December 21, 2012 - Two Suns in the Sky (mirrored) - YouTube: ""
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Thursday, December 20, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
TULUM, Mexico — Standing at the base of a centuries-old pyramid expertly constructed of limestone, it’s easy to see why more than a million visitors each year seek out a quiet walk among Mexico’s many Mayan ruins.
Whether in the jungle, like the ruins at Chacchoben, or along the cliffs of the Caribbean Sea coast like Tulum, these complex and long-lasting structures command respect.
So, on a recent visit to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, I was sure to spend time among the last of the cities inhabited and built by Mayans. And of course, while taking in the beauty and serenity of my surroundings, I couldn’t help but think that it’ll be a shame when these magnificent structures — as well as the rest of the world, for that matter — come to an end this year.
According to popular culture, when the Mayan calendar concludes on Dec. 21, 2012, so does the world. It’s a doomsday theory that has gained such momentum that a poll commissioned by Reuters conducted earlier this year showed that 15 percent of the worldwide population believes that the world will end during their lifetime and one in 10 people think that it could be this week.
But according to experts in Latin American culture who have studied the Mayan population and their calendar, this belief is just plain wrong.
“The Maya never predicted the end of the world,” said Joyce Marcus, an archeologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan. “Dec. 21, 2012, merely marks the end of the 13th cycle, which the Maya called Baktun 13, and the beginning of the next cycle, which the Maya called Baktun 1.”
A Baktun is about 400 years, she added.
Experts say that the doomsday theory started with the discovery of a stone tablet in the 1960s that describes the return of a Mayan god at the end of a 13th period.
Elizabeth Bell, a senior lecturer in Ohio State University’s department of Spanish and Portuguese, said the December date was chosen because it was 13 Baktuns after the Mayan calendar’s beginning of creation on Aug. 11, 3114 B.C.
“The reason we got that [creation] date is not necessarily from the Mayans but from archeologists, from their interpretations of engravings and carvings,” Ms. Bell said.
“You have two factions now talking about this. You have the Maya populations who are saying that this is not an ending but a new beginning and you have the people who are saying it’s a doomsday,” she said. “But these people are not Maya. They’re Hollywood.”
Ms. Marcus noted that contemporary interpretation of the end of the cycle can be compared to Y2K, or the year 2000, that we focused on 13 years ago. Just as chaos was predicted at the change of the millennium, so are fears of the unknown taking hold again.
As I peered up the length of steps leading to the temples at the top of the pyramids, the mystique of the Maya settled over me. Noted for their architecture, mathematics, and hieroglyphic writing system, the Maya are not simply an ancient civilization but also a modern-day segment of society still inhabiting southeast Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.
And on Dec. 22, they plan to still be around.
Contact Erica Blake at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Live Oak psychic Susie Stevens debunks doomsday predictions for Dec. 21, 2012
Posted: 12/11/2012 05:19:46 PM PST
SANTA CRUZ -- Should one prepare for the end of days while out holiday shopping?Well, no, says a longtime Live Oak psychic who has been inundated with worried calls about Dec. 21, when some say the Mayan calendar marks the end of the world.
Psychic Susie Stevens sat down with the Santa Cruz Sentinel recently to talk about what she sees in the coming months.
"I'm getting call after call from panicked people," Stevens said. "But this is a good thing."
The good thing, she says, is the whopper of a planetary line-up coming for those who believe in astrology.
Stevens says six major, largely incompatible planets -- Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Venus and Mars -- will be configured in a significant way and "battling each other" for the next two to three years.
That will bring a lot of things to a head, good and bad, she said.
"It's a traffic jam of planets at each other, which all have an agenda," Stevens said. "But it does cause breakthroughs. With this alignment we'll see a lot of good, powerful breakthroughs. Sagittarius and Capricorn will get it the most."
As for Wednesday, 12/12/12, Stevens said the number 12 indicates completion in numerology. And though Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin has reported that Wednesday is shaping up as a popular day to marry, Stevens said she couldn't advise it.
"It's an intense day; I wouldn't get married that day," she said. "I would run to my therapist to resolve
any issues I had."
Stevens said the next few years will be good for politics. And that President Barack Obama, whom she called a healer, will do surprisingly well.
Global warming will be an accepted concept in three to five years, she continued, and the upcoming months will be good for policing, with the time ripe for solving cold cases.
Stevens predicts any natural disasters will be associated with water, as Saturn, the planet of fate and birth/death has been in the water sign of Scorpio since early October.
Locally, she said the economy will be in full swing in spring 2013. She said she sees the upper end of Pacific Avenue undergoing a transformation with a handful of shops closing and being replaced by high-tech and high-fashion businesses.
"I see fashion shows that will bring in attractive energy, and a photo shop with animals and music," Stevens said.
She said she has fielded many questions about the next quake, but thinks that will happen in the Los Angeles area.
Stevens sees 2013 as a year of hope for Santa Cruz.
"And some day, Watsonville and Santa Cruz will fall in love," she said. "The prediction for that is 2015."
The Mayan angle
Talk of Dec. 21 prompted NASA to post a statement on its website refuting any impending denouement."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," NASA states.
NASA says the story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This disaster was initially predicted for May 2003 and then moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice. The wayward planet stories are Internet hoaxes, the site states.
Others are not so sure.
The website www.december212012.com, which includes a second-by-second countdown to the big day, lists stories tracking the trepidation, including a PRNewsire story from Edinburgh, Scotland, that says searches for one-way airfare to two sheltering towns, one in France and one in Turkey, are up by more than a third, quoting the travel search site Skyscanner.
