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December 22, 2012 [LINK / comment]
End of the world? Not yet!
I was amused by all the recent flurry of fretting about the end of the world which was allegedly predicted to happen on December 21, 2012 by the ancient Mayans. Newspaper cartoons, movies on TV, and news today were all about The Apocalypse. Well, it didn't happen yesterday, obviously, so does that mean we can relax and calmly go about our daily lives? Not yet! According to A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya, by Linda Schele and David Freidel (1990), page 82, tomorrow is the big day:
December 23, 2012, will be 188.8.131.52.0 4 Ahau 3 Kankin, the day when the 13 baktuns will end and the Long Count Cycles return to the symmetry of the beginning. The Maya, however, did not conceive this to be the end of this creation, as many have suggested. Pacal, the great king of Palenque, predicted in his inscriptions that the eighieth Calendar Round anniversary of his accession will be celebrated after the first eight-thousand year cycle in the Maya calendar ends. In our time system, this cycle will end of October 15, 4772.
The Mayans had a complex calendar system, with tzolkins (260 days) overlapping with haabs (365 days), which consisted of 18 months lasting 20 days each, and then a five-day period of rest. It took 52 years to complete the cycle, such that the tzolkins and the haabs would (briefly) be in sync once again. A baktun is a cycle of 400 years. The photo below depicts the ancient calendar system, engraved in a huge stone wheel.
I visited the archelogical ruins of Palenque in 1985, with my late friend Joe Cash. See the Mexico photo gallery (1985 and 2003) for more.
The Washington Post reported that some New Age enthusiasts in Mexico are taking a more benign view of the impending calendar milestone, something akin to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Groovy!
A calendar stone in the Museum of Archeology in Mexico City, February 2003.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 22 Dec 2012, 10: 56 AM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 3, 2012 ~ Campaign 2012: All eyes are on Iowa
January 9, 2012 ~ Superdome (name and diagram) update
March 24, 2012 ~ Spring (or is it Summer ?) Training 2012!
April 1, 2012 ~ Goodlatte faces challenges from the left and the right
April 17, 2012 ~ Nationals start 2012 season on a winning note
June 11, 2012 ~ Bird breeding season is here!
June 24, 2012 ~ Strasburg wins his sixth in a row
June 19, 2012 ~ University of Virginia's president forced to resign
June 28, 2012 ~ Supreme Court upholds Obamacare (But why?)
July 17, 2012 ~ R.I.P. Cliff Fretwell (1938-2012)
August 14, 2012 ~ Baseball road trip 2012: Chicago & Cleveland
September 1, 2012 ~ Vacation 2012: travelogue and photos galore!
September 10, 2012 ~ Nats come stormin' back, get a BIG win
September 14, 2012 ~ Paul Ryan visits the Shenandoah Valley
September 19, 2012 ~ It's fall bird migration season!
September 20, 2011 ~ Humala is inaugurated president of Peru
September 25, 2012 ~ Nationals get back at Brewers, twice
October 12, 2012 ~ Romney wins the debate, cheers the Valley
October 13, 2012 ~ Deja vu: The Cardinals do it again
October 30, 2012 ~ Deja vu: Giants are World Champions, again
November 7, 2012 ~ Decision 2012: Obama wins by a clear margin
November 12, 2012 ~ U.S. Congress to remain divided (and stalemated?)
November 25, 2012 ~ Stadium comparison page updates
December 22, 2012 ~ End of the world? Not yet!
December 24, 2012 ~ Sunshine state mass update
December 24, 2012 ~ New Anglican archbishop named
December 31, 2012 ~ Are you ready for some (postseason) football?
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)