Talk:Darwin Awards/Archive 2

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The following talk page archive is archived from Talk:Wendy Northcutt, whose article now redirects to Darwin Awards.


This article seems pretty silly to me. Her only claim to fame is running a site falsely advertising itself sa the originator of the Darwin Awards when they had been around a long time previously. I don't think this person is notable in the slightest. DreamGuy 23:34, September 11, 2005 (UTC)


I think this article is notable. Several books have been published, where Northcutt is credited as the writer or the editor; I have heard of her without having ever visited the website.--Carabinieri 11:08, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Bestselling Author

Northcutt is a best-selling author. I don't know whether she created the awards, but she definitely brought them to national attention, and made sure they stayed there.--Mike Selinker 06:38, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Wendy Herself

I'm Wendy Northcutt, and I was delighted to see an article on WikiPedia about me. I think there should be a article about me. It will be particularly useful as an obit for my spectacularly stupid demise. I encouraged the spread of the Darwin Award meme, turned the Darwin Awards into a community of contributors and moderators, and kept it intelligent by encouraging debate and rejecting common idiocies. Whoever wrote this (based on my book bio) did a very nice job, thank you!--Wendy 05:26, 07 December 2005 (UTC)

this article isnt neutral. there are no sources.

wendy shouldnt write her own entry.

i think the reason this entry is up here

is because if consult the history, youll see that wendy had a hand in editing it.

First, whoever is making anonymous edits would do well to learn the "four tidle" custom. It is advised that comments be ended with a series of four ~ marks to produce a signature, as we see on most of the comments here and elsewhere. As to the significance issue (i.e. the reason this entry is up here,) I thought that was clearly settled. Basically, the reason she merits an entry is because her work is available in most of the nation's (if not the world's) large general interest book stores. Is there any particular reason an open encyclopedia should lack an entry for a writer so widely read? Demonweed 23:28, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

This article is an NPOV vantiy page. I agree with the other user

lines such as "she's a leading authority on novel ways people remove themselves from the gene pool"

are not npov. they are meant-to-be-humourous compliments for something that is, without question, a novelty.

the fact that she was added in as the author of the movie is typical of this and the darwin award page.

which like many wikipedia articles related to popular culture has, through editing, become a product pitch.

The Snopes debate

The recently added URL may be relevant enough to allow in the Darwin Awards article, but it shows a profound failure of reading comprehension to claim that it is a critique of Wendy Northcutt's work. The list discussed in that document was not produced by her. In fact, her site correctly lists the Metallica story as an urban legend, and makes no mention of several others on that list. Mistaking critique of it for critique of her work could be an honest error, but is it an error nonetheless. Demonweed 10:38, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Snopes says: "The various "Annual Darwin Awards" e-mails (such as the one which is the topic of this article) do not originate with; they are put together by persons unknown." So whoever added the Snopes comment didn't even read the Snopes article. Greg 13:41, 25 August 2006 (UTC)


I can only assume that Ms Northcutt's bio details have come from the books she herself wrote. This article, like any other article needs verifiable citations from independent and reliable sources. - I@n 18:11, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

I see the point about self-published books or websites, but this is a best-selling author published by a reputable publisher. Are we going to doubt every bio of every author unless they have a published biography? Very few authors do. I can see how you end up deleting so much content, though. Greg 22:12, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

My changes 10/14/06

Hi, I put the interview back in by reverting and then rewrote Greg's latest edit back in although my wording was slightly different from his-(but if he prefers his it's ok.)My wording is "according to the short bigraphies in" whereas Greg's is "according to the bio in" As to the interview, I hope everyone agrees it's good content and is balanced. It's certainly doesn't make her out to be a monster. Regards,Rich 02:29, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

So let's get this straight: the whole point of the very selective CNN interview quote was to push the idea that the Darwin Awards is unethical -- look at who inserted it originally into the Darwin awards article. There is plenty of other interview content available, but the only part that was quoted was this part. Balanced? Riiight. Greg 23:43, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I've put in quotes from a third interview that I found on Northcutt's website.- By the way, I don't agree with most of what she's doing but I don't think she's a monster.- Would you prefer a different quote selection? Put them in and let's discuss it. Regards,Rich 22:44, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I think deleting the CNN interview excerpt would be in order, since it was intended to be NPOV. Either that or including most of it. I don't see what the other interview quotes really add to the article, but at least they aren't trying to advance a "Wendy is evil" agenda. Greg 02:33, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
How can you object to an entire interview? Is it becaues you think the most arresting quote in the CNN interview makes her look evil? But they are her words, and the 3 interviews as a whole give a far from evil portrait of Northcutt, as well as making the article much more interesting. That's my opinion. But I'm taking this article off my watchlist for now, I don't have the time or energy for it. Regards,Rich 07:45, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I am ojecting to presenting only a selective quote from the interview. I am fine with pointing to the whole interview, or quoting the whole interview. I am objecting to quoting only part of it. Note that I added a bunch of additional interviews to the article. Greg 08:06, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

