Tomorrow, it will all come to a catastrophic end. With the arrival of Dec. 21, 2012, the world as we know it will be crushed into oblivion â€“ at least according to a presumably false interpretation of the â€œpropheticâ€ Mayan calendar.
A claim proliferated by the John Cusack movie â€œ2012,â€ which hit theaters in 2009, as well as several books, documentaries, television series and various sources on the Internet, Dec. 21, 2012, is predicted to be a cataclysmic day, based on a date derived from the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, which completes 12 baktuns, or one Great Cycle equaling 5,125 years on Dec. 21 or 23, 2012.
While some fear the worst and have prepared accordingly, most have seemingly forgotten the portentous prediction, opting to look forward to the future â€“ already planning Christmas, New Yearâ€™s Eve and other spirited festivities set to take place well after tomorrowâ€™s doomsday.
But, for those of you still unsure whether youâ€™ll awaken on earth the morning of Dec. 21, hereâ€™s a bit of information to put you at ease. According to Dr. John Hale, archaeologist and director of liberal studies at the University of Louisville, â€œDifferent calendars were used in different cities in the Maya. … Thereâ€™s still two million Mayans (in existence today), and they all think this is very funny that the stupid North Americans are obsessed about a mistake.â€
In a â€œUSA Todayâ€ article by Dan Vergano, the Mayan myth is further described in an attempt to dispel it. Vergano reported, â€œarchaeologists say that the ancient Maya werenâ€™t interested in predicting apocalypse â€“ they couldnâ€™t even foresee their own societyâ€™s collapse.â€
The science and society writer references Maya scholar David Stuart of the University of Texas in his argument, as well. Stuart assures, â€œThe ancient Maya did not see the world in terms of endings, but rather in terms of constant renewal.â€ Stuart was part of a team led by archaeologist William Saturno of Boston University that revealed in May the discovery of a scribeâ€™s hut painted with calendar markings tracking Venus, Mars and dates corresponding to a time after the year 3500. Thus, the Maya clearly expected the world to continue for many centuries.
Even NASA has come forth to acknowledge their dispute of any Dec. 21 catastrophe. Addressing the topic on its website, under the post â€œBeyond 2012: Why the World Wonâ€™t End,â€ NASA proffered: â€œFor any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.â€
While thereâ€™s scientific analysis to argue the end-of-the-world forecast, religion can also lend a hand in interpreting doomsday. Several prophecies have been made in scripture, including the â€œsecond coming of the Messiah,â€ yet Rev. Michael Mernagh of the Anamchara Faith Community â€“ an inclusive, ecumenical, post denominational, catholic community â€“ believes, â€œThe message of the Prophets challenges people to reflect upon their lives as they are. … To process what is going on in their lives,Â often difficult and trying lives.â€
In a recent sermon, Mernagh discussed the Prophetic Books and a potential Judgment Day. â€œBaruch was not a doomsday prophet,â€ Mernagh asserted. â€œ(He was) not focused upon and mired in the past of troubles and pain. He acknowledged it but was convinced God would restore the fortunes of Jacob, that there would be a new Jerusalem.â€
Mernagh explained Baruch called people to move on from their sorrow to find hope. â€œDonâ€™t think of it as an end, but a new beginning,â€ he offered. Is there something in your life you would like or need to change? Is there a lifelong goal youâ€™ve been postponing, or someone with whom youâ€™ve been meaning to spend more time, or to whom you ought apologize, or confess your true love? Maybe this is the real interpretation of the supposed forthcoming doomsday â€“ a chance to start over, and from this day forward, live your best life yet.
Whether you look toward science, religion or an ambiguous sign that the world will one day come to an end, the truth is, thereâ€™s no real evidence that Dec. 21, 2012 will be any different from today, yesterday or another date far into the future. None of us know for sure when or if doomsday will occur, and maybe itâ€™s best that way. Instead of fearing the end and how youâ€™ll either spend it or prevent it, why not live each day to the fullest with those you love the most, making the most of the time youâ€™re certain you have?
â€œ(The world) is going to end someday,â€ Hale said. â€œAnd, I think youâ€™ve got to live like itâ€™s not going to happen soon, or otherwise youâ€™re never going to get down to the business of living.â€
What Do You Think About Doomsday?
Where To Celebrate, Just In Case
Mayan Cafe: 813 E. Market St., 502.566.0651, themayancafe.com
Throughout the month of December, the Mayan Cafe will celebrate the â€œend of the worldâ€ with a special four-course prix-fixe menu created by Chef Bruce UcÃ¡n and his brother, Chef de Cuisine Willy UcÃ¡n, who chose the dishes based on which they would eat if it were the last meal of their lives.
Enjoy the special doomsday dishes â€“ including lobster ceviche, â€œLomitos de Kantunilâ€ and flan â€“ as a prix-fixe menu, along with a barrel-aged blood orange margarita, for $48 plus tax and tip, or order them a la carte.
â€œ(The worldâ€™s) probably not going to end, but on the off-chance that it will, you might as well have a killer meal,â€ said partner and General Manager of Mayan Cafe Anne Shadle.
For more information, visit themayancafe.com/2012/12/10/end-of-the-world-special-menu-december-2012. Call for reservations.
Apocalypse Brew Works, 1612 Mellwood Ave., 502.589.4843, apocalypsebrewworks.com
On Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, Apocalypse Brew Works will host an End Of The World party from 5 p.m. until midnight.
The Judgment Day diversion will feature 10 craft brews on tap, food trucks Grind and French Indo Canada, music, end-of-times themed movies and fire barrels.
Other Doomsday Theories:
An Alien planet â€˜Nibiruâ€™ will destroy Earth:
The ancient Sumerians are thought to have discovered the planet, which is purportedly on a side-swiping course with earth. However, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explained in a recent article, â€œThereâ€™s no planet Nibiru. We would have seen anything the size of a planet headed our way a long time ago.â€
â€œWe will be hit by a catastrophic asteroid at some point. It is not just a question of â€˜if,â€™ but â€˜when,â€™â€ MIT physicist Max Tegmark said in a â€œUSA Weekendâ€ column. However, that will happen sometime in the next 100 million years or so, not this month, he said.
Russian astronomers detected a comet in September that may become as bright as the full moon. Yet, that wonâ€™t happen until 2013, and the closest it will come to Earth is 37 million miles.
The Earthâ€™s magnetic poles will flip causing massive earthquakes:
Throughout Earthâ€™s history, the magnetic poles have reversed about every 400,000 years due to changes in the planetâ€™s iron core that reverse its magnetic poles. However, it takes many centuries to completely shift North and South, according to NASA.
Parting Words For The Worldâ€™s (Potential) End:
â€œAs far as we know we just go around once, take advantage of it. Live life to the fullest.â€ â€“Â Bill Nicholson of Long Beach, Calif.
â€œGo with your intentions to have fun in life, and donâ€™t hold back. … (When) youâ€™re in your everyday routine, you get so caught up, and you forget to go outside the box and do things that you normally wouldnâ€™t do.â€ â€“ Jane B. of Boston, Mass.
â€œI like to think Iâ€™d tell that someone Iâ€™ve been in love with for years that I love them. But the pain of hearing that they have felt the same way and you were too afraid to admit it might be too much to bear. … I like to think Iâ€™d tell my family that even though we bicker and squabble they are still my rock. I like to think Iâ€™d tell a stranger that their life meant something to someone, at least one. … But the bottom line is, I would probably sit alone, with a glass of bourbon and a cigar confessing my sins and admitting my mistakes to the only person that I really need to tell those things to: me. And in the end I like to think that I would forgive me.â€ â€“ Mark Dutrow