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Mayan calendar figured wrong

December 22, 2012
By Anna Patrick - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Since you are able to read The Inter-Mountain's Saturday edition, obviously you know that the world did not come to an end Friday, despite the numerous claims made around the globe that yesterday would be humanity's last.

The years of hype surrounding the notorious day included numerous books (e.g. "12-21-2012: The Key to Salvation"), a series of websites selling survival kits for 12-21-12 as well as the famous 2009 blockbuster entitled "2012." The $770 million grossing film helped to spark doomsday rumors by showing haunting images of Los Angeles merging into the ocean and deadly tsunamis waves wiping out the Himalayas.

Much of Friday's hype can be attributed to the Mayan calendar completing its 13 Baktun cycle on Friday. Since the Mayan calendar reached its supposed "end" on 12-21-12, many doomsday theorists took the opportunity to predict doom and gloom for Friday including a fiery comet hitting earth, ice storms destroying power grids, a change in the earth's magnetic poles and so on.

On NPR's morning edition Thursday, Mayan expert David Stuart squashed any notion that the world was going to come to an end Friday. He told NPR's David Greene, "The Mayans never, ever, said anything about the world ending at any time much less this year."

This isn't the first time for such negative predictions. Recall the issue of Y2K, which falsely predicted significant problems and failure of computer data systems with the digital rollover of the millennium, changing from the year of 1999 to 2000.

Belington resident Nick Habick reflected on the doomsday hype. "Of course I did not think it was going to end. People were acting like it was another Y2K again."

For the residents of Elkins, Randolph County and surrounding areas, the closest thing to "disaster" Friday was a snow storm with high winds making the roads icy and slick and the power somewhat of an uncertainty. Friday's wintery weather did cause a number of minor wrecks Friday in Elkins and surrounding areas.

"It's just a bunch of hysteria. I think the world has billions of years yet," Habick added. Although she wasn't predicting the world to end Friday, Julie Weese, an employee of Go Mart on Railroad Avenue in Elkins, said it was evident in Go Mart's sales Thursday that some people were stocking up on supplies and gas in case of a disaster.

Weese said when a large portion of Elkins lost power Thursday, Go Mart's pumps, as well as other gas stations around Elkins, filled up with vehicles. In total Weese reported that Go Mart sold approximately 10,000 gallons of gas and did about $10,000 worth of sales in the store.

"It was crazy in here last (Thursday) night," Weese added.

As for the hyperbolic website, claiming to be the official website for 12-21-12, it quickly changed its tune on Friday when it appeared that life on earth was not coming to an end.

Instead of advertising gas masks and screaming that "the end is near," the website posted an image of the earth and welcomed all humanity to "our new beginning."



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