Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In with the old, out with the new

From today's Globe:
New England Confectionery Co. thought it could make its old-fashioned wafer appeal to a modern, health-conscious consumer by coloring and flavoring it with all natural ingredients such as cabbage and beets.

Instead, sales of Necco Wafers fell 35 percent.

“There were stacks and stacks of letters and e-mails that said, ‘Why did you do this? You ruined it,’ ’’ recalled Steve Ornell, Necco’s vice president of sales.

Less than two years after going all natural, the Revere company has gone back to its original recipe in hopes of recouping lost sales and loyal fans of the 164-year-old candy. The chalky, sugary candy that comes in eight colors is once again made of artificial dyes and flavors.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Estimating the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow

From our friends at 13pt comes this impressive looking analysis.

The conclusion?
Although a definitive answer would of course require further measurements, published species-wide averages of wing length and body mass, initial Strouhal estimates based on those averages and cross-species comparisons, the Lund wind tunnel study of birds flying at a range of speeds, and revised Strouhal numbers based on that study all lead me to estimate that the average cruising airspeed velocity of an unladen European Swallow is roughly 11 meters per second, or 24 miles an hour.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Should whipping it be considered?