Analog Nation is pleased to present our predictions for the first year of the second decade of the third millennium — and beyond. • Financial markets in Europe will grind to a halt due to a toothpaste shortage in Finland. The world economy will once again teeter on disaster's edge.
• Tectonic activity will cause major geological changes in the Great Lakes region, including a new volcano in Detroit. Because really, what else can go wrong for them?
• The words "chimney," "fulcrum," and "hand-me-down" will come to be seen as unspeakably filthy. Linguists will have to think up replacement words, which will be particularly tricky for chimney because "smokestack" is already a little dirty.
• The United States Supreme Court will relocate its chambers to a floating castle that drifts along the Capital Beltway. This one just makes sense, and probably should have happened by now.
• Broncos legend John Elway will discover the lost city of Atlantis. The "how" won't be nearly as surprising as the "why."
• The governors of at least seven states will turn out to be covert assassins. The ensuing media storm will be called "Assassingate," because we have lost the ability to come up with scandal names.
• Someone will show up at Oscars wearing a dress made entirely of leaves. The Golden Globes will also happen, apparently.
• The National Hockey League will merge with Major League Soccer, creating a soccer-hockey hybrid called "kickpuck." Within minutes, children in Canada will be born with a natural ability to play the game.
• Opera mashups will sweep the Internet Lady Gaga, we're looking at you.
• The Prime Minister of Australia will lose a bet with the President of Portugal, forcing the populations of those countries to switch places. Sooner or later we'll guess right on this — and who will be laughing then, editors of Prognostication Monthly?
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• By the end of 2018, nearly all birds will be able to speak Norwegian. This won't be as unsettling as it sounds.
• Cal Tech will clone Abraham Lincoln, including his memories and personality. The project's lead geneticists will be forced to file a restraining order against Doris Kearns Goodwin.
• To combat inflation, prices will be capped at five dollars. Nothing, anywhere, will cost more than five dollars.
• Retailers will introduce DRM-encrypted physical items that disappear after a set amount of time. Everyday necessities such as chairs, socks, garbage cans, etc. will be licensed, not sold.
• The 2016 presidential election will be settled with a jai-alai match between Kathleen Sebelius and Tim Pawlenty. The winner will be revealed in the December 2015 edition of "Completely Accurate Predictions."
Grade for our 2009 predictions: Solid B+ (We were close with the John McEnroe thing, but should have said Tiger Woods.)