Deus Ex Machina
( Excerpt from Chapter 5 )
Deus ex machina is a theatrical term referring to a contrivance of playwrights faced by an irreconcilable plot line, who opt to have a god swoop down and untangle the situation. The heroes in this chapter contrive to find themselves in perilous juxtaposition to their machinery, situations from which they require divine intervention to survive--or not!
Darwin Award: What's That Sound?
Confirmed by Darwin
2 August 2002, Kansas |
Police said an Olathe man was struck and killed by a train after his
vehicle broke down on Interstate 35. His attempts at repairing his car had
failed, and he had stepped away from the busy freeway to call for help.
As luck would have it, he chose to stand on train tracks paralleling the
road. When the train engineer spotted him standing on the tracks, the man
was holding a cell phone to one ear, and cupping his hand to the other ear
to block the noise of the oncoming locomotive.
Reference: Kansas City Star, KCTV Channel 5 News, eyewitnesses.
Darwin Award: Wounded Wire Bites Back
Confirmed by Darwin
14 February 2002, Pennsylvania
Daniel and his friend were practicing their marksmanship by shooting at
targets in a farm field. But instead of the usual choices of mice,
bottles, or birds, they selected a more worthy adversary: electrical
These pear-shaped glass or plastic devices are intended to hold electrical
wires aloft, but after the men shot six insulators off two utility poles,
the shattered targets were no longer up to the job. A high-voltage wire
fell to the ground and Daniel, attempting to prevent a fire, seized the
sizzling wire in his hand, and was electrocuted.
An Allegheny Power spokesperson advised people not to shoot at electrical
Reference: Herald Mail
C h a p t e r 5 S t o r i e s
Darwin Awards - Honorable Mentions - Personal Accounts
from the Dawn of Life
What's That Sound?
Stay With the Herd!
Coke Is It!
Where's the Chute?
Path of Least Resistance
Think Before You Leap
The Worm Has Turned
Bees 1, Humans 0
The Unkindest Cut
Train of Thought
Wounded Wire Bites Back
High on Grass
(un)Armed and Dangerous
Duct Tape Teacher
Laser Dim Bulb
Electric Safety Lesson
Refutations of biological dawn-of-life theories.
Coke Is It! The family's version.
Mechanic Mayhem: More Facts
Tied Off: Eyewitness and Media Reports
Photos of people duct taped to walls.
Wendy Northcutt holds a degree in molecular biology
from UC Berkeley. She began writing Darwin Awards
in 1993, and founded the website soon thereafter.