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NASA Attempts To Assuage 2012 Fears 881

eldavojohn writes "The apocalyptic film 2012 has dominated the box office, taking in $65 million on opening weekend. But with all those uninformed eyeballs watching the film, NASA has found itself answering so many common questions that their Ask an Astrobiologist blog offers calming, professional reassurance that there is no planet Nibiru, nor will it collide with Earth (although I do recall a massive solar storm forecast). NASA's main site even offers a FAQ answering similar questions. NPR has more on NASA scientist David Morrison and his efforts to calm the ensuing public hysteria, but survivalists are already planning for the big one. Pretty funny, right? Not according to Morrison: 'I've had three from young people saying they were contemplating committing suicide. I've had two from women contemplating killing their children and themselves. I had one last week from a person who said, "I'm so scared, my only friend is my little dog. When should I put it to sleep so it won't suffer?" And I don't know how to answer those questions.'"
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NASA Attempts To Assuage 2012 Fears

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  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:46PM (#30131170) Journal

    Just, wow.

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mofag ( 709856 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:48PM (#30131214)

      I think that's what the suicide offers are for - to reduce the number of stupid people. Seems like a naturally self-correcting system to me. I say let it run its course. Next thing we will have 10foot disclaimers on the entrance to cinemas telling the dumb masses that its just pretend.

      • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

        by Bught_42 ( 1012499 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:05PM (#30131532)
        Perhaps they'll issue a mass Darwin Award.
        • "'I've had three from young people saying they were contemplating committing suicide. I've had two from women contemplating killing their children and themselves. I had one last week from a person who said, "I'm so scared, my only friend is my little dog. When should I put it to sleep so it won't suffer?"

          You know...this didn't really bother me or grab my attention THAT much, till I read that last one about the guy putting his dog down.

          Geez..I dunno what it is but I have a soft spot for animals. I mean,

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Used to be they would kill/hurt animals. No special effects.
            Probably still do in some movies, maybe not in the west but ...

      • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:05PM (#30131538) Homepage

        I think that's what the suicide offers are for - to reduce the number of stupid people.

        "Ignorant" is not the same as "stupid", and can be cured by means much less dramatic than death.

        The problem is that we don't train people in the fine art of bullshit detection -- mostly because doing so would challenge mainstream religions, not to mention most American's understanding of their nation's history and place in the world. When you've got a culture where many people take ancient Hebrew creation myths as true and are not laughed at, it's no surprise that belief in the imminent destruction of Earth by collision with the rogue planet Nibiru will proliferate.

        • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:40PM (#30132192) Journal

          "Ignorant" is not the same as "stupid", and can be cured by means much less dramatic than death.

          Correct, but I think deciding to kill yourself and your loved ones based on a work of fiction counts as stupid.

        • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

          by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:46PM (#30132324) Journal

          > "Ignorant" is not the same as "stupid",

          No, I'm pretty sure believing what you see in a movie is stupid.

          Honestly, these people see 'Transformers', 'Superman', 'Batman', 'Star Trek', 'Dogma', 'Godzilla', and '2012'. Then they choose to believe the world is ending but they won't be saved by Superman or Batman. They won't be killed first by giant robots or a giant lizard. And angels and demons... well ok they probably do believe in Dogma.

          Actually these people probably already have a mental problem and fear the world is ending BEFORE seeing 2012. Seeing the movie just gives them an excuse to bring it out.
          Why else would they choose this one as the real one?

          Personally, I choose to believe in 'The Last Starfighter'. I am practicing, Centauri, I'm practicing...

        • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by icebike ( 68054 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:50PM (#30132386)

          "Ignorant" is not the same as "stupid", and can be cured by means much less dramatic than death.

          In this case it is exactly the same.

          These reports did not come from some long overlooked rainforest tribe, but rather from people intelligent enough to call NASA with worries and fears. These are people able to read or at least watch TV news, or surf the net.

          Yet they can't distinguish between a movie trailer and real life.

          That, my friend, is not ignorant, but rather, stupid, in bold type, writ large.

          The chance of educating these people is slim to none. The recidivism rate of stupidity is astoundingly high. The success stories few and fleeting.

          No one wants to wake up on December 24th to watch their dim witted neighbor's body being carried from the next apartment due to hysteria induced suicide.

          But by the same token, no one wants to hand-hold these people thru every motion picture release based on a misinterpretation of a calendar developed by people who never invented the wheel and who's year had only 360 days.

        • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @03:02PM (#30132606)

          The problem is that we don't train people in the fine art of bullshit detection

          99.99% of Christians are not going to fear Nibiru after watching 2012, so it's only fair to distinguish between them and the people Morrison is talking about. You must realize, he is fielding questions from a population of millions of people, some significant percentage of whom are literally psychotic (which actually means losing touch with reality, not being an axe murderer). This "idiocracy" meme (that the masses are stupid and we are the smart ones) is just ego stroking - don't feel good just because you're more sane than the bottom 0.001% who are off their meds.

        • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @04:14PM (#30133876)

          "Ignorant" can be cured. By teaching. "Refusing to be taught" is a different matter.

          And, bluntly, if you manage to get to 30 years of age in what we deem a "civilized" country and are still ignorant, it's usually not a lack of available information.

    • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:53PM (#30131292) Journal

      Well magical thinking is magical thinking. Makes you wonder how many people think all the shows on TV are documentaries?

      • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

        by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:57PM (#30131382)

        Those poor people on Gilligan's Island...

      • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Funny)

        by CrazedSanity ( 872448 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:16PM (#30131750) Homepage Journal

        Okay, let's round up all the people that believe 2012 [] is in any way related to actual scientific fact, and let them go see The Invention of Lying []. If they don't get the coincidence, explain to them it already is 2012 according to the Gregorian calendar...

      • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Funny)

        by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @03:26PM (#30133036)
        Somewhere there is a grown man--a very pathetic man--who is attempting to lift things with the Force.
      • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @04:52PM (#30134588) Journal

        That show has some REALLY bad science in it at times. For instance, one episode discussed the "myth" (rather old wives saying) that with breakfast cereal (the american kind) the cardboard box it comes in contains more NUTRITION then the cereal itself.

        The amazing mythbusters then went on to determine the CALORIE/ENERGY and FAT contents of both products. Do Americans REALLY need more CALORIES or FAT in their diets? Not once did they test EITHER of the products for NUTRITIONAL values, as in minerals/vitamins etc. They proved that sugar coated grain gives you energy. No shit sherlock. Your MOTHER is talking about nutrition as you find it in fresh vegetables, and fruit. Not a sugar cube or lump of butter.

        And yet many here at slashdot consider mythbusters as valid science and often quote their results to prove how silly a myth is.

        I seen another show where helicopters were discussed and the claim was made that helicopters do not have ejection seats. Correct. US helicopters do not, SOVIET helicopters did. How many believe a lie because they thought a documentary was a documentary?

        The truth, the real absolute, total and complete truth is not good entertainment and does not fit in a soundbite or between commercial blocks.

        And the truth is hard to understand because you need to understand an lot of complex subjects that you actually need to spend some time thinking about.

        What IS the mayan calendar and why is 2012 significant and as mentioned in the article is that different then 31st december 2009? If you don't understand WHAT a date really is, how time is tracked, then you COULD think 31st december 9999 would be an ending (which is rougly what 2012 is to the mayans). Silly if you TRULY understand calendars, numbers and such but many don't.

        For many people, magical thinking fills in the gaps between their understanding of the world and a LOT of us do it. Come one, be honest how much of your understanding of gravity is a rubber sheet with a weight on it? There is no rubber sheet, that is magical thinking to help your limited intelligence deal with the concepts thought up by truly brilliant people.

        So, don't be to condescending, you are no Einstein.

        Our world is filled with half lies to explain things away because explaining everything to everyone would explode the education system and not help getting the bloody toilets cleaned and garbage collected and even peoples wounds dressed.

        A simple story: In africa there used to be a believe that if you used a cooking stick twice, evil demons would posses it. White missionaries said this was silly superstition and forbid this practice. people soon dropped dead. Why? The evil spirit called food poisoning. This is LESS of an issue in colder climates like europe, but in the hot african sun food spoils far more rapidly.Oh, the story might not be true, but the gist of it is that sometimes "magical thinking" fills a gap between knowing that something is true and knowing the reason behind it.

        But we humans ain't perfect and we all can't spent all our time reading books. These people heard something, didn't understand it and nobody is willing to clearly explain it and then there are stations like Fox that even add to the fear mongering for their own gains. Hell even Discovery and National Geographic are happy to host a "lets scare people" show to get ratings. How are people to know the full truth when the lies are sold so much better?

        I think what NASA is doing is the right thing, but they should do it more clearly and get someone like Carl Sagan, someone who can talk plain english to explain it on tv on popular chat shows. SHOW people. Don't hide in the ivory tower sneering down, come out with the science. People LOVE science, but you need to open up to them, not by talking down to them, but by starting easy and then pulling them up. Why do you Einstein is such a celebrity? Because HE could do that. Few can. Certainly not most people here.

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRecklessWanderer ( 929556 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:58PM (#30131402) Journal
      You know if people are so stupid that they watch a movie and think that its, really going to happen, to the point that they are going to commit suicide, I say let them. we definitely don't need any more stupid people on this planet.
    • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:05PM (#30131528) Journal

      Yeah, so if you run into one of these idiots, and she happens to be cute, just tell her that you are a Mao Shan master [] and you know the perfect ceremony to stop Nibiru from hitting the Earth, if you could just get a little help from her...

    • Education Time! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @04:35PM (#30134270) Journal

      A friend of mine is taking an Arky (Archaeology for those less hip) Class, as she is an ancient & medieval history major, and she is taking a class this semester SPECIFICALLY on the Mayans. Her Prof is one of the archaelogists who work on sites like Tucan. The prof held an open public lecture in the University of Calgary in the first week of November here. My friend and I both attended, and while I never did believe in the whole Mayan Myth it's interesting to see where its origins begin.

      So this prof is basically a Mayan pro, she can translate most inscriptions just by looking at them (no reference needed) and she intimately understands their number and Calendar system. The first thing to know about Mayan numbers is that they don't use Base 10, they use base 20. The other thing to know is that there is not ONE Mayan Language. They were similar to all of Europe, where the europeans had french, English, spanish, german, etc, the Mayans had about 6 to 8 different Variants. And with that in mind, they were never a single nation, each city had it's own king/queen type leader, and they peacably would trade with the other cities of the area. No one city was truly the capital, but those major trade hubs and those with rarer goods tended to prosper more than the little towns.

      Anyways, so the Mayans used 2 different Calendars, and I can't remember how big, but there was a sizable gap in between the usage of each (I think like 800 years?). But basically what it breaks down into is the Short count and the Long count.

      The Short count is very much like our Calendar today, 18 months of 20 days each with 5 days at the end of the year for some religious purpose (Similar to the egyptians). They also had Names for days of their week, like Monday Tuesday Wednesday (Except Mayan Gods instead of Norse Gods). So if I were to say, Friday, December 25th, you'd know I mean this Christmas and not last Christmas or the next Christmas because they don't land on a Friday. This works well for 8 years until Christmas lands on a Friday again. You could be more precise about the date if you gave me the year, which is where the Long Count comes in.

      We attribute a year to 365 days. So I would say that Dec 31 2009 would be day 733285. The Mayans didn't use years, they merely counted days. Which is neat in some ways because there were 20 days in a month (And they're number system is base 20, remember?) But also a bit of a hassle in others, because there are 18 months.

      So the way Archaeologists expressed their long count is in a series of numbers seperated by decimals (It looks like a long IP Address to me). Day 1 would be like and Day 23 would be like - - Except here's the kicker - Mayans didn't set day 0 as anything in particular. In fact, their creation story takes place well after 0. This leads many people to believe that the Mayans set a date in the future as some signifigance and worked their way backwards. What day that could be or what they believed it would be has yet to be discovered. There are some speculations. No, its not 2012.

      Essentially the numbers further to the left represent longer periods of time, so each in the long count is really like 8767 years give or take, which is a really long friggen time, right? We celebrate every year pretty much, but every odd once in a while we hold huge celebrations, like when we ushered in the new millenia in the year 2000. That sort of thing was also important to the Mayans. If I recall correctly, we're roughly around the era on the Mayan Calendar. So when it rolls around to be - wouldn't that be a rollover worth celebrating? To the Mayans it would be. Guess what day that happens to fall on? You're right, December 21 2012.

      So now that you've got a crash course on the Calendar and how it works, where exactly does the Prophecy come in? I'll tell you. Amongst the ruins of cities, Mayans had what we call Stelas. They are basically big stones which have stories and such carved into them, very much like a monu

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)


        I forgot "The Great Alignment".

        There is no real planetary Alignment scheduled for Dec 21, 2012, which the Movie shows as the Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, etc, all being PERFECTLY in line. Yeah no, not going to happen.

        As for the whole, Earth, and one of the constellations making a perfect line with the "Dark Rift" - Yes, that IS scheduled to happen! But guess how rare it is? It happened in 2008, and 2004, and 2000... and you get the idea. Its not very rare at all.

  • It's easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DanTheStone ( 1212500 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:47PM (#30131180)
    You respond with, "It's only a movie. The world isn't ending. Don't kill your children, your pets, or yourself."
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:47PM (#30131182) Journal
    1. First buy a lots of call options of thinly traded mundane non volatile stock of canned goods and survival/camping gear purveyors.

    2. Create a hysteria and panic about the world ending due to Y2K or Planet Nibiru or Mayan Calender cycle ending or Banks collapsing or Obama winning the elections.

    3. ...

