Entries in the “Projects” category

I love the Times’ mini crossword puzzles, and I love analyzing statistics, so I combined the two. See them here.

Ever since my first attempt at making beer I’ve wanted to try it again, but living in a Manhattan apartment has some limitations, and making 5 gallons of beer can be one of them. When I found out that Brooklyn Brew Shop made a 1 gallon beer making kit that was perfect for a city apartment, I decided it was time to give it another try. I got a Bruxelles Blonde kit, which came with almost everything to make an ale style beer:

  • 1 gallon glass carboy
  • Airlock
  • Tubing
  • Thermometer
  • Sanitizer
  • Barley
  • Hops
  • Yeast

Additional equipment needed, but not included in the kit:

  • 6 quart stock pot
  • Second pot
  • A fine mesh strainer
  • Funnel
  • Bottles and caps
  • Honey

Since I had everything needed, I started making my second batch of homemade beer in late August.

Continue reading ‘Homemade Beer — Attempt #2’ . . .

In mid-January, the Wall Street Journal analyzed the actual amount of play time of the average football game. They added up the amount of time the ball was actually alive and in play in four different games, and it averaged out to about 11 minutes. They concluded that the average game broadcast on TV shows 17 minutes of replays and 67 minutes of players standing around. With the biggest game of the year coming up, I decided to do my own analysis of the actual play time. Here are the results:

Continue reading ‘Actual Play Time of Super Bowl XLIV’ . . .

Chia Garfield box

For the holidays, my mother got me a Chia Garfield as a gift. In early January 2009, I “planted” it. Just like the last time I planted a Chia Pet, I’m going to document this one.

Continue reading ‘Chia Pet Planting (2009)’ . . .

Back in May came word that Kellogg’s was bringing back Hydrox cookies for a limited time. As soon as I heard, I knew an Oreo vs. Hydrox showdown would have to be waged. Today, it was.


Similar to the Oreo vs. Chips Ahoy! showdown, at 2:30pm 16 cookies of each variety were placed on plates in a central location in our department, and an email was sent out announcing that cookies were available. Because Oreos and Hydrox look so similar, the e-mail stated that both were available.

My thought going into this showdown was that Hydrox would win based on the novelty factor, or at least there would be a tie as people took one of each to compare.

Continue reading ‘Oreo vs. Hydrox’ . . .

The other day I ran into one of my favorite shows on TV, the Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made”.  This particular episode was of special interest to me because they showed how fortune cookies are made, and I’m somewhat fond of them.  The production of fortune cookies was about what I expected it would be: ingredients mixed; cookies baked; fortunes inserted and cookies folded; cookies wrapped, boxed and shipped.

During the segment, they gave out two interesting statistics that I was hoping they would.  This particular fortune cookie factory produces 4 million cookies per day, and uses 5,000 different fortunes, which means that each fortune printed is going to be duplicated 800 times per day.  Afterward, the number 4 million got stuck in my head, and danced around in there as I tried to sleep.  I’m not sure why, but it just seems like a very large number to me.

Continue reading ‘Fortune Cookie Paper Statistics’ . . .

A few co-workers and I were discussing cookies at lunch one day. As the conversation went on, the question of which cookie is the best selling cookie in America was asked, and the answer didn’t surprise us: Oreo. We all agreed that chocolate chip cookies are probably the best selling as a type, but there are so many brands and varieties that one just can’t compete with Oreo for the crown.

Plates of Oreos and Chips Ahoy!

During that lunch, we decided to conduct a little test with our fellow co-workers. We would set out an equal number of Oreos and Chips Ahoy! on plates in the central area of our department and see which one disappeared first. I predicted that Oreos would win, but the others figured the Chips Ahoy! would win.

Continue reading ‘Oreo vs. Chips Ahoy!’ . . .