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Darwin Awards

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  • Paul DEVER
    THE DARWIN AWARDS salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally kill themselves in reallystupid ways.
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 2, 2000
      THE DARWIN AWARDS salute the improvement of the human genome
      by honoring those who accidentally kill themselves in reallystupid ways.
      #=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#CHUTE BOY
      2000 Darwin Award Nominee -- Confirmed True by Darwin
      (14 July 2000, Canada) It was a dare that Sheldon, 25, will
      literally never take again. He and a group of friends found
      themselves at a Calgary apartment after an evening spent
      at a local bar. It was there that a joking challenge was
      issued. "Who wants to ride the in-house water slide?"
      The slide was actually a garbage chute. Sheldon volunteered,
      tumbled into the opening, and his subsequent headlong slide
      beat the standard elevator service down to the first floor.
      An unforgiving trash compactor awaited his arrival, and
      friends administered CPR there until emergency crews arrived
      at the scene. But they were too late. The 12-story fall
      had already dispatched Sheldon to his Darwinian demise.
      2000 Darwin Awards Nominee -- Confirmed True by Darwin
      (2000, Colorado) Summer is the most blissful of seasons,
      when our favorite summertime activity -- do it yourself
      stupidity -- kicks into high gear. Meet Charles, 34, a
      Denver masonry contractor who created brick and mortar
      edifices. Charles was in construction. He had worked on
      houses, he had watched electricians install wiring. He
      believed this qualified him as a member of the Junior
      Electrician Society. He figured he could handle any
      electrical issue that came up around his own home.
      One day on the job, Charles was apparently bonked in the
      head by his bricks. He had the great idea! He would build
      an electric fence in his own backyard. "An electric fence
      will keep the dogs in." Charles connected a wire to an
      extension cord, and managed to encircle his backyard with
      a 120-V strand of wire without mishap. His dogs will not be
      sued for puppy support with this security system in place!
      The household became accustomed to the fence, and things
      settled down to normal, until Charles picked up a passion
      for gardening. Charles had a real nice set of tomatoes,
      and I'm not referring to his wife. One day he reached for
      a tomato, put his hand on the electrified wire, and there's
      really no need to explain what happened next.
      Why did this man die? Like other inexperienced people, he
      thought he knew what he was doing. But his design had two
      major flaws. Fences constructed for dogs use one-tenth the
      voltage of cattle fences (which do use 120 volts.) And he
      needed to install a repeater, which transmits 150-microsec
      pulses, to hit a cow with a jolt of juice that cuts off in
      time to avoid creating a pile of rare steaks by the fence.
      VOTE on this Darwin Award:
      CESIUM INITIATIVE (SIEZING THE INITIATIVE)Personal Account -- Unconfirmed
      (New York) Stewart had always been interested in science.
      During a demonstration at his high school, Stewart saw that
      the elements lithium, sodium, and potassium all react with
      water. While assessing the periodic table, he noticed they
      were all in the same row, and became more reactive as they
      increased in mass. The last naturally occurring element in
      that column was cesium, an extremely reactive metal that
      catastrophically explodes in contact with water.
      Stewart used most of his money to buy a small amount of
      cesium, just 10 grams or enough to blow up a city block,
      from eBay with the help of his father and a credit card.
      When the ampoule of cesium arrived, he took it for a boat
      ride. After cracking the vacuum-sealed glass container,
      he threw the cesium out into Lake Erie...and was never seen again.
      One can only assume that he was instantly blown to smithereens
      by the chemical reaction. People heard the blast on the
      coast 5 miles away. Perhaps he should have opted for
      a less reactive metal, and only blown up a few fish.
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    • Paul DEVER
      Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it in really stupid ways.-------------------- DARWIN AWARD: RUNAWAY
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 21, 2000
        Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool
        by removing themselves from it in really stupid ways.--------------------
        DARWIN AWARD: RUNAWAY BRIDGEUnconfirmed Nominee
        (1 July 2000, New Mexico) Two young men driving a dark-blue
        two-door vehicle removed a barricade festooned with numerous
        warning signs indicating bridge closure, drove past several
        heavy construction vehicles, and launched themselves off the
        end of a demolished bridge in Albuquerque on Saturday. The
        car careened off the roadbed and plunged 30 feet before
        burying its front end in a dirt embankment at the junction
        of I-25 and I-40. The young men were taken into police
        custody unharmed. A spokesman for the state Highway and
        Transportation Department isued a public plea for common
        sense. "Don't go through those barricades. Find another
        route. It's the only safe thing to do." The seat belt law
        is strictly enforced in New Mexico, but unfortunately there
        is no law against stupidity. Has anybody seen the bridge?
        Where's that confounded bridge. -Led Zeppelin
        www.DarwinAwards.com Copyright 1997 - 2000--------------------
        MORE DARWIN AWARDS:OSTRICH SAFETY -- Don't try a menage-a-trois with an
        EXTENSIBLE ALUMINUM STAVE - Survey chainmen having fun
        INSTANT RELIEF OF NAUSEA - Better than any drug
        DARWIN AWARD: 3 CLOWNS ON SCOOTERUnconfirmed Nominee
        (24 June 2000, Shizuoka, Japan) 50cc scooters are a common
        site on Japan's busy streets. They are meant for one rider
        and one rider alone. There is a law against riding double
        and violators of this law are subject to a fine. Whether it
        was an attempt to avoid the law, save transportation costs,
        or just a show of bravado, three fifteen year old boys
        decided to ride triple -- yes, triple -- on a scooter. Their
        ability to accomplish this feat on a small scooter proves
        that what they lacked in intelligence they more than made
        up for in dexterity and adventurous spirit. Not one of them
        possessed a license to drive any vehicle whatsoever, nor did
        any have the sense to wear a helmet, gloves or any form
        of protective riding gear.A fifty-two year old driver quickly ended the
        boys' adventure with the front end of his car. A moment later
        the boys were airborne at roughly the same speed they were
        traveling on the scooter, which can reach speeds in excess
        of 50km per hour. Two of the boys flew into oncoming traffic
        and were run over by not one but two consecutive cars. All
        three suffered severe trauma and were pronounced 'Darwin
        eligible candidates' at the scene of the accident.
        The police had trouble determining which one of the boys
        was in control of the scooter at the time of the fatal
        crash, but we all know that it was the Hands of Stupidity
        placed firmly on the handlebars and throttle.
        www.DarwinAwards.com Copyright 1997 - 2000

