WTF Fun Fact 13556 – Quebec’s Civil Code

Since 1981, Section 393 of Quebec’s Civil Code has forbidden women from legally taking their husbands’ surnames post-marriage.

Quebec established the law to combat societal pressure on women and to promote gender equality. However, not all women agree with the law and some find it restricting.

With this law, a woman’s maiden name remains her legal name after marriage, and she cannot change it without the authorization of the court—which isn’t an easy task.

A married couple may hyphenate each other’s surnames, and women can call themselves whatever name they’d like in an unofficial capacity. But only their birth name is legally recognized by law.

Quebec’s Civil Code Intent and Reception

The law’s primary intent was to protect women from societal pressures and ensure their freedom. However, as Dubé notes, it’s a delicate balance between protecting and improving freedom. Exceptions to the law exist, but they are rare and only apply in extreme cases. This rigidity applies even to Canadian women who relocate to Quebec after marrying in other provinces.

Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, Canada’s de facto first lady, recently used a hyphenated version of her name, igniting a discussion on this topic. Despite the legal stipulations, she chooses to use both her maiden name and her husband’s surname, symbolizing her personal identity and partnership.

For many Quebec women retaining their birth names may be a significant aspect of their cultural identity. This practice signifies autonomy and self-belonging.

Cultural Shifts and Modern Perspectives

Over the years, Quebec’s approach to married names has influenced cultural norms, including the trend of parents giving children two last names. While this was popular for a time after the 1981 law, its prevalence has decreased. The law’s existence remains a crucial part of Quebec’s identity, reflecting the province’s commitment to gender equality and individual autonomy.

In the broader context, Quebec’s approach to married names remains a unique case, raising important questions about personal freedom, cultural norms, and the evolving nature of marriage and identity in modern society.

As discussions around these issues continue, it becomes evident that the choice of a name, far from being a mere formality, is deeply rooted in notions of identity, tradition, and personal freedom. Perhaps Quebec’s Civil Code will be changed to allow more women freedom over their names in the future.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Does Quebec’s ban on married names infringe on women’s rights?” — Global News

WTF Fun Fact 13541 – NYC’s Rat Czar

New York City has taken a significant step forward in its war against rodents by appointing Kathleen Corradi as the city’s first-ever “rat czar.”

This initiative is a part of Mayor Eric Adams’ administration’s efforts to address a major quality-of-life and health challenge. Corradi’s role involves coordinating rat reduction efforts across city government agencies, community organizations, and the private sector.

Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone and Funding

As part of this initiative, Mayor Adams also announced the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone, backed by a $3.5 million investment for Fiscal Year 2023. This investment aims to expand and accelerate rat reduction efforts across Harlem, encompassing Community Boards 9, 10, and 11. The funding will assist in employing new staff, purchasing equipment, and implementing innovative rat mitigation techniques.

Corradi’s strategic plan to combat the rat crisis includes cutting off rats’ food sources and deploying new technologies for detection and extermination. These efforts will harness the expertise of various city agencies like the Department of Health, Parks and Recreation, Housing Authority, Department of Education, Sanitation, and Small Business Services.

The rat mitigation strategy is more than just a quality-of-life issue. It symbolizes the fight against systemic challenges that have long affected New Yorkers, especially in low-income communities and communities of color. The plan aims to provide equitable quality of life experiences for all New Yorkers.

Collaborative Approach and Public Involvement

The strategy emphasizes the importance of each New Yorker playing their part in creating a rat-free city. This includes keeping homes clean, securing trash, destroying potential rat habitats, and adhering to common-sense tips. The city plans to offer Harlem-specific rat academies, teaching residents how to prevent rat infestations on their properties.

In support of the initiative, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City received a donation of over 1,000 Tomcat rodent control products. These will be used across various city locations, aiding the fight against rodent infestations.

Long-Term Vision for the Rat Czar

The appointment of a rat czar marks a new era in New York City’s approach to pest control. The long-term goal is to produce a cleaner, more livable city for future generations. This effort represents a bold and creative approach to tackle one of the city’s most persistent problems.

Kathleen Corradi brings a wealth of experience in community engagement, program development, and facility operations. Her background in science and expertise in rodent mitigation positions her to lead this challenging and crucial initiative effectively.

The Adams administration has shown its commitment to addressing quality-of-life issues through various initiatives, including the ‘Get Stuff Clean’ program. The rat czar appointment further emphasizes this commitment, aiming to make New York City a cleaner and healthier place for its residents.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Mayor Adams Anoints Kathleen Corradi as NYC’s First-Ever ‘Rat Czar'” —

WTF Fun Fact 13631 – Thwarted Car Theft

Workers at Arlington Auto Wrecking in Akron, Ohio prevented a car theft in a unique way. Frustrated with repeated thefts and break-ins, they employed an unusual method that grabbed headlines and amused law enforcement and the public alike.

