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Avaragado and friends predict 2022

I mean, anything could happen. This Tory Cinematic Universe in which we’re all background artistes, with the stars anchored wide-legged and slack-jawed beside poles surrounded by broken crockery, continues its relentless storyline of implausibility and poor gags.

An exclusive coterie of four – me, Chef, Chris and Melanie – booked the inside of a barrel at the Town and Gown for lunch on New Year’s Eve to resurrect the tradition interrupted in 2020 by the thing. We slung together some random half-arsed predictions for 2022 after some wine and cocktails, and present them to you below, after the visual interlude. I apologise in advance.

Predictions

  • Chef: Still Boris Johnson this time next year?
    • Chef: yes
    • Melanie: nope, he’ll be gone by March
    • David: no, July
  • Chris wanted it on record for some reason that the four of us “will go out to eat at a vegan restaurant in 2022”
  • David: Will the dear old queen make it to 2023?
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: yes
    • David: yes
    • Chef: no, she’ll pop off in October
  • Chef thinks the James Webb Space Telescope deployment will fail in some way and it’ll be toast
  • Chris: Will ARM be bought by Nvidia?
    • Chris: yes, September
    • Melanie: yes, August
    • David: yes, July
    • Chef: yes, June
  • Chris: Will WH Smith still exist on the high street?
    • Chris: no
    • Melanie: no
    • David: yes
    • Chef: yes
  • Melanie: Will Adrian have a job?
    • Consensus: nope
  • Melanie: Will Prince Andrew lose that civil case against him?
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: no
    • David: no
    • Chef: yes
  • David: What will be the name of the most recent major Covid variant?
    • Chris: Ting-tong
    • Melanie: Mut (Egyptian hieroglyph, Vulture)
    • David: Psi
    • Chef: Alpha-gamma
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Avaragado’s 2021 predictions – results

And so we enter season 3 of 2020, in which the writers dangle the prospect of a return to normality while placing several Chekhov-shaped revolvers on sundry mantelpieces. Before the new year overwhelms us, let’s revisit our predictions for 2021. As I could and can no longer be bothered to think of anything in advance, we came up with ideas on the fly – in a Zoom call, due to lockdown 3.

Here’s a cut-and-paste of the predictions we made, with commentary…

  • Louise: Joe Biden dies before end of 2021
    • Technically, no.
  • Will Trump vacate the White House willingly?
    • Group consensus: yes
    • Well. Not sure “willingly” is the word, given he instigated an attempted coup, refused to attend Biden’s inauguration, and still claims the election was rigged. But he didn’t stage a dirty protest in the Oval Office (as far as we know) and did fly off to Mar-a-Lago without the need for a straitjacket so maybe this is a yes?
  • Who will replace Boris Johnson, because surely he’s toast in 2021?
    • Chef: nobody – he’ll stay
      • Correct!
    • Adrian: Gove
      • Nope. Though Gove is now suspiciously quiet and lying in wait
    • David: Priti Patel, because we haven’t suffered enough
      • Nope. Don’t rule her out for 2022 though
    • Chris: Craig from Big Brother 1
      • I think Chris was drunk by now
  • Tokyo Olympics?
    • Won’t happen – Chef, Melanie, Chris
      • Wrong
    • Will happen – Adrian
      • Correct!
    • Will happen, but cut down – David, Louise
      • Correct, even more so – no spectators allowed
  • Glastonbury?
    • Will happen – Chris
      • Nope, although there was a kind of pretend Glastonbury
    • Won’t happen – Chef, Melanie, Adrian, David, Louise
      • Correct
  • When will the Bond film get released?
    • November – Melanie, David
      • Wrong
    • August – Chef
      • Wrong
    • September – Adrian
      • Correct!
    • July virtually – Louise
      • Wrong
    • April – Chris
      • Wrong
  • When will you personally be vaccinated?
    • Louise – July
    • Melanie – June
    • Chris – he won’t get it (I think he meant he wouldn’t be invited, not that he’d refuse)
    • Chef – June
    • Adrian – April
    • David – May
    • We were all massively pessimistic here. I was vaccinated in February, April, and October
  • When will we as a group go for a proper dinner together again?
    • Louise – June
    • Melanie – August
    • Chris – March
    • Chef – April
    • Adrian – May
    • David – May
    • It was April, for Melanie’s birthday – Chef was right. Although we were limited to 6 people, so Chef wasn’t actually there. There are some photos below.
  • Will anyone on this call leave the UK in 2021? (“UK” = UK + Scotland in case Scotland has ejected)
    • Louise – yes – Lynda will go to Spain ASAP
    • Melanie – yes, Lynda
    • Chris – yes, Lynda and Chris/Melanie
    • Chef – yes, Chris/Melanie, himself
    • Adrian – no
    • David – yes, Lynda
    • Pretty Sure Lynda went to Spain at some point this year. I don’t think any of the rest of us left the country.
  • In which month of 2021 will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex cease to be duke and duchess?
    • Louise – not at all
    • Melanie – October
    • Chris – not at all
    • Chef – not at all
    • Adrian – June
    • David – not at all
    • They remain duke and duchess.
  • Wimbledon?
    • Louise – July
    • Melanie – July but no crowd
    • Chris – won’t happen
    • Chef – August
    • Adrian – July
    • David – July but with smaller crowds
    • I was closest here. Crowds were limited until the last couple of days. Amazingly Stan got a grounds pass for the final Saturday, so we were there. There are some photos below.
  • This gathering next NYE?
    • Chris: all of us, evening meal, posh hotel in London – specifically, The Ritz
      • Very nope
    • Chef: Town and Gown (not that one), lunchtime, but he thinks it’s a bit optimistic
      • Correct! Photos below

