Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Darwin Awards

I talked to a summer high school class yesterday and really enjoyed the experience, certainly as much as other presentations I have done. I give them information about what I do and the Coroner’s Office business mixed with tidbits on how they can forestall death, make good choices and not take chances with their lives.

I did get one question that I did not answer: “Have you seen any deaths that would qualify for Darwin Awards?” (paraphrased) While I admitted that some might fit that categorization, I (and my office) don’t approach death that way.

However, I thought some readers might not know about the “Awards”, so I thought I’d through up a link and a bit of information about the “Awards”. The Wikipedia entry makes interesting reading, nonetheless.

A Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek honor given to people who purportedly improve the human gene pool by removing themselves following from an episode of questionable judgement. The prizes, named after pioneering evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, are awarded over the Internet. There is no monetary prize, only (necessarily) posthumous recognition.

Not Darwins
The following have been specifically stated as being no longer eligible for a Darwin Award, as they are too common:
Smoking in an oxygen tent
Being hit by a train or automobile
Climbing into zoo cages
Falling off a precipice while posing or urinating (spitting is perilously close to being added to this list)
Urinating onto electrified wires, subway rails, etc.
Certain forms of carelessness with flammable liquids
Plain alcohol poisoning. Alcohol consumption, on the other hand, plays a key role in many Darwin Awards.
Deliberate and willful acts; doing it on purpose steps from Darwin Award to insanity.

Read and enjoy the irony of the “Awards”

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