More wine wisdom

August 9, 2014 at 8:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

California wine collector jailed for 10 years for fraud: “An international wine dealer has been jailed for 10 years for fraud after selling fake vintages and cheating fellow connoisseurs out of tens of millions of dollars. Rudy Kurniawan, 37, an Indonesian-born businessman, had been considered one of the top wine collectors in the world, becoming famed for his palate and ability to identify fine wines. But it emerged he had been blending the contents of cheap bottles in the kitchen of the home he shared with his mother. He then placed the blends in old bottles, stuck fake labels on them and claimed they were rare vintages, selling them for vast sums. A judge in New York ordered Kurniawan to forfeit $20 million (£11 million) and pay $28.4 million in restitution to his victims. He was found out and arrested by the FBI after trying to sell 78 fake bottles of wines for around $700,000 at an auction in London in 2012. Other experts spotted mistakes including missing French accents on labels”

Gormless burglar stares open mouthed into CCTV camera before stealing it to try and cover his tracks (but the footage had already been downloaded): “This is the moment a gormless burglar realises he has been caught red-handed on CCTV – seconds before he attempts to cover up his crime by stealing the camera. The open-mouthed thief stares directly into the lens for several seconds, seemingly unable to decide what to do with himself. He then appears to shout the word ‘camera’, before continuing to stare at the lens – still with his mouth wide open. Despite being caught on tape for the past 20 seconds, the burglar then attempts to hide from the wall-mounted camera by ducking down out of its view and shuffling underneath the lens. The defeated-looking burglar is then seen turning the camera to face the wall, before wrenching it from its stand and stuffing it in his bag. But unbeknown to the burglar, his efforts were pointless – because the video is still accessible in online storage.”

Stolen engagement ring reunited with owner 13 years later: “One woman is facing criminal charges, while another has been reunited with an engagement ring which was stolen from her more than a decade ago in Adelaide. The diamond and sapphire engagement ring was pawned at a second-hand dealer at Glynde in Adelaide last month. That transaction was flagged to police, who then put out a call for information to identify the ring’s owner. Police said the engagement ring was stolen during a break-in at suburban Parkside in 2001. The rightful owner went to police and confirmed the ring was hers by supplying its valuation details and wedding photos which showed her wearing it. Police have charged a woman, 47, from Campbelltown in Adelaide with unlawful possession and giving false information when she allegedly pawned the ring.”

First-ever motorised lawn-mower restored to its former glory: “It is a machine that conjures an age when armies of gardeners were deployed to manicure aristocratic country estates, and the British empire was an engineering powerhouse. But the Ransomes, the world’s first motorised lawn-mower, was so prized, that only the chauffer was allowed to drive it. And, with its £15,000 price tag, in today’s money, it was well out of the reach of all but the Edwardian elite. One of the few remaining models has now been restored to its former, fully-functioning glory by lawn-mower collector Andrew Hall. Mr Hall, a gardener from Ilminster, Somerset, spent £7,000 patching up the old 1 ¼-tonne, eight-foot-long machine, which dates back to 1902, after acquiring it when it was found when an old pavilion in Coventry was demolished. The 54-year-old, who owns 1,200 other lawn-mowers, took four years to restore the Ransomes, which was “60 per cent intact” and still had its original body, rollers, cutting cylinder blades and 1906 8 horse-power engine.”

Gold watches, vibrators, £6,000 dentures … not to mention wives and mothers: The most surprising items left behind in hotels: “We’ve all left the odd camera charger, lone sock or favourite book in a hotel room, but according to a new list, some people leave very surprising items behind. Some things are quite common, pyjamas and underwear, to alarm clocks as well as the lovable teddy bear that helps so many sleep. But the list also featured people forgetting their dentures (including one made of gold costing over £6,000), a lumbar belt, glass eyes and even a leg brace. Even more intimate objects can be forgotten: dozens of vibrators are found every week, boxes of condoms and blow-up dolls… already inflated. A couple once left an 18 month old child on the bed of their room for a few hours, according to Jetcost.co.uk. A businessman left behind his wife, only realising her absence when at the airport; another man forgot his mother who was waiting patiently at the hotel”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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