We shall live to see 2013

Fear has always been the weakness of the humanity. It is this fear which gets exploited by the less ‘humane’ government to fill up its reserves.

A disaster as appealing as the mass destruction of the planet would naturally be used to trigger the pump for draining money. Guatemala city is doing precisely that. The country had been the home for the early Mayans during the period when they came up with a calendar which is akin to much controversy today.

The Culture ministry of Guatemala has invited around a lakh people from all over the world to celebrate the “Doomsday” on 21st December, 2012, which “experts” say denotes the end of the world according to the calendar.

Source: Google

However, the modern Mayans, the very descendants of the early Mayans, who form a major portion of the indigenous population in Guatemala, consider the celebrations a blasphemy.

Felipe Gomez, the leader of the Maya alliance group, blamed the government for turning them into a “forklore-for-profit” and not telling the truth about the time cycles. The new Maya time cycle simply “means there will be big changes on the personal, family and community level, so that there is harmony and balance between mankind and nature.”

The Mayans are planning to host sacred events in 5 cities around the world to mark this change and urge the Government to support them with it rather than allocate money in deceitful celebrations.

The source for this chaos boils down to the calendar designed by the early Mayans.


The calendar contains 18 months of 20 days each plus a 5 day sacred month. A Mayan era is equivalent to 13 baktuns, which is a collection of 400 years each. So the calculations say that 13 baktuns would make 5125.26 years approximately. Now, the Mayan calendar starts on August 11th or 13th 3114 BC, a simple addition of 5125 years would result in the all famous date of either December 21st or 23rd 2012!

Also, instead of the Decimal system Mayans used a complex system based on the number 20 instead of 10. This helped them observe the position of the stars and orbits of planets minutely and accurately predict the eclipses.

An important point which has been consistently ignored is of the calendar being “cyclical”. Just like a normal calendar, hung on the kitchen wall which continues with a new year after 31st December, the Mayan calendar also begins to repeat the cycle. Hence, we don’t die on the last date, but replace the old calendar with a new fancy one and continue our routine!

Complimenting the Mayan Doomsday prophecy, there are rumours of a planet “Nibiru” coming into a close proximity with the earth and colliding with it. Now this would be a sequel to the wipe-out faced by the dinosaurs when a meteorite collided with the earth millions of years ago! So will the human race become extinct?

The possibility of this phenomenon is very faint. If such a planet was travelling towards earth, the astronomers would have been tracking its path for more than a decade. If it is bound to hit earth in a couple of years, it must have reached a distance which is visible to the naked eye!  Fortunately or unfortunately, Nibiru has remained a fiction for all stargazers till date.

If the above two arguments were not enough to cement the apocalypse scare, there is yet another phenomenon which supports it.

On December 21st 2012, the sun would align itself to the plane of galaxy. This is the first time in 26000 years that the sun would intersect the Milky Way and the plane of the elliptic, forming a cross which symbolises a sacred tree. This alignment is said to pave way for the cosmic radiations which would raise all the beings to a higher level of vibration.

“This process has already begun,” said Carlos, a Mayan elder in his online interview. “Change is accelerating now and it will continue to accelerate. If the people of the Earth can get to this 2012 date in good shape without having destroyed too much of the Earth, we will rise to a new, higher level. But to get there we must transform enormously powerful forces that seek to block the way.”

The rising levels of water along the coastlines, the slow depletion of the North and South poles and also the massive natural disasters are seen as the communicators of the change which the Mayans believe will change the earth.

While the Mayans have continuously made it clear that their calendar does not suggest end of the world, J.G Vibes in his book, “Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance” gives a new angle to these interpretations.

He writes, “The doomsday theory is unlikely and overused by power hungry governments that wish to keep their populations in fear. As we have seen quite recently in the past decade in the United States, the establishment constantly uses fear to manipulate the minds of US citizens. This technique is not new either, it has been used for centuries whether it be the fear of economic collapse, natural disaster, the enemy, or the fear of god, fear has been used by the few to dominate the many for ages. “

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Many predictions in the past about the end of the world though had succeeded in inducing fear among the public, never materialised.

The world was predicted to end on February 20, 1524 by a major flood based on the conjunction of visible planets. We survived.

