2011 Darwin Awards

#4 Wedding Jitters

(India) In 2004 a pre-wedding henna party was underway when a prowler with the appearance of an undead ghoul broke into the home of Indira Vegas, 23, a well-known red-headed stripper in downtown Delhi. While most of the party reacted with confusion as the prowler lurched forward, in a foetid cloud that reportedly reeked of "tear gas," Vegas approached the zombie and whacked its temple with her 5" stiletto heel. According to an eyewitness report, this dispatched the prowler, successfully halting a Class I invasion. What makes this story worthy of Darwin's notice however, is the subsequent actions of Vegas. She put the stiletto-heel shoe back on and went on to accidentally infect her sister-in-law, with what one neighbor described as a 'mis-step.' The name and whereabouts of the sister-in-law have not been released to the press. The woman, infected with a strange painful lassitude, passed into a "deep sleep" and was placed in a bedroom.

The photographer, Timothy Caes, 16, stated that the party was discussing who should report the deceased prowler to police, when a second ghoul emerged from the bedroom and began to savagely bite Vegas. Mr. Caes, the primary source of this report, is a local student who was not known to the group. He states that subsequent to this savage attack, Vegas inexlicably turned and began to menace him. Mr. Caees was able to subdue the reanimated zombies by bashing them several times with a tripod, knocking them to the floor and halting their wails.

That was enough. The sudden silence provoked a stampede of human chaos from the room, and what was effectively a herd of vertical bayonettes put an end to what was ultimately recorded as a "schizophrenic episode" on the part of the deceased.

Indra Vegas, who began her 15 minutes of fame by saving her friends, ended her life with yet another boneheaded move involving high heels. Women, high heels? Between you and me, put those things in your trash. High Heels = Natural Selection in Action.

Other High Heels Tragedies: Best wishes from Wendy Darwin.

#3 Hotter Copper Whopper

(3 July 2011, Leeds, UK.) Thief! How, many, thieves, have, to die, to prove that you shouldn't steal copper wire? Besides the risk, it's not right to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage, for hundreds of dollars in profit. HEY YOU IMMORAL IDIOTS, It makes bad environmental sense to destroy more than you recoup. Angry lecture!

Copper Kills! CE Electric UK recently began marking the copper using 'SmartWater' technology to deter malicious, costly vandalism. American Electric Power is converting from copper grounding wire to copper-clad steel wire that has little scrap value and is tougher to cut.

Knowing that species evolve, why are we so dumb? Like Darwin's Finches, humans are filling the 'new islands' (evolutionary niches) created by our civilization, and our mutations are being tuned by each self-limiting step we take.

Which brings me to a Leeds teenager, who at 16 became a deceased Darwin Award winner by making one such self-limiting step. Copper theft is a killer, and also a nuisance. CE Electric UK has dealt with 279 incidents in the last year in West Yorkshire. They plead, "We are pleading with thieves to think about the consequences and how much they are risking for such a small return. DANGER OF DEATH signs are posted for a reason!"

Stealing copper? Fast track train to Charles Darwin's heavenly estate. "Welcome home, Leeds teen. You were old enough to know better!" Sometimes a friend has to cram life into too few years, but we comfort ourselves knowing that his destiny was to serve as a warning to others.

#2 Planking Spanking

15 May 2011, Brisbane, Australia. PLANKING? What is it? 'Planking' is the peculiar wit of lying flat as a plank in unusual locations--train tracks, fire hydrants, clotheslines--and posting public photographs, spreading joy. This Australian craze had infected poor Mr. Acton B., a (former) planking enthusiast who was not aware that Balconies Are The #1 One Cause of Gravity-Fed Darwin Awards. Not knowing, he was doomed to repeat the lesson. Camera ready, the 20-year-old stretched himself out face-down on the railing, arms by his sides, stiff as a plank, balanced. Don't do it, don't cross that line young male Homo sapiens sapiens! Oh no...the species is doomed. Down he fell. Descent of man.

PLANKING happened on 15 May 2011, Brisbane AU. Although we do not have a photograph of the actual event, we encourage reporters to re-enact the scene for your own cameras. No, really, go ahead.

Planking is nothing without a photograph. The men down under have risen to the top of the zany photos crop, planking naked, planking on police cruisers, planking here, there, and across the desks on TV Network News. Planking has well and truly jumped the shark.


"Natural selection nudged him over the line, and he fell..."

"Planking is bound to remove people from the gene pool."

Please be careful where you plank! :)

Watch out for balconies :-)

"You will enjoy this. They are truly dark and hilarious. Your dad didn't quite get the wharped sense of humor that one needs to enjoy this. Maybe he was tired...Love, Gma Carolina"

"O site dos burros pra carai!"

"Blessedly he was not naked."

"As promised funny (but dark). From the vault of the always amusing Darwin Awards."

And finally, the Winner is:

Motorcycle Helmet Law, ex-Protestor

(July 2011, New York) Protesting motorcycle helmet laws, an Onondaga, NY man was participating in a bare-noggin protest ride when he was killed via flipping over the handlebars. The motorcycle accident injured the noggin of Mr. Contos, 55, fatally damaging a brain that was unable to determine the physics of the situation. Moreover, he'd do it again if he could, according to his elder brother. He would have wanted it that way.

Certain laws have physics on their side, obviously, and the laws say one's body cannot walk away from a high-speed physical impact. Laws not subject to repeal. Unprotected--you squash like a bug. Protected--you eat squash for dinner.

Since properly padded and protected men can walk away from a 90-mph crash, protection is prudent when you increase {mass x speed} above a critical threshhold.

Prudent, but should protection be mandatory? Robert Frost says, "I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way."

Police said Phil "hit his brakes, fishtailed and went out of control, flipping him over the handlebars." What we, the Darwin Awards committee, would like to know--and news reports don't explain--is just how he went over the handlebars?