Airdate February 14, 1999 (Valentine's Day)

Remake: April 10, 2015

Curriculum Health

Heart launched in BrainPOP Health February 14, 1999. It was remade on April 10, 2015.


Tim answers a valentine letter about hearts. Tim and Moby are talking about hearts.


Transcript Edit


FYI Edit

Graphs, Stats, And Numbers Edit

  • 100,000: Number of times the average human heart beats in one day #
  • 2.5 billion: Number of times the average human heart beats in a 70-year lifetime *
  • 72: Number of times the average adult human heart beats in one minute #
  • 117,347 cubic meters: Volume of blood pumped by the heart during the average lifetime #
  • 24 million: Number of adults with heart disease, 2006 ^
  • 452,357: Number of deaths in the United States caused by heart disease, 2004 *
  • 20: Percentage of deaths in the United States caused by heart disease, 2004 *

# Source: The Public Broadcasting Service

^ Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

* Source: American Heart Association

Gadgets Edit


Prior to the mid-20th century, having a weak heart was a prescription for death. Since then, however, doctors and scientists have developed a number of new technologies to keep people with heart disease alive. But none is more remarkable than the artificial heart.

The first one was patented in the United States in 1963. Early artificial hearts were used as “bridges”—doctors would install them temporarily as patients waited for transplants, and then replace them when a human heart became available.

A major turning point came in 1982, when Dr. Robert Jarvik permanently implanted the Jarvik-7 artificial heart into a patient. Unfortunately, though, patients were unable to survive more than 6 months with a Jarvik-7, and the use of permanent artificial hearts was quickly banned by the American Medical Association.

A decade later, a new model called the Abiocor Implantable Replacement Heart (pictured), was developed. One patient managed to live 17 months with one of these in his thorax, and the device was approved for permanent use in 2006.

Did You Know Edit


Ever wonder who exactly Saint Valentine was? The Feast of Saint Valentine, held on February 14th, was created in 495 C.E. by Pope Gelasius I. However, neither Gelasius nor anyone else in the Catholic Church had any idea who St. Valentine was—the pope said that the saint’s deeds were “known only to God.”

“Valentine,” derived from a Latin word meaning “strength,” was a popular name back then, and the St. Valentine honored by Gelasius was thought to be either a priest from the city of Rome; a bishop from the Italian town of Terni; or a Christian from present-day Libya. These three men supposedly lived during the 3rd century C.E., but there are no actual records of them. Some even believe that the bishop from Terni and the priest from Rome were actually the same person. Because of this confusion, the Catholic Church removed the St. Valentine’s feast from its official calendar in 1969.

Valentine’s Day became associated with romantic love during the Middle Ages. The first known reference to this tradition occurs in The Parliament of Fowls, a long poem by English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. In the poem, Chaucer mentions that some birds “choose their mates” every Valentine’s Day. Chaucer’s audience—mainly royalty and nobility—soon made Valentine’s Day a day devoted to romance and love.

The tradition remained popular in England and France (Valentine’s Day is even mentioned in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet !), and it gained nationwide popularity in America during the 1840s. And now you know all about Valentine’s Day!

Yuck Edit


When Spanish explorers arrived in Central and South America during the 16th century, they were stunned to find that the Aztecs, the most powerful civilization in the area, practiced a particularly gory form of human sacrifice. It went a little something like this:

A victim would be taken to an Aztec temple, which was often located atop a high pyramid. Four priests would lay him out on a stone slab, and then a fifth priest would cut open his abdomen with a knife made of flint. The priest would then tear the victim’s still-beating heart out of his chest, and place it in a bowl held by a statue of the god to whom the sacrifice was being made!

Why the heart? The Aztecs believed that the human spirit, or “tonalli,” was concentrated in the blood, and when a person was frightened, his spirit would be almost entirely concentrated in his heart. According to the Aztec religion, the gods sacrificed themselves to give life to humanity and the rest of the universe, and it was up to humans to repay the gods for their selfless acts.

Amazingly, these sacrifices were performed quite frequently; it’s estimated that in 1487, when the Aztecs re-dedicated the temple in the capital city of Tenochtitlan, they sacrificed between 10,000 and 80,000 people.

FYI Comic Edit

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