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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!


First you gotta wrap!



Then you get 2 Minutes of Santa Fails

(via THD)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Video with Penguins

So I obviously had to post.


(thanks to Mike)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

San Diego Traffic- Sorted by Color


Poor electric blue cars...


Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Color: San Diego Study #3 from Cy Kuckenbaker on Vimeo.
The source footage for this video is a 4-minute shot from the Washington Street bridge above State Route 163 in San Diego captured at 2:39pm Oct 1, 2013. My aim is to reveal the color palette and color preferences of contemporary San Diego drivers in addition to traffic patterns and volumes. There are no CG elements, these are all real cars that have been removed from one sample and reorganized.
(via THD)

Ship Your Trousers!

I may be incredibly immature, but I find these KMart commercials to be hilarious.

New one for the holiday season:


Old one.

REAL Sign Language Interpreter translates Mandela Memorial Imposter

This is great.

'Sign Language Interpreter Translates Mandela Memorial Impostor's Signs'


(Jimmy Kimmel via FailBlog)

Horrible Tattoos Photoshopped on to Real Photos

I thought these were pretty amusing.
(Also, when did About.com start creating its own content?)

Here are a few:



Didn't even know this was supposed to be a bear...


Somehow it's made even creepier...
Nightmares for days...


Simba??


And....


The return of Sad Puma!!
Oddly enough I get more hits on this blog for people looking for that guy than anything else.
I owe it all to you, Sad Puma.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Eden's Paper

Wrapping paper embedded with vegetable seeds that you can plant after unwrapping!

Sounds pretty cool...

Video from their Kickstarter (now over):

Developed by UK-based creative agency BEAF, the paper comes in five different designs, each reflecting the kind of seeds embedded within them. Available in tomato, onion, carrot, broccoli and chili variants, the paper is made from 100 percent recycled materials and biodegradable tissue, which contains the seeds. The design is printed with organic vegetable ink and no glue is used. Rather than sending it to landfill after the Christmas festivities are over, users can bury the discarded wrapping in their gardens or plant pots in order to grow the vegetables. Currently funding on Kickstarter, backers can get their hands on the products from GBP 5 for one 45cm x 70cm sheet, or can mix and match ten sheets for GBP 38. The video below offers more information about the project (via Springwise)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

U.S. Bond Holders

Interesting graph from a Quartz article:



The (false) fun fact that China owns most of our debt is not remotely true anymore...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Eraser/Erased

Randomly saw the poster for the movie "Erased" with Aaron Eckart.

Thought it looked/sounded a little familiar...


I haven't seen the new movie, but I guarantee nothing beats a 90s Arnold movie.

School's Out!

Finished with school for the semester... It's time to get back to posting!

Few recents from lamebook:





Sunday, December 8, 2013

This is freaking amazing.



I love nothing more than a maniac, especially when that maniac decides to go fully rogue at a ballet recital in front of an audience of adoring parents, especially especially when that maniac is an adorable pre-schooler who I can only hope will one day be the model citizen for my own child. 
The music begins and this girl leaps out of the starting gate like it’s the Kentucky Derby, waving her arms and flapping her legs like she’s Shirley Temple hopped up on sugar from her own eponymous drink. (Whoever was in charge of filming this recital knows what’s up, btw, and hit that zoom lens ASAP like a pro. They probably missed their own kid’s boring tap-tap-kick but it was worth it. “Sorry, Maisie, I wasn’t able to film you because your classmate Sandra was reenacting the opening scene of STOMP.”) 
Our girl can’t stop won’t stop and doesn’t stop. Even when the music ends and she’s blown kisses to her fans, this two-stepping toddler starts krumping like she’s the last act of Step Up. (The Man Repeller, I don't know.. someone posted the link on Facebook)


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Orchestral Flash Mob?

Everyone is really starting to hate flashmobs, but this one is pretty awesome:
"On the 130th anniversary of the founding of Banco Sabadell we wanted to pay homage to our city by means of the campaign "Som Sabadell" (We are Sabadell) . This is the flashmob that we arranged as a final culmination with the participation of 100 people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l'Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs."


Not just a bunch of sub-par dancers shaking around disrupting everyone's day!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Columbus Day!!