    4. Stock of zooms up and ..... profit!

  • by syrinx ( 106469 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:47PM (#30131184) Homepage

    NASA reports that giant alien spaceships have not in fact destroyed the White House and Empire State Building.

    Reports of time-traveling robots looking for John Connor are unsubstantiated at this time.

  • by foobsr ( 693224 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:48PM (#30131218) Homepage Journal
    The War of the Worlds (radio) []

    Quote: "Some listeners heard only a portion of the broadcast, and in the atmosphere of tension and anxiety leading to World War II, took it to be a news broadcast. Newspapers reported that panic ensued, people fleeing the area, others thinking they could smell poison gas or could see flashes of lightning in the distance."

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:12PM (#30131656) Journal

      In the case of The War of the Worlds, the radio broadcast WAS designed to sound "real", complete with interrupting musical programs for special announcements and so on. Someone who tuned in in the middle of the show would have missed the announcement that it was just a radio program, and it predated the transistor radio by a decade so most of the people who decided to flee or whatever wouldn't have had a way to keep up with the program and hear any other announcements that they were listening to a fictional story.

      There's no excuse at all for 2012.

      • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @03:55PM (#30133532)

        The problem isn't people watching the movie 2012, it is the viral advertising surrounding it. They ran ads that made the movie sound a dramatization of a real idea rather than complete fiction, ala the Day After Tomorrow, and encourage them to search the web for the "real truth". The studio created a fake website purposing to be a scientific institute predicting a collision with earth in 2012. On top of this loonies have been talking about a 2012 apocalypse of some sort since we first understood the Mayan calendar, and latter some of them latched onto the Nimbiru idea after the books came out, so the internet is full of websites giving "evidence" of this catastrophe, many of whom claim to be scientific websites themselves.

        Yeah, people with a decent bullshit detector should be able to figure out that this is all crap, but it's not like they just watched a normal movie and thought it was read - the studio is trying to present it as though it were real, by making it a conspiracy that the mainstream is covering up.

  • I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:50PM (#30131244)
    How many of those sending their questions to NASA are part of the 2012 movie marketing campaign?
  • oh, please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macbeth66 ( 204889 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:53PM (#30131296)

    I've had two from women contemplating killing their children and themselves

    You tell them to come in, explaining that you have a secret rocket that will take some of us off of this planet. When they arrive, you have social services take the kids away and the police can take her to the nearest asylum for the criminally insane.

  • by vanyel ( 28049 ) * on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:56PM (#30131354) Journal

    Before you breed...

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @01:57PM (#30131390)

    This is the first film I've worked on that caused actual general panic. Grudge 2 scared people, but it's actually a little gratifying to think that work I did is scaring people even AFTER they walked out of the theater. At the time we were making it I knew the whole black president/conspiracy thing was definitely going to push a lot of buttons, just considering the way things are right now, but to be honest, the whole scientific backstory of the film is so thin I never actually considered that people would genuinely fear a cataclysm as depicted in the movie. "Mutating neutrinos"... really?

    ps. I was the lead sound effects editor on the show. Along with blowing up Yellowstone and other sundry destructions, I personally cut about 80% of the computer screen beeps. And I cut every one of them just for you guys, because I know you love them so much :D

    • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:16PM (#30131744)

      I won't see the movie immediately, but I'll pre-emptively say that the beeps were entirely unnecessary, inappropriate, or plain impossible, and no programmer worth their salt would make an interface that noisy. But I'm sure you were just following orders. You know who else was just following orders?

      Seriously, I'm going to see it just for the beeps now, cos I'm intrigued how an informed person would accomplish this task as opposed to the mindless goons who think they know how computers work.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iluvcapra ( 782887 )

        You put the beeps in for the same reason the male actors wear makeup, and scenes at night always are in blue light. It's a convention. If you make things blink on a 100 foot projection screen and they don't make a sound, people's get distracted by the absence somehow.

        As someone who does this for a living but also is a hobbyist Objective-C/Cocoa/Ruby developer, I do find myself thinking about whether the beeps are triggered by key events, or if they should be emanating from windowserver, and we absolutely

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by radtea ( 464814 )

      but to be honest, the whole scientific backstory of the film is so thin I never actually considered that people would genuinely fear a cataclysm as depicted in the movie. "Mutating neutrinos"... really?

      Yeah, I can't even hate you for working on it, nor the producers et al for creating it. It's just a movie, after all, so you don't fall into anything like the same class as the people who are promoting the 2012 thing as fact for their own benefit.

