Now here is a neat trick, using Gott's interpretation of a Copernican observation. You can predict the likelihood of almost any event terminating based on how long it has been happening so far. Gott made a famous observation about the Berlin wall falling and got it right :)
I took Gott's math and converted into a handy predictor excel sheet for you. This is sure to wow your friends. To read about the estimates behind the end of mankind (no kidding) check out this new york times article.
Gott is a pretty interesting astro physicist at Princeton university and deals with the anthropic nature of cosmology and universe.
Me, I am just a sucker for good probability and Bayesian type party tricks.
Feel free to download the Nick Gogerty predictor Download observation.xls
to wow your pals with. Please don't pull this out on a first date unless she is a math major.
Warning finance geek speak: If you are a quantitative hedge fund manager or event driven macro trader it may spark some ideas involving long dated Volatility and drift ;) as this allows one to tweak certain Volatility assumptions with event probabilities, such as extreme exogenous shocks or cessation of existing regimes.