Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To the batmobile!

Obviously, newsmakers have no idea where to draw the line 1 . They have this hugely insane idea about trading in paranoia for some shiny new TRP. So, the new round of their daily whatever circles around the Earth exploding sometime in 2012. Until, the next day, when they want you to believe that the Earth is imploding. That, until totally unconfirmed reports 2 suggest that the Sun is going to crash into our planet. And now, for some reason, they want you to think that the Maya Calendar holds secrets to the future of the Earth's civilization.

Well, all these speculations and "rumors" educe me, and I guess it's up to me to save the planet, again.

Pedal to the metal in my Factsmobile, I'm at the Maya station.
Now, first and foremost, let me silence the people who believe that the Maya Long Count Calendar ends on December 21, 2012 -- it doesn't. What does actually occur, is the completion of the 13th B'ak'tun cycle. Which, according, to the Mayans, may represent "a transition from the current Creation world into the next". Well, mic check.

In this age we are approaching the same count again, only there is a common misconception of the Maya's practice of abbreviating their dates to five vigesimal places. According to the Maya there will be a baktun ending in 2012, a significant event being the end of the 13th 394 year period, but not the end of the world. 3

Next stop, 'The Collision'.
Now, I don't want all the news channels to count the numbers in The Bible and cook up an algorithm that predicts an asteroid collision, as done by the author of 'The Bible Code', but if you're still betting on the asteroid, 16.6 million miles is as close as you're going to get. According to NASA, some space rock called the four-hundred-something Eros is going to pass by the blue planet. Which is cool by me, because it does so almost every 846 days.

So now, you can cross the collision off the list. 16.6 million miles is definitely a clean pass. But kudos to the author, for pressure cooking the algorithm to predict something on the asteroid line. You were good, but your calculations were just a wee bit off.


See now, this one's just plain hilarious.
"The Sun crashing into the Earth", and I cite that from some news channel's headline. Now, you don't need to be well versed with the teachings of astrophysics or any sort of super-sci-fi lingo to tell that stars aren't particularly bright when it comes to locomotion 4 . And you definitely do not need to be told that the Sun is a star. Do you see what I'm saying here?
You were taught in 5th grade what Galileo had a hard time explaining -- the Earth moves around the sun, not the other way around. Plus, if the Sun was going to collide with the Earth, what would happen to our hot little tykes, Mars and Venus? It's a shame no one ever thought of that.
Another point you should probably note is that if the Sun was ever to undergo such a sudden, massive movement, the entire galaxy's gravitational balance would be disturbed, and such a thing could only be accomplished if the galaxy's gravitational balance would suddenly, and massively, be disturbed. Just a minor Catch-22, here.


The apocalypse? I'll take a look in 2040, again 5 .
One more thing -- only Apple product launches are meritorious of such widespread speculation.


  1. Do I really need to ring it in your ears all over again? ^
  2. The "reports" are from some weird guy's dream. Apparently, he sees the world's end, there. He also checks out the calendar in time to find he was sleeping in 2012. ^
  3. [via] ^
  4. They do move, albeit smoothly enough to go unnoticed, or create rampant changes. ^
  5. What Newton said. (From an old newspaper report. I can't help but be skeptical about this.) ^


  1. hmmm..nice post...kind liked it a lot

    been a while so everyone suddenly seems all gwon up :)

  2. I want to be able to boast about being there when the world got destroyed!

    Oh wait.