Canceling out the to-do list forever, the Mayan way
The Kansas City Star
Well, that’s what they say. Today is the end of the 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan Long Calendar and many say that’s a sign. In other words, we’re cooked.
Like most journalists, we remain skeptical. But in China, a lot of people were taking it seriously.
Police rounded up members of a renegade Christian sect that believes today will bring a wave of earthquakes and tsunamis.
Earthquakes and tsunamis? Bah!
In Britain, they saw bigger things. The Daily Mail asked experts what could make us toast, and a dark comet was at the top of the list. That’s a comet with little ice, so if one is headed our way we won’t spot it until it bangs into Earth and yeah, that would just about do it.
Also, super-volcanoes, a plague of cancers, famines, and — you knew this was coming — catastrophic climate change.
But back to the Chinese, who apparently weren’t taking anything for granted. The New York Times reports that a guy named Yang Zhongfu built steel-and-fiberglass spheres for worried people who planned to ride out the apocalypse inside. In case of a deluge, the spheres were designed to float. They have propulsion, oxygen tanks, solar lighting and seat belts.
Yang has sold more than two dozen of these things. He also built a luxury model with bags of soil for growing your own food. He was asking $800,000 for that one, although the price has probably dropped a good deal now because Dec. 21 has already happened in China.
Which probably means nothing. Remember, it was a Mayan calendar. Surely they scheduled the end of the world for local time.
Anyway, NASA says it’s received hundreds of calls about today, so it set up a website dealing with frequently asked questions. The site has drawn nearly 5 million views.
To NASA’s credit, it didn’t bury the main point. The first answer begins, “The world will not end in 2012.”
Jeez, what a letdown. We were beginning to see an upside, as in: Where would you go out to dinner the night before if you didn’t have to pay off the credit-card bill? Of course, that’s the sort of short-run thinking this page usually decries, but we couldn’t help it.
Also, there’s all that stuff in our basement. At the risk of giving the editorial “we” too much of a workout, we talked to our spouse about all those bins gathering dust on the shelves by the washing machine. Each year, they seem to multiply like giant microbes.
“Dear, let’s just throw all that stuff out.”
Spouse’s eyes narrowed.
“But the world is ending Friday.”
“Leave. It. Alone.”
We should have known. You’ll never get rid of your stuff, even in the face of the apocalypse.