We’re 72 hours away from Valentine's Day — are you ready?
If not, the Internet can help.
Here are some Valentine’s Day ideas using the digital resources of the web that may help you shine on Feb. 14:
n Love Poetry. The Internet offers thousands of sites filled with some of the most romantic lines penned through history. Some good sites include The Romantic (http://bit.ly/WEnyrQ), Family Friend Poems (http://bit.ly/XaDseG), About.com Poetry (http://bit.ly/WTXV4A) and Poets.org (http://bit.ly/11t6I54).
Don’t forget William Shakespeare’s Sonnets, a collection of love poetry that has had lovers swooning for centuries. Some good places to visit include SparkNotes (http://bit.ly/XY23zH), William Shakespeare Sonnets
(http://bit.ly/11t6M4Q) and the “No Fear Shakespeare”
(http://bit.ly/XY24DQ), which shows each sonnet next to a modern day translation of the sonnet.
n Valentine's Cards. You can find and print Valentine's Day cards from Internet sites or send e-cards to your loved one. Hallmark
(http://www.hallmark.com) and American Greetings
(http://www.americangreetings.com) offer great Valentine’s e-cards and printable cards you can configure online and send to your home printer.
Some of the services are fee based while others are free. Look around either of the sites for inspiration.
Blue Mountain (http://bit.ly/WxmR5y) offers free digital Valentine's cards you send via e-mail that are animated, musical and just fun to view.
Some sites offer free card markers where you choose a design, add some text and then download a printable card. Free means not a lot of flexibility, but free is free. Valentine Card Maker
(http://bit.ly/14W1E8j) and Got Free Cards (http://bit.ly/WRV2o0) are good stops in this area.
Hallmark also offers tips on writing a good love letter and a guide to the meaning of various flowers you might send (http://bit.ly/XaE83H).
n The Language of Love. Why not learn how to say “I Love You” in various languages? Sites like I Love You (http://bit.ly/XTsJ6J) and Love And Romance (http://bit.ly/XY2hqP) offer translations of the phrase "I Love You" in hundreds of languages. From Armenian (“Yes kez sirumem”) to Zuni (“Tom ho' ichema”), it all means the same, of course, if delivered with the right shade of voice.
Just as an aside, Valentine's Day also is known for an infamous 1929 Chicago gangland shooting known as the “St. Valentine's Day Massacre.”
Seven people, including five members of the “Bugs” Moran gang, were lined up in front of a garage shop wall and executed in a hail of machine gun, pistol and shotgun bullets. The killers were allegedly hired by Al Capone, who ran the rival south side gang.
Wikipedia has a good overview of the shootings (http://bit.ly/YXhZsP) and the circumstances surrounding the entire affair. There also is good information at the My Al Capone Museum (http://bit.ly/WRVh2n).
PBS’s “History Detectives” also did a video piece on a shotgun believed to have been used in the killings (http://to.pbs.org/YXiaEr).
The FBI maintained a file on the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. While they never officially investigated the shootings, they did receive and respond to correspondence, tips and questions related to the event (http://1.usa.gov/XpasOK).
The massacre also gave a boost to the science of ballistics (http://bit.ly/VKibuC and http://bit.ly/123ycJ8). Investigators were able to match the bullets found at the scene to two Thompson submachine guns seized by police in Wisconsin.
(Keith Darnay has worked in the online world for more than a decade, the traditional media world for a few decades more and manages the online department and website for the University of Mary. His own site, featuring this column going back to 1995, is at www.darnay.com.)