The Weirdest Alcohol Laws in America

Growing up in New England, I got used to seeing the supermarket beer aisle shrouded in white plastic every Sunday, lest the alcohol tempt us at a sacred time (thanks Puritans!). The region certainly has some pretty restrictive alcohol laws, but they're hardly the oddest. For that, let's take a tour around the… » 1/16/15 5:30pm 1/16/15 5:30pm

Christmas Trees Can Only Be Legally Sold on NYC Streets in December

Sidewalks throughout New York City turn into temporary little Christmas forests every year around the holidays as tree vendors set up shop. It's pure seasonal magic. But thanks to an obscure 1938 law, the sale of Christmas trees on NYC streets is only legal in December. » 12/01/14 4:28pm 12/01/14 4:28pm

My new favorite Twitter account is @CrimeADay

Back in college I took an undergrad law course that devoted a day to looking at silly old laws that were still on the books. One of the laws stated that it was illegal to serve margarine in any Wisconsin restaurant without also offering customers butter. The whole class thought it was hilarious. And then, not a few… » 7/23/14 3:34pm 7/23/14 3:34pm

Technically, American flag napkins are illegal

When activist Abbie Hoffman wore his American flag shirt back in the 1960s people were shocked. He was even arrested and charged for "mutilating the American flag." Oh how times have changed. Today, putting the American flag on t-shirts, in advertisements, and even on napkins is considered the height of patriotism.… » 7/03/14 6:20pm 7/03/14 6:20pm

The Fireworks Laws in Every State

The 4th of July is tomorrow, and we all know what that means: The casual and festive use of explosives. Well, that is if you live in (or near?) one of the 42 states where that sort of thing is allowed. If you're unsure whether you live in party town or under a wet blanket, this map can help you out. » 7/03/14 8:30am 7/03/14 8:30am

In this week's Landscape Reads, we learn all about Yellowstone's "Zone of Death," the bitter rivalry of pallet companies (yes, pallet companies), the ultimate cause behind Alaska's Funny River fire, and more. » 5/30/14 6:30pm 5/30/14 6:30pm

This busy street intersection with no traffic lights is just pure chaos

Anarchy. That's what it's like to drive on the streets of Ethiopia. There are no traffic lights, no painted lanes, no rules on who has the right of way, no fear of hitting the car in front of you, and basically no driver has any idea what the other driver is going to do until they do it. It's chaos and probably… » 4/22/14 9:04pm 4/22/14 9:04pm

The US Navy is finally deploying giant lasers

Oh baby. The US Navy is saying a prototype of the solid state Laser Weapons System (LaWS) is ready for deployment. This summer in the Persian Sea, the USS Ponce will be outfitted with lasers that can shoot down aerial drones, speedboats and swarm boats that are miles away. It's going to be Star Wars in the open sea. » 2/26/14 12:25am 2/26/14 12:25am

Should Students Be Able To Take Coding Classes For Language Credits?

The Kentucky Senate just passed a law that will let students take computer programming classes to satisfy their foreign language requirements. Do you think that's a good move? » 2/03/14 12:40pm 2/03/14 12:40pm

The Complete List of Everything Banned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg leaves office tomorrow after 12 years as New York City's mayor. No mayor in recent memory has added so much to a city. Or taken so much away. To remember him properly, here's a list of everything Bloomberg banned during his time in office. » 12/31/13 1:23pm 12/31/13 1:23pm

Illustrating America's Silliest Laws With Equally Silly Photographs

Stories about weird local laws always begin like urban legends. You might have heard that in Wisconsin, the Dairy State, all restaurants are required by law to serve cheese with every dish, including placing a slice of certified Wisconsin cheese on top of each and every order of apple pie. » 11/15/13 4:00pm 11/15/13 4:00pm

Bizarre Regional Laws In the U.S. Are Even Weirder Than You Thought

Every now and then there's a writeup of some weird U.S. laws, and it's always interesting to see what random stuff merited legislation at one time or another. But this infographic, put out by the online attorney directory Upcounsel, takes the curation to the next level and also talks about enforcement and shows which… » 10/20/13 12:35pm 10/20/13 12:35pm

UberX in LA: It's Illegal. It's Great. It Needs to Stop.

Despite the fact that it's currently banned in Los Angeles, UberX is defiantly still up and running. I used it for the first time this weekend. This so-called ride-sharing service from San Francisco-based Uber Technologies is supposedly the future of cabs. Much like similar services Lyft and Sidecar, UberX seeks to… » 7/01/13 7:20pm 7/01/13 7:20pm

Texting While Driving Hands-Free Is Still Very Unsafe, Says Science

California just passed a law that says drivers are free to text and email while they drive, as long as they're doing it by voice. Sounds safer, right? Not exactly, according to quite a bit of research. » 1/21/13 1:40pm 1/21/13 1:40pm

Email Records: You're Going To Need a Warrant for That (Maybe)

If the Feds want access to your email and other online data, they're going to have to get a warrant first, thanks to a new bill that was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. » 11/29/12 4:40pm 11/29/12 4:40pm

Darrell Issa Wants a Dumb Two-Year Ban on New Internet Laws

Today in things that will never happen, Republican Representative Darrell Issa has proposed a new bill called the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA) that would put a stop to any internet-related lawmaking for the next two years. » 11/27/12 3:46pm 11/27/12 3:46pm

Online Prostitution Laws Are Out of Date and Letting Internet Pimps Off…

According to legal experts, the laws that have been regulating prostitution have left giant loopholes when it comes to online prostitution. So though real life brothels can still be policed with those old laws, brothels that originate and operate over the Internet have managed to escape the law. Ruh Roh. » 8/21/12 11:00pm 8/21/12 11:00pm

Fracking Now Legal in North Carolina, Because Lawmaker Pressed the…

Technology is screwing up our voting system. It is, time and time again. It's possible that technology just doesn't belong in that process, isn't it? At least, not until the technology is foolproof and failsafe. » 7/03/12 9:00pm 7/03/12 9:00pm

DEA Illegally GPS-Tracked a Drug Runner, Now It Can't Enter 150 Pounds…

The one thing you can't fault the US Drug Enforcement Agency for is not trying hard enough. These dedicated civil servants won't let trivialities like "laws" and "warrants" hinder their efforts to enforce other laws and warrants. » 5/24/12 2:22pm 5/24/12 2:22pm

Is the Senate Trying to Sneak In a New SOPA Bill?

After the Internet bandied up together and killed SOPA, you'd think the government would be a little weary of introducing SOPA-like bills less the Internet start a revolution and start calling out dumb politicians. Guess not though because it looks like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid still wants to censor the… » 2/12/12 2:00pm 2/12/12 2:00pm