Celebrating a guy who wandered onto already-inhabited-land, thought it was someplace else, then is credited for "discovering" it once they realized it was a new place.

Take it, Louis!:


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"The Adjustment Bureau"

Meant to post this a while ago, but just remembered to do so...

Anyone else see the movie "The Adjustment Bureau" with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt?
I thought it was a solid, entertaining movie...

Anyway, I also thought the story was a little familiar and realized the plot is actually a combination of two other movies.

It illustrate (and because I need a picture for this post):

I won't go into too much detail in case you haven't seen any of these movies, but the fate aspect plays heavily in all of them.
Of course they all take their own separate paths and conclusions...

Thoughts? Agree/disagree?

Also- "Bureau" is a really odd/annoying word to spell.
Also #2- "Bureaucracy" is even worse.
Also #3- If you haven't seen any and had to pick one, I'd recommend "Serendipity". It is one of my all-time favorite John Cusack movies. Scratch that. It is tied with "High Fidelity" for my all-time favorite John Cusack movies. Don't listen to those "Say Anything" fans... that's Cusack's most overrated film.

That's all.
Happy Hump Day!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Drew Carey & Penn Jillette

Found out about Penn Jillette's webcase from Reason.com.

This episode was pretty amusing (only I've listened to so far).

They talk about a whole bunch of things, including Libertarianism, but here are a couple particularly funny parts to note:

0:44:00
"If you're a libertarian, every election you're sad. Every election, if you're a libertarian, you're going to feel like you were playing Monopoly and you got up to go to the bathroom for five minutes. And when you came back, everybody made a trade and fucked you out of the game."

After that they launch into a deep discussion into Monopoly. As a big Monopoly/board game fan, I thought this was awesome.

1:00:00
Drew Carey starts talking about "The Price is Right".
One of the funniest parts is when he explains that he sometimes tries to help contestants out by hinting at the order they should attack a game, then they just do the exact opposite.

Each episode is pretty long (about 1.5hrs each), which may keep me from listening to more, but they all sound interesting.

Here's the episode I've referenced, below:




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chipotle Adventurrito Answers: Day 6!!

I don't have the answer to today's Adventurrito yet...
But keep checking here: http://www.covervoter.com/adventurrito/
They're usually one of the first to get it (and post correct answers).


*UPDATE* Must be a new record... Answers are up already!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Chipotle Adventurrito Answers: Day 5 is up!

Here again: http://www.covervoter.com/adventurrito/
(Easier than me re-typing them)

Hint:  ;-P

*UPDATE* Anyone else having trouble submitting their answers??

*UPDATE 2* Finally got it to submit. Used IE instead of Chrome. I've heard Safari works too.


WSJ: Should Colleges Charge Engineering Students More?

The Wall Street Journal recently put out an article reviewing a study hypothesizing that college majors with higher earning potentials should be charged more than others.
The study proposes that because industries like nursing, engineering, and and business have the potential to earn more money over their career, they could afford to pay more upfront in tuition costs.

I don't disagree with a strategy that ties market demand/costs into tiered pricing, but this is the completely wrong approach and if schools are smart about their long-term growth, they will never implement the tiered pricing as suggested.

Here are a few reasons this makes no sense at all and schools should consider doing the opposite of what was studied:

1. We need more, not fewer, STEM graduates

Paul Kedrosky recently posted this graph on his twitter account:

Not only are we falling behind in test scores, but the number of STEM graduates we are producing is plummeting. To stay competitive in the international market, we need to produce more well-educated workers.
Obviously, as the study found, the schools that implemented such a pricing structure saw drops in enrollment for those programs (except for nursing). In fact, counter to the study's proposal, colleges should consider the opposite and charge LESS for high potential degrees to encourage more students to pursue careers in STEM industries.

However, simple market needs will not drive a college's policy, they need financial incentive to change their ways.

2. Supply what the market demands

Already, demand is high to fill nursing and engineering positions. As Baby Boomers age, this problem will continue to grow. A school known for supplying well-prepared students to fill these positions will clearly give a school an edge over its competition when potential students are deciding where to go.

Additionally, more directly tied to a college's bottom line....

