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End of the World in 2012? Not Happening, Scientists Say

NASA and the Vatican are among those who say the end of the Mayan calendar's "long cycle" on Dec. 21, 2012 does not mean the end of the world.

If you’re looking for reassurance the end of the world is not imminent on Dec. 21, start with NASA and the Vatican.

There is agreement that a 5,125-year cycle of the Mayan calendar ends on Dec. 21, 2012. Some have interpreted this to mean that when the cycle ends, so does mankind.

Poppycock, say the scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. “Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years,” according to a Q&A session at NASA.gov, “and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.”

Similar sentiments are shared by the chief astronomer at the Vatican, Father Jose Gabriel Funes. The Irish Independent newspaper reports that Funes wrote it was “not even worth discussing the scientific basis for these claims,” in a front-page editorial in the Vatican’s daily newspaper.

But flimsier predictions than this have sparked survivalists, and so it is here. The Telegraph in the United Kingdom reports panic buying of essentials in China and Russia, while a U.S. manufacturer says he has gone from selling one high-tech survival shelter a month to selling one per day.

Doomsayers are the exception, however. Not even holiday-focused retailers appear to be taking the opportunity for an end-of-the-world sale, unless you count Rick Springfield merchandise.

Do you know anyone who is taking seriously the end-of-the-world prediction? Co-workers burning up vacation days? Neighbors raiding Costco for emergency food supplies? Or is Dec. 21 simply the shortest day of the year and two days before the next Packers game? Have at a discussion in our Comments section.

