The Spectator

Barometer | 8 December 2016

Also in our Christmas Barometer: duff predictions, dull celebrations, and early Christmas posting dates

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Forgotten anniversaries

2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution. Other anniversaries:

50 years Radio 1; first North Sea gas pumped ashore in County Durham; first cash dispenser (at Barclays in Enfield)

100 years First international airmail service (between Brindisi in Italy and Valona, Albania); first use of air raid siren in UK; first sex education film (in the US)

200 years First municipal gasworks, Manchester; Fahrenheit scale; display of Elgin marbles at the British Museum

300 years First druid-revival ceremony, at Primrose Hill at the autumn equinox

400 years Britain’s first one-way street (Pudding Lane, in the City of London)

Things to crow about

Some things 2017 is meant to be year of:

Year of the Rooster (China)

International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (UN)

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (Visit Scotland)

UK-Indian Year of Culture (Government)

Year of Walking (Suffolk County Council)

Year of Risk (Geological Society of London)

Predictable results

Some rubbish predictions made for 2016:

Nikki, ‘psychic to the stars’: ‘Huge crash at Formula 1 race, killing many; Scottish riots; helicopter will crash into Empire State Building; earthquake in Denmark’.

Simon Reich, ‘the man who got almost everything right about the year before’: ‘Donald Trump will not be republican candidate, but yes, Hillary will be Democratic candidate — and will be elected president’.

Baba Vanga, blind Bulgarian billed as ‘Nostradamus of the Balkans’, who made her prediction before she died 20 years ago: ‘Europe will cease to exist by 2016 — will be empty spaces and wasteland’.

Did anyone get anything right? Da Juana Byrd, ‘psychic and medium’, said: ‘Unless something severe happens Donald Trump will be your new president.’ Best ignore the mudslides in Australia and uprising in Angola which she also predicted.

Post haste

Some remarkably early last posting dates for Christmas by Royal Mail’s ‘International Economy’:

17 November Western Europe

3 November Cyprus, Iceland, Turkey

13 October Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, USA

29 September Far and Middle East

28 September Rest of the world