3. High Earners can donate more

A good way to breed resentment among students and ensure they will not give back as alumni?: Charge them more
A primary focus of many colleges is to increase their endowment, primarily through fundraising/donations by alumni. If a school is charging me more for my degree than someone else, why would I want to give back? Wouldn't I feel that I am just subsidizing that other student's degree?

A more intelligent strategy would be to foster a connection to high earning potential students to encourage giving back to the school, which in turn would grow the schools standing and create greater value for the graduate's degree.
Further, as these students will earn more, they will have the ability to donate more.

Again, in this case, if not keeping tuition the same, it makes more sense to charge these students less.


Clearly, the study was a hypothetical for following the decisions of a few schools. Hopefully these schools have learned from this short-sighted and ill-conceived attempt to illicit more upfront profit from potential high earners. However, the fact that this structure is already in place shows how out of touch academia is with the real world and even basic economic principles.
Unfortunately, as public universities (those in the study), any deficit they run will be paid for by taxpayers; thus they may not have incentive to modify their policies to optimize long-term strategies. Instead, they will act to mollify the public complaining of high tuition costs by discouraging students from the industries we need the most.




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chipotle's Adventurrito Answers: Day 4

Haven't found it yet, but check this site for the latest: http://www.covervoter.com/adventurrito/
They've been one of the first to get it everyday so far.

*UPDATE* Answer is up on that site!


And soon I will be able to... *Maniacal laugh... maniacal laugh...*

A Lesson in Social Media Capitalization: Chipotle's Adventurrito Contest

As you can see from my previous two posts, I've been following Chipotle's Adventurrito campaign.
I've also been posting answers to the daily puzzles and see how Google search results are affected by people searching for the answers.

It's been pretty incredible to see the results:


Chipotle posts a new puzzle every night at 10:20 PM.
The tip of the spike in traffic is the 10-11 PM count. Also interesting is the secondary bump which occurs between 9-10 AM. Presumably this is when most people (East coast) get into work and I guess Adventurrito is one of the first things they do.

By far, these have been the most popular posts I have had on this blog. (Side note: I have no idea how people make money from ads. Maybe I'm not doing it right, but I've made about $1 off Google Adsense. How many hits do you need to make a living??).

Anyway, as the post states, I've also been throwing the site up on social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) to see how those sources drive traffic.
Interestingly enough, these sources seem to push traffic during the initial (10-11 PM) hour then die down quickly after. Overnight and throughout the day today, searches have kept traffic coming to my site.

Top search terms:
adventurrito answers

adventurrito answer 3

adventurrito day 3

adventurrito answer

adventurrito

chipotle adventurrito answers

adventurrito day 3 answer

adventurrito answer day 3

adventurrito answers day 3

chipotle day 3 answer



Overall, it's been a very interesting learning experience.
I'll keep posting daily answers to see how far this will go and do another write up as interesting aspects of it pop up.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chipotle's Adventurrito Day 3 Answers are up!

Instead of posting the answers everyday, just check out my source: http://www.covervoter.com/adventurrito/

Chipotle's Adventurrito Answers!

In case you haven't heard of it yet, Chipotle is celebrating their 20th anniversary with a trivia/scavenger hunt game called "Adventurrito".

You have to sign up, but you can win free burritos for 20 years!

Got the first two questions already.
Day 1: "Porkutopia"
Day 2: "Lat: 48.872007, Lon: 2.340091"
Day 3: 3, 2013, 20, 7305, 3, 2, 411, 140, 2, 20, 10, 20, 50, 2063
Day 4: "Supersized pig on Steroids"
Day 5:
     1. Usually when you roll something this good, it's illegal.
     2. The Happy Pill. Now in a 567,000 mg dose.
     3. Open wide, no wider.
     4. The gourmet restaurant where you eat with your hands.
     5. They beep when they backup.
Day 6: Alex, Steve, Monty
Day 7: 758524899876
Day 8:
Day 9:
Day 10:
Day 11:
Day 12:
Day 13:


I got the Adventurrito answers from this site: Adventurrito Answers
Definitely check back there for the rest of them!

Just be sure to give me a few of those free burritos if you win. You can't eat one every week... that's terrible for you!