Photos!

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Avaragado’s 2020 predictions – results

WELL.

It’s safe to say we missed the main story of the year. Our imagined 4K teal and orange future conked out at 256×192 with colour clash, just about rendering a Pride flag before the rainbow was co-opted by the NHS. We all learned valuable lessons, including:

  • Politicians, media and public in the UK truly don’t know what “exponential growth” means
  • Driving for an hour to Barnard Castle is a perfectly acceptable way to test your eyesight
  • Despite everything, they actually would keep reopening Jurassic Park
  • Government can rule by decree, and neither the media nor the public nor MPs are too bothered by that

To the, uh, results.

For 2020’s predictions I asked a set of questions of the attendees of our very agreeable lunch, and gathered each person’s answers. Here they are again, with emoji ✅ ❌ scoring.

Politics

  1. Who will be the leader of the main UK political parties (Con, Lab, LD, SNP) on December 25, 2020?
    • Melanie: Boris Johnson ✅, Daniel Zeichner ❌, Layla Moran ❌, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
    • Chris: Boris Johnson ✅, Billy Bragg ❌, Caroline Flack ❌, Jimmy McSporran ❌
    • Chef: Boris Johnson ✅, Keir Starmer ✅, Jo Swinson ❌, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
    • Andy H: Boris Johnson ✅, Keir Starmer ✅, Ed Davey ✅, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
    • Andy C: Boris Johnson ✅, Rebecca Long-Bailey ❌, Ed Davey ✅, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
    • David: Boris Johnson ✅, Keir Starmer ✅, Ed Davey ✅, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
  2. Brexit! Will the UK extend the transition period beyond December 2020? If so, until when? If not, will the transition end with or without a deal?
    • Melanie: yes ❌, until a table is booked at Milliways
    • Chris: yes ❌, until the end of time
    • Chef: no ✅, and there’ll be no deal ❌
    • Andy H: yes ❌, for three months
    • Andy C: yes ❌, until end of January 2021
    • David: yes ❌, until end of 2021
  3. Will Scotland have an independence referendum in 2020? If so, what’s the result?
    • Melanie: no ✅; it’ll be talked about, but that’s it ✅
    • Chris: yes ❌; no score after extra time
    • Chef: no ✅
    • Andy H: no ✅
    • Andy C: no ✅
    • David: no ✅; it’ll be scheduled for 2021 ❌
  4. Who will be the Democrat nominee against Trump in the November 2020 election, and what will be the result of that election?
    • Melanie: RBG ❌; Democrat win ✅
    • Chris: The Littlest Hobo ❌; Trump win ❌
    • Chef: Elizabeth Warren ❌; Trump win ❌
    • Andy H: Elizabeth Warren ❌; Trump win ❌
    • Andy C: Hillary Clinton ❌; Trump win ❌
    • David: want Elizabeth Warren (score me on this one) ❌, fear Joe Biden; Democrat win ✅
    • [Correct answer: Joe Biden; Democrat win]

