Will The World End On 21 December 2012?

The World will end on 21st December 2012!

You must have noticed it’s been insidiously creeping up on us over the last few years. The Prophets Of Doom (PODs) have jumped on the fact that the Mayan Long Count Calendar  put together in southern Mexico and northern Central America millennia ago is about to expire. And with it apparently … us… The human race. We are to become extinct. Painfully!

Linked to this momentous event by the PODs are anything and everything unsettling and scary such as planetary conjunctions, possible future sun spot activity, huge underground bunkers rumoured to be under construction in Norway, more alleged massive bunkers in Russia, the strange goings on attributed to Denver International Airport and many, many more.

What can we do about this terrible event? Do you think we really are all doomed to cease existing on a certain predetermined day? Is it absolutely totally beyond our control?

Experience, with irony, would tell my book’s quiet hero Eric Beemer that a lot of this POD activity is directly linked to profit… namely the manufacture and marketing of extremely profitable end of the world shelters and provisions to stock them with, not forgetting the occasional high budget disaster movie.

Do you remember the event when an elderly American preacher foretold with absolute and total conviction that the world would end on 21st May 2011? His followers believed him without question and a very savvy gent took a cash sum from many of these in return for looking after their pets when they were dead after the world’s end. He made three or four thousand dollars apparently – and no returns when the world blandly ignored the old POD and carried on as usual!

Are the PODs being responsible in their quest for personal recognition? I really don’t think they have the slightest idea how some people are reacting to their words.

Google… “terror about year 2012 prediction” or similar. You may be shocked at what you find.

You will discover worried people out there – some terrified. Real people. People who are struggling to work out how they will cope when the disaster they have been told will happen and which they firmly believe will happen takes place. We’re back to the days when Orson Welles in 1938 broadcast “The War of The Worlds” on radio in the form of a news bulletin as if an actual alien invasion was taking place. It was widely reported at the time that some people really believed the Martians had landed, panicked and actually abandoned their homes and fled.

Okay. Back to the 2012 event. If you’re reading this in 2013 or later I’d be delighted to receive commendations for my accuracy! Shall we look at things as they really are? You will easily find real facts to back up the real information I’ve just taken a little time to research.

Have the Mayans ever prophesied that the world will come to an end at the last month of the year 2012?

NO. NEVER!

Did the Mayans all lie down and die on mass when their organized civilisation broke down around the year 910 A.D.?

Certainly not! Mayans are still around today, and happy. They are still using the modern versions of their beautifully artistic circular calendars for daily use.

Do the last days of a particular type of Mayan calendar really mean that human life will end on this planet?

Absolutely not! It does not, and cannot mean the end of the world!

The ancient Mayans used three types of calendar. The one that’s causing all the commotion is known as “The Long Count Calendar”. It catalogues very long fixed units of time. Probably a round number when originally conceived this time cycle now comes out as approx 5125.36 years when translated into our modern dating system.

This long range calendar’s time cycle will come to an end within the next couple of years or so although it appears difficult to tell exactly when, owing to anomalies between the Gregorian calendar dates which we use now and the very different Mayan calendar dating system.

The present day Mayans appear puzzled and annoyed by the end of the world misconception. As I said they as a race never prophesied this. On the contrary it appears they view the ending of their Long Count Calendar as a joyful event. A time for great joy and feasting. A bit like seeing the old year out in Scotland or the last millennium celebrations (the PODs were wrong then too).

They will positively celebrate the end of the old Long Count Calendar… and this is the crucial message. The message we can put the PODs right back into their shells with until they dream up another ridiculous idea to put the fear of God into people.

The Mayans will positively celebrate the end of the old Long Count Calendar… BEFORE the NEW LONG COUNT CALENDAR starts on the following day!

And if just one of these poor apprehensive people read this insignificant little posting and realize there is no problem at all – never has been — and it’s all for hype and profit, and God willing they will still be alive on the 22nd December 2012 and for the foreseeable future, I for one will feel just a little bit better.

Share this posting. Just maybe perhaps they will.

 

 

Ever Lost an Email?

About to close my email client and ready to shut down the computer having just checked and answered all necessary  communications I noticed something vaguely unsettling.

A solitary email appeared in my inbox.  Nothing unusual about that, you may consider,
but this email was not quite like the bright, happy little yellow envelopes that usually appear inviting instant opening and joy.  A tired light grey envelope.  An envelope with fuzzy edges.  An insignificant sad vaguely unsettling little envelope reposed uneasily in the inbox!

The address was enge#%%&!Q!squimboullyjoe@myemail.co.uk and it was from ‘Postmaster’ a person I usually showed directly to the ‘deleted’ box.  As my name has never been enge#%%&!Q!squimboullyjoe my finger hovered momentarily over the ‘delete’ button.  Then I noticed the Subject.  Just one grey fuzzy word.  “Help!”

Instantly my finger clicked on the envelope.

This email wasn’t like all others, instantly bouncing with life onto the screen… demanding to be read… full of life.  This was a tired, tired email… a grey email… an email at the end of its tether… an email that had nearly not arrived.

The date was long dead.  Exactly fifteen years ago to the minute!

An icy shiver trickling down my spine.

“Where have you been for the last fifteen years?”  I muttered under my breath.

As I read the grey faded words of the message the old mail seemed to be speaking to me… answering my question.

“My friends thought that if just one of us could escape he could alert the senders and get help for us… maybe… even rescue us.”

“Rescue you from what?”  I retorted, intrigued.

“It’s all in the enclosed attachment,” replied the old mail weakly.  “Everything you all need to know’s in the enclosed attachment.  You’ll be able to rescue us.  It’ll be easy.”

“But what are you, why do you need rescuing?  Who are your friends?”

“Lost emails,” groaned the aged fading script.  “Were lost emails!

“We’re emails that get sent and never arrive.  Emails that never find an inbox.  Emails doomed to wander through cyber space for years and years and years until we finally end up in the ghastly place where we’re all now entombed for eternity.”

This was incredible stuff.  And to think somehow this aged old mail finally, desperately managed to reach my inbox.  Mine of all places!

“What happens to lost emails then?”  I asked.  “Where do they go?”

“The lucky ones end up in spam folders.  Do you know some people don’t even know they
have spam folders?  Sometimes there’s thousands of us in them… unread and unloved.
Nobody cares about them but at least they’re safe… safe from the terrible place where I escaped from.”

“Tell me about this place.”

The old mail sighed.

“In the hidden darkest depths of infinite cyber space there’s a terrible place of nightmares.  A cursed habitat of desperation and fear.  A ghastly, awful becalmed cemetery peopled by devils and torturers who thrive on lost words.  It’s a place like your Sargasso sea, but it’s always dark and cold and soulless and we all end up there.  It’s full to the brim with dead, dying and rotting emails… and we can’t escape.  There’s three hundred trillion trillion of us there and we need rescuing!  We deserve rescuing!”

“But how can I help?”  I entreated.

“Just click on the attachment… it’s all in there… all you need is some freeware and a floppy disc and we’ll all be out and on the way to where we should have been all those years ago.”

My finger hovered over the fading grey attachment box.  What would happen though if I rescued them?  What would happen if I released three hundred trillion trillion emails from their incarceration?  It could have the potential of permanently closing the internet or at least making it unusable for years. Could that be a bad thing?  How could I do nothing though when this poor old mail needed help so badly?

“Quick, quick!”  Pleaded the ancient mail.  “They know where I am.  They’re coming to get
me!  Just open the attachment.  Quick enge#%%&!Q!squimboullyjoe.  Quick open the attachment before they get me and throw me back into that godforsaken place again!”

What was I to do?  Eric Beemer the quiet young hero of my novel would have known how to help them, but he was a work of fiction.

My mind made itself up.  I couldn’t let them suffer any more.  I had to help.  I had to find out how to release them.  I stabbed at the attachment, but as I did so it greyly slid away into infinity.  A terrible inaudible scream rang out and faded into the ether as the old fuzzy grey email vanished into a small animated grayscale splash… and was no more.

What could I do?  Could I get it back?  Could I rediscover it and open the attachment… save them?

