Tuesday, December 4, 2012

THE DUMB PLANET WE LIVE ON ! 'Doomsday tourism' has kicked off as people start to plan where they'll spend Armageddon.

  • People are planning apocalyptic parties for December 21.
  • Authorities have invited Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Elton John to perform.
  • UFO believers think tiny French town will offer sanctuary.

People are gearing up to party like it's the end of the world on December 21 – the Mayan Apocalypse.
One party planning site suggests games including 'Pin the Tail on the Horseman', 'End of Days charades', and 'Doomsday Drinking Games'.
The best bit? There'll be no cleaning up after Armageddon strikes and wipes out humanity.
Other options include partying with Elton John, U2 and System of a Down, joining a doomsday ride, or heading to 'the only place that will survive the Mayan Apocalypse', in France.
As December 21 nears, people are looking for places to party, or to get close to – or far away from – the apocalyptic action.
The Guatemalan Culture Ministry has invited a range of stars to Guatemala – the ancient home of the Mayans – to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar. Some believe that date spells the end of the world.
Culture Minister Carlos Batzin, though, says it's the start of a new era, and has invited "world leaders, thinkers, philosophers, scientists" to celebrate the "World Summit for Humanity".
"That day marks the conclusion of the Grand Cycle of the Mayan calendar – called 13 B'aktun – and the beginning of a new era of 5,200 years," he told AFP.
"We are at a turning point, a moment of opportunity, but overall of commitment, so that the natural order that the Mother Earth is going through parallels as human beings, our lives, our civilisations."
The Daily Mail reports that a small French town called Bugarach (population 176) will be the only place to survive Armageddon and residents are selling 'End of the World' wine and ridiculously overpriced accommodation and miracle water.
UFO believers have pegged Bugarach as the place to be because they predict aliens will come out of the 'spaceship garage' hidden in a nearby mountain.
If you want to combine doomsday tourism with fun and fitness, cycling tour company Tour D'Afrique is offering 'La Ruta Maya – The Doomsday Ride', a 2300km across Central America ending at a historic Mayan temple just outside Belize.
Project Manager Michael Coo told News.com.au that the tour sold out quickly.
"The appeal, besides the incredible scenery, the camaraderie amongst the riders, the food, the local hospitality, the challenging riding conditions, is, of course, to bike to a Mayan temple to greet the end of the world," he said.
Mr Coo said no Aussies were on board for the tour but said he hoped they might join "the next one". It was the type of trip that would appeal to them because it was "tough, exotic, and slightly insane"," he said.
With parties popping up all over the world, humanity looks set to spend its final days partying like there's no tomorrow.

It's true that the so-called long-count calendar—which spans roughly 5,125 years starting in 3114 B.C.—reaches the end of a cycle on December 21, 2012.
That day brings to a close the 13th Bak'tun, an almost 400-year period in the Maya long-count calendar.
But rather than moving to the next Bak'tun, the calendar will reset at the end of the 13th cycle, akin to the way a 1960s automobile would click over at mile 99,999.9 and reset to zero.
"We, of course, know that really means a hundred thousand [miles] and not zero," said William Saturno, an expert on Maya archaeology at Boston University.
"So, is [the end of Bak'tun 13] a large period ending? Yes. Did the Maya like period endings? Yes," Saturno said.
"Would this have been a period ending they thought was wicked cool? You bet. The biggest period endings they experience are Bak'tun endings."
But "was it predicted to be the end the world? No. That's just us."
Instead, for the Maya, the end of the long count represents the end of an old cycle and the beginning of a new one, according to Emiliano Gallaga Murrieta, the Chiapas state division director of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
"It is like for the Chinese, this is the Year of the [Rabbit], and the next year is going to the Year of the Dragon, and the next is going to be another animal in the calendar," Gallaga said.
(Watch the full episode of 2012: Countdown to Armageddon online from the National Geographic Channel.)
Maya Prophecy for End of the World?
Written references to the end of Bak'tun 13 are few. In fact, most Maya scholars cite only one: a stone tablet on Monument 6 at the Tortuguero archaeological site in Mexico's Tabasco state. (Take a Maya quiz.)
What exactly the tablet says, though, is a mystery, because the glyphs in question are partially damaged.
Nevertheless, scholars have taken several stabs at translations, the most prominent in 1996 by Brown University's Stephen Houston and the University of Texas at Austin's David Stuart.
Houston and Stuart's initial interpretation indicated that a god will descend at the end of Bak'tun 13. What would happen next is uncertain, although the scholars suggested this might have been a prophecy of some sort.
This 1996 analysis was picked up "on many New Age websites, associated forum discussions, and even a few book chapters" as evidence that the Maya calendar had predicted the end of the world, according to Stuart.
Houston and Stuart, however, independently revisited the glyphs recently and concluded that the inscription may actually contain no prophetic statements about 2012 at all.
Rather, the mention of the end of Bak'tun 13 is likely a forward-looking statement that refers back to the main subject of the inscription, which is the dedication of Monument 6.
In an October blog post about his conclusions, Stuart makes an analogy to a scribe wanting to immortalize the New York Yankees' 1950 sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies in that year's World Series.
If this writer were to use the Maya rhetorical device thought to be in Monument 6's inscription, the text might read:
"On October 7, 1950, the New York Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series. It happened 29 years after the first Yankees victory in the World Series in 1921. And so 50 years before the year 2000 will occur, the Yankees won the World Series."
Written this way, Stuart notes, the text mentions a future time of historical importance—the 50-year anniversary of the victory—but it does so in reference to the event at hand, i.e., the 1950 game.
"This is precisely how many ancient Maya texts are structured, including Tortuguero's Monument 6," Stuart writes.
2012 Apocalypse Just Poetic Flourish
According to INAH's Gallaga, this structure of Maya texts is what has confused modern minds, given our penchant for literal, straightforward reading.
Even if the Monument 6 inscription refers to a god coming down at the end of Bak'tun 13, it isn't a statement about the end of the world, he said.
"They are writing in a more poetic sense, saying, Well, on the 21st of December 2012, the god is going to come down and start a new cycle and the old world is going to die and the new world is going to be reborn—just to make it more poetic."
(Read about the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.)
Saturno, the Boston University archaeologist, agreed that the reference to a specific date is clear in Monument 6, but added that "there's no text that follows and says, Herein will be the end of the world, and the world will end in fire. ... That's not anywhere in the text."
Rather, Saturno said, the hype around 2012 stems from dissatisfied Westerners looking to the ancients for guidance, hoping that peoples such as the Maya knew something then that could help us through difficult times now.
In any case, even if the ancient inscriptions explicitly predicted the end of the world, Saturno wouldn't be worried, given the Maya track record with long-range prophecy.
"They didn't see [their] collapse coming. They didn't see the Spanish conquest coming."

'Doomsday tourism' has kicked off as people start to plan where they'll spend Armageddon | News.com.au:

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