Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Power cut causes 'baby boom'

Oct 29, 2008

THE HAGUE - A SMALL Dutch community has recorded a 44 per cent rise in baby births nine months after a power cut plunged its 23,000 inhabitants into darkness for two days, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

In December last year, the blades of an Apache helicopter accidentally severed the high voltage cables providing electricity to the nine villages that make up the municipality of Maasdriel in the east of the country.

During the ensuing 50 hours of darkness, many inhabitants sought mid-winter hospitality in other towns, 'but some found heat among themselves,' town spokesman Annelies van Eijkeren told AFP.

There were 26 babies born in Maasdriel in September - a 44 per cent rise on last year's 18, she added.

While authorities may want to boost the population, 'we are not envisaging doing so by cutting the power', said Ms Van Eijkeren. -- AFP

[This phenomenon is already well-documented. There are of course 2 lessons to be learnt from this. One is less distractions at night could mean more attraction between couples. The second lesson may explain why poor families have more kids. No electricity, or no TV, or no radio/music means less distractions and more interaction leading to more babies. So perhaps it makes more sense to provide cheap electricity to the poor to help control their "growth"?]

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