Weird Universe


Litigation Through Poetry:  Or, Texas Is Hell


Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jul 22, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Law, Nature, Regionalism, Religion, Poetry, 1900's

Indiana legalizes sawed off shotguns


Beginning July 1st we can own one as long as it is manufacture made. Mine is already ordered.
Posted By: BrokeDad | Date: Sat Jun 27, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Guns, Law

Tax Per Mile

Oregon is running a voluntary per mile travel tax instead of the current per gallon standard. The volunteers do not have to pay the gas tax while participating in the study.
Does anyone really believe the gas tax will go away if the per mile tax is enacted? Does any tax ever go away once it is put in place? So if this goes through we may as well expect both.
What a great way to control travel, especially for the poor. This idea is a greater threat to personal liberty than the Patriot Act. It is much easier to control a non-moving populace.
Posted By: patty | Date: Wed May 20, 2015 | Comments (14)
Category: Government, Regulations, Law, Motor Vehicles, Cars, More Things To Worry About

Attorney Larry L. Archie


Via a chain of transmission that extends through our own Chuck Shepherd and longtime WU-vie Professor Music, we get the astonishing picture above, the kind of advert favored by Attorney Larry L. Archie.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu May 07, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Eccentrics, Law, Advertising

Noise Complaint

The joy of neighbors! Police gave 91-year-old Yvette Vachon of Quebec a ticket for $148 after her neighbors downstairs complained she was making too much noise. Apparently her la-z-boy style rocking chair was too loud.

However, after reviewing the complaint (and possibly swayed by all the media attention the case was getting in Canada) the city cancelled the fine. [National Post]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon May 04, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Law

Is cannibalism illegal?

Turns out there are no laws in the U.S. specifically outlawing cannibalism, except in Idaho, which has this statute on the books:

18-5003.  CANNIBALISM DEFINED -- PUNISHMENT. (1) Any person who wilfully ingests the flesh or blood of a human being is guilty of cannibalism.
(2)  It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of the provisions of this section that the action was taken under extreme life-threatening conditions as the only apparent means of survival.
(3)  Cannibalism is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding fourteen (14) years.

What's going on in Idaho that inspired this law? A 2011 article in the Journal of Law and Social Deviance explains:

In Idaho, anthropophagy (called cannibalism by statute) is illegal. The statute makes it an offense to drink human blood or consume human flesh, punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. The law was conceived in 1990 as a response to fears that ritualized practices involving sexual abuse and torture of minors would include anthropophagy. The legislators criminalized the consumption of human blood and flesh out of a concern that children would be sacrificed, eaten, or forced to consume the tissue of murdered or necrotic bodies during ritual practices.

But what about placenta-eating (a practice that's been discussed a number of times here on WU)? Wouldn't the Idaho statute make this practice illegal? Yes, technically it would. But the same article argues that if Idaho ever tried to send anyone to prison for placenta eating (or any other non-harmful, consensual form of cannibalism — ingesting blood, etc.), their statute would probably be ruled unconstitutional as it violates a fundamental "right to privacy."
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat May 02, 2015 | Comments (9)
Category: Food, Law

Nagging as divorce cause

The 1947 case of DeWaal vs. DeWaal established nagging as legitimate grounds for divorce (in Nebraska). I assume this was before the availability of no-fault divorce. (A quick google search reveals that Nebraska only adopted a no-fault divorce law in 1972.)

Note that Mrs. DeWaal argued that her husband was at fault (and not herself) because he went to motion picture theaters and read "sensational magazines."

(left) The Harrisburg Evening News - Oct 28, 1947; (right) The Lincoln Star - Oct 24, 1947
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Mar 22, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Law, Lawsuits, Husbands, Wives, 1940's

Ouija Board Inheritance

A follow-up to my Ouija board post of last week. This may be the only case of a Ouija board involved in an inheritance dispute.

When Mrs. Helen Dow Peck died in 1955, she left almost her entire estate to "John Gale Forbes," whom she met via Ouija board. Which is to say that John Gale Forbes was not a corporeal entity. Mrs. Peck's surviving (flesh-and-blood) relatives sued, arguing, in essence, that Mrs. Peck was clearly nuts. The court eventually agreed and voided her will. This has established the legal precedent that ghosts can't inherit money. Read more about the case here.

Corpus Christi Caller-Times - Mar 13, 1956
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Feb 24, 2015 | Comments (11)
Category: Law, 1950's

Breaks Will

A great moment in the history of 'oops': Back in 1911, a lawyer accidentally tripped and smashed the phonograph record on which Hodson Burton had recorded his final will, revealing where he had hidden his fortune. (If this lawyer was true to form, I'd guess he still made sure to submit a bill for his services.)

I wonder if Hodson Burton's fortune has ever been found.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Feb 01, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Law, 1910's

A Singular Will

Source: Notes and Queries, Nov 6, 1858.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Sep 13, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Death, Law, Nineteenth Century
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