So What Are We Banning Today?

An occassional index of things and actions being banned from our world.

1. Birthday Cake/Cupcakes. From the suburban Chicago Daily Herald:

“Birthday carrots” may be the newest thing in some Arlington Heights schools.

The Arlington Heights Elementary School District 25 school board has banned birthday cakes and cupcakes next year as part of a new wellness policy.

There will still be birthday parties — parents just can’t send cakes or cupcakes to school with their kids on their birthdays, said Superintendent Sarah Jerome.

“There will be celebrations,” Jerome said. “Maybe the child will be the principal for a day, or pick out a special book or lead the class line to the cafeteria.”

 2. Downing a Pint in the Tubes. From CNN:

LONDON, England (CNN) — London’s subway system was engulfed by thousands of revelers Saturday night, marking the introduction of an alcohol ban on the mass transit network.

Eyewitnesses have described how some drunken partygoers, often dressed in fancy dress, fought, damaged subway trains and vomited.

Authorities were forced to close six stations on the network, including major transportation hubs at Liverpool Street, Baker Street and Euston.

A spokesman for British Transport Police, which patrols the network, said that police had been told of a large “large amount” of disorder and “multiple instances of trains being damaged”, causing them to be pulled from service, the UK’s Press Association reported, adding: “This was an unfortunate end to what should have been a fun event.” There were reports of at least 17 arrests.

 3. Plastic Bags in China. From The Wall Street Journal:

On Sunday, June 1, a far-reaching ban on the manufacture, sale and use of thin plastic bags takes effect, and stores will have to start charging customers for thicker plastic bags. The nationwide new rules are one of China’s first major efforts at regulating everyday, individual behavior in order to protect the environment and conserve resources. (Earlier efforts to cut back on disposable chopsticks haven’t resulted in a formal ban.)

It’s estimated that 3 billion plastic bags are used each day in China, where the discarded bags are known as “white pollution.” Production of the bags is estimated to consume up to 37 million barrels of oil annually.

But in a nation that’s heavily dependent on flimsy plastic bags, which are used to carry anything from newspapers to cooked noodles, some wonder how easily people can be weaned from the bag habit.

 4. Google Street Views. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

You can look at almost anything on Google. Just don’t try to sneak a peek of the homes in the private community of North Oaks.

The city of 4,500 residents has demanded that Google Maps remove images of North Oaks homes from the website’s Street View feature, where any Internet user can glimpse a home from the nearest road.

North Oaks’ unique situation, in which the roads are privately owned by the residents and the city enforces a trespassing ordinance, may have made it the first city in the country to request that the online search engine remove images from Google Maps.




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3 responses to “So What Are We Banning Today?

  1. MV

    Have you heard of libertarian paternalism? I just read the book Nudge that describes some very sensible approaches to helping less sophisticated people make better decisions without eliminating choice. You might find it interesting.

  2. “Downing a Pint in the Tubes.”

    It’s “The Tube”. Singular.

  3. Then you aren’t downing them correctly.

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