Evolution in action
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 96 15:35:01 -0700
Subject: Evolution in action
[The Darwin Awards, once thought (by me) to have been invented to give the
JATO urban legend a little more credibility, are noew getting a little more
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: Joe Ilacqua <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: John Green <grimmy>
Forwarded-by: Keith Bader <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Darwin awards:
These are nearly always granted posthumously. This citation is bestowed upon
(the remains of) that individual, who through single-minded self-sacrifice,
has done the most to remove undesirable elements from the human gene pool.
[San Jose Mercury News]
An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former
girlfriend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun
discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.
[Hickory Daily Record, 12-21-92]
Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in
Newton, N.C., when, awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside
his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson
..38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.
[News of the Weird, 18 May 93, San Jose Mercury News]
A 24-year-old salesman from Hialeah, Fla., was killed near Lantana, Fla.,
in March when his car smashed into a pole in the median strip of Interstate
95 in the middle of the afternoon. Police said that the man was traveling
at 80 MPH and, judging by the sales manual that was found open and clutched
to his chest, had been busy reading.
[Unknown, 25 March 1993]
A Vapid Death: A terrible diet and a room with no ventilation are being
blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no
mark on his body but autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his
system. His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple
other things). It was just the right combination of foods. It appears that
the man died in his sleep from breathing from the poisonous cloud that was
hanging over his bed. Had he been outside or had his windows opened it
wouldn't have been fatal but the man was shut up in his near airtight
bedroom. He was ``...a big man with a huge capacity for creating [this
deadly gas].'' Three of the rescue workers got sick and one was
[Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario]
Man slips, falls 23 stories to his death. A man cleaning a bird feeder on
his balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and
fell 23 stories to his death, police said Monday. Stefan Macko, 55, was
standing on a wheeled chair Sunday when the accident occurred, said
Inspector D'Arcy Honer of the Peel regional police. "It appears the chair
moved and he went over the balcony," Honer said. "It's one of those freak
accidents. No foul play is suspected."
Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown
Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24
floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the
courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was
explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students.
Hoy previously had conducted demonstrations of window strength according to
police reports. Peter Lauwers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day
Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was ``one of the best and
brightest'' members of the 200-man association.
[AP, Cairo, Egypt, 31 Aug 1995]
Six people drowned Monday while trying to rescue a chicken that had fallen
into a well in southern Egypt. An 18-year-old farmer was the first to
descend into the 60-foot well. He drowned, apparently after an undercurrent
in the water pulled him down, police said. His sister and two brothers, none
of whom could swim well, went in one by one to help him, but also drowned.
Two elderly farmers then came to help, but they apparently were pulled down
by the same undercurrent. The bodies of the six were later pulled out of
the well in the village of Nazlat Imara, 240 miles south of Cairo. The
chicken was also pulled out. It survived.
[Times of London]
A thief who sneaked into a hospital was scarred for life when he tried to
get a suntan. After evading security staff at Odstock Hospital in Salisbury,
Wiltshire, and helping himself to doctors' paging devices, the thief spotted
a vertical sunbed. He walked into the unit and removed his clothes for a
45-minute tan. However, the high-voltage UV machine at the hospital, which
is renowned for its treatment of burns victims, has a maximum dosage of ten
seconds. After lying on the bed for almost 300 times the recommended
maximum time the man was covered in blisters. Hours later, when the pain of
the burns became unbearable, he went to Southampton General Hospital, 20
miles away, in Hampshire. Staff became suspicious because he was wearing a
doctor's coat. After tending his wounds they called the police. Southampton
police said: "This man broke into Odstock and decided he fancied a quick
suntan. Doctors say he is going to be scarred for life."
© 1996 Peter Langston