July 31, 2022




We are surrounded and inundated with news about crime happening all the time. I’m your host Leah. I’m Phil, and I’m Steve. Today we will be discussing some of the strangest aspects of crime and bizarre laws so lock your doors, set the alarm and get comfortable.

INTRO  I am a fanatic about true crime. I read about it, watch it on TV and listen to podcasts about it. If you need some recommendations for great true crime podcasts hit me up on social media. We’ve gathered several crazy crime stories and trivia about weird laws for you.

Law Lunacy 1        https://www.farandwide.com/s/weird-laws-world-4961c1ede8d749bf

Every country is different, and every country's laws are different. Sometimes these laws border on the seriously ridiculous, and other times they point to important cultural values that might be different than your own. Today during our discussion of all things legal and bizarre, we will be mixing in several examples of odd laws from around the world. For these examples we are drawing on a terrific article from our friend Lissa Poirot called 60 Weird Laws Around The World from farandwide.com. You may remember we quoted one of her articles a few months ago on our episode about strange geography. Once again, we are grateful to Ms. Poirot for allowing us to quote directly from her fine article. 

So, let’s start with a few odd laws

It’s illegal to chew gum in Singapore      Sometimes we all suffer when fools break the rules. After vandals used chewing gum to mess with the Mass Rapid Transit system and the Housing and Development Board spent $150,000 a year to clean gum liter, Singapore banned all gum substances in 1992. Anyone importing, selling or making gum in Singapore can get fined and/or jail time, with the exception of nicotine and dental gums offering therapeutic value. Don't get caught blowing bubbles in Singapore

Canadian Radio Stations Must Play Canadian Artists     The Canadians are a patriotic bunch. So much so that all Canadian radio stations are required, by law, to play Canadian artists on the airwaves at least 35 percent of the time, especially during the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. This means that in an hour of radio during the workweek, you'll hear more than 20 minutes of artists like Nickelback, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Michael Bublé and Justin Bieber — all of whom are proud Canucks.

It's Illegal to Run Out of Gas on the German Autobhan     Notorious for having dynamic speed limits that give drivers a chance to travel more than 100 miles per hour, car enthusiasts and speed demons love trips along the German Autobhan. But, if you run out of gas, you could face a big fine. And don't even think of walking to a gas station; you'll get another fine for that! Why? Germans believe you have the power to keep your car properly gassed up, so if you run out of gas, it's your own fault. Walking along the highway is unsafe, as is having your vehicle stalled on or on the side of the road. So, vatch dat tank, dumbkopf, keep your eyes on your gas gauge and fill 'er up when you get low.

It's Illegal to Hike Naked in Switzerland     After Swiss and German travelers decided to make naked hiking a thing in Switzerland a decade ago (really!), Swiss officials reminded folks that a public indecency law still exists and you can be fined if caught in the woods in the buff. In 2011, a Swiss man was fined more than $100 for his bare-bottomed walk.

It's Illegal to Feed Pigeons in Venice, Italy     Well, here’s one that I actually unwittingly broke. With thousands of pigeons descending upon Saint Mark's Square and Venice, lured by the tourists readily handing out food in exchange for Instagram-worthy photos, Venice lawmakers officially made it illegal to feed the pesky fowl in 2008. It is said the cleanup from the birds cost each citizen €275 per year, so now, the tables are turned. If you're caught feeding the pigeons, you could face fines of up to €700. Better to get the picture-perfect shot of Venice's beautiful bridges instead. 

When we visited Venice in 2015, we arrived in a very crowded St. Mark’s Square. This fellow comes up to me and thrusts some kind of crumbly meal into my hand. I immediately dropped it and the pigeons descended upon it. Then the guy wanted me to pay him, which I did not do. I didn’t know I was breaking the law, glad I didn’t get caught. 

Ryan Waller Interrogation           https://azcapitoltimes.com/ Mr Ballen

I am a fan of true crime in almost any form, TV show, podcast, books, videos. So when I came across this unbelievable Youtube video I knew I had to talk about it on the podcast.

