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Dumb Laws

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the thats-pretty-sweet dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 307

Guyle writes "DumbLaws.com is the most hilarious site I've ever been to. The people who run it went to an amazing amount of trouble to find strange laws from all fifty states in the US, as well as a few other countries. Ever wanted to know where and when you could legally beat your wife, or where you can be fined for not flushing the toilet? Find out for yourself! " This is definitely worth a read. Funny stuff.

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first post (0)

nerdling (72635) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479824)

first post! woohoo! stupid laws

This site annoys me a little (1)

limpdawg (77844) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479829)

Some of these laws aren't dumb like they think, they are just old and were never looked at again. Others truly are dumb, but if you tend to think about why that law would be eneacted like I do then it gets annoying.

You can see the point of some, but.... (1)

Doctor Fishboy (120462) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479832)

... I would dearly love to know the stroy behind:
'Donkeys are not allowed to sleep in bathtubs'.

The mind boggles...

Dead letter laws? (1)

pb (1020) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479835)

I had a book of stuff like this, called "The Trenton Pickle Ordinance".

A lot of it is either really old, or just have stupid mistakes in wording. Like the one where the two trains stop at a crossroads, "and neither shall go until the other has passed". Deadlock! :)
---
pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11] .

Memphis drivers (2)

Issue9mm (97360) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479837)

Here's a law that truly applies to Memphis drivers...

Illegal for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians.

Always knew there was a reason nobody around here can drive..

What about the REAL stupid laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1479839)

Like encryption exporation and Australian backdoors?

They forgot some for Connecticut. (1)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479841)

Oral sex and sexual positions other than the missionary position are technically illegal in CT. Also the sale of alcohol is not only banned after 8:00 PM but is banned on Sunday. Go figure.

Interesting.. (1)

PovRayMan (31900) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479915)

All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday. (Repealed) In Massachusetts (where I live)

Interesting, but what is the point of all men bringnig rifles to church?

-PovRayMan

No refernces (2)

adenied (120700) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479916)

It's an interesting site, but I think it would be a lot more interesting if they referenced at least some of the laws to the ordinance number or section of state law, etc. What's to stop me from submitting a fake law that says "It is illegal for anyone in Madison WI to not be drunk on a football game day." Of course, you're stupid not to be, but that's a different story.

Fortunes (1)

thefallen (16891) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479919)

/usr/share/games/fortunes/law

I Had a book (2)

JohnG (93975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479922)

I actually had a book of dumb laws when I was a kid. Probably still got it around here somewhere. It's very strange how addicting stuff like that is. I remember every time I would re-find the book I would just intend to read one or two dumb laws then end up reading the whole book.
Like most people I would like to know how the laws started but more importantly I would like to know how you would get caught. Like some people have said that oral sex was illegal at one time, but in order to get caught the cop would have to break into your house, then your bedroom. At which point I would assume the mood would be killed and there would be nothing to catch you doing.
And how on earth are the cops going to know that a donkey is in your bathtub? :)

saw this site like.. last year (0)

Juln (41313) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479924)

my friend told me about this site in an email a REALLY LONG TIME AGO. It is humorous, and worth looking at, but um... I wish slashdot would go back to posting interesting stories.

Re:Interesting.. (2)

JohnG (93975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479927)

Haven't you played Doom? You never know when the spawn of hell is going to try to break up a church session. hehe.

They Should Make a Law.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1479932)

that bans all you dorks from having kids....

the horror!!!

As funny as these things are (1)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479935)

I think it's sort of misleading how it sounds like there's an exact law on the books that says "you can't do X unless you're doing Y" or whatever. As funny as these things sound, they're just examples of technicalities, and probably there are a lot more "Y"s than are given in the statement.

Just my rant for today.

-Chris

Dumb Laws of Pennsylvania (1)

TeChYMaN (48097) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479937)

In Ripley Park, it is illegal to walk backwards EATING PEANUTS when there is a performance in the Barn Stormers Auditorium. OH FSCKING GOD I LAUGHED SO HARD I CRIED WHEN I SAW THIS ONE!

Re:I Had a book (2)

MillMan (85400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479944)

Yeah, I had a book like this too. I recognized a few of the laws for my state, it's illegal to sleep naked or have oral sex. I did a few searches on amazon like "silly laws" and came up with a few hits. I'd guess the web authors probably used books already written for most of their material...I sure wouldn't want to wade through millions of pages of laws when the research has already been done.

http://www.dumbcriminalacts.com/ (3)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479946)

If you like dumblaws.com, you'll love:
www.dumbcriminalacts.com/ [dumbcriminalacts.com]

Oh Hell Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1479947)

Sometimes I drink a little beer, sometimes I make a little mess, sometimes I get a little angry, sometimes I kick a little ass.

Mmmm Portman.

I wonder if they actually checked these.. (1)

rm -rf /etc/* (20237) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479949)


It says many are verified.. But, I have a hard time believing that in my town, it is illegal for a store to sell corn flakes on a Sunday... I mean, some event would have to have occured to cause these stupid laws, and I cannot think of any reason that buying corn flakes on a Sunday would be any worse than any other day, unless there's some magic way to convert corn flakes easily to alcohol. But what about the generic Flakes or Corn and other corn flake imposters?