        MORE DARWIN AWARDS:CONCRETE CYLINDER ROLL - more fun than a barrel of
        monkeys http://DarwinAwards.com/darwin/darwin2000-33.html?0008
        POP LIKE A GRAPE - Things your head should never do
        HUMAN POPSICLE - Californians at risk in the snow.
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      • Paul DEVER
        IT S TIME FOR THE 2000 DARWIN AWARD NOMINEES! THE DARWIN AWARDS celebrate those who improve our species the most by eliminating themselves from the gene pool
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 9, 2000

          THE DARWIN AWARDS celebrate those who improve our species the most by
          eliminating themselves from the gene pool in really stupid ways.

          Entries in this short list of 2000 Nominees are confirmed by Darwin, and the
          current score is shown next to each story. Cast your vote!

          MOSCOW MARAUDER (4.0/10) A man who threatened to "deal with" his wife and
          her lover blew himself up with a home-made bomb in September when the device
          the man was attaching to the door of their not-so-secret apartment boudoir
          exploded in his hands.

          THROWING STONES (4.4/10) A Middle East protestor standing in the road
          throwing stones at oncoming cars died when a driver tried to swerve away
          from the stones, but lost control of his car and careened across the road,
          injuring the driver and killing the assailant.

          TIRED OF IT ALL (4.6/10) An experienced thief sneaked onto the lot of the
          Buckeye Ford Dealership in London, Ohio, intending to steal tires from the
          new cars. But his expertise failed him when the vehicle he had jacked up
          slipped and fell, landing squarely on his chest.

