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REF NO.: 180

SUBJECT: Memorial University experts and Valentine’s Day stories

DATE: Feb. 9

Note to editors:

Looking for fresh story ideas for Valentine’s Day? Memorial University has the following experts:

Valentine’s Day wasn’t always a merchandising opportunity for purveyors of all things romantic, but according to Dr. Philip Hiscock, professor of Folklore at Memorial, a whole constellation of factors have fed into Valentine’s Day traditions over the centuries. What has become today’s homogenous, commercial holiday was once marked by distinctive gift-giving traditions known as “ticket night” and “mar faulton” in Newfoundland. Contact Leslie Vryenhoek, communications coordinator, Faculty of Arts, 737-8292 or

Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas as a card-sending holiday. According to Bradley Clissold, professor of English and an expert in postcards, Valentine’s cards were hugely popular in England and North Americain the early 20th century. However, writers of personal or romantic messages learned to “code” their language to hide the meaning from prying eyes – much like those using MSN Messaging and Internet chatrooms do today. Contact Bradley Clissold, 737-8276or

Genetic researchers like Kathleen Hodgkinson are exploring what could be wrong with the Newfoundland heart. Ms. Hodgkinson is leading a project at Memorial into ARVC – arrythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy – a rare genetic condition that seems to be more common in Newfoundland than elsewhere. The disease can lead to "disordered" electrical activity in the heart, and can interfere with the heart's pumping action. Contact Kathy Hodgkinson 777-6819 or

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For further information, please contact Leslie Vyrenhoek, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Arts, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 737-8292or


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