Enticing Pregnant Women With ‘Baby Pictures’


This tickles my happy bone, if there is such a thing. A clever way to draw women to prenatal care and serve a larger public health purpose (including preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV): tapping into expectant moms’ desire to “see” their developing baby.

From the New York Times (by Donald G. McNeil, Jr., published 11/10/17):

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Suspense in Kenya’s 2017 Election Re-run

This is a brief update on the the status of Kenya’s presidential election re-run, which is scheduled for Thursday, October 26. 

Here are two main facts to know, followed by a little more background information. 

  • Yesterday, Oct. 23, the International Crisis Group issued a brief calling on the Supreme Court to delay the election for at least 30 days.
  • Today, Oct. 24, the Supreme Court announced it will hold a hearing about the election. It will do so tomorrow, the day before the scheduled national vote.

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Personal Reflections on Charlottesville

This post was written for Small Stones. -E

Resist! Protesting the Ku Klux Klan. Credit: Ézé Amos

In another part of my life, I run a newsletter of social justice events. There’s a joint Jewish-Muslim event coming up, and yesterday I received an email that began,

“The Palo Alto Police Department recommends not putting it on social media, so we are refraining from that.”

My first reaction was, “Let’s advertise it! Bring on the white supremacists! Let them show their faces.” I’m not going to do that, but part of me wants to.

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Run-Up to Kenya’s Election 2017

Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Director, Chris Msando, addresses a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, July 6, 2017. Msando was murdered a few days ago. Photo by Thomas Mukoya. Original here.

Kenya votes for a new President next week.* Elections are contentious in Kenya. My abrupt departure from field research in December 2008, after a scary evening listening to gunshots, was related to the presidential election later in the month.

The 2008 election was followed by 1,000+ deaths and an ethnic “unmixing” of the country, in which ~600,000 people move more or less permanently to areas where their own ethnic group is in the majority. Basically, when ethnic identity becomes salient (in this case, via the move to murder folks simply for being the “wrong” ethnicity), people feel they have to be with “their own kind” in order to be physically safe.

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Election 2016 and My Grandmother

 Eva Kaye-Zwiebel is a co-founder of Small Stones. In June she attended a Voice of Witness oral history workshop, where she talked about the 2016 presidential election against the background of her grandmother’s life. She told this story in an interview, which we’ve edited to create a first person narrative. This post originally appeared on Small Stones on July 14, 2017.

Eva on Nov. 8, 2016 after casting her vote.

My brother was at my house on Election Day, November 8, 2016, when a giant box arrived from my cousin Nancy. I looked at it and thought, “What the heck is this?” As we were opening it, I remembered Nancy had told me she had the steamer trunk Manna used to move from Germany to the United States. I’d said Nancy could send it to me.

Manna was my grandmother. Her name was Marianne, German for Mary Ann. When she was little she called herself ‘Manna’ because she couldn’t pronounce her own name, and that became the family variation on grandma.

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Acknowledging History

Original image at
Bald cypress trees along the Bayou Coquille Trail at the Barataria Preserve. Credit: National Park Service.

On Friday, May 19, Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans gave a speech marking the removal of Confederate leaders’ statues from prominent city sites. His words strike me as the sort of thoughtful, nuanced words of persuasion that the United States needs. I’m not a Southerner, but I hope I could ‘take in’ analogous words on the issues where I have blind spots. 

The text of Mayor Landrieu’s speech, below, is from the Times-Picayune newspaper’s website.

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Waltzing Mathilda

I leave tomorrow for a two-week vacation. I’ll visit my brother and sister-in-law in London, then meet up with cousins at Heathrow for a trip to Australia. I’m going along  as a “mother’s helper” because they have four little girls: aged 10, 7, and three-year-old twins. 

Eva and Hazel, 2008

The eldest of the girls was my “first baby”: she and her family live in Cambridge and I was a regular visitor when my now-husband was doing a postdoc there. Now, her baby sisters are older than she was at the time!

In “Oz”, we’re headed near Brisbane, where the girls’ father is an invitee at the Woodford Planting Festival. Then we’re off to the Sunshine Coast outside of Noosa.

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Say It Ain’t So, Joe

Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is supposed to leave office today, but he has refused to hold elections and seems intent on staying put. This article in African Arguments, by two researchers at The International Crisis Group, looks at the country’s difficult economic state, which ICG calls both a cause and consequence of political instability.

N.B. My dissertation advisor would yell about putting a single variable on both sides of the equation.