Welcome back from the holidays. Here are 10 predictions that might influence what you'll be communicating about in 2009. Or not:
1. A dean of Russia's foreign ministry academy predicts that the United States will explode in civil war in 2010, leading to the nation's collapse and disintegration. (Colorado will be part of a new Canadian-controlled republic. But we're not playing Kanuck football. That's where we draw the line.)
2. James Carville says the Republican Party will be confronted with a "near catastrophic ideological rift."
3. "America's #1 Psychic" Sylvia Brown predicts that trained psychologists will start offering hypnotic past-life regression, which will be common practice by 2011. (She doesn't predict what the insurance co-pay will be, however.)
4. Business Week thinks Chrysler will merge into General Motors. They also think Americans will start buying a lot of boxed wine.
5. Wired.com's senior editor says we'll see hundreds of new on-line magazine start-ups as entrepreneurs take advantage of low competitive barriers and journalists willing to work cheap.
6. Technology industry guru Mark Anderson predicts China will be rocked by huge and deadly riots, causing its GDP to plummet as the West recognizes the country as a "polluted place, rife with economic turmoil and starving people."
7. Personal finance columnist Jeffery Strain says the credit crisis will cause many beloved small, locally owned businesses to disappear forever. (This will also include many small advertising and PR businesses.)
8. Industry analyst Yankee Group is confident that free microblogging service Twitter is the new Facebook. (Except for the minor fact that it generates zero revenue and limits messages to 140 characters. Hype on, Internet phenom.).
9. WSJ columnist Evan Newmark predicts Wall Street will cut jobs, people and bonuses by another 25 percent -- forcing many Masters of the Universe to seek their fortunes in consulting. Or government jobs.
10. A former Mafia boss says top-level tennis matches will be a prime target for gambling corruption.
Send any other predictions worth noting to scatterbox(@)stevensilvers.com.
Go get 'um, my friends.
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