Skeptico did this neat thing last year, where he made predictions about events of the year 2007... and then compared his results to that of several famous professional "psychics." (Surprise, surprise -- Skeptico did as well or better.)
Rebecca suggested that we steal this idea and turn it into a contest. And I'm all for stealing other people's good ideas, as long as I give due credit as I run off with the loot. So I hereby present the 2008 "Are You Smarter Than A Celebrity Psychic?" contest, with due credit to Skeptico.
The rules: Make five predictions about world events in 2008: political events, natural disasters, celebrity gossip, etc. Post them in the comments here, no later than January 15, 2008. Predictions should be things that reasonably might or might not happen; totally obvious predictions such as "The sun will continue to rise in the East" and "Saturn will not crash into Jupiter" will not be accepted. However, credit will be given for partially correct answers, since the celebrity psychics do that when they score themselves. Credit will also be given if events can be interpreted to fit the prediction -- ditto.
The winner will be announced on January 1, 2009. The winner will be told, "That's amazing! You must actually be psychic and not be aware of it!" in this blog.
My predictions, to get the crystal ball rolling:
1. John Edwards will get the Democratic nomination for President, and will go on to win the election in November.
2. At least one new atheist book will make the New York Times bestseller list.
3. A new drug will be released treating female sexual dysfunction.
4. Hal Holbrook will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Into the Wild." He will not win.
5. Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan will get into legal trouble for out-of-control behavior related to drugs or alcohol.
So what are your guesses -- excuse me, psychic predictions?
Addendum to the rules, inspired by the first round of predictions:
You have to score your own predictions. I am not bloody well going to try to stay up on German politics, scandals in the Australian cabinet, or tech industry lawsuits, solely to keep track of this silly game. And besides, scoring your own predictions is much more in keeping with the spirit of the game.