CLOSE

The Stupidest Things Our Readers Have Done

We've all done some pretty stupid things in our lives. If you're looking for evidence, here are some of the confessions our readers made in an effort to win a copy of the latest Darwin Awards book.

Before announcing the winner, let's run through a few of the highlights. (Note: There was one entry I couldn't even bring myself to copy/paste. Every time I brush my teeth or cut my nails, it will haunt me.)

From Eric:
I had written the perfect college essay. Metaphors, real life examples, purpose, meaning, heart, it had all the necessary components to be successful. With an above average GPA and more than satisfactory SAT scores, my essay was the cherry on the ice cream. I submitted my application to my first-choice school.

Not too many weeks letter I received a rejection letter. I asked myself, "What could have possibly kept me out?" What I discovered was that in the final paragraph of the last component of my application, the personal essay, I had mentioned always wanting to go to Boston College since I was very young.

I was applying to Boston University.

From EMStoveken:
For YEARS I harbored the delusion that the TV show "Perfect Strangers" ended its run with the revelation that Balki and Larry were not actually related. That Balki had showed up at the home of the wrong Larry Appleton.

This was one of my many trivia tidbits that I shared freely at parties and late night diner sessions.

From Witty Nickname:
In eighth grade I was with my brother in the church parking lot. I don't remember why we were there alone, but we were. He had just gotten his driver's license, and we decided it would be a good idea for me to sit on the trunk of the car, and for him to drive around.

He started doing donuts, FAST! I fell off the back of the car and broke my arm. We drove back home quick, I told my parents we were playing tag, they never questioned why two teenagers were playing tag alone at church, and how it got so intense that I broke my arm.

From qt314159265:
Turns out, my van wasn't actually in park. It took off down the hill, narrowly missing several people. Unfortunately, it did NOT miss the vintage AirStream camper parked in its way. Did major structural damage to the camper. Basically, it destroyed a very valuable camper. Whoops. The owners of said AirStream were extremely pissed. My glib 18 year old recation was, $hit happens. Not a favorable response.

From Lauren:
Invading Russia in the Winter

From Charlotte:
Freshman year in college, rolling around on the floor with boy interest & nose ring = snagged nose ring & bleeding. I wish I could say that I had been drinking (alas I cannot). Did not want to get an infection so I decided to treat with alcohol. Picked up the alcohol bottle, laid on my bed and proceeded to pour rubbing alcohol up my nose. Burned out my nasal membranes and still have difficulty smelling with my left nostril.
I currently teach biology to pre-nursing students and somehow manage to share this story every semester.
I debated sharing this story or the one where I set myself on fire my junior year of college. But, I figure everyone's done that at least once. :-)

From Linda:
Not start reading Mental_floss until I was 12.

From Lisa:
Knowing that all that the mall cops could do was call the REAL police, me and my accomplice streaked down half the length of the mall, past several confused shoppers (thank GOD this was before the camera phone and YouTube) and right the hell to our cars.

From Kendyl's Husband:
I glued the garage door shut.

From Matthew C.:
After living in England for four years, I moved back to America in a very stupid way.

My plan was to fly from Heathrow, London to Charleston, WV where a friend of mine was waiting to drive me home. After an anxious hour of waiting, I got fed up and decided to rent a car and just drive myself home. I hadn't been there for many years and quickly got turned around and lost trying to find the main road to home. So, I stopped at a gas station for directions. The clerk had a hard time giving me directions because he'd never heard of my home town. So I actually asked, "Okay, how about you show me how to get to the main road leading East. I can take it from there." He pulled out a map and replied, "If you go East from here, you'll go into the ocean." It was a map of SOUTH CAROLINA. I was in Charleston, SC"¦not WV. When I bought the plane ticket in England, I failed to notice the state abbreviation.

From Stillsaw:
I watched "Witless Protection," one of Larry the Cable Guy's movies.

From Colin GG:
once in frustration after losing a foosball game I punched what I had always assumed to be our soft couch. What I actually punched quite squarely was the heavy iron bar frame, which did not cushion my hand but broke it instead. And this was just post-college so I didn't have insurance.

From Juan:
When I was about 12yrs old, I played little league baseball and loved to have some big league chew. I shoved the gum in to my mouth by the handful.

Well, one night we had a sleepover at a teammate's house and of course, we all had our big league chew. I had just taken another large pinch of gum when my friend's mom said we should get to bed soon. I figured that the gum still had too much flavor left in it to waste so I decided to save it for the morning. Not wanting to choke on the gum, I decided to hold it in my hand while I slept.

