I thought you might all like to know where Valentine’s Day actually comes from! Everyone knows that it’s the day you celebrate being with the special someone in your life, or when you make hidden affections known. It’s a celebration of… love. Ugh.

That’s enough to get most of the singles on this planet gagging, so I thought I’d try to keep this entry strictly sensible with an absolute minimum of sappy gag-inducing sentimentality.

There are a few prevailing theories about where Valentine’s Day comes from. The most likely is the Christianisation of an old pagan ritual called ‘The Feast of Lubercus’. Unrelated to this feast, to honour the Goddess Juno Februata, the names of young women were placed into a box; the names were then drawn out and matched to men — these couples would then be considered partners for the year. Anyway, the Church being the Church and being totally and utterly afraid of the Pagan Pantheon, they replaced The Feast of Lubercus with St. Valentine’s Day. Instead of drawing girls’ names, kids would draw Saints from the box and then emulate their lives for the next year. Creepy!

This continued for some thousand years until the 16th century when they started drawing girls from the box again… and eventually just devolved into the event today, where it’s customary to pass secret messages of adoration and yearning to one another.

Apparently, one of the Valentines (there have been a few!) was quite a romantic. During Emperor Claudius’s reign, marriage and engagements were banned until he had fought his wars (I guess only single men were regimented into his army). Valentine was a priest that went behind Claudius’ back and married several couples. He was promptly thrown in jail, where he died. What a martyr!

That wasn’t as exciting as I thought… but OK, not one to give up, I have some funny links and videos!

First, for all the single guys out there. Just so you don’t give up hope; this is proof that your perfect bouncy-bosomed girl is out there somewhere. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Zh7NgWS0k[/youtube]

For the girls, I have this great little story about… um… feminism? Psychotic craft knife-wielding maniacs?

Craft Knife-Wielding Female Maniac

Grateful that I kept the image small, eh? I’m not even sure I want a girlfriend at this rate…

Next, for the not-quite-boys-and-not-quite-girls — THE STAR TREK GEEKS (you know who you are) — I have… Khan the Opera (it’s surprisingly good). [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW2-MrHNJSE[/youtube]

But I’ve saved the best for last: Barack Obama is tired of your motherfucking shit (not my title, I would never swear like that on my blog). This is one of those stories that I wish I was making up… but I’m not. Turns out Obama wrote a book (us non-American types don’t really care enough to find these things out — we just think it’s cool you have a black guy for a president, and that he’s not George W. Bush), and one of the characters in the book swears. Swears quite a lot, actually. And Obama happened to read the audio version of the book too…

You all want to hear Mr Obama say ‘You ain’t my bitch, nigga.’ right? ‘course ya do!

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I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.