Oh, give me a break (4)

sreeram (67706) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479951)

Your everyday /usr/games/fortune has a lot of this crap as well. Quite a number of them are untrue and totally made up. IIRC, there was a guy who purposely made up some of these "laws" and circulated them around long enough to get some into the default fortune list. It is on record somewhere on the net. Go find it. The same applies to this website as well. Many of the so-called "laws" are just bad interpretations of legal speak. Come on, when was the last time you saw a law that said in simple words, "Lollipops are banned"? I know it is meant to be funny and all that, but give me a break. It doesn't take wit to interpret laws in a twisted way, take them out of context and translate into something weird. Go ahead and laugh. But don't spread the word and fool a lot of the naive out there as well. Or add a pinch of salt to go.

Sreeram.

Good site! (1)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479954)

Been linking to this for a while - nice to see it getting the Slashdot treatment it deserves. I also recommend the other sites they run as well, all fun stuff.

Anyway, I'm off to York to shoot a few Scotsmen...:-)

I'm joking, alright? [flee's angry mob...]

Not all stupid, not all true (5)

cybaea (79975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479956)

Not all the laws mentioned are stupid:

It is illegal to leave baggage unattended.

Rememeber that England [dumblaws.com] has suffered from a prolonged civil war (known as "our little problem with Northern Ireland") with frequent bomb attacks on civilians. These bombs were often left in luggage on stations, airports, department stores and other corwded places.

This law therefore makes perfect sense. I rememeber when I first came to England, I was wodering why there were no luggage boxes on the stations. Such youthful innocence...

God (and the IRA et. al.) willing, this particular war should now be over. Now the poor English can concentrate on the ALF, the anti-capitalism terrorists, and whatever today's new violent fringe group is.

I would have liked the web site to have contained references to the law texts. That would have made it much more trustworthy. How many of the laws mentioned, I woder, are nothing more than urban legends?

This is awesome! (1)

Negadecimal (78403) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479957)

Most of the laws listed are forgotten relics of an older age, and I seriously doubt that any court would bother with them.

However, they do give us a sense of what people used to be afraid of, how thoughtless politicians can be, and how deep a beurocracy we must have to still have these laws around. Very funny stuff.

Its a Shooting Offense! (2)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479959)

I used to Live in Missouri. A law on the books until the 70's was that it was legal to shoot a Mormon on site. In Buckner, MO, last I checked about 10 years ago, there was a law on the town's books that it was legal shoot a [black person] after dark in a public place.

And in Kansas, last I checked, you can still have the option of being hanged for capitol offenses.

Alabama! (1)

seaportcasino (121045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479961)

Well, at least in Jasper Alabama, you can't beat your wife with a stick larger than the size of your thumb! Now that is real progress. Now if my wife acts up, I'm just going to threaten to move her to Jasper. How the hell do people come up with these laws??

Some of these aren't so dumb! (1)

blahtree (55190) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479964)

A lot of these are funny, but there are a few that are perfectly reasonable. Their inclusion reflects a general lack of understanding of certain places or things. For example, there is a perfectly good reason why you shouldn't be allowed to drive barefoot (Alabama?). If something goes wrong, shoes will help protect your feet from the heat so that you can stop the car.

In Canada, they listed "every fifth song on the radio must be by a canadian born person" as a dumb law. This law reflects the desire to remain seperate from the United States. It is a way of preserving Canadian identity. What's dumb about that?

Anyways, aside from this, there is a lot that's funny. I really liked the law that nobody considered ugly could walk down the street in San Fran!

Definately should be a Federal Law (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479966)

The peoples of Youngstown Ohio have been sincerely blessed by their governing body. Perhaps we should look into this as an addition to our existing federal laws?


You may not run out of gas.


I don't know how many times this would have been handy.;)


Missoura and speeding... (1)

Ashen (6917) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479968)

In Missouri (where my parents live), there was the law "It is not illegal to speed." but it was repealed. However, from experience, I think they forgot to tell everyone in Missouri. :-)

Also, Hawaii (where I lived for 9 years) didn't do too bad, only 3 stupid laws. I'm glad they never actually fined anyone for not owning a boat though. Although we did have 2 kayak's if those count as boats. I also thought it was funny that most of Alaska's dumb laws had to do with moose. :)

Glass of water? (1)

pnevares (96029) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479970)

"It is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water."

Hey, I live in Arizona - I'm just going to walk around town now asking strangers for glasses of water....


Pablo Nevares, "the freshmaker".

Tampa is the Table dancing capital of U.S. (1)

jyang (86770) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479972)

Well, I don't know why Tampa City concil members think they can claim this honor onto their city (I'd think Vegas or Reno has more nudy bars). But they just passed an ordiance last week that prohibits any dancer perform dancing less than 6 feet from their audience.

