Here Comes the Stork: San Francisco Voted Best U.S. City to Have a Baby

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Shutterstock/ Elena Stepanova

It only makes sense that the people voted most attractive in the U.S. would also produce the happiest and healthiest babies in the country, right?

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Tattered Teddies: Q&A with Photographer Mark Nixon on Much Loved's Stuffed Companions Loved to Pieces

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All Images Courtesy of Mark Nixon
Ted (left) belongs to Helen Lyons and is 24. Patsy, 7, belongs to Tom McLoughlin and his son.

They have been with us through it all. They protected us from monsters under the bed and cuddled with us when we were afraid of thunderstorms. They were our best friend and we vowed that nothing would ever separate us.

We are, of course, talking about our teddy bears and other stuffed companions, that over the years, dealt with our abuses of love and affection as we navigated the journey of growing up and discovering the world and ourselves. But what happened to them?

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If your teddy is currently in storage at your parents' house, you may feel like digging him (or her) out after seeing the new book from Irish photographer Mark Nixon. As the photographer himself states, these childhood friends have been "loved to bits."

Nixon's Much Loved, released last month through Abrams Image Publishing, displays tattered teddies with a small story about them. The 65 portraits illicit a wide form of reactions from euphoric awing to scoffing and squirming disgust. The ages of the teddy bears range from a few months to some being decades old (the oldest is about 104 years old). There are even celebrity bears belonging to the likes of U2's Bono and Irish radio personality Gerry Ryan.

SF Weekly had the chance to talk with Nixon, who lives in Dublin, about his inspiration of the project, deep, metaphorical interpretations of these images, and the entire culture and childhood importance of the teddy bear. Scroll through the interview to see a sampling of the photos.

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Top 10 Halloween Pet Costumes of 2013

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SpiritHalloween.com
This year's pet costumes are out of this galaxy in cuteness!
While dressing up humans for this time of year can prove to be either spooky or silly, our companions in the animal kingdom can get away with almost anything. From being able to pull off looks so deliciously edible to our favorite films and music stars, these looks may look trite on us, but go to a whole other level of cuteness once our four-legged friends strut their stuff. So take a look and be prepared: Can you get through this post without saying "awwwww" or "ERMAGAWD?"

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Nothing Says I Love San Francisco More Than a Hashtag

Categories: Art, Aww

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@robertmurray
Sophisticated dogs

As if San Francisco needs more of an ego boost. The city that consistently ranks as the best in America now has another platform to show off just how awesome it really is -- you know -- just in case someone needs reminding.

More: San Francisco is Voted the Best

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It Gets Batter: Teen Comes Out to Parents with a Cake

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via Tumblr

In perhaps the most adorable coming out story ever, 15-year-old Laurel (and Ellen DeGeneres fan) decided to tell her parents she's gay with a cake and a pun-filled note.

Here's the full note, in all its gratuitous pun glory:

See Also: 10 Reasons You Should Come Out of the Closet

Video of the Day: The Onion Mocks Jodie Foster's Quazi-Coming Out Speech

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