And now, 2011…
- Gasoline will rise in price to over $4.00 per gallon by the end of 2011 as the economy improves.
Today’s daily fuel price average according to the AAA fuel gauge report is $3.28. The “as the economy improves” assumption may have been where things went wrong there.
- Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul will all announce that they are running for President. Michael Bloomberg will toy with people and then announce that he isn’t running (this may last into 2012). Newt Gingrich will not run. No Democrat will mount a serious primary challenge against Obama.
Sarah Palin disappeared at some point around noon on October 5, and Michelle Bachman, a pizza mogul, and men named “Newt” and “Mitt” all briefly led the Republican race. In my defense, I’m not sure anyone could have foreseen that.
- Apple will offer minor updates to the iPad and iPhone but will not have any major new product offerings in 2011. They will, however, offer users the ability to store content such as movies and music on Apple servers and access that content on any Apple device.
- The national unemployment rate will drop from its current rate of 9.7 percent to between 8.8 to 9.1 percent.
The number hovered around nine percent all year then dropped to 8.6 percent for November. However, since I’m doing the scoring, and since the justification for that sudden drop was that fewer people were filing claims (rather than more people finding jobs) I’m scoring this is a correct prediction. Anyone who disagrees with that decision can go through proper channels to file an appeal.
- US men’s distance runners will set national records in at least three of the following events: 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, marathon.
Bernard Lagat set a new 5000m record of 12:53.6 on July 22 in Monaco, and Galen Rupp broke the 10,000m record with a 26:48 in Brussels on September 16. Ryan Hall ran the fastest marathon ever by an American with a 2:04:58 in Boston, but it wasn’t counted as a record due to Boston’s course setup; however, it was a ridiculous run that was 40 seconds faster than the existing record, so I’m counting this prediction as another correct guess.
- Neither court challenges nor budgetary maneuvering will affect the Affordable Care Act / Obamacare.
The law is moving forward, and while the Supreme Court has agreed to hear challenges in March 2012, thus far it looks like it will be implemented as scheduled.
- Yahoo and Adobe will both be purchased.
I’ve been predicting this for a while now, and have been wrong for a while, too. Somehow Yahoo continues to chug along, and Adobe has failed to cash-in on their once-ubiquitous and soon-to-be-obsolete Flash technology.
- SpaceX will launch only three of the five Falcon 9 missions on their current launch manifest, but all will be successful. They will also launch two of their Falcon 1e rockets successfully.
After an amazingly successful 2010 SpaceX failed to launch a single rocket this year, so this prediction was a spectacular failure. Hopefully they will get back on track in 2012 beginning with their scheduled mission to the space station on February 7.
- 3D televisions will still not be a big deal.
3-D TV sales actually declined in Q3 2011. Manufacturers may eventually figure this technology out, but I suspect that something more akin to Ultra High Definition TVs will instead be the next big thing in television.
- Splits in the Republican party between social conservatives and fiscal conservatives will increase significantly.
House Republicans have been surprisingly united and have also managed to focus on fiscal issues rather than social issues. The debt ceiling debacle and the late fight over payroll taxes had the potential to split the party, but they surprisingly stayed united. Another wrong prediction, and another reason why I don’t write about politics very often.
- Labor disputes in the NFL will not affect the regular season. A lockout will be imposed in the NBA and the regular season will be shortened as a result.
Got this one right, although I’m actually surprised the NBA lockout didn’t last longer.
- Cape Wind and Bluewater Wind will both start construction of their offshore wind farm projects in 2011 after years of legal wrangling and delays.
Neither has begun construction as ongoing legal battles and other delays tie things up. I’m a fan of windmills, and am bummed out that the US thus far hasn’t figured out a way to make offshore wind work.
- Total downloads of JAMWiki will exceed 15,000 for the year.
Final download numbers for 2011 were 16,805, but somehow about 6,000 of those came from Khazakhstan in February, so in the interest of not supporting Soviet hackers this one unfortunately goes down as an incorrect prediction.
- 2011 will see not just two, but three journal entries every month.
As predicted, the ongoing tradition of questionable writing and end-of-the-month entries expanded in 2011, and with ongoing effort should continue into 2012.
Final score: 7 out of 14, which shockingly is the best success rate in the three years that I’ve been making predictions. It’s unlikely that I’m getting any better at this, but dumb luck says I’ve got to be right occasionally. The 2012 predictions will be up soon, and they will undoubtedly return things to the historical rates of inaccuracy.