Friday, April 14, 2006

From Our Darwin Files

Did you hear the one about the Ventura, California teacher who used a live artillery round to squash a bug?
A teacher who kept a 40-mm artillery shell on his desk as a paperweight blew off part of his hand when he apparently used the ammunition to try to squash a bug, authorities say.

The 13-centimetre-long shell exploded Monday while Robert Colla was teaching 20 to 25 students at an adult education class.

Part of Colla's right hand was severed and he suffered severe burns and minor shrapnel wounds to his forearms and torso, fire Capt. Tom Weinell said. No one else was injured. He was reported in stable condition at a hospital.

The teacher slammed the shell down in an attempt to kill something that was buzzing or crawling across the desk, said Fire Marshal Glen Albright.

Colla found the 40-mm round while hunting years ago and "obviously he didn't think the round was live," said Dennis Huston, who teaches computer design with Colla.
I guess everyone makes mistakes, but some seem to have implications that are downright Darwinesque.

The condition of the bug remains unknown.

Mortarboard Tip: Samantha Burns
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