Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final evaluation of the 2013 undangerous predictions

Despite calling them "undangerous", I went too far out on a limb a few times; my heart surpassed my mind in terms of control, and I also had a few totally sentimental unlikely ones.  NEXT YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT.  The point of "undangerous" predictions is to make predictions that have a fairly good possibility of actually happening.   Which means I should get at least 6 out of 10.   Let's make a final assessment of last year's effort:

Because I was a little hazardous, I said I'd be lucky to get five of them right.  So let's see.

1. Caroline Wozniacki wins a tennis Grand Slam.
WRONG. She has faded, and Serena Williams was dominant this year.  Wozniacki's best Slam was the Australian, where she made it to the fourth round.  Second-round exit in the French;  second-round exit at Wimbledon with an ankle injury;  third-round out at the U.S. Open in a 3-setter to a qualifier.  Will she have a  better 2014?  Hard to tell.  I think her best tennis is still in front of her, though. [Though getting engaged to Rory McIlroy might be distracting.]

2. McCauliffe elected governor in Virginia
RIGHT.  Cuccinelli was just too far right and too fargone to win. It was still close due to the October Obamacare rollout fiasco. Thank God Coochie was just to much to take.

3. Arctic sea ice doesn't set new minimum record;  skeptics publicize this everywhere.
RIGHT.  And they are already touting the refreeze stats as something contrary to global warming, too.

4. Jennifer Aniston has a baby

WRONG.  Hard to tell if this will ever happen, because it's hard to tell the current status of her relationship with Justin Theroux (most recently they still look amorously involved). Right now if I had an even-money bet I'd say she won't.  That's not a big deal (despite what the tabloids say), but I think she'll leave the child-rearing to her Friends.

5. The GOP House fights another pitched battle over raising the debt ceiling, and only capitulates when China threatens to cause us economic harm because our pending recession is hurting their economy.
WRONG.  (But close.)  The pitched battle ended up being over Obamacare, resulting in a government shutdown. They made noises about a debt ceiling fight, but the Prez held his ground (smartly), and they realized that wasn't going to fly.  But they've already made noises indicating that they haven't learned their lesson and might fight the next debt ceiling hike.  So if I predict Republicans will show how stupid they are repeatedly in 2014, I'll probably be right frequently.

6. The U.S. Men's Soccer team fails to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
WRONG.  They made it.  And now they're in a very tough group in the actual World Cup.  See my Undangerous Predictions for 2014.

7. Playboy will make an inspired choice for Playmate - Audrey Nicole (Twitter: @msaudreynicole).
WRONG.  I didn't really expect this, but I wanted to show a personal preference here.  Playboy would be
smart to show her off in the monthly feature, but she's done several other things for them already (happily for us!) and thus she probably doesn't qualify as virginal enough to be a Playmate. Too bad.  She's wondrous.

8. Due to the nation's budget problems, several large national parks will close for at least a few days during the summer vacation season, to demonstrate how bad the situation is.
WRONG.  (But again close.)  I thought this would happen due to sequestration, and various gimmicks kept the parks open, if somewhat limited.  But the parks DID close during the Obamacare/budget/shutdown fiasco. 

9. Joe Lieberman gets a position in the Obama administration.
WRONG.  I thought Lieberman has been vetted sufficiently well to be useful in a Cabinet replacement role. Didn't happen.  So he's gone private.  http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-12-24-notebook-financial-20131224,0,1273905.story

10. A major satellite collision in space emphasizes the space debris problem.
RIGHT.  I have to call this one for me;  there was apparently a satellite collision with a small Ecuadorian satellite and Russian space debris.  And a little Russian spacecraft was hit by some Chinese debris.  Do I get credit for two? 

Russian satellite hit by Chinese space junk

Ecuador satellite hit Soviet era space junk

Plus, there was the Chelyabinsk meteor (which became a meteorite since parts of it hit Russia), which I didn't see coming. Obviously nobody else did either, but this also emphasized the potential danger of an asteroid impact. 

So, final score:

CLOSE:  2 (1/2 point)

Final score on my own biased scoring system:  4 out of 10.  Well, I "predicted" I wouldn't do very well. So the Undangerous Predictions for 2014 will be less risky.

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