2006 Forecast: Hurricanes, Armageddon & Brokeback Mountain
The Great Magda Sees All: 'The spirits are revealing to me a vision...I see a man...yes, a man on his knees...giving another man...in a cowboy hat...something I cannot see...wait, it's becoming clear now...yes...it's a blowjob. The Great Magda has spoken!'
Crystal Ball for 2006 Sees Giant Asteroid Crash (or Not)
PARIS - In 2006, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be re-elected governor of California, Internet giant Google will suffer a setback - and Brazil will hang on to the World Cup.
If Earth doesn't get wiped out by a giant comet first, that is.
Maybe it will all come true and maybe not, but a legion of soothsayers - from business gurus to Bible decoders - is full of predictions for the year to come.
Some use elaborate computer programs like "Torah4U" to ferret out remarkably precise predictions allegedly hidden within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and the Torah.
One Website complete with diagrammed excerpts from Holy scripture, exodus2006.com, foresees the November re-election of Schwarzenegger along with the re-establishment of a military draft in the United States.
It also predicts that August 3, 2006 will be a blood-drenched day - yet just a mere shadow of the calamity that will befall us in 2010.
Annie Stanton, one of countless psychics plying her trade on the Internet, predicts that catastrophe will come this year in the form of a massive asteroid crashing into the planet.
Another mystic seer, Anita Nigam from India, has extended her powers of the paranormal into another realm - the outcomes of English football's Premier League matches. Rumor has it she's keen on Brazil.
Bill Gray of Colorado University uses turbo-charged computer models that crunch data on global sea-surface temperatures and atmospheric conditions to forecast the number and intensity of hurricanes that will hit the US each year. Gray, whose track record is startlingly good, says 2006 will be no picnic - 17 named tropical storms, nine hurricanes and five major, high-wind hurricanes, nearly twice the historical average in all categories.
Meanwhile Wired magazine co-founder John Battelle, whose crystal ball is closely watched by the Internet technology faithful, says "Google will stumble" due to a bad partnership or a legal setback.
With the possible exception of the Apocalypse, no single event inspires more fevered speculation that the Oscars - who will be nominated, and who will win.
Odds-makers have cooled considerably on King Kong after the release of Brokeback Mountain, but Memoirs of a Geisha and Jarhead have loyal supporters too.