We Once Allowed Radiation in Some Terrifyingly Normal Places

Radiation is one of those things we hope stays buried under tons of concrete in the middle of Russia somewhere, but it wasn't always that way. When nuclear power was still new and exciting, companies made a bundle selling mundane objects inundated with radiation, like something you'd see at Spencer's Gifts today, only slightly more deadly. For a reasonable price, you could own an irradiated golf ball -- the deformation is a feature, not a bug.

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These balls, made in the 1960s, contained Colbalt-60 and promised "longer drives ... longer lives." Somehow, we doubt both of those statements. Next up: nuclear pacemakers!


That's like a concept for a Golden Age comic book character: An old guy gets a pacemaker fueled by plutonium and gains superpowers! In real life, of course, they just gained a regular pacemaker, maybe with a free side of cancer. The patient would be exposed to around 0.1 rem of radiation per year, with 1 rem bringing about a 0.05 percent chance of cancer. Those aren't bad odds, but when you already need a pacemaker, why stack things against yourself?

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As recently as the early 2000s, there were between 50 and 100 people still walking around with plutonium-238 mere centimeters from their hearts. Luckily, they've yet bump into each other and blow up any cities.

Just get some normal golf balls. Nike golf balls are pretty solid and, well, not radioactive.

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