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Avaragado’s 2014 predictions

Here they are: the 2014 predictions literally everyone hasn’t been waiting for. Please return regularly to check my progress and coincidentally bump the readership stats on my blog to make me feel better.

News

  1. In the referendum on independence, Scotland votes No.
  2. Brazil grants asylum to Edward Snowden.
  3. The Lib Dems replace Nick Clegg as leader.
  4. UKIP wins more MEPs in the European Parliamentary Elections than the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems.
  5. An iconic building or monument is damaged in a freak/climate change weather event.
  6. Paul Dacre leaves his position as chief bigot/editor at the Daily Mail.
  7. More than 50% of Daily Express front page main headlines are about the weather.

Sport

  1. Brazil win the World Cup. England don’t qualify from the group stage.
  2. Liverpool win the FA Premier League.
  3. Team GB win exactly one medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
  4. Andy Murray loses in the semi-final of the men’s singles at Wimbledon.
  5. Wales win the rugby union Six Nations tournament.
  6. Johnny Brownlee wins the ITU World Triathlon Series.

Science and technology

  1. Steve Ballmer is replaced as CEO of Microsoft by Satya Nadella.
  2. The crew of the International Space Station is evacuated because of orbital debris.
  3. Apple announces a “revolutionary” (in their words) new TV device.
  4. The Nobel prize for physics is won by someone in the field of quantum computing/communication.
  5. Google buys Oculus VR.
  6. Webcam video of a celebrity, obtained covertly by an intelligence agency, leaks on the internet.

Entertainment

  1. Best picture at the Oscars: 12 Years a Slave.
  2. Best actor at the Oscars: Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave.
  3. Best actress at the Oscars: Emma Thompson for Saving Mr Banks.
  4. Bruce Forsyth stops presenting Strictly Come Dancing.
  5. The BBC reboots a classic 1970s sitcom (eg Dad’s Army).
  6. In one of those “celebrities doing stuff” shows (Splash, Strictly, Dancing on Wolves, etc) a celebrity does stuff that results in a nasty injury on live TV.

Celebrity deathwatch

  1. His Racist Highness Prince Philip, 92
  2. Nobel Peace Prize winner and war criminal Henry Kissinger, 90
  3. Thatcher defenestrator Lord (Geoffrey) Howe, 87
  4. Swivel-eyed Ulster firebrand preacher Ian Paisley, 87
  5. Oh no, it’s Yoko Ono, 80
  6. Fifties teen idol and Half a Sixpence crooner Tommy Steele, 77
  7. Much better than the last one Pope Francis, 77
  8. Founder of CNN and all-round not-Murdoch Ted Turner, 75
  9. Nobody did it better than Carly Simon, 68
  10. Free software evangelist and beardy gnu-lover Richard Stallman, 60
  11. Wayward ex-gurner and Gazza Paul Gascoigne, 46
  12. Apprentice self-firing rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins, 38

Based on the pattern of previous years I’m expecting to get about 40% right. Join me this time next year to find out whether I’ve got that prediction wrong too.

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Avaragado’s 2013 predictions – results

Here we are again. New Year’s Eve, fireworks, and celebrations filmed several weeks ago presented as if live TV. And most importantly, the results of my fabulous 2013 predictions – as marked by Chris Walsh, as usual. Commentary etc in square brackets.

News

  1. ✗ The Assad regime in Syria will fall. [Bashar al-Assad still President of Syria]
  2. ✓ There will be no changes in US federal gun-control laws. [Obama has called for tighter gun control, but no actual laws yet]
  3. ✓ The Duchess of Cambridge will give birth to a human boy. [21-Jul: Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to the future king]
  4. ✗ At least one Tory MP will defect to UKIP. [Plenty of councillors defected, and one UKIP MEP defected to the Conservatives, but this specific prediction proved false]
  5. ✗ The equal marriage bill for England and Wales will pass in the Commons but not the Lords. [15-Jul: Equal marriage bill for England and Wales has passed its Third Reading in the House of Lords]
  6. ✓ Dangerous idiot Michael Gove will be involved in a scandal over the exam board selection process for the new EBacc exams. [07-Feb: Education Secretary to announce dramatic climbdown over plans to scrap GCSEs]

[Score: 3/6]

