What's The Diff?

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

Turn the Flash on, it’s National Photography Month!

May is National Photography Month, and that means taking photos, learning more about photography and maybe even investing in a brand new camera.  Even though May is almost over, the photos don’t have to end.  In fact, you’ll probably take more photos in the next few months of beautiful weather, fun vacations and more.  So bring out your camera and challenge yourself to take photos that reflect your personality or bring out the creativity in you.  Don’t be afraid to try different settings because there’s something to be said about photos that are not perfect.

I personally love photography and am well known around the office and among my friends and family to be official paparazzi whenever something’s going on.  Hey, I figure you never know when the President or the Pope might walk by…so my camera is always with me.

I thought I’d share six of my favorite photographers whom I admire for their style and ability to evoke emotion.  Check out more about each of them below and maybe you’ll be inspired to find the Ansel in you!

Nature and Environment

Human Emotion

Fashion and Society

Do you have any favorite photographers?  What makes their work special to you?

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Wow, What a Ride!

Happy Sally Ride Day!

Today we honor the birth date of Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space.

Born in Encino, Calif., on May 26, 1951, Ride’s first love was tennis and she pursued a professional tennis career before enrolling at Stanford University to study physics and English.

In 1977, while looking for postdoctoral work in astrophysics, she read about NASA’s search for astronauts and decided to apply. More than 8000 people applied, 35 spots were filled, and Ride was one of six women selected.

After completing extensive training in gravity and weightlessness, water survival, parachute jumping, navigation and more, she was eligible for assignment.

She served as mission specialist aboard STS-7, the second flight of the Space Shuttle “Challenger,” which launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on June 18, 1983 and returned 147 hours later. After becoming the first American woman in space, her next flight was October 5, 1984, on STS 41-G, which launched from KSC and returned 197 hours later.

In January 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger exploded and Ride ended her current mission training to serve as a member of the Presidential Commission to investigate the tragedy.

She then worked at NASA Headquarters focusing on long-term strategic planning for the space program. Ride retired from NASA in 1987, and in 1989, she was named Professor of Physics and Director of the California Space Institute at the University of California.

Ten years later, Ride took space education to a new level.  She joined space.com, a website dedicated to the space industry, and started EarthKAM, an Internet-based project that lets middle school kids take photographs of Earth from space and download them. In 2001, she founded Sally Ride Science, an organization that provides support for youth interested in science, math and technology. She has also written and collaborated on five children’s books.

Ride has been and continues to serve on numerous boards and councils and has received the National Spaceflight Medal twice, the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the Women’s Research and Education Institute’s American Woman Award, and many more. She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame on June 21, 2003.

To learn more about space and educational opportunities, check out the following websites:

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National Bike To Work Day – Detroit

Detroit Ride Your Bike To Work Day - Ferndale Stop

Happy National Bike Month! Today is National Bike to Work Day and I had the pleasure of taking part in a 9 mile commute to downtown Detroit this morning. The ride was organized by Detroit Synergy, a group committed to generating positive perceptions and opinions about the city of Detroit. I have been wanting to commute on my bike for a while, but had been a little hesitant to ride my bike down Woodward Avenue alone. Continue reading “National Bike To Work Day – Detroit” »

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Gosh. It’s The Napoleon Dynamite Animated Trailer.

I just found out that Napoleon Dynamite might get its own animated show next year on FOX. So, if you miss seeing Napoleon and Pedro show off their skills, like numchuck skills and computer skills, then you will be excited to see them back as much as I am. Heck yes.

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National Dance Like A Chicken Day

As a frequent wedding attender and dance aficionado, I am all about the group dances. They get everyone out on the dance floor, they are typically pretty easy to do, everyone looks equally ridiculous doing them, and they’re just darn good, clean fun.

I say:

“Blare the hokey-pokey!”

“Unleash the Macarena!”

“Where is a fun place to stay? THE YMCA!”

Take a moment today to honor a song that transcends weddings and finds itself suitable for any age, gender or roller-skating rink. Today is National Dance Like A Chicken Day.

Big props to the Lawrence Welk Show (and accordions in general) for the video.

Originally titled “Der Ententanz” (The Duck Dance), the Chicken Dance was created by Swiss accordion player (and well known bad-ass) Werner Thomas of Davos, Switzerland in the 1950’s.

So while you may not own a full size chicken suit (although, I’m sure a disturbing number of people probably do), make sure you do the Chicken Dance today with all the funky chickens across the globe doing likewise.


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Do you suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia?

Friday the 13thFor those of you who suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia, or phobia of Friday the 13th, my thoughts are with you. For those that have a less debilitating fear of this day, hope you have a lucky Friday the 13th…?