Ryan Waller and Heather Quan were a couple living together in a rental home in Desert Hills, Arizona. In 2006 Ryan and Heather were expected to spend Christmas Day with Ryan’s dad but they never showed up which was very much out of character. So after trying to contact the couple by phone and not getting any answer, Ryan's dad became concerned and called the local police and asked for a welfare check.

The police arrived at the house and knocked on the door for several minutes with no answer. Finally the door was unlocked and opened by Ryan who just stood there in the doorway without speaking. The police noticed a huge bruise on the left side of his face swelling his eye shut and a cut on his nose. Police looked past Ryan and saw a woman lying on the couch which they presumed was Heather.

After asking Ryan about the situation with his face being bruised and if it was Heather on the couch but getting no real answers, police made their way inside to check on Heather. Ryan told them that Heather was asleep but they could clearly see that Heather was dead and had been for at least a couple of days. She had a single gunshot wound to her head.

Ryan was arrested and was put in the police car. He didn’t resist arrest but kept insisting that he didn’t understand what was going on or what had happened to Heather. Ryan stayed in the back of the police car for hours while a crime unit was called in to process the scene and paramedics came to transport Heather’s body to the morgue. Eventually early in the morning Ryan was taken to the police station to be interviewed.

You can look up Ryan Waller police interview on Youtube and see for yourself that it is one of the most incredible police interrogations ever on video. Ryan was put into a small interrogation room at 5:08 am. The video shows that Ryan is barefoot, wearing a white jumpsuit and is not handcuffed. He is left alone for several minutes and during that time Ryan notices a pair of handcuffs attached to the table. He places the other restraint around his wrist and clicks it into place essentially handcuffing himself to the table. A few minutes later he is seen standing up and trying to walk to the door when he is seemingly surprised that he is restrained. He sits back down and waits. You can hear him occasionally let out a moan.

Then a detective comes in and the interview starts with basic questions about Ryan’s name and birthday but when Ryan is asked if he understands why he is being interrogated he says no. That is the point at which the officer reads Ryan his rights. Ryan seems very confused at this. The officer continues with more basic questions but Ryan keeps saying “I don’t know, I don’t know.” But then when pressed he would change his answer to something else seemingly to appease the officer. 

The interview is obviously not going to plan and both Ryan and the officer are confused and frustrated with each other with Ryan continually saying that he just wants to go home.

Finally the questioning gets around to Ryan’s relationship with Heather. Ryan agreed that he knew Heather but didn’t know how old she is or what her last name is. The officer changes tactics and starts asking about what happened to Ryan’s face. He’s first told that it was an accident of some sort then Ryan started throwing out random information that sometimes contradicted itself but eventually he slowly tells a story that two people were in his house and shot him in the face and Heather in the head.

The details of the story keep changing though. Frustrated and trying to get Ryan to focus, the officer tells Ryan point blank that there is a dead girl in your house. Ryan reacted with surprise. Then he asks if it’s Heather. The officer doesn’t know how to deal with this and keeps asking Ryan for more information on what happened. Ryan then said Richie and his dad came over and were shooting bows and arrows. He then changed the story to say that they had revolvers and that both he and Heather were shot. The officer seems incredulous and frustrated with the ever changing story and how uncooperative Ryan is about it all. 

The convoluted story was so strange and the officer starts to really put pressure on Ryan who keeps saying that the people had shot him in the eye. The one thing Ryan keeps saying is that he got shot first, before Heather. He was shot in the eye and then Heather was shot while she was on the couch and Ryan thought he would just let Heather sleep. 

At this point the officer insists to Ryan that his story is made up. He says that if Ryan was shot in the head with a revolver then there’s no way he would be there answering questions, he would be dead. Ryan says, “That’s what I thought too man, I really don’t know.”

The interview has been going on for about 45 minutes and the officer is at a loss. He just can’t get Ryan to focus and make sense and as he is sitting there wondering what line of questioning he should try next he takes a good look at Ryan and notices something no one has seen before. He gets Ryan to come closer and the officer inspects Ryan’s face close up and notices a hole in the left side of his nose. Ryan says that his head hurts. The officer then quickly leaves and comes back with medics. Ryan is then rushed to the hospital for the gunshot wounds in his face.

