Archive for the 'Evolution' Category

15
Feb
09

Darwin Awards: Wascally Wabbit

May 23, 2007 044a

 

Wascally Wabbit
2008 Darwin Award Nominee
Unconfirmed by Darwin

 

Snowmobiles and alcohol are a dangerous mix. Then came the rabbit.

After a day spent partying and racing snowmobiles in the wilderness, a group of snowmobilers were headed back to their cabin, when up popped a jackrabbit! They gave chase. Several collisions were narrowly averted, and so all the snowmobiles backed off… except one.

This snowmobiler kept his eye on the quarry and rapidly closed in. The rabbit darted aside to save itself. The snowmobiler closed in again. The rabbit ran toward the road, where there was less snow. Trying to ram his rabbit before it crossed the road, the man accelerated to Mach 1.

But the rabbit had other ideas. It darted into the culvert beneath the road. Witnesses stated that the snowmobiler never even braked. There was a metallic crunch as the accelerating vehicle rammed into the culvert, followed by a blast that shattered the snowmobile into a thousand bits.

This brand of snowmobile had a fuel tank mounted in front. The culvert admitted the tip of the snowmobile, then cut into the cowling, spilling fuel over the hot engine. The body of the snowmobiler was blown twenty feet back into the field.

The rabbit’s whereabouts was unknown.

Moderator Bruce speculates, “Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd?”
Alternate title: “Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow”

Reader Marya says “Wetawd”

odadarwinfish

06
Apr
08

Darwin Awards: Flying…um…High!

May 23, 2007 044a

 

Plane Stupid
1981 Honorable Mention
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(February 1981, California) Phoenix Field airport in Fair Oaks had been subject to recurring petty thefts from neighborhood teenagers, so a security firm was retained to patrol the grounds. Thefts decreased sharply, but fuel consumption was on the rise. This puzzling situation continued until late one night, when a passerby noticed a flaming airplane on the field.

By the time the fire department arrived, the plane had completely melted into the tarmac. While they extinguished the residual flames, the passerby noticed a uniformed figure lying facedown several yards away. It was a security guard!

He was revived and questioned.

Turns out he had been siphoning fuel from small planes to use in his car. The plane he selected that night had a unique fuel storage system involving hollow, baffled wing spars. When the determined guard shoved the siphon in, it stubbed against the first baffle. No matter how he twisted, pushed, and pulled the hose, he could not siphon any fuel from the plane.

Exasperated, he lit a match to see inside the tank… and the rest is history.

4-1-0 Club
2004 Darwin Award Nominee
Confirmed True by Darwin

(14 October 2004, Missouri) When Peter and Jesse wanted to see what their new ride could do, like many young men, they got more than they bargained for. It was all fun and games until the vehicle stalled. In most cases this wouldn’t be a serious problem — but Peter and Jesse stalled at 41,000 feet.

You see, they weren’t pushing the old man’s car to the limit. They were flying a 50-passenger jet, a Bombardier CRJ200. Fortunately, there were no passengers aboard to share the fatal consequences.

“Paging the Darwin Awards, please pick up
the white courtesy phone.”

Jesse, 31, was captain of Pinnacle Airlines Flight 3701, and Peter, 23, was the co-pilot. They were transporting an empty plane from Little Rock, Arkansas to Minneapolis, where it was needed for a morning flight. They decided to see what that baby could do. Their fun began while ascending, as they pulled 1.8 G’s in a maneuver that activated an automatic stall avoidance system.

Then they decided to “forty-one it,” take the jet to 41,000 feet–eight miles–the maximum altitude the plane was designed to fly. The thrust of the engines pressed them into their seats with 2.3 times the force of gravity as they soared ever higher, laughing and cursing in a friendly manner, ignoring the overheating engines, and the stick shaker that warned they were operating outside of safe aerodynamic parameters.

At this point, Air Traffic Control contacted the pilots to find out what they were up to. A female controller’s voice crackled over the radio: “3701, are you an RJ-200?”

“That’s affirmative.”

“I’ve never seen you guys up at 41 there.”

The boys laughed. “Yeah, we’re actually a, there’s ah, we don’t have any passengers on board, so we decided to have a little fun and come on up here.”

Little did they know that their fun was doomed when they set the auto-pilot for the impressive climb. They had specified the [I]rate[/I] of climb rather than the [I]speed[/I] of the climb. The higher the plane soared, the slower it flew. The plane was in danger of stalling when it reached 41,000 feet, as the autopilot vainly tried to maintain altitude by pointing the nose up.

“Dude, it’s losing it,” said one of the pilots.

“Yeah,” said the other.

Our two flying aces could have saved themselves at that point. An automatic override began to pitch the nose down to gain speed and prevent a stall. Unfortunately, Jesse and Peter chose to overrule the override. Oops. The plane stalled.

“We don’t have any engines,” said one.

“You gotta be kidding me,” said the other.

Jesse and Peter still might have saved themselves. They were within gliding range of five suitable airports. Unfortunately, they did not reveal the full extent of their difficulties to the controller. They said that they had lost only one of the two engines. They glided for 14 full minutes, losing altitude all the way. As they drifted closer and closer to the ground at high speed, still unable to get the engines restarted, they finally asked for assistance: “We need direct to any airport. We have a double engine failure.”

Unfortunately, it was too late. “We’re going to hit houses, dude,” one of pilots said, as they desperately tried to reach an airport in Jefferson City. They missed the houses and the runway, crashing two and a half miles from the airport. Both men died in the crash.

“It’s beyond belief that a professional air crew would act in that manner,” said a former manager of Pinnacle’s training program for the Bombardier CRJ200.