          PERILOUS POSE (4.6/10) A 53-year-old tourist posing nude for his camera
          in picturesque Rothemberg, Germany, slipped from the stone wall while
          preparing for the shot, and fell sixteen feet to his death.

          DUCT TAPE (4.7/10) A misplaced faith in the miracle of duct tape led
          to the demise of a man boating on the Columbia River when his 12-foot
          aluminum dinghy, held together with duct tape repairs, capsized during
          a fishing trip.

          PASSIONATE PLUNGE (5.0/10) A man with the unlikely ambition to jump off
          every river bridge in Norwich ended his athletic career with a deadly
          seventy foot leap into three feet of water in April. Emergency workers
          were unable to resuscitate the man, who was said to possess "a strange
          and unusual passion for jumping into rivers."

          KISS OF DEATH (5.0/10) A 36-year-old biochemist who attended a farewell
          performance of the legendary rock band KISS climbed a 7-foot wall to gain
          a better view of the stage--only to mistake a curtain for a solid wall,
          and plunge to his death on an escalator 100 feet below.

          STONED SLEEP (5.5/10) A North Carolina woman who had been smoking
          marijuana learned a hard lesson about drugs when she decided to sleep
          on the roof of the King Charles Inn. Sound asleep, she slid off the roof
          and fell to her death shortly before dawn. When police arrived at the
          scene, her stoned boyfriend was found still sleeping on the roof.

          HORNET CHALLENGE (5.8/10) A 53-year-old man with a reputation as a �strong
          man� accepted a dare to stand beneath a hornets� nest in Phnom Penh, while
          two men pelted it with stones. He endured the pain of countless stinging
          hornets before expiring from the toxic injections.

          TWO-AVALANCHE ALASKAN (5.8/10) A 43-year-old Fairbanks man attempting to
          highmark the mountains in his snowmobile died in an avalanche in Fairbanks
          Alaska in April. It was the second snowmobile-induced avalanche he had
          been caught in that day, and he had already been warned by authorities
          to stop highmarking in the dangerous snow conditions.

          BABY DRIVE ME CRAZY (5.9/10) The bodies of a young couple were discovered
          naked in the wreckage of a freak car accident in Italy in May.
          Investigators assume that prior to the accident, the couple was having sex
          in their small Italian vehicle while it raced along windy roads at upwards
          of 80mph.

          RUNNING OF THE BULLS (5.9/10) A Berlin woman attempting to capture a
          memorable photograph of the Running Bulls in the southern town of Nimes
          paid for her stupidity with her life on Sunday. The 68-year-old
          photographer removed a metal safety barricade and strode into the street
          with her camera to her eye, where she was trampled by a horse and six
          rampaging bulls.

          RAPPIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR (6.1/10) Artists sometimes bleed for their work,
          but usually not literally. A gangster-rap video artist changed all that
          when he put a gun to his head and shot himself through the temple while
          the cameras rolled, accidentally putting an end to his creative efforts.

          OUT WITH A BANG! (6.2/10) Heating air in a sealed container such as
          a truck tire causes the gas to expand and the pressure to increase.
          A mechanic at a tire store in Georgia learned this lesson in physics
          the hard way when an inflated tire he and was welding exploded,
          spewing shrapnel and killing him instantly.

          WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE (6.3/10) A Kentucky man died after he and his friend
          decided to reenact the William Tell scene where the famous archer is
          forced to shoot an apple off his son's head. They used a beer can instead
          of an apple, and their aim was not as accurate as the legendary archer.

          HUMAN HITCHING POST (6.3/10) A 29-year-old woman was killed in Nevada when
          she attempted to quell the temper of her spirited Arabian horse by tying
          herself to its head. The excitable animal spooked and dragged her around
          the paddock, trampling her beneath its hooves.

