On Friday, Dec. 21, some say, the Mayan apocalypse will arrive and the world will end. Fortunately, it won’t.
A bold claim, we know, but if it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for us. The space agency has already issued a press release dated Dec. 22 entitled “Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday.”
The Mayan apocalypse predictions arise from a misunderstanding of the ancient Maya Long Count Calendar, which wraps up a 400-year cycle called a b’ak’tun on Dec. 21, 2012, the day of the winter solstice. This just so happens to be the 13th b’ak’tun in the calendar, a benchmark the Maya would have seen as a full cycle of creation.
Did you catch that? Cycle. In other words, the Maya had a cyclical view of time and would not have seen the end of their calendar cycle as the end of the world. It wasn’t until Westerners began reinterpreting the calendar in the past couple decades that it got its apocalyptic overtones.
Mayan apocalypse rumors have proliferated on the Internet, running the gamut from beliefs that Dec. 21 will bring a new era of peace and universal understanding to predictions of a devastating astronomical event. We’re all in favor of world peace, but we’re here to put your fears to rest about the likelihood of planetary annihilation. Read on for five common Mayan apocalypse fears and why they won’t come true.
A handout electron microscope photograph shows a human figure created by a newly developed 3D printing technique for nano structures, made available to Reuters March 29, 2012. Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology have set a new world speed record for creating 3D nano objects.
The University team create their grain of sand-size structures in just four minutes, a fraction of the time that other items have previously been printed. Previously, making complex large 3D structures would take hours or even days but with the newly developed 3D laser printer the scientists can speed that up by a factor of 500 or in some cases 1,000 times.
The process, called “two-photon lithography” involves using a focused laser beam to harden liquid resin in order to create micro objects of solid polymer. The scientists said the technique could be developed to make small biomedical parts to be used by doctors.
Strange Random Nano Quote:
“When you go to nano-sized dimensions, matter acts differently.” – Robert Celotta
- The Fastest Nano-scale 3D Printing Device (solidsmack.com)
- Video: 3-D printer with nano precision (worldwright.wordpress.com)
- 3D printer with nano-precision sets world record (zdnet.com)
- Nano 3D Printer (neatorama.com)
- 3-D printer with nano precision (eurekalert.org)
- 3D-Printer with Nano-Precision (tuwien.ac.at)
- 3D nano-printing picks up speed – ZDNet UK (zdnet.co.uk)
NEW YORK AP — It was a decade when tens of millions of people in the U.S. experienced mass unemployment and social upheaval as the nation clawed its way out of the Great Depression and rumblings of global war were heard from abroad.
Now, intimate details of 132 million people who lived through the 1930s will be disclosed as the U.S. government releases the 1940 census on April 2 to the public for the first time after 72 years of privacy protection lapses.
Access to the records will be free and open to anyone on the Internet — but they will not be immediately name searchable.
For genealogists and family historians, the 1940 census release is the most important disclosure of ancestral secrets in a decade and could shake the branches of many family trees. Scholars expect the records to help draw a more pointillistic portrait of a transformative decade in American life.
Researchers might be able to follow the movement of refugees from war-torn Europe in the latter half of the 1930s; sketch out in more detail where 100,000 Japanese Americans interned during World War II were living before they were removed; and more fully trace the decades-long migration of blacks from the rural South to cities.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard University professor and scholar of black history who has promoted the tracing of family ancestry through popular television shows, said the release of the records will be a “great contribution to American society.”
Gates, whose PBS series “Finding Your Roots” begins March 25, said the “goldmine” of 1940 records would add important layers of detail to an existing collection of opened census records dating to 1790.
Strange Random Great Depression Quote:
“The Great Depression left a mark on all of the civilized world. It was a defining moment like a giant earthquake that reminds us of how little control we have over human destiny — despite our technology and innovation.” – Will Eisner
- Great Depression Census Scheduled To Be Released Soon (inquisitr.com)
- 1940s Census Release on April 2 (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Census documenting Great Depression to be released (johnhively.wordpress.com)
- Historical Gold Mine: Depression-Era Census to Be Released Online (newsfeed.time.com)
- *Special Edition* 1940 Census Records Release (bespacific.com)
- Trading Education: Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression (optionsanimal.com)
- Happy Birthday Clara of Great Depression Cooking (cleardebt.co.uk)
- Great Depression Data Goldmine to Finally Go Public (newser.com)
- Help index 1940 US Census (released on April 2, 2012) (examiner.com)
You might think the British press holds a monopoly on media controversy this month, with the shuttering of a 168-year-old tabloid over a phone-hacking scandal. Still, at least one Yank media concern has won recent unwelcome notoriety–fittingly enough, for airing misleading video footage on the national holiday commemorating American independence from the British crown. CBS has been caught doctoring Fourth of July footage after Bostonians realized Thursday that the network’s images of fireworks over various city landmarks were not only breathtaking, but also fake. An area research scientist appears to have been among the first to point out the discrepancy on a Boston-based blog. Then the Boston Globe got wind of the scandal and blew the story up in its pages Friday, noting that “it would not have been geographically possible to see the fireworks above and behind the landmarks in question”–including the State House, Quincy Market, and home plate at Fenway Park–“since the display was launched from a barge in the Charles River and in directions away from those places.”But at least “the Boston-area businessman and philanthropist who has executive produced the show for nine years,” David Mugar, is owning up to the manipulated imagery. The Globe reports:Mugar said the added images were above board because the show was entertainment and not news. He said it was no different than TV drama producer David E. Kelley using scenes from his native Boston in his show “Boston Legal” but shooting the bulk of each episode on a studio set in Hollywood.
Strange Random Fake Quote:
My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them. — Mitch Hedberg
- Truth v. Fiction: Fireworks in Boston (mhasegawa.wordpress.com)
- CBS Caught Faking Fourth of July Firework Footage In Boston (mediaite.com)
- Doctored TV images of Boston fireworks draw flak (hosted.ap.org)
- Boston gets a nonreality show (boston.com)
- CBS Faked Boston’s 4th of July Fireworks Show [Fireworks] (gizmodo.com)
- Doctored TV images of Boston fireworks draw flak (ctv.ca)
- CBS Airs Fake Views of Boston Fireworks (newser.com)