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Topic: M&M-based activities
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Posts: 144
Registered: 12/6/04
M&M-based activities
Posted: Aug 29, 1996 7:45 PM
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Well, for those who think an M&M first-day activity might be promising,
here's some information that might add to the fun. It was taken from a
little item in the New York Times, 2 April 1995, p.2 (I think that was in
the "News of the Week" section--section F???).

First, it shows a display of M&Ms by color, as follows:
Brown 30%
Yellow 20%
Red 20%
Tan 10%
Green 10%
Orange 10%
This information was attributed to "Mars, Inc."

People more clever than I could devise an activity in which students are
asked to decide whether the evidence from their sample supports or fails
to support this breakdown. (Perhaps some more formal analysis could
follow later in the year).

The text accompanying this item is brief, and reads as follows:

"Americans face a wrenching adjustment. No, it isn't the death of the
New Deal, the fall of Communism. It's--brace yourself--the colors of
M&M's. M&M's were born in 1941, in six colors. In 1949, tan replaced
violet, and that mix outlasted Elvis, Liberace, even Nixon. But Mars
Inc. concluded that people don't like tan and ran a poll to pick a new
color. And last week it named the winner: blue (even with Communism
dead, people weren't ready for pink; it got just a 10 percent vote). The
new mix is due in September. In the meantime, save those tans; they'll
be collectors' items (if they don't melt)."

Bruce King
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Western Connecticut State University
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810

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