Marni Kotak's "Birth of Baby X"

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Beginning October 8, Kotak will transform Microscope into her home birthing room, complete with her grandmother's bed, and her old rocking chair. The exhibit has been orchestrated around Kotak's official due date. Visitors should be prepared to find themselves suddenly as witnesses to a live birth.

Performance artist Marni Kotak is engaging in some extreme (and literal) navel-gazing as she invites people to watch her give birth in an art gallery. "I hope that people will see that human life itself is the most profound work of art," she says, "and that therefore giving birth, the greatest expression of life, is the highest [...]


Beyoncé's Pregnancé

How many people did you chat/email when you found out Beyoncé was pregnant? A. None. B. One – two. C. 10+.


Birth, the Animation

YouTube user MrZaeos1 made a sim-style video called "Our baby's Birth" that tells a presumably romanticized version of his wife's labor. It is remarkable, and slightly NSFW, due to birthing-related close-ups. Past videos of his are also tributes to his wife. I'm not sure quite what to make of it. (The video is below; its pause screen is one of its more NSFW-ish moments, as you will see.)


Knocked Up Twice

Whoa. Did you know it is possible to get pregnant while you are already pregnant? Well, it is! It's very rare, but it happens, and then you give birth to twins but they're not actually twins because one is younger than the other. But I guess you just tell people they're twins anyway because it's too crazy to explain that you are a medical freak who gave birth to two babies that were born on the same day but were conceived on different days, etc. Or maybe you call them "twiblings," but that also is probably confusing because then you have to explain what the hell [...]


Goodnight, Rich Babies

Since the average American woman has 2.1 children, you might think we aren't experiencing a national fertility crisis. Unlike some European countries whose futures are threatened by low birth rates, Americans, on average, produce just the right number of future workers, soldiers, and taxpayers to keep our society humming. Our families are also, on average, comfortably smaller than those in some developing countries, where high birthrates help keep women and children severely impoverished. But here's the problem: Because the American fertility rate is an average, it obscures the fact that our country is actually more like two countries, which are now experiencing two different, serious crises.

Poor women [...]


The Fall of the Microwave

If you're pregnant and like to stand in front of the microwave while it's heating food or blow dry your stomach…

Don't stand in front of the microwave when it's heating food, for example, and hold the hair dryer as far away from your belly as possible, or switch to a dryer that's battery operated.

Microwaves and other sources of electromagnetism "may be associated with children's asthma," according to a new study, or it could be everything else electronic. Or something else entirely. The good news, though, is that [a tiny bit of] dark chocolate makes you stronger.


How a Fetus Gets Its Face

The BBC photographed a fetus as it developed in utero, then turned the sequence into a grotesque and fascinating time-lapse video (it starts at the 0:30 mark). The face's phases are a little like cloud formations — first it looks like a dust mite, then a jack-o-lantern, a sack mask, and a turtle. Screen grabs are below.


$250,000 on Black

"There’s a sense that it’s not cool to get married and have kids right out of college. But if you just ‘get pregnant,’ you don’t face society’s judgment. If anything, it becomes kind of heroic: ‘Wow, what a sacrifice. She made the choice to raise her baby!’" Young ladies are playing Baby Roulette these days (or, "I’d guess many women are more faithful to their diet than to their birth control"), because they know that teeth-bleaching doesn't mean anything anymore. Here, listen to this while you read.


Things I Have Cried at Due to Pregnancy Hormones: The Best-Of Edition

1. Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher fell out of love. 2. "Firefly" has been off the air for eight years now. 3. "Toddlers and Tiaras" prospers. 4. A photograph of someone else's kitten wearing a Kermit the Frog hat. 5. Jack Donaghy’s baby associates him with a Trinidadian-Creole word meaning “stranger.” 6. The actress who played Hugh Grant’s flatmate in “Four Weddings And A Funeral” is dead. 7. The Vincent Van Gogh episode of "Doctor Who." 8. "Thirteen," Big Star. 9. Not being able to have access to a particular salmon and roasted red pepper sandwich on garlic bread that I used to get at a strip mall in [...]


The Most Popular Baby Names: Isabella, Jacob

Wait, weren't we just doing this, and weren't the winners Sophia and Aiden? Oh well. In any case, here's the Social Security Administration's top 20 baby names for 2010. Everything seems to be holding fairly steady from 2009, except for Mason, which makes a surprise jump from No. 34 to No. 12 on the boys' side of things. The list continues well past the top 20, too, in case you'd like to see where your name falls (Edith, No. 820), or which names just barely crack the top 1,000 (Dania and Crew. Crew? Crew).