10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

You’d dance too, if you owned all the beer. Picture: Foster’s.

1. First… diamonds! Leonardo DiCaprio and 10 billionaires are growing them. They’ve invested in Diamond Foundry, an ambitious startup that publicly launched yesterday after claiming it had “cracked the code” to culturing 100% pure diamonds. They’ve built a reactor that’s roughly as hot inside as the outer layer of the sun, and say it pumps out hundreds of diamonds in just a few weeks. But here’s why they won’t be any cheaper than regular rocks.

2. Stressed because you couldn’t lever yourself onto the home ownership bandwagon? Freaking out because all your real estate mogul friends will have amazing retirements with holidays in them, and you’ll be boiling shoe leather to survive? Well, don’t, because owning a home is financial suicide, according to podcaster and author James Altucher. Here’s why.

3. If you’re not convinced, at least hold off for a little while longer, because Australia is in an epic building boom while a key demand signal is tanking. Here – you might want to look at this chart carefully and factor it into your decision:

What you’re looking at is supply, based on a majority of approvals becoming actual stock, exploding just as demand is soft. And you’ll go a long way to find a market in the world where that hasn’t resulted in prices falling.

4. To the markets. Let’s start with the Aussie dollar, because it’s doing okay and frustrating some bears by holding above this week’s lows. And while most forecasters still think the battler will head into the mid 60s, there’s now some big money starting to think the rout is over. Greg McKenna is there.

5. And the ASX200 also did okay yesterday, gaining around half a per cent on the back of strong consumer confidence and better tone in the market. But the SPI200 December contract is down 20 points to 5,109. Let’s see what the release of Australia’s labour data at 11.30am AEDT brings. David Scutt has the skinny on a possibly higher than expect print.

6. Ever wondered why greasy foods make paper bags translucent? No? Here’s the answer anyway, and you might find it more interesting than you thought.

7. Well, s..t. Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival, has been cancelled because someone stuffed up the fund-raising required to make it happen. Tropfest founder and director, John Polson, is not surprisingly devastated, and mentioned a possible “mismanagement of funds” put the shortfall “well into six figures”. More than 450 filmmakers entered shorts this year. The 16 finalists had been called. And Hollywood star Susan Sarandon had agreed to head the festival jury. That’s a monumental amount of creative effort wasted just because – it looks like – someone couldn’t keep their fingers out of the pie.

8. How much of the world’s beer will be controlled by a $US108 billion brewing giant just created by the megamerger between Budweiser maker AB InBev and Foster’s maker SABMiller? I’m glad you asked. This much:

The grey and white bits are the leftovers.

9. Aliens are out there. Recent scientific discoveries increasingly point to that. The question now is not so much “Is there life beyond Earth?” as it is “Will we ever find it?” So here’s our extremely convincing little production number about why aliens might actually exist.

10. Since 2009, Microsoft has rolled out 110 stores in the US, one in Canada, and as of today, only one outside North America. And it’s right here in not Melbourne Sydney – a 500 square metre, two storey, retail space in glass, wood and steel on Pitt Street Mall. If you can’t get to it, here’s a few pics and details of the kind of service you can expect, which sounds excellent.

BONUS ITEM: Just a piece of paper that can fold itself up, walk away, and grab things:

It’s not CGI. It’s Science.

Have a great day.

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