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The IVF Effect: How the U.S. Got a Million (!) Extra Twins

From about 1915, when the statistical record begins, until 1980, about one in every 50 pregnancies resulted in twins, a rate of 2 percent. 

Then, the rate began to increase: by 1995, it was 2.5 percent. The rate surpassed 3 percent in 2001 and hit 3.3 percent in 2010. Now, twins are growing in one out of every 30 pregnant bellies. 

That’s a lot of “extra” twins above the 1980 baseline, but how many?

When the CDC calculated the number through 2009, they pegged it at 865,000. Now that several years more data is available, I recalculated the number. I took the number of twins that would have been born if the 1980 twin rate had held, and subtracted it from how many twins were actually born. 

The result: 1,009,337! That’s a million extra twins from 1981 through 2012, the most recent year for which data is available.

A few years ago, the Centers for Disease Control researchers looked into the phenomenon. Plural pregnancies have an “unfavorable impact on key indicators of perinatal health such as rates of preterm birth and low birthweight.” So, they wanted to know: what was causing this large increase in twin births?

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The blue portion of the columns indicate how many twin births would have occurred if the twin rate had stayed at the 1980 level. The red portion shows the number of twins born above the 1980 rate for each year (Computed from CDC data/Alexis Madrigal).

Older women tend to have more twins than younger women—and older women are having more of the nation’s babies. The researchers found this demographic phenomenon accounted for one-third of the increase.

They attributed the rest of it to the increase in infertility treatments, specifically in-vitro fertilization and “ovulation stimulation medications.” 

The increase in the twin birth rate, however, does seem to be leveling off. “The 2012 twin birth rate was 33.1 per 1,000 total births, and was essentially unchanged from 2009-2011,” another CDC report found.

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Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.

That is, in part, because assisted reproductive technology procedures have changed. For example, the number of embryos implanted during IVF has a direct relationship with the number of multiple births. So, implanting two (or even three) embryos increases the chance that at least one of them will grow and develop, but simultaneously ups the risk of a plural pregnancy. 

In 2000, three or more embryos were implanted in two-thirds of IVF cycles. During the 2000s, though, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and American Society for Reproductive Medicine published guidelines that recommended fewer embryo transfers, particularly for younger women. So, from 2003 until 2010, one study found that the average number of embryos transferred had fallen from 2.6 to 2. In 10 percent of cases, the prospective parents chose to go with a single embryo transfer, too, which was unheard in earlier decades.

These changes have slowed the increase in the twin birth rate, but have not reversed it yet. Still, every year, more than 50,000 extra twins are still born, joining the million others driving their parents crazy. 

mf The IVF Effect: How the U.S. Got a Million (!) Extra Twins


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3b878  rc The IVF Effect: How the U.S. Got a Million (!) Extra Twins
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[via theatlantic]

Lady Gaga would like ‘ARTPOP’ ‘Act 2′ to be out within the next year

96d8e  screenshot 462 300x239 Lady Gaga would like ‘ARTPOP’ ‘Act 2′ to be out within the next yearLady Gaga’s been chatting away about ‘ARTPOP’ ‘Act’ 2 and she’d quite like it to be out within the next twelve months (don’t rush yourself love) if possible.

Having a chat with NRJ Radio (as quoted here), the ‘Venus’ hitmaker mused:

“I wrote so much music for ‘ARTPOP’ and I’ve been writing more as well. I have thought about putting out the second act and right now I’m just getting ready for the tour.”

So will it be similar to the first ‘act’?

“It’s actually very different from what is on the first act, I think that’s why I say it will be ‘Act 2′ because it’s a progression. It’s very important that when I put music out that you hear a really strong evolution because I’m changing all the time.”