I just love to how people times again show themselves as hypocrites. news here [tampatrib.com]

Re:Dumb Laws of Pennsylvania (1)

Trombone8vb (110011) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479974)

Same law in Greene NY during a concert. There must be a story here.

Oral sex? (3)

Nexeslad (106464) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479976)

Oral Sex is illegal? This calls for civil disobedance!!!

Bend Over And Prepare To Recieve Justice (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479978)

From my state (Oregon):
It is against the law for animals to have sex in the city limits.

It is illegal to whistle underwater

It is illegal to whisper "dirty" things in your lover's ear during sex.

Ice cream may not be eaten on Sundays.

Hm. I do not see It is illegal to defy the laws of Newtonian physics in here. Someone better get off their donut-fattened legislative ass and rectify that!

While such things are humorous and almost never enforced, you cannot help but feel a little queasy that such stupidity is not only legislated, but law. Orwell's future has been around through much of our past. If you truly think you're a free person in this country, just try using a kernal of corn as bait to fish or taking a bath without a full-length bathing suit on.

To hell with worrying about your rights to burn the American flag or to encrypt your email. In a lot of places, you don't even have the legal right to walk down the sidewalk and knock a snake's head off with a cane.
---
icq:2057699
seumas.com

Hello Uxbridge, Ontario! (1)

bilenkey (82792) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479980)

Can't believe this:

Uxbridge

Residents are not allowed to have an Internet connection faster than 56k.

What a shame!

Re:I Had a book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1479983)

Well, one way to get caught with the oral sex law (this really happened): A couple living in (can't remember the name of the southern state) were going through a bitter divorce. The wife turned her husband in for having consenting oral sex, and he was put in jail for 6 months.

Re:http://www.dumbcriminalacts.com/ (3)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479985)

Caught Red Hatted

A robber robbed over 67 7-11 type stores, each time wearing a red hat. He was called the 'Red Hat Bandit'. And, when he was finally caught, police were able to convict him of those 67+ robberies (which were caught on tape) because of the same red hat he wore.
-- ----------------------------------------------
Vive le logiciel... Libre!!!

Ugh.. The worst part.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1479988)

Is that some of these 'Dumb Laws' are enforced. You want to feel persecuted, be english, move to Quebec City and try to open an english business. The laws about Frech Signs are enforced strictly by the Language Police (French Facists).

At least that's only Quebec.

Guns To Church On Sunday (3)

Stormbringer (3643) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479989)

It goes WAYYYY back to the first colony days, when church attendance on Sunday was mandatory, but you had to get there and home again alive too.

A township would be granted based on its families' building a "meeting-house" in a central place. The town I grew up in, Bedford, was carved from surrounding towns' territories because those towns were so large that travel from outlying farms to the church in the town center every Sunday was a hardship.

Things may have started out peaceably in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but after a while, the original occupants of the area got sufficiently annoyed at the flood of newcomers, and the treatment they got from them, to start pushing back, hard. Plus, not that far away, the French/Indian Wars got underway, with some tribes allying with the French and making forays into English-speaking settlement territories (and vice versa), so travelers in the colony were vulnerable to bullet or arrow. A muzzle-loaded rifle was a burden to carry in addition to food for the all-day church session and travel from and back to one's own farm, but a necessary one.

Movies and "Dumb Laws" (1)

Chompster (97289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479992)

The topic of dumb laws is kind of interesting, because these outdated laws definitely reflect the history of the state or place of their origin.

For example: In Baltimore, MD you can't throw a bale of hay out of a window in the second story w/in city limits. Fascinating! did they have some kind of criminal who killed people by throwing bales of hay on their heads from the 2nd story? (bales of hay weigh pretty much) or did a few people get killed when some chump thoughtlessly chucked a bale of hay out of his window?

I watched the anime movie "Armitage" and this topic made me think about possible dumb laws on earth in this Sci-Fi setting. (for those of you who don't know, In Armitage, The Earth is a feminist society)
The most obvious one is "It is illegal to leave a toilet seat up. 25$ fine"
Another: "It is illegal to refer to anyone using a label or term that denominates gender. Punishable by death"
Perhaps even: "It is illegal for a man to ogle a woman, even if she is wearing revealing or otherwise purposefully attractive clothing. 50$ fine"

But what about other movies? like, Deliverance? or, Dumb Laws in Klingon society? It could be a source of endless humor :)

-Chompster
Unexpected Kernel Trap at 101010
Don't Panic!

Some laws sound good... (1)

Mullen (14656) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479993)

Although under the title of stupid laws, I think some of them are good. Here are a few:


Chico, Ca

Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine.


Hey. don't know about you, but sounds like a good one to me. Although, fining someone is the last of my conserns if a Nuclear Device is detonated in a town where I live in!


Pasadena, Ca

It is illegal for a secretary to be alone in a room with her boss.


Hey, I don't think should be in Pasadena, but the Whitehouse!


Champaign, Il

It is considered an offense to piss in your neighbor's mouth.


Hey, sounds good to me. But what about the rest of the neighbor? Can I piss on him as long as no contents of my piss enter his mouth?


