Why the Third-Pounder failed

Because ‘Murica!

One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it.

Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “⅓,” led them astray.


“ChewBaru” is part car, part dentistry, part pop-art

One of them there ‘art cars’…


MISSOULA — Traffic was slowed just a bit on Interstate 90 on Thursday afternoon as a one of a kind sight passed through Missoula.

Some might find it a bit bizarre – maybe even creepy or just whimsical — but there’s no other car like it out on the road.

The designer, Rex Rosenberg, says there are more than 70 pounds of dentures, and another 70 pounds of partials and impressions on the Subaru.

Oh, and did we mention the assorted empty toothpaste tubes, dental tools, doll parts, mannequin heads, and stickers?

PETA Pays Detroit’s Poor to Go Vegan

Because that’s what they need. {/sarcasm}

The news coming out of Detroit continues to get worse and worse. Earlier this month, Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department announced it would turn off water to thousands of Detroiters who are unable to pay their water bills. The announcement sparked a wave of protests, and the department agreed on Monday to suspend the mass shutoffs for another 15 days.

In the meantime, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals has offered its own plan to help deal with the crisis: The animal rights group will pay the water bills of 10 Detroit families—as long as they go vegan.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, PETA will also give each family a basket of vegan food.

“The last thing that people who are struggling need is increased health-care costs,” PETA wrote on its blog yesterday. “By accepting our offer to go vegan, not only will families be getting an immediate financial boost and helping animals, if they stick with it, they’ll also lower their risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and strokes.”

How did that work out for Linda McCartney? Oh, right