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As we've pointed out before, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the street lamps along that road are illuminated by feeble attempts at self-improvement. The cold, harsh reality is that sometimes doing the right thing doesn't necessarily pay off. For example ...

5
A Church Tries to Save an Oak Tree, Ends Up With a Dick Building

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A group of Christian Scientists found the ideal plot of land for their church. Only one thing stood in the way: a beautiful old oak tree. You know how this story goes: Never let nature get in the way of progress. Besides, if stupid trees are so great, then why did they allow themselves to be used to build the cross that Christ was crucified on, huh? But here the expected story takes a twist, and instead of calling the ancient wonder of nature mere collateral damage in the war for your very soul, the Christian Scientists redid the entire building to work around the tree.

Christian Science Dixon
It's an idea so heartwarming that the blueprints were actually drafted by puppies and kittens.

The church members avoided a possible local backlash, respected the sanctity of the old tree, and at the same time created an environmentally friendly building that warms naturally in the winter without any costly heating. What's not to love?

The Backfire:

Here's what the building looks like from the sky, via Google Earth:

Google Earth
"No, it's uh ... a 'J' ... for 'Jesus' ... yeah."

The aerial image of the Church of the Flaccid Cock went viral on the Internet after it was discovered by a local resident. To add to the hilarity, the church is located in "Dixon, Illinois." And the church's motto? "Rising up."

Proving once and for all that, if there is a God, he's definitely a Cracked reader.

Via Wikipedia
"And lo, the Lord has revealed unto us the 10 Most Holy of Dick Jokes."

As for the church, they've taken the whole thing in good humor, insisting that any resemblance to the male anatomy is coincidental, and that they're planning on installing a "giant fig leaf." But how many times can you be called "the dickchurch" before some of that goodwill starts to dissipate? Truly, the Lord tests us all.

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4
First Responder Fired for Driving Too Fast While Answering an Emergency Call

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Godfrey Smith was a volunteer first responder in Britain for 15 years. He even cut down his hours at his paying job in order to spend more time (up to 50 hours a week) on his real passion: saving lives for free. So when he got a call about an area man who was having trouble breathing, he strapped on his superhero codpiece, got behind the wheel, and raced to action.

Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"Dispatch? Yeah, he's wearing ... it again. Please advise."

The Backfire:

Racing, even to action -- even to save a life -- is frowned upon. Smith discovered that little fact after his latest rescue, when he learned that he'd been fired for speeding.

We can understand how there might be two sides to the story of a volunteer worker overlooking the speed limit -- you don't want him endangering lives with his souped-up muscle car, rocketing about the city at breakneck speeds, no matter how noble his intentions may be -- but Smith wasn't some reckless speed freak. It turned out that his company had just installed a new GPS system in his car, and it was all kinds of dysfunctional. His satellite navigation system told him he was traveling at just above the speed limit, which was 30 mph, but in reality the limit was only 20 mph. Plus he drove around a traffic bollard rather than ... through it, we guess? A week later, the ambulance service gave him the bad news and he was unceremoniously let go for that one slip-up out of 2,000 successful calls. That's right: "Too fast, even for life-saving purposes" and "an unforgivable infraction, despite exemplary service" is doing a paltry 13 mph over the speed limit and driving around a glorified traffic cone. Just one more time: His total, completely reckless speed was a super-sonic 33 mph. You can exceed that on a bicycle if there's a particularly bitchin' hill, but not to save a life.

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
"Take your 'novelty sign' excuses elsewhere; failure to yield is failure to yield."

The absolute worst part? Much like Dante from Clerks, Smith wasn't even supposed to be there that day. He normally worked in a much smaller town that he was actually familiar with, but Oxford begged Smith to come help them instead, because they were crazy busy. Then fate put on its best ball-kickin' shoes, and the rest is history.

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3
Mining Company Accidentally Fills Creek With Concrete Trying to Repair Area

Photos.com

Australian mining company and possible Game of Thrones character Glencore Xstrata faced some very negative press after they accidentally ravaged a protected national park with a nearby mining operation. As understandably distraught as you can imagine a mining company would be over the loss of precious wilderness, the company did actually offer to repair the damage. And for once, they followed through! They sent a dozen concrete trucks to grout up cracks in a badly damaged ridge above a naturally flowing creek.

Photos.com
Just like nature intended.

The Backfire:

Nobody was monitoring the trucks that were spewing tons of concrete onto the ridge, so nobody noticed that the concrete was flowing right back out again and pouring into the creek below, turning it into a long concrete sidewalk. It was 3 feet deep in some places.

Darren Pateman
Most creeks aren't quite this stand-on-able.

