FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE
Love chocolate? Turns out you might actually be IN love with it. No, really. It contains a special chemical called theobromine (which means “Food of Gods”) that makes women fall in love.
• It’s good news for the singles out there – USQ Biochemist Dr Mark Lynch has confirmed a block of chocolate could make an excellent substitute for a date this Valentine’s Day. He says when you bite into cacao-based chocolate, a stimulant is released in the female brain which makes them feel a rush of love.
MY ENDLESS LOOOOOOVE… TUNES TO MAKE YOU SWOON
Ah, February. The month when love is in the air and likely in more than a few song titles on the airwaves. Billboard has ranked the top 50 ‘love’ songs of all time with Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s 1981 duet “Endless Love” topping the list.
• USQ music lecturer Mark Scholtes says music can bond people on a deeper level and allow them to recall a special moment years later when they hear a significant lyric or tune. Whether it is Wolfgang (Mozart), Barry (White) or Ed (Sheeran) there is a song to fit everyone's musical and romantic style.
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE & LITERATURE
Shakespeare informs us in A Midsummer Night’s Dream “the course of true love never did run smooth” and often that road seems even rougher in literature than in life.
• Professor Laurie Johnson (English and Cultural Studies) says this quote is a good summary of the simple rule of thumb in literature that love has to be hit with obstacles or else there’s no story to tell. Professor Johnson can share his top reads this St Valentine’s Day and what makes a romantic classic.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE MONEY
Saint Valentine would turn in his grave if he knew how much Aussie couples are predicted to splurge this Friday, with chocolates, wine and romantic getaways topping the 2020 Valentine’s Day shopping list.
• Marketing expert Dr Rumman Hassan says businesses employ specific tactics in the lead up to February 14 which are proven to tug on consumer heart strings.
THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S
Across the world on February 14, flowers, cards and gifts will be exchanged between loved ones, as St. Valentine's Day is celebrated. However, the story of why we celebrate this day is a bit of a mystery.
• Associate Professor Marcus Harmes says the tradition mixes elements of both ancient Roman rites and Christian tradition. One of the tales goes back to third century Rome, where a priest named Valentine performed secret marriages to young lovers after Emperor Claudius II ordered men to stay single as he needed them for battle. Valentine was allegedly put to death for his actions, but his legacy lives on.
TOP DROP FOR WINE-LOVERS
Shiraz, Merlot, Sauv Blanc or bubbles? Choosing a top drop can be tricky, but we’re here to help…
• Wine scientist Ursula Kennedy can discuss why wine has long been associated with romance. She has all the tips on what to look for when selecting the right bottle for your Valentine’s date and what foods work well with which wines.
NETFLIX AND CHILL
Searching for the perfect rom-coms to watch this Valentine’s Day? Look no further!
• Film and television expert Dr Daryl Sparkes has listed his Top 5 best romantic movies of all time. He says a good romance movie will have you wanting to revisit it again and again. But while there have been some classics over the years, romance and romantic comedies have slowly become one of the least popular genres of film.
LOVE TAKES CENTRE STAGE
People have been telling stories of love well before film or television - they have been recreated through the drama and romanticism of theatre for centuries. From sonnets to Sondheim classics like West Side Story, storytelling in theatre is about human experience, and much of the human experience is grounded in love.
• Theatre expert Marcus Oborn can talk on the importance of storytelling through theatre and how the themes of love and romance will be forever timeless.
Find the full list of USQ experts here.
USQ has a variety of experts that can talk on Valentine's Day in relation to their field of research.