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Darwin Awards 2006 199

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the natural-selection-in-action dept.
ms1234 writes "The year is coming to and end so it is time to see how our genepool is doing. Darwin Awards 2006 includes everything from whacking RPGs with hammers to recreating experiments by Franklin."
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Darwin Awards 2006

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  • Fool me twice... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rancher dan 3 (960065)
    Are these real events or made up ones, like in previous years?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Elliot_Lin (972399)
      They are real. There wouldn't be lots of point honoring a non-existent person for something they hadn't done.
      • "They are real. There wouldn't be lots of point honoring a non-existent person for something they hadn't done."

        Actually, no. There is a nugget of fact at the base of the story; but it is often liberally rewritten for entertainment's sake.

        There was a "Darwin Awards Winner" from my state a few years ago. A lot of people (including me) were familiar with the real story from when it happened. Most of what was cited in the Darwin Awards text was fabricated; but it was true a guy was injured at the location menti
      • Scooped! Arghhh. (Score:3, Informative)

        by Web Goddess (133348)
        I was scooped on my own story! I was so looking forward to submitting the 2006 Darwin Awards to /. But thanks for turning your minds towards the honorable deaths of these men and women... well OK mostly men... whose heroic self-sacrifice improves our gene pool.

        We owe the winners a debt of gratitude!

        Here's what it looks like to be slashdotted: In the past seventeen hours, my top referers are:

        646 www.bluesnews.com
        649 www.fazed.org
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by El Torico (732160) *
      Apparently the one about the drowning Pastor is. This is from the World Net Daily of August 30, 2006 [worldnetdaily.com],

      Pastor Franck Kabele, 35, told his congregation he could repeat the biblical miracle, and he attempted it from a beach in Gabon's capital of Libreville. "He took his congregation to the beach saying he would walk across the Komo estuary, which takes 20 minutes by boat. He walked into the water, which soon passed over his head and he never came back."

      • by El Torico (732160) *
        Check that; I realized the quality of the source I referred to, so I went back to find a more reputable source. All of the pages I found use the same article and don't refer to a reputable first source.
      • by jlarocco (851450)

        This guy [sptimes.ru] really should've been on the list.

    • by CdBee (742846) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @10:59AM (#17416266)
      I can warrant for this one, it happpened 100 metres from my house in Hertfordshire, UK
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GrumpySimon (707671)
      Yeah - this is the problem with these, they sound far too urban-legend-y to be true. The stories do have a "Confirmed True by Darwin" note, but I only counted ONE that backed things up with a link to a newspaper story.

      With things like google news, it's certainly not hard to find five or six million versions of the same article, so until they do this, the Darwin awards are just a collection of mildly funny stories that happened to someone's Aunt's cousin twice removed. ( Seriously - one of them starts with "
    • I believe! (Score:5, Informative)

      by beaverfever (584714) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @11:27AM (#17416386) Homepage
      They do claim these are true stories. I can attest for at least one of them [darwinawards.com]. The 1996 silly-sad tale of the lawyer jumping against the windows in the skyscraper office where he worked was in many Toronto news sources at the time. Where this event occurred is a very busy area, so there were plenty of witnesses.

      It was later that same year when I heard of the Darwin awards, as someone mentioned that this well-known story was nominated.
    • Real news (Score:3, Informative)

      by Propaganda13 (312548)
      I prefer http://newsoftheweird.com/ [newsoftheweird.com] These are taken from newspapers around the world. When I found the site, I did double check several stories to determine that they were printed in actual newspapers.
  • by udderly (890305) * on Sunday December 31, 2006 @10:39AM (#17416196)
    A friend of mine, who steadfastly refuses to read instructions, was assembling his new wet saw (used for cutting ceramic tile)), when I arrived at his house to help install the tile. A wet saw usually has a diamond coated blade similar to a circular saw (but without teeth), and a water reservoir and pump to cool the blade. The pump obviously has an electric cord, which is usually routed by or through the water reservoir.

    Because he hadn't read the directions he had routed the pump's electric cord IN FRONT OF THE SAW BLADE, and it would have been cut in two and dropped into the water pan when he started up the saw. What's more, he had it plugged into a 30-amp circuit. Luckily for him, I saw how he had put the saw together before he fired it up.

