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Prophecy Results PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

prophecyimageSome of you may remember my article last year, wherein I invented a new form of mysticism related to iTunes, and shared my prognostications with the world. A year has passed, and it's time to to check my score. Though I don't actually claim to have any paranormal powers of prediction, I think you'll agree that I was quite accurate.


Here they are:

A major celebrity couple will break up amidst rumors of infidelity

Well, there were many this year in fact, but it was clearly Tiger Woods that was coming through so strongly.

An earthquake in South America will raise concerns over larger earthquakes in the future

I was only a few hundred miles off on this prediction, which actually referred to Honduras and Belize, in Central America. Residents have been warned to prepare for tsunamis, which often follow offshore events such as this one.

NASA will lose one of its spacecraft

While NASA spectacularly crashed a vessel into the Moon's surface in October, I'm sure it was the beleagured Mars Rover Spirit that was calling to me. With a name like that, it certainly makes sense. Poor Spirt broke though some crusty soil and became trapped in the sand underneath. NASA has tried for months to free her, but to no avail.

A blockbuster movie, years in the making, will unexpectedly flop at the box office
It may surprise many of you, but Avatar was a flop. 12 years in the making, a $73,000,000 take on opening weekend was more than 25% lower than anticipated. And if you had invested as much as $500,000,000 in a film, you might call it a flop too.

A major automaker will merge with another
Sure enough, one of the "big three," Chrysler, merged with Fiat in June. It really is hard to define "American car" these days.

A leading union will strike and picket lines will form with reports of violence
In an event that actually affected some aspects of TAM London, British postal workers voted to strike causing massive delays in the mail system.

There will be fewer hurricanes hitting the US this year
As predicted, 2009 was a very quiet year for hurricanes. There were nine named storms, which is only 60% of an average season.

The Internet will suffer a failure causing speculation of terrorism
While there were several smaller outages caused by such things as cut cables, the "denial of service attack" against Twitter, the ubiquitous micro-blogging service was exactly what I foresaw.

President Obama's approval rating will steadily decline throughout the year
Yes, as the blue line shows, enthusiasm for the Obama presidency sank as dissatisfaction rose.

A previously unknown species will be found in an unexpected place
In fact, an entire forest of new species were found using Google Earth.

So there it is, near 100% accuracy. Well, it would be if I were doing what many of the "professionals" do. While none of these events was too hard to imagine in the first place, my evidence is suspect in many of these examples. Consider the following:

Does Tiger Woods really count as a "celebrity couple?"

There was no major earthquake in South America, and the Mars Rover Spirit isn't lost, just stuck.

Chrysler and Fiat did merge, but there were talks about mergers long before Jan 4, 2009.

I could find no reports of actual violence in the British postal strike.

There were fewer hurricanes, a direct hit, but it was really a 50/50 shot, and I could have compared it to any year I wanted if it had turned out to be an average year.

As for the Internet, it suffers outages all the time, and these days, whenever anything goes wrong, "terrorism" springs to mind as an explanation. Note that I didn't say it would be caused by terrorism.

President Obama's decline was easy to predict, given the state of the economy, but was it really steady? Yeah, I have to admit it was, but again, an easy one.

And for new species, new species are ALWAYS being discovered. Finding a new forest with Google Earth, however, is the cool part of that story, and I didn't mention it at all.

So if someone offers you a prediction or prophecy, take my advice: accept nothing less than lottery numbers. If they win, share a bit with the "psychic." And if they don't, you'll understand why the psychic wasn't playing alongside you.

Many of you posted your own predictions in last year's comments. How did you do?

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written by Osomatic, January 11, 2010
Is it cheating to say that the forest was discovered in 2009 when that news story is dated Dec 2008? (Not that that'd stop a 'psychic,' I'm willing to bet.)
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written by Otara, January 11, 2010
I would say whats surprising about that is how good it looks compared to your average psychics efforts. But then they're probably generally going more for the 'uncanny hit' rather than making nothing but safe bets.
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You can't hold a candle to Randi
written by garyg, January 11, 2010
He predicted "2012 will be followed by...2013"
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written by cafink, January 11, 2010
I get your point, and you did a fine job with most of these predictions, but admit it...you were just flat-out wrong about the "unexpected flop" one. Avatar has already made 1.34 billion, well over it's budget. It's not a "flop" by any stretch of the imagination.
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written by JeffWagg, January 11, 2010
@Osomatic, Yes, though species were discovered there in 2009. Good spot though. smilies/smiley.gif All I said in the prophecy was "unexpected place."
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written by JeffWagg, January 11, 2010
@cafink, well you're right NOW, but its opening weekend was very disappointing and it was widely reported that as a flop. It even made a "top 5 biggest flops" list. However... where you can criticize me is this: it was actually expected to flop, so the "unexpected" part is just plain wrong. Shame on me.
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written by MadScientist, January 11, 2010
@Jeff: NASA lost the Orbiting Carbon Observatory. "Spirit" is lost as well as far as any scientist is concerned - it's certainly not delivering the expected observations - however, whether or not 'Spirit' is a spacecraft is debatable - it was not meant to operate in space or fly independently of the delivery vehicle and it does not have its own (space) propulsion system or the 'pointing' system (attitude control) required of most satellites.
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written by Morrigan, January 11, 2010
Yeah, Avatar may have been hugely expensive, but the "12 years in the making" was only Cameron delaying making the movie because of the lack of technology, and it made a huge chunk of profit (still far from finished, too, and not counting the DVD/Blu-ray sales), so nobody can call it a flop with a straight face.
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written by gmartincv, January 11, 2010
On the Avatar flop or not flop. Avatar opened on the weekend of the big east coast snow storm. While that may not have cost it $25 million at the box office, it must have dropped its total take a lot. Without the snow storm it probably would not have made the "top 5 flop list". But I guess "physics" can get help from snow storms.

George
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@garyg
written by KWC, January 11, 2010
Well you never know...maybe the world's nations will choose to skip 2013. I mean 13 is such an unlucky we are really tempting fate by allowing it to be put on the calendar. Regardless 2013 will never come of course, considering our fast approaching demise in 2012!
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@myself...
written by KWC, January 11, 2010
That would be an "unlucky number".
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written by Steel Rat, January 11, 2010
There will be fewer hurricanes hitting the US this year
As predicted, 2009 was a very quiet year for hurricanes. There were nine named storms, which is only 60% of an average season.


But... Al Gore told us there would be more and worse hurricanes! Surely there can't have been an average, much less BELOW average, year since 2005?!?!
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written by Kitty, January 11, 2010
is it me or does the graphic with this article look like sperm?

Or is the prediction "babies will be concieved".
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written by Star Man, January 11, 2010
I wouldn't call Avatar a flop even if it didn't make what was anticipated on opening weekend. The drop off was only three per cent on its second weekend, which I understand is very good for box office numbers.

But I guess under these conditions, Cameron's Titanic was also a flop because it didn't do very well when it opened even though it ended up winning 11 Academy Awards and became the highest grossing movie of all time.
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No flop
written by shawntr, January 11, 2010
Wikipedia currently lists Avatar as second on its highest grossing films list. I don't know if that's adjusted for inflation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films
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TAM London Postal Strike
written by MarkEMarkEMark, January 11, 2010
The prediction about TAM London postal strike reminded me that my wife and I never did get our badges. I was looking forward to having a souvenir, instead of the emergency tatty handwritten one we got.
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written by yarro, January 11, 2010
This is what I wrote:
For me it's easy, no tea leaves, intestines of some poor animal, intricate dancing etc. I was born with the caul, so I'm a natural.
My predictions:
1 - A Dutchman will win at least one of the World Championships Speed Skating. Allround, sprint or one of the distances;
2 - 2009 will not see an Elfstedentocht (Journey of Eleven Cities);
3 - In several Western countries one or more private banks will come under state control;
4 - Most Western countries will introduce more stringent laws to control the Internet, all in the name of liberty and public safety;
5 - New reality TV formats will be introduced.


1 - A Dutchman will win at least one of the World Championships Speed Skating. Allround, sprint or one of the distances;
Dutchman Sven Kramer became worldchampion Allround and on the 5000 and 10000 metres distances.
That one was easy. Apart from serious illness or an accident, there was no way he would not win.
HIT

2 - 2009 will not see an Elfstedentocht (Journey of Eleven Cities);
There was no Elfstedentocht in 2009. Hopes are high for 2010.
HIT

3 - In several Western countries one or more private banks will come under state control;
Things were apparently not as bad as I predicted. In the US most banks that were under state control are now free from Uncle Sam (bonuses and wages immediately on the rise). But in Ireland the Anglo Irish Bank came under state control. In Austria the Medici AG went the same way. There are probably more.
HIT

4 - Most Western countries will introduce more stringent laws to control the Internet, all in the name of liberty and public safety;
Law making is a slow process, so nothing significant yet. I count this one as a miss.

5 - New reality TV formats will be introduced.
BBC's Blood, Sweat and Takeaways. Bravo's The Real Housewives of New Jersey etc.
HIT.

4 out of 5. If only they were real predictions and not extrapolations.
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Spoke to soon on the earthquakes prediction
written by Trez, January 13, 2010
Not sure if Haiti is classed as South America, but its pretty darned close.

Sylvia Browne eat your heart out. (No, really please do)
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Land of the Lost was the flop
written by rich_illing@yahoo.com, January 14, 2010
Over $100 million budget. Three years in production. $50 million worldwide box office.
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written by pgrissom76, January 15, 2010
If Jeff only had his own 1-900 number......$$$$
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Avatar not a flop
written by FeelLikeANut, January 15, 2010
I can't explain why the Avatar info is so irking to me and others, but it is. So here goes:

First, the budget for Avatar was $230 million, not $500.

And second, the opening weekend revenue in the USA was 77 million. By contrast, Titanic's opening weekend revenue was 29 million (or 38 million if you adjust for inflation).

References:
http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/business
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120338/business
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Avatar not a flop (addendum)
written by FeelLikeANut, January 15, 2010
Twelve inflationary years later, Titanic is still the highest grossing movie of all time, and Avatar's opening weekend brought in twice as much as Titanic's opening weekend. That's the polar opposite of a flop. That's a huge success.
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Avatar not a flop (more context)
written by FeelLikeANut, January 16, 2010
The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King, on its opening weekend, brought in 73 million. A flop?
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