My wife regularly contends that while my abstract inapplicable research is pursued entirely for self-gratitude, her chosen field leads to practical, human-benefiting innovation. Economists, you see, are motivated by results that are “cool” but useless, while engineers (clearly not motivated by coolness) pursue practicality.

A counter-example:

fluid mechanics wine glass

The glass tank is a purported marvel of fluid mechanics:

when the amount in the glass decreases, a constant amount is poured from the tank into the glass. never overflowing from the glass because of air pressure and water pressure.

That’s all well and good, but what happens when I swirl this monstrosity?

Think of the Children! (But only on Sundays, say area liquor stores)

Connecticut is considering a law lifting the ban on Sunday liquor sales. The current prohibition is a throwback to the religious blue laws. Of course, like most legislation that comes under the banner of morality, someone is sneering and profiteering. Opposed to the legislation is the Connecticut association of liquor stores. Head cynic cretin (err, President) Alan Wilensky justifies his opposition:

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burning grape vines

Nashville Councilwoman Erica Gilmore has resurrected a bill banning single-bottle sales of beer in a misguided attempt to curb drinking and littering. To understand the unintended consequences of hair-trigger paternalism, we turn to the Soviets.

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Some time ago, I emailed my state representatives asking for their positions on interstate wine sales. I received a letter from State Senator Douglas Henry in response. I wasn’t expecting much, since the Senator receives substantial contributions from the liquor wholesalers cabal. As anticipated, with his donations, the Senator also apparently received the industry’s standard talking points, which are easily dismissed.

That, however, was not the disturbing part of the letter.

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Unfermented grape juice: Fermented grape juice:
Juice Box

And with a name like Cordier (historical negociant and marketer of some of the best names in Bordeaux), it’s got to be good.

(With apologies to Smuckers).

UPDATE: Apparently, the straw is not a simple hollow cylinder, but a technological wonder which, through strategically-placed holes at the top, is capable of “recreating the sensation of drinking from a glass.” This differs from traditional straws which deliver liquids to the mouth in willy-nilly fashion.

No word yet on whether Riedel will offer hand-blown versions, with the holes customized for Oregon Pinot Noir. For now, Riedel employee Sylvie Laly suggests carting your own custom glassware when visiting friends:

I have a case for it and I bring it with me in my purse

Followers of this advice may want to acquire a matching case for their imaginary friend, since dinner invitations from actual people will probably become less frequent.