A New York Times story on the site talks about Russia's minister of emergency situations declaring the world was not going to end, after inmates in a women's prison reportedly experienced "a collective mass psychosis." Panicked citizens in another town stripped store shelves of emergency supplies and others started building a huge Mayan-style archway out of ice.
Another story, attributed to Forbes, claims that Bolivia has outlawed Coca-Cola effective Dec. 21.
It states that David Choquehuanca, the country's minister of external affairs, explained that Coca-Cola will be expelled from Bolivia on the same day that the Mayan calendar enters a new cycle, and that it marks the end of capitalism.
Yet another listed story, from the Pasadena Star News, talks about a new disaster preparation group in Los Angeles and states that preparing to survive a catastrophe has become its own culture, popularized by the cable show "Doomsday Preppers."
UCSC PROFESSOR weighs in
Carter Wilson, a UC Santa Cruz professor emeritus who has studied Mayan culture, said the Mayans were very good astrologers who had two calendars, the long and short count calendars. When those calendars mesh, the dates are considered important, Wilson said."That doesn't necessarily mean anything is going to change," he said. "It's amusing; it's been a big tourism boon in Mexico. You can't get a hotel room in the Yucatan area.
"But when people ask me about it, I tell them this is about as important to the Maya as the year 2000 was for us," he said.
Wilson said a confusing thing about Mayan culture, related to prophesy, is that they sometimes talk in future tense about things that already have happened.
Stevens, who has been in the news before for her stalwart efforts to feed and adopt out feral cats at Seacliff State Beach, was raised Catholic and has several depictions of saints in her small mobile home. She believes in God, saying only He really knows what will happen. And she said planets don't cause behavior, they only influence it.
"I actually feel things are going to get better," she said. "And I've seen too much to be an optimist."
Reach Stevens at 475-7290.
People in two Chinese counties aren’t taking chances on the possibility of an impending apocalypse.
Local residents in Shuangliu and Longchang, two counties located in southwest China’s Sichuan province, have almost cleared shops there of candles and matches after speculation spread online that there would be three straight days of darkness starting Dec. 21, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. Vendors in both places are also selling supply packages and self-help manuals, according to the report.
The panic buying was triggered by myths, based on the ancient Mayan calendar, that the end of the world will come this December. While many scientists around the world, including at NASA, have debunked the theory, China seems to have plenty of believers.
A businessman from the east Chinese province of Jiangsu has even built a series of Noah’s Ark-like apocalypse survival capsules, Xinhua reported. Yang Zongfu is selling large stainless-steel ball shelters for between 1 million and 5 million yuan. He claims one Chinese customer has already bought fifteen and that orders have come in from New Zealand. The sales couldn’t be verified.
Worries about the world coming to an end are driving the Chinese to other drastic measures, including getting married. Xinhua reported that marriage registry offices in Xi’an, Hefei, Guangzhou and Shanghai have already maxed out their quota for approving marriages on Dec. 21.
Some attribute the Chinese preoccupation with the 2012 doomsday myth to the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster “2012,” in which an ark built by China saves the elite of humanity from global disaster. Earlier this year, merchants were selling boarding passes for Zhuo Ming Gu Ark on e-commerce site Taobao.com, in an effort to cash in on fears that the film’s plotline could end up being prophetic.
In a similar move, a handful of businesses recently took to Sina Corp.’s Weibo microblogging site to make special offers tied to the doomsday din. Among them was popular candy brand Alpen Liebe, which offered 100 Weibo users a limited editionDec. 21 postcard sent from the doomsday ark as it sails through Tibet , if they tweeted back or re-tweeted the offer.
Surprising as it may be, the apocalypse panic in Sichuan pales in comparison to asalt-buying panic in 2011, triggered by more reasonable (though ultimately unfounded) fears over nuclear radiation spilling from Japan’s quake-damaged reactors. Chinese authorities arrested a 31-year old Internet user for “spreading salt rumors” via an online posting that urged people to stock up because radiation from Japan had polluted the sea off of China’s coast. Some Chinese citizens even demand refunds for their salt after finding themselves with more than they could use.
There’s no word on whether residents in Shuangliu and Longchang plan to return their candles after Dec. 21. And, no arrests for spreading rumors have been made this time around.
Weibo showed plenty of netizens taking a calmer approach to the possibility of the world’s end, with many taking the opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation for their closest family. “If the world ends, I want to me with my mum and dad, because they are the most important people in the world to me,” said one female tweeter.
– Chao Deng. Follow her on Twitter @chao_deng
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
"Doomsday" approaches on December 21, 2012, but true believers may be surprised to find out that the concept was started in the 1970s by a "drugged-out" hippy guru named José Argüelles.
At least, that's the theory proposed in an article on Gather.com, published on Monday, December 10.
The article quotes Andrew Wilson, Assistant Head of Social Studies at the University of Derby in England as saying, "A hippy guru called Jose Arguelles associated the date with the Mayan calendar in a book called The Mayan Factor in 1987. But it's an obsolete form of the calendar, which had not been used since the year 1100AD."
A check of Wikipedia shows this controversy has been ongoing since the book's publication. Critics question Argüelles' sources and conclusions. So why has the theory taken hold and caused so much panic as the fateful date looms?
Possibly, it's because an impending apocalypse is really good for business.
Some wealthy people are hedging their bets and doomsday shelter manufacturers are more than happy to comply.
Won't they be surprised when December 22, 2012 dawns bright and clear, only to find the whole end-of-the-world scare was started by some guy on 'shrooms?
What do you think? Are you prepping for doomsday, just in case?
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