    The scary thing? He still won't read the instructions.
  • by chia_monkey (593501) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @11:02AM (#17416278) Journal
    Ah yes, Slashdot, the source of news for nerds and stuff that matters.

    What would be really nice and noteworthy is if we could actually let Darwinism take its course. You just have to love how current laws and modern medicine continuously allow these people to live in our society, not only endangering themselves but also endangering the rest of society. "Only the strong survive" just isn't applicable anymore.
    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      Be careful what you wish for. 2005 has an account of a winner who believed similarly [darwinawards.com].
      • by green1 (322787)
        actually, I don't see how this applies, in the incident you quoted the person was against seatbelt laws because he thought that he knew better, and was also stupid enough not to wear one, it is the second category, and not the first that earned him the darwin award. I too can see the value in not forcing people to wear seatbelts (from the darwin perspective) in that it encourages those who aren't smart enough to see that they are a good idea to get themselves out of the gene pool. however the smarter ones w
    • by MP3Chuck (652277)
      ""Only the strong survive" just isn't applicable anymore."

      Perhaps, but if the Darwin Awards prove anything it's that the truly foolish still manage to sort themselves out! ;)
    • Is that like letting gravity take its course?
    • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@@@pacbell...net> on Sunday December 31, 2006 @02:52PM (#17417552) Homepage
      You are missing a crucial aspect of Darwinism if you quote, "Only the strong survive".

      The species is lost if there is only one survivor; or even two, three, etc.

      The full implication of Darwinism is best captured by, "From a diverse pool of candidates, only the strong thrive."

      Right now the effect of current law and modern medicine is to increase the diversity of our gene pool. We now have untold genetic richness what with decreasing disease and infant mortality and high levels of inter-racial mixing. When (not if) a catastrophe occurs we will have a sufficiently rich gene pool to survive such a catastrophe.

      Such as, for example, an airborne AIDs epidemic. Until it happens no one (not even you) can predict which gene sequences and which individuals will survive. That is why it is good for as many people to exist before such an event occurs.
      • by EvilIdler (21087)
        It's "survival of the fittest", or as Darwin elaborated, the ones most responsive to change.
        • by 2nd Post! (213333)
          Herbert Spencer, not Darwin, coined "Survival of the fittest".

          Modern Darwinism has evolved since Darwin elaborated on "The origin of species".

          Again, even in pure non human societies such as wolves, ants, and birds, nonfit are allowed to survive as long as they are "fit enough".

          This is allowed, even encouraged, to increase diversity otherwise you get unwanted founder effects, such as all cheetahs being related closely enough that you can perform skin grafts from one to another.
    • Hey, guess what? You're reading Slashdot on New Year's Eve! That means you will never reproduce. I therefore nominate you for a Darwin Award. (Yes, I realize I'm doing the same thing.)
  • RPG? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wormbrain (985287) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @11:05AM (#17416294) Homepage
    "whacking RPGs with hammers.."

    Here I am thinking one of my favorite MMOs got nerfed. I need to get out more.
    • Re:RPG? (Score:4, Funny)

      by amper (33785) * on Sunday December 31, 2006 @01:40PM (#17417114) Journal
      And here I am, trying to figure out how one could possibly get killed by whacking a D&D set with a hammer...

      OK, maybe if you gave a d8 a hard enough glancing blow, it might shoot off at a bizarre angle, blast right through your eye, and lodge in your brain?

      • by lgw (121541)
        No, no, not the brain - you don't have to kill yourself to get a Darwin award, you know.
  • by stesch (12896) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @11:31AM (#17416404) Homepage
    On my AS/400 job I wanted to whack RPG with a hammer, too.
  • Just malicious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by badzilla (50355) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (lw3kartlu)> on Sunday December 31, 2006 @11:34AM (#17416408)
    I know I'll get flamed but will say it anyway - I think this site is just plain cruel to take the piss out of people who have had severe accidents with fatal results. Especially as things ain't always what they seem, such as the side-splitting hilarious story of Vietnamese bomb-rollers who got blown up. According to TFA they know perfectly well it is dangerous but are forced to do it anyway because they are starving and get a few cents if they can reclaim the scrap metal.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      How can you call yourself badzilla and NOT think the stories are funny ;-)
    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      I think this site is just plain cruel to take the piss out of people who have had severe accidents with fatal results

      Just remember, for every moron that tries to light a campfire in an ordinance dump, China kills a democrat, a stray not-so-smart-bomb kills an Iraqi math whiz, and a chemical plant releases phosgene into a river valley.

