Valentine cards probably peaked during the Victorian Age. Nowadays, one goes to Wal-Mart and buys a box of the kiddie cards, which are emblazoned with Furbies, Sanrio characters, and wrestlers (not all on the same card, unfortunately]. Or, if you're in love, you buy a saccharine Hallmark sentiment. In lust, go to the novelty shop on the mall and get something off-color. Geek or couch potato? Virtual cards. The art of the love letter and of the heartfelt Valentine are probably lost forever, though I have a few that I'll treasure forever.

Yesterday I made what I believe may be one of the world's largest Valentine's Day cards.

Measuring nearly ten square miles, it consists of precisely marked coordinates which, if traced on a map, spell out "I ♥ U".

I got the idea right after I acquired a GPS the other day -- a gizmo I have no actual use for, but instead got merely because they're nifty. The first step was determining points; I used a Rutgers bus map and a magic marker to draw the I ♥ U message, one character per campus. Then I chose a minimum number of points which, when traced between, would be recognizable. This was easy for "I" and "U", a bit harder for the heart -- especially given the limitations imposed by the terrain itself. A point couldn't be in a building, or on private property, etc.

I spent the rest of the day on foot with the GPS and a fat permanent marker. At each point, I drew on the ground (mostly concrete sidewalks) a heart, the latitude and longitude (WGS 84 datum), and the distance and magnetic bearing to the next and previous points.

I then gave the list of coordinates to my girlfriend. (I could have just given her the first point, but that'd be too much work... and it is Valentine's Day...)

British tank of the Second World War. The Valentine was introduced in 1940 as a replacement infantry tank for the Matilda. Although it remainined in production for a couple of years it was basically obsolete by the time it came into service, being slow and seriously undergunned (originally equipped with a 2 pounder/40 mm gun generally incapable of penetrating the armour of any but the lightest contemporary German models) - the result of flaws in both procurement procedures and tactical doctrine. It saw some service in the Western Desert and Italy, and a number were supplied to the Red Army; the bodies were also later recycled for self-propelled artillery.

Also, a vibrant trapezoid flower orga vagina svannen divine conception,
a picture frame, hand stained with hand rouged matte,

eating leaves, brooding and mysterious dried vegetables,


a Perfect starry night,
frightful brilliant spontaneity,

manifest Butterflies,

Magic power.

simple Beauty,

freezing vagrant sleep, bring a blanket!

You fight for this with no regrets,
and you remember only the beauty of it.

You are what you eat, beauty.

he first woman seen by a man, or man seen by a woman, on St. Valentine's day, the 14th of February, when it is said every bird chuses his mate for the ensuing year.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Val"en*tine (?), n.


A sweetheart chosen on St. Valentine's Day.


A letter containing professions of love, or a missive of a sentimental, comic, or burlesque character, sent on St. Valentine's Day.

St. Valentine's Day, a day sacred to St. Valentine; the 14th of February. It was a very old notion, alluded to by Shakespeare, that on this day birds begin to mate. Hence, perhaps, arose the custom of sending love tokens at that time.


© Webster 1913.

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