I learned just how much I toss and turn that night because I managed to roll around in the gum so much that it was everywhere. It was along my side and in my armpit so my arm was cemented to my side. I managed to get myself stuck to the carpet. My friends tried to pull me up, but I did not break loose.

The worst part of it is that like most people, I had to go to the bathroom very badly when I woke up. My friend's mom couldn't think of a way to unstick me from the carpet fast enough and I had an accident right there on the carpet. Needless to say, we did not have any more sleep overs. At least none that I knew of.

From Melanie:
It was my first week in college (Cornell in Ithaca, NY) and I decided to try out my first (and only) pair of rollerblades. I tried to stay slow. I weaved back and forth and I was almost constantly applying the break.
Right before my dorm, there is a large bridge that goes over a gorge, Ithaca is famous for people committing suicide by jumping into the gorges"¦

I head down the rest of the hill, gaining more speed that I should have, and hit a crack in the pavement and went flying forward, and landed on top of the bridge wall overhanging the gorge, one foot dangling over the precipice.

I crawled back on the pavement, took off my rollerblades and walked the rest of the way to the dorm terrified. I am a Cornell Graduate with an MBA from Hofstra, and I was less than a foot away from falling into a gorge freshman year. I probably would have made me a darwin award winner.

From Colin:
A friend of mine had a conversation about how we both like when women wear black pantyhose.

Later that day we went to the mall and at one point I said to him "Look, black hose" while motioning in the direction of a women in black pantyhose.

What I didn't realize was that in between us and the girl I was talking about were two African-American women who heard what I said - and heard ho's instead of hose.

I left quickly.

From Kait:
...Turns out my boyfriend's little brother flushed a toothbrush down the toilet right before i got there.

But because this was so brilliantly stupid and absolutely something I could see myself doing, the winner is Meredith:

"My sister left her phone at my house recently and I spent 20 minutes trying to call her to tell her to come pick it up already because it wouldn't stop ringing."

Congrats, Meredith! I will be in touch about your prize, and we'll wrap up the Anything for a Vote giveaway tonight.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Hulu
arrow
entertainment
10 Things We Know About The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2
Hulu
Hulu

Though Hulu has been producing original content for more than five years now, 2017 turned out to be a banner year for the streaming network with the debut of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 26, 2017. The dystopian drama, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book, imagines a future in which a theocratic regime known as Gilead has taken over the United States and enslaved fertile women so that the group’s most powerful couples can procreate.

If it all sounds rather bleak, that’s because it is—but it’s also one of the most impressive new series to arrive in years (as evidenced by the slew of awards it has won, including eight Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards). Fortunately, fans left wanting more don’t have that much longer to wait, as season two will premiere on Hulu in April. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season.

1. IT WILL PREMIERE WITH TWO EPISODES.

When The Handmaid’s Tale returns on April 25, 2018, Hulu will release the first two of its 13 new episodes on premiere night, then drop another new episode every Wednesday.

2. MARGARET ATWOOD WILL CONTINUE TO HELP SHAPE THE NARRATIVE.

Fans of Atwood’s novel who didn’t like that season one went beyond the original source material are in for some more disappointment in season two, as the narrative will again go beyond the scope of what Atwood covered. But creator/showrunner Bruce Miller doesn’t necessarily agree with the criticism they received in season one.

“People talk about how we're beyond the book, but we're not really," Miller told Newsweek. "The book starts, then jumps 200 years with an academic discussion at the end of it, about what's happened in those intervening 200 years. We're not going beyond the novel. We're just covering territory [Atwood] covered quickly, a bit more slowly.”

Even more importantly, Miller's got Atwood on his side. The author serves as a consulting producer on the show, and the title isn’t an honorary one. For Miller, Atwood’s input is essential to shaping the show, particularly as it veers off into new territories. And they were already thinking about season two while shooting season one. “Margaret and I had started to talk about the shape of season two halfway through the first [season],” he told Entertainment Weekly.

In fact, Miller said that when he first began working on the show, he sketched out a full 10 seasons worth of storylines. “That’s what you have to do when you’re taking on a project like this,” he said.