The High-Flying Capture

It all unfolded when a man attempted to steal a car from the junkyard.

The workers, upon realizing the theft in progress, ingeniously used a forklift on the property. They hoisted the vehicle, with the thief still inside, approximately 20 feet into the air.

This quick thinking effectively trapped the perpetrator until the police arrived on the scene. The bodycam footage from the responding officers captured the surreal sight: a car dangling in mid-air, much to the amusement of the police and workers.

A Creative Solution to a Persistent Car Theft Problem

Arlington Auto Wrecking had been a repeated target for thieves, leading to growing frustration among its employees. Thefts, particularly of catalytic converters, had become a commonplace nuisance. The staff’s patience wore thin after multiple break-ins, and they were determined to take a stand against this latest intrusion.

Police found the suspect, a 26-year-old male, with tools intended for stealing copper from the junkyard’s cars. The workers’ quick reaction led to his arrest for criminal trespassing and possessing criminal tools.

The suspect already had an outstanding warrant for disorderly conduct. He is scheduled to appear in court on the latest charges.

The Aftermath: Laughter and Legal Proceedings

Upon their arrival, the police officers, along with the 911 operator, couldn’t contain their amusement at the workers’ ingenuity. The incident, though serious, brought a moment of levity to the officers and the 911 dispatcher. Local news writers and social media fans hailed the creativity of the Arlington Auto Wrecking employees as both effective and humorous.

The incident ended with the suspect taken into custody by police and facing multiple charges. His attempted theft was foiled and is now a spectacle for local news and social media. The creative justice served by the auto workers became a topic of discussion and a warning to potential thieves about the lengths to which the staff would go to protect their property.

This incident serves as a reminder that sometimes, thinking outside the box can be the most effective way to tackle a problem.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Video shows forklift suspending car 20 feet in air to stop theft suspect at Ohio car lot” — USA Today

WTF Fun Fact 13621 – The Sullivan Act

In the early 1900s, New York City witnessed the introduction of the Sullivan Act, a law that targeted women smoking in public. Named after its proponent, Alderman Timothy Sullivan, this act reflected the era’s societal norms and gender biases. It specifically aimed to regulate women’s behavior, drawing clear lines between acceptable and unacceptable public conduct.

Rise of Women’s Resistance

The Sullivan Act ignited immediate resistance from women across various social strata. Activists and everyday women saw this law as an affront to their personal freedoms. The movement it spurred went beyond the act of smoking; it symbolized a fight against gender-specific restrictions and a quest for equal rights. Women’s response was not just about asserting their right to smoke but challenging the deeper societal norms that the law represented.

The Tobacco Industry’s Role

During this tumultuous period, tobacco companies played a significant role. They saw an opportunity in the controversy and began marketing cigarettes to women as symbols of independence and modernity. This move not only increased their sales but also influenced the ongoing debate about women’s rights. Smoking became a symbol of rebellion against traditional gender roles, thanks to these strategic marketing campaigns.

Overturning the Sullivan Act

The Sullivan Act’s repeal marked a significant milestone in the women’s rights movement. It underscored the importance of standing against discriminatory legislation and reshaped societal attitudes towards gender and freedom. The act’s failure also highlighted the growing power and influence of women’s voices in societal and political realms.

The repeal had implications far beyond smoking rights. It acted as a catalyst, inspiring further challenges to gender-biased laws. The movement contributed significantly to broader women’s rights issues, including the suffrage movement, signaling a shift in societal views on gender equality.

The Sullivan Act’s history offers insights into how laws can reflect and reinforce societal norms, especially regarding gender roles. It reminds us of the constant need to scrutinize laws that discriminate or seek to control personal choices based on gender.

The Legacy of the Sullivan Act

The legacy of the Sullivan Act is profound. It stands as a testament to the power of collective action against discrimination and has become a crucial chapter in women’s rights history. The act represents a pivotal moment in the journey toward gender equality, emphasizing the importance of challenging restrictive societal norms and advocating for personal freedom.

Today, the Sullivan Act’s story holds enduring relevance. It serves as a reminder of past struggles for gender equality and the ongoing need to challenge restrictive societal norms. The act’s history is not just a tale of a legislative battle but a narrative of resilience, resistance, and the relentless pursuit of equality.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “When New York Banned Smoking to Save Women’s Souls” —

WTF Fun Fact 13570 – Weird Laws in Kentucky

Usually when you see “weird” or “dumb” laws online, they’re made up – but one of the weird laws in Kentucky that’s floating around happens to be true.

