“Double Stuf” Oreos Actually Only “1.89x Stuf”

Here’s another great story about data, this time on a small scale.

Dan Anderson is a high school math teacher. As part of a class exercise, he had his kids measure the “stuf” content of regular Oreo cookies, “Double Stuf” Oreo cookies, and “Mega Stuf” Oreo cookies.

According to his kids’ calculations, the “Double Stuf” Oreos contained 1.86x as much filling as regular Oreos. Oops.

After his original blog post blew up on the internet, Dan did a more extensive experiment of his own and came up with similar results: “Double Stuf” Oreos contained just 1.89x as much filling as regular Oreos.

The experiments got quite a bit of attention online, and even drew an official response from Nabisco, as covered by ABC News:

A spokeswoman for Nabisco told ABCNews.com the company’s Double Stuf Oreos are made to have double the creme filling as the original Oreos.

“While I’m not familiar with what was done in the classroom setting, I can confirm for you that our recipe for the Oreo Double Stuf Cookie has double the Stuf, or creme filling, when compared with our base, or original Oreo cookie,” the spokeswoman said.

And yet… That’s not what the data actually shows.

Data-driven observations: 1
Nabisco: 0

via BoingBoing

LA Times: 6,297 Chinese restaurants and hungry for more

LA Man Collects Data on 6,000+ Chinese Restaurant Visits

I love stories of people or companies using data in interesting ways, and today I came across a great one.

From the Los Angeles Times: 6,297 Chinese restaurants and hungry for more

[Los Angeles attorney David] Chan, 64, has eaten at 6,297 Chinese restaurants (at press time) and he has documented the experiences on an Excel spreadsheet, a data-centric diary of a gastronomic journey that spans the United States and beyond.

LA Times: 6,297 Chinese restaurants and hungry for moreChan was eating at new restaurants faster than they could open up. Soon there wasn’t a single one in the area he hadn’t tried, but still, he was unsatisfied.

In 1985, he hit 86 restaurants in the Los Angeles area and around the country. The next year, 119. Before long he was trying more than 300 restaurants every year.

In Toronto, he hit six dim sum restaurants in six hours. When he traveled for business in Florida, he zigzagged the state to sample 20 Chinese restaurants.

Chan had always wanted to travel to all 50 states, and Chinese food gave him an excuse. In places he would have never imagined, he found Chinese people with their own version of Chinese food.

They’ve also created a neat interactive timeline visual of the LA-area visits documented in Chan’s spreadsheet, a static portion of which I’ve excerpted above.

The article doesn’t really get into the details of how he’s kept his list, or what types of information he keeps about each visit aside from the date, location, decor, and his order. Since he started his list in 1955, he must have kept it in a paper journal for decades before taking the time at some point to transcribe it all into Excel.

That is a seriously impressive dedication to data.

via BoingBoing