Thursday, February 21, 2008

American Idol and possible voting problem

There is possibly more buzz about who will be the next American Idol than who will be the next American President. Now in season 7 the American Idol franchise is obviously a huge hit. Every year there seems to be rumors of a voting scandal as viewers watch their favorite singer get the boot as others with less talent stay safe.
The best example of this was in 2004 season 3 as Jennifer Hudson got sent home earlier than expected and even the judges seemed surprised. She was a favorite to win the entire competition and claim the title of the next American Idol. So, what went wrong? My theory is that when people see a contestant that shines above the rest they feel confident that everyone is voting for that person and they are certain to win. So, they vote for who they want to see come in second, assuming that the favorite will remain safe. However, when millions of viewers cast their votes for their second favorite (or whoever they want to see perform again, Sanjaya) people like Jennifer Hudson get left behind.
My prediction for this season is that it will happen again. My best guess is that it will be David Archuleta. It's still too early to tell if he will grow as needed and continue to out perform the competition. But just keep in mind that you should always vote for your favorite and never assume that they will be safe.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What you do, defines you.

I am a coffee drinker. Why? Because I get up every morning and I drink coffee. If I got up every morning and had a glass of orange juice, I would be an orange juice drinker. What I do, defines me. It took me a while to understand the meaning of this concept. It is the actions that I do every day that defines me and makes me who I am.
Sometimes, it defies logic. I am a smoker. I quit smoking and after just one day of not smoking I felt better, had more energy, could breathe easier and food tasted better. So, you would think that I would never smoke again. Well, that would make sense but I gave in to the cravings that I would get even after the physical addiction had been overcome. After weeks of not smoking, I went back to it because my past defines me as a smoker. Past behavior is the best way to predict future behavior.
Obviously we are not locked into these behaviors, people can change. If I was trapped on a deserted Island like Tom Hanks in castaway, I couldn't go to the store and buy a pack of cigarettes. So, I would have to quit. I guess it takes will power or a lack of resources to invoke change.
So, here is the formula for making changes in our lives. Do it for one hour. Repeat that 24 times and you have changed for a day. Repeat that 7 times and you have a weeks worth of change under your belt. Do that 52 times and you have a new history for the past year. Use that history to predict your future and what you do will define the new person that you are. Next year at this time I will be a non-smoking orange juice drinker.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Amusing look at socio-economics

It seems that all of the presidential hopefuls are promising to help the "middle class". I've heard promises of Tax cuts, relief, and new jobs for the "middle class". The problem is that there seems to be a little bit of confusion about who the "middle class" is.
Depending on who you ask, there are many ways to determine if you are in the middle class. You add up your household income and if it's more than this and less than that and if you have more than so many people in your house, etc, etc.
I have a very simple test to determine your socio-economic status. Gather up your receipts from shopping for the last month. Now, look at the top of those receipts. If it says, "Wal-mart" at the top, you are most likely "Blue collar" or "Working class". If it says, "Neiman Marcus" at the top, you are most likely, "Upper class". What you are looking for is the bullseye. If the top of your receipts has a bullseye and says "Target", you are most likely "middle class".
Although I wrote this for entertainment value alone, there may be some truth to it. Socio-economic status should not be determined mostly by income, it should be determined by the way you spend money. While there is no such thing as "extra money", I believe that how you value a dollar is a good indicator of what economic classification you believe that you are a part of.