Australia's environment minister has vowed to force the company to undo the damage they caused in their attempt to undo the previous damage they caused, but like ... how? Is this going to get better when you give Slapstick Mining Co. permission to bring jackhammers into the forest? They should probably just cut their losses, admit that nature is totally fucked, and call it kind of a lame new skate park.

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2
Colleges Give Out Free Punctured Condoms

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The University of Brunswick and St. Thomas University had the right idea when they decided to give freshmen free condoms as part of their orientation, knowing from experience that their campuses were soon to become the pornographic version of The Hunger Games: Trap a thousand teenagers in four square blocks, and it's fuck or be fucked.

DenKuvaiev/iStock/Getty Images
May the odds be ever in your favor.

So the schools helpfully handed out the condoms with information sheets on practicing safe sex and reminding students to always make sure it's consensual before going at it.

The Backfire:

The organizers of the campaign stapled the information sheets to the condoms.

It's not quite as bad as it sounds -- the staples weren't right through the middle or anything, but they did puncture the air pocket of the condom's wrapper, rendering it unsterile and possibly scratching the prophylactic itself.

Photos.com
Plus side, free water balloons.

Now, we don't want to presume anything about your sexual practices (you could be saving yourself for your inevitable marriage to a sexy AI), but hopefully the problem here is self-evident. If not, allow us to clarify: Condoms are not high-tech devices. They do not deter sperm via an army of nanobots, nor through harsh looks or mild witchcraft. They pretty much just wrap up your junk. You generally don't want the thing that is going to function as a second skin for your genitals to be exposed to the elements like a rugged woodsman. And any hole, even a small scratch, renders them essentially useless. That seems like a pretty stupid thing for us to have to explain, but then somebody up and starts stapling them before handing them out to horny teenagers and we have to think that either this world is a lot dumber than we give it credit for or the Catholics have gone supervillain.

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
The Pious Shadow strikes again.

The schools managed to hand out 80 of the damaged rubbers before two students noticed that they were punctured. The universities sent out messages through social media warning students to throw away the free condoms, but man -- out of 80 college kids, you just know somebody either got a UTI or wound up starting a family that day.

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1
The Hacker Who Exposed the Steubenville Rapists May Receive More Jail Time Than the Rapists

Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

You might have heard about a certain national outrage that took place in Steubenville, Ohio. You know, the one where an entire town tried to cover up a rape in order to avoid casting a bad light on the beloved local football team? The case so overwrought with pervasive Hollywood-caliber evil that it was one telepathic teen away from a Stephen King novel? Yeah, that one. The only reason we know about it is because of Deric Lostutter, whose friend had given him a trove of photographs and tweets related to the crime. He released them to the public, and you probably know the rest: Two boys from Steubenville were charged and convicted with sexual assault, and a bunch of school administrators were dragged through the courts on charges of mistakenly assuming that being good at sports is a get-out-of-rape-free card.

The Backfire:

Society didn't exactly reward Lostutter with pro-thumbs or upcats or whatever it is 4Chan uses to express approval (profanity?). A month after the conviction of the rapists, Lostutter himself was raided by the FBI, who took his computers and, presumably out of spite, his Xbox. Later, he was formally charged with vague computer crimes and now waits to be brought before a grand jury.

Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
"Just charge him with gigabyting the mainframe or some shit."

See, in the process of trying to gather evidence to bring these crimes to light, Lostutter's friends in the Anonymous collective committed some crimes of their own (read: "hacking" the "planet"), which is a serious offense under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Apparently it doesn't matter why you hack -- in this case, to expose a terrible crime. Or what you hack -- in this case, the website of a local high school football team full of furry horses and '90s-era animated GIFs. It only matters that you hack, and hacking is bad.

Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Seriously, gather your friends for that link. It's like a time machine that only goes to 1996.

Lostutter denies that he did any hacking himself (remember, he was just given the pictures and statements and made them public; another Anonymous member, the awesomely named Batcat, publicly admitted to the actual computer crime), but since he's the only guy involved whose real name got out, he's the one getting the pointy end of the punitive stick. More conspiratorially minded folk (including Lostutter himself) believe that this was orchestrated by the Steubenville police as revenge for his ruining some high school sporting games (the worst of all possible offenses, shy of murder, treason, and murder-treason), but either way, if convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in the slammer. The actual rapists were sentenced to serve one and two years, respectively. So there you go: Screwing with GIFs is up to 10 times worse than raping another human being, according to Steubenville.

Mike Simons/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Still better than what happens when your cellphone goes off in the stands on 4th and 1.


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Related Reading: You know what else can backfire? Energy-efficient windows that inexplicably double as laser cannons. And while we're talking about plans that accomplished the opposite of their goal, read about the model hamlet program that lost us Vietnam. Not yet had your full of failure? We'll help.

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