My friend brought to my attention that Russia declared September 12th as the Day of Conception. Russia‘s birth rate is declining, and the government is experimenting with some creative measures to turn that statistic around. They are promoting the entire country to procreate to increase their numbers. On Russia‘s National Day, June 12th, the couples who give birth are entitled to win cars, money, electronics, and other prices. Last year 500 women signed up to the contest and 78 babies were born. We all know how incentives drive people to do crazy things!

The media outlets in the United States seem to be spinning this day by saying the Russians need to reverse their increasing death rate which is fueled by “AIDS, alcoholism, and suicide.”  This makes the Russians look out of control. However, the only way they’re trying to control it is by means of incentive-based procreation programs (which will undoubtedly lead to more AIDS). Maybe Russia is the one who is taking something that’s usually taboo and personal and promoting it throughout the world? — Kristina Burn