Bob McBride December 13, 2012 at 04:36 PM
The Mayan Calendar ends when it does because the laser printer they were using ran out of toner and the Staples "Easy" button had not yet been invented.
Greg Huegerich December 13, 2012 at 05:40 PM
The pure logic counter to the Mayan calendar position is that the Mayan calendar didn't include Leap Days. Based on that fact, IIRC, the world should have actually ended 2-3 years ago. (25 leap days per century, i forget the origin date of the calendar, but just counting AD years pushing things off by over a year.)
Bren December 13, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I'm told Tumblr was down yesterday. From what I have been given to understand, this was far more serious than the threat of a Carrington event. ; )
Steve Rogers December 13, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I had coffee @ doomsday donuts - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Doomsday-Donuts/262678183849970 - great place to eat and hangout ... not sure if their expecting any business on the 22nd or not... VERY COOL place... up in Ripon ... slr
Jim Price December 13, 2012 at 09:09 PM
I don't think it's anywhere near that simple, Greg. Our rather clunky calendar tries to rectify the solar year of 365.242 days into one "regular" year by throwing those extra almost-a-quarter days together every fourth year and adding them back in. It's based only on the cycle of the sun and seeks to keep the vernal equinox on approximately the same date each year. Beyond that, it's good for knowing on what day Christmas falls and when we're supposed to be at the dentist. The Maya studied the whole cosmos for millennia and, based on the movement and positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars – with particular attention to the cycle of Venus – basically decoded linear astronomical time, at least for our solar system. This is why they could famously predict with precision eclipses and conjunctions that would not occur for thousands of years, while my ancestors still thought the sun or moon was being eaten by wolves. The Maya did not fail to account for leap years – they accounted rather exactly for the additional .242 of a day each solar cycle by plotting astronomical cycles lasting thousands of years, far more accurately than we have been able to do until quite recently. The Gregorian and Julian calendars, even with their leap days, will eventually go off schedule and will have to add (or subtract?) yet another grand leap day to get back on track. The Mayan Calendar will not, at least until the Earth slows in its orbit.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM
@Jim Price - thank you for such a great explanation. My ancestors were right with yours ... and these are the geniuses who thought they were so much more "advanced." PIFFLE!
Richard Head December 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM
"NASA and the Vatican are among those who say the end of the Mayan calendar's "long cycle" on Dec. 21, 2012 does not mean the end of the world. " You're using the Vatican as an authority? When the Vatican covers up Priest abuse of children? Please - cite a reliable authority that tells the truth. I won't even go into the history of the Vatican or it's longstanding tradition of contradictory and ridiculous Papal Bulls - pure BS. The Vatican can't be trusted as an authority on anything - although it may be right in this case - but then hey - even a broken clock is right twice a day. NASA - Never A Straight Answer. They send out probes that are funded by the taxpayers - then only release certain photos - or those that have been blurred and approved. They haven't found artificial artifacts on Mars or the Moon? - NONSENSE. NASA was started with German Nazi's brought over under Operation Paperclip - ardent Nazis - who continued in their beliefs and research - there is the programs the American people see - like the faked moon landings - then the Secret Space Program where they are reverse engineering alien technology and even having contact. They have systems that use Hyper-dimensional physics and craft that are superluminal. Continued...
Richard Head December 14, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Meet German Nazi Dr. Herman Oberth: " (AP) - Hermann Julius Oberth, a pioneer of the space age who worked with Werner von Braun to help develop Germany's V-2 rocket, died on Friday (December 28, 1989). He was 95 years old. Mr. Oberth died at a hospital in Nuremberg after a short illness. He began experiments on a jet motor for the German Government in 1930 and developed a model later that year. He worked on the motor with Mr. von Braun, considered the leading scientist in American space flight development. Dr. Oberth said he prefers to use the term "UFOs," rather than "flying saucers." Then he referred to thousands of cases of unexplained sightings and why they are important. He said: ..."I would like to say that as a physicist I am more satisfied by the assumption that we are dealing with flying machines. So far, other plausible explanations have not been found." Oberth went on to say: "But if we establish the working hypothesis that the UFOs are machines, we also have to assume the following: a) They are not built by human beings.. b) They are flying by means of artificial fields of gravity.. c) They produce high-tension electric charges in order to push the air out of their paths, so it does not start glowing, and strong magnetic fields to influence the ionized air at higher altitudes." Mr. Oberth joined Mr. von Braun in rocket experiments in the United States in 1955, but he retired three years later and returned to West Germany. Mr. von Braun died in 1977.
Richard Head December 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM
In discussing Oberth and UFOs, Newsweek states: "Oberth holds that unidentified flying objects have been sighted for thousands of years." When asked why the outer spacemen have not contacted man, Oberth said: "Maybe they have looked us over and don't want to come in contact. Or perhaps they have conquered telepathy so they can read our thoughts and feel that is enough. Or maybe we represent nothing more important to them than a termite colony in the jungle." The radio interview with Dr. Oberth was conducted during the First Astronautical Week in Barcelona, Spain, May 3-9, 1965, where Dr. Oberth said: "We must consider real a fact of which we possess eight thousand certain sightings. I cannot say if they are or are not interplanetary vehicles, but nobody can doubt any more their existence." "We cannot take credit for our record advancement in certain scientific fields alone. We have been helped." When asked by whom, he replied, "the peoples of other worlds."
Richard Head December 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Is there a mine on the Moon? Apollo 15 photographs would seem to indicate so. Tsiolkovsky's Secret: http://www.boomslanger.com/apollo15.htm lunar orbit view: Lobate landslip outside northeastern rim of Tsiolkovsky http://www.apolloarchive.com/apg_thumbnail.php?ptr=601&imageID=AS15-94-12741 The world may not end of Nov. 21st. - but citing unreliable authorities like the Vatican and NASA makes me suspicious. l
Richard Head December 14, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Here is the one to watch - Partick Geryl. Lots of stuff on his website - http://www.howtosurvive2012.com/htm_night/home.htm One of the amazing things about Patrick Geryl is that he has used planetary alignments to successfully predict solar flares and large earthquakes. It doesn't mean he's solved the entire problem of predicting these events, or that his future predictions will come true - but he has a record of success. http://www.in5d.com/patrick-geryl-amazingly-accurate-eq-predictions.html Future Dates to Watch: Dec. 17-18 Magnitude 8+ Earthquake Dec. 21 Magnitude 10+, Solar Superstorms and Pole Shift. We'll have to wait and see. Prepare for Dec. 21st.? If it's as bad as he predicts - I don't want to survive. However I will take note. It's only days away. USGS Earthquake Data: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/
Ben Hogan December 14, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Great news! Looks like I won't have to pay my tax bill after all.
Julie December 14, 2012 at 06:24 PM
AGREED BEN! Our bill went up significantly this year....RUSD took their chunk of my well earned paycheck!
Berkeley Lab Video December 14, 2012 at 07:27 PM
*Looking to the Skies: Modern Cosmology and the Maya* Public attention on the Maya calendar doomsday scenario has, for all the wrong reasons, expanded the audience that might have questions about the fate of the universe. The Berkeley Lab video "Looking to the Skies" refocuses this momentary interest into something more enduring through the perspective of Berkeley Lab astrophysicists and Nobel laureates, George Smoot and Saul Perlmutter -- joined by Berkeley Lab physicist Eric Linder and UC anthropologist Gerardo Aldana. Together they explore the cultural and scientific connections between Mayan astronomers and modern cosmologists as they look to the skies for answers to how the universe evolved, how it might end, and our place in it. The fundamental human curiosity about our origins and fate, a quest that persists across time and cultures, has been enriched by recent discoveries about dark energy, the Big Bang, and the accelerating universe. New knowledge has only increased our sense of wonder about the cosmos and deepened our appreciation for what the Mayans achieved using only the naked eye. Link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fwtQpsUrI8I#!
sms1022 December 14, 2012 at 11:30 PM
If the Mayans new what they were doing, they'd still be here.
Jim Price December 15, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Um, the Maya are still here, sms1022. There are hundreds of thousands of them living in Mexico and Guatemala today. Reports of their death were greatly exaggerated.
Ron December 15, 2012 at 01:45 AM
You cannot use faulty logic like that! The Mayan's calender was "not intended" for Leap Year comparison. The Leap Year calender was created by Caesar because he kept according to the Sun, and because of what he viewed as "inconsistencies" he added another day to February! The Mayan's Calendar was more accurate and based upon the Sun, Moon, and the Planets, "and" information they received from "Visitors", who will return on 12/21/2012 to check-up on how well we are taking care of the planet Earth!
Ron December 15, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Of course the Vatican says it's wrong, otherwise everything they have been trying to pound into our heads for 2,000 years ain't worth Squat!
Ron December 15, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Who said it was going to end? Especially in November. All it says is that "Something" will happen! If they were contacted by "Extra-Terrestrials" as all their history seems to claim, maybe their "Friends" told them when to expect a return visit based on the time it takes to get from their home planet to Earth and back! HMMM? Stranger things have happened. The Chicago Bears won a Super Bowl once, and the Chicago Cubs won a World Series in 1908!
sms1022 December 15, 2012 at 04:12 AM
I stand corrected.
Bucky December 15, 2012 at 11:59 AM
I am very happy to see that Mr & Mrs Mayan were not correct in thier predictions. Now I can just sit back and wait , watch and see Scooter Wanker go to prision.
Luke December 15, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Looks like Bucky and the ancient Maya have something in common.