Two days ago (two days before Christmas) 23 year old Richie Carver and his 54 year old father, Larry Carver showed up to Ryan’s house to settle a dispute they had with Ryan and Heather. Richie used to live in the house with them but started showing unwanted and persistent attention to Heather so he was kicked out of the house. This was a couple weeks ago and Richie was furious so he and his father came back to the house to exact revenge.

They shot Ryan in the face as they broke in. They assumed he was dead. Richie then fired a single shot into Heather’s head killing her instantly. The men burglarized the place and left.

Ryan woke up several hours later. He had severe trauma to his brain and was more or less on autopilot. He thought Heather was asleep so he left her alone and for the next two days Ryan just aimlessly spent time walking around his house during the day and sleeping in his bed at night. He continued to think Heather was just asleep on the couch. Then finally in the evening on Christmas Day the police came by to do a welfare check.

Ryan spent two days at home with a bullet and skull fragments lodged in his brain. Then six hours in the cop car then almost 2 more hours at the police station before finally being taken to the hospital. Ryan underwent life saving surgery but had to have his left eye removed along with a large portion of his brain. There was so much brain damage that he was no longer independent and had to move back in with his parents. About ten years later Ryan died from a seizure that was a direct result from the wounds he received from the attack and the lack of care during those first few days.

Richie Carver and Larry Carver were tried and convicted for their crimes against Ryan and Heather. Both were sentenced to life in prison.

Law Lunacy 2  It's Illegal to Wear High Heels to the Acropolis

When packing for a trip to Greece, make sure you have the right shoes. The country banned high heels at the Acropolis in 2009, so no stilettos at the Parthenon. Not sure why anyone would want to make a trek around the ruins and dirt in heels — surely it's tough to walk and will damage the shoes — but the Greeks put this ban in place to protect its ruins from damage caused by the sharp heels. The ruins are nearly 2,500 years old, so be respectful and wear some soft-soled shoes when you visit, and even then you have to be careful as I learned on that same 2015 trip.

While I wasn’t wearing high heels, I did get fussed at by a docent while walking up the zig-zag path that leads up the hill because I sort-of cut across the point of one of the switchbacks. So not only can you not wear high heels, you have to be careful to stay on the paths. 

Don't Wear Your Winnie the Pooh T-Shirt in Poland    The cuddly little bear all stuffed with fluff also — gasp! — does not wear pants. Because of this, Poland issued a ban on Winnie the Pooh around playgrounds and schools, finding the A.A. Milne character a bit too risqué for the likes of impressionable children. Best to leave your bear attire at home if visiting this Eastern European country, just to be safe.

It's Illegal to Ride a Cow While Drunk in Scotland     Before you get any crazy ideas — and have too much Scottish whisky — you should know you could get a ticket for drunk cow riding. Technically, the full 1872 law mandates people not be drunk when in charge of a cow, horse, carriage or steam engine. In case you are wondering, the same law states you cannot have a loaded firearm on you while drunk. (We have to admit, that's a pretty good rule.)

It's Illegal to Wear Camouflage in (Many of) the Caribbean Islands     Leave the Camo attire at home when you head to the Caribbean — to wear it is a big no-no in many island nations, including Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbuda and Jamaica. Camouflage is only allowed to be worn by the country's military personnel.

No Selfies With a Statue of Buddha in Sri Lanka     When you take a selfie with Buddha, you are turning your back on him. Tsk, tsk. This sign of disrespect is punishable by imprisonment in Sri Lanka. It is also considered disrespectful to point your finger at Buddha, and sometimes there are bans on taking photos with the statues. Although not illegal to have tattoos of Buddha, a British woman was jailed for three days in 2014 for inappropriate tattoos of the man 70 percent of Sri Lankans feel is a prophet and avatar of the god Vishnu. Be polite and cover tattoos, respect "no photograph" signs, and don't turn your back on him.

