The Power of Red

Feb 6, 2014

There's a heartfelt reason why Friday, Feb. 7 is "UC Davis Wears Red Day."   

It's about raising awareness for heart disease, the No. 1 killer of both men and women. It's a battle we need to fight with an arsenal of weapons.

Spearheading the campuswide initiative is Chancellor Linda Katehi, partnering with Dr. Amparo Villablanca, director of the UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program, and Adele Zhang, curator of the UC Davis Design Museum. For the occasion, the UC Davis Bookstore is selling specially designed t-shirts. Red, of course. With a heart, of course.

A highlight of the events-crowded day will be an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Record for the largest heart formation. The current record: 11,166, set Feb. 27, 2010 in Nuevo León, Mexico. 

So UC Davis is inviting everyone, everyone everywhere, to wear red and gather at 11:30 a.m. on Hutchison Intramural Field, rain or shine.  The photo will be taken at 12:30.

It's unlikely that insects, the key subject of this blog, will be a part of the red heart formation, but hey, some insects are red, some are red-eyed and some occasionally wear red.

The lady beetle, aka ladybug (family Coccinellidae, is probably the most recognizable red of our insects.

The flameskimmer dragonfly, Libellula saturata, is a showstopping red. Firecracker red!

Some flies have prominent red eyes, including the flesh fly from the family Sarcophagidae.

And honey bees--they can play the red game, too. They gather red pollen from a variety of plants, including rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora), horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis), pear (Pyrus communis),and henbit (Lamium amplexicaule).

Frankly, we think it might rain during the heart formation, but as the UC Davis officials say: “Heart disease doesn't stop for rain and neither do we!"

We'll see red and the heart formation will be a sea of red. Maybe 11,167.