Good morning, it is now legal in New York to communicate with someone "in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm."
"Scientists have discovered that all mammals urinate for roughly the same amount of time, regardless of their size. A study carried out by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta found that animals of various sizes – from an elephant to a rat – take around 21 seconds to relieve themselves. The team, who collated their findings using videos of animals going to toilet and combining them with data on mass, bladder pressure and urethra size, were able to come up with what they are calling the 'law of urination'." [...]
There is an "aesthetic problem" in San Francisco, right now. Men, naked, outside, in the Castro! "Most people just don't think older men look good naked," says a newspaper reporter on KQED's public nudity program, Forum. Also, it's so cold sometimes. Mark Twain has a famous quote about being naked in the Castro, because it's so chilly. And county supervisor Scott Wiener (come on) has proposed a new law that would make most people have to wear clothes outside, most of the time.
Hero New York Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is "writing legislation" (translation: getting attention for a project that will never become a law) that would somehow "punish real estate agents for inventing neighborhood names and for falsely stretching their boundaries." (It would also require city approval for the naming of neighborhoods, which, no way, no how, no thank you.) And yes, while it's most amusing that the alleged law would forbid making up silly new neighborhoods, it would be nice if something could prevent the realtor-based spread of Williamsburg into Brownsville. Who else is to blame for all of this? Curbed. They're monsters like this! Also New York mag, [...]
Great/hilarious news! The New York State Senate may actually save yoga studios from their current state of being harassed by the Education Department-which last month sent out a letter to all yoga schools, demanding that they become licensed. The hilarious part is the press release, that just went out from state Senator Eric T. Schneiderman's office. (He represents the Upper West Side, heh.) Anyway, haven't we all learned in the last two years that regulation is bad for markets? (KIDDING!)
In January, Governor Cuomo proposed a legal weed baby step. The plan was to limit dispensing to a small group of hospitals: Marijuana would be legal for medicinal use but difficult to acquire, available for severe conditions and only at the discretion of a "board of doctors." The boldest thing about this legislation was that it contained the word "marijuana" (legally: "MARIHUANA"); activists worried it was so cumbersome that nobody would bother to take advantage of it. Above all it was presented as safe: for patients, for The Children, and for politicians who might be interested in supporting it. But apparently not safe enough!
To get the [...]
Rancho Mirage sits between Palm Springs and the Coachella festival. The people are rich and generally Republican—the moderate show-biz GOP reigns in this land of Gerald and Betty Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, Palm Springs Mayor Sonny Bono and his widow, the longtime congresswoman Mary Bono Mack. And now this fancy desert resort town is deciding whether to ban aerial drones from the skies, which would make Rancho Mirage only the second town in the nation to outlaw the robot spy planes. (The first is tiny St. Bonifaciuis, Minnesota; a Virginia city passed a resolution "urging" the state to do something about drones.)
It would be wonderful to realize our rich citizens [...]
"Tennessee state Rep. Curry Todd, a lead sponsor of a law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring guns into bars, has been arrested on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence." —Let's all have a good laugh and move on. To linger on this is just like eating the entire bag of candy. [Via]
When people know people who are killed by guns, they seem to be less likely to support legislation such as bills allowing concealed weapons on college campuses. (via)
In October, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena to Airbnb, ordering it to turn data about its 15,000 registered hosts in New York over to the state. While neither Airbnb nor its hosts pay the 15 percent lodging tax that most New York City hotels are subject to—no small part of the reason why startups like Airbnb have been able to "disrupt" the established hospitality industry—the attorney general's primary concern was not the stream of potential tax revenue trickling past the state's coffers. (Airbnb kindly offered to induce its users to pay the tax, which would amount to some $21 million.)
RED: Do not take photographs inside your polling place, fool. Is your Instagram a crime? Likely!
TAN: Do not show anyone a photograph of your ballot or your ballot. These laws—for instance, Oregon's—are commonly phrased as "A person may not show the persons own marked ballot to another person to reveal how it was marked." This is how poll watchers look for forced voting and bullying. Like when your mom checks your ballot to make sure you voted for Glenn Beck or Roseanne or whoever.
BLUE: GO NUTS UP IN THERE. (Do not go nuts. There are lots of grey areas. Do check your state!) Also?
Leroy Smith challenged [Republican state Sen. Scott Beason] to pick a bucket full of tomatoes and experience the labor-intensive work.
Beason declined but promised to see what could be done to help farmers while still trying to keep illegal immigrants out of Alabama.
Smith threw down the bucket he offered Beason and said, "There, I figured it would be like that."
OH, SNAP. RUN AND TELL YOUR ADORABLE LITTLE WHITE BABY, SCOTT BEASON, YOU GOT BURNED. In other news about Alabama's new (and thoroughly illegal) immigration laws, the first immigrant sent off for "indefinite detainment"… actually had legal U.S. status. Oopsies! Also here are the [...]
"Any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanour." —If you're feeling oppressed by the new law banning smoking in Times Square and Central Park, don't feel bad. It could be worse. Like in Malawi, where a bill has just passed that, according to Justice Minister George Chaponda at least, criminalizes flatulence.