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Cans of beer at Citizen’s Bank Park

May 17, 2012 1:49 pm Published by 1 Comment

Earlier this year, Citizen’s Bank Park (the home of the Philadelphia Phillies) began selling several different brands of beer in 24-ounce tallboy cans. Canned beer (like boxed wine) has been on a resurgence in recent years, thanks to improvements in technology and some open-minded brewers. Harpoon Brewery started canning some summer beers a couple of years ago, but now they are spending more than a million dollars to add canning machinery to their main brewery in Boston.

Canned beer at a ballpark, however, is a good idea in almost every single sense I can think of:

  • Since the beers don’t have to be poured, there’s no spillage and no foam to pour off, which means essentially zero waste.
  • They get cold faster than bottles.
  • The non-beer weight of these cans is far less than that of kegs and carbonation systems, which means less wasted delivery cost.
  • Lines will be shorter since all the person behind the counter has to do is pull a can out of the fridge and open it (and they did tests — opened cans don’t fly as far as opened plastic bottles). They’ll also be shorter since the cans are bigger than cups — people won’t head back for more as often.
  • Aluminum is just about the most efficient thing to recycle: only about 5% of the energy required for non-recycled aluminum
  • You don’t have to potentially toss any extra (like you have to do with kegs). This means that the park could carry a wider variety of beers and not have to worry about what to do with the unsold cans of the less popular brands.

And there’s just something about drinking a cold beer out of a can that says “summer” more than a bottle or a cup.

Here’s a list of what beer is available where in the park. Most everywhere has cans of Stella Artois and Yuengling, two very good lagers. I’m not sure if the Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada brands are in the tallboys or if they’re only available in normal 12-ounce cans. I will investigate when I’m at the game against the Red Sox this coming Saturday, and report back.

Update, 21 May: The 24-ounce cans are pretty much only available in Yuengling Lager, and we only found them on the lower level. Most of the other types of beer are in more-typical 16-ounce cans (500mL in the case of Stella Artois). Still: great selection, decent price, all the above points about convenience still stand.

Bread puns

May 11, 2012 7:55 am Published by 3 Comments

Submitted for your approval, a thread from the non-work mailing list at Wayfair, replete with bread puns:

  • This thread is now about bread. How about a NAANwork thread.
  • It was already PAIN-ful.
  • I hope they don’t banh mi for this.
  • This thread is fal-awful
  • Alright, I think you guys have taken this farl enough.
  • You’re probably rye.
  • We’re on a roll!
  • Injera glad I didn’t say bread!?
  • I’m at my wheat’s end!
  • You guys got muffin left?
  • Maybe everyone injera-ed themselves trying to come up with more puns. (..later..) Oh, man, someone already did injera. Boy do I feel like a sconehead.
  • At yeast its finally over
  • A toast to the end of this thread
  • Best WRAP this one up
  • I agree. It’s time to leave it a-scone and get back to work.
  • You all knead to wrap this up, quit loaf’n and get back to work

Choosing random keys

May 4, 2012 10:45 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Say you had code that generated random keys. These random keys were 6 letters long, all caps, with no duplicates. Here’s a few, as an example:


What are the chances that the key that you generate will be in alphabetical order? For instance, above, there’s only one in alphabetical order (CERSUY, in bold) And then, if you think you have that, generalize: For any string of length k distinct characters chosen from a set of n, what are the chances that they will be in order? My answer after the break.


Another new

April 26, 2012 6:47 am Published by 1 Comment

This morning you may notice some changes to (unless you’re reading this in an RSS reader, in which case I invite you to check out what I’m talking about). For the past few years, my Twitter posts, photos, links I’ve found interesting, and occasionally music that I’m listening to have all been intermingled here as a life stream. I will no longer be featuring those things so prominently on this blog. Oh, they still exist, on Pinboard and Twitter and Flickr and elsewhere (you can find links to all of them on the bottom of the homepage).

But I’ve decided that this website should be more focused on my nerdly projects. You know, the visit all MLB parks and expected value of a Powerball ticket things. I’ve heard that people like those posts, and I like those posts, and I’d like to encourage myself to make more of them. And rearranging my online life is the best way I know to do that.

Reactions from PAX East 2012

April 9, 2012 7:50 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Along with the pictures I took at PAX East — mostly of the predictably solid tabletop and arcade sections — here are some brief thoughts and reactions:

  • Played a couple hours of D&D with some pre-rolled characters. That was more fun than I expected.
  • The expo floor and PC freeplay were both a lot bigger this year, which meant that the storefront and tabletop areas got shrunk. In fact, the tabletop area was packed for most of both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Tried to get into the Diablo III line, but it was super long every time we showed up, even first thing on Easter Sunday.
  • In fact, the PC freeplay sessions were limited to a mere 30 minutes this year, which was really not long enough to get a good session in. We heard rumors of a lot of political turmoil around the PC
  • Driver: San Francisco has a really cool premise, and I enjoyed the driving physics a lot.
  • We played a whole lot of tabletop. Power Grid is interesting, but it’s lonngggg, and I can understand the criticism of calling it “Excel: The Game”.
  • Small World is fantastic; I would have bought it immediately if it wasn’t $60.
  • Magical Athlete is way more fun than it deserves to be.
  • Saboteur was a wonderful game for a group of 8 people who all only sorta knew each other.
  • The Omeganaut finale of Crokinole was inspired.
  • Boy am I glad PAX East will be in Boston for ten more years. I was worried that after this year, it’d move elsewhere on the east coast. Nice to know it’s staying.