Every celebrity watcher is familiar with some of the more obvious signs that a star is headed for rehab: the glassy eyes, the inappropriately exposed skin, the low-speed collisions with vehicles operated by paparazzi. But what if there were a formula that could tell us, with something approaching scientific precision, how many interventions our favorite tabloid miscreants can expect to endure over the course of their careers?
Now, there (sort of) is! "Brain Trust" author and mathematics guru Garth Sundem has created a rehab prediction formula for The Huffington Post, based on a handful of variables common to today's young attention-seekers.
Sundem used the following variables to calculate the probability that a given star would make between zero and four trips to rehab: 1) Star's age when her or his IMDB page was created. 2) Number of Google image results, within first 10, showing star with Lindsay Lohan when both names are searched. 3) Number of visible tattoos within first 10 Google image results. 4) Parents' marital status when star reached the age of 10.
Sundem arranged the variables into an intricate equation, then made a few necessary tweaks -- stars earned penalties for a career start in music rather than acting (subtract 5 from IMDB age for singers), as well as if their parents divorced before the age of 10 (plus 5).
The final results were spot on for a handful of stars, like Demi Lovato, Kirsten Dunst and Haley Joel Osment. Others have already exceeded their predictions -- the formula put Lindsay Lohan's career number at three when it is in fact already at five. Selena Gomez, Aaron Carter and Mary-Kate Olsen may want to do a cleanse or something: the formula finds that they are in danger of doing the dance with 12 steps.
Check out the details of our findings below:
Garth Sundem is a TED speaker, "Wipeout" loser, Puzzlemaster at Wired's GeekDad blog, and author of books including "Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Reveal Lab-Tested Secrets for Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More!" He lives with his wife, two small children and two Labradors in Boulder, CO.