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Through the Filters: Jeremy Lin on How to Get Into Harvard

By Brian | February 13, 2012

This just goes to show you, even when you’re the biggest star in the NBA, the stupid crap you did as a college student stays around to haunt you:

Categories: Through the Filters | 1 Comment »

Ch-Ch-Changes – Week #6

By Brian | February 8, 2012

Welcome back to Ch-Ch-Changes. Here is the puzzle for Week #6:

See if you can spot the SEVEN things I changed in this photo of Usain Bolt setting the world record for the 100-meter dash at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing:




(Clicking on the photographs will make them bigger, and arrow left/right will toggle between them when they’re big)


One point will be awarded for each correctly identified change. Answers will be posted on Monday morning. Comments will go into a moderation queue until the contest is over…

Good luck!

Categories: Ch-Ch-Changes | 4 Comments »

Through the Filters: The Ferris Bueller Superbowl Ad

By Brian | February 7, 2012

This has been floating around the Internet for a while now, but when it aired on the Superbowl, it was cut down to a much shorter version of the original, which I thought was a crying shame. So, in case you missed it, I’m posting it here in all its glory:

In looking it up on YouTube, I also found this, which is a rather clever side-by-side comparison of the commercial and the scenes from the original movie that it parodies:

Enjoy, folks. And remember – the question isn’t what videos you’re going to watch today, it’s what videos you aren’t going to watch today… ;-)

Categories: Through the Filters | No Comments »

Ch-Ch-Changes – Week #5

By Brian | February 1, 2012

Welcome back to Ch-Ch-Changes. Here is the puzzle for Week #5:

See if you can spot the ELEVEN things I changed in this familiar scene from THE SIMPSONS:




(Clicking on the photographs will make them bigger, and arrow left/right will toggle between them when they’re big)


One point will be awarded for each correctly identified change. Answers will be posted on Monday morning. Comments will go into a moderation queue until the contest is over…

Good luck!

Categories: Ch-Ch-Changes | 3 Comments »

Ch-Ch-Changes: Solution – Week #4

By Brian | January 31, 2012

Welcome back to Ch-Ch-Changes. It’s time to reveal the solution to the Week #4 puzzle:


The nine changes to this picture were:

  1. The friends are looking at an oven timer instead of their keys to the apartment
  2. The cabinets above the fridge have handles
  3. The light fixture next to the cabinets is gone
  4. Ross is wearing blue jeans intsead of khakis
  5. Chandler is wearing glasses
  6. Rachel is wearing a watch
  7. Monica is wearing a TGI Friday’s pin on her jean jacket
  8. Joey has a Lacoste logo on his shirt
  9. Phoebe isn’t wearing leggings anymore

Click here to see all of your guesses from the original post.

Congrats to all who guessed correctly. The scores after three weeks are as follows:

Player Correct Answers
Ilya 30
Michael Weinmayr 27
Konstantin 26
Jeff Porten 14
Joe Woods 5
Harlan Freilicher (via Facebook) 4

See you next Wednesday! And remember – comments on the puzzle post will be moderated, so you can all guess independently of each other!

Thanks for playing…

Categories: Ch-Ch-Changes | No Comments »

Through the Filters: If All the Debates Were Like This, I’d Watch Them…

By Brian | January 30, 2012

See, it still wouldn’t matter what they were saying, but at least it’d be funny:

Categories: Through the Filters | No Comments »

Ch-Ch-Changes – Week #4

By Brian | January 25, 2012

Welcome back to Ch-Ch-Changes. Here is the puzzle for Week #4:

See if you can spot the NINE things I changed in this final scene from FRIENDS:




(Clicking on the photographs will make them bigger, and arrow left/right will toggle between them when they’re big)


One point will be awarded for each correctly identified change. Answers will be posted on Monday morning. Comments will go into a moderation queue until the contest is over…

Good luck!

Categories: Ch-Ch-Changes | 5 Comments »

Ch-Ch-Changes: Solution – Week #3

By Brian | January 24, 2012

Welcome back to Ch-Ch-Changes. It’s time to reveal the solution to the Week #3 puzzle:


The eight changes to this picture were:

  1. The road sign on the left side of the road that says, “Caution: Beatles Crossing”
  2. The VW Bug parked on the left is light blue instead of light yellow
  3. John Lennon’s sneakers have Adidas stripes on them
  4. Ringo Starr has had his beard shaved
  5. The people on the sidewalks (both sides) have been removed
  6. The cars driving on the road in the distance have also been removed
  7. Paul McCartney is not holding a cigarette
  8. George Harrison is holding (Paul’s?) cigarette

…and NEW THIS WEEK: Click here to see, for the first time, all of your guesses.

Also, a minor apology: several people guessed that the two groups of people I removed from the sidewalks were two separate changes (I had counted them as one). In those cases, I e-mailed the contestants and told them they were missing one, just to make it fair. In the future, I will try to make each change “hang together” as one, obvious change. Ah well, you get what you pay for, right? And this thing is free… ;-)

Anyway, congrats to all who guessed correctly. The scores after three weeks are as follows:

Player Correct Answers
Ilya 21
Konstantin 18
Michael Weinmayr 18
Jeff Porten 6
Joe Woods 5
Harlan Freilicher (via Facebook) 4

See you next Wednesday! And remember – next week, comments will be moderated, so you can all guess independently of each other!

Thanks for playing…

Categories: Ch-Ch-Changes | No Comments »

Through the Filters: Obama Sings!

By Brian | January 20, 2012

I was very impressed with this:

This makes Obama only the second politician I can remember (after Bill Clinton) to do something musical in public and not come off looking foolish. I also love that he basically did it on a dare from whoever he’s talking to offstage.

Categories: Political Rantings, Through the Filters | No Comments »

In the news…

By Brian | January 20, 2012

I promised myself when I started blogging again that I’d stay away from overtly political posts, but I saw a couple of articles in the news lately that I found interesting in various ways, so I thought I’d share:

BP Makes Amends
When the oil spill first occurred back in April of 2010, environmentalists claimed the damage could last for years, if not decades. Economists predicted economic doom for the Gulf region, already damaged by past hurricanes and other natural disasters. But now, less than two years later, we read this in the New York Times:

BP has performed quite admirably in [the] aftermath. It has spared no expense in cleaning up the oil. It has set aside $1 billion to restore the environment and coastal ecosystem. It underwrote an advertising campaign to lure tourists back to the Gulf Coast. Today, less than two years after the spill, the beaches are sparkling, most fishermen are working and many of the hotels are full.

At the urging of President Obama, BP also agreed to set up a $20 billion fund to compensate anyone who could show that they’d been economically harmed by the accident. Ken Feinberg, the former administrator of the Sept. 11 victim compensation fund, was put in charge of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, as it was named. Feinberg has since paid out $6.3 billion to nearly 200,000 claimants. Daniel Becnel, a lawyer who has settled thousands of claims, says that his clients often receive more money from Feinberg than they would have if they had gone to court. “You couldn’t have done a better job than Feinberg did,” says Becnel.

So kudos all around. BP, the corporate villain who was accused of caring more about profits than people, has done the right thing. Our government stepped in to help and actually made the process more effective and efficient than it otherwise would have been. And the people of the Gulf Coast worked hard, rebuilt, and are now reaping the benefits – despite a continuing tough economy.

The widening pay gap on Wall Street
We read all the time about big Wall Street bonuses and how those rich bankers take every opportunity to reward themselves with sky-high bonuses while “the 99%” suffer. But here’s a pretty clear depiction of how the financial crisis affected Wall Street firms:

Now, before everyone jumps all over me, I’m not suggesting that $128,000 is a small amount of money, or that the average Wall Street worker is suffering. But it is noteworthy that the average bonus dropped 44% when the crisis hit, and is still 28% below pre-crisis levels. And, according to the article, the 2011 bonuses will likely average $77,000-$90,000 (a 30-40% drop from 2010), or less than the immediate post-crisis figures of 2008. Again: my point is not to launch a telethon for the poor Wall Street bankers, or to suggest that someone making a base salary plus a $90,000 bonus deserves any kind of pity. Instead, I think it’s interesting to note that the industry does police itself pretty effectively when it comes to compensation, despite the lack of any major regulations requiring them to do so.

As an aside: the article attempts to call out Wall Street firms for paying their “top performers” higher bonuses than everyone else. Anyone who’s ever worked in a meritocracy realizes how hollow this criticism rings. Whatever the bonus pool – down 30-40% or up 30-40%, one should always expect the larger share to go to the strongest performers. That is, after all, why they call it “incentive compensation.” In a base+bonus pay model, a prominent reason for putting some portion of the pay “at risk” is to allow companies to reward strong performers relative to weaker ones. And, in a down year like 2011, I don’t think a reward of “same as last year” is overly excessive for those performing at the peak.

Categories: News and/or Media, Political Rantings | 2 Comments »


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