          SHOCKING FALL (6.8/10) 26-year-old man earned a place in history as the
          first person to die celebrating the millennium. Minutes before midnight,
          the Stanford graduate climbed to the top of a street light in front of
          the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and waved to the enthusiastic revelers below.
          At midnight he slipped and, in an effort to break his fall, grabbed the
          electric wires and found himself conducting more than a cheering crowd.

          DO IT YOURSELF: DO YOURSELF IN (6.8/10) A 34-year-old Colorado contractor
          wired his garden fence with household current in an attempt to keep his
          dog confined to the yard. He electrocuted himself when he inadvertently
          brushed the fence while reaching for a ripe tomato.

          FIREWORKS FIASCO (7.1/10) People routinely lose fingers and eyes in
          fireworks explosions during America�s Independence Day celebration, and
          the bigger the fireworks, the greater the damage. A 34-year-old man
          suffered partial decapitation when he peered into the mouth of a launching
          tube containing what he incorrectly assumed was a malfunctioning aerial
          firework. It exploded, producing a spectacular grand finale for both his
          head and the party.

          HUMAN POPSICLE (7.3/10) Ohio police located the body of a missing truck
          driver in January after his employer reported him missing in action. The
          man was found frozen head down among the broccoli pallets, where he had
          apparently slipped while trying to retrieve a hidden stash of cocaine,

          THE DAILY GRIND (7.7/10) The owner of a chipping company in Maine was rent
          asunder by his own wood chipper when he stumbled into the intake while
          trying to break up a bark jam without first disconnecting the power.

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        • Paul DEVER
          The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally kill themselves in really stupid ways. (Confirmed True by
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 30, 2001
            The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring
            those who accidentally kill themselves in really stupid ways.

            (Confirmed True by Darwin) "Goll-ee you wouldn't believe how I almost killed
            myself today. I was scrubbing my toilets to get the hard water stain out,
            but the normal scrub-a-dub stuff from the store wasn't working, so I poured
            a bunch of bleach in the toilet and let it soak. I do that on occasion if
            the rust stain is bad, and never had a problem. Time passed and I had to get
            moving. I took off my clothes and was ready to jump in the shower but first
            I used the bathroom. Suddenly I am getting totally fumed out in the enclosed
            bathroom space. Duh! Urine has ammonia in it and ammonia and bleach aren't
            exactly the best mix... I'm turning on the fan, flushing the toilet, running
            to open the door, and all I could think about was how this is exactly how I
            DO NOT want to go. I can see the headlines now; "Dead woman found naked on
            her toilet, overcome by fatal pee fumes." As much as I hate to admit it, you
            have the village idiot for a sister."
            (21 July 2001, Idaho) When his brakes failed while driving down a steep
            mountain road, Marco bailed out on his eight passengers and leapt from his
            Dodge van. Too bad Marco didn't alert the other passengers to the problem
            before he took flight so precipitously. Another passenger was able to bring
            the vehicle to a stop a short distance away. Marco struck his head on the
            pavement and died at the scene. No one else was injured.
            (12 December 1998, Canada) A man crushed beneath a vending machine while
            trying to shake loose a free soda? If you thought it happened only in Urban
            Legends, you're wrong!
            Kevin Mackle, a 19-year-old Quebec student, killed himself at Bishop's
            University while shaking a 420-kilogram Coke machine. He had been
            celebrating the end of final exams with friends. He died beneath the soda
            machine, asphyxiated, with a blood alcohol level slightly over the legal
            driving limit.

            His last act was committed in vain. "Even as it fell over, the vending
            machine did not let out a single can," the coroner reported. Soda-holics
            take note! The report also states that toppled vending machines have caused
            at least 35 deaths and 140 injuries in the last twenty years.

            For those with questioning minds, I refer you to a website dedicated to the
            quest to clear Kevin's name. His family questions the official version on
            their cokemachineaccidents.com website, and recently sued Coca-Cola, two
            related companies, and Bishop's University for "gross carelessness." Their
            website expose suggests several reasons why Kevin's death was not his own
            fault. Shaking coke machines "was common practice at the University."
            Furthermore they speculate that unknown persons might have crushed Kevin
            with the vending machine in a bizarre murder, as it "would be difficult for
            one person to move" the Coke machine.

