November 24, 2004 - Ed Breaks the Mold
Yesterday, we went into some explanation of the types of counting we do at Edhat. We talked about the things you don’t normally think of counting, and the things that cry out to be counted. There is another category we’d like to talk about today. It is the category that makes some of us think that, perhaps, we’ve gone too far. Or perhaps, we’re too far-gone. For better or for worse, you be the judge.
Yesterday, the dedicated staff of edhat.com opened cans of cranberries.
You know, the kind of cranberries most people only open around this time of year. They come in two varieties, jellied and whole-berry. There was much debate among the dedicated staff as to which one was better. One staff member threw out the opinion that only freshly cooked cranberries were acceptable. What’s wrong with her?
In any case, a taste test was not on the agenda. We’re here to count. Whose idea was it? No one seems to remember, now. The objective of our cranberry test was to count how many pennies, piled on a paper plate and balanced on the wiggling tower of cranberries, would corrupt the structural integrity of the form.
Make the cranberries go squish.
As the two towers stood on their respective plates, the staff admired their can-outlined perfection. Ed says that the only true cranberry sauce is one that remains cylindrical and ridged, even at the time of service. Unfortunately, the new can design makes this task a lot harder than it was in the good old days. Ed’s mom used to open the top of the can with the electric can opener, then use one of those pointy, drink-can openers on the bottom to release the vacuum and allow the whole contents to slide gracefully out. The new cans have a rounded bottom. The pointy can opener doesn’t work. Fortunately, the dedicated staff is also very resourceful. Quickly, one of the staff produced a nearby ice pick (don’t ask), and voila!
Carefully, we set paper plates on the tops, and began piling pennies, ten at a time, on the paper plates.
We tried to place the pennies evenly around the plate, in order to balance the load. Side-by-side, we continued to pile. With each addition of pennies, the dedicated staff held their collective breaths. It became apparent right away that the jellied sauce would be the stronger. Still we piled, like a backward game of Jenga. At 300, we saw signs of strain on the whole-berries. At 310, it collapsed. The dedicated staff was saddened but also a little relieved. It is hard waiting for the inevitable. The jellied berries fought the good fight, finally falling at 540. The dedicated staff cheered.
After all of our hard work, we were tired, hungry and emotionally drained. Someone got out the spoons and we had our taste test after all.
In case you were wondering, 540 pennies and a paper plate weigh approximately 3 pounds, 12 ounces. And, if you are wondering further, a can of whole berry cranberry sauce contains approximately 99 berries.
Most of our subscribers had a tough time with this contest. It seems that most of them had no experience balancing pennies on top of cranberry molds. The Amazing was the lone exception. With an uncanny guess of 345/567, The Amazing wins the Santa Barbara Axxess Card and Edhat t-shirt hands down. We wish our winner and all of our subscribers an Amazing Thanksgiving with lots of turkey, stuffing, and plenty of sturdy cranberry sauce.
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