England

All English Men over 14 are meant to carry out 2 hours (or so) of longbow practice a week supervised by the local clergy.


No wonder England does not have a problem with guns! They do drive-by Archery!



Re:Dumb Laws of Pennsylvania (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479994)

Heh.

Think they also missed Pittsburgh's ordinance barring giving alcohol or cigarettes to squirrels in city parks...

Yeah, I can really see a grey squirrel relaxing at the end of a long day gathering nuts, with a Bud and a pack of Marlboros. ;-)

*Very* Interesting Law (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479997)

From the site.... (Canada, Ontario, Uxbridge):

Residents are not allowed to have an Internet connection faster than 56k.

*Why?*

Not So Dumb Laws? (2)

delmoi (26744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1479998)

There are some on here that don't really seem that stupid. for instance:

China:
To go to college you must be intelligent.

Italy:
Striking someone with a fist is considered a felony

Singapore:
Cigarettes are illegal at all public places


Austrailia:
The legal age for straight sex is 16, unless the person is is in the care/custody of the older person, in which case it is 18.

Netherlands:
It is semi-legal to smoke pot.

Prostitution is legal but the prostitutes must pay taxes like any other business.

Israel:
If you have been maintaining an illegal radio station for five or more years, the station becomes legal.

------------------
My favorite dumb law, though is this one from Sigapore:
Oral sex is illegal unless it is used as a form of foreplay.

So basicaly, if you give some one oral sex, you're legaly required to have sex with them then? Could you get a woman thrown into jail for not doing it??

I also like this one from Chico CA:
Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine.

Uxbridge Canada... no higher then 56k modems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480002)

Now i just have to say thats gota suck when you can not have a connection faster then 56k.

Tech Laws (2)

delmoi (26744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480003)

I found a couple listed there.
Denmark:
Encrypting data files, owning, distributing etc. of encryption programs and creating such programs for any electronic medias is now against the law in Denmark due to fear for terrorists, left and right wing extremist, fundamentalists and distributors of illegal pornography.

Uxbridge, Ontario. In Canada:
Residents are not allowed to have an Internet connection faster than 56k.

These guys didn't list stupid US national laws though. Oh well

Re:Missoura and speeding... (2)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480004)

In Kansas City, MO, it is legal to break the speed limit once per year. There are so many laws related to speeding, they might as well make it legal again or clean up the whole mess of laws on the books.

With the help of a lawyer and a total of $1055, I got out of 5 speeding tickets in one year due to things like wording of the ticket, the wording of the law did not state the difference between year and a calendar year, and a few not technicaly defined in city limits.

Now that I look back on these laws, I grew out of my bad habits and have had no traffic violations in several years. I realize that the legal system can really be unfair to many or just a game for a few when it is enforced.

Hate to be a spoilsport, but ... (1)

Blue Neon Head (45388) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480005)

... many of these laws are myths. Much like the myth about the Indiana State Legislature declaring pi equal to 3. (It was proposed once to the legislature by a weird amateur mathematician, but never actually made a law.)

Iowa's got some great laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480006)

- Kisses may last for as much as, but no more than, five minutes.

- A man with a moustache may never kiss a woman in public.

Ottumwa - It is unlawful for any male person, within the corporate limits of the (city), to wink at any female person with whom he does not know.

I must be public enemy number 1, 2 and 3! =)p

For those of you who live/Going to florida.... (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480007)

"Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal".

Illegal? Wouldn't that hurt really bad as well? :P

Re:Alabama! (2)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480008)

That law is actually a leftover from England around 300 years ago, and is where the expression "Rule of thumb" came from.

Chinese laws (1)

DoomHaven (70347) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480009)

"To go to college you must be intelligent."

Boy, I wish they would enforce this in Canada! I sign off on it!

I guess they forgot "Cracking a national bank is punishable by death, unless you turn your brother in."

this is nothing. (2)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480010)


I heard that in Kansas its illegal to teach evolution in school...

-
We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.

Re:*Very* Interesting Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480011)

Carryover from that old FCC rule about using copper lines at their full potential (not the actual rule, but a ref to it: http://w ww.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/News_Releases/19 98/nrcc8062.html [fcc.gov] ). "FCC rules limiting the amount of signal power that can be transmitted through the telephone network currently inhibit such products from operating at their full potential."

Re:Some of these aren't so dumb! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480012)

In Canada, they listed "every fifth song on the radio must be by a canadian born person" as a dumb law. This law reflects the desire to remain seperate from the United States. It is a way of preserving Canadian identity. What's dumb about that?

It's more likely a way of (indirectly) preserving political power.

Re:Laws, Geeks, History, Et Cetera. (1)

Chompster (97289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480013)

Perhaps, they should make a law.. but one that prevents trolls from having children. Or people who abuse their current children?

"No, that would be wrong. "

Either way, that would become just another "dumb law" on the list, which we would laugh at and promptly disobey. Judging by the ignorance of the message this is a reply to, shouldn't the person who wrote that be immediately neutralized? Do people really hate geeks that much?
To remain on topic, i think there should be laws against the use of Microsoft products. Which, amusingly, might be the case in Germany, with their possible banning of W2K.

