Category Archive 'Darwin Awards'
17 Oct 2020

One Disaster After Another

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A surprisingly large percentage of these mishaps seem to take place in locations where people speak Spanish…

HT: Vanderleun.

08 Oct 2020

Love Hurts

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Cell Mate Chastity Cage (Short Model).

A $189 Chinese Bluetooth Chastity Ring designed for Domination games, or mere assured fidelity, has been shown to be vulnerable to hacking, and can be permanently locked by third parties, requiring the use of an angle grinder or other heavy power tool to cut the device off. A drastic solution, to say the least.

Additionally, its security flaws allow the hacker to steal the user’s passwords, birthday, location, and other sensitive data.


Drudge Now

02 Oct 2020

Scary, Aren’t They?

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HT: Vanderleun.

28 Sep 2020

The Story of the Jeep That Went Viral

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A Jeep Wrangler wound up dangling from a cliff on a Southern California bike trail after somebody drove it up there at night and had to abandon it and walk out.


The Ford Motor Company graciously offered to rescue it, and to document the rescue to use in some unaccountable way or other. One has the feeling that Ford Broncos would be involved.


No Bronco, no helicopter! A team from the local off-road club turned up with winches, straps, shackles and more Wranglers and saved the day.


The Drive did us all a big favor, they interviewed the driver and his brother and found out how it got there in the first place.

There’s only one question that still needs to be answered. How the hell did the Wrangler get up there in the first place?

Wonder no more. The Drive has the answer after tracking down and speaking with Car Internet’s most buzzed-about missing man this week: the Jeep’s owner, a local man named Ricky Barba. As you might’ve guessed, it all started with an ill-advised joyride to show off his rig. But there’s no way Barba could’ve known his misadventure would end up garnered nationwide attention from news stations, social media users and even corporate bigwigs.

And yes, what Barba did was dumb, incredibly dangerous, and wildly irresponsible. He could’ve easily died up there, or someone could’ve lost their life in the recovery effort. And we’re not even talking about the damage done to the bike trail, or the potential to start a brush fire at the height of fire season. Do not off-road by yourselves, after dark, in a place where it’s not allowed. Barba is incredibly lucky that he and his Jeep are still in one piece. There are saints out there in the constellation of off-road recovery Facebook groups, but you can’t count on them to save your bacon.

Anyway, the way Barba tells it, the whole thing started around a barbecue grill. He and his brother had dinner Sunday night, after which they decided around to go for a short off-road drive in Barba’s Wrangler around 7 p.m. A crucial detail is that sunset is at 6:45 p.m. in Los Angeles these days—wheeling alone is never a great idea, and that’s triply true after dark. Still, the brothers took off for a nearby recreational area in the wrinkled hills just south of Loma Linda, California, where he said they’d made memories with their late father years before.

Another key point relayed by Barba: He wasn’t driving. It was apparently his brother behind the wheel.

“So, [my brother] had never driven a Jeep,” Ricky explained. “He was like ‘Let me drive your Jeep’ because I’ve been trying to get him to buy one, so that’s how it started.”

An eager off-road newbie, a darkening sky, and someone else’s Jeep. You can see where this is going.

Now, this area is a network of rolling hills—”mountains” is overstating it, though there are definitely some long, steep dropoffs in places—along the south edge of the San Bernardino Valley, and it’s a hotspot for off-roaders. However, past a certain point it’s not fit for four-wheeling. A network of backroads winds from one side to the other, changing in elevation and winnowing down to single-track hiking and biking trails like Razor Ridge, where the Jeep eventually became terribly and utterly stuck.

Even though Barba and his brother had been there before, the clock wasn’t on their side this time. It was really getting dark, and a series of wrong turns landed them on one narrow trail after another. Unlike them at the time, you can probably see where this is going.

“We ended up driving farther and farther and farther, and he liked the way it handled so he’d say ‘Let me try this, let me try this.'”

Despite what the photos might lead you to believe, the Barba brothers didn’t make it that far. According to Jorgie Maldonado, a member of the Jalados 4×4 group that successfully recovered the Jeep, it was only 15 minutes from the dirt road in nearby Reche Canyon to the stuck Wrangler. …

Another clarification from Barba is that he and his brother initially made it across that knife-edged ridge in the now-famous photo. But when they got to the other side, they couldn’t see over the crest and decided to try and back up. If your head is spinning right now, you’re not alone

“How we crossed it, I don’t know. Obviously, we’re talking about heights, there was no moon, there were no lights. Only our headlights,” Barba told us.
Via Google Maps

It was during that doomed attempt to reverse back across the ridge that they veered off the narrow path to the east, putting the passenger side—where Barba was sitting—on a downhill slant.

“We were able to jump out and he was able to put it in park. If we would’ve went down, we would’ve been dead.”

The thing is, though, Barba says he did fall down, which made the situation even more complicated.

“I fell off the cliff, [my brother] called 9-1-1 for them to come and rescue me at that point, [but] that didn’t happen. ..

