The End Is Nigh
… for the millionth time, now.
By The Kopite
Mayan calendar, Zombiepocalypse, Nostradamus or even the Fiscal Cliff. No matter which way you swing, the end really is nigh. At least, until proven otherwise. I know it seems like a waste reading the newspaper on your last day here but now that you've started, you might as well let us ruin your plans for the big day. Yes, you can still update your Facebook statuses. By all means, continue annoying everyone.
What you probably didn't know, though, is that this isn't the first time in history that someone's predicted the world's demise. Hell, this isn't even the first prediction this year. Like every other good story, this one started with a chicken. More commonly known as the Prophet Hen of Leeds. This hen, in 1806, laid eggs which had messages proclaiming the second coming of Jesus Christ and, consequently, the apocalypse. It created quite a hype and many people became devotees of said chicken. So it must have come as quite a shock when the whole thing was found to be a hoax (this involved one clearly disturbed person taking eggs and scribbling on them with acid before reinserting them back into the hen).
While nothing quite lives up to that legendary chicken, many people come close. William Miller, a farmer in New England, predicted that the world would end sometime in April, 1843. This time, thousands of people joined him on the day, giving away all their possessions. When the day came and went without so much as the sighting of a Flying Spaghetti Monster, Miller looked more and more like the 19th century equivalent of a 'troll'. What he didn't expect was that people were far more gullible back then and they continued to believe him and some of them went on to form the Seventh-Day Adventists. That's like scientology, only without Tom Cruise.
Apart from that, we have the exact opposite of the Rain Man in Harold Camping, a radio preacher who could have successfully predicted the end of the world had it not been for his atrocious mathematical ability. As it is, he's already predicted the end of the world once in 1994 and twice this year, the latest being October 21. Camping applied numerology to the Bible to predict the end times, only to point the finger at 'calculating mistakes' every time his predictions failed. Surely it's time to hit the math books by now, Harold?
And that finally brings us to the 21st of December. The Solstice of Doom. I may have made that up right now but I can see it catching on. The theories surrounding it are many but my personal favourite includes zombies, a new super virus and the Planet X. But on the off-chance that you don't see any zombies or noodly appendages flying around, just put this apocalypse on the list of all the things you've already 'survived'. Which, for me, includes computers going Terminator on our asses during the Y2K. Be on the safe side and study for that coming exam.
Did the Mayans run out of carving stones?
By Sarah Nafisa Shahid
Receiving crazy goodbye messages in your inbox or tired of reading doomsday status updates? Well, we have only one ancient civilisation to blame here: The Mayans! Soon after a 1300 year old Mayan tablet was discovered, and with the help of the movie '2012', conspiracies about the world's tragic end on 21st December 2012 spread in all directions. After all, what can be cooler than Apocalypse itself? Sadly, this cruel world isn't ending that easily and we'll have a few more years of annoying pop singers and racy celeb tabloids before the human race becomes extinct.
As for the Mayan Calendar, it all will indeed end. Just how it ended 5,200 years ago when this new calendar was started. And now, this one will end to welcome another 'Long Count' calendar. And the cycle will go on and on endlessly like how January always comes after December. Why couldn't the Mayans make the calendar go further? Possibly because they predicted we'd have computers by then and make better calendars ourselves anyway. Because if an ancient tribe can predict the end of the world, surely they can predict more.
Identifying the end of the Mayan calendar with the end of the world is so ridiculous in fact, that the actual, extremely under-rated in terms of credibility of their own culture, Mayan tribe which still exists in some parts of Guatemala went up to the country's Cultural Ministry to ask them to stop this myth regarding the apparent upcoming doomsday. The clever Cultural Ministry, though, capitalised on the event to welcome more tourists into the area instead.
NASA on the other hand got really busy with answering end of the world questions because apparently Americans are firm believers of the Mayan Calendar. They also believe that everything the government says must be false because they are simply hiding their secret survival base from the public just like in the movie. Anyhow, while Americans write suicide notes to their government and plan escape tactics on Facebook, NASA assures the rest of the world that our beloved Earth has no upcoming threat from an incoming mighty asteroid or solar storms any time soon. Unless they are invisible of course, because clearly NASA's super cool telescopes would have spotted them otherwise.
While the world isn't going anywhere, according to the Mayans, on 21st December 2012; it's nevertheless a very important date for the people of that region. Mexico, along with five other countries, is going to celebrate this apparent doomsday because their tradition speaks of an immense spiritual change which happens after the end of a cycle of the calendar. It's sort of like a New Year's celebration, only it happens every 5200 years.
Apocalypse, by the way, literally means a revelation of unknown mysteries, sometimes even hidden knowledge. Sort of like what those Dan Brown books give you an idea of. So, 21st December, apart from being the longest night of the year, could very well be a celebration of a new era of advancement.
As far as this writer is concerned, there's a wise word that goes around: “When something is too hyped about, look for the real problem it's trying to distract you from”. In this case, the real problem would probably be World War III, inter-galactic style. Maybe.