Disintegrating checks


When was the last time you wrote a check? I carry a few checks in my purse for the odd occasion when I need to pay someone who doesn’t do electronic banking but I’ve been using the same checkbook for years now. I do deal with checks a bit more at my work where I’m an office manager and bookkeeper but if at all possible I try to pay bills online. Checks are definitely on the decline so I was absolutely surprised to find that we had a couple fraudulent checks come through our corporate account. Then a week later two more came through. As far as I could tell, someone intercepted one of our vendor payments in the mail, opened it and made a copy, then placed it back in the envelope and sent it on its way.

I asked the bank if this happens a lot and in fact it does. Creating fraudulent checks as well as other scams have all been on the rise due to the economic upheaval the pandemic created. But back a couple years ago in 1988 there was a completely different and intriguing type of crime involving checks. There were several weeks when a swindler managed to defraud banks out of almost $70,000 across six banks in two states by depositing self-destructing checks.

That gives me a mental picture of a check exploding in a small puff of smoke. The teller would have a black soot coated face with their hair all wigged out. I think I watched too much Bugs Bunny or The Three Stooges. The checks were actually coated with a chemical shortly before being deposited that caused them to disintegrate into confetti about three to four hours later.

According to a March, 1988 ASSOCIATED PRESS article, “In most of the cases, someone would open a new account at a bank with a small amount of money and later make a larger deposit with a dissolving check. Later, the money would be withdrawn from the account before the bank could learn that the second check was bogus. The check’s decomposition would leave little for evidence.”

It was believed that more than one person was involved but no one was ever caught and I couldn’t find any mention of the authorities figuring out exactly what chemical was used. It’s said that the checks seemed slightly oily and had a smell to them so it was an operation that would only work until the word was out.

ODJ:  Capitals of the World    https://www.traveltrivia.com/u-s-towns-self-proclaimed-capitals-of-the-world/YIF1WQGEQAAHK2Ka?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1534381696

I’m not sure that I’ve mentioned it before, but I actually grew up raising sheep. My hometown of Kerrville is in the heart of the Texas Hill Country and is prime sheep and goat country. In fact there are so many goats that at one time the city leaders sought to brand our town as “The Mohair Capital of the World”. I don’t recall how far they got in their efforts, but it raised my interest in towns seeking to glorify themselves by claiming to be the world’s leader in some obscure category. That’s why I was intrigued by a recent article on traveltrivia.com that detailed seventeen U.S. towns that proclaimed to be the – fill in the blank – capital of the world. 

Let’s start with Farmington, Maine which claims to be the Earmuff Capital of the World. The basis for their claim is that local fifteen year old Chester Greenwood invented the first earmuff out of farm wire and beaver fur in 1873 and just three years later received a patent for his invention. Farmington is now proudly known as the Earmuff Capital of the World, and on the first Saturday of December, the town celebrates Chester Greenwood Day! Thank you Chester!

And then there’s Green Bay, Wisconsin, famously known for being the smallest city with a major sports franchise, the Green Bay Packers. But you might not know that Green Bay is also the Toilet Paper Capital of the World. In the early 1930s, the Northern Paper Company put Green Bay on the toilet paper map by manufacturing the first splinter-free toilet paper. Yes, earlier versions had actual wooden splinters because of the way toilet paper was manufactured. Yikes! Never mind about the Good old days. The factory also helped Green Bay fare better during the Great Depression than most other towns and cities.

Then there’s Washington, Missouri a k a The Corn Cob Pipe Capital of the World. In 1869 a Dutch immigrant named Henry Tibbe made a smoking pipe out of a corn cob for a friend. The idea became so popular that Tibbe eventually opened up a small factory. Today, this factory, now known as Missouri Meerschaum is the only company in the world that still makes corn cob pipes. 

Some other cities mentioned in the article are Castroville, California, the Artichoke Capital; Scottsboro, Alabama, the Lost Luggage Capital; New Smyrna Beach, Florida, the Shark Attack Capital; La Crosse, Kansas, the Barbed Wire Capital; and Barberton, Ohio, the Fried Chicken Capital. 

But perhaps my favorite goes to Cedar Springs, Michigan, the Red Flannel Capital of the World! In 1936, a New York newspaper column lamented the country’s shortage of red flannel during a particularly cold winter. However, a newspaper in Cedar Springs — a booming lumber town whose residents sported the iconic lumberjack look on just about every street corner — challenged the claim and asserted there was plenty to go around. Orders reportedly flooded in from around the country, and three years later, in the fall of 1939, Cedar Springs celebrated the first Red Flannel Day. The tradition continues to this day, with a popular festival that takes place during the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October.

