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by Curtis Phillips | April 3, 2014 | 2:44 PM

I don't like April Fool's Day. It's not that I don't like a good joke so much as most of the April Fool's fodder tends to fall well short of being humorous.

Last March, there was a little buzz around the "Miracle Machine." This whatzit was supposed to turn tap water, and some added ingredients, into quality wine in three days. To be fair, several mainstream news organizations did quickly peg this as a hoax.

I didn't write about the so-called Miracle Machine in part because it was pitched as a consumer appliance which falls a bit outside my usual area of interest. The main reason I didn't cover it was simply because I couldn't figure out how such a contraption could possibly work as advertised. At best, it would have to be an update to the Prohibition-era "Grape Brick" or a grossly over-price home wine-making kit. As such, it hardly seems newsworthy except in the "look at this gizmo that won't perform as well as you want it to" sense.

Now that April Fool's Day is here, it has been revealed (again) that the Miracle Machine is what one may call a pious fraud or publicity stunt aimed at garnering attention for Wine to Water, a non-profit aid organization. The fact that the media, myself included, are covering this story again now that the Miracle Machine has been revealed as a hoax means that Water to Wine got the attention they wanted.

I can't help thinking that all this publicity stunt accomplished was to demonstrate that more people were interested in an impossible wine-machine than are interested in making sure that other people have access to clean water.


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