What i would like to know is the history behind some of these laws. Could give some good insight on American culture.

Truthfully, these laws look to be "The Fruits of Arbitrary Power" (which BTW is the name of a poster protesting the Boston Massacre) and often just a way for a possibly corrupt politician to get his way.
What do you think?

(how about a law banning trolls from any BBS or similar service :)

-Chompster
Unexpected Kernel Trap at 101010
Don't Panic!

Looks like any funny ones have no references (1)

Moooo Cow (79655) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480014)

I've just read a few, but the only one I've read with a specific reference goes like this:

"The new Infant Crib Safety Act in California (AB 3760, Speier), Colorado (SB 98-023,Pascoe and Morrison) and Washington State (SSB 6229, Kohl and Pennington) states that "no commercial user shall manufacture, retrofit, sell, contract to sell or resell, lease, sublet or otherwise place in the stream of commerce, a full-size or non-full-size crib that is unsafe for any infant using the crib."

Doesn't seem particularly dumb to me.

Now, that's a stupid law. (2)

delmoi (26744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480015)

Hm. I do not see It is illegal to defy the laws of Newtonian physics in here. Someone better get off their donut-fattened legislative ass and rectify that!

Actualy, that would be pretty uninforceable.

Newtonian physics is only an aproximation, and broken 100% of the time (Though, for the most part you don't notice unless you're moving at a significant persentace of the speed of light, or if you're looking at geometry smalle enough for quantem effects to be aperant)

Encryption in Denmark (1)

trurl3 (112621) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480016)

Encrypting data files, owning, distributing etc. of encryption programs and creating such programs for any electronic medias is now against the law in Denmark due to fear for terrorists, left and right wing extremist, fundamentalists and distributors of illegal pornography.

So, in other words, any electronic device that has encryption is now illegal in Denmark. Won't this affect DVD distribution, since, technically, DVD is an "encrypted electronic media"? (The info on the disk is a "data file") And don't forget that they must be decrypted by special equipment, (a DVD player)...shouldn't that be illegal also? Or is it that it's illegal to own encrypted material, but you can own decrypting devices?

Methinks I smells something.....yes, definitely - something *is* rotten in the state of Denmark :-)
What do you all think?

--
I prefer the wicked to the foolish - the wicked sometimes rest. - Alexander Dumas, fils.

Re:Not all stupid, not all true (2)

MillMan (85400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480017)

I would have liked the web site to have contained references to the law texts. That would have made it much more trustworthy. How many of the laws mentioned, I wonder, are nothing more than urban legends?

Most of them are probably true. They're basically old laws that aren't relavent today. Most of them probably did have some good reason some years ago, you pointed out one that still is relavent. A lot of them were also a way to oppress certain groups, like no anal sex, to opress gays, or to push a certain "moral" agenda at any rate.

Re:Looks like any funny ones have no references (2)

JohnG (93975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480018)

There are actually a whole lot of them in there that make sense like this one. What is so stupid about a law than bans making unsafe cribs?
I think maybe they just needed some filler or something, but if you read the site there are plenty of "Hey what's wrong with that one" type laws, maybe they should rename the site to www.littleknownlaws.com or something or either take out the legitimate ones, it makes is sound like they are for infant death.

That still dosn't explain it. (2)

delmoi (26744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480019)

Actualy, those laws limit the speed of actualy 56k modems to 53kbits/sec. This wouldn't stop someone from using wireless ethernet from there office, or getting a t1 line or somthing.

not quite true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480020)

the way I understand it, it's not a part of the required curriculum... districts can add it if they want it...

Denton (TX) County... (2)

wesmills (18791) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480021)

We've got a few here in Denton County that the site failed to list:

  • In the City of Denton, it is illegal to park your horse on the town square after 4PM on Sunday.
  • Again, in the City of Denton, dancing on the square in Sunday is prohibited.
  • Town of Oak Point says that no plot of land for sale may be smaller than 10 feet by 10 feet.
  • City of Lewisville bans advertising signs on telephone poles and inserted into the ground, but laying them on the street is OK.
  • In Flower Mound, the cutting of a tree on your property is illegal without a permit.
  • In Marshall Creek, you may not have a home that is larger than 1800 square feet (this is interesting, considering the town is only about 200 acres anyway).
Have fun.

--------------------

firt post!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480022)

Y35!!!! F1rst post, 5UCK45!!!!!! shouts to n1nj4 sty10r, 5vckaMC, oyster 'n' kl4m

Kansas Law (2)

delmoi (26744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480023)

I heard that in Kansas its illegal to teach evolution in school...

Um... then you heard wrong, or you have some sort of reading deficiency. In Kansas it is no longer Required to teach "Macro" evolution, IE species evolving from other ones. It is still required to teach "Micro" evolution, Evolution within a species.

I'm not defending the law, just pointing out what it actually is.

Disinformation Abounds... (1)

tomed (13012) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480024)


I heard that in Kansas its illegal to teach evolution in school...


