Charles Darwin's Darwin Awards 
Darwin Awards
At-Risk Survivors
Urban Legends
Personal Accounts
Slush Pile
Science Essays 
"Brother, Can You Spare a Banana?"
Love Bites
Endogenous Retroviruses and Evolution
Origin of the Novel Species Noodleous doubleous
Aquatic Apes Are People, Too!
Chicken Little Was Right
AIDS, Bubonic Plague, & Evolution
The Skinny On Fat
Forensic Analysis: Achieving Justice
The End of the Universe
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Darwin Awards

Darwin Awards
Book 4

The Darwin Awards archive was born on a Stanford University webserver in 1994. Its cynical view of the human species made it a favorite speaker in classrooms, offices, and pubs around the world. News of the website spread by word of mouth, and submissions flew in from far and wide. As the archive grew, so did its acclaim.

The website matriculated to its own domain in 1997, won dozens of Internet awards, and now ranks among the top 3,000 most-visited websites. It currently entertains half a million visitors per month in its comfortable Silicon Valley home. Guests are welcome to set off fireworks and play on the trampoline. is the locus for official Darwin Awards and related tales of misadventure. New accounts of terminal stupidity appear daily in the public Slush Pile. Visitors can vote on stories, sign up for a free email newsletter, and share their opinions on the Philosophy Forum-a community of free thinkers who enjoy numerous philosophical, political, and scientific conversations.

Wendy Northcutt studied molecular biology at Berkeley, worked in a neuroscience research laboratory at Stanford, and later joined a biotech startup developing treatments for cancer and diabetes. She wrote the Darwin Awards while waiting for her dastardly genetic manipulations to yield results.

Eventually Wendy shrugged aside lab responsibilities in favor of an offbeat career. She now works as a webmaster, and writes both code and prose for the Darwin Awards website. Much of her time is spent wishing she could catch up on work.

In her free time, Wendy chases eclipses, spends time with friends, and inhabits an increasingly eccentric wardrobe. Interests include reading, cooking, cats, gardening, and glassblowing. The vagaries of human behaviour continue to intrigue her.

Annaliese Beery is a graduate student in neuroscience. Annaliese loves the entire field of biology, from molecular genetics to ecology. She spent several years teaching high school students AP biology, chemistry, computer science, and AP environmental science. While it's hard to beat summers off for field studies and outdoor adventures, Annaliese pried herself away from teaching and began her Ph.D. program a few years ago. She still collects biology stories of all kinds.

Annaliese contributed two essays:
Love Bites, page 90.
The Skinny On Fat, page 250.

Stephen Darksyde is a freelance science writer with a strong background in math and physics. He has a longstanding interest in conveying the wonder and importance of science to the layperson. Stephen writes regularly for the Daily Kos, one of the most visited blogs in the world. He lives near Kennedy Space Center in Florida in "Darksyde Manor" with Mrs. DS, a cat named Nikki, and a dog named Darwin.

Stephen contributed four essays:
AIDS, Bubonic Plague, and Human Evolution, page 26
Aquatic Apes Are People, Too!, page 66
Endogenous Retroviruses and Evolution, page 150
The End of the Universe, page 283.

James G. Petropoulos was born and raised in Queens, New York City. He attended Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (BA, Naval Commission). James works as an animator and director in traditional drawn media and CGI. He served as a Naval Reserve officer for eleven years and is now a bandsman with the 199th Army Band, NY Army National Guard. He is a professional bandleader and jazz percussionist, as well as a Sunday School teacher, Freemason, and Darwin Awards moderator.

James contributed the essay,
"Brother, Can You Spare a Banana?", page 118.

Scientist Tom Schneider studies the mathematics of biology. "Living things are too beautiful for there not to be a mathematics that describes them." He spends his free time on the contra dance floor, and cohabits with a cactus named Hairy who has not yet participated in pasta experiments.

Tom contributed the parody scientific research paper,
"Origin of the Novel Species Noodleous doubleous."

Norm Sleep teaches geophysics at Stanford University.His interests include conditions on the Earth and the habitability of other planets. He was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and grew up in the paper mill town of Parchment. He graduated from Michigan State University and arrived at MIT during the plate tectonic scientific revolution. His thesis was on subducting slabs. He taught at Northwestern University before moving to Stanford. His interest in habitability stems from his work on hydrothermal circulation at midoceanic ridges and his work on the feeble tectonic activity on Mars.

Norm contributed the essay,
Chicken Little Was Right, page 182.

Maia Smith will not be returning to school this fall. Instead, she plans to travel full-time, returning to Martha's Vineyard each summer to work, hang out with friends, and decompress. Her list of possible careers includes any combination of midwife, bush pilot, artist, commercial diver, overseas English teacher, ethicist, and satirist; for now, "professional vagrant" seems apt. Her most recent travels are chronicled on her website,

Maia contributed the essay,
Forensic Analysis: Achieving Justice, page 226.

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