Late Night FDL: Escatology Is Scatology

This whole Maya calendar end of the world whoohaa has reached such a pitch that White House.gov for goodness sakes created a link about the idiocy which sends you/me to the answers.USA.gov site with further links to NASA’s point of view on the subject.

Answers.USA.gov says:

Most of the curiosity surrounding the date involves how the ancient Maya civilization viewed time. Archaeological finds revealed that the Maya had a number of highly accurate calendars, including one known as the Long Count calendar. It uses a series of periods (cycles) to count days, months, and years. According to this calendar, a major cycle lasting the equivalent of 394.3 years ends on December 21, 2012. The next cycle begins on December 22, and ends in 2406.

NASA has a tl/dr FAQ that condenses down to:

Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

But wait! Oh noes! NASA also offers this warning:

Scientists have no way of predicting with perfect accuracy whether a supervolcano will occur in a given century, decade, or year – and that includes 2012. But they do keep close tabs on volcanically active areas around the world, and so far there’s absolutely no sign of a supereruption looming anytime soon.

But fear not!

49 Responses to "Late Night FDL: Escatology Is Scatology"
Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 07:59 pm 1

Speaking of disasters: “Three-way” and “Santorum” in the same sentence just seems unsavory. http://www.cnn.com/


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:06 pm 2

Lisa!

The Maya believe that the world will end at the end of a baktun (that long count period), but nothing in the mythos specifies which one. IIRC, there are supposed to be signs preceding the event to tell the priests that this is the big one. Several traditional Maya holy men have gone on record as saying that this ain’t it (mostly because the apocalyptic tourists are starting to really annoy them).


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:08 pm 3
In response to DrDick @ 2

Yes, only one calendar out of all of them show them the end of a cycle in 2012, and who knows, the follow up disc may have gone missing. Which reminds me–I need to get a 2012 calendar.


Glackin | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:11 pm 4

The Mayan Calendar WILL END in Dec, 2012.

ORDER YOUR NEW ONE TODAY!

(It take’s a long time to carve stone calendars!)


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:13 pm 5
In response to Glackin @ 4

Ahahaahaha!


catch22oy | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:14 pm 6

Lisa’s headline gives the correct answer to the Mayan 2012 thing. But such an answer might offend Apocolyptic Christians, Messianic Jews, and other nut jobs. The end times will come when tax cuts, wars and austerity programs cause us to begin eating our own dead to stay alive.


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:15 pm 7

Speaking of Mayan sacred traditions, earlier in my career I actually had the opportunity to hold the Popol Vuh (the original 16th century Ximénez text) in my hands. I was really surprised at how small the book was. The dimensions were about like a modern paperback, though much thicker.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:22 pm 8
In response to DrDick @ 7

Amazing!


nonquixote | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:27 pm 9
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 3

Anybody notice a huge absence of free 2012 calenders this year? Not one in the mail for a change. Banks, groceries, even the farmer’s cooperative, nothing doing. Got a left-over at the alzheimer’s unit of the local senior care facility for 2011, last year. Going there to visit shut-ins with my cat and will check tomorrow. A sign of the financial times for sure.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:28 pm 10
In response to catch22oy @ 6

I worked as an editor and writer for Sacred History Magazine, and we did an End Times issue which featured a a timeline of predicted End of the Worlds. It was pretty entertaining.


EvilDrPuma | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:30 pm 11
In response to nonquixote @ 9

Yeah, I did happen to notice that. We finally had to break down and buy one online.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:30 pm 12
In response to nonquixote @ 9

Wow, yes–come ot think of it. La Luz de Jesus/Wacko/Soap Plant, my local art gallery/everything you could want shop usually gives away these over the top stylized classic Aztec warriors clutching maidens type calendars, and this year, nada.


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:33 pm 13
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 8

Sometimes being an anthropologist means getting to do cool stuff like that. Not often, but sometimes.


iseeitfx | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:34 pm 14

Yeah, He- He,
All these retards suspecting that Central planning might not end so well?
Dumb. dumb, Dumb.
As Nobel prize winning economist Professor Paul Krugman makes clear,
All is well if ONLY we would do much more of what we have already done!
Problemo then solved and the world returns to ‘all good’.

Problemo solved see?
Obama 012. Just cause I’m a “progressive”.
Thanks, Really appreciate the love folks. Just wish it were for us and not him.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:35 pm 15

Hola amigos!

So, maybe the world does come to end in 2012. The clown car had four emerge: Mittens, Man-on-dog, Ron-got-no Paul-icy, (and lagging behind the others) the incredible amphibian himself.


catch22oy | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:38 pm 16
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 10

Very intersting. Must have been a long list. I understand that, since Jesus said that those he was speaking to would witness the end of the world, the myth of the Wandering Jew was born. He would live until the end times. This gives truth to Jesus’ predictions.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:45 pm 17
In response to catch22oy @ 16

He also said that no man would know the hour and day of his coming.


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:47 pm 18
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 15

And so ends the most over hyped irrelevant political event of 2012.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:49 pm 19
In response to DrDick @ 18

Ah, c’mon. Clown shows are great fun!

Michele Bachmann gets the Miss Word-Salad Award for her completely disconnected from reality “concession” speech. “I am not and never aspired to be a politician,” she said. Really? HTH did you elected to the Minnesota Lege? to the U.S. Congress?


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:52 pm 20
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 19

Michele Bachmann and reality have never actually met.


nonquixote | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:53 pm 21
In response to EvilDrPuma @ 11

Got a spiffy calender when I upgraded my 9-yr-old laptop last Sept. Outlook 2010. I’m turning 60 this year and have been practicing using the reminder features to ping me for appointments the last couple of years. Just hope I never have to go without electricity or forget to plug this sucker in. The people I visit with the cat are people who patiently guided me in my youth. Very small town, hopefully returning well deserved favors.

