I find it interesting to learn what other people are working on. To me, the applications can be as interesting as the technology- even if they're not saving millions or curing cancer. Some of these analyses could be a bit more rigorous, but they do suggest avenues for further research, and at least they aren't boring! Here are a few things I've run across in cyberspace recently:
Is Warhammer Balanced?
MLB Payroll Efficiency, 2006-2008
Wired magazine: issue 17.02
Analysis of the price of a piece of a lego set
Modeling Win Probability for a College Basketball Game