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The end of the world is near?

December 18, 2012
By Jocelyne Aguilar of South Houston High School

On Friday, Dec. 21, some say, the Mayan apocalypse will arrive and the world will end. Due to new understanding of the Mayan calendar their use of a “cycle” does not accurately line up with our interpretation of time now.  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. With NASA backing up this new theory the space agency has issued a press release dated Dec. 22 entitled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday."

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