Hunting Licenses for the Blind

It sounds like it should be a joke, but apparently in the past various states have debated whether they should issue hunting licenses for the blind. And today some states appear to issue such licenses. For instance, on the website of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game a "Resident Hunting License for the Blind" is listed as costing $45.00.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Dec 2, 1953

I think the clipping below explains these licenses. They allow blind people to go out hunting with their friends. Someone else (who can see) has to do the actual shooting, but the blind person can claim one of the game animals as their own kill.

Tallahassee Democrat - Apr 15, 1959

A separate issue is whether a blind person can purchase a regular hunting license. I don't know what the current laws are, but in 1963 in Washington state there was nothing to prevent them from doing so, as demonstrated by the stunt below in which blind attorney Arnold Sadler purchased a hunting license for himself.

Staunton News Leader - Jan 31, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 04, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Guns, Sports, Regulations, Differently Abled, Handicapped, Challenged, and Otherwise Atypical

Divorcee banned from chess club

1971: 16-year-old Soni Romans was banned from all extracurricular activities at at Channelview High School in Houston. This included school choir, chess club, drama, and the National Honor Society. The reason for the ban was that she had been married and divorced and had a child (which she gave up for adoption). Therefore, the school felt that she shouldn't be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities because, during them, she "might discuss sex with other students."

However, if she had simply had the child without getting married and divorced, the same regulation wouldn't have applied. Unwed mothers were free to participate in the extracurriculars. Romans sued the school and won, so the ban was eventually lifted.

The Cincinnati Enquirer - Nov 14, 1971

The Akron Beacon Journal - Feb 17, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 19, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: School, Regulations, Divorce, 1970s

Toys R Us Corrected

The logo for Toys R Us typically includes a backwards R. But when a Toys R Us opened in Cerritos, California in 1972, the local city council insisted that the store spell its name with the R the "correct" way around on the front of the building, so that it wouldnt confuse young children who might be struggling to learn the alphabet.

The store had to keep the corrected R until 1981 when the city council finally voted to allow it to switch to the backwards R. Noted a council member: "All the bags, the price tags in the store had the backwards 'R.' It really wasn't accomplishing anything to have it correct on the outside."

Of course, as Steve Harvey noted for the LA Times, if you really want to be grammatically correct, the name should be Toys R We.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a single picture of the store with the corrected R.

Los Angeles Times - Mar 3, 1981

The normal logo

The corrected version

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 18, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Regulations, 1970s

The Tullock Spike

The economic theory of risk compensation suggests that laws intended to increase safety, such as mandating safety belts in cars, can sometimes have the opposite effect by making people feel safer and therefore encouraging them to engage in riskier behavior. This is also known as the Peltzmann Effect.

This concept inspired the economist Gordon Tullock to come up with the idea that instead of mandating safety belts, it would save far more lives if the government required that large spikes were installed in the center of steering columns, because this would make drivers more acutely aware of the danger of driving too fast. This steering-wheel spike is referred to as the Tullock Spike, or Tullock Steering Column.

Image source: reddit

However, economist Sandy Ikeda has noted that a mandatory Tullock Spike might also trigger unintended consequences: "Some might replace the steel dagger with a rubber one. Indeed, a black market in fake steering-column daggers might arise. But that of course could worsen the problem because now some drivers will drive as recklessly as before, while law-abiding drivers will still have daggers aimed at their chests. There maybe fewer accidents but more deaths than before."

Ikeda suggested instead that the best possible safety measure would be to "ban brakes on cars."

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 12, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Regulations

Proper storage of warheads

A classic example of "officialese," which came to light in 1951. Text from a Royal Navy instruction manual on the proper storage of torpedo warheads:

It is necessary for technical reasons that these warheads should be stored with the top at the bottom, and the bottom at the top. In order that there may be no doubt as to which is the bottom and which is the top for storage purposes, it will be seen that the bottom of each warhead has been labeled with the word TOP.

The Decatur Herald - Aug 30, 1951

Green Bay Press-Gazette - Apr 22, 1962

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 27, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Government, Regulations, Languages

Banned Singing of Birds

1957: In order to maintain peace and quiet at night, the Long Beach City Council proposed a ban on "singing of birds" between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The Sedalia Democrat - May 9, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 18, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Government, Regulations, 1950s

Lap Driving Banned

A 1950's effort to stop distracted driving.

But what was going on in Cheboygan that they felt a need for an ordinance against this form of distracted driving specifically?

The Pittsburgh Press - Dec 28, 1952

CHEBOYGAN, Mich., Dec 27 (UP) — Traffic violation penalties going into effect here Jan. 1 include a $5 fine for any motorist caught driving with a woman on his lap.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 05, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Regulations, 1950s, Cars

Is the new Barbie doll gonna be banned in the Pentagon like Furby ?


Is the Pentagon gonna ban this doll like they did the Furby?

Posted By: BrokeDad - Tue Jun 02, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Toys, Regulations

Transportation of Avocados

Browsing through the municipal code of La Mesa, CA (it's a suburb of San Diego and also happens to be the fine town that I call home), I came across this unusual law:

Every person who transports a commercial quantity of avocados shall cause a statement of ownership to be prepared and retained in his personal possession at all times while transporting said avocados...
"Commercial quantity of avocados" shall mean any quantity of avocados in excess of forty (40) pounds exclusive of the container...
Any peace officer, upon probable cause to believe a person is transporting a commercial quantity of avocados, may stop such person and inspect such avocados, whereupon, the statement of ownership described in Section 10.70.030 shall be presented to said peace officer upon request.
Any peace officer, upon reasonable belief that a person is not in legal possession of a commercial quantity of avocados, may seize such avocados without warrant. Upon seizure the peace officer shall take custody of the avocados and turn the same over to the custody of the Chief of Police.

Obviously we take avocados seriously out here. I wonder if the same rule applies to guacamole.

(image source)

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 21, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Food, Government, Regulations

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 

Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •