Darwin Awards

A Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek "honor" named after evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin. Awards have been presented since 1991, however some are awarded for feats which have met the criteria even as early as 1874. It "honours" certain people who kill themseles accidentally by attempting to do stupid feats or making careless mistakes, more precisely as mentioned in the Darwin Award books: The Awards honour people who ensure the long-term survival of the human race by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion. While an attempt is made to disallow urban legends from the awards, some older winners have been 'grandfathered' to keep their awards.[

Northcutt has established five requirements for a Darwin Award on her website:
Inability to reproduce — Nominee must be dead or sterile.
Sometimes this can be a matter of dispute. Potential awardees may be out of the gene pool due to age; others have already reproduced before their deaths. To avoid debates about the possibility of in-vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, or cloning, the original Darwin Awards book applied the following "deserted island" test to potential winners: If the person would be unable to reproduce when stranded on a desert island with a fertile member of the opposite sex, he or she would be considered sterile. In general, winners of the award are either dead or become unable to use their sexual organs.
"Excellence" — Astounding misapplication of judgment.
The candidate's foolishness must be unique and sensational, perhaps because the award is meant to be funny. A number of common but foolish activities, such as smoking in bed, are excluded from consideration, while smoking after being administered a flammable ointment in hospital and specifically being told to not smoke[4] is grounds for nomination.
"Self-selection" — Cause of one's own demise.
Killing a friend with a hand grenade would not be eligible, but killing one's self while manufacturing a homemade chimney-cleaning device from a grenade[5] would be eligible.
There is no award for killing someone else or causing someone else to be sterile.
"Maturity" — Capable of sound judgment.
The nominee must be at least past the legal driving age and free of mental defect.
"Veracity" — The event must be verified.
The story must be documented by reliable sources, i.e., reputable newspaper articles, confirmed television reports, or responsible eyewitnesses.
If a story is found to be untrue, it is disqualified, but particularly amusing ones are placed in the "urban legends" section of the archives.
Examples of Darwin award winners include juggling active hand grenades (Croatia, 2001), jumping out of a plane to film skydivers without wearing a parachute (USA, 1987), trying to get enough light to look down the barrel of a loaded gun using a cigarette lighter (USA, 1996), using a lighter to illuminate a fuel tank to make sure it contains nothing flammable (Brazil, 2003), attempting to play Russian roulette with a semi-automatic pistol that automatically reloads the next round into the chamber,[9] and obtaining sexual gratification with a vacuum cleaner (USA, 2000).
Northcutt's Darwin Awards site gives "Honorable Mentions" to people who manage to survive their misadventures with their reproductive capacity intact. One notable example is Lawnchair Larry, who attached helium balloons to a lawn chair and floated far above Long Beach, California, in July 1982.

Darwin Awards Special

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