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CODA — 8/10

A kind and touching coming of age story which gives some insight into the life of deaf people. Good music, great acting, and very lively characters.

A Slow, Significant Win for the Planet: Leaded Gas Finally Eliminated Worldwide

Leaded gas, one of our species’ great pollutants, is no longer made or used.

The last country which sold leaded gasoline, Algeria, ceased to do so this month, 41 years after the first country—Japan—made the decision.

It was in the early days of the automobile’s ascension that gasoline producers began to add different chemicals to prevent damage to the interiors of their engines. Lead quickly began to represent the superior choice, which over the next 80 years was shot out through the exhaust pipes of cars around the world.

U.S. researchers were already certain of lead’s toxic effects by the time the EPA was created in 1973, at which time the U.S. began a 25-year phase out. Japan only needed seven years following those initial reports to ban leaded gas, with Austria, Canada, Slovakia, Denmark, and Sweden following shortly after. The U.S. and UK finally removed leaded gas in the late ’90s, after which most countries followed.

“The elimination of lead from gas is one of the great environmental achievements of all time,” Carol Browner, administrator of the EPA during the year 1996 said. “Thousands of tons of lead have been removed from the air, and blood levels of lead in our children are down 70 percent. This means that millions of children will be spared the painful consequences of lead poisoning, such as permanent nerve damage, anemia or mental retardation.”

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Indeed the global ban is projected to prevent 1.2 million premature deaths worldwide, and save a total of $2.4 trillion in medical costs for treating lead poisoning, which can damage pretty much every major system in the human body.

A detailed summary of the leaded-gas story, published by National Geographic, claims it took 10 years after the turn of the millennium to convince 107 countries to ban it, but 10 more years to convince the holdouts. By 2016, only the war-ravaged nations of Iraq and Yemen, and the last major exporter, Algeria, were left.

“The successful enforcement of the ban on leaded petrol is a huge milestone for global health and our environment,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN environment program.

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“Overcoming a century of deaths and illnesses that affected hundreds of millions and degraded the environment worldwide, we are invigorated to change humanity’s trajectory for the better through an accelerated transition to clean vehicles and electric mobility.”

REV UP the Hope—Share This Story Worldwide…

Free Guy — 8/10

This is a perfect mix of goofiness, action, romance, justice, and cultural references. The plot is intriguing and believable, the chemistries are great, the characters realistic. Comedy gold, really! Just think of a full-body mustache!

Luca — 8/10

A kind, funny and creative story of a boy following his dream and finding new friends along the way. Superb animation, good jokes, scenic background, and the end happier than expected. The supporting characters like the Granma are great, but Machiavelli the cat won my heart!

Gifted — 7/10

A heartfelt story about a man thrusted into parenthood and trying to navigate between seemingly obvious choices about a future of a mathematical prodigy girl. He knows for certain that not all sacrifices are worth the good that’s expected of them, but some people strongly disagree. The young girl’s acting is impeccable, she’s charming and totally believable.

End of the line for Uber

– Cory Doctorow on Uber’s probable demise. The saddest thing about Uber (and Airbnb) is they *could* have been good ideas if they actually were about real people’s spare capacity meeting some genuine excess demand. But (perhaps inevitably) they turned into hideous Silicon Valley monsters.
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