I’m thinkin Remnant Stew Road Trip to experience these world capitals in their greatness!


Law Lunacy 3  It's Illegal to Wear a Mask in Public in Denmark     Not only masks, the Danish government wants to stop anyone from covering their faces in any way in public spaces. This includes masks, helmets, scarves, hats, fake beards and even burkas. The controversial ban went into effect in August 2018. Officials claim the ban helps to properly identify people during crowded events, should anything negative happen and someone need to be identified.

It's Illegal to Fly a Kite in Victoria, Australia     In Australia's southeastern tip of Victoria, home to Melbourne, it is illegal to fly a kite in a public space if it bothers another person. In fact, you cannot even play a game in a public place if it annoys someone else. This seems odd to me as Australia is one of the least crowded locations on the planet, you should be able to locate a place to fly your kite without bothering someone. Of course there could be trouble makers who would go well out of their way for the experience of being bothered by your kite. 

In France, Men Must Wear Speedos to Swim in a Pool     Did you think the French just really liked their Speedos? Actually, its French law that men are not allowed to wear loose-fitting swim trunks on beaches, swimming pools and other public places where a swimsuit is required attire. The law wasn't for safety, but rather for pool cleanliness. They figured that men wouldn't dare walk around town in a Speedo, so if he wears a Speedo in the water, it surely would be cleaner than something he may have been wearing all day long. In other words, you might be wearing your boxer style trunks while you poke around town. Those might get dusty or dirty and thus foul the pool water.

This need to avoid clothing that could have been worn throughout the day also extends to T-shirts; you'll need to lose those as fast as your surfer shorts.

It's Illegal to Be Shirtless in Barcelona     In an effort to keep the streets of Barcelona free of beachgoers in bikinis and men going shirtless, lawmakers in the Spanish town on the Mediterranean banned anyone from being topless or in a swimsuit in public anywhere but the beach or a pool. Passed in 2011, fines for walking around half-naked could cost you up to €260. And speaking of Spanish beaches:

It's Illegal to Build a Sandcastle in Spain     Spain despises your attempt at making sand castles so much you could be fined if caught building one in Spain. And the fines vary by location at their discretion. On the island of Majorca, for example, you could pay €100, but you could pay up to €1,500 in Galicia. Before you ask, yes, kids are included in this restriction — and parents foot the bill. Isn’t Spain where they had that ‘men dressed as devils jumping over babies’ festival? 

Miracle at Guanella Pass     On January 6th of 1982 Harold Bray was flying out of the Denver airport in the middle of a snowstorm. After takeoff and just before the plane ascended into the thick clouds, Harold looked out the window and noticed something very odd.

Harold was the sheriff of the local county and so he was very familiar with the roads and terrain that he was seeing out his window and he knew they were flying over a 22 mile stretch of road that cut through the Rocky Mountains called the Guanella Pass. Harold was aware that while the road was very beautiful in the summer and springtime it was not maintained in the winter months. So, snow was never plowed off that road and no one should have been out on Guanella Pass in the winter much less in the middle of a snowstorm. But as Harold looked out the airplane window, he definitely saw headlights on the road below and as the airplane was just about to fly over the headlights Harold saw that whoever was in the vehicle was holding a flashlight out the window and shining it straight up into the sky at the plane flashing it on and off signaling distress. He knew the chances of anyone else seeing those lights and knowing it to be an emergency was very slim, so he had to do something.

Harold got the attention of the flight attendant, he told her who he was and explained about the emergency. The attendant took him to the cockpit where he explained the situation to the pilots. They relayed the information to the tower who contacted the local authorities and the fire department was dispatched to Guanella Pass.

Just minutes later the Fire Chief, Dave Montoya, pulled up alongside the stranded truck that had apparently gotten stuck in a snowbank. Inside was 30-year-old Denver area mechanic, Alan Phillips.

