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Next: the earthquake-proof wine rack

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Sunday, March 01, 2009
MARCH 2009: NEXT, THE EARTHQUAKE-PROOF WINE RACK
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When the ground begins to shift and the floor turns to rubber, experts say the safest place is in a doorway or under a table. The next-safest place may be in front of a new wine rack made by Newood, a 30-year-old Eugene-based company. The shelves are called MightyPine and they’re made to hold 30 cases of wine and stand firm against a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Remember the 1994 Northridge earthquake? That was a 6.7. When the ground settled from that quake, company founder and CEO Gerry Moshofsky started thinking about his customers: Safeway, Lucky’s, Ralph’s, Food 4 Less. After his wood racks failed in the quake, they switched to steel racks. It took another 15 years before his company hit on a way of laminating layers of Oregon pine that resulted in the flexibility of wood and the strength of steel. The layered wood flexes with the force of the temblor, but is strong enough to keep bottles in place. As exciting as it was, the discovery wasn’t as startling as a 1987 quake Moshofsky experienced. “But I knew the restaurant I was sitting in was made of wood,” he says, “so I wasn’t worried.”  ABRAHAM HYATT


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