Billy Beson, CEO of Beson Kading Interior Design Group:

• "Tom Petters will announce his engagement to Bruiser La Rue, his cellmate and tennis partner. Wedding planner David Tutera will refuse the offer to orchestrate the reception, saying, 'I don't do orange.'"

• "While jumping up and down hysterically on Oprah's sofa, Tom Cruise will finally come out of the closet. Duh!"

Mikelle Budge, aka Mary Mack, a local comedian:

• "Nintendo Wii adds to its fitness package by introducing the Wii Home Birthing Mat and Sterile Glove/Wand. We stopped going outside for exercise, so why bother with the hospital for child birthing? Thanks, Nintendo: No more leaving the house, ever."

• "In addition to its noise-blocking headphones, Bose introduces a baby-blocking pacifier to sell in airport vending machines. Pacifier comes sterile and gift-wrapped so as not to offend the recipient."

Dennis Haley, president of Minneapolis' BBDO ad agency:

• "Google Espresso Book Machine: You'll go into a bookstore, walk up to this thing that looks like a freaked-out ATM, select one of 500,000 titles, and it will print/bind/cut/dispense a book. In minutes."

• "Topps' 3D Live Baseball Cards: You watch Joe Mauer take a swing, on your desk, at work. I guess that's what happens when Michael Eisner, ex-CEO of Disney, buys Topps."

• "Kindle was the new thing in e-books. Next year, the Eee Reader, from a Taiwanese manufacturer, Asus, will be priced way below the Kindle. Cheaper, and it works. That's the mantra for so many things that will succeed in 2010."

• "Customizing of ... everything: You'll able to customize flavors for breakfast cereals, beer, ice cream, potato chips and more. And customized design will explode: You'll be able to design your own shoes, wine labels, clothing, even a car."

• "Mobile shopping: You'll be able to order a pizza, rent a car, or pay for your Starbucks via your mobile phone, thanks to virtual loyalty cards and scannable codes. It starts next year, grows exponentially over the next decade."

• "Privacy is going to be one of the biggest issues in 2010. OpenID, Twitter and Facebook Connect are collecting tons of information about us and indexing it on the major search engines. We're heading into some very creepy territory, where our identity becomes tied to the grouping of information about us."

• "Last, but not least, perhaps most importantly, the Vikings beat the Colts in the Super Bowl, 31-24."

Sarah Hicks, principal conductor of pops for the Minnesota Orchestra:

• "In: A cappella singing -- I'm loving 'Sing Off' on NBC. Out: Susan Boyle -- although I'm sure Simon Cowell will continue to rule as starmaker extraordinaire."

• "Out: Toeless platform booties -- how do these make any sort of sense?"

• "In: Bold lip color -- as seen all over the runways during spring shows."

• "Out: Staycations. In: Daycations. As the recession slowly eases, we'll finally be able to take quickie getaways. I've been needing one for a while."

Kevin Kling, local playwright and performer:

• "If I've learned one thing, it's that I really don't know what's coming down the road. An easy one is Twins win the World Series in six; other than that, it's up for grabs."

Rudy Maxa, travel writer and host of TV's "Rudy Maxa's World" and radio's "Rudy Maxa's World with Christopher Elliott":

• "The Kindle (and related e-reader) phenomenon will explode with the release of the first reader that displays in color and a tablet that Apple is working on. And in the long run, it's these devices that will save journalism as we know it, as newspapers and magazines eventually get out of printing words and pictures on paper. Users of e-readers are already accustomed to paying for content, and this is the new channel for the next generation of journalism."

Mary Meehan, executive vice president and co-founder of the consumer-research company Iconoculture:

• "It's been a painful year for newspapers and media in general. But news and journalism aren't going to die. This year we'll get closer to finding the right collaborative mix of free and micropayment, veteran journalists and consumer-created content, and paper and third screen."

• "Enough people have cut the land-line cord to label mobile-only phone service mainstream. Now, armed with broadband and multiple-choice screens, who needs cable TV? Increasingly consumers will be creating their own cocktail of media delivery -- where, when and how."

Kerri Miller, host of MPR's "Midmorning" show:

• "I stole this one from Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens. Google Goggles will transform how we travel. Imagine photographing a field at Gettysburg and learning instantly about the decisions that put soldiers there and the stories of the people who died."

• "Taylor Swift will crash and burn, and authentic non-blondes like Dessa [emcee in the Minneapolis Doomtree Crew] will get their due."

John Olson, president of advertising firm Olson & Co.:

• "We'll see largesse over excess, meaning over cynicism, connection above all. Look for trading services (home-canned vegetables for carpentry); local currencies (Lakeville Lettuce, Shorewood Shekels); friends seeking friend-customers on Facebook; taco trucks that tweet their location; walkability chic, except for women's shoes; back-yard chickens, and 'artifying' everything: cars, shoes, lamps. Also, the Apple Tablet (whose existence Apple disputes) will change everything, and tattoo removal will outpace tattooing (see Seuss' 'The Sneetches')."

Lisa Peck, owner of LiLu Interiors:

• "Americans want to be more playful. [There will be more] game rooms, dining spaces and media rooms that say to friends, family and visitors, 'Our home is a place to enjoy, stay and play.'"

Robert Stephens, founder and "chief inspector" of Best Buy's Geek Squad:

• "Set-top boxes will start to fade -- like your cable box or game box. In their place, you will install Xbox into your TV -- which will just be like a large iPod touch."

• "At you'll see a new kind of layout that Google is playing with to permanently change search as we know it near-term. It's called 'smart filtering,' and its value is that it shows you only what's important to you."

• "We think of automation as rather advanced, but even better would be if our phones could augment our memories. How many times have you dropped off dry cleaning only to forget to pick it up for weeks? Your phone already has GPS and, likely, a calendar. Combine those two, and imagine dropping off your dry cleaning, and then tapping a map -- marking that 'anytime after next Tuesday, if I am going to be near here on the way to a meeting, text me or vibrate an alert.' Our short-term memory will begin to suffer, but think of how much more productive we'll be."

Andrew Zimmern, host of "Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World" and "Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern" on the Travel Channel:

• "The Twin Cities will finally win the coveted Shecky Greene Award, given once a decade in honor of the American city with the highest ratio of truly awful Jewish delis."

• "Brother Ali will become a national treasure and our next great musical export to the world."

• "Joe Mauer will be heavily wooed by the Yankees. He will almost sign with them, and there will be rioting in the streets of Minneapolis. He will re-sign with Minnesota and be regarded as a deity for turning down twice the cash to 'do the right thing.' Upon retirement, he will run for governor and win."

Bill Ward • 612-673-7643

For most of us, the year to come is more fun to think about than the one about to end. So we asked a slew of local luminaries to put on their clairvoyant caps, peer into the future and make their predictions about pop or high culture, technology or the comforts of home, lives or lifestyles. Beginning with our prognostication that it will become OK to end a sentence with a preposition, here's what they came up with.

Daycations such as a trip to Como Conservatory Joe Mauer continues to rock Growth of tablets such as the Kindle Back-to-basics activities