Friday, June 27, 2008

Bottom of the News… Friday, June 27, 2008

Good morning my fellow Rotarians… Well, it's that time again... The annual Darwin Awards were recently announced. These awards recognize people who kill themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid ways. Yes, they have awards for this and please know that each of these are true!

To begin, here are a few of the semifinalists...

Snake Catcher
A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend, no doubt a future Darwin Awards candidate, was hospitalized.

Bungee Jumper
A 22-year-old Reston, VA , man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70-foot rail road trestle. Fairfax County police said the man taped the straps around one foot and anchored the other end to the railroad trestle. Citing the apparent cause of death as “major trauma”, investigators noted that the length of the cord was longer than the distance between the trestle and the ground.

Cigarette Lighter
Warehouse employees in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas and sensibly, management evacuated the building extinguishing all potential sources of ignition; lights, power, etc. Upon evacuation, two technicians from the gas company entered the building, but found difficulty navigating in the dark without lights.

After a massive explosion, investigators surmised that one of the technicians must have used a cigarette lighter for light. The explosion was massive, sending objects up to three miles away and nothing was found of the technician’s bodies. The lighter however was found and was virtually untouched by the explosion.

Rocket Scientist
Now, the winner of this year's Darwin Award (awarded, as always, posthumously):

The Arizona Highway Patrol found a smoldering pile of metal embedded in the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene. Police investigators finally pieced together the mystery.

A rocket scientist from Arizona had somehow obtained a Jet Assisted Take Off unit (or JATO), which is a solid fuel rocket that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra 'push' for taking off from short airfields.

The scientist took his Chevy Impala to a long stretch of road in the desert, attached the JATO unit to his car and after getting up some speed fired off the rocket.

It appears that the 1967 Impala hit the JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. The JATO would have caused the Chevy to hit 350 mph running at that speed for 20-25 seconds. The driver, and soon to be pilot, would have experienced G-forces comparable to what F-14 pilots experience under full afterburners and he most likely passed out before the crash.

Marks on the highway show the car became airborne for his last 1.4 miles. He hit the cliff face at a height of 125 feet leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock. Most of the driver's remains were not recoverable.

And these are the 2007 Darwin award winners, or subtitled… “Stupid ways to kill yourself!” There you have it, the Bottom of the News for this Friday, June 27, 2008.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bottom of the News… Friday, June 6, 2008

Good morning my fellow Rotarians… Well, it seems that there is no shortage of people in this world who do dumb things, so let’s give a listen to a few off the wall news stories from this past week.

Man Injures Buttocks after Mooning Restaurant

Netherlands (CNN) -- Dutch police say a college student who pushed his exposed buttocks against a restaurant window as a joke was injured when the glass broke and lacerated his behind.

Authorities say a man, 21, and two others had run down a street Sunday morning with their pants pulled down. The student pushed his behind against the window of a restaurant with the intention of “mooning” the customers when the window broke and cut him.

According to the police, the student suffered "deep wounds to his derriere." The man was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital. The cafe owner decided not to press charges after the students agreed to apologize to café employees and to pay for the broken window.

Store Qwner ordered to stop taking shoplifters' shoes

DURANGO, Colorado (AP) — Police are telling a liquor store owner to give shoplifters back their shoes.

Tired of losing a $1,000 a month in merchandise to thefts, Gabe Fidaque started telling shoplifters he caught that they had two choices: Give him a shoe or he would call the police.

Many shoplifters would give up a shoe. But Durango police told Fidaque this past week to stop the practice or risk facing charges of felony robbery. Shoplifting, in contrast, is a misdemeanor.

"I would suggest that he find a different option that doesn't involve giving up property," said police Capt. Micki Browning. "What's the difference between him saying, 'Give me $20 and I won't call the police' or 'Give me your shoe?"'

Fidaque was ordered to return the shoes to their owners — if he can find them. He reluctantly agreed. But he stands by his method because whenever he reported people to the police they would return hours after being arrested to steal again.

"The whole point,” Fidaque said, “is that people are too humiliated to come back and ask for their shoe, which means they won’t s steal from my store again."

Not Fool or Theft Proof!

In Berlin, Germany, police were testing a "theft-proof" patrol car. The special BMW was equipped with surveillance equipment, electronic locks, and several other systems to ensure that this car could not be stolen.

Well, guess what… you got it, the car was stolen. But how? Well, the two officers assigned to the test vehicle both jumped out of the car to chase a car thief on foot and eventually they finally admitted that they left the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition.

Eventually they got the car back and now the department is looking for local citizens to test the effectiveness of this new fool and theft proof BMW. I figured we could just volunteer Bart for the job, he seems to have a knack for keeping track of BMW’s!

And that is the Bottom of the News for Friday, June 6, 2008.