Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Undangerous Predictions for 2015

Undangerous Predictions for 2015 (goal is more than 50% correct)


1.     The Washington Nationals will make the MLB playoffs again.

I made this prediction after they traded Tyler Clippard, but before they got Max Scherzer.  Their pitching is loaded.   Ryan Zimmerman should take the place of Adam LaRoche with no difficulty (and now he doesn’t have to throw to first base).   Some say that the team is the favorite to win the National League now. 

2.    The Washington Capitals will be in the NHL playoffs for the 2014-2015 season.

Despite some slip-ups, the ne’er-do-great Caps are playing a good system under new coach Barry Trotz, and Alex Ovechkin is much more of a two-way player now.  The unknown K-factor is Kuznetsov, who is making progress toward being a star, like he was expected to be.  If he can get there this year, they might do well in the playoffs.  And if they stop taking so many penalties!

3.    Caroline Wozniacki will be in the semi-final round of at least one Grand Slam tennis tournament this year.

She appears to still be playing very well.   And she showed last year that she can get to the finals.  So I think she’ll at least be in the last four at one of the 2015 majors.

4.    Crystal Palace FC will avoid relegation in the Barclays Premier League this season.

Wasn’t so sure in December, but the new manager Alan Pardew seems to have given them a new attitude.    Just staying in this tough league IS an accomplishment.


5.    One of these Democrats:  Hilary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, or Joe Biden;  and one of these dangerous Republicans:  Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, or Scott Walker;  will declare their candidacy for President in 2015.  I don’t consider Chris Christie or Jeb Bush dangerous.

This one doesn’t require a lot of thought, because most of these names have taken steps toward candidacy or at least declared interest in running.

6.    Either the  state of Kansas or the state of Maryland will be reported to be making “unconventional”, “unprecedented”, “draconian”, “extraordinary”  or “dramatic” steps to reduce its budget shortfall.  One of those five words will be found in an article about either state’s budget.

I live in Maryland, and the new governor had promised cuts due to the budget shortfall (notably the outgoing governor and prospective Presidential candidate, O’Malley, made some late-term cuts already).   And the Kansas budget is a disaster under Brownback, who apparently wants the whole state education system to go back to the days of the little red schoolhouse with a single schoolmarm.

7.    The efforts of Congress to reduce Environmental Protection Agency regulatory authority will be unsuccessful.

They can chafe and squawk all they want, but if they really try to push back against the EPA, the GOP will face a bevy of lawsuits and an outcry in the media.  Ultimately, I don’t think that they will make major inroads.  I’m wrong on this one if they pass a law that doesn’t get vetoed (ha) that does make a major cutback in what the EPA can do.


8.    Both the Mars Opportunity Rover and the Mars Curiosity Rover will still be working at the end of 2015.

They better be.  But this is not certain, as Opportunity is old and could have a major problem any day.  But those JPL engineers are pretty smart.  As for Curiosity, it has a considerable way to go and a lot more to discover as it climbs Mount Sharp.

9.    The New Horizons mission will find at least one more moon of Pluto during its flyby.

Well, there are already four that have been telescopically detected from Earth.  Enough so that the flight engineers are worried about running into an undetected Pluto ring.  So I’m betting they’ll see at least another moon.

10.    The Dawn mission will discover something “surprising”, “unexpected” or “unexplained” about Ceres.  One of those words will be used in an article about the discovery.

Well, I go with this prediction because very little is known about Ceres, and Vesta turned out to be loaded with surprises when Dawn visited.  I don’t expect Ceres to be simple.


11.    One celebrity couple that had a baby together, born after November 2014 and extending into 2015, will break up before the end of 2015.  This does not include Jeremy Renner, since that already happened.  (Plus, the mother of his child wasn’t really a celebrity. ) This is for at least a major-minor celeb pairing, not a major or minor celeb paired with an “ordinary” person.

Couplings in the heat of passion that result in offspring tend to be volatile, and taking care of a little one without much of a prior commitment can be emotionally and physically taxing.  While I don’t wish any of the new parental couples to break up quick, I think it’s inevitable that somebody will.  Note to Ryan Reynolds:  do NOT under any circumstances break up with Blake.  You can’t be silly.

12.    A well-known actress/starlet will do her first bare-breasted nude scene in a movie.  It will be noted as a surprise (or words to that effect) in reporting.

They always do it if its necessitated by plot and the artistic verismilitude of cinema.  Cameron Diaz dropped her top last year.  So I expect another previously-covered actress to uncover.   (Emmanuelle Chriqui, oh please oh please oh please…)

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