In these highly charged political times, you tend to hear the term “nanny state” thrown around quite a bit. Whether it’s the mayor of a major US city lovingly playing psy-ops with citizens on vices like cigarettes and soda, or an otherwise sane nation keeping its citizens safe from the horrors of accurately depicted street view maps, the general impression is that the government in question doesn’t think enough of its own people to allow them to live out their lives as they choose. And, while a simple stroll down the street might cause me to have some sympathy with their premise, most of us tend not to believe that our governments should be in the business of social-engineering our free choices (even though that’s essentially the business they’re in).
But sometimes a nanny state action moves beyond the mildly frustrating and into the realm of the hilarious. Reader btr1701 writes in about one such instance, in which the government of Sweden is engaging in some manner of performance art on the silliness of over-regulation by the government.
Sweden’s Ice Hotel has been ordered by the National Housing Board to install fire alarms, despite being made completely out of frozen water. The Ice Hotel, which is rebuilt every year in northern Sweden out of enormous chunks of ice from the Torne River in Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna, will this year come equipped with fire alarms – and the irony isn’t lost on the staff.
“We were a little surprised when we found out,” hotel spokeswoman Beatrice Karlsson told The Local.
Now, before your laughter at the concept of a hotel made completely out of ice being forced to install fire alarms reaches shart-inducing levels, it should be noted that some of the decorations in the hotel are not made of ice and could conceivably catch fire. On the other hand, one would assume that such a fire wouldn’t be able to spread all that much, what with it being surrounded by ice and all. There might be some minor concerns about a small fire melting the ice-based construction and bringing the whole thing crashing down I suppose, but I’m of the belief that if you’re planning on staying in a hotel made of ice, you probably know the risk of that happening anyway. Or you want to punish yourself, in which case a collapse would only be helping you out.
Regulations exist for a reason, but their blanket-style approach highlights their rigidity when an ice-house needs a fire alarm.
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