Regulation Roundup

Some of the stranger happenings in the world of regulation:

  • In the village of Great Neck, New York, hanging laundry in your front yard is an offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 15 days in jail.
  • Ernest Hemingway famously owned polydactyl cats, which have six toes instead of the usual five. Descendants of those cats still live at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Florida. The USDA is insisting that the museum “obtain an exhibitor’s license; contain and cage the cats in individual shelters at night, or alternatively, construct a higher fence or an electric wire atop the existing brick wall, or alternatively, hire a night watchman to monitor the cats; tag each cat for identification purposes; construct additional elevated resting surfaces for the cats within their existing enclosures; and pay fines for the Museum’s non-compliance with the AWA.”
  • A California DMV office issued a driver’s license to a blind man.
  • Canada is considering scrapping its food package size regulations. Heinz wants to keep the rules in place.
  • Scientists, for a BBC special, were going to point a radio telescope at a recently discovered planet, in hopes of discovering signals put out by an intelligent alien civilization. Health and Safety regulators shut them down because of a lack of procedures in place in the unlikely event they find something.
  • Health and safety regulators in a Manchester, U.K., hospital banned metal paper clips after an employee cut their finger with one. A wit remarked, “We should just be lucky the safety memo didn’t run to two pages, that might have proved a bit tricky.”
  • Hairdressers in the EU may soon face a ban on high heels and jewelry. They will be required to wear non-slip shoes, converse with clients, and face a limit on how many haircuts they can perform in a day. The cost for the U.K. alone would be £75 million, or about $120 million.