What will the new year bring?

Published 12:59 pm Thursday, December 31, 2009

Each year, a group of faculty experts at The University of Alabama take a turn at predicting what they think will come in the new year.

They’ve been doing this for 29 years and, remarkably, they are pretty accurate. There are exceptions, of course, such as the time a few years ago when they said we would all be wearing wired clothing instead of carrying cell phones, but everyone makes mistakes.

So, what’s ahead for 2010? Let’s take a look:

UA political science professor Dr. Stephen Borrelli said President Barack Obama will go his own way more, relying less on Congressional Democrats to deliver his message. This, of course, means more prime-time speeches and more complaints our president interrupts really important things, such as the season finale of “Desperate Housewives.”

Dr. Doug Gibler, a political scientist at UA, said the next world hot spot will be in the Arctic Circle, as Canada, Russia, Greenland and the US vie to develop the area. Maybe “Disneyland: The Ice Age,” isn’t too far off.

Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, will continue to grow, according to Dr. Karla Gower, associate professor of advertising and public relations at The University of Alabama. This means even more people will know what you ate for breakfast or that you LOL at your friends’ jokes, all in 140 characters or less.

Bradley Byrne, the former chancellor of the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education, and U.S. Rep. Artur Davis are likely to face off in Alabama’s November 2010 gubernatorial election, according to Dr. David Lanoue, chair of UA’s political science department. This is very good for newspaper people, as it’s much easier to fit the names “Byrne” or “Davis” into a headline that it was, say, “Siegelman.”

“Fashionistas” will be replaced by “Recessionistas,” according to Brian Taylor, instructor of clothing, textiles and interior design. This means more people will be spending money they don’t have on cheaper things, as opposed to spending money they don’t have on more expensive items.

What’s ahead for 2010? No one really knows for sure. What we do know is some things will stay the same, others are sure to change. We’ll just have to wait to see which is which.