Sport

  1. ✓ Manchester United will win the FA Premier League. [22-Apr: Manchester United won their 13th Premier League title by defeating Aston Villa 3-0 at Old Trafford]
  2. ✗ Chelsea FC will change manager at least twice. [Only one change of manager in 2013: Benitez -> Mourinho]
  3. ✓ At least one British person will win a Wimbledon title. [08-Jul: Andy Murray wins Wimbledon 2013 men’s singles final with straight sets victory over Novak Djokovic]
  4. ✓ Mo Farah will win at least one gold medal at the World Athletics Championships. [10-Aug: Won the 10,000m. Also 16-Aug: Won 5,000m]
  5. ✗ Rory McIlroy will win at least two majors in golf. [Wikipedia: “McIlroy began 2013 with high aspirations, but mostly did not fare well in early tournaments… 25th place at the 2013 Masters Tournament… won the 2013 Emirates Australian Open]
  6. ✗ At least one footballer playing in the UK will come out as gay or bisexual. [Robbie Rogers, but he plays in the USA]

[Score: 3/6]

Science and technology

  1. ✓ Microsoft will buy Nokia. [03-Sep: Microsoft to buy Nokia’s mobile phone unit]
  2. ✗ Scientists will announce the synthesis of one or more atoms of element 119 or higher. [Ununseptium remains the most recently synthesised transuranic element, in 2010. Sapphire and Steel have been assigned]
  3. ✓ NASA will declare that Voyager 1 has left the solar system and entered interstellar space. [12-Sep: Voyager 1 departs to interstellar space]
  4. ✗ Scientists will announce the discovery of an ‘Earth twin’ – an Earth-sized exoplanet within the habitable zone of its star. [Kepler 78b is the same size as Earth, and has same proportions of iron and rock, but is so close to the sun that its year lasts 8.5 hours, rendering it a little too toasty to be habitable]
  5. ✓ The year will be one of the ten warmest years in the global record, and warmer than 2012, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. [13-Nov: “The year 2013 is currently on course to be among the top ten warmest years since modern records began. January-September 2013 was warmer than the same period in both 2011 and 2012.” We’re catching up with Kepler 78b!]
  6. ✓ Archaeologists will confirm that the bones dug up in a Leicester car park are those of Richard III. [04-Feb: DNA confirms bones are king’s]

[Score: 4/6]

Entertainment

  1. ✗ Lincoln will receive the Oscar for Best Picture. [Feb-24: Argo]
  2. ✓ Daniel Day-Lewis will receive the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Lincoln.
  3. ✓ Jennifer Lawrence will receive the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook.
  4. ✓ The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will involve appearances (in newly filmed scenes) from at least one former Doctor. [23-Nov: Tennant and Baker T, plus future Doctor!]
  5. ✗ The BBC will cancel The Sky at Night (probably while pretending not to). [Still running – Maggie Aderin-Pocock announced in December 2013 as a new presenter]
  6. ✓ The UK entry will finish in the third quarter of the rankings (ie, top half of the bottom half) in the Eurovision Song Contest. [1pt. 18-May: 19th out of 26 puts us 73% of the way down the leader board]

[Score: 4/6]

Celebrity Deathwatch

[We decided to award half a point per death to make the scores more compatible with predictions from previous years, since I included double the usual number of names in this section. We also abandoned the idea to score based on ages.]

  1. ✗ Denis Healey (95)
  2. ✓ Nelson Mandela (94) [Died 5-Dec aged 95]
  3. ✗ Mickey Rooney (92)
  4. ✗ Nancy Reagan (91)
  5. ✗ Richard Attenborough (89)
  6. ✗ Robert Mugabe (88)
  7. ✗ George H. W. Bush (88)
  8. ✓ Richard Briers (78) [Died 17-Feb aged 79]
  9. ✗ Barry Humphries (78)
  10. ✗ Shirley MacLaine (78)
  11. ✗ Bill Murray (62)
  12. ✗ Piers Morgan (47)

[Score: 1/6]

[Total score: 15/30]

A staggering score of 50%! This makes 2013 officially my most successful year ever for predictions. And if the trend of alternating better-worse but generally rising is anything to go by, my predictions for 2014 are on course for 40%. Though I can reveal that’s not one of my official 2014 predictions, otherwise we’re adrift in a glittering sea of meta.

Anyway, return soon for the 2014 predictions in all their 40%-likely glory.