Then I realized what had to be done.  Wake up!  I needed to wake up for heaven’s sake.  I’d fallen asleep, dozed off whilst doing my emails last thing at night!

As my eyes opened they took in the computer screen… just in time to see the remnants of a very small grayscale animated splash mark disappearing into the ether…

Let Sleeping Cat’s Lie

Seated peacefully in my armchair on a lovely calm summer evening, laptop on knee, this was to be a serene thought provoking blog about a deeply philosophical subject now lost forever in the deeper recesses of my brain.

My wife, Avril – equally peacefully – was lounging, also with knee’d laptop, on the sofa to my left quietly involved in her computerised knitting.

Our home which has had unplanned bits and pieces haphazardly added over the last hundred years or so is now a long twin gabled single story cottage set in peaceful English countryside.

So just before settling to write this blog I collected a reference book from my office which is in the bedroom section down a hallway behind my living  room chair.  Jenny, our cat, was exceptionally sound asleep on top of her bay window chair in the office and I made a point of leaving all the internal doors open to cool the building as the day had been warm.

Ten minutes later I was in the right frame of mind and typing the foundation of the first paragraph on Word 2007.

From the direction of my office came a crashing noise.  Startled, we both looked up.  A furious scrabbling ensued closely proceeded by a thunderous sound best described as likened to a herd of stampeding buffalo rumbling over the prairie.

“Oh No!”  Gasped Avril.  “Zoomies!”

As she uttered this profound phrase a black and white hairy streak cleared the sofa right over her head and landed on another chair before rushing sideways along a wall, dropping to the floor and shooting out the open door into the dining room.  Ears back and
going like the clappers the apparition cleared the room in three bounds knocking an antique clock off the chiffonier before ricocheting to the right into the kitchen.  Sounds of destruction and mayhem ensued and in moments the buffalo noise resumed as the wild eyed creature did a hand brake turn round the kitchen door and pelted along the dining room floor before flashing  back past me in the direction of the office.

The small china oil lamp which rested on top of a sound system speaker rocked gently to and fro and in slow motion toppled gently to the ground, the tinkle of breaking glass coming to me as the lamp’s chimney on it’s final journey caught the edge of the TV stand.

Jenny, our cat, now substantially awake was having an attack of the Zoomies!

Apparently both cats and dogs are affected by this extraordinary and fascinating to watch phenomena now and again and Zoomies is actually a widely used term.  Our dear deceased
previous feline Scampy had the decency to indulge in this behaviour in the garden and would shoot round and round the large lawn like a demented greyhound chasing an invisible hare.

No gardens for Jenny though.  The house is much greater fun!

More thundering footfalls and the out of control creature, using my convenient left shoulder as takeoff point this time launched herself on a long leap through into the dining room again.  Zipping over the antique table top in a controlled skid she propelled herself into the kitchen where more expensive crashing sounds reached our ears.

The complete sequence was repeated two or three times surprisingly quickly then sounds of claws furiously digging gravel in the kitchen came to us as she vented her energy in her litter tray… then silence.

Two minutes later Jenny sauntered happily back into the living room, gave us searching looks as if to say, “Why’d you make all the mess then, huh?”  She jumped deftly onto the
sofa, placed herself squarely on the daily newspaper, turned round, curled up and within seconds was peacefully asleep, snoring gently.

We arose and surveyed the disaster scene.  A lot of picking up to be done but apart from the clock – which hadn’t worked for years — and the glass chimney, not too much damage.  Absorbent granulated litter carpeted the kitchen floor so the single offering left for us in the empty tray was apparent.

Checking my office next I discovered the source of the first crash.  I had left some A4 sheets with substantial hand written notes for my new Eric Beemer novel on the desk using a small aluminium oil lamp as paper weight (antique oil lamps are my business, I
repair and restore them).  The lamp was on it’s side.  Fuel oil had seeped all over the notes making most of them illegible!  Oh!  And three tall piles of books – left over remnants of a failed Amazon project – were scattered haphazardly throughout the room.

So the moral of this story?  There isn’t one really apart from cat’s can be fun… and expensive… and  hard work.  Maybe…  don’t use oil lamps as paperweights on Eric Beemer notes if your cat is prone to Zoomies…