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Skepticpedi’s Predictions for 2009*…..

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Many of you would probably be suprised to learn that I have psychic powers. Since early childhood, I have been able to see far into the future with eerie accuracy, often predicting world-changing events. Until now however, I have kept this gift a secret as to not alienate myself from the skeptical community, which tends to frown on such endeavors. But the burden has become to great for me alone to bear, so I am revealing my powers to the world. With that out of the way, here are my predictions for 2009. 

Medicine

1. In late January, scientists will discover a previously unknown neurotransmitter, 5-hydroxyskeptamine (5-HS). By the end of the year, mandatory genetic testing will be initiated so that people with increased levels of 5-HS, or those with increased 5-HS receptor sensitivity, can be isolated for use by the medical-industrial complex in their conspiracy to control the world. Once on board, they will be briefed on what “They” don’t want you to know about.

2. Dr. Jenny McCarthy, having recently completed an exhaustive 6-week MD-PhD program at Google University’s brand new Los Angeles campus, will host a meeting of the world’s foremost experts on neurodevelopmental disorders and vaccine science in June. Oprah will also be there to discuss her work on mapping autism risk loci using genetic linkage and chromosomal rearrangements and Holly Robinson Peete will present her studies on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from children with autism spectrum disorder.

3. Chiropractic researchers will announce that the spread of manipulation resistant subluxations is increasing, and call for the best minds in the world of complementary and alternative medicine to come together to reach a much needed consensus on how much to charge for their treatment.

Astrology

4. Towards the middle of the year, academic astrologers will reveal the results of a centuries long study on the movement of the planets and their effects on the Earth. Included amongst the many shocking discoveries that will be announed will be that the stars and planets are round, very far away, and difficult to see without a telescope. They will also reveal that the Earth is in a state of transition and will face many adversities, particularly at some point during the current Cenozoic Era, but that the Earth is a resilient and fun-loving terrestrial planet which will find balance sometime during the Sun’s red giant phase. Also, it should expect an exciting romance in March.

The Economy

5. Everything will be fine. Seriously, don’t worry about it.

Politics

6. Politicians from across the country will unite to form one enormous superpolitician which will crush all those which attempt to stand in its way. This will happen in September and will be filmed by Fox for its reality series, “Who Wan’t to Marry a Superpolitician?”

Religion

7. In November, Biblical scholars will reveal exciting new information regarding God’s last name. It’s Jenkins.

Entertainment

8. In a suprising decision by network executives, Kevin Trudeau will replace Conan O’Brien as host of Late Night when O’brien takes the helm of the Tonight Show in June. Trudeau, who will be excited about the opportunity to show the world his funny side, will shoot a randomly chosen audience member during each episode. He will then feast on the heart of a human infant.

Technology

9. In July, Microsoft will reveal plans for the next generation in home console gaming. Capitalizing on the nation’s desire for cheap and wholesome entertainment, the XBOX Zero, which consists of a handled wooden cup and a ball which is attached to a string, which is also attached to the cup, will be very popular. There will be flames painted on the cup and a recorded cheer will play upon succesfully catching the ball in the cup. Microsoft will sell well over a billion units by the end of the year but will still fold and be puchased for pennies on the dollar by a race of sentient portable media player/human hybrids.

10. In April, the iPod Neuro, which hooks directly into the owner’s neuroendocrine system, will hit store shelves. Designed to fully integrate itself into the host, rendering clumsly scroll wheels and distracting free will obsolete, the Neuro will eventually come to control a significant number of organ systems and their functions. By November of 2009, over half of the American population will be “plugged in” to Apple’s Neurointegration Network where they will receive their daily instructions and be able to buy food and water on iTunes.

I truly hope that this helps to prepare you for the year to come. I welcome any other psychics who may be reading to leave their own predictions for 2009 in the comment section.

*The predictions of Skepticpedi are not necessarily those of the Greater Houston Skeptic Society. Skepticpedi is not really psychic but is very smart and his predictions are still almost certainly going to come true. None of these predictions are going to come true, especially not the one about the iPod Neuro. Now, go out and buy an iPod Neuro right now.

