The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apocalyptic wackos learn the hard way ...

... not to believe everything they hear an archaeologist say.

The folks who think the world is coming to an end in 2012 because the Maya said so are, presumably, not themselves experts in deciphering Mayan epigraphy. That is an extremely difficult and technical task. Instead, the 2012 enthusiasts had to rely on experts' translations of obscure glyphs, and unfortunately for the pipe dreamers, those translations may well be out by 50 to 100 years, according to new work being done.

And even worse, the amount by which things are off may be a positive or negative value, meaning that whatever event was theoretically being predicted may already have happened. Personally, I think the date is off by -12 years, and that the end of the world already took place in November, 2000. I can understand how some people might not have noticed. Another hypothesis is that it's off by -164 years, and that the catastrophe in question took place when the US lost a war with Mexico and was forced to take Texas as a result.

Anyway, if you can get your money back on those 2012 dystopia festival tickets, I'd recommend it. And here's a nice list of 10 other end-o-the-world predictions that didn't come true -- at least not as written.