October 21, 2015, saw a few people lose their beans, as it was the day Marty McFly flew off into the future in the DeLorean during the 1989 American science-fiction adventure comedy Back to the Future II.
Anticipation was at fever pitch for the great day, replete with the obligatory Facebook page and website, which naturally spawned a host of 'news stories' about the the event. There was even a countdown to 4.29pm, the time Michael J Fox's character landed the time machine on October 21, as if something wonderful was going to happen. Of course, nothing did.
Despite a prototype 'hover board', one of the speculative futuristic items in the film, being ridden by skateboarding legend Tony Hawk in the weeks preceding the momentous day, the film didn't get much else right.
But sci-fi writers have had an uncanny knack of being able to accurately predict certain things. Aldous Huxley's 1931 novel Brave New World, for example, foresaw the mass production of antidepressants.
Predicting the future is perhaps best exemplified by sports betting. Many factors are thrown into a theoretical pot to predict a likely outcome.
The same idea can be seen with the dairy futures market which pointed towards a continued slump in prices for yesterday's global dairy trade auction; the prediction was right, with prices falling a further 7.9per cent on the back of two previous declines. While predicting the result doesn't alleviate the situation for dairy farmers, it can at least make those affected slightly better prepared - it arms them with foresight.
Despite the obvious futility in predicting the future, there's no denying it's an inherent trait of the human condition; we've always wanted to know what the future holds. From tarot cards to prophecies and omens, the perception of being able to see what's around the corner preys on our curiosities.
But I would argue that trusting your gut instincts and experiences has more validity than the shape of tea leaves in a saucer. The famous US sports commentator James George Snyder, aka Jimmy the Greek, began his rocky road to fame and fortune by betting on Harry Truman to beat Thomas Dewey in the 1948 presidential election. So confident were the pollsters that Dewey would win, the Chicago Daily Tribune splashed 'Dewey Defeats Truman' all over its front page. So confident were the bookies of the same outcome, they offered odds of 17:1 in favour of Dewey. Jimmy the Greek took those odds to the tune of $10,000 and made a small fortune. When asked later why he backed Truman instead of the more-fancied Dewey, he replied: "American women don't trust men with a moustache." A quite brilliant observation, not to mention a credit to the American female of the 1940s.
Jimmy the Greek's summation gives me hope that I too can foresee what lies beyond tomorrow. Using the moustache theory, I can see New Zealand being on the rough end of a few dodgy calls in Adelaide, I can see the Highlanders suffering a clanger at the hands of some pink-clad referee, I can see parking wardens remaining the root of all evil and I can see Jamie Mackay become increasingly intolerant. It's a good job he isn't making the Farming Show team take part in Movember; imagine how untrustworthy we'd be then...