Some people believe that the world will end today, December 21, 2012, a date that marks the end of the 5,126-year Great Cycle from the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. Actually, it’s more than just a few folks. Quite a lot of people are worrying about this — one in 10, in fact, according to a Reuters poll. Of course, none of the concerned happen to have ties to the actual Mayan civilization. But that hasn’t stopped some vocal members of the public from freaking out.
Thanks to the speed of the Internet, any worrywart can Google “Mayan apocalypse” and read about the supposedly impending disaster. The media buzz probably doesn’t help. There are preparedness articles, tips on ways to party it up in those final hours, and even a story on the incredible business opportunities afforded by the end of days (seriously).
Amid the hype and grabs for pageviews, there are also attempts to calm the masses using that wacky thing called reason (like here, here and here). The scenario has been thoroughly debunked by archaeologists, anthropologists, scientists and experts on Mayan culture, and even NASA got in on the act: “So this enormous planet is suppose to be coming toward Earth, but if it were, we would’ve seen it long ago and if it were invisible somehow, we would’ve seen the affects of this planet on neighboring planets.”
But who needs logic and reason? Apparently not the tech community, which has its fair share of armageddon craziness as well — from the iOS mobile-app survival list to a Mayan apocalypse gadget-gift guide. Extreme survivalists are getting their 15 minutes now too, as crafty doomsday DIY’ers snag headlines, thanks to a little technical know-how, a lot of effort and tremendous conviction. (Giant spherical shelter, anyone? How about a modern-day ark?) While they were working to save their own butts, others got busy setting up web cams to live-stream the end of the world.
Sigh. I suppose if viewers want a heads-up, this is one way to go. But if a giant planet does indeed hurtle toward Earth, those poor suckers just squandered their very last moments freaking out in front of a display.
To that, I say, “No, thank you.” I may have a twisted sense of propriety, but if today’s the day we’re all checking out, I’d rather do it with a few laughs. Mad respect, Neil deGrasse Tyson. You are definitely the coolest dude in astrophysics-land.
Here are a few more hilarious selects from a roundup of Mayan apocalypse tweets, courtesy of Mashable.
How are you spending the apocalypse? Let us know in the comments.
(Shoot. And I was sure it would be zombies that would get us in the end. I now owe a friend $10. Ehhh — I’ll pay him tomorrow.)
UPDATE: Original image showed an Aztec calendar. Apologies to any Mayans or Aztecs in the reading audience. The image has been updated, and the person who chose the pic has been flogged with maize.