One of the most recent ones was the Y2K scare which threatened us with “cyber Armageddon.” We survived that as well.

While the earth continues to rotate, the calendar continues to lose its pages and the sun continues to dance around the galaxy, we could comfort ourselves with this inspiring thought, “The world ends with us. If we want to enjoy life, we need to expand our world.  We got to push our horizons out as far as they’ll go! “

Here is a meograph which shows how the world is reacting to the rumour of December 21st 2012 !

World reacts to 21/12

Scientists behind bars for manslaughter

A compilation of views from around the world…

Science community is shocked at the verdict given by court of L’Aquila to convict 7 prominent scientists, on 22nd of October for failing to warn the public about the disastrous earthquake that killed 309 people in 2009.

The shock comes in the wake that no scientist has ever been jailed for wrong predictions before. Predictions can’t be concrete anyway.

People listen to the verdict at L’Aquila (Italy) court Monday, Oct. 22. An Italian court has convicted seven scientists and experts of manslaughter for failing to adequately warn citizens before an earthquake struck central Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people.
Raniero Pizzi/AP

The New York Times reported that this incident raises the issue of when a public warning is appropriate. It says that though “predicting the exact time and location of an earthquake is not possible”, warning can be given by the seismologists based on the likelihood of the event. “But if the likelihood is very low — as it was in this case, despite the increased seismic activity in the weeks before — a warning may do more harm than good.”

L’Aquila, a beautiful city, is set right in the middle of one of the most seismically prone zones in Italy. It witnessed plenty of small tremors in 2008 which had negligible impact. According to an article given in Science, De Berardinis, one of the government officials is said to have calmed the public by saying that he has been assured by the scientists that these small tremors picture a “favourable situation because of the continuous discharge of energy.” This statement was deadly for a lot of people as they bought this idea and ignored the risks. “It was repeated almost like a mantra: the more tremors, the less danger.”- said Simona Giannangeli, a lawyer who represented the families of few victims.

However, the scientists said that Berardini had made the statement before the meeting even took place.

An article in BBC read – “The seven – all members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks – were accused of having provided “inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory” information about the danger of the tremors felt ahead of 6 April 2009 quake, Italian media report.”

A blog by David Ropiek in Scientific American, titled  “The L’Aquila Verdict: A Judgment Not against Science, but against a Failure of Science Communication” said that it was irresponsible of the Commission to not have any expert be present while the information about the risk of tremor as a result of their discussions was being delivered to the public. He also points out the mistake on the Government’s side of not appointing a person for the vital job of risk communication.

In his blog, he mentioned Dr. Vincenzo Vittorini who had lost his wife and daughter in the quake and was the leader of ‘309 martyrs’ – referring to the people who lost their lives in the quake. Back then when the trial began, he said,“Nobody here wants to put science in the dock. We all know that the earthquake could not be predicted, and that evacuation was not an option. All we wanted was clearer information on risks in order to make our choices”.

As mentioned in The inquirer, further accusations were levelled at the scientists for their ‘Monumental negligence’ and ‘for taking their jobs lightly’. The families of the victims think that justice has been done.

Andrew Revkin took the side of scientists took the side of scientists in his blog Dot Earth wherein he posted a  thought provoking questions which come as an argument against the verdict. “In the days following the earthquake, all fingers were pointed at lax building codes and the possibility of local corruption. How many inspectors or builders or officials who approved inadequate building codes were prosecuted? (Please post links if you find them!)”

In The New York Times Science section Dr. Mileti, professor of behavioral science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, writes that  “One person saying once ‘You don’t have to worry’ is probably not why they didn’t do what they might have done to protect themselves,” he said. “Humans are hard-wired to deny low-probability, high-impact events.”

Giving once-a-year earthquake drills as one of the solutions, he adds “If you want to sell earthquake preparation in a way that it affects human behavior,” he said, “you have to sell it like Coca-Cola.”

The Daily Beast gives a true yet depressing conclusion to the event quoting Marcello Melandri who is the lawyer for scientist Boschi. He said, “In Italy you will now see many more false alarms in such situations, because experts will choose to cry wolf when in doubt. In the end they will become less and less credible.”