Getting to the release schedule bit, she had good news and bad news:

“So, I’m hoping to put it out within the next year and I’m also very excited that me and Tony Bennett [SHE MEANS 'TONY BENNETT AND I'] are putting out a jazz album together called ‘Cheek to Cheek’ this year.”

icon sad Lady Gaga would like ‘ARTPOP’ ‘Act 2′ to be out within the next year

[via popjustice]

Konami Readying Duo Of Silent Hill Games For Vita

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Konami announced today that two Silent Hill titles, Origins and Shattered Memories, will be coming to Vita. The announcement only specifies a European release right now, and we’re waiting on word from Konami about plans for North America.

We gave PSP title Origins a 7.75, citing its “tired controls and jumpy camera,” though praising its music and scares. Shattered Memories, a remake of the first title in the series, originally released on the Wii. We awarded it a 6.25 given the poor motion controls, but lauded its twist on the original tale.

The game was later released on PlayStation 2 and PSP. We’ll update should we receive a response from Konami about a North American release. No European release date has been announced, but pricing is set at £7.99/€9.95 each.

[Source: Polygon]

 

Our Take
Having never played a traditional Silent Hill game, I can’t speak for the quality of these in the series. I can, however, say that the story Tim described in his review of Shattered Memories sounds like something I might like to experience and would try on the Vita. 

 Konami Readying Duo Of Silent Hill Games For Vita

Obama: Time To “Move On” From Obamacare Debate

Second victory lap. “This thing is working,” the president said.

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The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Obama took his second Affordable Care Act victory lap of the month Thursday, announcing enrollments rose to 8 million in the first enrollment period and calling on Republicans to drop their attacks on the law and “move on.”

“The point is the repeal debate is, and should be, over,” Obama said.

It is a marked turnaround from past press events on the Affordable Care Act, when the president apologized for failures on the enrollment website. Obama's last two appearances at the mics to address the law — first on April 1 and then again on Thursday — were all about how successful the law has been. The president once again turned to his critics and told Republicans it was time to drop their calls for repeal.

“I think we can all agree that it's well past time to move on,” he said. The president said despite data showing enrollments have beat projections and reports showing the law is having a positive impact on health care costs, Republicans “still can't bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working.”

Obama did not mention the ongoing delays in big portions of the law, such as the mandate requiring employers to offer care and requirements that insurance companies stop offering plans created after Obamacare was signed into law that do not meet minimum Affordable Care Act coverage rules.

The White House was quick to capitalize on the 8 million sign-ups news, blasting out infographics with the hashtag #ACAWorks to reporters as Obama took to the White House briefing room to tout the law.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, one of Obamacare's strongest opponents, didn't wait for Obama to finish speaking before rejecting his call that the country move on from the Affordable Care Act debate.

“The repeal debate is far from over,” he tweeted. “#FullRepeal.”

[source BuzzFeed]

Reply A Love Letter From Fall Out Boy

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“And at the end of the day, we’re all chasing the same thing. We all end up in this same room for a reason. We’re part of something, we’re part of something that’s bigger than any single one of us. And it doesn’t stop when we get off stage, it doesn’t stop when we go home”


One year later, that’s a love letter from Fall Out Boy right back to their fans. This is a really beautiful video, love the way they speak up about those things. If you’re a fan, I believe you have goosebump while watching this video. That’s what Fall Out Boy wants to say to you, but what about you? I’d probably say……..

It is really amazing to see them comeback to the stage and I’m really glad that I had an opportunity to come to their concert last october in Jakarta, Indonesia. In that moment I thought I wouldn’t be able to see them because I was going in and out at the hospital. But 2 days before the show I’ve got the ticket. It was crazy that I decided to go to the concert though because I’m still really sick but I’m going anyway. I even drank my medicine when I was on the line. I’m in a very bad condition but when Fall Out Boy hit the stage with The Phoenix as their opening song, I suddenly forgot about my condition. I go crazy, singing, screaming, and jumping. And that is true, when the fans and Fall Out Boy are in the same room, we feel like we’re part of something. All the sickness, trouble, misery, etc are disappear. When I was in high school, Fall Out Boy also came to Jakarta. I really remember that my friends car broke down when we are on the way to see Fall Out Boy. We just don’t know when to quit and oh we never quit to see our favorite band if we have a chance.