      Stupid people kill themselves a hundreth as often as they kill others, either by accident or malice. And in the second case, it's always the smart people they kill first.

    • I agree; the only justification for criticizing people for their stupidity is if it puts other people at risk (potential offspring excluded) or burdens them in some significant way.
    • by rbarreira (836272)
      On a very positive note, at least someone might learn something from reading the website; specifically, what NOT to do if you value your life.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:08PM (#17416574)
    So, anyways, New Years Eve, there's this guy, right, and, well... let's call him Charles just for the hell of it. Anyway, "Charles", stayed at home on New Years Eve reading Slashdot. He found it so enjoyable that "Charles" continued reading Slashdot every day. After his discovery, Charles never went to any parties, never got drunk, never got laid, never socialized. Charles has been removed from the gene pool. Thanks Slashdot for another Darwin winner!
  • by joneshenry (9497) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:09PM (#17416578)
    So why isn't Christine Boskoff going to be the clear winner for a Darwin Award? The person might have been extremely intelligent, but what can one say about a plan to climb remote mountains in China with only one companion and no method of communication to the outside world for weeks? As the Christine Boskoff Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] notes, she did not even leave word of where she was going so that potential rescue teams would have no idea where to find her.

    So why is it funny when probably uneducated people do something stupid while it isn't funny for someone who used to be an "electrical engineer working for Lockheed Aeronautical in Georgia", "a pilot", and who "designed software for a lighted control display for the C-130J" to do something equally stupid to eliminate herself from the gene pool? Articles I have read such as the above article from 2002 [nwsource.com] indicate she had no children, so Christine Boskoff removed herself from the gene pool through her stupid actions. Evidently being a former electrical engineer and then becoming a mountain climber/entrepreneur is something that Darwinian evolution selects against. (Even her former husband killed himself in 1999.) So why aren't we all laughing at that?
    • > So why aren't we all laughing at that?

      Because it's not humorous/entertaining? I mean, many people die from these expeditions, but I would bet that not many would intentionally fly a kite in a thunderstorm...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by canajin56 (660655)
        Read that article more carefully. It wasn't a thunderstorm. He hit some power lines with his kite, which the "article" says is like Franklin because power lines are sort of like an artificial thunder storm ;)
    • I don't know about you, but I am. Ha ha ha.
    • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @02:15PM (#17417346) Homepage
      From the Darwin Awards rules page at:

      http://darwinawards.com/rules/rules2.html [darwinawards.com]

      "Those who participate in extreme sports are not automatically eligible, as they knowingly assume an increased risk of death. They are, in a sense, correctly applying their judgment that the entertainment is worth the risk. However bizarre the sport, an additional misapplication of judgment must be present in order for the deceased to qualify for a Darwin Award."
      • One could argue that Christine did demonstrate a further misapplication of judgement, as she told no one where she was going and had only one companion to climb in a remote region of a foreign nation. It wasn't just the extreme sport nature of her death, there were those additional factors which the o.p. pointed out, which, some would, including myself, say merits a Darwin Award being presented to her.
    • So why aren't we all laughing at that?

      It takes a sick, cruel person to laugh at a Darwin Award... so I'll be the first: Ha Ha!
  • by dattaway (3088) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:14PM (#17416604) Homepage Journal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JATO_Rocket_Car [wikipedia.org]

    "the staff of the Darwin Awards decided it was such a funny story to "grandfather" it in and let it keep its award."

    cultdeadcow link at the bottom has the most amazing recent version.
  • Faithful Flotation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:17PM (#17416622) Homepage Journal

    The one about the pastor who couldn't walk on water is either particularly hard to believe, or else it is leaving out the most critical/entertaining part of the story.

    When I imagine someone trying to walk across a river, the picture that comes to mind is that the fool steps into the river and notices that his feet are wet. Then he takes a few more steps and notices that he's up to his thighs in water. At this point, he's neither dead nor still under the illusion he can walk on water.

    So what happened? Did he, having lost face, decide to continue into the water and drown himself? Or did he begin his water walking in a deep part (e.g. take the ferry halfway into the river and try walking from there?). Or did he successfully walk on water until he got to the deep part, then realize how impossible it was and suddenly suffer a loss of faith and fall through the surface? ;-) Or is the story just bullshit?

