Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Theory Of A-Tap-Chi


Looks like dessert vendors are also starting to use shrewd tactics to cut costs in the wake of price increases in Singapore. I'm sure you know what are atapchis (I dunno the proper word for that), those grape-shaped nata-de-coco like stuff you can find in dessert ranges?? Yep, I was having a bowl of chendol at the food court nearby my place and after having that bowl of chendol, it confirmed my 'observations' over the past few months: Vendors always give 2 atapchis per bowl of desserts, and somehow or rather one atapchi will be chewy and soft while the other one will be hard like wood. Have you felt the same before? It happened alot of times to me already man. Haha.

Do vendors mix two types of atapchis, namely Grade A and Grade D atapchis, together so that the probability of getting one Grade A and Grade D per bowl is the greatest? Let us work out the calculations:

Assume 1 bag contains 50 atapchis, we have 1 bag of Grade A and Grade D atapchis respectively:

P(2 Grade A in 1 bowl) = 50/100 x 49/99 = 49/198 (24.7%)
P(2 Grade B in 1 bowl) = 50/100 x 49/99 = 49/198 (24.7%)
P(Mix Grades in 1 bowl) = 2[50/100 x 50/99] = 50/99 (50.5%)

As you can see, if the vendors have really been doing this, then they are quite smart to use the law of probability, because to get a good bowl of dessert (2 Grade A atapchis) it is only a mere 24.7%, while 75.2% of the time you are not enjoying what you have been paying for fully...

Interesting insight dun ya think?


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