The Russian region of Ulyanovsk holds an annual Day of Conception where people are given time off work to make babies. The aim is to boost the birthrate in an area where the population has been declining for more than a decade. The Day of Conception is scheduled for September 12. Nine months later, on Russia's national day, couples who "give birth to a patriot" can win prizes. From the Associated Press:
Everyone who has a baby in an Ulyanovsk hospital on Russia Day gets some kind of prize. But the grand prize winners are couples judged to be the fittest parents by a committee that deliberates for two weeks over the selection.
The 2007 grand prize went to Irina and Andrei Kartuzov, who received a UAZ-Patriot, an SUV made in Ulyanovsk. They told reporters they were planning to have another child anyway when they heard about the contest.
Irina Kartuzova had to have a Caesarian section to deliver the baby and it was scheduled for June 12.
The selection committee chose the Kartuzovs from among the 78 couples because of their ``respectability'' and ``commendable parenting'' of their two older children, a spokesman for the governor said.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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