Weird Laws

Some laws I get. Others seem like edicts drafted during some legislative mad-libs session. When I was living in Ann Arbor, there was a law circulating that went as follows: your body can be considered an open container (i.e. Bud tab is to beer what your mouth is to, well, that same beer--or some nasty jungle juice). There are numerous sites devoted to compiling the more entertaining U.S. laws, and here are some of my favorite selections:

A person must be 18 years old to buy a wax container. (CA)

No children shall attend school with their breath smelling of "wild onions." (WV)

Dirt may not be swept from one's house into the street. (ID)

Residents may not own chickens, but may own up to three turkeys. (CO)

No person within the city may possess confetti. (AL)

Any from your states I'm missing?

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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