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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Another Random Marriage Law

I was reading about the Aaron Hernandez case and saw this tidbit:
By law, Hernandez's fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, who is also the mother of his 7-month-old daughter, would not have to testify against the former Patriots tight end if they were married. Prosecutors said last week that investigators had been speaking with Jenkins until she received a telephone call from Hernandez telling her to stop talking to authorities.
As previously stated, many of the the laws/benefits of marriage make no sense to me.

While this may make sense because a spouse would know intimate details about an accused person, why should they get that benefit?
To build a strong case, wouldn't the opposition want access to that intimate knowledge? If they are withholding information, shouldn't they be charged with obstruction?
A trustworthy spouse seems like the perfect cover for any criminal...

Any lawyers out there (Alejandro) know the reasoning for this?


Friday, June 28, 2013

Marriage...

that bwessid arrangement... That dweam wiffin a dweam...
I could keep going all day with 'Princess Bride' quotes, but what I originally wanted to say...


The Supreme Court's decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the days leading up to it, had me thinking about the institution of marriage as a whole.

First, while I was happy with it, I have to admit that I was not as excited about the decision as some of my friends or, obviously, those featured in the media. As a straight male, the ruling did not directly affect me, but this is not the reason for my lack of enthusiasm.


To me, the decision was inevitable. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution clearly states that all people are equal and protected equally in the eyes of the government and of the law. What was actually most surprising to me was the 5-4 majority that rejected DOMA. How can Justices, among the best and brightest in the country, consider any other outcome? I will admit that I have not read the response of the dissenting Justices (Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas), but how do you write a response that refuses a group of people the right to marry and justify it around the unambiguous intentions of the 14th Amendment?

Obviously you cannot. So, despite it being their primary objective, the four dissenting Justices allowed personal beliefs and politics to enter in their decisions. While disappointing, this is not surprising.

Until the recent tide of outward public support for gay marriage, even liberal politicians in liberal states were still supporting "civil unions" that would see the same rights as heterosexual "marriages". They did this to avoid the perceived political stigma of supporting anything less than the definition of marriage as being solely between a man and a woman. However, this was nothing more than "separate but equal" targeting a different group of people.


It is here that I find my biggest gripe in the definition of marriage:
Why does the government have a say at all in setting this definition?

Marriage is an agreement (or contract) between two people (we’ll come back to that number in a bit). The purpose of government is to protect its people; thus, its only involvement in marriage should be the protection of rights of the married regardless of whom the contract is between. These rights include: visitation, medical decisions, and child care & support.

I believe there are two primary reasons for the extreme division of beliefs on gay marriage.

1. Religion
I am no biblical scholar, but from what I've read and heard, there are no passages in the Bible denouncing gay marriage. There are passages condemning homosexuality, so this is a slight misdirection; but to those who claim “the Bible does not approve of gay marriage”, you can now respond “it doesn't disapprove of it either”.

Additionally, my favorite counter to those who prefer to take the Bible literally, word-for-word, is citing out-of-date references such as: stoning of children, stating men are worth more than women, the prohibition of shaving beards, and... polygamy.

Often opponents of gay marriage will ask, "What's next? Can I marry a goat?" While they may want to, the state still does not recognize human-animal unions. To me, this is just a deliberate oversight in the state's definition of marriage that I do not think has to be addressed. What I do not understand is how/when polygamy became frowned upon and made illegal.

If the opposition to gay marriage originates from the Bible, this cannot be where the opposition to polygamy comes from as there are numerous examples of many Biblical "heroes" having multiple wives. Again, if marriage is a contract between individuals to join together and share assets, why can this contract not include more than two people?* (*Side note: This sets me on another tangent about the biological origins of marriage that I will have to expand upon in a later post. In short, polygamy actually makes more sense from the aspect of our communal societal origins.)

Finally, what should negate all of this, the separation of church and state. This should eliminate any discussion of religious influence for two reasons: 1) it explicitly forbids the inclusion of religious beliefs in government law, and 2) as you are free to practice any religion you wish, you are also free to practice no religion and be free of persecution for your beliefs or lack thereof.

