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World won’t end Friday – I guarantee it

For some time now, a handful of people among us have been saying that the world is going to end on Friday, 12/21/12.

The only question I have is, what time?

Is it going to be 12:01 a.m.? That’s as good a time as any. May as well git ’er done.

I just hope the world doesn’t end before breakfast. I like breakfast. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day.

NASA has been trying to assuage the fearful among us – and there are some young people apparently who are really worried about this – saying that there are no huge asteroids headed our way, that there is no rogue planet on the other side of the sun that’s going to come buzzing around the corner and hit us, and that we won’t be consumed by a giant solar flare.

If that isn’t enough to ease your mind, take my word for it. The world isn’t going to end on Friday. I personally guarantee it.

No one’s saying that a meteor won’t hit the earth. According to Cornell University, as much as 78,000 tons of meteorites hit Earth each year, and as many as 7,300 of those meteorites are in the 10-gram to 1-kilogram range (2.2-pound) range. So plenty of meteorites are bound to hit Earth on Friday, some big enough to put a heck of a dent in the hood of your car. I just hope one of the bigger ones falls in my backyard, because meteorites are valuable.

All this claptrap started with the Mayan calendar, which is somehow tied into astronomy. The Mayans, it seems, were very good at astronomy, but that’s what happens when you live in a world without electricity. The night is very dark and there is nothing to look at but the stars. People all over the world started noticing patterns thousands of years ago.

The Mayan calendar, which is very long and complex, is supposed to end on Friday. Whether all that is true I can’t say for sure. I can’t read Mayan.

I can read English, though, and I can tell you that the Gregorian calendar expires 10 days after the Mayan calendar. No reason to fret, though, because the calendar will just start over again the next day, the way it always does.

Why we’re paying so much attention to this whole 12/21/12 thing actually baffles me. We all know that it’s crackpot science, but a few people have latched onto it, trying to sell books and hoping that all the talk will drive traffic to their websites, which will let them sell ads and make money.

Somehow, though, I suspect there are some people out there who almost look forward to some type of catastrophe, just for the excitement of it.

I blame it on Hollywood. Back in the 1970s they started making disaster movies, starting with “Airport,” “The Towering Inferno,” then “Earthquake,” and finally “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012,” to name a few. Some were interesting and some were stupid, but they seemed to have whetted our appetites for disasters, and some people, it seems, would love to witness one in person.

Personally, I like the dull life.

Frank Gray reflects on his and others’ experiences in columns published Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. He can be reached by phone at 461-8376, by fax at 461-8893, or by email at fgray@jg.net. You can also follow him on Twitter @FrankGrayJG.

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