Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Yes, it’s time for another installment of The Darwin Awards. Enjoy…

(30 November 2004, Washington) Twenty-four year old Philip was found dead in the bedroom of his trailer home, with burnt remains of a Lava Lamp strewn over his kitchen. Puzzled investigators eventually pieced together a likely scenario for Philip's last moments.
Lava lamps are a mesmerizing distraction. Philip couldn't wait to fire up his new Lava Lamp. He plugged it in and waited for the pretty globs to begin their surreal dance. But after several frustrating minutes, nothing happened. Then a bright idea hit him: "Why not accelerate this painfully slow process?" He took the lamp to the kitchen, placed it on the stove, and turned up the heat.
In short order, the wax melted and began its sinuous dance. But the liquid was designed to be warmed by a 40-watt bulb. It was over-heated. Entranced by the display, Philip forgot that "heat expands". Whereas there was no room for expansion in the glass bottle, the Lava Lamp resorted to a violent explosion to relieve the pressure.*
One thick shard of glass blew straight through Philips's chest and into his heart. Philip stumbled into his bedroom, uttering "Aeternum vale!" (latin: farewell forever) as he collapsed and died.
Police found no evidence of alcohol or drug use, so it is safely presumed that Philip was in full possession of his senses when he went out with a bang.
[sidebar]The secret to the Lava Lamp is simple: A light bulb heats a bottle of colored wax and liquid. The wax is denser than the liquid at room temperature, and sits at the bottom. A 40-watt bulb heats the wax, and the wax expands and rises in an undulating blob. At the top, the wax cools and begins to sink.
* Why the instructions warn NEVER to place the lamp directly on a heat source, such as a stove.



At 6:11 AM, Blogger lime said...

that is kind of a freakish way to go!

At 5:32 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

No doubt!

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

He did NOT say that in Latin? Seriously???

At 6:26 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Oh no he di--ant. :D

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Lisa S. said...

James, thank you for providing the "new thing I learned today"(tm)
I never knew just what the lava in a lava lamp was.

At 4:47 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Hey, not a problem, Lisa. :D

At 10:21 PM, Blogger clever? said...

I liked your added touch of drama in his last moments, and I'm sure he would have said it if he had possessed the clarity of mind.

One might, of course, argue that his previous actions spoke conclusively to the clarity of mind he was capable of generating.

At 4:50 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Huh, are saying it may be laid on a little thick? :D

I know when I go out I will say a quote in latin: Caveat Deus Hic Veni

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