Yet another example of the (delibrate) grave mischaracterization of the actions of the State Education Board of Kansas.

What the BoE was simply drop it as a requirement for districts to teach and drop it from the standardized tests the state requires, not ban anything.

For the vast majority of school districts in the state, this has caused a total of zero changes to the curriculumn(sp).

Of course, the truth of it is never reported. Why? Because then it doesn't give them a chance to bash conservatives and the state itself...

Re:Some of these aren't so dumb! (2)

THB (61664) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480025)

In Canada, they listed "every fifth song on the radio must be by a canadian born person" as a dumb law. This law reflects the desire to remain seperate from the United States. It is a way of preserving Canadian identity. What's dumb about that?

I believe that this law has been changed since then, and it is now even higher. In Canada we call it Canadian content, and it does not have strong support from the people, especially in the west, where we feel that it takes away our freedom to choose what want to listen to or watch on tv. The CRTC, the regulatory body has a great deal of power, and makes it very difficult to get a tv station, even with only Canadian content. This law is dumb, but it is not near as bad as the laws in Quebec, which include the French sign law which require the French on any sign to be larger than the English. This is NOT cultral protection, but persicution of other cultures.

However after being to Quebec, the worst law is the no left turns on red, i did this right in front of a police car, but they were frienly and gave me a warning in perfect english. In my home province of Alberta, the best law is

If you are released from prison, it is required that you are given a handgun with bullets and a horse, so you can ride out of town.
The difference is that this law would not hold up, but the language and Canadian content laws will

Re:http://www.dumbcriminalacts.com/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480026)

Hi people. I'm glad to see that there are no laws against pouring hot grits down my pants !!!

Please stop and visit the gritsboy thread [slashdot.org] when you have a chance. We shall change the world from there.

-- Linux and grits down my pants. Does it get any better?

many of the english ones are absolute rubbish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480027)

It is illegal to leave baggage unattended.
Picking up abandoned baggage is as act of terrorism.

They're true, but its because the murdering IRA bastards think that bombing innocent civilians at railways is in any way defensible. If you could have prevented Oklahoma or the World Trade Center bombings with some laws, would you call that dumb? No, you wouldnt.

Those wishing to use a television must apply for a license.
Yes, the TV license funds the BBC, which is how come we get television WITHOUT ADVERTS! If you Americans could get TV without adverts, would you call that dumb? No, you wouldnt.

It is illegal for a Member of Parliament to enter the House of Commons wearing a full suit of armour.
Well, owing to the fact we actually have a history, our Parliament dates back to the times when knights and soldiers would wear suits of armour. If they were going to walk in wearing their military gear, this would presumably for agressive, anti-constitution purposes. Would you call a law preventing soldiers with RPG's and machine guns from entering the Whitehouse or Congress dumb? No, you wouldnt.

Anal sex is prohibited.
A myth - it was decriminalised a few years ago, 1992 I think.

Re:Oh, give me a break (2)

rlkoppenhaver (101366) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480028)

Given how many really, genuinely dumb laws there are out there (stuff along the lines of "it is illegal for bees to fly within the city limits on Sunday after 2 pm."), I'm kinda annoyed at the fact that the site feels the need to deliberately oversimplify and misinterpret somewhat sensible laws to have an effect.

Case in point: The Ohio driver's education manual states that you must honk the horn whenever you pass another car.

Now, as an Ohioan who only learned to drive a couple of years ago, I can tell you that the rule is more along the lines of "When passing another driver on a 2 lane road, you must use your turn signals and sound your horn, to alert the other driver." Granted, nobody does it. (Too many people don't even bother with the turn signals.) But it's not entirely nonsensical when you examine the context

In the news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480029)

In the UK news, a naked swordsman started slashing people in a church. Maybe a rifle would have been useful!

Re:Some laws sound good... (1)

trurl3 (112621) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480030)

More fun with England:

Chester: You can only shoot a Welsh person with a bow and arrow inside the city walls and after midnight.

Hereford - You can shoot a Welsh person all day, but only on Sunday, with a Longbow, in the Cathedral Close.

William Wallace's favorite: York - Upon sight of a Scotsman, it is still legal to shoot him with a bow and arrow, except on Sundays.

Comments on the above are unnecessary.

Re:many of the english ones are absolute rubbish.. (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480031)

Yes, the TV license funds the BBC, which is how come we get television WITHOUT ADVERTS! If you Americans could get TV without adverts, would you call that dumb? No, you wouldnt.

That's what cable and satellite service is for.

Italy and laws... (1)

ianezz (31449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480032)

Just a little note about Italy:

USA is the place where everything is allowed, unless it's illegal.

USSR was the place where everything was forbidden, unless it was legal.

Italy is the place where everything is is allowed,
expecially what is forbidden.

AFAIK, Italy is the only nation where laws distinguish between "forbidden" and "severely forbidden, as if there were different grades of "forbidden". THIS is dumb. :-) Not cars circulating only 5 days a week (which has sense if it happens to you to be a shopkeeper in a town built in the middle age waiting for deliveries)

My 0.01428 Euro this time (0.02 * 5/7).

