December 31, 2012 - The Last Day of 2012

It's the last day of the year, and I'd say that it is time to take stock of all the predictions that did not come true. First of all, of course, the world did not end on or around the 21st of this month – and we all know by now that no ancient Mayan predicted the end of the world, anyway, right? – but there were lots of other firm-sounding predictions that missed the mark, as well.

So-called psychic LaMont Hamilton said that there would be an Iranian revolution that would remove either Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from power—but that didn't happen. Some of his other predictions, including a serious dispute between China and Japan, China losing its position in the world's economy, and two space disasters for Russia, fell flat—thank goodness! The predictions that Hamilton made that actually came true were either pretty good guesses or completely obvious to everyone—yes, President Obama did face Mitt Romney in an election (I noticed that Hamilton didn't predict who would win!), and yes, Israel did face some violence.

Another “psychic,” Judy Hevenly, said that Anderson Cooper would win an Emmy Award for his TV talk show. He didn't; instead, his show attracted few viewers and was cancelled. She said that Canada would be hit by major wildfires, but the nation had a normal fire season; instead, Colorado burned all summer. She guessed correctly that Barack Obama would be re-elected president, but she went along with scientists who estimated that world population totals would hit 7.5 or 7.6 billion; instead, the population is barely more than 7 billion as of today. It was a good guess on Hevenly's part that 2012 would bring a baby boy to Kate Middleton and Prince William of England—but it didn't; instead, it brought just the beginnings of a pregnancy that will hopefully result in a healthy baby (boy OR girl!) in 2013.

Nikki, “Psychic to the Stars,” said that an earthquake would destroy most of Mexico City and that there would be a giant earthquake in California. No and no. She said that animals and birds would attack people at the end of the year (one assumes more than normal), giant prehistoric sea monsters would be seen in the sea, and that there would be major UFO sightings all over the world, and maybe even an alien spacecraft landing. No, no, no, no. A plane was going to crash into the White House. No. The Holy Grail was going to be found. No. The Earth was going to “fall off its axis.” No. And, by the way, that doesn't make sense.

Nikki also made some predictions about the Hollywood stars she supposedly specializes in: Ellen De Generes would join the army for a week, Sylvester Stallone would be nominated for a Tony Award, and Madonna would break a leg. No, no, and no.

I have to say, however, that I admire the fact that Nikki really goes out on a limb and predicts things that aren't just general good guessing. She was proven super wrong in all the predictions I checked, but at least she was bold. Most psychics talk in such a general way that they could make a case that their predictions were right—but even I can predict that there will be upheaval in the Middle East, earthquakes will occur somewhere, and the economy will suffer from unemployment and stock-market shake-ups.

Here's my source for the 2012 predictions...I only dealt with the top three psychics, but I tried not to cherry-pick; they guessed right at times, but those “hits” are easily explained by the fact that they were merely intelligent guesses that followed 2011 trends, or that they were framed in general “mushy” language that is impossible to be proven wrong. The more specific and dramatic predictions all turned out to be wrong. And notice that nobody predicted shootings at a movie theater or an elementary school, nor a devastating Superstorm hitting Manhattan and New Jersey. And that's because people can make good guesses about the future based on data from the past...but apparently they can't make MAGICAL predictions.

Also on this date:

Anniversary of a window tax in England

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