Work in the media? Struggle with statistics? Stan's irreverent (and often irrelevant) review of the latest media reports, news and gossip may not help at all...
Stan # 59: 2001 Darwin Awards
2001 DARWIN AWARDS
Yes, the one we've all been waiting for... the Darwin Award 2001. The
candidates have finally been released!
For those not familiar with the Darwin Award, It's an annual honour given
to the person who provided the universal human gene pool the biggest
service by getting killed in the most extraordinarily stupid way. As
always, competition this year has been keen again. Some candidates appear
to have trained their whole lives for this event!
DARWIN AWARD CANDIDATES
- In September in Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two
feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer
grate to retrieve his car keys
- In October, a 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned
when he ran," according to his wife, accidentally jogged off a
100-foot-high cliff on his daily run.
- Buxton, NC: A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug
into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beach goers said Daniel Jones,
21 dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting
in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed,
burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach, on the outer
banks, used their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones,a
resident of Woodbridge, VA, but could not reach him. It took rescue
workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200
people looked on. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.
- In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA, as he
fell face-first through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarising.
Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to
keep his hands free) rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the
- According to police in Dahlonega, GA, ROTC cadet Nick Berrena, 20, was
stabbed to death in January by fellow cadet Jeffrey Hoffman, 23, who was
trying to prove that a knife could not penetrate the flak vest Berrena was
- Sylvester Briddell, Jr, 26, was killed in February in Selbyville Del,
as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded
with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.
- In February, according to police in Windsor, Ontario, Daniel Kolta, 27,
and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on collision, thus earning a tie in
the game of chicken they were playing with their snowmobiles.
DARWIN AWARD HONOURABLE MENTIONS
- In Guthrie, Okla, in October, Jason Heck tried to kill a millipede with
a shot from his 22 calibre rifle, but the bullet ricocheted off a rock
near the hole and hit pal Antonio Martinez in the head, fracturing his
- In Elyria, Ohio, in October, Martyn Eskins, attempting to clean out
cobwebs in his basement, declined to use a broom in favour of a propane
torch and caused a fire that burned the first and second floors of his
- Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalised in Andover Township, NJ, in
September, and his wife Bonnie was also injured, by a quarter-stick of
dynamite that blew up in their car. While driving around at 2 AM, the
bored couple lit the dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to see
what would happen, but they apparently failed to notice that the window
TACOMA, WA - Kerry Bingham, had been drinking with several friends when
one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from the Tacoma
Narrows Bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated
and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30am.
Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had
brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered
and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable lay nearby. One end of the
cable was secured around Bingham's leg and the other end was tied to the
bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his
foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy
river water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. "All I can say," said
Bingham, "is that God was watching out for me on that night. There's just
no other explanation for it." Bingham's foot was never located.
AND THE WINNER:
PADERBORN, GERMANY - Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt fed his
constipated elephant Stefan 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a
bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally
let fly-and suffocated the keeper under 200 pounds of poop! Investigators
say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the Ailing elephant an
olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded on him like a dump truck
full of mud. "The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation
knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground, where he struck his head on a rock
and lay unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels on
top of him," said flabbergasted Paderborn police detective Erik Dern.
"With no one there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at least an
hour before a watchman came along, and during that time he suffocated. "It
seems to be just one of those freak accidents that happen."