Entertainment

  1. How many Oscar nominations will Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker receive? And how many wins? Guess categories for bonus points.
    • Melanie: 4 ❌, 1 ❌, VFX ✅
    • Chris: 3 ✅, 3 ❌, Best lesbian kiss not shown in Shanghai ❌
    • Chef: 2 ❌, 0 ✅
    • Andy H: 2 ❌, 0 ✅, VFX ✅
    • Andy C: 4 ❌, 0 ✅
    • David: 5 ❌, 2 ❌, VFX ✅
    • [Correct answer: 3, 0, Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing]
  2. Which country will come first at Eurovision 2020? And where will the UK finish?
    • Melanie: Putin ❌; bottom ❌
    • Chris: Central African Republic ❌; 30th ❌
    • Chef: Norway ❌; 2nd from bottom ❌
    • Andy H: Denmark ❌; bottom ❌
    • Andy C: Ireland ❌; bottom ❌
    • David: Australia ❌; 18th ❌
    • [Correct answer: it didn’t take place]
  3. Who will be announced, if anyone, as the next James Bond?
    • Melanie: Robert Pattinson ❌
    • Chris: Hermione Granger ❌
    • Chef: Daniel Radcliffe ❌
    • Andy H: no announcement ✅
    • Andy C: Jodie Comer ❌
    • David: no announcement ✅
  4. What will be the highest audience for an episode of Doctor Who series 12?
    • Melanie: 8.7m ❌
    • Chris: too drunk to answer ❌
    • Chef: too drunk to answer ❌
    • Andy H: 8m ❌ but closest
    • Andy C: 9.6m ❌
    • David: 8.5m ❌
    • [Correct answer: 6.89m]
  5. How many Razzies will the Cats movie receive?
    • Melanie: 5 ❌
    • Chris: too drunk to answer ❌
    • Chef: too drunk to answer ❌
    • Andy H: 3 ❌
    • Andy C: 4 ❌
    • David: 5 ❌
    • [Correct answer: 6]

Sport

  1. How many gold/silver/bronze medals will Team GB win at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo?
    • Melanie: 73 total ❌
    • Chris: 69 bronze ❌
    • Chef: 24 gold, 36 silver, 12 bronze ❌
    • Andy H: 50 total ❌
    • Andy C: 65 total ❌
    • David: 60 total ❌
    • [Correct answer: they didn’t take place]

There you go.

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Avaragado and friends get bored/drunk predicting 2020

Look! Look at us all!

At yesterday’s lunch I attempted another set of group predictions for 2020, with… mixed results. Perhaps – and you may well argue that I should have learned this lesson by now – leaving it until Chris and Chef were a few fathoms into their second bottle was a mistake.

However, that was last decade, back when we still had hope, before trousers were currency and before the Denunciation of the Courgette. Now we must push on, push on, into our 4K teal and orange future.

Our collective (hic) vision for 2020 follows:

Politics

  1. Who will be the leader of the main UK political parties (Con, Lab, LD, SNP) on December 25, 2020?
    • Melanie: Boris Johnson, Daniel Zeichner, Layla Moran, Nicola Sturgeon
    • Chris: Boris Johnson, Billy Bragg, Caroline Flack, Jimmy McSporran
    • Chef: Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Jo Swinson, Nicola Sturgeon
    • Andy H: Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Ed Davey, Nicola Sturgeon
    • Andy C: Boris Johnson, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Ed Davey, Nicola Sturgeon
    • David: Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Ed Davey, Nicola Sturgeon
  2. Brexit! Will the UK extend the transition period beyond December 2020? If so, until when? If not, will the transition end with or without a deal?
    • Melanie: yes, until a table is booked at Milliways
    • Chris: yes, until the end of time
    • Chef: no, and there’ll be no deal
    • Andy H: yes, for three months
    • Andy C: yes, until end of January 2021
    • David: yes, until end of 2021
  3. Will Scotland have an independence referendum in 2020? If so, what’s the result?
    • Melanie: no; it’ll be talked about, but that’s it
    • Chris: yes; no score after extra time
    • Chef: no
    • Andy H: no
    • Andy C: no
    • David: no; it’ll be scheduled for 2021
  4. Who will be the Democrat nominee against Trump in the November 2020 election, and what will be the result of that election?
    • Melanie: RBG; Democrat win
    • Chris: The Littlest Hobo; Trump win
    • Chef: Elizabeth Warren; Trump win
    • Andy H: Elizabeth Warren; Trump win
    • Andy C: Hillary Clinton; Trump win
    • David: want Elizabeth Warren (score me on this one), fear Joe Biden; Democrat win

