Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Hurtling toward havoc," Aug. 1, 2009

Grape glut

Considering current prices, Australians may wish for someone to turn wine into water instead of the other way around. That's because due to a grape glut there, the price of a bottle of wine has dipped below the price of a bottle of water. One major Australian wine producer was selling its "cleanskins," or unmarked and generically packaged wine bottles, for $1.56 each. The price plummet is a consequence of recent overplanting, which led the supply of wine grapes to greatly exceed the local demand for wine. To compensate, Foster's, the largest winemaker, has sold 31 of its vineyards. Some planters are simply letting their grapes go to waste rather than pick them.

Bouncing burglars?

What Matthew Nice sees as a toy his local housing officials see as a tool for burglary. A homeowners association in the United Kingdom town of Wicklow has informed Nice that he must remove his daughter's toy trampoline from a shared garden between his and his neighbor's houses because, in the eyes of the association, the trampoline could be used by burglars to bound through high windows. No word from the housing authority regarding the appropriateness of Tonka trucks or tricycles that, though children's toys, could possibly be seen as getaway vehicles.

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