Free Thoughts #5: The Apple Pie Problem

Let’s say you’ve got yourself a little diner in the States.

You want to offer pie to your customers, but you’re running a low budget operation, so you can only offer one particular type of pie. To figure out what kind of pie you should sell, you ask some of your regular customers what their favourite pie is, but you get a whole bunch of different answers: pumpkin, key lime, pecan, lemon meringue, tart cherry served heated up with a scoop of vanilla icecream on the side, etc.

That leaves you without much to go on, so instead you ask these same customers to fill out a little survey ranking ten different pies in descending order of preference. You find, looking at the data, that although no one actually picked it as their favourite, apple pie ends up being the one that averages out to being the least objectionable and most consistently “okay” with people. So you decide to serve apple pie, and thanks to your maths and research, it ends up selling better than any other pie you may have chosen instead… even though it isn’t any of your regular’s actual favourite.

I’m pretty sure this is exactly why apple remains the flavour that McDonald’s consistently sells while the other couple flavours they offer rotates throughout the year. [Read more…]

Blogathon: 16th Hour


So… I am totally officially up past my bedtime. But still a long night of further blogathoning waits ahead.

This where it starts getting difficult.

So, to make things easier, I will be pulling from my requests something that hall-of-rage requested…

A post about cookies! [Read more…]

This Is Awesome

Check out Cathy Brennan’s latest attempt to insult me via her new, hilariously incompetent tumblr, radicalfeministmemes:

In the words of Michael Halila:

Watch out for the new radfem transphobe tactic of making their opponents seem both awesome and attractive. It, um.

My only quibble is I’ve technically only been kicking Y chromosome ass since 2010.

Lazy Sunday: Got Monsters

First of all, a quick note: sorry there was no recap yesterday. I just figured since the week had so few posts (again… -sigh-) that it wasn’t really worth sacrificing a greatly needed night away from the blaggy-blegs. I’ll recap this past week’s posts when I do the recap this coming Saturday. Moving along to this week’s video…

I feel adding much in the way of commentary would spoil this, but for the sake of context, this is from Mina Caputo, singer of the metal band Life Of Agony, who back in the summer publicly revealed she was transitioning. This song and video’s release predates her coming out.

Slightly NSFW, albeit not egregiously so.

In the words of an e-friend of mine “That’s not subtext. That’s text.”

And links… [Read more…]

Birthday Wishlist

Well, tomorrow I’m turning the ripe old age of twenty-eight years old, successfully having survived the dreaded year-of-rock-and-roll-death, and a few readers have lately been poking a bit into the question of what an amazing wonderful elderly spinster like me would want for her birthday. While obviously treating the question as anything other than rhetorical would be silly, I thought it might be fun to do some daydreaming and take a little stroll around the web to point out some of the awesome, must-have items for every discerning skeptical transsexual ex-junkie feminist atheist. I’m sure my readers have MANY such people in their lives they may need to shop for, so why not provide a little guide? [Read more…]

Why I Bother

So I’m enjoying the glow of victory today. Last night, our team, The Gallifreyan High Council, emerged as Time Lords Victorious in the Vancouver leg of the Cross-Canada Skeptical Smackdown quiz night. In addition to myself, the trans-feminist skeptic-ish atheist blogger, we had Joe Fulgham, co-host of the Caustic Soda science and pop-culture podcast, Xavier MacDonald, who bears a striking resemblance to The Green Arrow, and Lars Martin, both a nuclear astrophysicist and the cuddliest, most loveable German in the world. Pics will probably be forthcoming at either Skeptic North or Confessions Of An Asshole Skeptic, probably around the time we also figure out our national standing.

But that isn’t the only bit of pride I will oh-so-immodestly strut around today!

Because you know what this is?

This is my 100th post at SNR! [Read more…]