In anticipation of Valentine’s at the Grant this Friday (12th February) I have sought out some animal facts which you will otterly love! On Friday the museum will be holding a themed late opening with Valentine’s-related animal tags being placed around the museum. Please excuse the Valentine’s puns – I’ve had a whale of a time writing this!
Valentine’s Day can be an arduous 24 hours of franchised affection and a reminder that being single is not socially commendable. To play the merry dissenter, and offer those of you who are not a fan of the day, I will celebrate 4 archaeological heroes who flew in the face of Valentine’s lucid message and offer a far more commendable representation of love.
No matter who you are or where you come from, you have to admire the giraffe’s heart. It manages to pump blood up arteries in a neck that can reach over two metres in length. It is helped out by a series of valves that prevent the blood from flowing back down again (except through the veins, in which it is supposed to flow back down again). The giraffe’s heart is, surprisingly, smaller than that of mammals of a comparative body size. The heart copes with the morphology of the animal by having really thick muscle walls and a small radius. The result is a very powerful organ. I wonder if that means giraffes fall in love really easily, or find it harder to get over their exes? (more…)
It’s Valentine’s Day this week! I don’t subscribe to the modern idea that Valentine’s Day is a commercial farce designed to make you pay three times the price for one ‘romantic dinner’ out and 20 times the normal price for a rose of a specific colour. Well ok those are true, but Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to comprise either. Personally, I am REALLY hoping that this year someone loves me enough to get me membership to the British Arachnological Society for V-Day (link supplied in case you’re sufficiently moved, as it isn’t looking likely otherwise). But I’m not too sad as here at the Grant Museum I am surrounded by love. Such as in my choice of super lovey specimen this week! This Week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)
By Cathrine Alice Liberg
Discover the sentimental side of Rousseau (and yourself!) at UCL Art Museum.
Come Valentine’s Day, we wish to highlight Rousseau’s epistolary novels, most notably his sentimental work La Nouvelle Héloïse which became a predecessor to modern Romantic novels, and was a bestseller back in its days. As for Rousseau himself, he never married, but did manage to father a significant number of children. His writings however, have been interpreted even in the realm of love as a guide to finding happiness. The long running dating show for farmers, “Boer zoekt vrouw”, is based on Rousseau’s philosophies on “the natural state” in which he praises the simple life as the source of joy and satisfaction. In this Dutch television programme, the love-hungry farmers all work side by side in nature, away from the morally corrupt city of selfishness and greed while trying to win each other’s hearts. Can this be the key to eternal bliss? (more…)
The panther chameleon will bob his head
And make his colour intense.
A broody ringtail lemur girl,
Will attract her mate with scents.
Peacocks fan their tail feathers,
Spreading blue and green.
The Asian tortoise follows his girl
With persistance to show he’s keen.
Semaphore, believe it or not,
Attracts girl wolf spider to boy.
A fruit fly has his work cut out,
These girls like acting coy. (more…)