Tag Archives: law

142. Sealand, The Unofficial Prinicipality

The Principality of Sealand is an odd case, it is an old World War II floating fort 10km off the coast of Suffolk, England. In 1956 the fort was abandoned, then in 1967 Major Paddy Roy Bates, along with his family and some associates occupied the fort, claiming it to be a new and separate principality. The Principality Of Sealand. Originally it was set up for the British Mr Bates to broadcast his pirate radio station. However it soon became more.

He crowned himself king. In 1968 some British workmen came to service a navigational buoy nearby. Paddy Bates claimed the waters to be part of his territory and his son Michal Bates, shot a rifle to scare them off. Then they went to court on firearms charges. The case could not proceed. A that time anything within 5km of the shore was part of the United Kingdom, and the fort fell just outside of that jurisdiction. It was in international waters and exempt from the rules. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 11, 2011 in Articles, Trivia


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110. Criminal Koalas

A murder attempt has taken place, no-one was harmed but a pistol was left at the scene. The pistol grip is dusted down and fingerprints are taken back to the lab. The results are put into the database and after 30 seconds of pained whining from the computer a perfect match comes up. 99.8% match, there is no doubt. The Inspector looks at who matches the prints and raise an eyebrow. ‘Odd’ they say, then they pick up the phone. A squad is sent to their attackers place of work, the zoo. After 15 minutes the officers return with the attacker in handcuffs.

It was a koala.

Fingerprints of a Koala and a Human

This hasn’t happened, not yet anyway. However it is possible. It is possible because we have evolved fingerprints, however Koalas also have fingerprints, in fact they have exactly the same fingerprints as humans. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Articles, Trivia


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102. Kowloon Walled City

Kowloon Walled City, surrounded by a fast developing China

Lost Lawless City

Kowloon Walled City was not always a city, it started life as a military fort with sturdy walls so as to keep an eye on the British in China. When Hong Kong was handed to the British it was kept separate, just outside but separate. At least until it was stormed whilst a Sir Henry Blake was in search of resistance soldiers in 1899. They found very little, instead they just claimed dominion over it, then left it alone. A little British box surrounded by China.

In the intervening time it grew old and dilapidated, collecting dust and squatters before having great swathes of it demolished so the stone could be used to extend an airport.

Then came World War II, at the end after Japan’s surrender China stated that it wanted to reclaim rights to the Walled City which prompted a huge rush of refugees fleeing to the place for Chinese protection, by 1947 there were 2,000 of them. In 1948 the British tried to drive them out but to no avail, afterwards the British adopted a ‘Hands-Off’ approach and left the Walled City in peace. A piece in which it thrived. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Articles


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92. Laughing Legislator

FACT: In 1971, America, things were alright. In Texas, things were happening, as per normal. Then on the 1st April a man was congratulated. Legislation was passed 100% unanimously by the Texas House of Representatives commending the work of a Mr Albert de Salvo with these words:

This compassionate gentleman’s dedication and devotion to his work has enabled the weak and the lonely throughout the nation to achieve and maintain a new degree of concern for their future. He has been officially recognized by the state of Massachusetts¬† for his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology.

What was this work that had been so worthy of commendation. Who was Albert de Salvo for that matter.

Albert de Salvo is more commonly known by another name in fact – the Boston Strangler.

How did this get passed then, what on earth possessed them to commend a murderer? The answer is apathy. The date was April 1st for a reason. It was an April fool’s joke by Tom Moore Jr. One of the representatives in the house. The reason for doing this was to demonstrate that his fellow legislators rarely paid attention to what things they were passing.

In this case he was proved correct,as mentioned before the formal commendation passed unanimously. Wisely, Tom Moore Jr. later withdrew the legislation and informed his coworkers as to what they had done.They were none too pleased.

Pay attention when you work,

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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Trivia


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84. The Reindeer Limit

Reindeer 224,899, she gets to live.

FACT: Finland has many reindeer.

Thousands upon thousands in fact, unfortunately they are not too nice to the environment. Their excessive numbers cause them to severely damage ecosystems, reducing trees from their leafy glory down to nothing more than big sticks stuck in the ground. So Finland deals with this. It uses a number.

The number is exact and it is unforgiving, it is the reindeer limit.

By Finnish law, having any more reindeer than that is illegal. Simply, Finland is not allowed to, by its own law, have any more than 224,900 reindeer within it at any one time. Anything beyond this freakishly precise number and it is killed. So 224,901 reindeer are a problem.


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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Trivia


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55. Lies and Law

FACT: ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ is a phrase originating from the English judiciary system, it being the simplest way to ensure that people know that they cannot lie in court.

In fact there was no law against lying in court until the 1600’s in England, because they believed that the fear of god would be more than enough to stop anyone from lying in court.


Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Trivia


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47. Island of The Dead

FACT: Many interesting things can be said about Venice, but one of them is outside of its main body, the Isola di San Michele, an island completely surrounded by high walls and water. Since the french occupation of Venice, it was decreed that burying the dead in the city was unhygienic, because the rotting corpses spread disease through the groundwater. So in 1807, the Isola di San Michele became the cemetery for the whole of Venice.

The island was actually formed by the joining of two smaller islands in 1837 and the walls were extended to surround the whole island, the walls were there to keep the inhabitants in, as they were prone to escaping and corrupting Venice. I’m talking about criminals, not zombies, for the island also served as a prison in its earlier years, before the number of bodies increased rapidly. By the turn of the 20th Century the island was acting as the main cemetery for the city, prisoners were relocated. Many years later the law of burying dead Venetians was abolished, but the bodies continued to arrive.

The custom was so embraced by Venetians that the practice still goes on today and the islands interior is quite a sight to see. The whole place is extremely organised, rows upon rows of tightly packed headstones line the island as well as impressive monuments and marble-topped crypts. The surprising thing about the island is actually how, pleasant it is. It plays host to the oldest Renaissance church in all of Venice and soft-footed Venetians maintain the expansive green lawns and giant, majestic cypress trees.

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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Trivia


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