The beginning of the Friday the 13th superstition is unclear. However, most people consider this day unlucky for many reasons. Here are a couple of theories about the origin of Friday the 13th:

  1. There is a superstition that the number 13 is unlucky. For instance, airlines will not have row number 13 and a lot of buildings skip floor 13. In numerology the number 12 is considered the number of completeness (e.g. 12 months of the year, 12 hours of the clock…you get the idea). The number thirteen was seen as “irregular” and disruptive to this “completeness.”
  2. Friday has been considered unlucky at least since the 14th century. Also, some Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on a Friday and therefore is an unlucky day.

If Friday the 13th scares you so much that you wish you could stay in bed all day in order to avoid it – You’re not alone! According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C., it’s estimated that 17 to 21 million people the U.S. are affected by fear of this day. And approximately $800 and $900 million in productivity is lost on this day.

However, if your fear of this day is less severe, here are five things you can do on this day:

  1. Friday + pseudo-holiday = Party! Invite friends and use decorations such as black cats, paper ladders, and the number 13. Think of it as the second Halloween of the year.
  2. Watch Friday the 13th and other scary movies.
  3. Make a trip to a scary or haunted place.
  4. Research information about Friday the 13th and superstitions.
  5. Carry on with your daily activities and think of today as a regular day. In other words, don’t let a superstition turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy by thinking yourself into accidents.

What about you? What are your plans for Friday the 13th?

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Nick Gilbert – 2011 National Children’s Tumor Foundation Ambassador Represents Cavaliers @ NBA Lottery

Breaking News…

The kind I love to share…

Nick Gilbert, son of Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, is representing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the upcoming NBA draft lottery on May 17, 2011.

That’s a pretty cool experience for an inspiring 14-year old from metro Detroit. Nick is also the 2011 National Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) Ambassador. As the 2011 CTF ambassador, Nick’s role as the Cavaliers on-stage representative comes with important additional responsibilities – including raising awareness for the battle against nuerofibromatosis (NF). Nick Gilbert was born with NF more than 14 years ago (more info on this in the press release below).

Congrats Nick. Have a wonderful day on the 17th and continue all the great things you do!

Read the full release below: Continue reading “Nick Gilbert – 2011 National Children’s Tumor Foundation Ambassador Represents Cavaliers @ NBA Lottery” »

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Dan Gilbert – A Detroit Visionary!

WXYZ’s Detroit 2020 recently featured Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, discussing his take on downtown Detroit’s future. Here’s some info from their website:

“Dan Gilbert wants to help Detroit become prosperous again.  And he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

The Chairman of Quicken Loans is moving 2,000 more workers from the suburbs to the heart of downtown Detroit.

Gilbert tells Detroit 2020 his company is talking to Apple about bring a retail store to the Chase Tower, which he recently bought.  Many of the workers coming downtown will be working at the Chase building.

Quicken Loans is the nation’s largest online lender.  Inside their headquarters at the Compuware Building, the atmosphere is Google-esque…with a ping-pong table, a slushy machine, and popcorn.  It’s also open, airy and colorful.

Gilbert also has companies that invest in entrepreneurs, which he believes are key to the city’s turnaround.

Channel 7′s Carolyn Clifford talked one-on-one with Gilbert:”

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Quicken Loans Helps Nigerian Student Reunite With Mom After 10 Years

Sometimes you read something that makes you proud. Proud to be part of an organization that does great things for people. Sometimes those people are people you’ve never heard of.

This is one of those times.

Here’s the recap: USA Today and the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday about Wayne State University  student Victor Chukwueke, a Nigerian national, who dreamed of reuniting with his family that he left 10 years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor in the US. Chekwueke suffers from neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes tumor growth in the nervous system.

Despite this, Chukweke is graduating from WSU with honors and is speaking to his graduating class at commencement.

Here’s where Quicken Loans got involved. Chukweke wanted his mother to attend his graduation and Dan Gilbert (Quicken Loans founder) used connections to make sure that happened. From the Freep:

“I was reading the paper and the story caught my eye,” said Joyce Keller, philanthropic adviser for the company. Dan Gilbert…has a relative with neurofibromatosis. “With everything (Chukwueke) has been through and this one obstacle still standing in his way, it was an easy decision to see if we could help.”

Great story. Hope you like it.

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The Power of Words from Purple Feather

Amazing video from Purple Feather, online content specialists in the UK.

One of the best examples of the power of words I’ve ever seen.

Storytelling is the rage in business and this video shows why.


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Today's Date:
Sunday, February 25, 2018