The Darwin Awards

I watched the 2006 movie The Darwin Awards.  It has a scene with the Mythbusters and Metallica.  I thought it was ok, funny in places,  not hilarious like some reviewers were saying.  I’d give it 2.4 out of 5.
[From Wikipedia] The Darwin Awards is a 2006 American adventure comedy film based on the website of the same name written and directed by Finn Taylor, the film premiered January 25, 2006, at the Sundance Film Festival. The film features Joseph FiennesWinona RyderDavid ArquetteJuliette LewisWilmer ValderramaChris PennJulianna MarguliesRobin TunneyLawrence FerlinghettiBrad HuntAdam SavageJamie Hyneman and Metallica. This was Chris Penn‘s last movie before his death on January 24, 2006, the day before the film’s premiere. The film includes several full and partial re-enactments of “Darwin Awards“, the earliest of which were fictitious, most notably the debunked JATO Rocket Car story.
The Darwin Awards are a tongue-in- cheek honour, originating in Usenet newsgroup discussions around 1985. They recognise individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilisation by their own actions.

Accidental self-sterilisation also qualifies; however, the site notes: “Of necessity, the award is usually bestowed posthumously.” The candidate is disqualified, though, if “innocent bystanders”, who might have contributed positively to the gene pool, are killed in the process. The logical problem presented by award winners who may have already reproduced is not addressed in the selection process due to the difficulty of ascertaining if a person has or does not have children; the Darwin Award rules state that the presence of offspring does not disqualify a nominee[3].The project became more formalized with the creation of a website in 1993, and followed up by a series of books starting in 2000, authored by Wendy Northcutt. The criterion for the awards states, “In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chances of long-term survival.”[2]

People who have somehow miraculously survived their suicidal idiocy can be given an “Honourable Mention” if their attempted act of self removal is deemed worthy (and humorous), i.e. they tried their best.

The Darwin Awards books state that an attempt is made to disallow known urban legends from the awards, but some older “winners” have been “grandfathered” to keep their awards. The Darwin Awards site does try to verify all submitted stories, but many similar sites, and the vast number of circulating “Darwin awards” emails, are largely fictional.

[From Wikipedia] The account of the JATO Rocket Car was one of the original Darwin Awards winners: a man who supposedly met his death in a spectacular manner after mounting a JATO unit (a rocket engine used to help heavy aircraft to take off) onto an ordinary automobile. It was originally circulated as a forwarded email.

In 1996, after numerous inquires, the Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a news release posted on their website concerning the story. It termed the story “an Arizona myth.”

The story was also debunked in 2003 on the pilot episode of MythBusters, titled “Jet Assisted Chevy“.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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