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Comments & Curiosities: Is it fair for me to know so much?

January 01, 2011|By Peter Buffa

I could tell you the winners of the 2010 Darwin Awards, but those are a few weeks away and I don't want to ruin it for you. The Darwins, as you know, are awarded annually to those men and women whose time on this Earth came to an end due to a jaw-dropping act of stupidity, almost always involving some combination of poor planning and alcohol.

The Associated Press ran a story last Monday, though, about a 23-year old man from Clemson, S.C., who came that close to qualifying for a Darwin but did not because he survived, though not through any fault of his own. At about 9 p.m. Monday, the young man was partying with friends — and yes, alcohol was involved — when the discussion turned to "Frogger," a popular '80s arcade game where you try to get your little frog across a busy street before one of the speeding cars or trucks on the screen turns him into Flat Kermit.


At some point, the young man got the stunningly bad idea that trying to play "Frogger" in real life might be fun. To demonstrate, he led his party crew to a busy four-lane highway, shouted "Go!", then ran out into traffic, where he was immediately thrown for a significant loss by a speeding SUV.

He survived — incredibly — was rushed to the hospital and is expected to fully recover. It's just one more lesson that whenever you think you've heard the dumbest story ever, someone out there will prove you wrong.

On the science front, global warming will continue unabated in 2011, with more record-breaking cold and snowstorms across the country in November and December.

In August, the FDA will announce that not only does Echinacea do little for the common cold, but force-feeding 150 tablets of it to laboratory mice increases the possibility of heart attack and stroke and gives them really bad gas.

I think that's it. I have no more to tell you.

I am spent, exhausted, my vision thing is gone, for now. But this much I can tell you. Whatever happens between now and January 2012, we will laugh a little, cry a little, and still be talking about the fairgrounds.

It's all good. Sort of. I gotta go.

PETER BUFFA is a former Costa Mesa mayor. His column runs Sundays. He may be reached at

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