Entertainment

  1. How many Oscar nominations will Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker receive? And how many wins? Guess categories for bonus points.
    • Melanie: 4, 1, VFX
    • Chris: 3, 3, Best lesbian kiss not shown in Shanghai
    • Chef: 2, 0
    • Andy H: 2, 0, VFX
    • Andy C: 4, 0
    • David: 5, 2, VFX
  2. Which country will come first at Eurovision 2020? And where will the UK finish?
    • Melanie: Putin; bottom
    • Chris: Central African Republic; 30th
    • Chef: Norway; 2nd from bottom
    • Andy H: Denmark; bottom
    • Andy C: Ireland; bottom
    • David: Australia; 18th
  3. Who will be announced, if anyone, as the next James Bond?
    • Melanie: Robert Pattinson
    • Chris: Hermione Granger
    • Chef: Daniel Radcliffe
    • Andy H: no announcement
    • Andy C: Jodie Comer
    • David: no announcement
  4. What will be the highest audience for an episode of Doctor Who series 12?
    • Melanie: 8.7m
    • Chris: too drunk to answer
    • Chef: too drunk to answer
    • Andy H: 8m
    • Andy C: 9.6m
    • David: 8.5m
  5. How many Razzies will the Cats movie receive?
    • Melanie: 5
    • Chris: too drunk to answer
    • Chef: too drunk to answer
    • Andy H: 3
    • Andy C: 4
    • David: 5

Sport

  1. How many gold/silver/bronze medals will Team GB win at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo?
    • Melanie: 73 total
    • Chris: 69 bronze
    • Chef: 24 gold, 36 silver, 12 bronze
    • Andy H: 50 total
    • Andy C: 65 total
    • David: 60 total

There you have it, and may god have mercy on our souls.

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2019 predictions – results

I’m not entirely sure why I bother, but here we are again.

At our semi-annual New Year’s Eve lunch yesterday, it emerged that I was the only one to remember our group predictions from the last gasp of 2018. While Chef and Chris glugged the wine, I dug out the predictions and scored us all.

It’s fascinating, I tell you. Here are the results.

One or other

  1. The upcoming Sussex youngling. Which flavour: M, F or other?
    • Actual: M
    • ❌ Chris: F (and ginger)
    • ✅ Melanie: M
    • ✅ Chef: M
    • ❌ David: F
  2. Ultima Thule, to be visited by New Horizons mere hours after I post. What will it turn out to be: contact binary, close binary, or other?
    • Actual: contact binary
    • ❌ Chris: other – non-binary
    • ❌ Melanie: close binary
    • ✅ Chef: contact binary
    • ✅ David: contact binary
  3. The Crystal Maze, Richard Ayoade edition. Axed or not?
    • Actual: not
    • ❌ Chris: axed
    • ❌ Melanie: axed
    • ❌ Chef: axed
    • ❌ David: axed

Yes or no, plus

  1. Will there be a second referendum on Brexit? If there is, who wins?
    • Actual: no
    • ✅ Chris: no (if there is, remain wins)
    • ✅ Melanie: no (dunno)
    • ✅ Chef:  no (remain)
    • ✅ David: no (remain)
  2. Will there be a general election? If there is, who wins?
    • Actual: yes (Tories)
    • ❌❌ Chris: no (DUP) (yes, he’d had a few glasses of wine by now)
    • ❌❌ Melanie: no (hung)
    • ✅❌ Chef: yes (hung)
    • ✅❌ David: yes (hung)
  3. Will Brexit happen on March 29th? (I should’ve asked about the type of deal really)
    • Actual: no
    • ❌ Chris: yes
    • ❌ Melanie: yes
    • ❌ Chef: yes (with some deal, but not May’s current offering)
    • ❌ David: yes