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Written by skepticpedi

January 5, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Psychic Powers, Satire

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Happy Psychics and Some Not-So-Psychic Predictions…..

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It’s been said that desperate times call for desperate measures. This old adage would appear to be true considering the recent coverage by a number of news outlets of the increase in business seen by psychics since the troubles on Wall Street began a few months ago. One such report, on Albuquergue’s KOAT.com, provides some insight from a local psychic named Ana Anaya, who feels that the economic turmoil has led to an increase in those who are willing to believe. 

“I have been so busy because of the stock market,” she said. “I have a lot of people who have lost their jobs.”

This isn’t surprising to me at all. I have seen a similar situation in the world of so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” time and time again. Individuals with chronic conditions or terminal illnesses who are desperate often find temporary comfort in the arms of quacks. They are told that all will be made well if a certain diet or treatment regimen is followed, that they can be cured despite what the heartless and misinformed mainstream doctors are telling them. Psychics are using the exact same schtick to gain unwarranted attention from folks. Only instead of promising a cure for their cancer or other terrible malady, they are promising a better financial future. But both take money in exchange for fairy tales. A patient may improve while using some bogus remedy, or an investor’s portfolio might rebound, but these outcomes were not a result of the remedy or known by the psychic.

So what were Ms. Anaya’s predictions for the new year?

“Things are definitely going to get better absolutely — it will be really good for people.”

 and

“Gas prices will definitely go up, I have to tell you,” she said. “I’m sorry to say.”

Wow that is some lazy prognostication. Did she really need her cards to tell her that? The economy is the worst it has been since the great depression and gas prices are lower than they have been in over 5 years. Once again I have to mention the similarity between this and quackery. The principle of regression towards the mean is apparantly useful in many forms of woo. People with chronic illnesses often have ups and downs, good days or weeks and bad days or weeks. Patients tend to reach out for help when they are at their worst and they would improve regardless of what therapy is instituted. Gas prices are bound to go up again and the economy, as predicted legitimately by just about every expert out there, is going to improve in 2009.

This kind of psychic predicting is obviously just an attempt at grabbing the low hanging fruit. Psychics, like Sylvia Browne and her ilk, often make long lists of predictions for the upcoming year or so, and they are typically filled with a mixture of the obvious and the highly unlikely. When the no-brainers come to pass they can claim credit, and if they get lucky with one of the absurd ones they can claim credit all over the mass media. Here are some examples from Browne’s 2008 and 2009 predictions:

“…Children are not properly fed, clothed, educated, protected or given adequate medical care.”

“…People who are ready, willing and able to work cannot find decent jobs.”

“…Some death row inmates are innocent.”

“I predict a great rise in skin cancer in children until 2010. There is a lot of media coverage about the UV rays and many products to protect people against them. But people are still often careless when it comes to the sun. Then again, people could pay attention – and reverse this prediction right out from under me. I would certainly be all for that!”

“I predict the President elected sometime between 2008 and 2020 will die in office from a heart attack. The Vice President who will finish their term will have an unpopular and mistaken intention to declare war on North Korea. By that time, North Korea will have weapons of mass destruction. In the middle of efforts to declare war, I predict the Vice President will be assassinated.”

“In 2008, I predict doctor’s offices will have a high-tech “aura scanner” for patients that come to see them. This will be a highly developed version of an MRI. A patient will stand on a rotating disc and an infrared light will scan the body looking at their aura.”

   There are many more than that but it is a good cross-section. As you can see, many of her predictions aren’t even predictions but are simply the stating of obvious fact. One would be a fool to claim that every child in the world will have adequate medical care during this two year period, or that hunger will be wiped from the face of the planet. Also, there has never been an unemployment rate of 0% and there sure as heck won’t be one in 2008 and 2009. You get the point. The latter predictions are at least actually claiming something that isn’t obvious, but the one on skin cancer is ridiculous. What kind of psychic prediction incorporates such an obvious escape clause? She is apparantly only psychic when she’s right and the rest of the time is just making an uneducated guess. But then again, I haven’t had my routine doctor’s office “aura scan” yet so what do I know.

Stop Sylvia Browne!

Written by skepticpedi

December 31, 2008 at 9:08 am