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Most of those children who died before the sixties died from childhood diseases and not playground accidents. The over protected parents of today, who have grown up with the protection of vaccinations, are refusing to vaccinate their children to protect them.

Mike Peterson

Interesting point. Maybe they're trying to even the odds.


In the early 80's Walter Scott's Personality Parade published my favorite question ever, to the effect of "How does Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau get away with making fun of US politicians in Doonesbury?"

Mike Peterson

Something to do with the Rolling Stones, yes?


I stopped reading Walter Scott's Personality Parade when someone wrote in and questioned whether X or Y starred in a silent movie, and Walter said records were scarce and that he couldn't find the information. I went to IMDB.com and the found the answer in about 10 seconds.


High child mortality rates are also behind the other strip in that juxtaposition. "Life expectancy was only 35 way back then" is what you typically hear... but that's life expectancy from birth in a type when a large part of the population never got to 5. That drags the average down to the point where it's completely unrepresentative of what people think. They think "average = typical", but someone in their early 30s back then wasn't expecting to die anytime soon... they were expecting to live another 25-30 years at least.

Mike Peterson

Good point, Brent. I walk through an old cemetery regularly and there aren't a lot of 30 and 40 year olds there - if you cleared 20, you were likely to make 60 or even 80.

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