How hard is it to transfer to UCLA?

Didn’t get into UCLA the first time around? How hard is it to transfer after completely 2 years at a community college? In Engineering, somewhere around 20% of the students are transfers. The GPAs of transfer students vary by major, but in engineering the average GPA of transfer students is about 3.8.  Other majors in the college of letters and science have average GPA’s ranging from 3.5 to 3.7. If you live in LA, the best bet is to go to Santa Monica College which has special relations with UCLA and an  honors program that just about gaurantees you admission if you do all the coursework and have above a certain GPA.




How is ballroom dancing judged?

How accurate is Dancing with the Stars relative to how real dancing competitions are judged? Turns out there are several aspects for a real ballroom dancing competition, like Posture, Timing, Hold, Line, Poise, Togetherness, Musicality, Expression, and Presentation. Judging is always subjective and can vary, but the skating system is usually used to place couples by ordinals with up to 7 couples on the dance floor during the finals. Judges score couples in the top 50% and they move on to the next round .


This is in contrast to Dancing with the Stars where judges score the couples between 1 and 10 for a total score of 3-30 (since there are 3 judges. The criteria (as many viewers have noticed) is far more subjective.

How to fix squeaking noise when you brake which isn’t caused by thin brake pads

I started to hear a loud squeaking and creaking noise every time I applied my brakes, so I immediately suspected that my brake pads were wearing thin. Sure enough after raising my car with a jack, and taking the tire’s rims off, I saw that the rotor was uneven and rusting. Lucky for me, it wasn’t paint that was eating away at my rotor, it was just that the brake pads were not evenly being applied to the rotor. The pads weren’t even wearing thin, so all I had to do was replace the brake rotors on my 2002 Buick Century, which cost about $25 for 2 new rotors.

The Spectacular Now Book Ending

Now that you’ve seen the movie The Spectacular Now, you want to know how the book by Tim Tharp ends.

Here is the last page:

I open my arms wide and let the wind flow over me. I love the universe and the universe loves me. That’s the one-two punch right there, wanting to love and wanting to be loved. Everything else is pure idiocy—shiny fancy outfits, Geech-green Cadillacs, sixty-dollar haircuts, schlock radio, celebrity-rehab idiots, and most of all, the atomic vampires with their de-soul-inators, and flag-draped coffins.

Goodbye to all that, I say. And goodbye to Mr. Asterhole and the Red Death of algebra and to the likes of Geech and Keeeevin. Goodbye to Mom’s rented tan and my sister’s chargecard boobs. Goodbye to Dad for the second and last time. Goodbye to black spells and jagged hangovers, divorces, and Fort Worth nightmares. To high school and Bob Lewis and once-upon-a-time Ricky. Goodbye to the future and the past and, most of all, to Aimee and Cassidy and all the other girls who came and went and came and went.

Goodbye. Goodbye. I can’t feel you anymore. The night is almost too beautifully pure for my soul to contain. I walk with my arms spread open under the big fat moon. Heroic “weeds rise up from the cracks in the sidewalk, and the colored lights of the Hawaiian Breeze ignite the broken glass in the gutter. Goodbye, I say, goodbye, as I disappear little by little into the middle of the middle of my own spectacular now.

I highly recommend the book if you liked the movie. While the movie gives some hope that Sutter and Amy will end up together, the book leaves no doubt that they have no future together. What do you think? Leave a comment!


By Brian Roizen

Chrome for Windows Sunspider gets way better results than Mac Chrome

I just did a SunSpider 1.0.2 benchmark test on my MacBook Air 2012 and my HP Envy 15 (purchased in April of 2010). Using the exact same browser but different operating systems, I got radically different SunSpider results.

MacBook Air (2012): 

HP Envy 15 laptop (2010): 

By Brian Roizen

Giraffe Facebook Riddle Answer

The Giraffe Facebook riddle is spreading like wildfire. It typically goes like this:

RIDDLE: 3:00am, the doorbell rings and you wake up, unexpected visitors, it’s your parents and they are there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open? Remember, message me only! If you get it right I’ll post your name on my status, if you get it wrong you change your profile picture!

