Most of us look at the dawning of a new year with a mixture of relief, hope and at least some cautious optimism. This is indeed true – maybe even EXTRA true – as we say good-bye to a year of more re-building and re-connecting (with families, work teams, communities) than many of us have ever before experienced, and hello to a brand-new year which will undoubtedly see its own share of ups, downs and totally unexpected occurrences.
It’s the perfect time to reflect on what this year may hold for each of us on a personal basis, and how 2023 is likely to affect us as worldwide and state citizens.
Predictions & Prophesies
- Farmer’s Almanac. This American periodical, published for over 200 years, has predicted an early 2023 winter season that will be unseasonably cold and snowy with frequent storms and bouts of heavy rain and some snow – especially during the week of January 16! According to the Almanac, any snowfall in our area will occur in mid to late January and in February, and the chillier-than-usual weather will last further into the spring than normal.
- An Ipsos poll conducted in 35 countries worldwide shows that many of us are feeling quite cautious about the direction our world is going in terms of the economy, climate-related issues, and the threat of nuclear war, or world security. These heavy topics are directly in line with the eerily accurate predictions of famed French doctor and astronomer – and heretic – Nostradamus, whose 500-year-old prophesies have included such world events as the French Revolution, the events of 9/11, and, some even believe, the start of the Coronavirus epidemic in 2020. In his famous 1555 book, “Les Prophéties,” he included prophecies across a wide spectrum of disasters including civil unrest, wars, assassinations, and natural catastrophes.
One of Nostradamus’ more sobering predictions for 2023 includes the devastating effect of global warming on life in our oceans, as referenced in this grim passage: “Like the sun, the head shall sear the shining sea: The Black Sea’s living fish shall all but boil.” Another prediction foretells some sort of “celestial fire on the royal (British) edifice,” which some followers believe to be an actual fire at Buckingham Palace, and other see as attacks on the legitimacy and reputation of the royal family. More predictions include 7 months of war, brought about by “great evil,” which may even lead to World War III. On a positive note…. Well, a booming economy, cloning and the widespread development of artificial organs are all supposedly just around the corner, in 2024!
- The Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, starting from the day of Chinese New Year (January 22, in 2023), each year is symbolized by a certain animal, and 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit; 2023 will be especially lucky for both men and women born during one of these Years of the Rabbit (1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011). Since 2022, a Year of the Tiger, was one characterized by an over-abundance of energy and restlessness, the Year of the Rabbit is destined to be a year of relative serenity. Chinese society sees the Year of the Rabbit as a time of making peace in personal relationships or other life situations, and of making plans for the future.
Travel tech company Amadeus has come up with a range of predictions for the new year in the world of travel, hospitality and tourism.
- The metaverse, a term which may be new to some of us, will allow us to experience what a destination is like, digitally, before arriving and explore it again after leaving.
- Working remotely will evolve for many as “work from anywhere” policies become more commonplace, and business travel will include work teams bonding and growing creativity through trips together.
- Hotels will offer more amenities, which will mean less baggage for travelers.
- Biometrics – alternative methods of paying through voice, facial, touch and other unique characteristics – will become more prevalent.
- Travelers will be more willing to spend greater amounts of money on travel, and those experiences will be more personalized than ever.
- Finally, the concept of sustainability – tourism without harming the natural environment – is a major theme for 2023.
Science and Technology
According to the BBC, 2023 will be a remarkable year in several areas. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact industries like banking, technology, and data processing in the area of automation, meaning possible layoffs in those areas, but allowing companies to meet growth targets and stay on budget, too. Work-life balance and flexibility have grown in importance to employees during the pandemic; “AI” will also allow more employees to work remotely, and part time workers will fill in the gaps where there is a need. Automation performed by software robots on repetitive tasks will increase, including the growth of robotic personal assistants to help out with the most tedious of tasks.
Following the development of antibodies used during the pandemic, vaccines are being developed in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, certain types of cancer, malaria, and other diseases. Advances in genetic engineering will result in therapies allowing a DNA strand to be altered, which opens up worlds of possibilities including in the fight against blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia. A drug called lecanemab, developed in late 2022 to slow down the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s, may start to be used by patients in early stages of the disease once it is approved by regulators… the first real treatment for Alzheimer’s. Finally, the European Space Agency, or ESA, will launch the Euclid telescope in 2023 to map out the universe, delving even deeper into space observation, and Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency will start planning for an exploration of the Milky Way.
What’s Going on in the Tarheel State
Back down to Earth, several interesting laws will go into effect in North Carolina over the next year, including one law – following a period in 2020 during which Governor Roy Cooper repeatedly and independently extended a pandemic-related state of emergency – that will require the governor to obtain formal support for extending a state of emergency past 30 and 60 days. Another new law drops the personal income tax rate from 4.99% to 4.75% in 2023 – a small change, but an improvement, nonetheless!
The southeast extension of the 540 Triangle Expressway – the “Raleigh Outer Loop” – will be completed in 2023 and will finally open to traffic in the spring of 2024. This $2.2bn, 70-mile roadway, designed to reduce congestion on I-440, I-40, NC 42, NC 55, and Ten Ten Road, will link together the towns of Apex, Cary, Clayton, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, and Raleigh, completely encircling the city by the time it is complete.
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