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July 22nd, 2006

No maps with incorrect boundaries, please

I recently had to research something slightly questionable (a copy of Mein Kampf) that someone wanted sent to Germany. In the course of my investigation, I discovered a dizzying array of postal prohibitions, some of which are absolutely mind-boggling (just what are "horror matrices"?!). Here for your Saturday morning amusement I present a few of my favorites:

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France - Feeding bottles
Saccharine

Germany - Playing cards, except in complete decks properly wrapped.
Melatonin

Ecuador - All maps showing the territory of Ecuador with incorrect boundaries.

Canada - All alcoholic beverages including wines, etc. (Note for those attending WHC2007!)

Costa Rica - Medical samples containing psychotropic substances.

China - Used clothing and bedding.

Czech Republic - Chain letter items.

Albania - Extravagant clothes and other articles contrary to Albanians' taste.

Belarus - Metallized yarn made with or made of gold thread; ornamental trimming or woven fabric made with or made of gold thread.

Brazil - Primary educational books not written in Portuguese.

Great Britain - Horror comics and matrices.

Italy - Albums of any kind (of photographs, postcards, postage stamps, etc.).

Nigeria - Hardware of all kinds.

Zambia - Prison-made goods.

Taiwan - Extracts, essences, and concentrates of tea.

Russia - Printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry, manuscripts, and miscellaneous documents containing information that could be detrimental to State security, social order, public morals, property rights, including intellectual property and other interests of natural and legal persons.

Nicaragua - Telegraph equipment.

Sorry, but...

...I have to kvetch today: It's been a week since I sprained my back and there's no improvement (there is, however, now an external bruise to mark the joyous occasion, meaning I've gone and done a serious sprain); it'll be over 100 degrees here in the Valley today, we're officially in the middle of our hottest summer on record and the forecasters are predicting no end to this until effing OCTOBER; and I'm still waiting to hear back from the agent who is reading Netherworld.

However...I have now passed the 20,000 word mark on novel #2, The Castle of Los Angeles. Given my constant pain, exhaustion, sweat and anxiety, I'm thinkin' that ain't half bad.

Hopefully the book isn't either.