Man..if I make a list of my memories about Fall Out Boy I could write it all day, there’s too much and that’s kind of memories that I’ve never forget. It was amazing, so Thank you Fall Out Boy for being a band and make outstanding music who always help the fans (including me) getting through their life. Even when my cat died after 13 years being with me, Fall Out Boy songs are getting me through my grief/ It’s not just the music, but the way they’re inspiring people. I have a generalized Anxiety Disorder and I read Pete Wentz book, Gray. It helps me a lot, it makes me feel like I’m not the only one whose got this kind of trouble and I believe everything’s gonna be alright if we want to make it alright about the anxiety. And if you’re following Patrick Stump on Twitter, you should’ve known that he’s a really smart and inspiring person. Love the way he tweeted and how he’s really humble to his fans, definitely love his joke. Seriously Patrick, you’re not a quiet boring guy. Also, Andy Hurley, his vegan life is really inspiring. I’m a pescetarian and I hope I could be vegan soon. Last but not least Joe Trohman, I learned a lot of guitar stuff by seeing him playing. 4 of them are very inspiring. So, Thank you!

Now it’s your turn…..

WHAT ARE YOU GONNA SAY TO FALL OUT BOY?

[via buzznet]

Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

Christina Aguilera normally keeps a low profile personally, but she shared a cute photo Thursday showing her growing baby bump and fiance Matt Rutler.

In her first social media comments since news of her second pregnancy broke, Aguilera posted the sweet photo with a short caption: “Baby loves N.Y.C.”

6c9c1  christina aguilera baby bump photo Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

She didn’t say what they’re doing in N.Y.C., besides being cute obviously.

Posing with film producer Rutler, the singer and The Voice coach, 33, gave fans a glimpse at her barely there belly in the smiley shot with her man.

News that she’s expecting her second child was confirmed by the songstress herself in March, when she announced on stage that a daughter was on the way.

Christina Aguilera is already the mother to son Max, 6, from her previous marriage to Jordan Bratman. She and Rutler have been together since 2010.

They got engaged in February, joining these other 2014 engagements:

Celebrities Who Got Engaged in 2014
6c9c1  mila and ashton Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!
1. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have a wedding to plan and a baby to welcome. What an exciting year to come!

View As List

6d921  mila and ashton Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

1.
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have a wedding to plan and a baby to welcome. What an exciting year to come!


6d921  caroline wozniacki and rory mcilroy picture Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

2.
Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy

Two sporting worlds officially came together when Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy agreed to marry.


6d921  evan peters and emma roberts Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

3.
Emma Roberts and Evan Peters

Emma Roberts and Evan Peters have had their ups and downs. But they only wanna focus on the former going forward.


6d921  tyler johnson and emily maynard Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

4.
Emily Maynard and Tyler Johnson

Emily Maynard is over her Bachelor pain and is looking forward to Tyler Johnson being her husband.


6d921  ben foster and robin wright Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

5.
Ben Foster and Robin Wright

Ben Foster and Robin Wright got engaged in early 2014. We wish them the best.


6d921  christina aguilera and matt rutler Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

6.
Christina Aguilera and Matt Rutler

Christina Aguilera and Matt Rutler have a wedding to plan… and a baby to welcome!


6d921  ashlee simpson and evan ross Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

7.
Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross

Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross made a major announcement via Twitter in early 2014: Thy are engaged!


6d921  amber heard and johnny depp Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

8.
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp are dating, supposedly. Cute couple?


60bad  charlie sheen and brett rossi Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

9.
Charlie Sheen and Brett Rossi

Charlie Sheen and Brett Rossi are engaged. The countdown to their divorce is already on.


60bad  troian bellisario and patirkc j adams Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

10.
Troian Bellisario and Patrick J. Adams

Pretty Little Liars and Suits will forever be linked, thanks to Troian Bellisario and Patrick J. Adams.


60bad  olivier sarkozy mary kate olsen Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

11.
Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy

Mary-Kate Olsen said yes to Olivier Sarkozy in late February. Hooray for this couple!


