Predictions for 2010: Let’s See How We Did…
At the start of 2010, Skeptical Monkey took a crack at a few “psychic” predictions for the new year. To quote our original post:
…we claim no actual psychic ability; the following predictions are based entirely on guesswork, common sense, and probability. At the end of the year, we’ll see how our success rate compares with folks who do this for a living.
Now, it’s time to see if we’re really a couple of faux-psychics in the making. Let’s take a look:
1. A high-profile US politician will find himself embroiled in scandal involving an extramarital affair with a member of the opposite sex.
Okay, this one was kind of a given. Every year there will likely be a politician involved in a sex scandal, so we’ll just take our pick on this one. How about when Al and Tipper Gore announced that they were splitting early last summer, amid rumors of a long-term affair between the former vice president and Larry David’s ex-wife? It’s not clear whether the affair actually took place, but thanks to the vague wording of our prediction, we can still count this as a win.
2. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will add another child to their family.
As far as we can tell, this hasn’t happened. Fail.
3. An actor from a popular primetime TV show will be involved in an accident and may die.
Desperate Housewives star Shawm Pyfrom was involved in a car accident with a cyclist in March 2010. He wasn’t injured, but again, check out our wording; we only said that the actor would be “involved in an accident and may die.” Win.
4. The short-lived marriage of Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom will come to an end.
Fail. Although if we make this prediction every year, at some point we’ll likely be looking at win.
5. Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt will announce that they are expecting a baby.
We should have pegged these two as the divorcing couple. Major fail.
6. There will be a serious terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda in Europe.
7. Kate Gosselin will sign a deal to appear in her own reality show.
8. Paris Hilton will get married. The wedding will happen suddenly, without a lot planning or warning.
9. At long last, the Natalee Holloway murder case will finally be solved.
This one merits a bit of discussion. The case has not been officially solved, no, but there was a pretty major break this year. Joran Van der Sloot, longtime suspect in the Natalee Holloway case, was arrested for the murder of another young woman, Stephany Flores, and the case against him seems pretty air tight. Yes, the man is innocent until proven guilty, but looking at this from a practical standpoint–can there be any doubt that he is somehow to blame for the disappearance of Holloway? We’re counting this as a win.
10. Jennifer Anniston will announce that she is pregnant.
11. Gasoline prices will rise up to about $4.00 or more.
We missed out on this one, but only just slightly. According to current trends, gas prices may hit $4 a gallon by the middle of January. However, being the honest folks that we are, we’re going to have to take a fail on this one.
12. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren will announce that they are separating.
It’s old news by now that these two are currently divorced. Win. (Although we aren’t taking pleasure in anyone’s marriage woes.)
13. Nicole Richie and Joel Madden will break up, but each will maintain a major role in raising their two children.
These two are supposedly very happily married right now. Good for them. Fail for us.
14. Public concern over the H1N1 will begin to settle, but before long a new, previously-unknown disease will come along to instill fear in the hearts of most Americans.
Concern over H1N1 has certainly settled, but no similar health scare seems to have cropped up–at least, none high-profile enough for us to have heard about. Fail.
15. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will become very ill.
We can find no evidence of Queen Elizabeth suffering even a head cold. We SHOULD have predicted a royal engagement between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Rats! Oh well—fail.
16. Ellen DeGeneres will be a huge hit as the newest American Idol judge; ratings for the show will be the highest they’ve been in the past few years.
A lot of folks were actually pretty disappointed in DeGeneres as a judge, and that was a pretty dismal season of Idol overall. We won’t try to twist that one into a win. Fail.
17. Kate Hudson will get engaged before the end 0f 2010.
18. Miley Cyrus will get in trouble with the law.
Technically, this is a win. Sure, she was only pulled over for talking on a cell phone while driving–but breaking the law is still breaking the law. Win.
19. Due to increased fear of terrorist attacks, 2010 will be a bad year for the airline industry.
According to this, flying has become more unpleasant in 2010. However, passenger traffic is up 3%. We’ll take that as a fail.
20. This will be a terrible year, blizzard-wise, for the Northeast and most of the Midwest. Also, a pretty serious earthquake will hit California.
We were wrong about the earthquake, but we were right about the blizzards. Hey, we live in the Northeast and spent a good portion of 2010 shoveling snow. And don’t forget the snow storm that hit New York and New Jersey just in time to be counted as part of our 2010 prediction; it placed 6th on the Nation Weather Service’s top 10 list of storms since 1869. Definitely worth a win.
Seven wins out of twenty predictions, which means a 35% success rate this time around. Not too impressive, but if we were to do this ever year and throw out more and more predictions, our success rate would surely fluctuate a bit. And if our predictions seem too vague or obvious, feel free to compare them with those of actual psychics. You’d be unlikely to find much difference there.
Most interesting of all was our Natalee Holloway prediction. We took a chance on a slightly more specific guess (the case would be solved) and ended up ALMOST hitting exactly that with Joran Van der Sloot’s arrest in another murder case. If we were real psychics (in other words, real phony psychics) we could argue that we saw Van der Sloot arrested in a vision, and falsely assumed he was arrested for Holloway’s murder; either way, what we saw certainly came true.
If we publicized our Holloway prediction, citing that our article written months BEFORE Van der Sloot’s arrest, you can bet there’d be plenty of folks impressed. After all, is our prediction any less notable than the psychic twins assertion (with no timeline) that there’d be an attack on the World Trade Center, or Joseph Tittel’s extremely well-timed Michael-Jackson-lung-collapse prediction, which many have since interpreted as “Michael Jackson will die”? Hell, THOSE psychics landed TV appearances over their vaguely-worded prophesies. Ah, to be dishonest and fame-hungry…
The formula for success here is pretty simple. Make as many vague predictions as possible. A few are certain to come true, and if you’re lucky, you’ll hit upon one or two high-profile wins.
And that, my friends, is one prediction you can bet on.
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