A “Singing Gay Sailor” Is Scaring Russian Submarines Away From Sweden’s Coast

Best:

A hospital in California cut its rate of elective and unnecessary Caesarean sections pretty dramatically (as hospital procedures go) by making data about how many of what type of births each doctor performed available to other doctors, incentivizing nurses to help women use techniques to speed up labor, giving pregnant women easy-to-understand information about the risks of Caesarean sections, and working with an insurer to make sure that the hospital didn’t make a larger profit from C-sections than from vaginal birth – among a great many other things. The hospital has seen better health outcomes for women and for babies, and lowered expense, and is now a model for other hospitals looking to do the same. [The Atlantic]

Worst:

Since Texas lawmakers cut the state’s spending on family planning in 2011, over one-half of women have faced barriers to their access to reproductive health care – including prohibitive transportation time, discomfort with service providers, inability to pay, and insurance issues. Legislators have been trying to find ways to provide better healthcare to women, but are cautious of the problems that might be caused by another round of changes. [Texas Tribune]

Weirdest:

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society has lowered a sonar device into the Baltic sea that transmits in Morse code the following message: “This way if you are gay.” It’s meant to scare off Russian submarines, and it also features a neon outline of a sailor dressed only in his undies, hips gyrating over text that reads “Welcome to Sweden – Gay Since 1944” (the year homosexuality was decriminalized in Sweden). It’s definitely a creative tactic, I’ll give them that. [RawStory]

Coolest:

Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier is getting all kinds of well-deserved accolades for her documentary/performance series, The Notion of Family, about the three generations of her family that have lived through Braddock, PA’s evolution from a thriving rust belt city, through white flight, and into the drug wars. Frazier’s work challenges the idea that disenfranchised people are objects and subjects for storytelling, but not storytellers. [NPR]

[Image via RawStory]