Higher or lower

  1. Which film has the better opening weekend: Avengers Endgame or Star Wars Episode IX?
    • Actual: AE ($1.2bn) over IX ($725m)
    • ❌ Chris: IX (but he actually thinks AE) (yes, still drinking)
    • ❌ Melanie: IX
    • ❌ Chef: IX
    • ✅ David: AE
  2. Which football gang finishes higher in the 2018-19 Premier League: Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur?
    • Actual: Tottenham (3rd) over Arsenal (6th)
    • ❌ Chris: Arsenal (via Accrington Stanley) (cheers)
    • ✅ Melanie: Tottenham
    • ❌ Chef: Arsenal
    • ✅ David: Tottenham
  3. Which corporation has the greater market capitalisation: Apple or Microsoft?
    • Actual: Apple ($1.295tn) over Microsoft ($1.202tn)
    • ✅ Chris: Apple
    • ❌ Melanie: Microsoft
    • ❌ Chef: Microsoft
    • ❌ David: Microsoft

Comings and goings

(as at December 31, 2019)

  1. Who will be the UK PM?
    • Actual: Boris Johnson
    • ❌ Chris: Theresa May
    • ❌ Melanie: Sajid Javid
    • ✅ Chef: Boris Johnson
    • ❌ David: Sajid Javid
  2. Who will be the Manchester United football manager?
    • Actual: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    • ❌ Chris: Sir Alex Ferguson (hic)
    • ❌ Melanie: Jose Mourinho
    • ✅ Chef: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    • ✅ David: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
  3. How many moonwalkers will still be alive? (Currently, 4 of 12)
    • Actual: 4
    • ❌ Chris: 3
    • ❌ Melanie: 3
    • ✅ Chef: 4
    • ❌ David: 3

Dates

  1. When will Trump resign? Or won’t he resign in 2019?
    • Actual: he didn’t
    • ✅ Chris: he won’t resign
    • ✅ Melanie: he won’t resign
    • ✅ Chef: he won’t resign
    • ❌ David: June 1st
  2. When will May resign? Or won’t she resign in 2019?
    • Actual: July 24th
    • ❌ Chris: she won’t resign
    • ✅ (closest) Melanie: June
    • ❌ Chef: October 1st
    • ❌ David: April 15th
  3. When will Prince Philip die? Or will he make it to 2020?
    • Actual: still going
    • ❌ Chris: January 10th
    • ✅ Melanie: he won’t die in 2019
    • ❌ Chef: June 1st
    • ✅ David: he won’t die in 2019

See, I told you it was fascinating. And the final scores:

  • 🥄 Chris: 3
  • 🥉 Melanie: 6
  • 🥇 Chef: 8
  • 🥈David: 7

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Avaragado and friends predict(ish) 2019

Hello, dear reader. It’s been a year, hasn’t it? And soon it’ll be another year. So it goes.

I gave up the proper prediction business some time ago, but at a casual wine-faced lunch today I subjected a subset of the usual suspects to a barragette of questions related to the Year of Oh Lord 2019. Herewith are those questions and our answers. Feel free to add your own answers in the comments. Chris has agreed to handle the scoring this very day next year, in the unlikely event that there is one.

One or other

  1. The upcoming Sussex youngling. Which flavour: M, F or other?
    • Chris: F (and ginger)
    • Melanie: M
    • Chef: M
    • David: F
  2. Ultima Thule, to be visited by New Horizons mere hours after I post. What will it turn out to be: contact binary, close binary, or other?
    • Chris: other – non-binary
    • Melanie: close binary
    • Chef: contact binary
    • David: contact binary
  3. The Crystal Maze, Richard Ayoade edition. Axed or not?
    • Chris: axed
    • Melanie: axed
    • Chef: axed
    • David: axed

