Forecasting 2011

by Ed Quillen

We humans have long been interested in finding out what lies ahead. The ancient Romans, for instance, employed haruspicy. By examining the livers of freshly sacrificed sheep, they hoped to predict the future. Other methods of yore have ranged from alectryomancy (a rooster picks from grains of corn, set next to letters, and spells out a prediction) to xylomancy (predicting from the patterns of fallen twigs and tree branches).

In modern times we have Ouija boards and crystal balls, and I resort to a variants of those when it's time to predict what will happen in the coming year. Rather than a Ouija board, I run my hands across a Qwerty board, and instead of gazing into a crystal ball, I peer into a liquid crystal display.

Thus empowered by modern enhancements to the ancient tools of necromancy, I feel safe in offering these sure-fire predictions for the West in 2011:

As the great Yankee catcher Yogi Berra may have said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." But I feel pretty confident about these predictions for 2011. And if some of them seem rather dismal, there's always the old Russian standby: "This will be an average year. Worse than last year but better than next year."

Ed Quillen is a freelance writer in Salida, Colorado.

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