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Avaragado’s 2013 predictions

2012! Who could forget the glorious summer? The coronation of Queen (formerly Sir Alan) Amidala? Britain’s abject failure in the 1500m tug-of-raw at the organic Spacelympics? The universal acclaim for the politics of austerity?

As the dregs of the year drip from the meths bottle of tomorrow into the tramp’s mouth of history and dribble through the foetid beard of ornithology onto the mangy dog’s head of clinical studies at Guy’s Hospital, it is time to stare resolutely past the tramp’s outstretched palm of invisibility to what 2013 will bring forth, or perhaps fifth. Here’s what I think:

News

  1. The Assad regime in Syria will fall.
  2. There will be no changes in US federal gun-control laws.
  3. The Duchess of Cambridge will give birth to a human boy.
  4. At least one Tory MP will defect to UKIP.
  5. The equal marriage bill for England and Wales will pass in the Commons but not the Lords.
  6. Dangerous idiot Michael Gove will be involved in a scandal over the exam board selection process for the new EBacc exams.

Sport

  1. Manchester United will win the FA Premier League.
  2. Chelsea FC will change manager at least twice.
  3. At least one British person will win a Wimbledon title.
  4. Mo Farah will win at least one gold medal at the World Athletics Championships.
  5. Rory McIlroy will win at least two majors in golf.
  6. At least one footballer playing in the UK will come out as gay or bisexual.

Science and technology

  1. Microsoft will buy Nokia.
  2. Scientists will announce the synthesis of one or more atoms of element 119 or higher.
  3. NASA will declare that Voyager 1 has left the solar system and entered interstellar space.
  4. Scientists will announce the discovery of an ‘Earth twin’ – an Earth-sized exoplanet within the habitable zone of its star.
  5. The year will be one of the ten warmest years in the global record, and warmer than 2012, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.
  6. Archaeologists will confirm that the bones dug up in a Leicester car park are those of Richard III.

Entertainment

  1. Lincoln will receive the Oscar for Best Picture.
  2. Daniel Day-Lewis will receive the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Lincoln.
  3. Jennifer Lawrence will receive the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook.
  4. The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will involve appearances (in newly filmed scenes) from at least one former Doctor.
  5. The BBC will cancel The Sky at Night (probably while pretending not to).
  6. The UK entry will finish in the third quarter of the rankings (ie, top half of the bottom half) in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Celebrity Deathwatch

In previous years I’ve named six people. This year I thought I’d round it up to nine, but then discovered three of my names overlapped with Andrew’s (caution: Facebook). Consequently I added three more, to make twelve.

Also, I’m adopting Andrew’s scoring system: each valid death (occurring at any time in the year) scores that person’s age at death subtracted from 100. For example, an 85-year-old’s death would score 15 points, and a 101-year-old’s would score -1 point (thus making it a daft choice). For reference, I’ve included the age of each of my selected celebrities, as at January 1st 2013.

  1. Denis Healey (95)
  2. Nelson Mandela (94)
  3. Mickey Rooney (92)
  4. Nancy Reagan (91)
  5. Richard Attenborough (89)
  6. Robert Mugabe (88)
  7. George H. W. Bush (88)
  8. Richard Briers (78)
  9. Barry Humphries (78)
  10. Shirley MacLaine (78)
  11. Bill Murray (62)
  12. Piers Morgan (47)

Please join me next New Year’s Eve for the official adjudication and other assorted lols.

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Avaragado’s 2012 predictions – results

As usual the cider-enhanced Chris Walsh has cast a rheumy eye over the predictions I made a year ago and awarded the marks as he saw fit. Adjudications and correct answers in square brackets.

News

  1. It will be announced that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. [1pt]
  2. Ed Miliband will be replaced as leader of the Labour party. [0pt]
  3. The US presidential election will be between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Obama will be re-elected. [1pt]
  4. At least one country will leave the euro. [0pt]
  5. Boris Johnson will be re-elected as Mayor of London. [1pt]
  6. There will be an earthquake in the UK of magnitude 4.0 or above on the Richter scale. (I’m only using this scale as it’s the one used on the Wikipedia page for UK earthquakes.) [0pt]

[Score: 3/6]

Sport

  1. Great Britain & Northern Ireland will win 21 gold medals at the Summer Olympics, and over 50 medals in total. [1pt: GB&NI won 29 gold and 65 in total]
  2. Great Britain & Northern Ireland will top the medal table at the Paralympics. [0pt: third, after China and Russia]
  3. Spain will win the Euro 2012 football tournament. [1pt]
  4. The United States will regain golf’s Ryder Cup. [0pt: Europe won in a very close finish]
  5. Jensen Button will regain the Formula One championship. [0pt: Sebastian Vettel]
  6. Manchester City will win the English Premier League. [1pt: with a last-minute goal on the last day of the season]

[Score: 3/6]

Science and technology

  1. Having miraculously survived 2011, Steve Ballmer will definitely be fired as Microsoft CEO. [0pt: still there!]
  2. CERN will announce the official discovery of the Higgs boson. [0.999pt, rounded up to 1pt]
  3. Apple will launch a TV. [0pt]
  4. At least one of the co-CEOs of RIM will be fired, and the company will be bought. [0pt: Jim Balsillie resigned but was not fired, and RIM wasn’t bought]
  5. The next version of the iPhone will include an NFC chip. [0pt: rumoured for the 5S]
  6. Amazon will release a free version of the Kindle. [0pt: but Chris wishes they would, as he sat on his and broke it]

[Score: 1/6]

Entertainment

  1. The 2012 season of X Factor in the UK will be the last. [0pt: nothing announced – time will tell!]
  2. In Doctor Who, the replacement for the Ponds will not be from Earth. [0pt: nothing to suggest she’s not from earth – time will tell!]
  3. Best Actress Oscar: Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady. [1pt]
  4. Best Actor Oscar: Jean Dujardin, The Artist. [1pt]
  5. Best Picture Oscar: The Artist. [1pt]
  6. CNN will fire Piers Morgan. [0pt: although competing petitions to deport/refuse repatriation suggest nobody wants him]

[Score: 3/6]

Celebrity Deathwatch

  1. Former anthropology student, US evangelist Billy Graham. [alive!]
  2. Former ophthalmology student, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. [alive!]
  3. Former chemistry student, Baroness Thatcher. [alive!]
  4. Former naval cadet, Prince Philip. [alive!]
  5. Former Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali. [alive!]
  6. Former Hitler Youth, Pope Benedict XVI. [alive!]

[Score: 0/6]

[Total score: 10/30]

Not as good as last year. I suspect I was a year early on most of the science and technology predictions. And my celebrity deathwatch category maintains its staggering 100% failure record.

Stay tuned for Avaragado’s 2013 predictions…

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Avaragado’s 2012 predictions

Now spelunked into the Brechtian caverns of history: the year of the Arab Spring, the deaths of several prominent nutjobs, the end of the Screws, the looting of cheap sportswear, the Royal Day Off, the Occupy tent sale, and, of course, what is believed to be Sir Paul McCartney’s 49th or 50th marriage; estimates vary. And what will 2012 bring forth? Here’s your exclusive guide.

News

  1. It will be announced that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant.
  2. Ed Miliband will be replaced as leader of the Labour party.
  3. The US presidential election will be between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Obama will be re-elected.
  4. At least one country will leave the euro.
  5. Boris Johnson will be re-elected as Mayor of London.
  6. There will be an earthquake in the UK of magnitude 4.0 or above on the Richter scale. (I’m only using this scale as it’s the one used on the Wikipedia page for UK earthquakes.)

Sport

  1. Great Britain & Northern Ireland will win 21 gold medals at the Summer Olympics, and over 50 medals in total.
  2. Great Britain & Northern Ireland will top the medal table at the Paralympics.
  3. Spain will win the Euro 2012 football tournament.
  4. The United States will regain golf’s Ryder Cup.
  5. Jensen Button will regain the Formula One championship.
  6. Manchester City will win the English Premier League.

Science and technology

  1. Having miraculously survived 2011, Steve Ballmer will definitely be fired as Microsoft CEO.
  2. CERN will announce the official discovery of the Higgs boson.
  3. Apple will launch a TV.
  4. At least one of the co-CEOs of RIM will be fired, and the company will be bought.
  5. The next version of the iPhone will include an NFC chip.
  6. Amazon will release a free version of the Kindle.

Entertainment

  1. The 2012 season of X Factor in the UK will be the last.
  2. In Doctor Who, the replacement for the Ponds will not be from Earth.
  3. Best Actress Oscar: Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady.
  4. Best Actor Oscar: Jean Dujardin, The Artist.
  5. Best Picture Oscar: The Artist.
  6. CNN will fire Piers Morgan.

Celebrity Deathwatch

  1. Former anthropology student, US evangelist Billy Graham.
  2. Former ophthalmology student, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
  3. Former chemistry student, Baroness Thatcher.
  4. Former naval cadet, Prince Philip.
  5. Former Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali.
  6. Former Hitler Youth, Pope Benedict XVI.

I look forward to your company next New Year’s Eve when all shall be judged.

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Avaragado’s 2011 predictions – results

Adjudicated as ever by the glamorous and drunken Miss Christopher Walsh, here are the staggering results of Avaragado’s 2011 predictions. Adjudications and corrections in square brackets.

News

  1. Kate gets William’s name slightly wrong in the wedding ceremony. [0pt]
  2. The Great British Public vote No in the AV referendum. [1pt]
  3. Sarah Palin officially declares as a Republican candidate for US President. [0pt – announced in Oct that she would not be running.]
  4. At least one national UK newspaper closes by the end of the year. [1pt – News of the World]
  5. Sudan will break apart. [1pt – South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011]

[Score: 3/5]

Sport

  1. Only one of the home nations qualifies for the Euro 2012 football championships. [1pt – England in; Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland are out.]
  2. Andy Murray reaches the men’s singles final of at least one Grand Slam tournament. [1pt – Beaten by Novak Djoković in the final of the Australian Open]
  3. Pyeongchang in South Korea is awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics. [1pt]
  4. New Zealand win the 2011 Rubgy Union World Cup. [1pt – defeated France 8–7 in the final]
  5. Manchester United wins the English football Premiership. [1pt – Manchester United won their 12th Premier League title and their 19th championship, beating Liverpool’s record of 18 championships set in 1990]

[Score: 5/5]

Tech

  1. Apple launches a new thinner, lighter, faster iPad model with a camera. [1pt – iPad 2 launched March 11 2011: 33% thinner, 15% lighter, twice as fast, and 2 cameras.]
  2. Yahoo sells Flickr to Google. [0pt – Flickr still owned by Yahoo, though rumours in Oct that Google was considering buying Yahoo (cutting out the middle man!)]
  3. Facebook buys Skype. [0pt – 10 May 2011, Microsoft buys Skype]
  4. There will not be a ‘Windows Phone 7 for Tablets’. [1pt]
  5. Steve Ballmer will be replaced as Microsoft CEO. [0pt – Still there.]

[Score: 2/5]

Entertainment

  1. Oscar for Best Actor: Colin Firth, for The King’s Speech. [1 p-p-p-p-p-point]
  2. Oscar for Best Supporting Actor: Andrew Garfield, for The Social Network. [0pt – Christian Bale for The Fighter]
  3. Oscar for Best Film: The Social Network. [0pt – The King’s Speech]
  4. Oscar for Best Director: Christopher Nolan for Inception. [0pt – Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech]
  5. Upstairs Downstairs returns as a regular TV series. [0.5pt – Didn’t return in 2011 but BBC1 has recommissioned six 60-minute episodes of the drama to be broadcast in 2012]

[Score: 1.5/5]

Cambridge

  1. Pembroke finish Head of the River in the May Bumps (men’s first division). [0pt – Caius 1st; Pembroke down to 5th]
  2. Cambridge win the University Boat Race. [0pt – Oxford won]
  3. Strawberry Fair takes place. [1pt – Yes]
  4. By the year’s end Cambridge’s LGBT pub is not The Bird. [0pt]
  5. The Misguided Bus actually opens. [1pt – Hurrah!]

[Score: 2/5]

Celebrity Deathwatch

  1. Margaret Thatcher [0pt – alive, though regenerated into Meryl Streep]
  2. Zsa Zsa Gabor [0pt – alive, though deficient in the leg department to the tune of one]
  3. Kirk Douglas [0pt – still alive]
  4. Michael Douglas [0pt – still alive]
  5. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia [0pt – still alive]

[Score: 0/5]

[Total score: 13.5/30]

Not bad, not bad. An 80% success rate on news and sport is very pleasing. Appearance on my deathwatch list is a guarantee of immortality, as usual.