Obviously you came here for the answer to the giraffe riddle, so here it is!

ANSWER: You open your eyes first! One good answer I heard was the door, but since you just woke up, you need to open your eyes before you get to the door!

I hope this saved some people from having to change their profile pictures to a giraffe!

By Brian Roizen

UCLA and USC Tie in US News Best Colleges 2013-2014


The latest US News Rankings are out for 2013-2014, and UCLA and USC are both tied for #23! UCLA is still listed before USC, but most likely due to alphabetical order. Which school do you think is better?


You can see the full rankings here

When you look at the cost of each college (even out of state tuition!), UCLA clearly comes out on top and beats every single higher rated university.

By Brian Roizen

Movies and TV shows filmed at UCLA

Right next to Hollywood, UCLA is known for being the perfect filming location for any University scenes. Most movies pretending to be at Princeton, Harvard, or Yale are actually filmed at UCLA! Here are the top 10 movies and TV shows filmed at UCLA!

UCLA powell library


Jobs (2013) – movie about Steve Jobs that stars Ashton Kutcher. Even though the college where Jobs dropped out of was supposed to be Reed College, the Jobs movie was filmed at UCLA in front of Royce and Powell library!


Angels & Demons (2009) – Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon solves a Vatican mystery

The House Bunny (2008) – A playboy bunny (Anna Faris) joins a sorority at UCLA


Californication (TV series) – Hank Moody teaches at UCLA!

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003) – Elle Woods is back in pink to ban animal testing.

Old School (2003) – A few friends (with Will Ferrell!) start up a fraternity near their college.


Legally Blonde (2001) – Elle Woods goes to Harvard (actually filmed at UCLA!) to become a lawyer


Erin Brockovich (2000) – A mother takes on a water company that pollutes the water supply and kills people.

House M.D. (TV series) – Outdoor scenes usually filmed at UCLA!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series) – also filmed at UCLA

The Nutty Professor (1996) – filmed at UCLA!


Any other good movies that were filmed at UCLA? Leave them in the comments!

By Brian Roizen

Are Sonicare Generic Toothbrush Heads comparable to Philips toothbrush heads?

Anyone who has a Sonicare knows that toothbrush heads aren’t cheap. I used to pay $9/brush before I found that you can get them for about $6-8 on Amazon.

I have a Sonicare ProResults toothbrush, and I recently test drove the generic toothbrush heads. Considering they cost only $2 each, that’s more than 3 times cheaper than the ones made by Philips!

The ones I tried are made by Paz Generix:

I was tempted to get them because of how cheap they are, but I wasn’t very happy with the results. They aren’t made well. The bristles fall out after just a few times brushing, and the brush head itself doesn’t fit well. This essentially means that the vibrational brushing power is far weaker than the non-generic tooth sonicare tooth brush head. Paz tried to copy the toothbrush head with their generic one, but they did a very poor job, and I’m very disappointed. I don’t recommend it at all. I guess I’m going to be sticking with the official Philips Sonicare toothbrush heads until some company makes a perfect replica.

How to get sonicare toothbrush heads for cheap

Costco occasionally has discounts for sonicare toothbrush heads with 6 brush heads for $30. Also, I once bought a 7 pack off Amazon for $40. The price is currently $60, but it fluctuates often. You can use Alertification to get an email or text as soon as the price drops!


By Brian Roizen

Solar Thermal rockets instead of chemical rockets

I recently read about an idea to power rockets with solar energy, also known as “solar sails”. It made me wonder how practical this idea was given that solar thermal energy plants are in the experimental phase in Las Vegas. They basically use thousands of parabolic mirrors to focus sunlight on a central tower, which then runs a rankine power cycle.

Keplar originally proposed the idea of solar sails to navigate the solar system. In this idea, light from the sun basically propells a object without any need for external power. The math is somewhat theoretical, and with little practical data, but the sun can produce about 1.4 kW of power at a distance of 93 million miles away.