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April 15, 2006 12:18 PM   Subscribe

You know about numbers, right? Natural numbers, rational numbers, integers, real numbers, complex numbers, prime numbers, funny numbers, illegal numbers. Illegal numbers? Well, there’s the illegal numbers game. Apparently 69 is illegal in Virginia, among other places. But did you know about illegal prime numbers? My brain is getting number by the day. (via digg)
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium (27 comments total)

 


No discussion of illegal numbers is complete without the Number of the Beast.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:51 PM on April 15, 2006


Interesting, but the numbers game and sex law articles both appear to be ancient.
posted by rollbiz at 12:56 PM on April 15, 2006


So, for those of you who are into orgies or menages-a-trois, you will have to make other arrangements--just like the thousands of people who don't practice oral sex in Georgia or Florida.

Is that orgies on private property, or just orgies on public land, like easements, medians, and state parks?
posted by rolypolyman at 1:09 PM on April 15, 2006


The first two links are just color commentary. The FPP is about illegal primes.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2006


No discussion of illegal numbers is complete without the Number of the Beast.

Perfect timing for Easter (or whatever pagan hoilday Easter was pasted on top of).
posted by bim at 1:16 PM on April 15, 2006


Places where oral sex is illegal: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Washington D.C.

Was the Starr Commission aware of this?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:21 PM on April 15, 2006


Was the Starr Commission aware of this?

A good lawyer would argue that there is no such thing as oral sex. Sexual reproduction doesn't work in the mouth, so the term describes an impossible act.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:24 PM on April 15, 2006


The concept of the "illegal prime" is a geek PR stunt, designed to make some intellectual property norms seem crazier than they are (OMG!!!111 numberz are illegal lol). It's kind of cute, but the Wikipedia article takes it too seriously.

You could encode deCSS in notches on a stick, which might then be illegal, but I don't see any pages about "Illegal Notched Sticks."
posted by grobstein at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2006


Looks like I've abetted criminals in seven of those states.
posted by horsewithnoname at 1:30 PM on April 15, 2006


I'm not sure you can make the DMCA seem crazier than it is. Unless perhaps you first pretend that isn't so bad since it has only been selectively enforced so far.
posted by dopeypanda at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2006


OT a bit, but the viability of the "numbers racket" now that many states have gotten into the act with Lotteries as noted in this statement:
"Street betting has advantages over legalized betting. "There is a higher payoff, which is why people play it," said Thomas Leahy, chief of the district attorney's rackets bureau. "And there are no taxes taken out when you win.",
makes me wonder if legalizing of e.g., marijuana would end the drug traffic as it exists now, or simply provide an alternate source.

Is there a prize for longest sentence?
posted by Cranberry at 3:04 PM on April 15, 2006


Nobody appears to have picked up on this one yet...
In Nevada it is illegal to have sex without a condom.

WTF? I mean, come on guys - every time a woman becomes visibly pregnant, her male partner gets arrested? Seriously? The ultimate in nanny-state population control (well, apart from mandatory sterilisation, that is...)
posted by Chunder at 3:15 PM on April 15, 2006


Hmm - clicked post too soon:
In Washington State there is a law against having sex with a virgin under any circumstances (including the wedding night!).

Is this for real? How can these be verified? It *has* to be a prank - there's no way that anyone in their right mind could have passed such a law without thinking through the implications.
posted by Chunder at 3:17 PM on April 15, 2006


Yeah, I like to see some evidence before I believe these wacky laws.
posted by puke & cry at 3:35 PM on April 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


IANAL, but the closest I can find is the following:
Every person who takes any indecent liberties with, or on the person of any female of chaste character, without her consent, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

The Washington State Legistlature list of sex offences is here. Also, interesting stuff can be found via the list of crimes and punishments - these are called the "dispositions" and as far as I can tell have been repealed by subsequent legislation... although the site doesn't link to the relevant pages. Here's the sex crimes dispositions that were referred to in the first link... I suspect that the relevant legislation - if it ever existed in the form presented - was tangled up in one of these. Presumably the only way to check this would be to look at the historic, possibly physical, legislation documents...

Too early to call shenanigans?
posted by Chunder at 4:08 PM on April 15, 2006


In Newcastle, Wyoming it is illegal to have sex in a butcher shop's meat freezer.

In Washington D.C. there is a law against having sex in any position other than face to face.


I would really like to know the background stories to these laws. Was a legislator just sitting around reading a porn story about a meat shop roundezvous and then got grossed out by the idea of someone having sex near his meat? Did he find out his wife was having an affair with a butcher?

And the Washington, D.C. law is crazy. Only someone who hates sex could come up with that idea. Imagine going through life limiting yourself to the missionary position.

Of course that does make me wonder why any legislator would want to pass an anti-oral sex law. Old geezers, do you think? Overly religious types? Hypocrites, mad with power? (No man is getting a cock sucking in this town except me, damnit!)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:12 PM on April 15, 2006


In Virginia it was illegal to have sex outside of marriage until January of last year, when the state supreme court overturned the law. The General Assembly has refused to remove the law from the books, though, on a matter of principal.

Our Attorney General, Bob McDonnell, held up the reappointment of a state judge in 2001 because, as an unmarried woman of a certain age, he felt it likely that she was a lesbian. And, as a lesbian, she'd be a felon. So, therefore, she wasn't fit to hold public office. A reporter for the Virginian Pilot then asked McDonnell if he had engaged in a felony sex act. His response? "Not that I can recall." This incident earned him the nickname "Taliban Bob" by the Virginia press, and rightly so.
posted by waldo at 5:57 PM on April 15, 2006




This is my favorite ancient sex law -- don't have a source, but I'll never forget it from college:

In at least one early Protestant colony in the Eastern pre-U.S. bestiality with goats was outlawed with the following punishment: death to the person and death to the goat. Poor goat!
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:29 PM on April 15, 2006


Not yet determined legality.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 9:48 PM on April 15, 2006


Any time one encodes a piece of intellectual property as a string of binary digits, one makes a particular long number illegal to possess under certain circumstances.
A song in digital form is just a long number.
A movie in digital form is just a long number.

Why does that concept seem strange to anyone here?

grobstein got it right. It's a PR stunt.
posted by Silki at 7:01 AM on April 16, 2006


It may be a PR stunt, but it's more than that. When new technology meets old law, ethical and philosophical questions arise. When all your DNA is represented as a number, would the use of that number by someone else be considered the ultimate identity theft?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:58 AM on April 16, 2006


In at least one early Protestant colony in the Eastern pre-U.S. bestiality with goats was outlawed with the following punishment: death to the person and death to the goat.

The Goat?
posted by oaf at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2006


b1tr0t: A good lawyer would argue that there is no such thing as oral sex. Sexual reproduction doesn't work in the mouth, so the term describes an impossible act.

Uh, you might want to rethink that one: "His after-tennis life has been plagued by scandal. On February 8, 2001, DNA results forced him to admit paternity of a daughter, Anna (b. March 22, 2000), by Russian-African model Angela Ermakova. The child was conceived in a quickie in the cupboard of the London restaurant Nobu after a drunken Becker fought with Barbara, who then left; Ermakova was a waitress there. He at first denied paternity, and his lawyers suggested that Ermakova was part of a blackmail plot devised by the Russian Mafia. Becker later claimed that they never had intercourse, rather, she performed oral sex, retaining his sperm in her mouth, then using it to inseminate herself. Nonetheless, in July 2001, he agreed to pay $5 million."
posted by sour cream at 6:31 AM on April 17, 2006


"Illegal numbers" may not bear on much more than copyright and DMCA issues now, but we are laying the groundwork for a future that may include quantum dots and wellstone, serious biotech engineering, smart contracts, advanced software radio, etc. which will all be utterly dependent on software (aka algorithm aka formalized thought.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:08 AM on April 17, 2006


I would really like to know the background stories to these laws. Was a legislator just sitting around reading a porn story about a meat shop roundezvous and then got grossed out by the idea of someone having sex near his meat? Did he find out his wife was having an affair with a butcher?

I used to know two people that had sex in the freezer of a Subway sandwich shop.
posted by puke & cry at 4:20 PM on April 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


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