Stay tuned for Avaragado’s 2012 predictions…

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Avaragado’s 2011 predictions

In a shocking display of preparedness my 2011 predictions are actually ready for the start of 2011. I revealed them to an eager, captive audience of friends at the Second Annual New Year’s Eve B Bar Luncheon Event, known as 2NYEBBLE10 in the never-adopted Avaragadan Calendar.

News

  1. Kate gets William’s name slightly wrong in the wedding ceremony.
  2. The Great British Public vote No in the AV referendum.
  3. Sarah Palin officially declares as a Republican candidate for US President.
  4. At least one national UK newpaper closes by the end of the year.
  5. Sudan will break apart.

Sport

  1. Only one of the home nations qualifies for the Euro 2012 football championships.
  2. Andy Murray reaches the men’s singles final of at least one Grand Slam tournament.
  3. Pyeongchang in South Korea is awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  4. New Zealand win the 2011 Rubgy Union World Cup.
  5. Manchester United wins the English football Premiership.

Tech

  1. Apple launches a new thinner, lighter, faster iPad model with a camera.
  2. Yahoo sells Flickr to Google.
  3. Facebook buys Skype.
  4. There will not be a ‘Windows Phone 7 for Tablets’.
  5. Steve Ballmer will be replaced as Microsoft CEO.

Entertainment

  1. Oscar for Best Actor: Colin Firth, for The King’s Speech.
  2. Oscar for Best Supporting Actor: Andrew Garfield, for The Social Network.
  3. Oscar for Best Film: The Social Network.
  4. Oscar for Best Director: Christopher Nolan for Inception.
  5. Upstairs Downstairs returns as a regular TV series.

Cambridge

  1. Pembroke finish Head of the River in the May Bumps (men’s first division).
  2. Cambridge win the University Boat Race.
  3. Strawberry Fair takes place.
  4. By the year’s end Cambridge’s LGBT pub is not The Bird.
  5. The Misguided Bus actually opens.

Celebrity Deathwatch

  1. Margaret Thatcher
  2. Zsa Zsa Gabor
  3. Kirk Douglas
  4. Michael Douglas
  5. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

As ever, the glamorous Mr Chris Walsh shall be sole arbiter of correctness and at the end of the year it will be his solemn duty to produce a fully non-interactive score card explaining just how poorly I’ve done this time.

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Avaragado’s 2010 predictions – results

How to sum up 2010? To paraphrase Jim Crow from Dumbo, and with apologies in advance to the Disney Corporation:

I seen a penis tanned, was seen on TV and I went to London to march with Pride. But I been done seen about everything, when I seen a Melanie fly.

However, I did as usual make some predictions for the year just gone, and the results are in – courtesy of Chris as per. Adjudications and corrections in square brackets. Feel free to insert your own oar in the comments.

The Oscars

  • Best Actor: Colin Firth, A Single Man [No – Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart]
  • Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia [No – Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side]
  • Best Original Screenplay: District 9 [No – The Hurt Locker]
  • Best Director: James Cameron, Avatar [No – Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker]
  • Best Picture: Up in the Air [No – The Hurt Locker]

[Score: 0/5]

UK General Election

  • The election takes place on March 25th [No – May 6th]
  • Predicted share: Con 39%, Lab 32%, Lib Dem 21% [Close enough – 36%, 29%, 23%]
  • Predicted seats: Con 296, Lab 267, Lib Dem 56 [Close enough – 306, 258, 57]
  • A Green party MP is elected [Yes – Caroline Lucas]
  • Esther Rantzen wins Luton South [No – she lost her deposit]

[Score: 3/5]

Entertainment

  • ITV closes down ITV3 and ITV4 to save money [No]
  • Britain’s Got Talent contestants include a trio of drag artistes collectively known as The Fleurettes [No]
  • Robbie Williams rejoins Take That for at least one concert [Everything but! Rejoined Take That, recorded an album, announced 2011 tour, performed with Gary at Help for Heroes concert, Take That performing New Year’s Eve in Barbados but without Robbie – 0.9 points]
  • The final UK Big Brother is won by a lesbian [No – Josie, or Brian Dowling if you count Celebrity Big Brother]

[Score: 0.9/4]

Science

  • The Large Hadron Collider does not find the Higgs Boson this year [True]
  • Exoplanet GJ 1214b is confirmed as a water ocean planet with an atmosphere [No]

[Score: 1/2]

