Sign Of The Apocalypse: Mass Child Lead Poisoning

For nearly two decades, Sports Illustrated has stirred the tea leaves to discern a weekly Sign of the Apocalypse. Deadspin salutes the magazine's ongoing effort to cover the end of times but declines to cede the scoop on the biggest event in world history.

Here's SI's Sign of the Apocalypse this week:

A Chinese hospital used a photo of former world-record hurdler and national hero Liu Xiang crumpled on the track after he crashed into the first hurdle at the London Olympics-accompanied by the words "Falling immediately after the start! … men's unspeakable agony"-to promote a cure for male sexual dysfunction.

Ah yes, the ol' erectile dysfunction hurdler cross-promotion. If that doesn't get you stocking your reinforced root cellar with iodine and Spam, you must not believe in a hell. Deadspin could pile other potential signs onto your now-terrible day. After all, this was the week that a third-string Ohio State quarterback tweeted that "we ain't come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS," and the Oakland A's came back from the dead to win the AL West and an outgoing ESPN Radio host confirmed our darkest fears about the Worldwide Leader: "I was told specifically, 'You can't talk enough Tebow.'"

Instead, Deadspin's choosing this as our Sign of the Apocalypse:

More than 400 children have died while others have suffered permanent physical and mental harm in illegal Nigerian gold mines that expose children to lead dust, in what Doctors Without Borders has labeled among the world's worst recent cases of environmental lead poisoning.


In Nigerian Gold Rush, Lead Poisons Thousands Of Children [NPR]