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David Hahn
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    (October 30, 1976-September 27, 2016)
    Born in Commerce Township, Michigan
    Tried to build a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard shed at age 17 (1994)
    Subject of the book 'The Radioactive Boy Scout' (2004)
    Although his backyard reactor never went critical, it released a potentially toxic amount of radiation, about 1,000 times normal background radiation.
    He turned his mother's property into an EPA Superfund site.
    He joined the Navy in hopes of pursuing a career as a nuclear specialist, but was not even permitted to tour his ship's reactors.
    He consistently refused medical evaluations for radiation exposure.
    He was arrested for allegedly stealing 16 smoke detectors, possibly to extract radioactive materials (August 1, 2007).
    In his mugshot, his face is covered with sores, apparently from exposure to radiation.
    As part of his quest to collect samples of every element in the periodic table, he showed ingenuity in obtaining the radioactive elements from household products, such as americium from smoke detectors, thorium from camping lantern mantles and radium from clocks.
    He earned a merit badge in Atomic Energy and attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
    After his tour in the Navy, he enlisted as a Marine.
    He definitively proved that comic books are lying when they suggest radiation will give you superpowers.
    Fittingly, he shares a last name with fission pioneer Otto Hahn.

Credit: C. Fishel

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