Monday, March 21, 2011

Five People Who Died In Order to Prove A (retarded) Point

History is full of great men and women who laid down their lives for a cause they believed in; missionaries, scientists, soldiers, warriors, explorers, etc. What the history books don't tell you about, however, is the small handful of small-brained people who've given their lives for causes that really didn't matter to anyone but them.

Actually I got this from the web, and it's freaking funny(oh by the way I do appreciate human lives so I do label their fate as TRAGIC). Here are five people who proved a very important point: It's really easy to die doing something retarded.

Franz Reichelt
This dude was a tailor by trade. He dreamed of inventing a fashion accessory that would allow a person to float safely to the ground after falling from a great height (perhaps after jumping out of one of those new-fangled flying machines they were experimenting with at the time).
Well, he was trying to prove that he was both an awesome inventor and that the law of gravity simply did not apply to him. But what he actually proved was that Newton's law of universal gravitation DOES apply to him. More specifically, he proved that falling from a great height will result in death even if you happen to be wearing one of these convenient, comfy garments.

Reichelt's "coat parachute," was supposed to function in the same way as a modern parachute. The ultimate test of his invention was when, in 1912, he jumped off the Eiffel Tower in front of an assembled group of worried onlookers. You can pretty much imagine how that went.

It's difficult to imagine how Reichelt could have thought his invention would be successful. Sure, Batman pulls off this stunt repeatedly and with alarming ease in The Dark Knight. However, Bruce Wayne had the advantage of space age smart cloth, he wasn't just sewing a bunch of trench coats together. And he's also the goddamned Batman.

Bando Mitsugoro VIII
Bando Mitsugoro VIII was a Japanese Kabuki actor, good enough to be named a "living national treasure" by the Japanese government, a title that became particularly poignant in 1975 when he became rather the opposite of living.
On the 16th of January of that year, Mitsugoro went to a restaurant with friends and ordered four "fugu livers." These are better known in Western society as "pufferfish liver" or "a deathwish", as the fish are so poisonous you should call a hazmat team every time one washes up on the beach.

Mitsugoro's intended to prove his immunity to the poison by ingesting four times the amount that could ordinarily kill a dude. Then, he jumped into a sports car and sped off a cliff.

Seven hours after ingesting the four livers, Mitsugoro was dead. According to the Fugu experts at Wikipedia, the victim of the neurotoxin found in fugu liver "remains fully conscious throughout most of the ordeal, but cannot speak or move due to paralysis, and soon also cannot breathe and subsequently asphyxiates."
By the way why did he think he's immune to the toxin? Don't think he is.

Garry Hoy
Garry Hoy was a lawyer from Toronto, Canada, jumping (or plunging) to his death from the glass windows of his 24th storey office in the Toronto-Dominion Centre. Well.. you know, there are times when seniors just wanted to show off at interns. He claimed that the glass windows of his office was UNBREAKABLE.
Garry tested his little theory by slamming his body up against the glass. What is shocking about this story is that the window gave way on his second attempt. Apparently Garry was unable to rest after having risked his life just one time. We can imagine how the scene went down:

Garry: "These windows are unbreakable, kids!"

[General laughter.]

Garry: "No really, check this out. Don't try this at home, kids."

[Garry hurls himself at the glass to shocked cries. The glass holds, and raucous applause erupts from the interns.]

Garry: "Hold your applause. I'm not satisfied with having proved the strength of this glass just once."

[Garry's face turns dark.]

Garry: "Let's see what you're really made of, glass."

[Garry gets a 30 foot running start and launches himself, Superman style, through the glass. This time, the window gives way and sends him plunging(or jumping?) to his death.]
Perhaps the best (or worst, if you value human life) part about this story is that it wasn't actually the glass that broke - the window pane popped out, and is the reason he fell to his death. So he did prove a point-the glass was unbreakable.

Jennifer Strange
She was a 28-year-old woman and a mother of three from California. She lived a perfectly normal life, until she saw a chance to get the hot toy of the year: a Nintendo Wii. Parents were lining up in the middle of the night to get the things.
In 2007, the radio station KDND 107.9 "The End" held a competition cleverly titled "Hold Your Wee for a Wii," in which participants had to consume copious quantities of water without using the bathroom. The prize, as you may have guessed, was a Nintendo Wii, and Jennifer Strange felt she needed one of these so badly that she would go against thousands of years of biological imperative and prove that she didn't need to urinate.
Jennifer died of a condition known as "water intoxication", which is caused when vast amounts of liquids are taken into the body and results in a fatal electrolyte imbalance in the brain.

On one hand, you could try to dress this up by saying she just really cared about her children. But then you remember that she wasn't putting her body through agony and unnatural stresses to win some life-saving medicine for her kid. It was a Nintendo fucking Wii. And it wasn't like some once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, either, if they waited a few months they could have just bought one off the shelf at freaking Wal-Mart.
Everybody involved at the radio station was fired. And, adding insult to death, Jennifer didn't even win the competition.

Christopher McCandless
Everyone, at some point in their life, has had the desire to just leave it all behind. For some people, this involves starting over in another country, for others, it involves cancelling their World of Warcraft subscription. Christopher McCandless decided, fuck it, he'd just leave his family, and all of civilization, behind.
McCandless had a strong contempt for the "empty materialism of American society," and just took off to live in the wild of Alaska, with little to no food or equipment. Just the way nature intended!

What he didn't realize though, was that the corrupt, capitalist society he so loathed was pretty much the only thing keeping him alive. Though the book on McCandless's life and the movie it spawned were sympathetic to the whole situation, many Alaskans believe that he was foolish to embark on such a lifestyle without the appropriate skills or equipment, such as a map or compass. Or common sense.
Alaskan Park Ranger Peter Christian has said,

"When you consider McCandless from my perspective, you quickly see that what he did wasn't even particularly daring, just stupid, tragic, and inconsiderate. First off, he spent very little time learning how to actually live in the wild. He arrived at the Stampede Trail without even a map of the area. If he [had] had a good map he could have walked out of his predicament [... ] Essentially, Chris McCandless committed suicide."

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