            In response, a spokesperson for Coke said that Canadian machines are now
            labelled with a warning that "tipping or rocking may cause injury or death."
            They have also installed anti-theft devices in newer models to keep people
            from obtaining free drinks.


            (30 May 2001, Hillsboro, Oregon) Ismael drove his truck into a mailbox. It
            bounced off and collided with an electric power pole, flipping the Toyota
            onto its side and knocking down the power lines. Ismael climbed from the
            truck to survey the situation -- then pulled out a pair of pruning shears.
            He reached up and clipped the cable lying across his truck -- and was
            electrocuted when the shears severed the 7500-volt cable, which poked his
            rib cage, allowing the current to travel across his heart and out his left

            Ismael was found lying motionless on the power line, with a pair of pruning
            shears in his hands. His dazed passenger survived to be arrested on an
            unrelated warrant.

            (March, Delaware) Two I-95 toll collectors were involved in a friendly
            snowball fight when one reached out to scoop some snow from a passing
            tractor-trailer rig. Manning a tollbooth is not the most interesting job, so
            it's only natural that collectors would engage in some freestyle
            entertainment. But scooping snow from a moving vehicle is not the safest of
            sports. The toll collector's hand caught in the rig, and he was pulled from
            his booth and dragged to his death.
            (15 May 2001, Cairo) Two whiskey-swilling men tried to dodge their bar tab
            by downing one last drink, jumping in the Nile, and swimming for the far
            shore. One, a 27-year-old taxi driver, misjudged his ability to stay afloat.
            He drowned en route, successfully avoiding paying the $180 bill. His
            companion reached the far shore a few hundred meters away, only to be
            arrested by police who had been summoned by the shortchanged nightclub
            Next time you and your friends try to dodge a bar tab, don't drink yourself
            senseless first. You might die or, even more dreadful, be stuck with the
            entire bar tab!

            (15 April 2001, Tennessee) The day before the US tax filing deadline, a
            Memphis Darwin Award winner trying to beat a train drove around the crossing
            gates -- only to be struck by an oncoming vehicle whose driver had the same
            mad plan. The occupants of one vehicle were killed, making this monumental
            stupidity the first instance we have witnessed of a Darwin Award winner
            crashing into an Honorable Mention. The accident happened to one side of the
            tracks, so the train passed by unimpeded.
            (March 2001, Ghana) Tribal clashes are common in Northern Ghana, and people
            often resort to witchcraft in the hope of becoming invulnerable to weapons.
            Aleobiga, 23, and fifteen fellow believers purchased a potion that would
            render them invincible to bullets.

            After smearing the magical lotion over his body for two weeks, Aleobiga
            volunteered to test the spell. He stood in a clearing while his friends
            raised their weapons, aimed, fired...

            The jujuman who had supplied the defective magic was siezed and beaten for
            his failure, and Aleobiga is now roaming the great Savannah in the sky.

            (29 November 2000, Canada) A police officer who regularly lectured addiction
            counselors on the dangers of illicit drugs proved that actions speak louder
            than words when he was found dead of a heroin overdose. He had taken heroin
            and cocaine from police exhibits "without filing the proper forms" and
            apparently overdosed while experimenting with the narcotics. He
            unfortunately didn't heed the creed written on his own patrol car: "Say no
            to drugs!"
            (March 2001, Ohio) Lake Erie claimed three more victims who were hoping to
            catch a few fish but caught instead a fatal chill. "Someone noticed tracks
            leading to a hole and an ice chest floating in the water," said Deputy
            Sheriff Roger Garn.
            The three men had been driving on a thin sheet of ice surrounded by open
            patches of water, which they may have overlooked due to poor visibility
            caused by a morning snowstorm. Suddenly, to no one's surprise but theirs,
            their all-terrain vehicle plunged through the ice. Hours later divers
            rescued the bodies from 10 feet of 34-degree water.