Irish witchcraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480033)

AFAIK, the witchcraft law they have listed under ireland is actually scottish. There aren't many extant laws dating from 1736 in Ireland, given that the entire legal system was rebuilt this century following leaving english sovereignty.
The (scottish) law is referenced in several science fiction books by Anne McCaffrey about a future telepathic society.

Re:Alabama! (1)

jaed (99912) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480034)

It seems that's an urban legend. See the article on the Urban Legends site [urbanlegends.com] for an extended history of this idea, and an essay speculating on how this idea came to be "common knowledge" [uoregon.edu] . There's also an excerpt from Who Stole Feminism [imat.com] analyzing the political uses of this legend in activism against domestic violence.

This anti-domestic violence page [herplace.org] repeats the legend uncritically and gives a date (1767) for this supposed law, but provides no further cite. This might be a reference to Blackstone's famous legal commentaries, which were published around that time; he does talk about the history of common-law rights for a husband to "correct" a wife, but he doesn't seem to mention thumbs.

Re:Not all stupid, not all true (1)

cybaea (79975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480035)

I am talking about Northen Ireland, not Eire.

And Northen Ireleand is part of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", as I think the UK is formally called.

I guess "civil insurrection" would be the most appropriate term, but I can never remember how many r's go into that word (found a dictionary now).

Anyhow, this thread is sliding offtopic. [But I was never sure what the toipc was in the first place. That there are silly laws in this world? That CmdrTaco has finally found some stress relief and is laughing?]

Back to the topic (I think!?): My favourite Stupid Law (tm):

The Danish constitution guarantees everybody a job.

The unemployment rate was just under 10% last time I checked.

Burlington, Vermont... (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480036)

In Burlington, Vt., any group of 7 or more young persons constitutes a gang and can be forced to separate by local law enforcement. This law may have been repealed in the 4 years since I heard about it, but I doubt it.

Re:Dumb Laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480037)

With the taxes Canadians pay, the cities ought to clear your front porch.

No Cites, Sources, Proof, History (1)

MoNickels (1700) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480042)

It's truly a dumb site. Where are the cites for these laws? Quoted statutes? Court cases? Newspaper articles? Historical perspectives?

Where, in short, is the proof?

I suspect most of these so-called "dumb laws" are nothing more than a collection of those stupid messages that people used to send around all the time (oh, wait--people are still doing that).

And like most of the crap that gets forwarded from here to eternity, I suspect these laws are fake or gross minterpretations of the truth.

Not a very funny site, and not deserving of Slashdot traffic at all. Wield that traffic wand lightly, Rob!

Many NOT DUMB laws. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480043)

Many of these laws (seeminly 5-10% based on just browsing the site) are completely rational and many others (like 60% or so) seem to be urban myths... The only ones that seem really believable (especially since almost none of them include references to the actual law) are the obviously outdated ones related to what you can/can't do on Sunday, what sexual positions you can use, what you can do with horses, and donkeys and such....

Law in Phoenix area. (1)

leereyno (32197) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480044)

This page lists a law in Maricopa county Arizona that say that no more than six women may live in one house. This is a real law and it is actually enforced. The reason for it is to prevent whorehouses but all it really ends up doing is making it so that none of the sororities at ASU can have a house. Laws like this, and the fact that anyone tries to enforce them, piss me off.

Re:Dumb Laws of Pennsylvania (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480045)

Drunk grey squirrels are nasty critters. I've met a couple. Greys are abusive to begin with, but when drunk they're foolhardy too. I had a drunk grey throwing things at me, before jumping on my head, and he would probably have bit me, if I hadn't removed him quickly. He was cursing vociferously in squirrel throughout. Normally, greys do scream and throw things at creatures that enter their territory, but they do not normally attack large predators (which is what humans are, essentially -large, pack-hunting, apes which can run, swim and climb, powerfully built with nasty teeth (an adult male human bite can do lethal damage, on a par with other large predators, it's just our upbringing which restrains us.))

So - if your little borther feeds cider to some squirrels, wiat for them to sober up before trying to go into the garden...

ice cream cone danger? (1)

aturley (79907) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480046)

Alabama and New York both have laws concerning the carrying of icecream cones in ones back pocket. What's the deal?

Re:Dumb Laws of Pennsylvania (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480047)

"The story" behind this is almost certainly that these are two strands of the same urban legend. A lot of the "laws" on this site are total bullshit. The rest are either rational (non-dumb) laws, or laws that have clearly just been left on the books from the old Quaker days because repealing them just seems kind of a waste of effort at this point.

Re:Not all stupid, not all true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480048)

Hmm.. civil war? It's between illegal paramilitaries in two countries, not one. Or are you suggesting the republic isn't a different country?

