Which checkout line is faster?

Dan Meyer writes about his research on  which line is faster at the store?  Awesome.  One quick tidbit is the minimum time for one person is about 50 seconds, but an average item adds about 3 seconds.  So it's faster to pick a line with up to 17 more items vs a line with one more person that has only one item.

The comments are interesting too, pointing out "invisible" effects like will the person use coupons, or want to buy a lotto ticket?  The commenters note that you could assign weighted probabilities, which leads to another interesting series of questions.  For example, based on probabilities suppose you have the following estimates to get to the head of each line:

Estimate based on
"invisible" factors
Best Avg Worst
Line 1 3 min 5 min 11 min
Line 2 4 min 6 min 10 min
Line 3 5 min 7 min 9 min

Now which line would you pick?  Line 3 is predictable, but Line 1 could finish really fast; or take a really long time.

Rocky Mountain NP panorama

Last weekend we visited Rocky Mountain National Park.  We took the usual drive on Trail Ridge Road where I snapped this 180-degree panorama (location in Google Maps). View is to the southwest.

Click-n-drag or use keyboard arrows to pan. Zoom with scroll-wheel or buttons. Use button for full screen.

We also saw a herd of Elk in the meadow along the road.

Now that I've figured out how to show panoramas on my website (thanks krpano!), I plan to upload several other panoramas that I've taken over the years.  They'll all be in the "panorama" category on my blog.

Jeff needs…

Go to Google (or your favorite search engine) and enter your name with needs in quotes, like "jeff needs".  Here's what Google says I need:

  • to dance
  • fish food
  • a band
  • to improve his wrestling skills
  • new puppets
  • somewhere new to live
  • serious help
  • to explain to Ed that given the situation, more time will be wasted filling out timesheets every 15 minutes than work done.

1977 JC Penney catalog

From 15 Minute Lunch:

Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife's grandfather. After a bunch of hours spent in The Hottest Attic In The Universe, he had a ceiling fan that ducted to the side of his house.

While my brother-in-law and I were fitting the fan in between the joists, we found a 1977 JC Penney catalog under the insulation.  It's not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking.

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