Lawn Chair Larry
1982 Honorable Mention
Confirmed True by Darwin

(1982, California) Larry Walters of Los Angeles is one of the few to contend for the Darwin Awards and live to tell the tale. “I have fulfilled my 20-year dream,” said Walters, a former truck driver for a company that makes TV commercials. “I’m staying on the ground. I’ve proved the thing works.”

Larry’s boyhood dream was to fly. But fates conspired to keep him from his dream. He joined the Air Force, but his poor eyesight disqualified him from the job of pilot. After he was discharged from the military, he sat in his backyard watching jets fly overhead.

He hatched his weather balloon scheme while sitting outside in his “extremely comfortable” Sears lawnchair. He purchased 45 weather balloons from an Army-Navy surplus store, tied them to his tethered lawnchair dubbed the Inspiration I, and filled the 4′ diameter balloons with helium. Then he strapped himself into his lawnchair with some sandwiches, Miller Lite, and a pellet gun. He figured he would pop a few of the many balloons when it was time to descend.

Larry’s plan was to sever the anchor and lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard, where he would enjoy a few hours of flight before coming back down. But things didn’t work out quite as Larry planned.

When his friends cut the cord anchoring the lawnchair to his Jeep, he did not float lazily up to 30 feet. Instead, he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon, pulled by the lift of 42 helium balloons holding 33 cubic feet of helium each. He didn’t level off at 100 feet, nor did he level off at 1000 feet. After climbing and climbing, he leveled off at 16,000 feet.

At that height he felt he couldn’t risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting cold and frightened with his beer and sandwiches, for more than 14 hours. He crossed the primary approach corridor of LAX, where Trans World Airlines and Delta Airlines pilots radioed in reports of the strange sight.

Eventually he gathered the nerve to shoot a few balloons, and slowly descended. The hanging tethers tangled and caught in a power line, blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood for 20 minutes. Larry climbed to safety, where he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked him why he had done it. Larry replied nonchalantly, “A man can’t just sit around.”

The Federal Aviation Administration was not amused. Safety Inspector Neal Savoy said, “We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, a charge will be filed.”

21
Mar
08

Evolution: Darwin Awards

May 23, 2007 044a

Mortal Insult

Rattler Got Your Tongue?

(1992, California) Snakes flick their forked tongues in the air to “smell” the world, collecting molecules and analyzing them by pressing their tongue tips into small olfactory pits. An inebriated twenty-year-old man, apparently unaware of this biological fact, took umbrage when a wild rattlesnake stuck out its tongue at him. Tit for tat! He held the rattler in front of his face and stuck his tongue out right back at it. The snake expressed its displeasure at this turn of events by biting the conveniently offered body part. The toxic venom swelled the man’s face and throat, choking him to death.

DarwinAwards.com © 1994 – 2008
Submitted by: Charlie Bowman, Roger Hess, Bonnie Bates
Reference: San Francisco Chronicle

Experts debate which species of venomous snake is most dangerous. It depends on how irritable the snake is, the toxicity of its venom, whether it delivers the venom reliably, and how likely the snake is to come into contact with humans.

Rattlesnakes certainly rank among the most dangerous of snakes. They often live in close proximity to humans, and some species can be quite irritable, particularly when they are cornered. Rattlesnakes have long, folding fangs which deliver venom deeply into the body. However, some rattlers fail to inject venom into the bite as frequently as 25% of the time. Young rattlesnakes are more likely to deliver a full load of venom, and are therefore more dangerous than their elders.

For those who value their looks as much as their life: remember, rattlesnake venom is disfiguring as well as deadly.

http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin1994-06.html

Macho Men

Some men will go to extraordinary lengths to prove how macho they are. Frenchman Pierre Pumpille recently shunted a stationary car two feet by head-butting it. “Women thought I was a god,” he explained from his hospital bed.

Deity or not, however, Pumpille is a veritable girl’s blouse compared to Polish farmer Krystof Azninski, who staked a strong claim to being Europe’s most macho man by cutting off his own head in 1995. Azninski, 30, had been drinking with friends when it was suggested they strip naked and play some “men’s games”. Initially they hit each other over the head with frozen turnips, but then one man upped the ante by seizing a chainsaw and cutting off the end of his foot. Not to be outdone, Azninski grabbed the saw and, shouting “Watch this then,” he swung at his own head and chopped it off.

“It’s funny,” said one companion, “when he was young he put on his sister’s underwear. But he died like a man.”

http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin1996-07.html

19
Mar
08

Evolution: Darwin Awards

May 23, 2007 044

For those of you who still don’t understand how evolution works, the Darwin Awards should help.

The Enema Within

(21 May 2004, Texas) Michael was an alcoholic. And not an ordinary alcoholic, but an alcoholic who liked to take his liquor… well, rectally. His wife said he was “addicted to enemas” and often used alcohol in this manner. The result was the same: inebriation.

The machine shop owner couldn’t imbibe alcohol by mouth due to a painful throat ailment, so he elected to receive his favorite beverage via enema. And tonight, Michael was in for one hell of a party. Two 1.5 liter bottles of sherry, more than 100 fluid ounces, right up the old address!

When the rest of us have had enough, we either stop drinking or pass out. When Michael had had enough (and subsequently passed out) the alcohol remaining in his rectal cavity continued to be absorbed. The next morning, Michael was dead.

The 58-year-old did a pretty good job of embalming himself. According to toxicology reports, his blood alcohol level was 0.47%.

In order to qualify for a Darwin Award, a person must remove himself from the gene pool via an “astounding misapplication of judgment.” Three liters of sherry up the butt can only be described as astounding. Unsurprisingly, his neighbors said they were surprised to learn of the incident.

http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2007-13.html




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