60bad  celebrities who got engaged in 2014 katherine webb and aj mccarron Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

12.
Katherine Webb and AJ McCarron

Katherine Webb and AJ McCarron are moving from the football field to the wedding aisle.


60bad  haylie duff and matt rosenberg Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

13.
Haylie Duff and Matt Rosenberg

Haylie Duff and Matt Rosenberg are engaged! We send our best wishes to this couple.


60bad  debbie rowe and marc schaffel Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

14.
Debbie Rowe and Marc Schaffel

Debbie Rowe is going to get married to Marc Schaffel. Congratulations!


d3bb7  jenny mccarthy and donnie wahlberg pic Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

15.
Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg

Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg agreed to marry in April. They look so happy together.


d3bb7  jill duggar derick dillard Christina Aguilera Baby Bump Photo: Baby Loves NYC!

16.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard

“I feel like I’m dreaming,” Derick Dillard said of his engagement to Jill Duggar. “It was great to grab her hand for the first time.”


[via thehollywoodgossip]

The Origins of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Magic Realism

It’s often said that the works of Colombian novelist and short-story writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez are quintessential examples of “magic realism”: fiction that integrates elements of fantasy into otherwise realistic settings. In his 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, which ambles through a century in the lives of one family in the enchanted Latin American hamlet of Macondo, magic carpets fly, ghosts haunt villagers, and trickles of blood from a killing climb stairs and turn corners to find the victim’s mother in her kitchen.

When Garcia Marquez, who died today at age 87, spoke to William Kennedy in an extensive interview published in the January 1973 issue of The Atlantic, he explained why he and other Latin American authors chose to weave fantastical details into their stories:

In Leaf Storm, the old doctor sits down to a pretentious, bourgeois dinner and startles everybody by saying to a servant: “Look, miss, just start boiling a little grass and bring that to me as if it were soup.” “What kind of grass, doctor?” the servant asks. “Ordinary grass, ma’am,” the doctor says. “The kind that donkeys eat.”

Surreal? Not to García. “A man said that in my house,” he said.

He believes that Faulkner differs from him on this matter in that Faulkner’s outlandishness is disguised as reality.

“Faulkner was surprised at certain things that happened in life,” García said, ‘but he writes of them not as surprises but as things that happen every day.”

García feels less surprised. “In Mexico,” he says, “surrealism runs through the streets. Surrealism comes from the reality of Latin America.”

About two weeks before he talked, a newsman had called to ask García for his reaction to an occurrence in a rural Colombian town. About ten in the morning at a small school, two men pulled up in a truck and said, “We came for the furniture.” Nobody knew anything about them, but the schoolmaster nodded, the furniture was loaded onto the truck and driven off, and only much later was it understood that the truckmen were thieves.

“Normal,” says García.

“One day in Barcelona,” he continued, “my wife and I were asleep and the doorbell rings. I open the door and a man says to me, ‘I came to fix the ironing cord.’ My wife, from the bed, says, ‘We don’t have anything wrong with the iron here.’ The man asks, ‘Is this apartment two?’ ‘No,’ I say, ‘upstairs.’ Later, my wife went to the iron and plugged it in and it burned up. This was a reversal. The man came before we knew it had to be fixed. This type of thing happens all the time. My wife has already forgotten it.”

García likes the principles of surrealism but not the surrealists themselves. Given a choice, he prefers the painters to the poets, but he does not think of himself as being like any of them. And it is true that his work is based more in the anecdote than in the symbolic or random flow of events so important to the surrealists; true also that his aim is to be accessible, not obscure. And yet, a surreal quality, a rendering of the improbable and impossible as real, pervades his work.

In 1982, Garcia Marquez won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and three years later, he published the widely acclaimed novel Love in the Time of Cholera.

Read Kennedy’s full interview with Gabriel Garcia Marquez here.

mf The Origins of Gabriel Garcia Marquezs Magic Realism


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[via theatlantic]