    • The REAL question is, if there were people watching him perform this "feat", they should have rescued him when he was submerged. And if there weren't people watching him... who knows exactly why he was drowned?
    • by green1 (322787)
      I don't know the particulars of this case, however if it's anything like some of the rivers around here it is quite believable.
      a lot of our rivers have rocky banks so that the first step will put you thigh deep in water, these same rivers are extremely fast flowing (not to mention VERY cold) if you take that first step, you're done for, the current will sweep you off your feet the instant you land in the water, and even an expert swimmer is unlikely to be able to recover before their head is smashed in to a
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by rtra (1045380)
      I've met a elder villager who tried to walk on water. He strapped some small floaters to his feet. And he floated allright, but upside down, with his head submerse. He was rescued by his spectators. He was from village "Palorca", Trás-os-Montes, Portugal.
    • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @03:27PM (#17417778) Journal
      It was in an estuary, which is where a river meets the ocean. He apperently started walking into the water, and kept on going until the water got over his head, and never came back. Can't say for sure what he was thinking, but I know people who would hold onto such faith until death, thinking, "if I give up now it shows I don't have faith."

      I give him props for strongly believing whatever it was he preached, though if he's in heaven now, Jesus is probably bitch-slapping him sayin, "you don't know nothing about faith!"

      Great story in any case.
    • by CTachyon (412849)

      From the sound of the story, I assume that he started in deep water. The Biblical story has Jesus & Friends on a boat when the water-walking happens, so perhaps he was emulating that...

  • No integrity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027)
    I lost all respect for the Darwin Awards when they refused to give one to JFK Jr. [salon.com]

    Some jackass flying an airplane in conditions that he had not been certified for and kills himself, his wife and his sister-in-law and they call it a "lapse of judgement" not worthy of a Darwin award.

    LK

    • by minus_273 (174041)
      i suspect it has something to do with his "pedigree". Heck you shoudl give it to the woman Ted Kennedy killed too. How stupid can you be riding in a car at night on an island driven by a drunk kennedy.
    • I agree with the final decision; crashing a plane in this method is indeed accidental and stupid, but also commonplace, generally involving people not named John F. Kennedy Jr.
  • by jafac (1449) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @03:22PM (#17417742) Homepage
    Saddam Hussein.

    The lesson: when Don Rumsfeld sells you Chemical Weapons precursors to use in gassing domestic political opponents, don't cross him, or he'll FUCK you.
  • Stupid Spearfisher (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pNutz (45478)
    I heard this story at least seven years ago, when I was getting my diving certification. Some idiot spears a Jewfish, gets tangled in the line and is dragged to his watery death. The legend of the idiot Jewfish-er who forgets his knife and common sense on the boat is not by any means new, and this tale has no references. Different from the chain letter how?

    Also, from the 'man-tries-to-jump-from-train' story:
    "I am 14, and I know for a fact this story is true."
    Convincing. Actually, only one of these stories h
    • I think the truth is it's a fairly common thing, spearing the fish, to happen but this particular time it made the national papers. It's like most posionous snake bite victims in the US are 18 to 25 males that are drunk at the time. They find a snake beside the road and try to kill it with a stick. It's so commonplace that the Darwin Awards ignores that form of death. Personally I think the train story is apocraphil but it's hard to say. People have been known to jump trains when they missed their stop so i
  • I cant believe these guys dont check this stuff..

    First, the are no overground trains that cross the hudson river, only the east river.. The closest one to the hudson are the amtrack bridge going grom riverdale into manhhatan, and the 1 subway line going from riverdale/kindsbridge to manhattan as well, over the spuyten devil channel that connects east and hudson rivers..

    And even if it had been one of these bridges.. ( one of the BMW east river bridges or one of the aforementioned two ).. they all have over h
  • Aren't the Darwin Awards normally filled with facts that can't be verified and scientific inconsistencies?

    I'm not looking for a reason of why someone would do something stupid but it seems that just about half of the crap that normally gets credited to the Darwin Awards turns out to fall somewhere between technically impossible to incidents with no credible evidence.

    Or is this just people using the name "Darwin Awards" in association with any urban legend that involves vast quantities of idiocy?

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