I love this FDL segment, but have felt a bit intimidated with my lack of knowledge about so many things to actually comment here. All the best to all of you regulars. A very educational and entertaining experience for me. Most grateful.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:55 pm 22
In response to DrDick @ 20

She’s a tea-partier. Facts are flexible things, y’know.

I’d sure like to know how she balances her checkbook.


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:57 pm 23
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 22

I suspect by reading the entrails of the sacrificial sheep.


tejanarusa | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:58 pm 24

Ooh, Dr. Dick—I am always impressed with your doings and knowledge both, but getting to hold the Popol Vuh….that tops ‘em all.

(quietly admitting that I own a Spanish version of said book, but despite several tries, have never got very far in reading it. I’m a dilettante. )

But I am really, really impressed!


judybrowni | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:58 pm 25

The Mayans also believed that the world could end in the five day period at the end of every year — unless they practiced blood sacrifice by ritually killing captives.

We don’t hold those beliefs (at least, not literally), so why the fuck should we care what the Mayans believed (if they actually did) about 2012?


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 08:59 pm 26
In response to DrDick @ 23

Reading the flight of birds is much more complex. Especially now that the avian populations are on the decline


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:01 pm 27

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise because Ricky-Bobby stopped just short of hanging up his spurs.


tw3k | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:01 pm 28

Oh noes! My fav!!!111 The poles will filp 2012!!!111


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:02 pm 29
In response to tejanarusa @ 24

I worked at the Newberry Library, which owns it, at the time. I actually have read an English translation. Back in grad school, I had a period where I did a lot a research on Mesoamerica (I had also read a lot when I was in high school).


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:03 pm 30
In response to DrDick @ 23

I would imagine that is more accurate than her arithmetic.


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:04 pm 31
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 30

True. That way she has at least a random chance of getting the right answer.


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:05 pm 32

According to this calendar, a major cycle lasting the equivalent of 394.3 years ends on December 21, 2012.

Party Time!


DrDick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:06 pm 33

Time for me to toddle off. I have young minds to corrupt tomorrow morning. Take care all.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:07 pm 34
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 32

Party like it’s… 2001?


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:08 pm 35

We don’t hold those beliefs (at least, not literally), so why the fuck should we care what the Mayans believed (if they actually did) about 2012?

Because their Aztec cousins predicted Cortez would come day 7 year of the reed so their is a past record of accuracy about these predictions and a past record of horrible things happening.


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:11 pm 36

Party like it’s… 2001?

1999 they might be right they might be wrong but why take a chance!


tejanarusa | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:15 pm 37

Sigh. Just checked the NYT caucus results “Romney and Santorum Neck and Neck” 24.6% each with 97% in.

Unbelievable. So Romney is still under 25%, and Mr. Frothy Mix has soared (I refuse to use that other word that starts with -s-) to equal his percentage.

Santorum is just as scary as Paul, maybe more so, in that he’s so totally a religious zealot who fails to understand the very basics of our foundation, e.g. the Constitution.
And he’s now feeling so emboldened he has actually come out and said that contraception is evil and must be banned.

Every time the radio or tv interviewed a potential caucus-goer lately I’ve had to turn the channel…they are so utterly ignorant, mean-spirited, selfish, and foolish in their stated beliefs. I thought I couldn’t get more depressed about our country during the Bush years, but…


ThingsComeUndone | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:17 pm 38
In response to tejanarusa @ 37

Mitt still can’t get above 25% interesting.


Gregory Gadow | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:21 pm 39

My calendar ended December 31, just like it does every year. So what?


Dearie | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:23 pm 40

The number of people who caucused in Iowa is less than the number of residents of my suburban/rural county in California. This was all just a total waste of time. And Santorum is an ass. But he does have homey sweaters. On to the populace of New Hampshire.

So disheartening, really.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:24 pm 41

Less than 50 votes separate Frothy Mix and Mittens.


waynec | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:24 pm 42
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 22

She has a loose relationship with facts.


BargainCountertenor | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:28 pm 43
In response to tejanarusa @ 37

I think the most interesting thing is that the total vote to the also-rans (Newtie on down) exceeds the vote to the so-called leaders.


waynec | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:36 pm 44

Everything you wanted to know about the Mayan calendar but were afraid to ask:

http://www.pauahtun.org/Calendar/tools.html


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:39 pm 45
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 43

Good point–my math skills are bad, thaks for pointing that out!


tejanarusa | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:39 pm 46
In response to BargainCountertenor @ 43

Yup. Entertaining, if this who gets elected president didn’t actually matter…

Dearie – You are so right. So much hoopla for such a really not very relevant exercise.

I must say, as a one-time alternate delegate to the Okla. state convention on the basis of a caucus vote (that’s the next step, at least in Okla), it’s a great exercise in participatory democracy, and I really enjoyed it.

But only a select segment of a community can show up at a caucus on a particular night at a particular time. Parents of small jobs with jobs outside home have enough trouble making time to get a voting booth, let alone to a caucus. So it’s very self-selected, and terribly unrepresentative.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:41 pm 47

Five votes separate them now. nail biter


tejanarusa | Tuesday January 3, 2012 09:42 pm 48

Rats. The Times has a headline:

Perry to Return to Texas to Assess Campaign

That’s what I was afraid of. We’ve been doing all right here while he was out of the state….


tomallen | Wednesday January 4, 2012 05:12 am 49

Well, the Mayans predicted their world would end, and it did … just not in the way they expected. And life continued on. Maybe 2012 will work the same way. :-P


Sorry but the comments are closed on this post

Close