were in love. Emperor Claudius eventually found out that Valentine was marrying young couples and had him arrested and executed on February 14th. Saint Valentine is considered a martyr by the catholic church for defending the right to marriage, and his sacrifice is now celebrated every year on the day that he was executed.
So, as you prepare for Valentine’s day this year, think of the weird/messed up origins of the day. The date is the day a priest died, the color red is associated with the day because it used to contain animal sacrifices, and the holiday used to celebrate a wolf who breast fed two baby humans. What a holiday!
Health & Well-Being
“Looking for a better love life? Try this natural herbal supplement that will boost your libido and increase your desire. These natural aphrodisiacs are guaranteed to get you and your partner in the mood!?”
Aphrodisiacs are foods or supplements that are supposed to increase sex drive in men and women but do they really work? Research shows that eating specific foods does not cause chemical reactions that increase desire but surprisingly aphrodisiacs may still serve their desired purpose.
Cultures all over the world embrace the idea of aphrodisiacs or foods that will increase sex drive, fertility, or attractiveness. In the US oysters and chocolate are considered staple date night foods while in ancient Egypt, ambergris (dried whale bile) was considered the most romantic delicacy around.
Although none of these foods affect a person’s libido, some of them do have chemical compositions that can positively affect someone’s mood. Oysters contain zinc which boosts testosterone, a sex hormone, in both men and women; while chocolate boosts serotonin which is a mood booster that will make someone happier and friendlier. Unfortunately, these foods alone are not enough to significantly change someone’s hormone levels and are not guaranteed to provide the desired affects.
Other more exotic aphrodisiacs like contain toxins in them that may react with the body in weird ways that make it seem like they are working. For instance, Spanish fly is an aphrodisiac made from ground up beetles that contains a toxin called cantharidin which causes inflammation of the urethra. After eating Spanish fly, people report feeling a swelling or burning sensation but, that is not caused by arousal, just by poison from the beetles causing swelling in the urinary tract.
It isn’t all bad news when it comes to aphrodisiacs. In fact, many aphrodisiacs will have the desired affects for people who go out of their way to eat them, not because of a chemical reaction, but because of the placebo effect. When people purchase aphrodisiacs, they are expecting certain results. Those high expectations can put someone in a state of mind that makes them more relaxed and open.
So next time you’re out at the oyster bar, remember to tell your date that they are eating aphrodisiacs and you will have a much better chance at achieving your desired outcome.
This is the tale of how a few adventurous ducks revolutionized the discipline of oceanography forever. Now when we say ducks, we don’t mean live ducks but instead, rubber ducks.
In 1992, a freight ship traveling from Hong Kong to the US was hit by a storm and lost some of its cargo. One of the shipping containers that was lost contained 28,000 rubber ducks that were meant to be sold as bath toys in the US. The shipping container was never recovered but miraculously many of the ducks were found.
Nearly 30 years later, the rubber ducks that were lost at sea continue to wash up on the shores of Hawaii, Alaska, South America, Australia, and Scotland. The ducks that were dumped into the middle of the ocean bobbed their way around the world for three decades only to end up scattered across the globe.
The arrival of the rubber ducks in areas on the opposite sides of the globe caused oceanographers to wonder how they found their way around the world. Researchers determined that the ducks traveled so far because of powerful ocean currents that had previously been undiscovered. By tracking where the ducks washed ashore, researchers were able to map out the ocean currents between Japan, Alaska, and the north pole.
Using the knowledge gained from tracking the lost rubber ducks, oceanographers learned how floating debris can travel across the ocean. Today, that knowledge is being used to track the path of ocean pollution as it circulates around the world damaging ecosystems and harming sea life.
The incredible, decades long, journey of shipwrecked rubber ducks revolutionized scientists understanding of the ocean and helped scientists track pollution, so they can work to clean up the oceans. Rubber Ducks… We Salute You!
HumpDay Healthy Helpings
Are you staying in for Valentine's Day Dinner? Or eating alone? Try this easy and healthy seafood dish. Tell yourself it's an aphrodisiac!
Calories Per Serving: 181 I Servings: 6 I Cook Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
This Week in History
This week in 1903, the first teddy bear was sold in Brooklyn, New York. The stuffed toy bear was created by a man named Malcolm Michtom and named after then president Theodore Roosevelt. At the time that the Teddy bear was created, a story had just come out about President Roosevelt saving a bear cub while on a hunting trip in Mississippi. The story goes that Roosevelt’s hunting party captured a ferocious bear for the President to easily kill but, when Roosevelt approached the bear, he saw that it was just a cub who had lost its mother. President Roosevelt didn’t think that shooting and animal in chains was sportsmanlike and he did not want to kill a poor bear cub so he let the bear cub go free.
Newspapers heard this story and painted President Roosevelt as an animal lover (even though he frequently hunted big game). Seeing cartoons of Roosevelt taking care of a little bear cub, the creator of the Teddy bear invented a plush bear toy and named it after Theodore Roosevelt’s nickname, Teddy. Today, the teddy bear is one of the most popular toys in the world.
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