Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some People--Potential Darwin Award Nominee

I'm not sure if you are aware of the Darwin Awards--they are given to people for trying to remove themselves from the gene pool for doing really stupid, even unimaginable things. They make incredibly fascinating reading. I have a 2010 nominee:

I read the following in the Baltimore Sun yesterday:

A 25-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the foot while intoxicated in a Reisterstown home early Wednesday morning, a Baltimore County Police spokesman said.

Donald Burshnick, 25, of Maine, N.Y., was drunk with other people in a house in the 1500 block of Nicodemus Road, said Cpl. Mike Hill of Baltimore County Police.

At about 3:30 a.m., he retrieved a loaded rifle from within the home and fired a shot into the floor, the spokesman said. "However, he struck his foot," Hill said.

He gave police detectives varying accounts about what had happened before admitting he was drunk, Hill said. Initial reports of the incident described it as a hunting accident. No charges will be filed, Hill said.

So let me get this straight--he aimed at the floor and missed! Hitting his foot!

In a house filled with other people? He discharged a rifle?


He's lucky he didn't his something more critical--or maybe he should have.

A definite Darwin Award candidate.

As an example, I provide this Darwin Award winner from 2009:

(10 January 2009, Pennsylvania) An embarrassed and seriously injured 17-year-old initially claimed that an explosive had been planted in his backpack by persons unknown. However, police investigators soon extracted the truth from the feckless teen. He found an M-80 explosive at his grandmother's house, took it to his room to examine it, and began to repeatedly light and extinguish the fuse. During one of these cycles the fuse would not go out, so he jammed the red cardboard tube between his thighs and covered it with his hand to muffle the explosion. This plan was less successful than he had hoped.

Commonly thought to be a quarter stick of dynamite, M80's (according to actually contain flash powder rather than TNT, and only 1/50 the amount--just under 3 grams. Used by the U.S. Military to simulate grenade explosions, M80's were outlawed in 1966 under the Child Protection Act. They are not safe enough to be detonated by the average man on the average street, let alone by the average 17-year-old.

One loud KABOOM! later, our junior pyrotechnics specialist had lost his right hand, right leg, and--very likely--his right to reproduce, earning him a living Darwin Award. * As always, my regrets to the boy and his family.

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