"The Darwin Awards: Commemorating those individuals who...

Editor's Choice

January 21, 2001|By Michael Pakenham

"The Darwin Awards: Commemorating those individuals who ensure the long-term survival of our species by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion," by Wendy Northcutt (Dutton, 327 pages, $16.95).

If you are not yet aware of the Darwin Awards, you should probably be pitched out of the breeding population for sheer witless inattention to your culture. Wendy Northcutt, trained as a molecular biologist, began collecting -- and then posting on the Web -- examples of self-destruction by stupidity in 1993. This volume is a collection of the best of them, many fully authenticated, some probably apocryphal.Unless you happen to know the victim, most are delightfully funny. Taken together they constitute a delicious sermon in support of common sense.

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