Dec 31 2006

2006 Darwin Award Nominees

The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who, uh, remove themselves from it…

Out of the 8 nominees for the Darwin Award, half of them I felt were worth mentioning because of how dumb people can be. I really hope that this is one award I never get.

Star Wars

Like two people, 17 and 20, who imitated Darth Vader and made light sabres from fluorescent light tubes. That’s right, they opened up fluoresceent tubes, poured gasoline inside, and lit the end… As one can imagine, a Star Wars sized explosion was not far behind. One died, the other survived to ‘fess up to their creative, but stupid, reenactment.

Darwin says: “Some moderators say 17 is too young, but I disagree. This one passes the “minors rule” because 17 is legal driving age. Old enough to pump gas is old enough to know not to light it.”

High on Life

Take a deep breath…
Two more candidates have thrown themselves into the running for a Darwin Award. The feet of Jason and Sara, both 21, were found protruding from a deflated, huge helium advertising balloon. Jason was a college student, and Sara attended community college, but apparently their education had glossed over the importance of oxygen.

When one breathes helium, the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream causes a rapid loss of consciousness. Some euthanasia experts advocate the use of helium to painlessly end one’s life.

The pair pulled down the 8′ balloon, and climbed inside. Their last words consisted of high-pitched, incoherent giggling as they slowly passed out and passed into the hereafter.

Sheriff’s deputies said the two were not victims of foul play. No drugs or alcohol were found. The medical examiner reported that helium inhalation was a significant factor in their deaths. A family member said “Sara was mischievous, to be honest. She liked fun and it cost her.”

Copper Kite

Benjamin Franklin reputedly flew his kite in a lightning storm, going on to discover that lightning equals electricity. However, certain precautions must be taken, as Ben Franklin took, to avoid sudden electrocution.

Kennon, 26, replicated the conditions of Ben Franklin’s experiment, but sans safety precautions. He was flying a kite with a short string that he had extended with a length of thin copper wire.

The copper made contact with a high tension line, sending a bolt of artificial lightning down the wire towards the man. To cap the story off, Kennon’s father told listeners, his son was an electrician and “should have known better.” Kennon is survived by his parents, six sisters, and five brothers.

Missed Stop

I am 14, and I know for a fact this story is true.

My father works as an investigator for an insurance company, a job he frequently reminds me of how much he hates. One of his major clients is a train station in a nearby city. On a day not unlike any other, a man awoke on a train to find that he had missed his stop. Instead of looking out the window or asking another passenger to find out where the train was, he ripped open the doors of the train and threw himself from the train, much to the astonishment of onlooking passengers.

However, had the ill-fated passenger taken the time to look out the window before leaping from the train, he would have noticed that the train was not only moving in excess of 50 MPH, but that it was also moving over a bridge. He died at the scene in the Hudson River.

My dad covered this case for the insurance company. The family of the deceased was suing because “you should not be able to open doors on a moving train.” My dad’s defense was “you should not open doors on a moving train.” I imagine the case was either dropped or settled.

darwin, charles darwin, darwin award, dumb people, people, evolution, killed

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

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