That’s the short end of a complex topic, but let’s moves on to…

2. Taxes
I have to bring everything back to my distaste for big government and taxes, but this is actually relevant here! Because of allowances in the tax code, marriage is monetarily incentivized by the government. That is, you save on taxes when you get married and file as such.

In addition to income taxes deductions, you can save and share in a multitude of benefits including: sharing of Social Security and Medicaid, property taxes, unemployment, and insurance, to name a few.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is the tax-free transfer of property in life and in death (inheritance). In fact, DOMA was brought before SCOTUS on appeals to the ruling of ‘United States v. Windsor’. If taxes were removed for transactions between family members and on inheritance (whose idea what that??), there would be less incentive to even define yourself as a married couple in the eyes of the state.

If financial incentives are eliminated, government will not have any role in defining marriage, nor should it.
A marriage contract would dictate the benefits and rights of the involved parties (visitation/medical/children) as the individuals see fit. That is, people could have a ceremony celebrating their commitment to one another however and whenever they want. No marriage "license" or "authorized" officiant needed.


Ultimately, the more personal we make it and the fewer people telling us how to define marriage the better.

(Not a good conclusion, but this is getting long winded and I want to wrap it up. I also got to touch on all my favorite topics: government, religion, and individual liberties! Rambling as it may be, this post is a win in my book).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Apparently, I need to be Saved.


I was not aware that YouTube had private messages until I got this message from ymes2:
Hi, my dear friend.
The reason that you are reading this, is that I want to tell you the most important thing in your life.

Do you know that there is life after death ? Do you know that after you die, you will have to spend your eternity in HEAVEN or HELL ?

Do you know that HEAVEN is a wonderful place ? Do you know that Heaven is eternal happiness ?

On the other hand, do you know that HELL is a terrible place ? Do you know that Hell was created for the devil and his demons ?
There is only sorrow, misery and suffering... FOREVER !

Please, think about this and take this message seriously because this is not a fantasy, this is not a joke... It's about your eternity !

Please, I want you to go into Heaven - God's Kingdom. I want you to live forever in happiness !

The way to heaven is through JESUS CHRIST alone !
Jesus Christ is the ONLY way, He is the Truth and the Life !

Don't believe those who say that everyone goes to heaven... Those are only lies, please be careful ! Without Jesus Christ no one will enter Heaven !

We are all sinners (Lust, Hate, Lie, Theft), we have broken the commandments of God and we all deserve to be judged.

Jesus Christ - The Son of God - God Himself, came into this world and He paid our disobedience by dying on the cross for us, for our sins, and through His shed blood our sins are forgiven and we can live in victory. He was raised from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures.


How to be saved:

- Pray to Jesus Christ and ask for forgiveness, Forsake Your Sins, Believe in Jesus Christ, Start a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Keep a relationship with Jesus Christ until the end, and you will be saved.

You will live your eternity in heaven !

It doesn't matter what you've done, it doesn't matter who you are, Turn to Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

-

Jesus Christ said:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The Holy Bible - John 3:16

-

Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The Holy Bible - John 14:6

-

This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

The Holy Bible - 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

-

Jesus Christ is the Only One who can save you, He is The Way, The Truth and The Life, please turn to Him, now !

-

If you want, you can watch some testimonies, please take a look at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou7N2wyv8PA

-

Please, do not ignore this message, think about it seriously... Open your heart to Jesus Christ !

I wish you all the best,


----\\\

If this was Facebook, maybe; Twitter, definitely; but I'm not terribly active in the YouTube community (I just like watching all the cat videos), so I'm not sure what warranted the concern about my eternal soul...

But thanks for looking out for me, ymes2!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mildly Infuriating

I know I don't usually post random internet things anymore, but I recently stumbled across this sub-reddit and thought it was hilarious.

As the name suggests, Mildly Infuriating is filled with objects of mild-infuriation.

Here are a few, with the poster's comments/title (pardon the language):


I have to deal with this every time I need toilet paper

Are you fucking kidding..

Good way to ruin my morning.

Why do we need two movies with the same plot and pretty much the same title?

But there's nothing wrong with it!

Why the fuck would you do this

I think it's amusing because in part we commiserate with them, but also because we like to laugh at other people's suffering and annoyance.
Or maybe that's just me.

What do you find "mildly infuriating"?