Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Brits get "women's wine": "In a marketing ploy that would have Bridget Jones choking on her chardonnay, a reduced-alcohol white wine is to be aimed at women who find conventional brands too strong. According to research by Sainsbury's, many women find that wine, which has crept up to between 12.5 and 14.5 per cent alcohol in strength, is simply too intoxicating. After years in development, the supermarket is about to introduce a new Australian wine, Early Harvest semillon sauvignon blanc, on the basis of its 9.5 per cent alcohol content. It insists that the wine will be indistinguishable from its stronger equivalents in terms of taste and quality. Early Harvest will also have 19 per cent fewer calories than that of the average bestselling wines, according to Sainsbury's."

Bureaucratic British idiocy again: "A council fired its tea lady then hired 200 pound-a-day consultants -- to tell staff how to make a brew. Jill Melvin, 46, was sacked from her 8,000 pounds-a-year post at the Tory-run council in March. Since then staff have been without a trolley service and have to negotiate stairs and fire doors with hot tea on their return from a self-service machine. Some workers ended up injuring themselves. One scalded a hand while brewing up. Another broke a wrist. Bosses at East Herts Council's offices in Bishop's Stortford so called in experts to advise on health and safety at the cost of 200 pounds-a-day. The 150 staff were asked how accidents could be reduced and told bosses to bring back the tea lady.... A council spokesman said: "We've spent 200 pounds in one day reducing the chances of an accident. We could have saved the 200 pounds and risked a payout of thousands if someone had been hurt. "We think very carefully [No sign of it!] about where we spend our budget and our sensible approach has been praised by our auditors as the best in Hertfordshire.""

Japan opts for oxygen fix: "Japan's largest convenience store operator, 7-Eleven Japan, has started selling cans of flavoured oxygen in Tokyo. The new portable cans of oxygen will be able to help customers replenishing their oxygen level whenever they feel fatigue for lack of oxygen, the company said. Unlike normal air that contains 21 per cent oxygen, the oxygen concentration of the new product is 95 per cent, enough for customers to feel invigoration when they breathe it. 7-Eleven Japan is the first Japanese convenience store or supermarket to enter the growing oxygen market. The launch was jointly developed by 7-Eleven Japan and Hakugen, a Tokyo-based lifestyle-related goods manufacturer. The company will sell two types of canned oxygen: "O2supli zuno-kan" with mint flavour and "O2supli karada-kan" with grapefruit flavour. Each can contains 3.2 litres of oxygen for about 35 two-second inhalations, enough for a customer to keep it for a week, using it five or six times a day."

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