“Sure as heck, there he was in his little pickup, and he saw me and said, ‘Oh, God, I’m saved,’ ” Montoya later told a local news station. “He said he got drunk and decided to drive home. And I said, ‘You came up over the pass? And he said, well, it seemed like a good idea.’ I thought, how in the heck did this guy get so lucky, for all the stuff to fall into place?”

Alan was overcome with emotion at being rescued from the snowstorm in the middle of the night where the temperature dipped down to just 22 degrees Fahrenheit. He only had a light jacket, jeans and a small blanket so if the sheriff  had not just happened to see his flashlight SOS it's almost certain that Alan would have died of hypothermia that night.

At the time of the rescue Fire Chief Montoya noticed a really deep bruise on his Alan’s face and asked him about it. Allen said that after being stuck in the snowbank for a while he had to relieve himself, so he left the truck and walked a short distance away. He did his business but when he was returning to his truck the snow was so blinding that he couldn't see where he was going. He panicked and began running and ran straight into his truck face first.

Throughout the next week several stories were written up in local papers and even in national news about the miracle at Guanella Pass. However 38 years later as people had mostly forgotten the unlikely rescue story more information came to light that brought that story back to headlines in a very shocking and disturbing way.

It turns out Alan had lied about why he was on the isolated and dangerous mountain road. Earlier in the evening he had actually murdered two hitchhikers roughly 50 miles from the where he would be rescued. Both hitchhikers were women who worked in the area and both were later found dead. Their murders had gone cold but in late 2020 DNA evidence connected Allen to both cases.

Several hours before he was rescued from the snowstorm Alan had picked up 22-year-old hitchhiker, Annette Schnee. A few days later she was reported missing and eventually her body would be found deep in the woods where she had been shot. Apparently, Alan’s murderous tendencies weren’t sated because he then picked up another hitchhiker, 29-year-old Barbara Oberholtzer and he did the same thing to her that he had done earlier to Annette. He held her at gunpoint and put her in zip tie handcuffs. Barbara however was able to break out of her restraints and she fought back striking Allen in the face which is why he had such a visible bruise that night. She jumped out of the car and started running but Allen caught up to her, shot her in the chest and then dumped her off the side of a cliff into a snowbank below. The only reason Alan had gotten caught in Guanella Pass was because he was attempting to flee the area after these murders.

In February of 2021 Allen who was 70 years old at the time and still living in the Denver area was finally arrested for these two murders and is currently awaiting trial.

I got my information from the MrBallen Podcast episode #47 “The Hitchhikers” and from a May 2021 AP article.


Law Lunacy 4  It's Illegal to Play Dominoes in Sevilla, Spain     Another place trying to combat noise pollution in weird ways is the city of Sevilla. The beautiful city prevents people from playing dominoes in public, allegedly because the pieces make too much noise when they clink as players put them down. We don't understand this reasoning, given how Sevilla is a lively town where live music is played in the streets and flamenco dancers put on shows in public spaces.

It Is Illegal to Wear a Suit of Armor in British Parliament     We know, we know — you've been dying to don your suit of armor for a visit to Parliament during your next trip to London. Still, there is this ancient law dating back to 1313 that prohibits it. The Brits could revoke the law, but, as armor really isn't as fashionable as it was in the Middle Ages, why should they bother? Oh, and be careful while you are visiting because:

It's Illegal to Die Inside the Houses of Parliament     Don't even think about dying inside the Houses of Parliament, or you'll ... actually, we don't really know what the consequences for this crime would be. Since the building is considered a royal family palace, if anyone dies inside it, they must be buried with full honors. We're not sure how many people were planning to die here, but we guess Britain wanted to be safe. 

Speaking of dying: It's Illegal to Reincarnate Without Permission in China

Tibetan Buddist monks are not allowed to reincarnate after they die unless they have been granted permission from the government. We're not sure how they enforce this, but China is known for having some strict laws. 

Speaking of which: By Law, You Must Provide for Your Elderly Parents in China

The family structure is very important to East Asians. The Protection of the Rights and Interests of Elderly People (over the age of 60) includes a number of requirements for children when it comes to their elderly parents. You may not forsake or insult your parents, you must take care of their farm for them, and you must provide for them, among other laws. If not, parents can request alimony!

