The BBC has asked various well-known people to predict what will happen in 2004. Mostly banal stuff like Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles getting married. A year ago they asked the same thing, and now we can see whether they have come true. Two of the predictions were spot-on:
POLITICS - Tony Howard, veteran political commentator, said Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith would resign, and Michael Howard would be his successor.
TRANSPORT - Christian Wolmar, an expert on the UK's travel woes, predicted that against people's expectations, London's congestion charging scheme will not be a flop.
The congestion charge was a big success, and is going to be extended. My favourite prediction is this one:
TECHNOLOGY - Trevor Baylis, inventor of the wind-up radio, predicted this would be the year for wind-up laptops.
Er, maybe not. Guess what he is predicting for this year?
Mobile phones will become mini televisions in 2004. Pocket TVs have been around for many years and colour screens on mobiles are now common. The one drawback would be the drain on battery life. But, true to form, Mr Baylis has a practical solution - wind-up "dynamo" chargers, which are already available for standard mobiles.
Mad inventors - don't you just love 'em?