To do math, first we’ll need some coffee. To drink that coffee, we’ll need a vessel of some sort. Perhaps a mug.
Ah. I just burned my face. Now we’re ready for some coffee math!
Today’s lesson is that things are not always as they seem. For example, look at that beautiful assortment of bags of pre-ground coffee on the shelf. Wonderful, ain’t it?
How much are they? $7.99 a bag? $8.99 a bag? $9.95 a bag? $12.95 a bag? According to the Walmart.com website, a bag of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (in my experience one of the most expensive) is $7.28 per bag. You’ll even get free shipping if you order $45 worth (or other stuff).
Most of the bags of coffee you see, including this bag of Dunkin’ Donuts, are 12-ounces in size. Wait? What?
Personally I think it is to make apples-to-apples comparisons in pounds more difficult. So how much is that bag of coffee per pound?
First, we calculate the price per ounce. Since “per” is another way of saying “divide by” the formula is simple:
Price ($7.28) per Ounce (12)
$7.28 divided by 12
Answer: $0.61 (61 cents per ounce)
$0.61 cost per ounce * 16 ounces in a pound
Aha! That coffee costs $9.71 per pound.
Why? Wouldn’t one-pound bags make a lot more logical sense? Since that’s a unit we already know and love? A unit that we’ve been raised with since the moment of our birth?
Perhaps I’m just in a black mood, but I think they like 12-ounce sizing because it makes the consumer feel the price is lower. “It’s only $7.28 a bag,” we are wont to say.
“$9.71 per pound” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. All of the sudden we’re talking upwards of a $10 note. Yikes. Consumer no buy-buy. Game over.
My wife just brought home a bag of coffee from a local shop. And guess what? It was in a one-pound bag and only $8. Now that’s refreshing. Sorry, Walmart. Your price sounds lower but it isn’t*.
* Disclaimer: Identical brands of coffee were not compared.
Today’s misleading headline comes to us from the good folks at CBS News who tell us:
Yikes! This raises so many questions like: Is free speech brewing terrorism on the net? Why else would the TSA of all things be involved in something like this? What I mean is that the Transportation Safety Administration is tasked with security for all modes of transportation. This must be something extremely serious for them to be involved, right?
Actually read the story, though, and one just might come away with a slightly different interpretation.
You see, the story is actually about TSA computers, not the “web.” Computers that are supposed to be used by TSA employees in the performance of their job duties, you know, doing things to make transportation safe and stuff.
And the “controversial opinion” that TSA employees will be blocked from? (Check out those quotation marks in action, used for dramatic effect, to make things sound so chilling.) One example is that employees will be blocked from playing online games.
Wow. That is chilling. Oops, please excuse me. I just accidentally snorted some Jack Daniels up my nose.
TSA employees will also be blocked from other things like criminal activity, extreme violence, chat/messaging, and yes, even the aforementioned “controversial opinion.”
In other words, they’ll probably have to spend more time doing their jobs. We can only hope that surfing porn (like they do at the SEC) will fall under one of those broad (no pun intended) categories.
So here’s a tip of the hat to CBS News and their attempt to sensationalize their headline to induce clicks. It certainly worked on me.