LAT in 90 seconds: what-if edition

– What if a bunch of engineers tried to identify seemingly-irrelevant predictors of what makes a Sundance movie a success?

– What if an Opinion writer known for his glib and facile one-liners tried to apply those glib and facile one-liners to a serious subject?

– What if a country is freed from the shackles of Soviet control only to collectively sit around and get stoned all the time?