News websites are screaming today with headlines like this one from the New York Post, "Andrew Cuomo admits to keeping eagle feather on fireplace" and this one from The State, "Find an eagle feather? US law says don't take it. Cuomo did."

If you're scratching your head, wondering what happened to warrant such headlines, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has admitted to finding a feather shed by an eagle after it flew past him while he was canoeing, picking the feather up off the water, and keeping it.

As soon as the admission left the governor's mouth, many were quick to point out that the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 prohibits anyone other than Native-Americans to be in possession of a feather from either of these birds. Governor Cuomo is, ('er was), in possession. Upon hearing that anyone in possession of an eagle feather could face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail, a spokesperson for the governor said that the feather would either be returned to Adirondack Lake or be given to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Repository.

If you think that it's bad that Governor Cuomo broke the law, you may be shocked to find out you've probably broken one or two New York state laws and without realizing it  In other words, "Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat" Latin for "ignorance of the law excuses not" and "ignorance of law excuses no one."

  • 1

    Walking With Peanuts in Greene

    If by some chance you go to a concert in the sleepy little village of Greene,  whatever you do- do NOT eat peanuts and walk backward on the sidewalks. Why? Because it's illegal. Why? I don't know. But if you try it and land in jail, don't call me!

  • 2

    Pocketed Ice Cream

    My kid once tried to shove his ice cream in the pocket of his jeans. Thankfully he didn't try it on a Sunday because  if it'd been a Sunday, we could have been in a whole heap of trouble. That's right- in the state of New York, it is illegal to walk around on Sunday with an ice cream in your pocket.

  • 3

    Masked Faces

    Uh, oh. Don't tell anybody but when my husband and I play pretend and wear our superhero masks while running around the backyard (with our toddler, you freak!) and sometimes set foot on the sidewalk in front of our house while in costume, we're breaking the law, apparently.  New York Penal Law 240.35(4), it is illegal to have two or more people gather together in public while each wearing any sort of disguise or mask.

  • 4

    Naked Politicians

    Guess what? It's totally illegal for a politician to use curse words, be nude in public, and use distasteful hand gestures. I mean, you have to admit though that if Governor Cuomo were to run around Times Square in the nude, it'd make for an even more interesting news day than him finding a feather on a lake and pocketing it.

  • 5

    Spitoon Availability

    In New York state, spittoons must be provided in every business, and they must be cleaned at least once a day (1-2-3 not it!). I had a nagging feeling my office was missing something...a spittoon must be what it is!

  • 6

    Matchy, Matchy Clothes

    A man cannot go in public wearing non-matching pants and jacket. Uh, oh! I happen to know a bunch of men who are about to do some serious time in jail. Sadly, I didn't find a law about a man's belt needing to match his shoes, but there totally should be one!

  • 7

    Four Finger Wave

    If you happen to run into me at the grocery store and your hand starts itching to greet me by raising your thumb to your nose and wigging the other four fingers, don't!  For some unusual reason, "Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers."

  • 8

    Slipper Curfew

    Let's hope the slipper police aren't at your house when you wake up at 11pm to a crying baby and slip into your slippers to make a bottle. In New York, it's illegal to wear your slippers after 10pm. I wish I were kidding.

  • 9

    Elevator Etiquette

    Whew, I definitely dodged a bullet! I was in an elevator the other day and when it got to my floor, I looked at the person next to me and said, "Have a nice day!" Good thing I was in Pennsylvania when this happened because in New York, the law is pretty clear about elevator rules. The law actually states, "While riding in an elevator, one must talk to no one, and fold his hands while looking toward the door." Ah, there it is! Now I understand why some people think New Yorkers are rude. It's not that we're rude, it's that we're following the law!

  • 10

    Flirting Fine

    We all know that someone who is a hopeless flirt. Like you see them out and you just know that they're going to lay the sugar and lay it on thick. Hopefully for them, they're not flirting around the wrong person because a $25 fine can be issued to someone caught in the act of flirting.Seriously.