Friday, December 12, 2014

"Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

I'm somewhat nonplussed by the (all too obvious) conclusions of a group of British medical researchers.

A 20 year study of the Darwin Awards, an annual review of the most foolish way people have died, found almost 90 per cent were 'won' by males.

Named after Charles Darwin, who postulated the suvival of the fittest, it recognises those who have inadvertently improved the gene pool by elimiating themselves from the human race by astonishingly stupid methods.

Worthy candidates have included a man stealing a ride home by hitching a shopping trolley to the back of a train, only to be dragged two miles to his death before it was able to stop, and the terrorist who unthinkingly opened his own letter bomb on its return after he posted it with insufficient stamps.

Other examples include the man who shot himself in the head with a 'spy pen' weapon to show his friend it was real, and the thief attempting to purloin a steel hawser from a lift shaft - and unbolted it while standing in the lift which then plummeted to the ground, killing him.

. . .

Of the 318 valid cases ... 282 (88.7 per cent) were awarded to males and just 36 to females, a gender difference entirely consistent with male idiot theory (MIT) that states men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.

. . .

Dr Dennis Lendrem, of the University of Newcastle, said ... an honourable mention must go to the man who slipped when using a belt sander as an auto erotic device and lost a testicle.

Repairing his scrotum with a staple gun, he was able to salvage his remaining testicle thus failing to eliminate himself completely from the gene pool, so he did not qualify for an award and was eliminated from the analysis.

. . .

Dr Lendrem said: "Despite these limitations there can be little doubt Darwin Award winners seem to make little or no real assessment of the risk or attempt at risk management. They just do it anyway. In some cases, the intelligence of the award winner may be questioned.

"For example, the office workers watching a construction worker demolishing a car park in the adjacent lot must have wondered about the man's intelligence.

"After two days of office speculation - how does he plan to remove the final support to crash the car park down safely? - they discovered, on the third day, that he didn't have a plan. The concrete platform collapsed, crushing him to death and flattening his mini-excavator."

He said anecdotal data support the hypothesis alcohol makes men feel 'bulletproof' after a few drinks, and it would be naive to rule this out.

"For example, the three men who played a variation on Russian roulette alternately taking shots of alcohol and then stamping on an unexploded Cambodian land mine.

In case you were wondering, the mine eventually exploded, demolishing the bar and killing all three men.

There's more at the link.

Haven't these (allegedly) medical researchers ever watched kids at play?  From infancy onward, most little boys are a darn sight more naughty destructive disgusting adventurous than most little girls.  I can only assume it's genetic.  As they grow up, the trend continues.  I can't believe the researchers have never heard of (or even, in their younger days, said themselves) something like "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

The Darwins, dominated by men.  Who'd a thunk it?



OldAFSarge said...

Heh. No real surprises there Peter.

The land mine Russian roulette is a new one to me. Damn!

Paul, Dammit! said...

Gah, it's almost like they went in biased against the idea that biological gender has an impact through chemical and instinctual behavior processes.

The social-engineering that comes with non-scientific ideas such as total gender parity has a pretty obvious cost to critical thinking skills. I can't even use the best-fitting term to describe these people anymore, as it's insulting to real mentally challenged folk, but 'retard' is a perfect fit here.

Coconut said...

Where's the howl of outrage at the blatant sexism of such claims?

It's almost as though all that waffle about equality for all isn't actually true.

Billll said...

Once you understand that Testosterone makes you stupid, and Estrogen makes you crazy, it becomes clear that this is nature's way of keeping us from becoming extinct.

Excessive amounts of either tend to eliminate the bearer from the gene pool one way or another, but it also provides evidence that God has a sense of humor.

Rev. Paul said...

+1 on Billll's comment. :)

Mike_C said...

> I can't believe the researchers have never heard of [...] "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

No idea about these particular researchers, but the "Holiday Issue" of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) traditionally has a number of silly/spoof articles mixed in with the regular content. One of the general conceits is to use accepted research methods to "investigate" a goofy idea or an obvious thing. Sort of the "proposal of a randomized trial to test efficacy of parachutes (versus nothing)" kind of "study."

Off the top of my head I recall a study where the authors wanted to see if there were indeed more animal bites (presenting to the Emergency Department/Casualty) during the full moon versus not. For those wondering, overall no greater frequency of biting across all animals, but when broken down by species there WERE more horse-bites*.

Another study investigated the "John Thomas Sign" which purports that in the event of lower extremity injury, the penis (as seen on x-ray) points to the injured side. Don't recall the results of that study.

The Holiday BMJ also has silly (but actual, as in true) case reports. I cannot unsee the report of an elderly man with urinary leakage incontinence (basically a slow-dripping, erhm, John Thomas). He had successfully dealt with the problem by inserting a bean as a sort of plug, but was forced to present to Casualty when the darn thing sprouted and he could not remove it.

*The horse-bite thing is a demonstration of the dangers of post hoc analyses where you start cutting the dataset into smaller and smaller chunks desperately searching for a small "p" value (statistical significance). In this realm there is no guarantee that your study is adequately powered, and the play of chance will eventually screw you into a[n almost certainly false] positive finding.

tweell said...

Ah, but guys have a higher population at both sides of the intelligence curve. There are far fewer woman twits, and far fewer woman geniuses. The Y chromosome appears to be where nature does most of the experimenting.

Kilroy said...

We just had one pass after playing Russian roulette with a semi-automatic pistol. People even tried to explain to him that you couldn't play that way.