Thursday, August 16, 2007

Russian National Screw Day

"This is all for Mother Russia darling."

From the Denver Post:

Moscow - A Russian region of Ulyanovsk has found a novel way to fight the nation's birth-rate crisis: It has declared Sept. 12 the Day of Conception and for the third year running is giving couples time off from work to procreate.

The hope is for a brood of babies exactly nine months later on Russia's national day. Couples who "give birth to a patriot" during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.

Ulyanovsk, about 550 miles east of Moscow, has held similar contests since 2005. Since then, the number of competitors, and the number of babies born to them, has been on the rise.

Russia, with one-seventh of Earth's land surface, has just 141.4 million citizens, making it one of the most sparsely settled countries in the world. With a low birth rate and a high death rate, the population has been shrinking since the early 1990s.

So, if the Russkies do what they's supposed to, according to my biology textbook which says human gestation is 280 days, and this handy calendar calculator, the maternity wards in parts of Putinland are gonna be quite busy come June 18, 2008.

So to all the Russian readers of Mountain Philosopher, I say Поздравляю вас с днем рождения!