Pop Quiz: Internet Marketing

1. On which website would you be most likely to find an ad for used kitty litter?

  1. The Onion
  2. Craigslist
  3. Amazon.com
I prefer my cat litter new, thanks.
Figure 1. What’s wrong with this picture?

2. Take a moment to examine Figure 1. What’s wrong with this picture?

  1. In description on the left, the apostrophe is missing from the word “World’s”.
  2. The standard list price for cat litter is, apparently, $96.85 for a 7-pound bag or $109.47 for a 14-pound bag.
  3. Used kitty litter costs more than new kitty litter.
  4. Used kitty litter is being offered for sale.

3. Every two weeks, Alice’s cats convert 25 pounds of new cat litter into used cat litter. If Alice pays $9.99 for each 25-pound tub of new cat litter and sells her used cat litter at market rates, how much profit will she make in a year?

4. Alice wants to quit her job and live off her cat litter profits. She currently has two cats; how many more will she need to adopt?

5. What should Alice call her online store?

  1. The Cat Waste Place
  2. Alice’s Organic Free-Range Artisinal Feline Extrusion Emporium
  3. I Haz Had Cheezburger

Alice’s store turns out not to be as profitable as she’d hoped. She looks for ways to earn some extra income and decides to respond to this craigslist ad:

I have a terrible problem. My litter box is dirty and smells horrible and I don’t want to clean it. I am amazing at making pancakes however. I will trade my pancake skills for a clean litter box. Serious inquires only.

  • Location: bathroom corner
  • Compensation: pancakes. All you can eat!!!
  • This is an internship job

6. Essay question: describe the expected career path of the person who successfully completes this internship.

7. What’s unusual about this ad?

  1. It promises all-you-can-eat pancakes but doesn’t mention syrup.
  2. It doesn’t specify whether the pancakes must be consumed when the litter box is being scooped or whether the intern can show up at the employer’s home at any time and demand pancakes.
  3. It’s on craigslist, but it doesn’t say anything about the intern having to perform his or her duties naked.

8. What’s the probability that the person who placed the ad has at least one cat?

  1. 60%
  2. 40%
  3. 20%

This Is Not a Book Review (Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking)

Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot about Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet. It sounds like a really interesting book, combining food science, photography, and recipes. In a radio interview, Myhrvold described new techniques for cooking classic dishes, like hamburgers (sous vide to cook the meat, then a liquid nitrogen dip to freeze the outer layer, then a final deep fry to form a crust without overcooking the chilled burger) and brisket (smoke, sous vide, liquid nitrogen, then deep fry). I began to wonder — why hadn’t I heard of deep-fried burgers before? Doesn’t that seem like something that would be popular at county fairs? And how would the sous vide + liquid nitrogen + deep fry technique work on other classics, like chocolate cake or Caesar salad?
Continue reading “This Is Not a Book Review (Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking)”