A lot of regulations went into effect Jan. 1, marking a new year that will see some interesting things occur in various countries all over the globe. In Hungary, for example, the poor can now be granted a shovel and free grave, coffin or urn to bury their dead. Architects in Texas must get fingerprinted for reasons unknown. And in the European Union, Latvia has joined in on the euro currency fun as Greece takes its turn ruling the union and work restrictions for Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants are lifted. And in the U.S. there was of course the momentous launch of Obamacare.
On the last evening of 2013, The Guardian compiled a list of new rules, some of which can be found below. Just remember, this is the voice of The Guardian past, so whatever it said “will” occur, has already begun.
So what is changing? Well, if you are driving in Oregon with children in your car, do not light up. It’ll be illegal. And if you’re driving in Switzerland, turn your headlights on. Even if it’s the middle of the day.
While we’re on the subject of lighting, if you live in Canada please remove those last incandescent lightbulbs – they won’t be allowed any more.
Other things that are now being banned: owning unregistered assault weapons in Connecticut; harassing celebrities and their children with long-lens cameras in California; hunting elephants in Botswana and injudicious calls to the London Fire Brigade (if you’re a business you’ll be fined for false alarms)....
On the other hand, there are moments of great liberalisation to salute. Colorado on Wednesday will become the first state in the US to allow the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. Also in America, for the first time it will be OK to be a gay Boy Scout, while for their British counterparts, it’s OK to be an atheist. For Germans, liberalisation comes in more subtle ways, such as the new dispensation for universities and libraries, which will henceforth be allowed to upload “orphaned” works of art on to the internet without permission.