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End Of The World 2012? Not Just Yet

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« on: December 22, 2012, 05:39:57 pm »


End Of The World 2012? Not Just Yet

By MARK STEVENSON 12/21/12 09:00 PM ET EST AP



End Of The World
People gather in front of the Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. American seer Star Johnsen-Moser led a whooping, dancing, drum-beating ceremony Thursday in the heart of Mayan territory to consult several of the life-sized crystal skulls, which adherents claim were passed down by the ancient Maya. (AP Photo/Israel Leal)
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 05:47:35 pm »

MERIDA, Mexico — Dec. 21 started out as the prophetic day some had believed would usher in the fiery end of the world. By Friday afternoon, it had become more comic than cosmic, the punch line of countless Facebook posts and at least several dozen T-shirts.

At the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, thousands chanted, danced and otherwise frolicked around ceremonial fires and pyramids to mark the conclusion of a vast, 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar.

The doomsayers who had predicted apocalypse were nowhere to be seen. Instead, people showed up in T-shirts reading "The End of the World: I Was There."

Vendors eager to sell their ceramic handicrafts and wooden masks called out to passing visitors, "Buy something before the world ends."

And on Twitter, (hash)EndoftheWorld had become one of the day's most popular hash tags.

For the masses in the ruins, Dec. 21 sparked celebration of what they saw as the birth of a new and better age. It was also inspiration for massive clouds of patchouli and marijuana smoke and a chorus of conch calls at the break of dawn.

The official crowd count stood at 20,000 as of mid-afternoon, with people continuing to arrive. That surpassed the count on an average day but not as many as have gathered at the ruins during equinoxes.

The boisterous gathering Friday included Buddhists, pagan nature worshippers, druids and followers of Aztec and Maya religious traditions. Some kneeled in attitudes of prayer, some seated with arms outstretched in positions of meditation, all facing El Castillo, the massive main pyramid.

Ceremonies were being held at different sides of the pyramid, including one led by a music group that belted out American blues and reggae-inspired chants. Others involved yelping and shouting, and drumming and dance, such as one ceremony led by spiritual master Ollin Yolotzin.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 05:47:52 pm »

"The world was never going to end, this was an invention of the mass media," said Yolotzin, who leads the Aztec ritual dance group Cuautli-balam. "It is going to be a good era. ... We are going to be better."

Ivan Gutierrez, a 37-year-old artist who lives in the nearby village, stood before the pyramid and blew a low, sonorous blast on a conch horn. "It has already arrived, we are already in it," he said of the new era. "We are in a frequency of love, we are in a new vibration."

But it was unclear how long the love would last: A security guard quickly came over and asked him to stop blowing his conch shell, enforcing the ruin site's ban on holding ceremonies without previous permits.

Similar rites greeted the new era in neighboring Guatemala, where Mayan spiritual leaders burned offerings and families danced in celebration. Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla attended an official ceremony in the department of Peten, along with thousands of revelers and artists.

At an indigenous South American summer solstice festival in Bolivia, President Evo Morales arrived on a wooden raft to lead a festival that made offerings to Pachamama, Mother Earth, on a small island in the middle of Lake Titicaca.

The leftist leader and 3,000 others, including politicians, indigenous shamans and activists of all stripes, didn't ponder the end of the world, just the death of the capitalist system, which Morales told the crowd had already happened amid "a global financial, political and moral crisis."
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 05:52:12 pm »

"The human community is in danger because of climatic reasons, which are related to the accumulation of wealth by some countries and social groups," he told the crowd. "We need to change the belief that having more is living better."

Despite all the pomp, no one is certain the period known as the Mayas' 13th Baktun officially ended Friday. Some think it may have happened at midnight. Others looked to Friday's dawn here in the Maya heartland. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History even suggested historical calculations to synchronize the Mayan and Western calendars might be off a few days. It said the Mayan Long Count calendar cycle might not really end until Sunday.

One thing, however, became clear to many by Friday afternoon: The world had not ended.

John Hoopes, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas, was at the ruins, using the opportunity to talk about how myths are created.

"You don't have to go to the far corners of the earth to look for exotic things, you've got them right here," he noted.

End-of-the-world paranoia, however, has spread globally despite the insistence of archeologists and the Maya themselves that the date meant no such thing.

Dozens of schools in Michigan canceled classes this week amid rumors of violence tied to the date. In France, people expecting doomsday were looking expectantly to a mountain in the Pyrenees where they believe a hidden spaceship was waiting to spirit them away. And in China, government authorities were cracking down on a fringe Christian group spreading rumors about the world's end, while preaching that Jesus had reappeared as a woman in central China.
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2012, 05:52:37 pm »

Gabriel Romero, a Los Angeles-based spiritualist who uses crystal skulls in his ceremonies, had no such illusions as he greeted the dawn at Chichen Itza.

"We'll still have to pay taxes next year," he said.

As if to put the final nail in the coffin of such rumors, Bob McMillan of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory confirmed Friday that no large asteroids are predicted to hit anytime soon.

