Silly things sometimes happen to brilliant companies. Sometimes, they happen to the companies that deserve it. Let's take a look at five dumb financial events from this week that may make your head spin.

1. Turn around and face the music
Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) is gearing up to make another play in digital music, with a new portable media player hitting the market as early as next month. For those suffering from short-term memory, Dell bowed out of this niche two years ago, when its Dell Ditty amassed a pathetic 3% slice of the market. What is Dell doing? It's not a cool consumer brand. Proven players have flopped against Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPod. Even innovators have had their lunch handed back to them. In short, buy a Dell media player for the holidays, or get it in the clearance bin for a lot less next year.

2. What if a country threw the Olympics and nobody came?
China Distance Education Holdings (NYSE:DL) went public on Wednesday, ending a six-month drought of Chinese IPOs on stateside exchanges. So how does the market celebrate? Let's just say that it wasn't too fond of the Chinese provider of Internet-based white-collar education. The stock closed 5% lower in its market debut, and surrendered another 7% of its value yesterday. Is that any way to treat our overseas friends? Don't take it personally, China. Let's hope you treat us better in Beijing during the Olympic Games than Mr. Market is treating China Distance Education Holdings.

3. Let's go pop some bubbles
Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube went out shopping this week and brought home an Ominsio. It's not a household name, but Ominsio is a site that lets users make compilations of existing clips. Viewers can create text bubbles that pop up over the video. It's an interactive technology, but can you imagine what the often infantile YouTube community will do with this new set of crayons?

How many insults will Britney-defender Chris Crocker have to put up with? Can you stop the mob from pointing out the obvious plot twists in LonelyGirl15? What happened to sneezing pandas being sacred? Oh well, it will make YouTube that much more engaging to the armchair potatoes, but if YouTube has had a tough time policing its uploads, one can only imagine how quickly cartoon text bubbles get old.

4. Just be Cuil, daddy. Oh.
There's a new search engine in town, but it didn't make much of a first impression. Cuil launched this week, immediately attracting media attention. The site promoted its Web-scouring prowess, with more than 120 billion pages cataloged. Cuil claims that its depth is three times greater than Google's and 10 times more than Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT). The search engine is the handiwork of several ex-Google engineers, giving the site pedigree to go with the hype.

I liked the site, particularly its innovative magazine-style layout of search results, but my colleagues weren't as kind. Fool Tim Beyers came up empty Googling -- err, Cuiling -- his own name. He also bumped across availability issues. Tim also quotes Fool Co-Founder David Gardner, who was similarly unimpressed.

What was Cuil thinking? It knew it had the right ingredients to drive a ton of initial traffic with its debut. Then it blows it by letting down many in the first wave of curious Internet users. If you're not ready for primetime, wait until you are.

5. The fatal flaw of two-month investing windows
T. Boone Pickens has had it with Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and he was barely a shareholder. Just two months after buying into the company, Pickens sold his 10 million shares at a loss.

Pickens is, of course, a billionaire investor who can typically run circles around most market dabblers. However, he bought into the company only after watching fellow billionaire Carl Icahn buy in. Bad move. He bought in months after Yahoo! had originally shot down Microsoft's offer. It was a stalemate. Did Pickens know what he was getting into? Buying in because Icahn is usually sharp?

I sense a new parental scolding in the works. "If your friend jumps into Yahoo!, do you jump in, too?"

Let's beat the dumb drum:

Microsoft and Dell are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of dumb and smart business moves. Investors can learn plenty from both. Rick does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.