The world's greatest accidental murderer

Well at least your mistake didn’t kill millions of people and fill their bones with lead and their skin with UV rays.


There is a very interesting series (ten parts) by Jamie Kitman, A Brief History Of Gasoline, on Jalopnik.
A lot of it is about lead-based additives.


Me too.
But did they use forceps on you?
My mother (my mother!) used to say I was the ugliest newborn on earth.
Not that I improved much with the passing of time…

"You know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? "

You mean best LEAD plans, ammirite?

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Dear Newbrain,

I don’t think they used forceps on me, but I turned out fairly non-pretty anyway. The San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles was so smoggy then that UCLA and USC decided to do a joint longterm study of the effects of so much smog on its inhabitants. A lot of what they found is in the book Smogtown: The Lung- Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles, by Jacobs and Kelly. How I remain alive, I have no idea.

It was routine, throughout my childhood, to play whiffle ball, baseball, basketball or soccer with my friends after school, but you dropped out and went home when you couldn’t breathe: “Gotta go: smogged-out.” Basically every day, year after childhood year. Also: in junior high and high school, all us white kids HAD to be tan by May 1st, or you were a loser or something. So: tons of sunburns, skin damage, with melanoma practically a slam-dunk for my future. Why did we have to be tan? I suspect we were all brain-damaged from the lead in the air.


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It is very difficult to defend yourself against a pair of steel tongs.


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