Sure, we humans like to think of a new year as a blank slate; but deep down we know that history repeats itself. We know that along with the unexpected revelations and unpredictable fads, 2015 will bring us more NFL rap sheets, Facebook privacy settings reconfigurations, fracking debates, "stand somebody else's ground" military actions, sighs over a "do nothing" Congress, major retailer security breaches and warnings of a comet that may or may not strike in 37 years.
Judging by past performance, I have determined with 95 percent accuracy that you can expect the following "shocking" developments in 2015:
* Archaeologists in Israel discover a thumb-sized fragment of pottery and announce with certainty that Judas Iscariot was in reality (a) the brother-in-law of Jesus, (b) the "love child" of Jesus or (c) a bird-like dinosaur.
* A near-mint copy of "Action Comics" No. 1 (1938, the first appearance of Superman) sells for an unbelievable amount -- and the new owner is dismayed to learn that the ads in the magazine provide waaay better medical advice than Dr. Oz.
* August 17: scientists discover 17 species of invisible fifth-dimensional amphibians that defy all laws of physics. August 21: Al Gore declares, "The science is settled!"
* Rush Limbaugh causes a stir when the world press erroneously reports that he consoled a grieving little boy by telling him that moderate Republicans can go to heaven.
* Post-trilogy Hobbit withdrawal sets in. Fans petition Peter Jackson to direct a new $200 million epic based loosely on J.R.R. Tolkien's laundry list.
* Police departments nationwide begin using body cameras to get at the truth about deadly confrontations. Al Sharpton is soon on TV announcing, "I have discovered that one of the screws on the cameras was installed by a person of the Caucasian persuasion. Coincidence? I think not."
* Unmarried celebrity couples with less and less commitment to one another will announce the formation of a "baby bump." 2015 may be the year that pairs who haven't even MET yet will make the announcement. ("Have your people impregnate my people.")
* President Obama issues an executive order preventing future presidents from issuing executive orders. ("And they have to hop on one foot when entering my presidential library!")
* Google is overloaded when another newsmaker you haven't given a rat's rump about in 30 years finally kicks off. ("In my defense, I've been sort of busy catching up on 'Game of Thrones'.")
* Magazines continue to publish wild rape allegations. ("Our legal department says this was fully vetted by Elvis and the Tooth Fairy.")
* Endangered species slip nearer to extinction because of the black-market quest for folk-remedy aphrodisiacs. (It's too much to hope that women worldwide will announce, "Not tonight. I've got a headache. And I just remembered that my biggest turn-on is moonlit walks on the beach, not pathetic losers who think killing a rare rhino will enhance their prowess.")
* Because the opportunities for 15 minutes of fame are dwindling, a computer whiz develops an algorithm that lets you be "the first openly gay (fill-in-the-blank)."
* Waterboarding and sleep deprivation are discouraged, but the assigning of moronic baby names remains a popular form of torture. ("I don't know anything about the location of a ticking bomb, but if you DO find it, use it on my parents!")
And the surest bet for 2015? Near year's end, Danny Tyree scrambles for stupid predictions about 2016.
Danny Tyree is a columnist, writing a weekly column, "Tyree's Tyrades. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.