Yes or no, plus

  1. Will there be a second referendum on Brexit? If there is, who wins?
    • Chris: no (if there is, remain wins)
    • Melanie: no (dunno)
    • Chef:  no (remain)
    • David: no (remain)
  2. Will there be a general election? If there is, who wins?
    • Chris: no (DUP) (yes, he’d had a few glasses of wine by now)
    • Melanie: no (hung)
    • Chef: yes (hung)
    • David: yes (hung)
  3. Will Brexit happen on March 29th? (I should’ve asked about the type of deal really)
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: yes
    • Chef: yes (with some deal, but not May’s current offering)
    • David: yes

Higher or lower

  1. Which film has the better opening weekend: Avengers Endgame or Star Wars Episode IX?
    • Chris: IX (but he actually thinks AE) (yes, still drinking)
    • Melanie: IX
    • Chef: IX
    • David: AE
  2. Which football gang finishes higher in the 2018-19 Premier League: Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur?
    • Chris: Arsenal (via Accrington Stanley) (cheers)
    • Melanie: Tottenham
    • Chef: Arsenal
    • David: Tottenham
  3. Which corporation has the greater market capitalisation: Apple or Microsoft?
    • Chris: Apple
    • Melanie: Microsoft
    • Chef: Microsoft
    • David: Microsoft

Comings and goings

(as at December 31, 2019)

  1. Who will be the UK PM?
    • Chris: Theresa May
    • Melanie: Sajid Javid
    • Chef: Boris Johnson
    • David: Sajid Javid
  2. Who will be the Manchester United football manager?
    • Chris: Sir Alex Ferguson (hic)
    • Melanie: Jose Mourinho
    • Chef: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    • David: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
  3. How many moonwalkers will still be alive? (Currently, 4 of 12)
    • Chris: 3
    • Melanie: 3
    • Chef: 4
    • David: 3

Dates

  1. When will Trump resign? Or won’t he resign in 2019?
    • Chris: he won’t resign
    • Melanie: he won’t resign
    • Chef: he won’t resign
    • David: June 1st
  2. When will May resign? Or won’t she resign in 2019?
    • Chris: she won’t resign
    • Melanie: June
    • Chef: October 1st
    • David: April 15th
  3. When will Prince Philip die? Or will he make it to 2020?
    • Chris: January 10th
    • Melanie: he won’t die in 2019
    • Chef: June 1st
    • David: he won’t die in 2019

Run along now.

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Avaragado’s 2017 predictions

I very nearly didn’t bother this year. All my usual flim-flammery aside, like many I’m genuinely pessimistic about the future, and I’m sure I don’t need to explain why. Oddly, and happily, when I decided to conjure up some predictions from somewhere and got on with it, I found my mood lifting a notch or two.

Dunkirk spirit. Keep buggering on. Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once. You’ve gotta laugh, haven’t you? World’s gone mad.

Here we are, then: predictions for 2017. I’m trying to be optimistic.

News

  1. Civilisation does not end in a nuclear fireball or similar Trump-triggered catastrophe.
  2. 2017 is not the warmest year globally on record, causing morons to assert that climate change isn’t happening, etc.
  3. Mike Pence becomes Acting President after invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution with the help of his chums in Congress. (Pedants: under this clause, Trump would remain president but have no powers.)
  4. Trump resigns as president. (Pedants: see above as to why this is not the same prediction as that.)
  5. Self-inflated gaffe balloon Boris Johnson loses his job as foreign secretary.
  6. Marine Le Pen wins the French presidency and oh god will this never end.

Sport

  1. Olympics! Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 summer games.
  2. Formula One! Lewis Hamilton wins the World Drivers’ Championship.
  3. Cricket! India win the ICC Champions Trophy.
  4. Ladygolf! Europe win the Solheim Cup.
  5. Soggy oars! Cambridge win the women’s university boat race.
  6. Sandy balls! Portugal win the men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Yes it’s a real thing.

Science and technology

  1. Samsung drops the 3.5mm headphone jack from at least some of its phones.
  2. The Nobel prize for physics is awarded for the confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves.
  3. A self-driving Uber kills someone. (Pedants: when the software is in charge, whether or not there is a person “supervising” in the driver’s seat.)
  4. Google buys Slack.
  5. Apple’s next major release of the iPad (probably called iPad Pro 2) includes both 3D Touch and a haptic engine that tries to make typing on a screen feel more like typing on a keyboard.
  6. A major ISP is hacked and the internet browsing habits of its users are published online.