Re:Alabama! (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480051)

You appear to be right. Apologies for my etymological ignorance. :)

Dumb Laws? (1)

Chunky-Spinach (122007) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480053)

I was reading over some of the "dump laws" that we have here in Canada, and I noticed one that kept popping up was one about, and let me paraphrase, "It is the homeowner's responsibility to clear snow from municipal sidewalks within 24 hours of the snowfall..." Although this may seem like a dumb law to some people, it actually makes a lot of sense in places where we get heavy snow. Most people, in addition to their private sidewalk/driveway have a strip of city sidewalk running adjacent to their property. After a heavy snowfal, it would unreasonable to expect that the city should be responsible for clearing all of the sidewalk _and_ all of the roadways, which they do. Also, with all of the litigating going around these days, you wouldn't want someone to slip in front of your house. If the snow is not cleared - you're at fault; that means you're getting sued.

No, that *is* a dumb law (2)

Brian Knotts (855) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480054)

It seeks to address the symptom, and ignores the cause of the problem, like most dumb laws.


Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org] .

Chico! (1)

Edward Teach (11577) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480062)

I'm glad I live in Chico CA. Wouldn't want anyone getting away with lighting off a Nuke without getting a $500.00 fine!

Re:This site annoys me a little (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480063)

Buy yourself a life. Make sure to get one that includes the sense of humor option pack.

Re:Encryption in Denmark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480064)

This in particular is unenforceable, seeing as Denmark would be kicked out of the EU if they tried to enforce it, and there's no way denmark could survive on its own now.

Quebecers have the right to be served in french! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480065)

This law is meant to protect quebecer from assimilation by the rest of the english-speaking america.

Anyway the simple law of marketing will tell you that if the population is 85% french, you should offer your service in french too!


Paix sur la terre aux hommes de bonnes volontés

English Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480066)

I think england has some of the funniest laws, but there were also a large number of laws that have good reason! For example we still have posters on the tube and bus telling us what to do if we see an unnatended package. This is due to the insatiable urge of some Irish (and ulster)men who really want to blow London up, and like leaving bombs in hold-alls.
And the lisencing of televisions (which costs £80 a year I think) is to fund the evils of the BBC so that it can brainwash us all into becoming good citizens and tell us how it's such a good thing that we pay them to make "animal Hospital".

And if you saw a scotsman, wouldn't you just want to pick up your longbow..........(but not on the holy sabbath you know)

Prevent the Oklahoma Bombing with laws? (1)

leereyno (32197) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480067)

Do you have any idea how ludicrous that sounds? Last time I checked it was illegal to blow up buildings and kill innocent women and children but that didn't stop McVeigh.

How is a law going to stop someone of evil intent who has no regard for the law?

All laws do is make and act prosecutable after the fact. They do almost nothing to prevent an evil person from committing the act to begin with.
Good people don't need to have laws passed telling them they can't rob, rape or kill others. It is only the scumbags for whom these laws were created.

More laws are not the solution for crime or an increase in crime. The solution is to prosecute more consistenly on the basis of existing laws, and even that isn't a real solution, it just isn't creating a bigger problem like more laws do. Laws do little to prevent the act they prohibit and end up making life more difficult for everyone else who isn't doing anything wrong to begin with.

Questionable research concerning Swiss laws (2)

de la mettrie (27199) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480069)

After taking a quick glance at the Swiss section, I (as a swiss national) have the feeling that the research done by the operators of the site has been somewhat sloppy:

Clothes may not be hung to dry on Sunday. You may not wash your car on a Sunday. It is considered an offense to mow your lawn on a Sunday, because it causes too much noise.

These are purely social conventions and not enforced by any law I know of.

It is illegal to flush the toilet after 10 P.M. if you live in an apartment. A man may not relieve himself while standing up, after 10 P.M. If you forget you car-keys inside the car and you leave the car open, you will be punished.

Utter nonsense. Whilst such norms might be part of rental or insurance contracts, they are certainly not part of a national law.

Though it is illegal to produce, store, sell and trade absinth (special alcohol), it is legal to consume it.

This is no longer valid as of Jan 1, when the constitution of 1874 is replaced by the new 1999 revision.

The highest speed allowed on national freeways is 120 km/h

So what? I don't call that dumb.

Maybe I'm a bit too legalistic here... but we Swiss have a reputation to lose in that regard.

Re:Some of these aren't so dumb! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480070)

"What's dumb about that?"

What's dumb about taking away your freedom to choose what to listen to? Oh, I dunno. I guess it's just one of those wacky USA-isms.

Maybe it really IS time to nuke Canada.

Dumb "Dumb Laws" Site (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 14 years ago | (#1480073)

There is a perfectly good reason why you should not be allowed to molest butterflies in Pacific Grove, California. Monarch butterflies congregate there as part of their breeding migration, hundreds of thousands on one tree. It's impressive to see - I've been there while it was happening. Someone molesting them with a bug sprayer could do serious damage to the species.

Bruce

Re:http://www.dumbcriminalacts.com/gritsboy/sucks/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1480074)

Please stop and visit the gritsboy thread when you have a chance.

Better yet, stop by the GritsBoy Sucks Dead Buffalo [slashdot.org] thread and watch gritsboy gobble goo by the gallon.

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