What's The Diff?

The things Quicken Loans team members care about and want to share with the world

Tripp Isenhour – pro golfer or pro scumbag?

I vote for pro scumbag.

I came across this yesterday on golf.com and it’s so ridiculous. In case you haven’t heard, pro golfer Tripp Isenhour got a little angry at a red-shouldered hawk that was making noise while he filmed an instructional video. Isenhour decided he’d had enough of the rude interruption and shot golf balls at it until he killed it.

He killed a protected species of bird because it had the nerve to sing and make noise while Isenhour was filming a video that nobody except him probably really cares about.

What an arse.

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Research to turn your tongue into a joy stick

When I first read that on happynews.com, I thought I was on a site I shouldn’t be viewing from work.

Then I read a little more and realized it was a story about how very smart students and researchers at Georgia Tech University are using technology to develop way for disabled folks to use their "tongues like joysticks" to control stuff. From happynews.com:

The group’s Tongue Drive System turns the tongue into a joystick of sorts, allowing the disabled to manipulate wheelchairs, manage home appliances and control computers. The work still has a ways to go — one potential user called the design ”grotesque” — but early tests are encouraging.

The system is far from the first that seeks a new way to control electronics through facial movements. But disabled advocates have particularly high hopes that the tongue could prove the most effective.

”This could give you an almost infinite number of switches and options for communication,” said Mike Jones, a vice president of research and technology at the Shepherd Center, an Atlanta rehabilitation hospital. ”It’s easy, and somebody could learn an entirely different language.”

Pretty impressive! I suggest DIFF readers check out the full article. It’s worth the read.

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Offbeat iReports – fun and amazing photos

CNN's Offbeat iReports has some amazing photosNothing like a great photo.

That’s why I love checking out Offbeat iReports fun and amazing photos.

All photos are user-submitted and "offbeat" – whatever that means.

But, wow, there are some GREAT photos here and I’m not sure why more folks aren’t buzzing about this series. This week the featured photo is a lizard in a swimming pool from Liz Sandoval (that is an awesome photo) and other photos include some great shots of Hawaii and a roller coaster at the California State Fair.

I wonder if someone from Quicken Loans can come up with a photo that could get featured here? I think getting featured here would be a huge honor for us. I’ll start spreading the word. You never know when you’ll end up on one of the world’s most popular websites.

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Häagen-Dazs has a stinger with the Honey Bees

My main girl Kelly LaVaute told me today about a great viral video from Häagen-Dazs with some dancing bees. It’s funny.

Check it out.

I think I could be in that video.

I like the dude who does the Irish stuff.

Kelly found it on the Viral Blog and it truly is viral. The Viral Blog reports it got 2 million views and still going strong. I like it for a number of reasons:

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The Emergency List: When employees aren’t empowered…

I had to share this moment that I had with my apartment complex (Rochester Villas owned by Hartman Tyner) this weekend which is a textbook example of what happens when companies don’t empower their employees to make their own intelligent decisions. It drove me to better appreciate the "ISMS" that we live and work by at Quicken Loans: “It’s not about who is right, but what is right, do the right thing… down with corporate hierarchy…” etc.

So Saturday I head into my bathroom upstairs and notice there are 1,2,3,4,5… (eek!), EIGHT hornets just hanging out in there. Hairbrush, light fixture, dental floss… wherever. And there are no windows in the bathroom. This being an unusual place for hornets to reside, I realized they were coming in from the vents. And even just standing in the bathroom, you could hear their little hornet butts bumping up against the drywall… they were actually IN the walls. I ran outside to figure out where they were coming in, and there was a swarm of about thirty of them at the roofline, each of them traveling in and out from underneath the siding. (Excellent!)

Since my dog and my fiancé are both allergic to hornets I called the “weekend emergency line” for my apartment complex. A woman answered. I explained to her the problem and the potential allergic reaction. Here’s how the conversation went:

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If you don’t think Michael Phelps is the DIFF, you might just be an idiot

The Quicken Loans blog salutes Michael PhelpsBack in the 70s when I was young and trying in vain to graduate from the YMCA’s pollywog swim class (I think I failed it four times before I actually learned how to swim – a result of a incident in Michigan’s Hogback lake that freaked me out on being in water and not being able to touch the bottom) I idolized Mark Spitz.  Mark Spitz was the man and all the kids who wanted to swim wanted to be him. He won seven gold medals in the Oympics, after all. A record that seemed unbreakable.