Law Lunacy 5  No Water Pistols on New Year's in Cambodia      New Year celebrations in Cambodia get so crazy that the capital city of Siam Reap won't allow for the sale of water pistols leading up to and during its big celebrations. The ban went into place to prevent "traffic accidents" and "public disorder." Apparently, any other time of year is okay for a water gun fight, but if you go for New Year's, shop owners won't sell you the plastic toy.

It's Illegal to Swear in the U.A.E.     In the Muslim United Arab Emirates, swearing could get you fined, jailed or deported. Under Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code, "swearing disgraces the honor or the modesty of a person." This isn't just for saying the inappropriate words aloud. It includes indecent physical gestures and extends to your text messages and social media, as well. Not even indecent emojis are allowed. Earlier this year, the British Express reported a man sent an angry message to a car dealer who seemingly did him wrong. He was threatened with three weeks in jail for his choice of words. If you have a potty mouth, be sure it's in check before you visit the UAE.

It's Illegal to Dance in the Dark After Midnight in Japan     Japan was like the country version of the movie "Footloose." Dancing after midnight was banned for generations, as it is just too sinful. Well, it was really just too American. Enacted in 1948 while U.S. soldiers occupied Japan, the ban was placed to stop liberal Americans from corrupting the good citizens of Japan. Lawmakers finally lifted the ban in 2015. You can now dance after midnight — as long as it's not in the dark. Revelers wanting to get their groove on after the clock strikes 12 need to do it in well-lit nightclubs. Oh yes, and while you are at the club, be careful not to indulge in too much pub grub because:

You Cannot Be Overweight in Japan      Save for Sumo wrestlers, in an effort to prevent obesity in its citizens, Japan created the Metabo Law. This requires people between the ages of 40 to 74 to have an annual waist measurement performed at the doctor. Fines will be incurred if men have waists over 33.5 inches or 35.4 inches for women. 

Speaking of dancing in clubs: Scandinavian Bars Need a License to Allow Dancing on Their Premises

If you're in a Nordic country and feel inspired to spontaneously break into dance, we have bad news for you. Unless the bar or lounge that you're in has a dancing license, it is illegal to move your body to the songs they are playing. Why this law exists is anyone's guess. The worst part is that the law is actually strictly enforced. And speaking of Nordic music:

Something Strange in the Neighborhood In the late 1960s George and Helen Ackley set out to find a spacious waterfront home for themselves and their four children. They found their dream home in a somewhat run down vacant 1890s era Victorian mansion built atop a cliff overlooking the Hudson River. The Ackleys fell in love with the 5,000 square foot home featuring intricate woodwork and a beautiful view.

After buying the house though they noticed that the locals weren’t as in love with the property as they were. The neighborhood children passed on to the Ackley children that their new home was haunted. George and Helen didn’t pay much attention to the rumors assuring their kids that it was all just made-up stories about an old fixer-upper type house but soon they changed their minds.

According to several articles Helen submitted to The Reader’s Digest magazine the family started to hear phantom footsteps, mysterious knockings and the doors around the house would slam from time to time. They became convinced that the house was inhabited by three separate ghosts, an unnamed Navy Lieutenant from the American Revolution, and a married couple from the 18th century, Sir George and Lady Margaret. Several members of the family reportedly saw these apparitions face to face.

Some of the strange happenings over the years that they lived in the house include small gifts that the Ackley children and grandchildren would receive such as coins, rings and other trinkets. Those objects would later disappear entirely.

Helen would recount how her daughter Cynthia would be awoken by the shaking of her bed almost every morning.

It seems that the Ackley family lived mostly in harmony with the ghosts in their house. But in the early 1990s Helen, who was now widowed and whose children had grown up and moved on, decided to sell the large house. She entered into a contract with buyer Jeffrey Stambovsky who agreed to the price of $650,000 and a $32,500 down payment was made. But when Mr. Stambovsky found out about the poltergeists, he was not so keen on living with them and attempted to back out of the sale. He sued Ackley and her real estate broker for fraudulent misrepresentation and requested a rescission of the contract of sale. When the initial action was dismissed, he appealed to a higher court.