Richard Head December 15, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Unknown to many, the University of Wisconsin was involved in fusion research - and even drew up plans for a lunar mining machine. The Moon is a source of D-3He. Founded in 1971, the Fusion Technology Institute is host to the largest program in the United States for advanced degrees in fusion engineering. The FTI has performed more than $70 million in research for federal, state and industrial organizations, graduated 161 Ph.D. candidates, and published over 60000 pages of reports. http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/ Lunar Mining of Helium-3 "There is no doubt that one of the most difficult problems that a peaceful world will face in the 21st century will be to secure an adequate, safe, clean, and economical source of energy. Existence of lunar helium-3, to be used as fuel for fusion reactors, is well documented; verified from numerous Apollo and Luna mission samples, current analyses indicate that there are at least 1 million tonnes embedded in the lunar surface. The helium-3 would be used as fuel for fusion reactors." http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/research/he3 Plans for a Lunar Miner: http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/pdf/fdm1304.pdf Space Propulsion Fusion is the only option that potentially achieves the most important regime for Solar-System travel: exhaust velocities of 105 to 106 m/s at thrust-to-weight ratios of 10-3. Such levels of performance allow both fast human transport and efficient cargo transport. http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/research/pro
Richard Head December 15, 2012 at 01:54 PM
"PAUL A. LaVIOLETTE, PH.D, is author of Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, Subquantum Kinetics, Earth Under Fire, Genesis of the Cosmos, Decoding the Message of the Pulsars, Galactic Superwaves and their Impact on the Earth, and is editor of A Systems View of Man. He has also published many original papers in physics, astronomy, climatology, systems theory, and psychology. He received his BA in physics from Johns Hopkins, his MBA from the University of Chicago, and PhD from Portland State University and is currently president of the Starburst Foundation." http://www.etheric.com/ 'Many ancient myths from around the world tell catastrophic destruction by fire and flood. These ubiquitous legends are so extreme that they are often dismissed as imaginative exaggerations. In Earth Under Fire, Paul LaViolette connects these "myths" to recent scientific findings in astronomy, geology, and archaeology to reconstruct the details of prehistoric global disasters and to explain how similar tragedies could recur in the near future." "Earth Under FIre" is available through the Racine Public Library System. http://www.etheric.com/LaVioletteBooks/Book-EUF.html
Richard Head December 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM
"Disclaimer: This synopsis of Dr. LaViolette's superwave theory should not be regarded as a complete presentation of his theory for the purpose of scientific debate on the internet. Those interested in a rigorous presentation of his theory and its supporting evidence should consult the update of his dissertation (available in CDROM format) and his various papers some of which are available for download at this website. His book Earth Under Fire is also a good resource but is written for a general audience and is not intended as the primary reference to rely on for scientific debate." Galactic Cosmic Ray Volleys: A Coming Global Disaster Galactic core outbursts are the most energetic phenomenon taking place in the universe. The active, quasar-like core of spiral galaxy PG 0052+251 (Figure 1-a), for example, is seen to radiate 7 times as much energy as comes from all of the galaxy's stars. Most of this is emitted in the form of high energy cosmic ray electrons accompanied by electromagnetic radiation ranging from radio wave frequencies on up to X ray and gamma ray frequencies. http://www.etheric.com/GalacticCenter/Galactic.html
Richard Head December 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM
According to some, the Galactic Superwave is what the ancients observed and tried to pass on to us. Unknown to most astrologers, the 12 signs of the zodiac describe the occurrence of a highly energetic celestial explosion and, by means of constellation pointer stars, indicate that this outburst originated at the core of our Galaxy. The signs convey this explosion concept through the use of metaphor. Each sign, through its personality descriptions and set of associated attributes, portrays a specific universal principle taking place in nature. Just as the letters of an alphabet form an intelligible word when sequenced in the proper order, so too, these universal principles, when properly sequenced, relate a science of how ordered form (in particular matter and energy) are spontaneously born into existence. This is quite impressive since it is only in the latter half of the twentieth century that modern scientists have discovered this same science of structural self-organization! http://www.etheric.com/Sphinx_Stargate/Page2.html According to some, those involved in the Black Ops projects of the Defense Department have taken a superluminal craft outside of our solar system and have observed a Superwave headed for Earth. AN interesting interview with Dr. LaViolette: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dy-0-aDV3g
Richard Head December 15, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Charles White was born in Wisconsin - and had an incredible experience during his time with the USAF. Is it true? "Charles Hall's Millennial Hospitality book series, describing his encounters with a race of human-like extraterrestrials – the “Tall Whites” (TW) - during a two year duty assignment at Nellis Air Force Base from 1965 to 1967, is a story with tremendous visual impact. Situated on Nevada's vast Desert National Wildlife Range, a scenic wilderness containing almost no artificial structures, the Nellis Ranges consist of almost nothing but breathtaking scenery." http://openseti.org/Hall.html Charles Hall and The Tall Whites:Probably the most engaging account of ET - Human Interaction over a prolonged period of time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31KKZvWvS8I Modern Physics Unknown to Albert Einstein The Hall Theory of Photon structure - Charles James Hall Master of arts Nuclear physics http://openseti.org/Docs/Hall_Photon_Science_Paper_B.pdf

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