You seem to speak for her here. You make me think that though she can dish it out pretty well, she can't take it.Rich 08:48, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I speak for myself; it's fair to say that I think the Darwin Awards are funny. If you have that kind of attitude in your head, maybe you shouldn't be making decisions about the article? Your line of "In this interview, Northcutt perhaps showed humility" is one of the all-time bad bits of NPOV text on Wikipedia. Yow! Greg 14:20, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

The insanity of people who think Wendy Northcutt is "evil"

Wendy merely makes money and garners fame selling products based on humorously celebrating the deaths of people who are proclaimed to have demonstrated insufficient genetic fitness. How could anybody possibly consider that "evil"? Nancymc 23:42, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Maybe the family of the deceased? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Sources needed

If you're going to make new assertion in the article, sources are needed. Friday (talk) 18:52, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Request for Update

Hello, I'm Wendy Northcutt -- I was going to request a few edits, but instead simply made a few edits -- (1) I did complete my degree at UC Berkeley, (2) I was not a "test subject" ?!! in my position at Stanford, (3) The startup company is not defunct, and I was not an assistant -- I managed the protein purification group. Wendy Wendy 01:20, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Not only were your edits reverted, but the article also currently claims that your publisher, Dutton Adult, is a vanity press. Oh well, so much for Wikipedia's self-correcting nature. (talk) 16:46, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Would Wendy get a Darwin award too?

If Wendy is stupid enough to keep writing books that can be horribly upsetting for people who have tragically lost a family member, such that some day one of them acts on the terrible feelings of anger that were induced by Wendy by murdering her (or at least butchering her ovaries), would she get an award too for being such an idiot to write such books? Just curious. Cheers, 21:23, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

No.ShaneMarsh (talk) 02:40, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

That's an incredibly stupid question and I can't believe you actually felt it was a good idea. I've lost several family members, to accidents and illnesses as well as to murder. I think the Darwin Awards are funny as hell. Don't make the mistake of assuming that your opinions are universal. (talk) 17:35, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, what if one of your deceased family members ended up winning such an award? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:06, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

discussion requested:Wikipediatrix and Iain 99

I'm willing to be corrected if I'm wrong, but it seems to me the quotes removed by Wikipediatrix were better than poorly sourced.. Both the San Jose Mercury and Salon are respected news sources. The Mercury has won a couple or more Pulitzers, and it's owned by Mcclatchy, a chain known for serious journalism. Salon is well-known, it's an online source of news and opinion from a liberal viewpoint. I think famous columnists like Sidney Blumenthal, Joe Conason, Robert Scheer and others wouldn't let their words appear there if they thought Salon was unreliable in its reporting. In addition, these were quotes, which means Northcutt could demand a retraction or sue if they were way off. Since I found the quotes from links on Northcutt's website, Darwin Awards, that's more evidence she doesn't dispute the accuracy of the quotes. Now I don't think all or even most of the quotes I have put in here are negative. I selected some of them to be disarming, and definitely tried to be fair.

But if all the quotes get removed and the achievements of Northcutt (which of course are very likely true)in microbiology (which at least partly she herself has inserted here) are left in with "according to her website.." as a qualifier, it begins to be like an advertisement. Further, other people on this talk page seem to have thought it was at times at least, like a vanity page. That's why I disagree with Iain99 when he or she says it is not remotely remotely like an advert. There at least can be a case made for it. But I just don't want to keep inserting stuff back in. I want wikipedians to keep this from remaining a small club of squabbling editors. So I advertised it, in my view, correctly, as an advert. Regards, thanks for listening. 21:31, 4 November 2007 (UTC)Rich 21:33, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't see an obvious problem with the material that Wikipediatrix removed myself - it seems reasonably sourced, though would have been better with an inline citation to the actual interview. I'll let Wikipediatrix explain why she removed it. I'm not actually particularly knowledgeable about Wendy myself - I just have this page on my watchlist because I participated in an old AfD which seemed to have been started in questionable faith. I removed the "advert" tag because it seemed an odd one to apply in spite of your arguments above - to me advertising implies outright promotional language ("her hilarious books have brought pleasure to millions and are available from all good bookshops"), rather than just an overly sympathetic view of the subject. I see none of that kind of language. You might have been looking for the {{POV}} tag instead - if you think the current article is overly sympathetic then I wouldn't object to you putting that on it until it's sorted out. Best, Iain99Balderdash and piffle 22:06, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
pov tag added.Rich 22:37, 4 November 2007 (UTC)