Kentucky forbids people from dyeing fowl or rabbits a different color.

Weird Laws in Kentucky Regarding Dyeing Fowl and Rabbits

First, let’s lay out the specifics. According to Kentucky Revised Statutes 436.600:

  • No person can sell, exchange, display, or even possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl (or rabbits) that have a dyed or colored appearance.
  • Nobody can dye or color baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl (or rabbits).
  • One cannot sell, exchange, or give away baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl under two months of age in a quantity less than six. However, a caveat exists: anyone can sell a rabbit weighing three pounds or more at just six weeks of age.

Violating this quirky law will set you back anywhere from $100 to $500 in fines.

Historical Context: Why Such a Law?

So, the million-dollar question: Why does this law exist? While the statute doesn’t lay out its origins, we can make some educated guesses based on its stipulations. One possibility involves protecting young animals. By setting a minimum quantity for sale and age restrictions, Kentucky may aim to ensure these creatures get adequate care, aren’t separated too early from their siblings, and aren’t used as mere novelties.

The dyeing provision particularly points to the novelty issue. Brightly colored chicks might appeal as unique Easter gifts. However, after the festive season, the novelty wears off, leaving many dyed animals abandoned or mistreated. Such a law, then, seeks to prevent impulsive purchases that lead to animal neglect.

In the age of Instagram and TikTok, unique pets can become instant sensations. Imagine the number of likes and shares a blue duckling might garner! But this is exactly where the danger lies. Social media trends can fuel impulsive decisions, leading people to obtain pets they aren’t prepared to care for in the long term. Kentucky’s law, although enacted long before the digital age, remains relevant today.

The Larger Implication of the Weird Laws in Kentucky

While this law may seem quirky on the surface, it underlines a broader issue: animal welfare. Kentucky isn’t alone in this endeavor. Many states have regulations to prevent the mistreatment of animals, especially those bought and sold as pets. These laws often aim to balance personal freedoms with the ethical treatment of animals.

By preventing the dyeing of animals and setting stipulations for their sale, Kentucky sends a clear message about the importance of treating animals with respect and care.

Ducklings & Beyond

While our focus here is primarily on blue ducklings, the law’s scope is broader, covering chicks, other fowl, and rabbits. The inclusion of various animals in this legislation underscores the state’s commitment to protecting a range of creatures from potential misuse and abuse.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “2022 Kentucky Revised Statutes; Chapter 436 – Offenses against morality; 436.600 Dyeing or selling dyed baby fowl or rabbits” — Justia

WTF Fun Fact 13569 – Bermuda Fast Food Law

The Foreign Restaurants Act of 1977 is a Bermuda fast food law that restricts chain restaurants in the country. So don’t expect to find a McDonald’s if you take a vacation there. However, you will find a KFC.

The Foreign Restaurants Act of 1977

In the early 1970s, the global surge of fast food chains reshaped the way people dined. Companies, eyeing every potential market, began to cast their gaze on picturesque Bermuda. As this global trend started influencing the local food scene, the Bermudian government decided to take a proactive stance.

Enter the Foreign Restaurants Act of 1977. This significant piece of legislation sought to preserve Bermuda’s unique culinary identity, local businesses, and the health of its citizens. Under this act, international fast food chains received a clear message: Bermuda was off-limits.

The reasoning behind this choice varied. On one hand, Bermuda’s local entrepreneurs needed protection against the financial might of global chains. This act ensured that they could thrive without the overpowering competition. On the other hand, there were concerns about the potential health implications of the fast food industry and the desire to maintain the island’s distinct culinary flavor for residents and tourists alike.

KFC: The Exception to the Bermuda Fast Food Law

While the Foreign Restaurants Act drew a clear boundary, one particular establishment found itself in a unique position. A KFC outlet, which had set up shop in Bermuda before the act’s introduction, continued its operations. The reason? This franchise received a ‘grandfathered’ status, meaning that due to its existence prior to the law, it was allowed to continue its operations unaffected.

Many often wonder how this single KFC managed to secure such a unique place in Bermudian culinary history. When global fast food chains began targeting Bermuda, KFC was one of the first movers. Its timely establishment on the island ensured that when the Foreign Restaurants Act came into force, the KFC was already a part of the local dining landscape.

Bermuda, with its ban on global fast food chains, carved a unique niche for itself in the world of gastronomy. Travelers to Bermuda won’t find the golden arches of McDonald’s or the regal visage of Burger King. Instead, they’ll discover a plethora of local eateries, each offering a taste of the island’s rich culinary traditions.

