The latest Darwin Awards

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.

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[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.

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[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.

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[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.

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[Unknown, 25 March 1993] A Vapid Death

A terrible diet and 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 hospitalized.

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[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.”

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[UPI, Toronto]
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.

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[AP, Cairo, Egypt, 31 Aug 1995] CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — 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.

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[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.”

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