Entertainment

  1. Oscar for Best Actor: Denzel Washington, Fences.
  2. Oscar for Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Jackie.
  3. Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Heisserer, Arrival.
  4. Oscar for Best Picture: Fences.
  5. Channel 4 announces that the Great British Bake Off will be hosted by Jo Brand.
  6. In the second Fantastic Beasts film, the role of Dumbledore will be played by Hugh Laurie.

Celebrity somethingwatch

This year I’m predicting different things for different people.

  1. living: Betty White, still going strong at the end of 2017.
  2. out of the closet: Cristiano Ronaldo, probably via accidental Instagram.
  3. hired: Brooklyn Beckham, as a magazine photographer or similar.
  4. fired: Jack Dorsey, as CEO of Twitter and/or Stripe.
  5. retired: John Humphrys, as presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
  6. expired: Henry Kissinger, please and thank you.

Guest submissions

Attendees of the ceremonial lunch that heralds these predictions were invited to suggest their own. By this stage, some drink had been taken.

  1. Andy H – Celebrity deathwatch: David Attenborough.
  2. Andy C –  the UK does not invoke Article 50.
  3. Andy C – Jeremy Corbyn is prime minister.
  4. Andy C – Celebrity deathwatch: Harry Styles.
  5. Andrew M – Scotland votes to leave the UK.
  6. Andrew M – Celebrity deathwatch: Princess Anne.
  7. Chris W – Some chunk of wall of some kind is built between Mexico and the US.
  8. Chris W – Celebrity deathwatch: Nicholas Lyndhurst.

Join us this time next year, as we fend off mutant humans and chimps on horseback from the shattered remains of the internet, to learn how pessimistic we should’ve been instead.

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Avaragado’s 2015 predictions

And here they are: a list of things almost certainly not going to happen in 2015. Feel free to pop down the betting shop as soon as it opens to chuck your savings at the opposite of everything below. Don’t forget to return this time next year to gloat with your millions.

News

  1. There is more than one UK general election.
  2. After one of the general elections, speaker John Bercow is deposed.
  3. The royal child-beast is of the girl persuasion, and called Elizabeth.
  4. Hillary Clinton confirms she will run for US President.
  5. Kim Jong Un is deposed as leader of North Korea.
  6. The record for the highest temperature in the UK is broken.

Sport

  1. Sepp Blatter is not re-elected as president of FIFA.
  2. Chelsea win the English Premier League.
  3. Australia retain the Ashes.
  4. Germany win the women’s football World Cup in Canada.
  5. Oxford wins the University Boat Race, again.
  6. Cyprus comes top of the medal table in the keenly anticipated Games of the Small States of Europe in Reykjavik.

Science and technology

  1. Apple releases a MacBook Air with a retina display.
  2. The Dawn spacecraft discovers ice volcanoes on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres.
  3. The probe Philae on the surface of comet 67P emerges from hibernation sufficiently to send useful scientific data.
  4. Microsoft buys Fitbit.
  5. Dick Costolo leaves his position as CEO of Twitter.
  6. YouTube users upload over 500 hours of video per minute on average.

Entertainment

  1. Best Actor Oscar: Michael Keaton, Birdman.
  2. Best Actress Oscar: Julianne Moore, Still Alice.
  3. Best Picture Oscar: Birdman.
  4. Best Director Oscar: Richard Linklater, Boyhood.
  5. Best Visual Effects Oscar: Interstellar.
  6. The BBC says BBC 4 will follow BBC 3 and move online.

Celebrity deathwatch

  1. Dodgy FIFA boss before the other dodgy FIFA boss, João Havelange (98)
  2. Avenger before the other Avengers, actor Patrick Macnee (92)
  3. Dracula, Scaramanga, Saruman, Dooku, actor Christopher Lee (92)
  4. I’ve met him you know, comics elder Stan Lee (92)
  5. President Bush before the other President Bush, George HW Bush (90)
  6. Spock before the other Spock, actor Leonard Nimoy (82)
  7. Run out, umpire Dickie Bird (81)
  8. War criminal, ex-veep Dick Cheney (73)
  9. Floating like an ex-butterfly, stinging like an ex-bee, boxer Muhammad Ali (72)

Happy New Year!

