Thursday, March 15, 2012

Counting My M&M's

Like millions of other Americans, I keep a stash of munchies in my desk drawer at work. I find that a little treat in the afternoon is a highly effective way to keep me focused on my work. One of my snacks, interestingly (or oddly), has evolved into a bit of a ritual.

It all started back in 2010. I was at my local Dominick's before work picking up a donut, something for lunch, and stock for the stash. I happened down the candy aisle and saw that they had the jumbo bags of M&M's on sale. I'm always a sucker for the lowest price per unit so I couldn't resist. Fast forward to the afternoon-snack time-and a funny little thought popped into my head: "Are there the same number of each color of M&M's in the package?" I decided to find out, just for the heck of it.

The jumbo sack of M&M's is 42 ounces so there are two things to keep in mind. 1. I do not eat the entire thing in one helping. 2. I was not about to dump out the whole sack and count them right then and there. Instead, I started a spreadsheet. Whenever I decided to have a handful of M&M's, I would first sort them by color, count them, and then record the stats in my spreadsheet. It didn't take too long for multiple passersby to notice and remark upon my method for eating M&M's. Suddenly I had a reputation that needed to be maintained! Never again could I reach into a sack of M&M's and NOT count each color.

Two years later, I'm now on my fourth sack of M&M's. I don't eat them every day and I don't always have them in my stash. But when I do, I keep statistics. Today, I am pleased to announce the public sharing of this information on my M&M Counter page!

The M&M Counter page has several fun features:
  • The graph at the top shows the combined stats for all of the M&M's that I have consumed over the years.
  • Then, I provide a graph and chart that are updated in real time that show the stats for the sack that I'm currently in the process of devouring.
  • Finally, I have provided a form, for what I think is the most exciting feature of all, to allow YOU to join in the fun. You are welcomed and encouraged to contribute your own counts. Currently, the form only supports the regularly colored candies. Pick the closest option when selecting the size of the package. Soon, I will include a graph or two to display the user submitted data.
So yeah, it's a little weird. There's nothing scientific about this. There's no ploy to identify certain colors as subject of discrimination. It's just for fun. Enjoy!

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