            The winters have not been cold enough to allow ice fishing on the lake for
            at least three years, and authorities have warned the public about the
            unsafe conditions. In January 21 anglers were rescued from a patch of ice
            that broke away from shore. Yet even the recent deaths do little to deter
            fisherman. Deputy Sheriff Garn said bemusedly, "We're taking three people
            off in body bags, and (dozens) were still going out to fish."
            (1 April 2001, New York) A literary agent found himself dazed and patting
            out flames shortly after arriving at a two-alarm house fire equipped with a
            sandwich, a bullhorn, whiskey and a lawnchair. He climbed to the roof of a
            nearby house, perched on his lawnchair, and proceeded to lecture the
            startled emergency crew while enjoying his drink.
            Three firemen had just finished clearing the house, locating the residents'
            young golden retriever in the process, when they heard Frank's imperious
            command. "Drop the dog and open the hydrant this instant!"

            They turned in surprise and dropped the yelping puppy, which fell through
            the burning timbers and burst into flames. Onlookers mobbed the base of the
            heckler's house and threw cans and shrubbery at the obstreperous critic, who
            batted the projectiles aside with his bullhorn while continuing to drink
            whiskey and issue commands.

            "The north side is engaged!"
            "Position the hose along the azalea bushes!"
            "Stop picking your nose!"

            Sorely provoked, the the senior fireman, currently on administrative leave,
            picked up the dead (but still burning) dog and flung it onto the roof. The
            flaming animal landed in Frank's lap, igniting his spilled whiskey and
            severely burning his crotch.

            Frank heaved the dog off himself, but neglected to brace his feet on the
            slanted roof. The lawnchair toppled and fell from the house, miraculously
            avoiding onlookers, who watched aghast while the prostrate man suffered
            further injuries from falling embers and his own roof-top accoutrements.

            The house fire was eventually subdued, and paramedics transported the
            injured man and his loudspeaker to the hospital. Although he is recovering
            from his injuries, the prognosis is that he will never again be able to
            procreate with quite the same gusto .

            Neighbors have set up a Memorial Fund for the golden retriever. Photographs
            of the man-shaped depression in the lawn are available upon request.

            (24 February 2001, Iowa) A wealth of literature makes it abundantly clear
            that deities often intercede to protect their sanctuaries from desecration.
            In light of this knowledge, two teen-agers who planned to burgle a church
            probably should have brought along their rosaries and their crosses.

            Travis, 16, was on the roof of Grace Church in Des Moines, lowering a stolen
            generator to the ground, when his jacket became wrapped in the electrical
            cord and pulled him over the ledge to dangle precariously in the air. At
            that point he could have cut himself free with the sharp knife in his
            pocket. He could have escaped by wriggling out of his jacket. Travis,
            Inexplicably, did neither.

            The surviving thief, unaware of his friend�s plight, waited a fifteen
            minutes before leaving Travis, trapped in the freezing rain, to die of

            Next time you steal from a church, remember Travis� fate and reconsider.
            That bit of booty is not worth risking the touch of a vengeful God.

            (1 January 2001, Illinois)
            Collin and a fellow University of Illinois police officer were good friends
            who shared a disaffection for their employer. They often relaxed after work
            to gripe about policies and enjoy an unusual game they had invented to
            relieve their frustrations. They called the game "Sweet Release," "65%
            Disability," and "Million-Dollar Wound."

            On New Year's Eve, Collin's partner handed over his Glock semiautomatic
            handgun, saying, "Sweet Release." The two men had exchanged their duty
            weapons in their game on prior occasions, but this night was different.

            "I wonder if this is loaded?" With those portentous parting words, Collin
            stuck the gun in his mouth and played his final round of "Sweet Release."

            Investigators interviewed the two men and three women present during the
            fatal shooting, and all agreed that Collin was his normal, happy self, and
            did not intend to commit suicide.