3. MOTHERHOOD WILL BE A CENTRAL THEME.

As with season one, motherhood is a key theme in the series. And June/Offred’s pregnancy will be one of the main plotlines. “So much of [Season 2] is about motherhood,” Elisabeth Moss said during the Television Critics Association press tour. “Bruce and I always talked about the impending birth of this child that’s growing inside her as a bit of a ticking time bomb, and the complications of that are really wonderful to explore. It’s a wonderful thing to have a baby, but she’s having it potentially in this world that she may not want to bring it into. And then, you know, if she does have the baby, the baby gets taken away from her and she can’t be its mother. So, obviously, it’s very complicated and makes for good drama. But, it’s a very big part of this season, and it gets bigger and bigger as the show goes on.”

4. THE RESISTANCE IS COMING.

Just because June is pregnant, don’t expect her to sit on the sidelines as the resistance to Gilead continues. “There is more than one way to resist," Moss said. “There is resistance within [June], and that is a big part of this season.”

5. WE’LL GET TO SEE THE COLONIES.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

Miller, understandably, isn’t eager to share too many details about the new season. “I’m not being cagey!” he swore to Entertainment Weekly. “I just want the viewers to experience it for themselves!” What he did confirm is that the new season will bring us to the colonies—reportedly in episode two—and show what life is like for those who have been sent there.

It will also delve further into what life is like for the refugees who managed to escape Gilead, like Luke and Moira.

6. MARISA TOMEI WILL APPEAR IN AN EPISODE.

Though she won’t be a regular cast member, Miller recently announced that Oscar winner Marisa Tomei will make a guest appearance in the new season’s second episode. Yes, the one that will show us the Colonies. In fact, that’s where we’ll meet her; Tomei is playing the wife of a Commander.

7. WE’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF GILEAD.

As a group shrouded in secrecy, we still don’t know much about how and where Gilead began. That will change a bit in season two. When discussing some of the questions viewers will have answered, executive producer Warren Littlefield promised that, "How did Gilead come about? How did this happen?” would be two of them. “We get to follow the historical creation of this world,” he said.

8. THERE WILL BE AT LEAST ONE HANDMAID FUNERAL.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

While Miller wouldn’t talk about who the handmaids are mourning in a teaser shot from season two that shows a handmaid’s funeral, he was excited to talk about creating the look for the scene. “Everything from the design of their costumes to the way they look is so chilling,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “These scenes that are so beautiful, while set in such a terrible place, provide the kind of contrast that makes me happy.”

9. ELISABETH MOSS SAYS THE TONE WILL BE DARKER.

Like season one, Miller says that The Handmaid’s Tale's second season will again balance its darker, dystopian themes with glimpses of hopefulness. “I think the first season had very difficult things, and very hopeful things, and I think this season is exactly the same way,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “There come some surprising moments of real hope and victory, and strength, that come from surprising places.”

Moss, however, has a different opinion. “It's a dark season,” she told reporters at TCA. “I would say arguably it's darker than Season 1—if that's possible.”

10. IT WILL ALSO BE BLOODIER.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

When pressed about how the teaser images for the new season seemed to feature a lot of blood, Miller conceded: “Oh gosh, yeah. There may be a little more blood this season.”

nextArticle.image_alt|e
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero
arrow
technology
Researchers in Singapore Deploy Robot Swans to Test Water Quality
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero

There's something peculiar about the new swans floating around reservoirs in Singapore. They drift across the water like normal birds, but upon closer inspection, onlookers will find they're not birds at all: They're cleverly disguised robots designed to test the quality of the city's water.

As Dezeen reports, the high-tech waterfowl, dubbed NUSwan (New Smart Water Assessment Network), are the work of researchers at the National University of Singapore [PDF]. The team invented the devices as a way to tackle the challenges of maintaining an urban water source. "Water bodies are exposed to varying sources of pollutants from urban run-offs and industries," they write in a statement. "Several methods and protocols in monitoring pollutants are already in place. However, the boundaries of extensive assessment for the water bodies are limited by labor intensive and resource exhaustive methods."

By building water assessment technology into a plastic swan, they're able to analyze the quality of the reservoirs cheaply and discreetly. Sensors on the robots' undersides measure factors like dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll levels. The swans wirelessly transmit whatever data they collect to the command center on land, and based on what they send, human pilots can remotely tweak the robots' performance in real time. The hope is that the simple, adaptable technology will allow researchers to take smarter samples and better understand the impact of the reservoir's micro-ecosystem on water quality.

Man placing robotic swan in water.
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero

This isn't the first time humans have used robots disguised as animals as tools for studying nature. Check out this clip from the BBC series Spy in the Wild for an idea of just how realistic these robots can get.

[h/t Dezeen]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios