Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Darwin Awards

The Darwin website has published the results of the annual vote and accordingly gave out its prizes. As almost every year, there’s also a book: Chlorinating the Gene Pool.

Darwin's Beard The prizes are given each year to commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it:

DOUBLE DIP (2009 runner up - 7.4, 2074 votes)

For the first time ever, a woman--yes, a member of the safer sex--made it into the year's Top Darwin Awards Contenders! 2009 Antepenultimate Winner is the North Carolina woman who jumped into a swollen creek to rescue her drowning...moped.

On June 3, Greensboro was inundated and cars were stranded on flooded roads. Rosanne T., 50, hopped on her moped and drove the convenience store where she “possibly had a beer,”, according to her mother, to whom she said on the phone “my moped has two rubber wheels, Mom, I'll be fine”. Ms T had acquired her moped 2 years ago after a DUI conviction suspended her driving license. The roads were blocked, but she drove right past the Highway Patrol and road blocks then promptly fell into the creek. The officer rescued her, then she jumped again never to resurface. Her mother thought that it was the moped’s fault: "She loved that thing." (da)

DYING TO GO (2009 runner up - 7.8, 247 votes)

We've all been in his shoes, taking that fateful whiz at the side of the road. After all, "You don't buy beer, you just rent it." Wanting to take a leak while stuck in traffic, Shawn M. got out of the car on that fateful April 12, 2008 day near Pompano Beach, Fla. He then proceeded to jump over the low concrete wall and fell 65 feet to his death, as the car was idling on an overpass above the railroad. "Shawn didn't do a whole lot for a living. He got along on his charm, just like his father" explained his mother. Look before you leak! (da)

CRUSHING DEBT (2009 Darwin award winner - 7.7, 202 votes)

And the winner is... deceased! The city of Dinant, Belgium on September 26 is the backdrop for this rare Double Darwin Award involving two bank robbers attempting to make a sizeable withdrawal from an ATM. Overestimating the amount of dynamite needed, they actually demolished the bank building and perished in the event. In hindsight, a debit card would have been safer.(da)

PRIEST VISITS BOSS (2008 Darwin award winner)

Finally, we retroactively announce a new Darwin Award Winner from 2008, posted too late to earn that year's top spot. The most popular story of the year 2008, beloved by millions of fans, presenting the ludicrous case of the Balloon Priest, Adelir Antonio. He wanted to publicize his plan to build spiritual rest stops for truck drivers where no hookers are allowed so he tried to set a record for clustered balloon flight. Though he packed a survival suit, used a buoyant chair, had a satellite phone and GPS and could have parachuted while over land, he did not manage to set his record, as you have to survive in order to be considered. He could have parachuted while over land but didn’t. He eventually called the coast guard, but his cell phone died while he fiddled with the GPS unit. He probably did the same shortly thereafter. (da)


The actual votes and marks seem to be slightly different than the above:

Sparkleberry Lane 7.8 (297 votes) July 31, South Carolina

  • 23-y.o. James T. painted his face gold to rob a store. He died from pain toxicity.

Saw It Coming! 7.7 (2136 votes) June 27, New York (possible urban story)

  • Miecyskaw Mil, 64, angry over a power brownout, decided to cut a live powerline with his circular saw. Police and firefighters guarding it tried to stop him, but he “won”.

Tennessee Pee 7.7 (736 votes) mid-80s, Middle T State Univ

  • A young frat boy gained entry to an electrical installation and seeing a wasp nest hanging from a transformer, climbed on top of it and peed. (possible urban story)

Painkiller 7.6 (574 votes) October 26, 17 - Minnesota

  • Lucas William Stenning, 32, avoided registration –required for predatory offenders- by leaping from a moving vehicle and dying. He was trying to get hospitalized in order to get painkillers.

Trifecta Electra 7.4 (995 votes) October 12, Florida

  • A Palm Bay couple and their 15-y.o son were putting up a ham radio antenna one evening and hit a power line lurking on top.

She Talks Faster Than She Walks 7.3 (2313 votes) May 30, Louisiana

  • Tamera B, 22, claimed that he BF wasn’t driving fast enough, so she opened the door and stuck her foot out while the vehicle was on the highway at normal speed.

Wetting The Bed 6.5 (307 votes) October 27, Arkansas

  • Devan LeAnn, 31 decided to “float” on a swelling lake on a egg-crate style mattress which is non-buoyant, “vanishing from sight” shortly thereafter.

Fool's Gold 6.5 (566 votes) February 5, India

  • Pravin Kuse dreamed that a pot of gold is buried under his house, an abandoned 100-year-old building. He dug a 15 feet tunnel in a rather long time, which eventually caved in, burying him alive.

Race To The Bottooommm 6.2 (1578 votes) September 5, Oregon

  • Jake, 18, went down Saddle Mountain in a “controlled slide” down the cliff face. His body came to rest in a steep ravine 1000 feet below.

Missed (But Not Missed By) The Bus 6.2 (280 votes) August 13, Quebec

  • A 24-y.o. woman tried to flag down a bus she had just missed by jumping into a restricted area of a bus terminal. She did not succeed.

Collateral Damage 5.6 (2462 votes) April 30, York, UK

  • A 41-y.o. attempted to demolish a large brick garden and succombed to a cement slab.

Nutty Putty Cave 5.5 (385 votes)

  • Made of soft brown clay, this naturally formed thermal cave is 1400 feet long. John J., a veteran spelunker, went into a small cavity head-first and never came out, despite 137 trying to save him. He died after 27 painful hours.

Sources / More info:, amazon-darwin, yt-DA-puku, yt-DA-gnooble

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