Finally, they ditched the Wrangler and left the area in the wee hours of Monday morning. Ricky claims they returned in the following days to secure the rig, which explains why later photos show a strap around its front bumper tied to a stake in the ground.

HT: Karen L. Myers.

08 Sep 2020

One More Time

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08 Sep 2020

The Next Major Nike Ad (Extended, Updated Version)

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Some thoughtful person edited several of them together. It just doesn’t get old, does it?

HT: Vanderleun.

07 Sep 2020

Sound On!

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Victoria Taft has more versions.


06 Sep 2020

I’m Not Riding Any Buses in Nepal!


Laughing squid videos.

HT: Karen L. Myers.

16 Mar 2020

Buyer Beware!

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17 Oct 2019

4-meter (13-foot) King Cobra Captured in Thai Sewer

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24 Jul 2019

Too Close to Bison

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09 Sep 2018

“Not Funny”

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The late Tommie Woodward.

Buzzfeed reports that, just because Tommie Woodward ignored warnings and jumped into the bayou at 2 A.M., winding up killed by an alligator, his grieving family feels he should not have been made into a Darwin Awards national joke.

On the night of July 2, 2015, Tommie Woodward was doing what Tommie did on Thursday nights — shooting pool, playing shuffleboard, drinking beer, having a good time at Burkart’s Marina, a beer and burger joint in Orange, Texas. Sometime around 2 a.m. he decided to go for a swim in the murky waters of Adams Bayou.

Michelle Wright, the bartender on duty, became concerned upon hearing Tommie’s plans. A few weeks earlier, the bar’s owner, Allen Burkart, spotted an exceptionally large alligator patrolling the bayou. He immediately erected a “No Swimming” sign, which was disregarded. The people of Orange frequently swam with the reptiles, and even nicknamed two of them Cheeto and Marshmallow. Wright pleaded with Tommie, but he was stubborn, never backed down from anyone or anything. He was going swimming. Wright returned to her bartending duties.

Tommie removed his shirt and billfold and, joined by his companion Victoria LeBlanc, tiptoed toward the water. At this point LeBlanc saw a big gator — maybe the same animal Burkart had encountered — emerge from beneath the dock. She alerted Tommie to its presence, who shouted back, “Fuck that gator!” and plunged into the bayou.

Tommie was near a small island across the swamp when the gator got his arm. When LeBlanc jumped into the water to save him, he yelled for her to return to land. She obliged, then frantically ran inside for help. After dialing 911, Wright grabbed a flashlight, killed the lights to reduce the glare, and scanned the water for him. After five minutes or so — she’s unsure — Wright found him facedown near the pier. The gator quickly pulled Tommie under again. He resurfaced about 20 yards downstream, before disappearing into the darkness.

Two hours later Tommie’s body was found with the left arm missing from the elbow down. His cause of death was drowning.

Tommie Woodward was the first person to die from an alligator attack in Texas since 1836. Shortly after the start of the Runaway Scrape, the mass evacuation of Texans fleeing Santa Anna’s army during the Texas Revolution, an alligator killed a man identified as Mr. King in a bayou near the present-day Harris County border. Mr. King was leading his horses across water when an alligator thumped him with its tail and dragged him under. Luckily for Mr. King — and his friends and family — his death occurred before the advent of television and social media.

News of Tommie Woodward’s death went viral with articles on, among other places, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, Fox News, and Gawker; the Associated Press picked up the story; it led the local TV news, of course. The local Beaumont Enterprise published a cautionary op-ed. The comment sections were busy and typically unsympathetic. The particulars — an animal attack, his famous last words, according to the police report — provided irresistible content.

Some outlets used an image from Tommie’s Facebook page of him chugging a Miller High Life while wearing a T-shirt that reads “Classy Motherfucker”; a news anchor for KFDM, the CBS affiliate in nearby Beaumont, breathlessly noted “the hundreds and thousands of pageviews and hundreds of comments” that the story generated on its website. Another circulated photo portrayed Tommie as the epitome of dudedom: grungy reddish-blonde chin strap beard, middle finger up, wearing a goofy cowboy hat, wraparound Guy Fieri shades, and a “This Guy Needs a Beer” shirt. On Facebook, strangers littered Tommie’s wall with comments like “lol rip dumbass” and “What. A. Dumb. Fuck.” A controversial hunt for the killer gator ensued, which only compounded the attention.

Tommie’s friends and family refuse to allow his final actions define the 28 years that preceded it. He loved Van Halen, Marilyn Monroe, and Ken Griffey Jr. He was good with his hands. He enjoyed assembling computers, building sandcastles with his nephew, fishing, swimming, camping, and grilling. He had an adoring big sister, a mom, a best friend, and an identical twin brother, Brian, all left to wrestle not just with grief over a freak tragedy, but also the aftermath of public humiliation. “I was severely pissed off at a lot of people that I’ve never met before,” his sister, Tabatha, says. “I was mad at everybody.”


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