            Although Collin had been drinking with friends for several hours on the
            night of the accident, his blood alcohol level at 0.09% was barely over the
            Illinois legal limit for driving. This level is high enough to dull
            reflexes, but is not sufficient to seriously impair cognitive function.

            The deceased had worked for the Charleston Police Department and the
            Champaign County sheriff's office before taking a job at the University. But
            in all his years in law enforcement, he had apparently never fully absorbed
            the cardinal rule of handling weapons, stated by investigator Jim Rein:
            "Whether civilian or police officer, the assumption [should be] that every
            weapon is loaded."

            (25 January 2001, New Mexico) Cross the street at night wearing dark
            clothing, and you court danger. Ride a push scooter down the center lane of
            a major road wearing dark clothes in the middle of the night, and you take
            your life into your hands. Ride that scooter in the dark carrying a bottle
            of Tequila Rose liqueur, and you're a Darwin Award waiting to happen.
            An unidentified 18-year-old died doing just that, when the driver of a
            pickup truck veered to avoid him and accidentally clipped him with the side
            mirror at 9pm. The unhelmeted scooter rider hit the pavement and died at the
            scene from severe head injuries.

            In an earnest display of common sense, Police Sgt. Brian McCutcheon warned
            that piloting a scooter down a street after dark is "a very bad idea" and
            "extremely unsafe."

            (16 February 2001, Florida) Karla, 32, drowned when she fell asleep at the
            wheel and drove her car into a 30-foot-deep canal. Alarmed by her
            predicament, she dialed 911 from her cell phone. The operator urged her to
            roll down her windows or open the door, but she refused. "If I do, all the
            water is going to come in!"
            If you are unlucky enough to find yourself trapped in a sinking car, it is
            essential to roll the windows down immediately so that you can escape from
            the vehicle. Once the bottom of your door is even slightly submerged, the
            water pressure makes it almost impossible to open the door until the car is
            nearly full, which equalizes the pressure.

            It takes a car up to 10 minutes to sink, depending on how well sealed the
            vehicle is, but the electrical system fails much sooner as the water
            penetrates the body and short-circuits the wires. In most cars with
            automatic windows, the motor that powers the window is located halfway up
            the car door, so you must act fast if you plan to survive.

            Karla was a strong swimmer and could have paddled to safety, if only she had
            managed to escape from her vehicle. When Karla and her 1998 BMW 328 were
            pulled from the canal, they found the keys to the ignition in her purse, and
            the left rear window entirely open.

            Student Dies in Trash Bin Prank
            (1 March 2000, New Zealand) Baldwin Street in Dunedin is listed as the
            steepest in the world in The Guinness Book of World Records, and it was at
            the top of this 38-degree incline that Ana and her friend hatched a plan for
            a midnight downhill slide. The two university students dragged a two-wheeled
            rubbish bin up the street, climbed in, shoved off, and down they went in
            their makeshift sleigh.

            As they hurtled pell-mell down Baldwin Street in the wee hours of the
            morning, residents described being awakened by "a hell of a racket" which
            went on for some time before ending with a sickening crash. Their 50-meter
            dash ended precipitously when the rubbish bin slammed into a legally parked
            trailer. Ana, 19, was killed instantly, and her co-pilot suffered serious
            head injuries, though one wonders how they noticed.

            The feat did not make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, as the top
            speed of the rubbish bin is unknown.

            (2001, Scotland) Electric trains in Glasgow collect power from the overhead
            cable, and transmit any excess through the rails to a solid copper cable
            that routes it to a power redistribution box.
            Copper is a favorite target for thieves. One enterprising fellow with a good
            knowledge of the electrical system planned to cut the copper cable during
            the time between trains, when no electricity was travelling through it. His
            plan might have worked� but for one small flaw.

            In the pocket of his charred overcoat, police found an out-of-date rail
            timetable. The train arrived ten minutes before he thought it would, sending
            hundreds of volts of electricity through the thief's hacksaw and into his
            body, and putting an untimely end to his career.


