October 19, 2010

Either CNN or Adrien Brody's attorney sucks at math

The only "D" I got in high school was for 12th grade calculus*.

Even today, I don't think the poor mark was because I was bad at calculus - which I'm sure I would have been - it was just that I literally slept through almost every class. But I had a good reason: At the beginning of my senior year, I knew that I was just months away from starting college, and I knew that college students often stay up until very late at night, and I reasoned that I should start, well, training for that particular aspect of college. Yes, I would train my body for those crazy late nights of college that were sure to come by just... staying awake until 1:30 or 2 a.m., as often as possible.

So every Monday through Thursday night, after I had finished practicing the violin and doing my homework (except for my calculus homework, of course), I'd watch the 11 o'clock news, and then the Tonight Show (this was in the pre-Leno days, when it wasn't awful), and then watch reruns of Benson and/or Cheers followed by as much as possible of the Letterman show. (Unlike other, normal cities, Baltimore in the 80s apparently couldn't handle going right from the Tonight Show to Letterman.)

That meant I was getting somewhere around four hours of sleep every weeknight. The remedy: A 48-minute power nap during calculus. The result: My beloved "D."

All of which is to say that I'm puzzled about the math in this hard-hitting CNN.com article.

The piece explains that actor Adrien Brody was to be paid $1.5 million for starring in a movie that nobody will ever see. It says that he has been paid $960,000 so far (which sounds pretty decent for a direct-to-DVD flick) and that Mr. Brody is still owed $640,000, which would seem to total up to $1.6 million - not $1.5 million. At least I think that's right - maybe there's some weird rule about adding dollar figures that I missed in calculus.

* Actually, it's possible I got a D in trigonometry, too. But there's no idiotic story behind that one.

October 15, 2010

Just plane dumb

I can finally sleep at night, knowing that the United-Continental merger is done.

Except that - even though I don't care very much about either company - I just don't get the decision to keep the United name but drop the well-known United "U" logo in favor of the Continental typeface and the incredibly bland Continental globe icon, which could easily be the logo for just about any company in the world.

I guess United and Continental leadership both needed to save face, but in doing so, I have to imagine they cost themselves an immeasurable amount of brand equity. I hope everyone at what used to be Continental is totally stoked by their big win - getting the signature typeface and unremarkable logo of a now-nonexistent company to survive. Nice going.

Oh, also, I appreciate the airline's assurance that the integration - matching up all of that frequent flier data, route codes, in-flight snack offerings, etc. - will go smoothly. Except that it seems they haven't quite figured out how to code an email yet. To wit: