Starry Night - Netted
Article • March 3, 2010

Starry Night

How To Make The Oscars More Enjoyable (Read: Less Boring)

Ah, the Oscars, full of ersatz pageantry and long-winded speeches. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to make the event worth watching?

Like gambling on the outcome.

We can’t advocate illegal activities, but we can suggest a new iPhone app called The Envelope, which provides a pretty good simulation.

Users are given a virtual bank of $10,000 to wager on who they think will win. The “stock prices” for a nominated actor, director, or movie change based on the volume of “buying and selling” by the players.

Yes, for once Streep is cheaper than Bullock.

The app also includes real-time news feeds from the LA Times, to help guide your investments.

But if you really want to game your friendly pool check out InTrade, a futures trading platform with a pop cultural bent. (You can transact on when Tiger Woods will play golf again and who will win American Idol).

Trading with them might be a bit dicey (its application to be part of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is in limbo). But using their Academy Awards contracts as a guidepost to your own picks is wise, given their predictive success in the past.

Finally, for those who are looking for some way to avoid the Oscars, check out these archival videos, which features Academy Awards winners (and others who will never hold a golden statue) doing Japanese commercials they hoped you’d never see.