Well, say hello to the man who broke it. Unless you really hate sports or you just don’t pay attention to any form of media, you know I’m talking about Michael Phelps. Michael (the Machine) Phelps. Man, he is amazing!

Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in Beijing this past week and if that doesn’t qualify as the DIFF,  I don’t know what does.

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The Sushi Detectives use DNA to solve the case of the fake sushi

The Sushi Detectives on the Quicken Loans blogThis is awesome and the kind of story I love to hear. It’s also why I absolutely refuse to eat sushi anywhere except restaurants and grocers that are frequented by Japanese people. I figure if anyone knows how to tell quality from crap when it comes to raw fish, it’s the locals.

Anyway, this story on ccn.com about Kate Stoeckle and Louisa Strauss, two New York high school students who used DNA testing to show that several New York restaurants were selling sushi that was mislabeled, caught my attention and I figured I’d pass it along to DIFF readers who hadn’t heard about it.

I’m really impressed with these two. It’s amazing that they took the iniative and had the knowledge to complete the study and investigation.  Cheating consumers is serious business, even when it’s just selling fish more expensively than should be.

Congratulations to Kate and Louisa for a job well done. Guess what? They are the DIFF!

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Sheila Taormina – the stuff legends are made of

I first heard of Sheila Taormina when I was a freshman at Stevenson High School in Livonia, Michigan. A few years prior, she had walked the same halls of the same high school as I, but Sheila wasn’t just any alumnus, she was an Olympic champion—a legend. Sheila won a gold medal in swimming in the 1996 Atlanta games—her and her teammates finished first in the 4×200 relay. This would be the only time Sheila would appear on the medals stand during an Olympic games, but it was far from the end of Sheila’s Olympic career.

In 2000 and 2004 Sheila returned to the Olympics to compete in the triathlon, and yesterday, at the age of 39, she became the first woman in history to compete in three different Olympic events, completing the pentathlon with a 19th place finish—not bad. Not bad considering Sheila will soon be 40-years-old. Not bad considering this is the first time she has competed in the event. Not bad considering the pentathlon is considered, by many, to be the most challenging of all Olympic events—a series of swimming, horseback riding, pistol shooting, fencing and running. Equally as impressive, she was the first to do what she did—ever. The first in 112 years of the modern Olympic games. The first of over 100,000 athletes to compete in the Olympics. The first and only. That’s epic.

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Help Aimee help others through the American Express Members Project

aimee-bob-leeAs many of you know, Quicken Loans and the DIFF were major supporters of Bob Lee and his Ride for 3 Reasons last summer. Bob, a cancer survior, rode his bicycle 6,500 miles across America (at age 65) to raise money for cancer research, ALS research, and hospice care.

We were very proud to help Bob on his journey, as he blogged his way across the country, meeting folks and telling stories from the road. It was great to watch his progress from his blog. If you’ve never seen the 3 Reasons blog, check it out.

So that brings us to the point of today’s post. Bob asked us to help spread the word about a great cause – helping Amy’s Living Story win the American Express Members project. All you have do is go to a page and vote. It costs nothing and will help Bob’s good friend Aimee Chamernik fight her valiant struggle against ALS. Here’s more from Bob:

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Clean diesel: for fuel economy, for the environment, for the future

Clean Diesel Calculator on the Quicken Loans blogHere’s another pitch from my good friend and favorite resident of Ypsilanti, MI – Charlie Kondek from MS&L Digital. I like Charlie for a number of good reasons, two being:

1) He’s the only white boy I’ve ever met that heard about and hung out at the long-defunct but legendary U.N. Club. The U.N. Club was one of the places that thrived during Detroit’s early Techno scene. Owner Maurice Malone left Detroit for New York after the U.N. Club closed and made himself one of the top names in urban fashion.

2) He makes my life easy by pitching me all these great posts for the Quicken Loans blog.

So this one is about clean diesel and how its great for many (as you can see by the post title it’s good for the economy, the environment and the future).  Here’s more from Charlie:

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Today's Date:
Sunday, January 21, 2018