21st December 2012. The day on which, if Hollywood and anyone with an interest in rumormongering has their way, the world will end. After the abortive “end of the world” in May 2003, a quick recount of the Mayan calendar resulted in 21 December being picked for a second go. The story goes that the planet Nibiru is headed this way to collide with the Earth. As poor as out asteroid spotting capabilities are (one zinged between us and the moon a few days ago, but was only spotted the week before), I suspect that something planet sized would have been noticed long ago.
However, a planet maybe just what we need. After all, if our one is going to the dogs, a new one seems like a good idea. Fortunately, the Kepler mission has provided plenty of data indicating planets in a “habitable zone” (ie not too close and not too far away from a star) may be nearby. A mere 12 light years in fact. Now 12 years may mean we should have started planning a while ago for the 21st December disaster, but you never know, we may get a stay of execution, a la 2003. In case you’re thinking of knocking up a light-speed starship overnight, the nearest potential planet appears to be around Tau Ceti (try going east to start with).
Michigan, however, isn’t going the starship route. Instead they’ve closed their schools a couple of days early. Quite how this is going to avert the end of the world, I don’t know, but I guess the kids are pretty happy about it.
So, what are you doing for the big day? Time off? Maxing out your library card? Or do you have an unlicensed nuclear reactor and warp drive starship ready in your living room?
I knew about the Mayan prediction but not about the theory on planet collision. Interesting.
Yet, in complete confidence that the world will not end today (or because I’m a glutton for drudgery), I will be spending December 21 doing laundry! Having only been on earth for 40+ years, I have still noticed that the End of the World seems to get predicted a lot. And the success rate of such predictions has been exactly 0%.
Excellent Julie. There nothing like having a clean pair of socks when disaster strikes! And if it doesn’t (as you mention) you get the side benefit of a drawer full of clean socks in the morning 🙂
I treated it like any other Friday before Christmas – went ro work, leaving early. Then going home to wrap presents. 🙂
I think you’re in good company (leaving work early and wrapping presents). I guess whoever dreamt up this scam will start another soon enough.
Pretty much the same old, same old. Y’know, dusting the starship, scavenging for uranium and plutonium, calling up my buddies on Tau Ceti.
But I did buy some gifts for Hubby, just to hedge my bets.
Merry Christmas! 🙂
Glad to see you’re covering all the bases, Diane. Plutonium can be tricky stuff to pick up. Our vacuum cleaner is useless at getting it out of the carpet. Since you’re in touch with the guys at Tau Ceti, maybe they could answer one of the great questions of the universe … Do they get as many credit card offers as we get?
Bad news, Nigel. The credit card offers COME from Tau Ceti…
That explains a lot!
I was planning to dig a hole in the back yard and stick my head into it, but I woke up with a crick in my neck, so that didn’t work out. [Sigh] Guess I’ll just write a little and watch a little TV.
Digging a hole and sticking your head in it doesn’t sound like much fun, David, so maybe the crick in your neck was a blessing in disguise. There again, nobody could say daytime TV is a blessing …
Hi Nigel. The world didn’t end so I guess I’ll have to get back to my routine and perhaps even do a little work. After years of waiting for the Mayan calender to end my to do list has gotten out of hand.
Happy New year to all.
Hi Holmes. Yes, it’s been a great excuse. Maybe someone can dig up something else to help out the procrastinators of the world (I’m a founding member).
Hope you have a great year.