Category Archives: learn something new every day

for my own reference

and perhaps your edification, too:


filched from i love typography


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So the ice cream business is more interesting than I would’ve guessed:

Fun fact #1: Dreyer’s is the world’s largest ice cream company, doing more than $2 billion  (BILLION) in business annually.  And they’re headquartered in Oakland.  I had no idea.

Fun fact #2: They own Häagen-Dazs.

#2.a: Häagen-Dazs is an entirely American company, the name means absolutely nothing in any language, it just sounded scandanavian and everybody knows that the best ice cream (and flat-pack furniture) comes from our nordic northern neighbors.  The company was started by two Polish immagants in New York in 1959.

Fun fact #3: Dreyer’s has several large ice cream factories in the US.  One of them is a, ” very small but very efficient plant” located in Salt Lake City.  Why there?  Because, ice cream is apparently, at the molecular level, a frozen foam-like substance whose volume is primarily empty space.  Air, as everyone learned in high school physics (PV=nRT) changes its volume depending on the atmosphereic pressure present.  So, if you have a frozen substance made of mostly air that is produced, say, at sea level, and then transported to, say, Denver, the change in atmospheric pressure will cause said ice-cream to expand and rupture its packaging.  Thus, ice cream destined for high-altitude markets has to be produced at a high altitude, hence a small plant for the Rockies located in Salt Lake City.

SF Chronicle: Dreyer’s CEO keeps cool in tough times

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craig, lead me not into temptation

I lurk the craigslist free section a lot, I don’t really know why.  everything I’ve gotten off there has been a “but” situation–it works fine, but…

craigslist free lamp: standard floor lamp, with a dimmer dial.  thing is, (other than it’s being ugly as sin) the dimmer doesn’t work quite right–the dial has to be turned past a point and the light will turn on full power.  I guess in this case it’s a complicated on/off switch.  the rub is that it’s easy to just turn the dial past the point where the light will turn on, and not finish the twist completely. If the turn is not fully performed then after an indeterminate amount of time, sometimes a minute, sometimes twenty, the light will just turn off.  when the light in question is the only source of illumination in an otherwise dark and cluttered room, this is kind of annoying.

craigslist free printer: super nice, new, perfect condition printer.  hell, it even prints wirelessly–for when I want to store my printer on the deck, or maybe spend some qulity time with it at the beach.  what’s the catch? well, it needs ink.  $70 ink. “free” is a relative term, I guess.

and just as a bonus, I got some free shipping materials from  they’re super-slick DVD mailers, that can be folded to hold one or two DVDs and have adhesive already applied and everything.  I want to sell my DVDs because a) they don’t really reflect my current taste in movies and b) they’ve been rendered obsolete by netflix.  So, these mailers seemed like a godsend, and I couldn’t beat the price: totally free, and with equally free shipping.  no downside!  BUT: I neglected to notice that these were priority mail boxes, and were emblazoned with “PRIORITY MAIL POSTAGE ONLY.”  That’s cool and all, but to send a DVD (or two!) by priority mail costs around $4, while first class is a whopping $.42 or something.  When DVDs sell for maybe $7, that four bucks really cuts into my profit margin.  In the end that would cost me something about the same as the two print cartriges I need for my “free” printer.

I guess the old adage “there’s no such thing as a free meal” extends to lamps, wireless printing, and packing matériel.

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