If you're reading this sometime over
the weekend, I can only assume the world didn't end on Dec. 21.
That, of course, is when the Mayan
calendar ends, something that really shouldn't concern us,
considering it was drawn up more than 5,000 years ago. But you know
how we are. We need to keep ourselves entertained, and what better
entertainment than ever so often predicting the end of the world?
Why did the Mayan calendar maker
suddenly stop? Well, somehow, he knew how the world was going to end
and figured why add another day that wasn't going to happen?
My theory, which nobody seems
interested in, is that he decided to take a break, wandered outside
and was eaten by whatever creature was roaming the South American
jungle at the time. And nobody else could figure out what in the
world he was doing.
After years of study, somebody
somewhere came up with the realization that on Dec. 21, 2012,
everything in our galaxy would line up perfectly with the sun, like a
can't miss shot on a pool table. Some think this means the sun's
gravitational pull will pull everything into it and we'll all be
burned to a cinder in a matter of seconds.
Or at least that's the way I
More scientific study over the years
showed this happens once every 26,000 years or so. Not something to
set your watch by. Now, we have computers and telescopes and
seriously smart people who can look at patterns and figure out how
stuff like this happens, when it happens and even why it happens.
How did the Mayans, with none of the
modern day trappings we have, figure out something that had last
happened 21,000 years earlier and decide to end their calendar on the
day it's supposed to happen next?
End of the world predictions are
nothing new. Some addled preacher from out west predicted it twice
this year. Neither panned out, but that didn't stop people from
giving away their life savings and going somewhere toвЂ¦. Well, get a
better view of the end of the world, I suppose.
End of the world predictions date back
as far as 634 BC when the Romans thought it was time to cash in their
chips. But since 1776, when America was officially birthed, the end
of the world was predicted in the following years: 1780, 1789,
1792-95, 1805, 1806, 1814, 1836, 1843 (three times), 1844 (twice),
1847 (twice again), 1853-56, 1862, 1863, 1873, 1874, 1878, 1881,
1890, 1892-1911 (some guy named Charles Smyth was really determined),
In the 1900s, the end was predicted
in 1901, 1908, 1910, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1935, 1936,
1941, 1943, 1947, 1954, 1959, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1975,
1977, 1980 (all of the 80's basically) and all of the 90's (that
millennium thing really psyched doomsday predictors).
We've gotten a good start on the next
thousand years, with predictions so far in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007,
2008, 2010, 2011 and, yes, 2012.
What do all these predictions have in
common? No fair peaking. None of them happened, but I'm sure you
figured that out.
Granted, most of these predictions came
from fringe religious groups making bizarre interpretations out of
whatever holy text they considered sacred, and most weren't taken
very seriously at all.
But ever so often, a prediction comes
along that captures the public fancy, and the end of the Mayan
calendar has certainly done that. But the Mayan calendar doesn't
predict the end of the world, at least as far as I know. Please
correct me if I've misinterpreted something. It's just a calendar
What will happen Dec. 21? You'll get
up and go to work (if you're not off for the holiday), go home, go
to bed and get up the next morning and think, "Hey, only three days
I'm sure there will be lots of jokes
about missing the end of the world, but it'll quickly be forgotten
and end of the world scenarios will be back in the hands of the
I do have one question. Thanks to the
International Date Line, Dec. 21 for us is Dec. 22 for the other side
of the world. I know the Mayans were on our side of the globe, but
does that make a difference? I'd hate for a bunch of Europeans to
be breathing a sigh of relief, only to have their day ruined because
the Mayans, while somehow understanding the universe, didn't know
there was another side to the world.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 442-4575