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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Martin World News: Dead selfie edition

So I was trying to put together a MWN post, but when you've done about a hundred "Unusual animal loose in your city", "Ugly naked woman dances in street", or "Idiot sticks something valuable up the butt" stories, they tend to lack something.  I even tried to go right to the sources (even North Korean news), and the best I could find was a story on Moscow being invaded by rabid hedgehogs.

Not a bit lying there.  Headline was on the "Adorable but dangerous" kinda level.

Then I happened across a news item about a young boy who decided to take a selfie with Dad's gun and hit the gun instead of the phone's trigger.  That story talked about how there have been FORTY-NINE selfie-related deaths in the last three years, so naturally I thought I'd try to drain it of what mirth their might be in being that stupid.

The article tells us that the Mecca of selfie stupidity is not the US of A, as you might have guessed.

Infographic: The Countries With The Most Selfie-Related Deaths | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

As you can see, it is that wonderful cesspool of humanity, India, which has the lead- including the latest one I told you about.  So my next question was, how old do you need to be to be this stupid.  Well, I was able to trace down the ages of 46 of the fifty bumbling would-be photogs, and here's what we come up with:

Ages 14-17: 11 deaths
18-22: 24
23-29: 6
30+: 5

So if you can make it past college and maybe grad school, you might be safe.  Grad school is a whole other thing, but I'll get to that in a minute.

I'll bet your big question is, HOW did they get killed taking a selfie?  So let's take a look at the leading activities in which the deceased was engaged in at the time of the oops moment.

We have a three-way tie for the most deadly activity with 7 each, but only because ONE incident took out 7 in one shot.  That was when a group decided to take selfies standing up on one side of a boat at the same time.  The principle of balance (as well as that of knowing how to swim) escaped them, and there you go.

The second "lucky 7" was uncommonly popular.  when you count the seven people struck by a train while standing on the tracks with the train coming up behind them, the four that were electrocuted by live wires while being on top of a train car, and and the two that fell off railroad bridges, trains actually rack up 26.5% of all selfie fatalities.

The third seven is that old favorite, falling off a cliff or ledge.  It could have, were I less picky, been eight, but I counted "falling off the edge of a crater into a volcano" as a separate entry.

With the two railway incidents, falling from a bridge collected 4; and with three, we have "taking selfies while operating a moving vehicle"- one in a car while posting the selfie to social media, ending in a head-on collision; one on a motorbike; and one, believe it or not, while piloting an airplane.

A handful of choices garnered 2 votes- falling down a staircase (one at the Taj Mahal for bonus points); posing with guns (which also took out a drunken Mexican veterinarian); drowning by slipping off the bank of a canal; drowning by getting swamped by a wave; and two "young men" from Russia who thought the cherry on their selfie sundae would be to PULL THE PIN from the live hand grenade the were posing with.  (The families were comforted by the fact that though their young men didn't survive, the phone- and the selfie- did.)

Finally a few singletons, so far anyway:  hanging from a building (apparently by one hand), and while being pursued down the streets of Pamplona by an enraged bull.

Not many of the stories had the job qualifications listed:  there was the aforementioned vet and pilot; a musician (on the motorbike), an amateur photographer (aren't they all?), and several students.  including at least three engineering students (one of which hadn't studied that the crumbling rock at the edge of the cliff he was standing on MIGHT give way), and a pair of pre-meds.  One was a Polish couple who had lived in Portugal (site of the cliff in question) who left a five and a six year old watching as the assumed a lower center of gravity.

So, was this not an uproariously funny subject to peruse?  Perhaps you might get a little kick out of it.  Hopefully not while you're taking a selfie on top of a train car.  I think rather it might be a better PSA from your humble author:

Don't be an idiot.  You'll look the same when you're in a safe position.


  1. I'm waiting for someone to be killed while taking a selfie in their bathtub because the phone was plugged in (charging) and they drop it into the water.

    Only a matter of time...

    "Think of how stupid the average person is, and remember that half of them are dubmer than that"
    -George Carlin

    1. Maybe if I do an update in three years...

  2. Chris:
    --On the selfie-deaths, have you taken into account ALL the MEXICANS that came across our border ILLEGALLY who may have artificially inflated OUR stats?
    --Those "causes" are the stuff that even Mr. Obvious wouldn't touch with the ten foot (selfie) pole!
    --I've had a fascination with railroads, but always respected the activity of "rail-fanning". Gotta show you all my slides some day.
    --Cliff & ledges - NOPE!
    I follow the LAW (of gravity, that is).
    --I think this was a good subject...and one that is (sadly) a sign of our times.
    Wonder if those recently-deceased got THEIR OWN SIGNS...heh.

    Good post.

    Stay safe (and away from cliffs) up there, brother.

  3. Australia didn't even get a mention and the country is full of idiots taking photos of themselves doing stupid things, go figure