Sport

  • Winter Olympics: Great Britain win one gold medal [True], one silver medal [Wrong – zero] and zero bronze medals [True]
  • World Cup semi-finalists (in no particular order): England [No], Brazil [No], Denmark [No], Argentina [No]
  • Cambridge win the University Boat Race [True]
  • Andy Murray wins a grand slam singles tournament [No]
  • A fatal accident occurs during the construction of Olympic Park in Stratford [No]

[Score: 3/10]

Celebrity Deathwatch

  • The Duke of Edinburgh [No]
  • Jimmy Young [No]
  • Jimmy Saville [No]
  • James Garner [No]
  • Lady Gaga [No]
  • Ian Paisley [No]

[Score: 0/6]

[Total score: 7.9/32]

Well, that was rubbish as usual. Any moment now: my 2011 predictions.

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Avaragado’s 2010 predictions: bonus ball

Astrology is, of course, bunkum. However, my mum has furnished me with the following prediction – precisely tailored for me and the millions of others born between two arbitrary dates – from the pages of, I imagine, the Daily Express.

Despite a slow beginning to the year, career matters pick up speed in mid-January.  From then on, there’s no looking back.  The eclipses in January and June target your work ambitions and point to important changes on the horizon.  What you’ll be looking for in 2010 is quality not quantity and by mid-year you could reach a watershed period in your life when you’ll want to take stock.  As revolutionary Uranus stimulates your curiosity for matters unconventional, you will be drawn to subjects that have fascinated you for years.  Whether it’s developing your own website, going freelance, learning about alternative healing or immersing yourself in research, as long as you watch your finances in April and May, what begins with small steps this year could well become a giant – and lucrative – leap into a successful new career.

I’m crossing my fingers.

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Avaragado’s 2010 predictions

To make this year’s predictions I watched a few episodes of the little-known 1980s Jimmy Perry sitcom Oh, Doctor I Ching! (starring Paul Shane made up as a nineteenth century Chinese fortune-teller from Rotherham) and matched the patterns generated from the resulting vomit to the wallpaper in John Lewis. Then, treating the price of each roll of wallpaper as a page number, I wrote down the first letter on each corresponding page of Dan Brown’s latest magnum o’pus The Lost Symbol (discarding the inevitable second wave of vomiting this induced). I used this sequence of gibberish (the letters, not the book) as the identifier part of the URL for a YouTube video: this turned out to be a montage of lolcat images set to a Rick Astley track. Playing this track backwards at half-speed revealed the address of a milliners in Covent Garden, wherein an elderly lady whisked me through a secret door to a spiral staircase leading to a disused underground station. Here the King of the Rats welcomed me with a garland of cigarette butts and his Rat Army carried me aloft to the Rat Parliament (changing at Leicester Square). The secrets revealed to me there by the Prime Ministrat were world-shattering and scandalous but ultimately all about rats so I just knocked up any old rubbish as usual and here it is.

The Oscars

  • Best Actor: Colin Firth, A Single Man
  • Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
  • Best Original Screenplay: District 9
  • Best Director: James Cameron, Avatar
  • Best Picture: Up in the Air

UK General Election

  • The election takes place on March 25th
  • Predicted share: Con 39%, Lab 32%, Lib Dem 21%
  • Predicted seats: Con 296, Lab 267, Lib Dem 56
  • A Green party MP is elected
  • Esther Rantzen wins Luton South

Entertainment

  • ITV closes down ITV3 and ITV4 to save money
  • Britain’s Got Talent contestants include a trio of drag artistes collectively known as The Fleurettes
  • Robbie Williams rejoins Take That for at least one concert
  • The final UK Big Brother is won by a lesbian

Science

  • The Large Hadron Collider does not find the Higgs Boson this year
  • Exoplanet GJ 1214b is confirmed as a water ocean planet with an atmosphere

Sport

  • Winter Olympics: Great Britain win one gold medal, one silver medal and zero bronze medals
  • World Cup semi-finalists (in no particular order): England, Brazil, Denmark, Argentina
  • Cambridge win the University Boat Race
  • Andy Murray wins a grand slam singles tournament
  • A fatal accident occurs during the construction of Olympic Park in Stratford

Celebrity Deathwatch

  • The Duke of Edinburgh
  • Jimmy Young
  • Jimmy Saville
  • James Garner
  • Lady Gaga
  • Ian Paisley

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