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Avaragado’s 2014 predictions – results

Good grief, is it that time again? I’ve barely posted anything on my blog this year. Still, at today’s regular New Year’s Eve lunch official adjudicator Chris Walsh revealed just how appallingly inaccurate my 2014 predictions were. Here are the gory details – commentary etc in square brackets.

News

  1. ✓ In the referendum on independence, Scotland votes No. [Correct!]
  2. ✗ Brazil grants asylum to Edward Snowden. [Nope: still in Russia.]
  3. ✗ The Lib Dems replace Nick Clegg as leader. [Nope.]
  4. ✓ UKIP wins more MEPs in the European Parliamentary Elections than the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems. [Yes, considering the parties separately, not the combined total of the other parties.]
  5. ✗ An iconic building or monument is damaged in a freak/climate change weather event. [Couldn’t find anything.]
  6. ✗ Paul Dacre leaves his position as chief bigot/editor at the Daily Mail. [Nope.]
  7. ✗ More than 50% of Daily Express front page main headlines are about the weather. [Thought expressbingo.org.uk would have the answer, but it seems to stop on 5th Feb 2014. www.thepaperboy.com has front pages going back to September 2014. Taking all front pages from those sites, 22 out of 96 have weather-related headlines, which is 23%. Extrapolating: nope.]

[Score: 2/7]

Sport

  1. ½ Brazil win the World Cup. England don’t qualify from the group stage. [Chris ignored the bit about England and awarded no points. David thinks he deserves half a point.]
  2. ✗ Liverpool win the FA Premier League. [Manchester City.]
  3. ✗ Team GB win exactly one medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. [1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze.]
  4. ✗ Andy Murray loses in the semi-final of the men’s singles at Wimbledon. [Lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-final.]
  5. ✗ Wales win the rugby union Six Nations tournament. [Ireland.]
  6. ✗ Johnny Brownlee wins the ITU World Triathlon Series. [Third, behind Javier Gomez and Mario Mola.]

[Score: 0.5/6]

Science and technology

  1. ✓ Steve Ballmer is replaced as CEO of Microsoft by Satya Nadella. [Yes, on February 4.]
  2. ✗ The crew of the International Space Station is evacuated because of orbital debris. [Nope.]
  3. ✗ Apple announces a “revolutionary” (in their words) new TV device. [Nope.]
  4. ✗ The Nobel prize for physics is won by someone in the field of quantum computing/communication. [Nope: Blue LEDs]
  5. ✗ Google buys Oculus VR. [In March, Facebook agreed to acquire Oculus VR.]
  6. ✗ Webcam video of a celebrity, obtained covertly by an intelligence agency, leaks on the internet. [Don’t think so.]

[Score: 1/6]

Entertainment

  1. ✓ Best picture at the Oscars: 12 Years a Slave. [Yes.]
  2. ✗ Best actor at the Oscars: Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave. [Nope: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club]
  3. ✗ Best actress at the Oscars: Emma Thompson for Saving Mr Banks. [Nope: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine. Emma Thompson wasn’t even nominated.]
  4. ✓ Bruce Forsyth stops presenting Strictly Come Dancing. [Yep.]
  5. ✓ The BBC reboots a classic 1970s sitcom (eg Dad’s Army). [A film of Dad’s Army is in production, unrelated to the BBC, but the BBC has broadcast Still Open All Hours, based on the old sitcom Open All Hours.]
  6. ½ 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. [Some TOWIE woman received various bruises. Stretching the definitions of both “celebrity” and “nasty”: half a point.]

[Score: 3.5/6]

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 [Died September 12th]
  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

[Score: 1/12]

[Total score: 8/37]

Not as good as previous years: a dismal 22%. Overall, the predictions were far too bold. But some of them were very close, in particular the Oculus VR purchase. Ah well.

Coming soon: 2015. And also, by coincidence, my predictions for 2015.

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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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