It’s 2012! Welcome to the Rest of Your Life

January 4, 2012 at 9:50 am | Posted in Science News | Leave a comment
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First off, let me say that while Roland Emmerich may have predicted Doomsday on 12/21/2012 the ancient Mayan Calendar never did.  I like Roland.  He gave us Stargates and Pyramid ships and was responsible (in a roundabout way) for one of my favorite TV shows.  But he’s not my go-to guy for scientific prediction.  So with that said, to understand what the Mayans were up to with their calendar you need to at least get a grasp of it, the Long Count calendar that is.  Because the Mayans had more than one calendar.

The ancient Mayans measured time in 52 year increments, because that was considered a life span back then (times change).  It was called Calendar Round and it was used to chronicle the events in that 52 year time span — or 18,980 days.  But what about chronicling past and future events?  Well, the Mayans invented the Long Count which is a numerical predictable calendar.  Simply as a consequence of the calendar’s numerical value it runs out after 5,126 years.  Since the Mayans set it to begin in 3114 BC the end date is — surprise, surprise — 2012.  Think about the ramifications if the Mayans had chosen 3113 or 3115 to start their Long Count.  For one, thousands of pseudo-scientific stories wouldn’t have been printed, thereby murdering a bunch of trees.  So lets look at some of the doomsday end-of-the-world scenarios getting hyped.  These are my top picks.  You can pick your own world-ending destruction.

1.  The Earth’s Magnetic Fields Will Reverse.  It could happen (I think it did happen in Roland’s movie).  After all, it happened 800,000 years ago.  And guess what?  We survived.  Wake me up when it’s over.

2.  The Milky Way’s Black Hole Will Get Us.  Not likely.  For one thing the Milky Way weighs a whole lot more than the black hole at the galactic center.  And we’re quite a ways away from the galactic center.  We’re way out on one of the spiral arms.  Okay so the collision with the Andromeda galaxy will switch things up but don’t lose any sleep over it.  That is a lot of billions of years away from happening.

3. Planet X Will Collide With Earth (or come really, really close).  Planet X, AKA Nibiru, does not exist.  It’s the figment of someone’s imagination, someone *coughNancyLiedercough* who said little, gray extraterrestrials told her when she was a girl.  She also said they implanted a communications device in her brain.  Okay.

4.  Supernovae Will Blast Us Back To Atoms.  I hate to disappoint you but none of those big bad boys are close enough to Earth to affect us nor are they set to implode this year.  You’re just going to have to resign yourself to living.

5.  Killer Solar Flares.  Ah, yes, the ever-popular killer solar flare.  Roland’s stepchild, Stargate SG-1, has used solar flares more than once to travel backwards and forwards in time, and that’s why it’s called science fiction, folks.  The real truth is that while the Sun will peak at its 11-year cycle, it cannot produce a killer flare.  Some satellites may get scorched and we could have some communications issues, but once again resign yourself to being left alive.

6.  The Planetary Alignment Of Death.  Well, this one’s the Super Colossus of Doom  because supposedly it’s going to cause everything else I’ve talked about and that would, in a rather morbid way, be pretty amazing.  The only problem is it’s not going to happen.  At least not any alignment we haven’t seen (and survived) before.

So how did all this nonsense get started in the first place?  Well, I’m going to dummy this down a lot, but in a nutshell, the Long Count is a 20-day cycle and the Gregorian calendar is a 30-day cycle so correlating the two is a bit of an issue.  The other reason is, that as smart as the ancient Mayans were (and they were great astronomers) they may have screwed up.  They used the cycle of Venus as a constant because, well, it’s constant.  But there’s good reason to believe that at one point they mistook a comet for Venus.  That, as crazy test pilots like to say, would screw the pooch.  Hey, the Mayans were brilliant, but they weren’t infallible.  Personally, I think they’re in some cosmic heaven right now laughing their heads off at the silliness going on down here this year.  The upshot of all this is this year is probably not the year to tell that boss of yours what you really think of him — unless you were already planning on retiring anyway.

I don’t know what the rest of you plan on doing on 12/21/2012, but I’m going pop some popcorn, fire up the dvd player and watch Roland’s planetary catastrophe 2012.  Come to think about it, didn’t we survive in that too?

Posted by Synlah for Roqoo Depot.  The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

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