Thursday, February 7, 2013



reading this piece about the history of the heart symbol on Shutterstock led to this 2010 piece in Lapham's Quarterly, which led to a Google search for the "history of the heart symbol," which led to Wikipedia's interesting entry and a search for the word "cardioid," which led to this pleasant GIF, which reminded me that [cardioid back up to the top]

No, but one of the best parts of the long and excellent Lapham's piece, which Shutterstock's Danny Groner pointed out yesterday, is when author Iain Gately describes the people who'd recently learned that their hearts weren't shaped like actual cardioids as "still preferr[ing] to associate the pounding muscle beneath their ribs with the emotion that made it sprint, or stagger." (!)

There was a bleeding-heart bush behind the house I grew up in, and its flowers were so pretty and weird. There's no story here, but I guess it's just nice you can't really buy a bouquet of those.

Oh, actually it seems you can. Never mind!

19 Comments / Post A Comment

Anne Helen Petersen

Edith, the bleeding heart bushes in my backyard were one of my favorite things about my childhood. They're so fragile and perfect and inexplicable. In the Pacific Northwest, specifically in the Cascades foothills, you can find them in the wild all over the place. It blows the mind.


That's pretty impressive.@a

lucy snowe

I never cared for heart-shaped jewelry-- it always struck me as obvious, and somehow cheap. Recently I feel like I've been hearing more and more that I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Strange, then, how satisfying I find it to doodle heart shapes. Starbursts of hearts, big, fat, shiny Lisa Frank-style hearts, kooky little sidewinder hearts.

Has anyone else noticed how difficult it is to cut a pleasing heat shape out of construction paper folded in half? Getting those proportions right is a trick-- mine end up too wide, or too tall, or the little dip is too deep or too narrow. And I say that as someone who's generally good with cutting paper...


@lucy snowe Damnedest thing, even in construction paper form, the heart's never quite right, is it?

Jolie Kerr

@lucy snowe I have a tremendously strong aversion to heart-shaped jewelry, and actually heart-shaped anything on clothes, shoes, bags, and on and on and on. But I also like drawing them, and am delighted when they show up in nature!

lucy snowe

@Jolie Kerr Yes! Actually, I went through a phase, around the same time I was into reading Frances Hodgson Burnett, when I loved to draw little sprays of bleeding heart flowers. I like Anne Helen Petersen's description of them-- though where I'm from I think they only grow in gardens.

lucy snowe

@katiemcgillicuddy Heh. Too true.
Though I want to say something hopeful about how it's always nice when someone gives you a construction-paper heart, even if it's wonky...


@lucy snowe Me too, until one of my sisters bought the rest of us vintage necklaces with different hearts - mine was purple cut glass - and it was very special. I wore it every day until the chain broke while on a bike ride, and I still feel sad when I think about it. This is to say: weird how context changes things.

fondue with cheddar

@lucy snowe If you're doing a folded paper heart, I've found it easier to start at the bottom, making a cut at a 45 degree angle and curving up and around from there. If you start with the top part it's easier to screw up.

lucy snowe

@fondue with cheddar That's a good tip! Thanks. :)

fondue with cheddar

@lucy snowe You're welcome! Happy hearting. <3

Annie Squidface@facebook

I read somewhere that the heart shape was inspired by lady bottoms. Which didn't make much sense at the time, but I still prefer to think that it's where that comes from. :)

fondue with cheddar

@Annie Squidface@facebook Upside-down heart lady butts always remind me of those old Underalls commercials with the "dink-dink" at the end.


Is this where we can complain at length about how ridiculous the Jane Seymour "Open Hearts" necklace is? Because to me it just looks like you've hung bedazzled balls from your neck.

Edith Zimmerman

@Scandyhoovian Did you just invent the most incredible necklace?

RK Fire

@Scandyhoovian My husband just says "ass and titties" every time he sees those commercials because he's a classy guy.

As a result, the commercial where the daughter gets an Open Hearts necklace and says to her dad, "They look just like Mommy's!" cracks us up every time.

Dian Sasmita@facebook

very nice. thanks for allowing us comment in your super site. Kunjungi

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