American Idol Season 7

I have a weird relationship with American Idol. For some reason, I seem to fall in love with the show every few seasons and cease to care at all in the off-years. Anyhow, this has turned into one of the years where I can't help but follow the show week to week...and I've even started voting. Contrary to popular belief, votes are accepted from people other than 12 year old girls...

I've been wondering for awhile how the week to week voting impacts decisions made on the show, such as who is called out on stage in which order, who gets the most screen time, sits in the front/back row, singing order, etc. At the very least, it'd be neat to see how different the show would be if the viewers saw the votes each week. Would it cause people to vote more? Reinforce crowd favorites?

In my own attempt to find some predictive power beyond DialIdol, I decided to review the trends of Google searches on some of my favorite contestants. What I found was pretty interesting.

For the past few weeks, I've felt myself getting bored of David Archuleta- apparently I'm not the only one. Each week his peaks and troughs seem to be getting lower and lower. Conversely, David Cook went from one of my least favorite contestants to possibly my favorite after a number of strong weeks. How about the rest of the country? Well, it seems they've really caught the fever. Check out the query volume explosion for him this week! Now let's see if he can follow-up next week and keep the momentum...


Wow. I'm Speechless...

Black Guy Asks Nation For Change

The Onion

Black Guy Asks Nation For Change

CHICAGO—Some residents reported seeing the black guy waving wildly and quoting from the Bible, while others said they spotted him shouting about global warming.


Man Sells His Life on eBay

Wow, so it's been over a month since my last post. In part I've been busy, but a part of me has also been trying to figure out if I should continue this blog. Blogging's a big time commitment and something's not quite working for me yet. I'm hoping I'll find the voice I'm looking for soon; time will tell.

Anyhow, one story came across my eyes this morning that I couldn't help but share. An Australian man named Ian Usher is looking for a fresh start in life. So he's decided to sell his life- all of it, on eBay. As he puts it: "My whole life is for sale. Everything. Lifestyle. House. Car. Motorbike. Job. Friends. Everything that I own, and all of the things that I don't own, but that are still an important part of my life!"

It's an interesting concept, but can you actually sell your entire life? How do you value someone's life? Something tells me this is a value-destroying exercise, for a number of reasons:

1. There's some probability of many assets becoming worthless...how, for example, can he sell his friends? Don't they have a say in the matter? What if they don't like the new Ian who replaces him?

2. His job appears to be worth something; his bosses have agreed to give the new Ian Usher a tryout in his place. However, would someone with enough money to buy his life want his job at a rug store? Can they divest this asset in a secondary market? That might help his valuation marginally.

3. It appears his life isn't going so well to begin with, so I can't imagine investor interest will be all that high...generally, Ian, it's best to sell high and buy low.

On the other hand, there's the obvious angle that this move will buy him some 15+ minutes of fame. So the real question is: can he cash in this newfound fame for more than what he loses on the auction? And, more importantly, will his new life in fact be happier than what he has now?

For more info, see his website.