Local restaurants, cafes, and food stalls thrive, presenting dishes that merge British influences with flavors from the Caribbean, Portuguese cuisine, and other global tastes. From fish chowder spiced with sherry pepper sauce to the delectable Hoppin’ John, a dish made with rice, peas, and thyme, Bermuda offers a rich palette of flavors.

And what about the residents? Without the ubiquitous presence of global fast food, many Bermudians enjoy a diet deeply connected to their environment. Fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables play starring roles, reinforcing a strong bond with local produce and seafood.

Bermuda’s KFC: More than Just Fast Food

Interestingly, Bermuda’s lone KFC holds a special place in the hearts of many locals. It’s not just another fast food joint but a testament to the island’s unique approach to global trends. While it serves the same crispy chicken as any other KFC worldwide, this outlet represents Bermuda’s balanced stance between global influences and local preservation.

Moreover, for many Bermudians, this KFC offers a taste of global culture without diluting their island’s distinct identity. It’s a symbol of Bermuda’s resilience and adaptability in the face of global change.

Bermuda’s decision to restrict international fast food chains, while allowing one to remain, paints a fascinating picture of a nation’s attempt to protect its heritage while acknowledging the unstoppable force of globalization.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “From the grandfathered KFC to pink sand beaches, Bermuda is artwork” — Franchise Times

WTF Fun Fact 13518 – History of the Mug Shot

The mug shot has always been relatively controversial. But do you know it’s interesting history? It all goes back to the history of photography itself, and it all starts in Belgium.

The History of the Mug Shot

The 1840s were a revolutionary period for the art of photography. While William Henry Harrison became the first US president to be captured in a photograph after his inauguration speech, it has been lost to time. Another iconic daguerreotype featuring John Quincy Adams, exists as the oldest known presidential photograph.

But enough about presidents. The point is that while photography was primarily aimed at capturing the nobility and prestige of the subjects, it would soon find an unlikely application in law enforcement.

The concept of the mugshot emerged in Belgium during the 1840s. The primary goal was simple: photograph prisoners to facilitate their identification if they ever re-offended post-release.

Recognizing the potential of this innovation, police forces globally began to toy with the idea of incorporating photography into their operations. Thus, the U.S. saw the birth of the rogues’ galleries, which showcased collections of criminals’ photographs and, at times, even made them public, urging citizens to remain vigilant.

Alphonse Bertillon and the Art of the Mug Shot

It wasn’t until the 1880s that mugshots became relatively standardized. Alphonse Bertillon, the chief of criminal identification for the Paris police, played a pivotal role in achieving this.

Bertillion introduced the concept of pairing two photographs: one frontal and one profile. Alongside these photos, physical descriptions and specific measurements, like ear or foot size, were documented. This compilation was termed a “portrait parlé”—a speaking image.

Bertillon’s vision was clear: even if criminals adopted disguises or aliases, their unique physical characteristics would betray them.

As a testament to his dedication, the New York City Police Department, in 1908, provided guidelines on correctly executing Bertillon’s method. This documentation even described how to handle uncooperative subjects during the mugshot process.

However, despite Bertillon’s contribution, his descriptive methods were soon overshadowed by the more efficient process of fingerprinting.

Yet, the mugshot itself was here to stay. It became an integral part of identification processes everywhere.

Mug Shots in Contemporary Culture

Today, mugshots serve multiple purposes for the alleged criminal themselves. In fact, for celebrities, these images can sometimes even enhance their mystique, further ingraining them in pop culture. Johnny Cash, for instance, turned one of his brief incarcerations into a song, and today, his mugshot-themed merchandise sells as a testament to his “rebel” image.

While some celebrity mugshots serve as tabloid fodder, others, in specific contexts, represent symbols of resistance. Notable figures from the civil rights movement, like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., had their mugshots taken during their arrests. For them, these images were badges of honor, symbolizing their unyielding fight against systemic injustice.

Since its inception in 1840s Belgium, what started as a mere tool for identification now serves as both a mark of shame and a badge of honor. For some.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “A Brief History of the Mug Shot” — Smithsonian Magazine

WTF Fun Fact 13501 – Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe Lawsuit

The Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe lawsuit is a sinister and embarrassing moment in tech history – one that the corporate giants had to pay for.

In the early 2010s, it came to light that some of these tech giants were involved in secret anti-poaching agreements. Leading companies like Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe had clandestine arrangements not to hire each other’s employees. This essentially froze salaries by eliminating the competition for top talent. What ensued was a scandal and a class action lawsuit that exposed the dark side of Silicon Valley.

The Roots of the Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe Lawsuit

The roots of the issue began with individual agreements. The earliest known pact was between Pixar and Lucasfilm in 1986, which agreed not to poach each other’s employees and to cap wages. Yet, by the 2000s, other Silicon Valley heavyweights had entered into similar agreements. Google and Apple had their secret deal, as did Google and Intel, Google and Intuit, and so on.

These agreements were not merely handshake deals. Emails and written correspondence showed the top executives of these companies actively reinforcing the non-poaching pacts. For instance, an email from Steve Jobs to Sergey Brin explicitly warned Google against recruiting Apple’s team.

The effect of these agreements was suppressed wage growth for employees. As a result, engineers, developers, and other tech professionals were unknowingly restricted in their career opportunities. Without the ability to get counter-offers or even entertain offers from a significant portion of the leading companies, many employees lost out on potential salary hikes, better positions, and more promising career trajectories.

The Class Action Lawsuit

In 2011, the issue reached a critical point. Over 64,000 employees filed a class-action lawsuit against Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. The suit claimed that these companies conspired to eliminate competition for skilled labor, thus suppressing wage growth.

The plaintiffs alleged that the lost wages due to this collusion amounted to billions of dollars. To back their claims, they pointed to emails and other communications between CEOs like Steve Jobs of Apple and Eric Schmidt of Google, which showed that these leaders were actively enforcing these agreements.

Regulatory Scrutiny and Settlement of The Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe Lawsuit

The Department of Justice (DOJ) took notice of these agreements. In 2010, they announced a settlement with six of these companies. As per the settlement, the companies agreed to a prohibition against engaging in any anti-poaching agreements for a duration of five years. However, the DOJ’s settlement didn’t provide any compensation to the affected employees. This is what led to the class action lawsuit in 2011.

After a series of legal processes, in 2014, the companies tried to settle the lawsuit for $324.5 million. However, this amount was rejected by the judge for being too low. As a result, in 2015, the companies increased their offer and agreed to a settlement of $415 million, which employees eventually accepted.

Reflection and Legacy

The unfolding of this scandal delivered a pivotal lesson about the necessity of ethical corporate practices.

The power that these tech titans wield, in terms of shaping industry dynamics and affecting the lives of thousands of professionals, was laid bare. As behemoths in the technological realm, their actions have vast repercussions, and the anti-poaching agreements betrayed the trust many had placed in them.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Tech Giants Will Pay $415 Million To Settle Employees’ Lawsuit” — All Tech Considered

WTF Fun Fact 13488 – Police Training in Norway

Police training in Norway is notorious rigorous. Unlike many countries where law enforcement training involves a few months in a police academy, Norway makes a three-year commitment at the Police University College (Politihøgskolen) a must.

Norway’s Police University College

Yes, you read that right – a university college just for police training. The Police University College, situated in Oslo, Stavern, and Kongsvinger, is the heart of Norway’s police education system.

Aspiring officers embark on a three-year bachelor’s degree program where they learn far more than just the basics of policing. The curriculum is thorough and multi-faceted, including subjects like law, ethics, criminology, and even foreign languages.

The first and third years of the bachelor’s program mainly focus on theoretical studies. Cadets dig deep into the theory of police work, criminal law, ethics, and social sciences. They are taught to respect human rights, to understand different cultures, and to uphold justice without bias. This holistic approach ensures that the officers graduate with a comprehensive understanding of both the practical and societal aspects of their role.

Field Training for Norwegian Police

What good would theoretical knowledge be without some practical application? That’s why the second year is dedicated to field training. Cadets spend this year across various police districts, getting their boots dirty and experiencing the real-world scenarios they’ve learned about in class. This year is invaluable, bridging the gap between theory and practice and providing hands-on experience in the field.

Norwegian police officers aren’t just confined to their patrol cars. Some have prosecutorial powers, handling minor offenses in court. This unique responsibility requires additional qualifications – a law degree, to be precise. Hence, those who wish to take on this dual role undertake further education, adding an extra layer of legal expertise to their enforcement abilities.

The Ethical and Emotional Aspects of Police Training in Norway

Police work can be as mentally challenging as it is physically, if not more. Norway understands this and includes psychological training to build resilience and mental fortitude. Ethical training is another cornerstone, ensuring officers know how to react respectfully and responsibly in every situation.

It’s clear that the journey to becoming a police officer in Norway is a commitment to rigorous education, intense field training, and personal development. It’s about shaping individuals who are not just law enforcers, but educated, empathetic, and ethical members of the community they serve.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Police in Norway: The Norwegian Policing System Explained” — Life in Norway