In 1991 the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court made a basic conclusion that whether or not the ghosts were real, the fact that the hauntings were reported and publicized affected the value of the house so therefore the house was declared legally haunted. It was ruled that Helen was not liable for damages, but Mr. Stambovsky was allowed to back out of the purchase of the house. However, he did forfeit the down payment. This became famously known as the Ghostbusters ruling.

Following this ruling, laws—which vary state to state--have been enacted to protect buyers from what is referred to in the real estate business as “stigmatized property.” according to Wikipedia a stigmatized property is a property that buyers or tenants may shun for reasons that are unrelated to physical condition or features. These can include death of an occupant, murder, suicide, and belief that a house is haunted.

I got my info from Wikipedia and from HEIN Online .org blog


Amityville House – 23 year old Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed six members of his family on November 13, 1974. According to  2021 article in the New York Post the house has been on the market four different times since the murders. It was last listed in June 2016 and sold in March 2017 for $605,000, according to property records.

Law Lunacy 6  In Finland, Taxi Drivers Must Pay Royalty Fees for Songs They Play in Their Cars      Whenever you get into a cab, it's normal for the taxi driver to be listening to the radio, as a way to make the ride more pleasant for everyone. In Finland, however, taxi drivers are required by law to pay royalty fees for songs they play while driving passengers. The logic of the law is that they're using the song for business while making a profit, so they must pay for the rights. We're all for intellectual property protection, but this seems a bit extreme. So we here are happy to announce that cab drivers in Finland can play Remnant Stew in their cabs for free! 

You Must Walk Your Dog Daily in Rome, and three times a day in Turin     Rome's strict laws against animal cruelty include the walking of pet dogs. If an owner does not walk their dog once a day (at minimum), they could be fined $625. The law extends to goldfish as well. While they cannot be walked, they must have room to swim. Goldfish are not allowed to be kept in bowls and must, instead, have a full-sized aquarium.

If you do not walk your dog at least three times per day in Turin, Italy, be prepared to face a fine up to 500 euros. It's also a crime to dye a dog's hair for aesthetics, so no pink poodles here.

Don't Pass Wind in Malawi     This East African nation’s “Air Fouling Legislation" of 2011 made it illegal for people in Malawi to "foul the air." This stirred up a big debate on whether or not this means flatulence is now a criminal offense.

Married Women Can Only Have One Glass of Wine in Bolivia     If you're a single woman in La Paz, Bolivia, drink up! But if you are married, it's just one glass of wine for you. This sexist law is due to the belief that alcohol may make a woman more immoral. A husband could actually divorce her if she is drinking in public!

And finally, It's Illegal to Wear Lacy Panties in Russia   Sorry ladies (and gents), but Russia doesn't want you wearing anything lacy underneath your clothing. A 2014 law in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan states undergarments must be made with a minimum of 6 percent of cotton. Why? They claim it is for health and safety. While women across the nations protested, the law is in effect and you can no longer buy lace garments. How they'll know what you have on underneath is another subject.


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The first person to do all that will be the winner and will be mentioned in an upcoming episode of Remnant Stew. However we are doing something a little bit new…we are opening our Trivia Challenge up to school kids. If your classroom listens to Remnant Stew and they want to answer the trivia question send us an email with their answer to StayCurious@RemnantStew.com. If your class wins we will send a nice little care package to the class.

QUESTION: This Serial Killer from India due to the country's laws will not be able to be sentenced to Prison or Death due to his age until he turns 18. What is his name and how old was he when he committed his first crime?


Phil here reminding you to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages @RemnantStewPodcast. Drop us an email at StayCurious@RemnantStew.com just to say hi or to let us know about any topics you would like to hear us cover in an upcoming episode.

Remnant Stew is created by me, Leah Lamp. Dr. Steven Meeker and I research, write and host each episode along with cringey commentary by our audio producer, Phillip Sinquefield. Theme music is by Kevin MacLeod with voiceover by Morgan Hughes. Special thanks goes out to Judy Meeker and Harbin Gould.

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Until next time remember to choose to be kind…AND ALWAYS STAY CURIOUS!