I think you all know all about The Darwin Awards. Many of them have been posted on HVAC-TALK. Here are some that I don't think have been posted yet. Even if they aren't all verified true, they all are still funny. BTW here is where to find plenty more: http://www.darwinawards.com
(21 March 2002, Kentucky) In his youth, the man had whiled away many an afternoon hopping trains and riding them fifteen or twenty yards down the rails before leaping back off. But by the time he was twenty years old, he had apparently lost the knack. While demonstrating the trick to friends, our hero tried to hop a southbound train, but failed to notice the simultaneous approach of a northbound train, and was struck and killed.
(15 April 2001, Tennessee) The day before the US tax filing deadline, a Memphis Darwin Award winner trying to beat a train drove around the crossing gates -- only to be struck by an oncoming vehicle whose driver had the same mad plan. The driver of one vehicle was killed, making this monumental stupidity the first instance we have witnessed of a Darwin Award winner crashing into an Honorable Mention. The accident happened to one side of the tracks, so the train passed by unimpeded.
(March 2001, Ghana) Tribal clashes are common in Northern Ghana, and people often resort to witchcraft with the hope of becoming invulnerable to weapons. For example, Aleobiga, 23, and fifteen fellow believers who purchased a "magical" potion to render them invincible to bullets. After smearing the magical lotion over their bodies for two weeks, Aleobiga volunteered to test the spell. He stood in a clearing while his friends raised their weapons, aimed, fired... You'd think he would have tested the spell on a non-essential body part first. Aleobiga is now roaming the Great Savannah in the sky, and the jujuman who supplied the defective magic was beaten for his failure.
Chihuahua, Mexico is home to two hot caverns containing the largest natural crystals known to man. "Walking into either of these caves is like stepping into a (sweltering) gigantic geode," described one awed observer. Some of the clear selenite crystals are over 20 feet long. The newly-discovered caverns, 1200 feet below the surface of the earth, carry a curse for those who seek to plunder their riches. A man recently tried to steal one of the magnificent crystals from the roof, and might have succeeded... if he hadn't stood directly beneath it while chopping it free. He was pinned beneath the sparkling stalactite as it heeded the call of gravity, and roasted in the 108 F cave.
(16 July, 2001, United States) An assistant plant manager for Blacklidge Emulsions died when he used an acetylene torch to cut a hole in a 10,000 gallon tank of asphalt emulsion. He was attempting to visually survey the amount of emulsion that remained in the tank, but "no safety precautions were taken before the cutting operation began," stated an OSHA representative. "[His] attention was twice called to a warning sign on the side of the structure which stated the contents were combustible. In complete disregard of safety procedures," the erstwhile manager "lit an acetylene torch and began cutting, causing an explosion that blew him 93 feet away.
air force story
This is also from the darwin awards website, where readers can write in their own personal experiences. Knowing that there are some ex Air Force members out there in HVAC-TALK land, I thought they might enjoy it.
Back a few years ago I was working for an Air Force contractor that manufactured combat aircraft for the US Airforce and many of it's allies. As part of my job I sometimes received flight reports or accident reports for aircraft 'failures'. The aircraft I was involved with at the time was the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Because of the awesome performance of this aircraft, the pilot's seat is tilted back about 30 degrees. This allows the pilot to remain conscious during those 9+ G turns. For extended missions, though, this position makes it awkward for the pilot to relieve himself. A pilot in a combat aircraft doesn't have access to the same facilities you might find on, say, a 747. To relieve himself, he has to urinate into a tube attached to a bag that is attached to his leg. Try this in a seat tilted back 30 degrees and you'll see where this story is going. We received several reports of F-16s crashing with no apparent aircraft failure. In addition, the pilot was disconnected from his 'seat belt' webbing. The truth finally came out when one of these occurrences ended with the pilot managing to survive. You see, the pilots in question were removing their webbing to allow them to sit-up in their seat to relieve themselves. The problem? The F-16 has a very sensitive joystick on the right side of the cockpit that controls the aircraft movements. The webbing would get caught up in the joystick while the pilot was relieving himself, and the aircraft would start doing all kinds of wild gyrations. All of this while the pilot was trying to get his other 'joystick' back in his pants. To make matters worse, he's no longer strapped into his seat, so he's bouncing around the cockpit like a frog in a blender. Can't blame the pilots too much, when you gotta go, you gotta go!