Events Guide
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Back to the future

By Jo Finzi

It’s a bit of a joke really - every December, as the countdown to New Year’s gets under way, every wannabe psychic begins to rattle off a list of half-baked predictions that are little more than guesses. It’s become an annual sport. So, at the risk of behind left behind by all the kitchen table psychics, let’s take a look ahead to 2008 and follow up on a few of last year’s more popular predictions.

Fashion pictureMost of the fashion world pundits said 2007 would be the year of the dress. And indeed it was: a voluminous one in the spring and a more fitted one this fall. Bloomingdale’s fashion director, says dresses not only sold well in the dress department but also in sportswear, where skirts and pants are more typical best-sellers. For 2008, look for bright colours and bold prints with dresses reminiscent of the 70’s.  Pointy toe shoes were supposed to be hot in ‘07 but they lost out to ballet style flat slippers. That should continue into ‘08 as women opt for comfort over style.

Toys pictureIn ‘07 Sony’s PS3 was supposed to surge, but in reality Nintendo’s Wii became almost a fetish all over the world. It was the most sought after Christmas gift and the most difficult to find by the time December rolled around. It took the thunder from the PS3 and X-box. And out of nowhere, Guitar Hero surged ahead in the final weeks of the year. (see story on Guitar Hero elsewhere) In 2008 Guitar Hero and countless variations will continue to challenge all comers. A huge event in 2007 that no-one predicted - the endless toy recalls due to lead paint and other hazards. That will likely mean a shift to “green” toys in the months ahead. As the American election nears, how about a George Bush effigy!

Fitness picturePredictions for ‘07 focussed on the quickie....not THAT quickie… the quick workout session for those on the go. That prediction was right on the money as the fitness industry touted countless schemes to separate people from their pounds (and dollars) Curves, which offers a 30-minute workout, now has over 10,000 locations worldwide and most personal trainers offered 30-minute sessions. Even fitness DVD workouts included several short, intense workouts. Our 2008 prediction: more fitness boot camp classes and more fusion classes, combining cardio, toning and stretching. Dance will continue to grow as a favoured fitness method.

Technology pictureTechnology is always a tough one, since some of the technology that will make it big in ‘08 are still in the drawing boards or in some nerd’s head. In ‘07 Apple’s iPhone was expected to sweep the world but Apple made a few mistakes - first by setting the price way too high then, in a knee-jerk reaction, slashing the price - which only upset the people who bought in early. The iPhone has also become something of a hackers target worldwide. For 2008, though, the iPhone concept will influence other phone manufacturers, now that they’ve seen the unique and interesting features in Apple’s product. Wireless will continue to be a force to reckon with. GPS systems will become more common in vehicles. Social Networking sites such will continue to flourish, but security issues related to sites such as MySpace and Facebook will drive people to new social networking opportunities.

Food pictureAs predicted for ‘07, food reality shows took off on many TV networks and that will continue in ‘08 with an emphasis on politically correct organic foods which represent a significant market share. The year ahead will see food preparation shows continue to move away from the old how-to-chop-an-onion concept to high cuisine with an attitude. In ‘08 despite good intentions obesity will be a growing world problem. Also in ‘08 the so called “hundred mile diet” will be elevated to religion status as people strive to buy local in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Celebrities pictureIn 2008 we’ll see Angelina and Brad adopt a third world country, while Madonna who turns 50 in ‘08, will acquire a continent. Tom Cruise will undergo a foot transplant, nothing to do with his feet, silly, but an attempt to make him 12in taller - then he’ll be on the lookout for his next child bride, even younger than Katie Holmes. After entertaining the troops - one at a time - Paris Hilton will wed a member of the British Royal family. George Bush will write his memoirs, “World Domination for Dummies.” The Spice Girls comeback will fizzle. A special country club style jail is built in Los Angeles for celebrities behaving badly. Michael Jackson will be among the latest stars to go to jail - this time for impersonating a man. 

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