Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action
by Wendy Northcutt
Website and Author Biographies
The Darwin Awards archive was born on a Stanford University webserver in 1994. It spun off a regular email newsletter that is still available today. News of the website spread, and nominations culled by avid followers flew in from far and wide. As the number of stories in the archive grew, so did its acclaim. It became the locus for new Darwin Awards.
Eventually the website became more popular than Stanford's research-oriented webpages. The sysadmin suggested that it might be happier on someone else's server, and www.DarwinAwards.com was born.
www.DarwinAwards.com is the principal repository for official Darwin Awards and associated tales of misadventure. New nominees are submitted daily, and made available for public comment in the Slush Pile. The website nurtures a community of free thinkers who debate the merits of controversial nominees in the Philosophy Forum. The Forum is also home to a wide array of philosophical, political, and artistic conversations. Visitors to the website can sign up for a free newsletter, and register to win Darwin Awards T-shirts and other paraphernalia.
Wendy Northcutt studied molecular biology at UC Berkeley, then worked in a neuroscience research lab at Stanford University. She launched the Darwin Awards archive on a Stanford website, and emailed stories to a small list of friends. When academia began to pall, she joined a start-up company hoping to develop cancer and diabetes therapeutics, and continued to work on the Darwin Awards.
Eventually the lure of the Internet proved too strong to resist, and Wendy abdicated her laboratory responsibilities to pursue a dream. She now works as a freelance webmaster, and hones her skills on the Darwin Awards website. Today, nominations from a worldwide network of fans are presented for vote and debate at www.DarwinAwards.com.
Wendy first learned of the concept of the Darwin Awards from her cousin Ian, a mildly eccentric philosopher who later started his own religion in order to avoid shaving his beard while working in the pizza industry. Ian is now pursuing a degree in archeology, and his hair is no longer an issue.
Wendy devotes her free time to studying human behavior, writing Darwin Awards, reading, traveling, and gardening.
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