            (May 2001, New Zealand) You might not like this Darwin involving a
            thirteen-year-old girl. But think how stupid it is for a teenager to consume
            insect poison. What kid doesn't know better? Children who sniff aerosol
            propellant, of all things. As if it weren't dangerous enough inhaling random
            volatile propellants for fun, THIS girl was found dead with a litter of
            empty bug spray cans under her bed.
            Sniffing poison is worse than sniffing hairspray. She died with elevated
            butane levels in her blood, which confirm that she had been "huffing" from a
            can labeled with skull and crossbones. Didn't she notice the dead insects on
            the label? Think how stupid she was to inhale lungfuls of a nasty-smelling
            chemical designed to KILL things.

            New Zealand's reaction to the news is as expected. Coroner Gordon Matenga is
            calling for "bigger warnings on fly spray cans" after the second fly spray
            death in Waikato. He explains, "It (is) prevalent for New Zealand young
            people to sniff fly spray for a quick buzz." The judges are surprised any
            kids exist who don't know better.

            One fewer exists now!

            (July 16, 2001, United States) An assistant plant manager for Blacklidge
            Emulsions died when he used an acetylene torch to cut a hole in a 10,000
            gallon tank of asphalt emulsion. He was attempting to visually survey the
            amount of emulsion that remained in the tank, but "no safety precautions
            were taken before the cutting operation began," stated an OSHA
            representative. "[His} attention was twice called to a warning sign on the
            side of the structure which stated the contents were flammable or
            combustible. In complete disregard of safety procedures," he continued, the
            erstwhile manager "lit an acetylene torch and began cutting, causing an
            explosion that blew him 93 feet away.
            (8 Aug 2001, Texas) One recent midnight an Arlington publican was forced to
            refuse further alcoholic drinks to an intoxicated bar patron, known in those
            parts as a violent drunk. But the bartender noticed his inebriated state too
            The man threw a woman to the floor before he was subdued by other patrons,
            who ejected the troublemaker from the bar. The Sheriff was summoned. When
            squad cars approached the scene, they encountered an extra speed bump� The
            fleeing miscreant was passed out in the center turn lane of the highway
            adjacent to the bar.

            The deceased receives the "Best Imitation of a Speed Bump" Award.

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          • Matthew McNulty
            I don t know if I would call these Darwin Awards. The recipient doesn t actually remove themselves from the gene pool in all of these scenarios. Silly
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 3 7:02 AM

              I don't know if I would call these Darwin Awards.  The "recipient" doesn't actually remove themselves from the gene pool in all of these scenarios.  Silly people none the less.


              >>Are there really people this stupid?....
              >>Yes, it's that time of the year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed,
              >>honoring the least Evolved among us.
              >>Darwin Award Winners:
              >>1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim
              >>during a holdup in Long Beach, California, would be robber James Elliot
              >>did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and
              >>tried the trigger again. This time it worked..... And now, the honorable
              >>2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting
              >>machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his
              >>insurance company. The company expecting negligence, sent out one of its
              >>men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and lost a finger.
              >>The chef's claim was approved.
              >>3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during
              >>a blizzard in Chicago returned with his Vehicle to find a woman had taken
              >>the space. Understandably, he shot her.
              >>4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver
              >>found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from
              >>Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the
              >>driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free
              >>ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the
              >>staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre
              >>fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.
              >>5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head
              >>wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the
              >>injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close
              >>he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.
              >>6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter,
              >>and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man
              >>pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk
              >>promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving
              >>the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the
              >>drawer...$15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a
              >>crime committed?)
              >>7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that
              >>he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some
              >>booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head
              >>at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on
              >>the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of
              >>Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.
              >>8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed
              >>her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was
              >>able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes,
              >>the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove
              >>back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to
              >>stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's
              >>her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."
              >>9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a
              >>Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and demanded
              >>cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash
              >>register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk
              >>said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked
              >>And Number 10, the 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER!
              >>10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a
              >>Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at
              >>the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near
              >>spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying
              >>to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage
              >>tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges,
              >>saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

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