Saturday, March 17, 2012

Coca Cola prices: Then (2008) and Now (2012)

Years ago I saw 2 Litre bottles of Coca-Cola selling for an all time high $3.14 I snapped a photo :P I have held onto it for all these years. Here it is.

I always figured if I held onto it long enough that it would be an interesting look back. And now it is. I still remember thinking how expensive this price tag was back in May 2008 when I took it. The other day, in the same supermarket I saw what I thought was an odd "special". It just didn't seem that cheap. I lifted the tag and guess how much a 2L bottle is in March 2012?

Have a look for yourself...

As you can also see, the price tags now have unit pricing...and the quality my camera produces has improved :D These prices are in AU$ - In US$ this product would cost $4.01 according to at the time of writing.

Do you think this is overly expensive? Please note that this is on a regular store shelf, it is not provided chilled.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beer production in Australia

I didn't find it fair to talk about Marijuana in Australia without pointing out Australia's "Beer Culture". So I did something I've wanted to do personally for awhile now, determine exactly how much beer is produced in Australia. So I turned to Wikipedia...

The 'Breweries in Australia' Wikipedia article divides breweries into 3 categories.'Major Breweries', 'Microbreweries' and 'Brewpubs'.

'Major Breweries' currently consists of 9 breweries consisting of nationally recognizable beer brands.

'Microbreweries' are distinguished by adding that "The maximum amount of beer a brewery can produce and still be classed as a microbrewery varies by region and by authority, though is usually around 15,000 barrels (18,000 hectolitres/ 475,000 US gallons) a year."

There are a total of 114 Microbreweries listed in the article. I did note that one microbrewery was closed, so I am unsure how many are still active in the complete list (sorry, no. I won't be crecking them all individually :P)

Brewpubs; restaurants or pubs that have breweries attached to them...34 of them make the Wikipedia list.

157 recognised breweries in for some figures.

Carlton & United Breweries

Producers of Victoria Bitter (VB), Carlton Draught, Melbourne Bitter, Carlton Cold, Carlton Midstrength, Carlton Black, Crown Lager...although I could only produce figures for how much Victoria Bitter (VB) that they produce.

"VB is Australia's only billion dollar retail beer brand and sells the equivalent of one slab (24x375ml cans/bottles (9 Litres) every second"  

9L X 60secs X 60mins X 24hrs X 365days = 283,824,000 Litres per year

Cascade Brewery

36 million litres (

Coopers Brewery

"Production during 2010-11 reached a record 62.9 million litres" - "Coopers continues Record Production" 21/12/2011

Boag's Brewery

J. Boag and Son currently (2010) employes over 150 people and produces over 76,000,000 litres of beer annually.

Tooheys Brewery

Production output: 300 million litres - Citation provided

Providing these figures are true, between these 4 breweries and the most successful beer of just one other major brewery, a total of 758,724,000 litres are brewed! If Australia's population were to be 23 million (it's less) there would be enough beer produced to give everyone over 32 litres.

Thanks for reading :) To wrap things up here's a picture that illustrates what Australian's today think of our collective alcohol consumption...

Marijuana Figures for Australia

Yes sorry everyone, it's another Cannabis-related article. The figures surrounding it are interesting to note.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics: "On 17 March 2012 at 11:55:22 AM (Canberra time), the resident population of Australia is projected to be: 22,860,514" (Source

Whilst the director of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre estimates that 750,000 Australians use cannabis every week, and approximately 300,000 smoke it on a daily basis (Source)

The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey published in April 2008 by The Australian Institute of Health demonstrated that "Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia, with a reported one-third of all Australians aged 14 or older (33.5%, about 5.8 million) having tried cannabis and 1.6 million using it in the past year" (Wikipedia Article: 'Cannabis in Australia')

Okay all this got me thinking some things...

Firstly, despite the laws imposed on Marijuana, evidence shows it to be readily available considering the amount Australian's are purported to consume in a week.

Secondly, the disconnected policy surrounding the States and Territories of Australia not only makes things confusing but it also provides prospects to drug suppliers residing in areas where the penalties are not as severe.

And finally the amount of money that the industry as a whole must make is insane (a technical financial term).

Let's use the figures provided and make some assumptions. 750,000 Australians use cannabis 'every week' - Alright let's say they use it during that week and between everyone combined each of the 750,000 users consume 1 gram of marijuana...that combines for a total of 750kg of Marijuana for one week...or about 39-40 tonnes a year...a little over 105kg on average, per day.

And how much does Marijuana sell for in Australia? According to the Australian Crime Commission (Illicit Drug Data Report 2007-08) "the average price for one gram of cannabis ranged from A$20–A$35, although prices in remote areas can be significantly higher" (Wikipedia Article 'Cannabis in Australia)

...but using prices for one gram wouldn't be accurate. Others say they 'bush weed' can sell for $200 for an ounce (28 grams), which sounds strange but I wanted to use the lowest figures anyhow. So 1g @ $200/oz. prices is equal to ~$7.14 per gram... Multiply that by the 750,000 weekly users @ 1g each and that is equal to $5,355,000 a week.

Of course some smokers wouldn't pay anything for their Marijuana, whilst others would pay a lot more than $200 for 'bush weed'. In any case at the $7.14 per gram price, the 750,000 weekly smokers and based on the figure of an average of 1g for each of them...the supply chain would still make $278,460,000 per year from a total population (i.e. babies, kids, adults, the elderly combined) of less than 23 million.

I think it's about time the Drug Laws associated with Cannabis in Australia reflected reality somewhat and stopped incriminating the unlucky ones that get caught and remove the money supply from the seedy illegal street dealers that can sell for as much as they like and to whoever they want to.

1 Year Old + 15,000+ visitors

Well, 15,000 visitors perhaps since I put up the counter...and actually the 'Birthday' occurred a few days ago...but I digress!

Yes it's been 12 months of blogging away. Usually when I start doing something like this something else grabs my attention and the project eventually fades away. But not this project, and I'm glad :)

Thanks to everyone that has checked out the page and especially to the regulars and those that share my site with others.

I obviously don't get to post as often as I once did which is a major shame but I must say when I do have an idea for the blog that is definitely getting published, it still makes me happy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Internet as "the cloud"

Hi all, sorry's been awhile. I've been seeking inner peace :P

Anyhow I got looking at my old files from when my house first got the internet in the year 2000 (what I asked for for my birthday present that year). A lot of files originated in the years 2000 and 2001 then pretty much stop. Why was that? I got a job in 2001 and did 2 "Information Technology" type subjects in my final 2 years of university which I found I just had "the knack" for and used most of my time looking up old text files, playing games, and playing videos and I didn't really need to use the now aging home PC. That and with my brother and father now using the internet themselves they were infecting the machine with all sorts of malware, including some nasty viruses that gave me nightmares considering I had become the house PC technician.

I got thinking today how things are different now on the internet. Apple Inc and Microsoft (among others?) have really been pushing "cloud computing". So I asked a friend online "Isn't the whole internet pretty much one big open public 'cloud' from a single users perspective? It's someone elses content (or your own) served/provided by someone else" - To which they told me yes as the internet has always been illustrated in network diagram as a cloud...saying this about them"it's out there somewhere, but we're not exactly sure where"...and all websites are 'clouds'.

I quipped saying I thought it was because it's a 'fluffy term' :P He agreed with amusement.

Being a fan of Free Alternatives I am a fan of Google figured that YouTube could be considered a cloud owned by Google that offers legitimate content such as VEVO music video services that is supported via ads and a storefront to purchase?

Whereas other companies using different business models offer the same thing...only more restricted, they don't always offer the ad supported content, and are probably provided at a cost (perhaps hidden).

In any case something else that got me reminiscing was thinking how all my 2000/2001files came from an old Windows 98 computer shared with my dad and my brother using 56.6k dial up using 32MB RAM and a HDD of 4.3GB...which is less than a typical modern-day personal 'cloud' storage space of 5GB providers are offering.

I got back into computers in late 2004 after saving some money from a new full time job and buying a laptop of my own...complete with DVD BURNER! OMG!

Now I'm thinking a phone/portable internet device capable of running Google Apps like Docs, YouTube, Gmail, News, and the Search well as other websites such as Facebook which provide free messaging/community BBS's (essentially) these cheap and available and ultra portable, energy efficient-you name it devices are outperforming  pioneer equipment of the information age.

Now that single devices can provide pretty much everything you could ever want of it, and then some...the question really is what do YOU want to use it for? And when is a full shift to these systems going to occur within the wider population?