And Bill Leith, a senior science adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey, noted that as far as quakes, tsunamis and solar storms for the rest of the day, "we don't have any evidence that anything is imminent."

Still, there were some who wouldn't truly feel safe until the sun sets Friday over the pyramids in the Yucatan peninsula, the heartland of the Maya.

Mexico's best-known seer, Antonio Vazquez Alba, known as "El Brujo Mayor," said he had received emails with rumors that a mass suicide might be planned in Argentina. He said he was sure that human nature represented the only threat Friday.

"Nature isn't going to do us any harm, but we can do damage to ourselves," he said.

Authorities worried about overcrowding and possible stampedes during celebrations Friday at Mayan sites such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal, both about 1 1/2 hours from Merida, the Yucatan state capital. Special police and guard details were assigned to the pyramids.

Yucatan Gov. Rolando Zapata said he for one felt the growing good vibes, and not just because his state was raking in loads of revenue from the thousands of celebrants flooding in.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 05:52:57 pm »

"We believe that the beginning of a new baktun means the beginning of a new era, and we're receiving it with great optimism," Zapata said.

___

Associated Press writers Romina Ruiz-Goiriena in Iximche, Guatemala; Bradley Brooks in Sao Paulo; Carlos Valdez in Isla del Sol, Bolivia; and Florent Bajrami in Bugarach, France, contributed to this report.
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 05:53:49 pm »



For his latest cartoon, Chicano artist Lalo Alcaraz depicted what the Maya's real doomsday vision might have been.

http://laloalcaraz.com/
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 05:54:30 pm »



The temptation to ignore the signs, jump the ropes and climb the pyramid dominating the main plaza here gets the better of some visitors. That's why the archeological park has called in Yucatan's scouts, who stand at something approaching attention around the major ruins.

"We do this for special events," explains Gabriel Ancona, an 18-year old Rover Scout -- Mexico's equivalent to an Eagle Scout -- from nearby Merida. "I enjoy serving and, even though I'm not Maya, this is part of my culture because I grew up here."

Ancona says several of his friends had to help stop a crowd of 80 spiritualists, mostly American, who tried to climb El Castillo this morning.

"The scouts were definitely helpful with that," says Ancona, who is amused but unfazed by visitors' fervor.

He admits he finds some of the dancing funny but is complacent about the whole thing.

"They can believe whatever they want," he says. "They just have to stay off the ruins."

-- Andrew Burmon, HuffPost Travel
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 06:20:52 pm »

End Of The World Movies Worth Seeing

From zombies to a viral pandemic, Hollywood has imagined countless ways the world could end. While some plots are more far-fetched than others, most apocalyptic films have one thing in common: that glimmer of hope that the world won't end after all.

Overlooking blockbuster disaster films like "The Day After Tomorrow," CNN Entertainment compiled a list of the end of the world movies you should actually watch.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/21/showbiz/movies/movies-about-the-end-of-the-world/
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2012, 06:21:59 pm »

Epic Artworks For The End Of Days



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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2012, 06:23:00 pm »




In Chichen Itza, A 'Big Wet T-Shirt Contest'

mayan apocalypse

As clouds roll in and faint sounds of thunder join the drum circles, there is murmuring among the male attendees about this becoming "one big wet T-shirt contest."

The celebrants twirling flags or contorting themselves amid the ruins are being joined by more and more tourists as the day wears on, but the white-clad spiritualists are still the main attraction, both for the growing crowd and each other.

A man in a shamanic cape who has been hungrily watching an attractive dancer turns to his friend and says, "With all this energy, I just wish I could bang the earth."

Transcending desire to reach harmony is proving difficult.

-- Andrew Burmon
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 06:24:01 pm »




At Teotihuacan, Sunrise Meditation

end of the world 2012

People meditate on the top of the Pyramid of the Sun as the sun rises at the Teotihuacan archeological site in Teotihuacan, Mexico, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.

(AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
1:44 PM – 12/21/2012
A Brief History Of The End Of The World

The sun rose on Dec. 21, and the world is still here. Though NASA assured everyone that the world would not end, this isn't the first time we've faced a potential apocalypse.

Salon looks back as far as 2800 B.C. at the "apocalypses that got away."
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2012, 06:24:33 pm »




ICYMI: Why The World Didn't End

In case you missed it, NASA released a video entitled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday." But instead of waiting until Dec. 22 to upload the video, NASA released it last week. The caption explains it all:

    NASA is so sure the world won't come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012, that they already released a video for the day after.
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2012, 06:25:40 pm »




In Mexico, Many Tourists, But Few Big Spenders

mayan apocalypse

Small replicas of the Maya calendar predicting the beginning of a new age are on sale in the shadows of the Chichen Itza ruins for 80 pesos (about $6), but hawkers will discount them forty percent if tourists are looking for a bargain.

When asked if he's sold many calendars, one stall owner performs an elaborate mime bemoaning the lack of pockets in the flowing robes and skirts worn by many of the assembled.

-- Andrew Burmon
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 06:26:35 pm »

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