      If anyone ends up killing themselves or ruining their lives, i

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iluvcapra ( 782887 )

        Yeah, I can't even hate you for working on it, nor the producers et al for creating it. It's just a movie, after all, so you don't fall into anything like the same class as the people who are promoting the 2012 thing as fact for their own benefit.

        I always saw the whole "destruction of the world" as sortof an excuse to have a movie about a "conspiracy to save humanity." The interesting part of the movie isn't necessarily how Los Angeles is destroyed as much as why people in government and in echelons of th

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > "Mutating neutrinos"... really?

      Well, that does occur in nature. Neutrinos emanating from our sun change type on the way here. Until a few years ago this was not known. The missing neutrino count from the sun (compared to theoretical predictions) was a big mystery in astrophysics, which is now explained by neutrinos changing type.

  • by Croakus ( 663556 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:00PM (#30131450)
    There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they Do... Not... Know about it!
  • by Jack9 ( 11421 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:03PM (#30131492)

    Ignorance is not stupidity. NASA has addressed the ignorance. Good for them.

  • by darthwader ( 130012 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @02:28PM (#30131980) Homepage

    Lots of people have commented on how incredibly stupid these people are. I don't think it's quite that simple.

    I think that they're just scared. There's so much fear in our culture, people are scared of health care, scared of a black president, scared of terrorists, scared of oil prices, scared of cell phone companies, scared of pirates (the Somalian kind), scared of pirates (the MPAA kind), scared of the RIAA and MPAA, scared of swine flu, scared of unemployment, scared of having a job that doesn't pay a living wage, scared of peanuts, scared of global warming, scared of pollution, scared of home invasions, scared of floods, earthquakes and fires, scared of nuts with guns, scared of the government taking away everyone's guns.

    Fear makes you irrational. It suppresses the "carefully think about the situation" part of your brain, and supercharges the "fight or flight" part. If people stopped to think rationally about it, they would realize it is fiction. But the fear prevents them from thinking rationally.

    We live in a constant state of fear, and our culture (or our media, depending on how you look at it) keeps giving us more reasons to be afraid.

    What we need is more reason to be hopeful, not fearful. If we remove the irrational fears about health care, presidents, terrorists, MPAA, pirates, global warming, etc., then we would also have fewer irrational fears about the planet Nimbus crashing into Earth on December 21st, 2012.

  • Cinematic Neurosis (Score:4, Informative)

    by LatencyKills ( 1213908 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @03:39PM (#30133292)
    This kind of thing is actually a documented mental illness ( [] among others). It began with The Exorcist leading to a bunch of people suddenly, literally, living in fear of their lives of being possessed by the devil. Later people watching Jaws, including some people living in Kansas far from any body of water that could reasonably contain a shark, became so afraid of shark attacks that they couldn't leave their homes. It doesn't happen often, but for those afflicted it can apparently be almost completely debilitating.
  • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @04:12PM (#30133844)

    "Kill yourself now, before its too late!"

    alternative ending:

    "Why bother, we are all gonna die in 2012!"

    alternate alternate ending:

    "Well its 2009, and the world ends in 2012, so if we take one number, 2009 and subtract it from 2012 you get the number 3. Its called math. So you should kill yourself in about 3 years. If you want to get really accurate, you could look at a calender and see what month it is, and what day, and really work out exactly when to do it! Either way, it isn't for awhile and your probably likely to die drowning looking up during a rain storm before that, so leave me alone..."

    alternate alternate alternate ending:

    "Don't worry about it we will be hit by a meteor or a comet long before then!"

    As an aside I have also heard that this Mayan 2012 prediction is all buffoonery. They Mayans thought their the world would end just like we think the world ends after December. It was their calender for keeping track of time. I think it was implied that you just restart the calender once the cycle is over. Perhaps it is so implisit that they didn't feel the need to explain this just the same we don't put a sticker on every calender we ever make that says "Not to worry, world not ending, new calender next year!"

  • by Dirtside ( 91468 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @04:43PM (#30134426) Journal

    I've been noticing a lot of these "NASA Calms 2012 Fears" articles in the last few days, enough that it makes it sound like there's more of a story here than I think there really is. The real question is, how many people are actually worried about this? I'm guessing that it's a tiny number, and probably what happened is, a statistical blip caused a few of the crazier ones to contact NASA. So then he posts on the blog about it, and for some reason a lot of places pick up the story.

  • by sp3d2orbit ( 81173 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @05:15PM (#30134998)

    OK, if you really believe 2012 is the end, I have a wonderful deal for you:

    I will give you 50% of the cash value for all your belongings AND you can keep them through 2012. IF the world doesn't end, I get to have your things in 2013.

    Any takers?

  • by SEE ( 7681 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @06:14PM (#30136004) Homepage

    . . . because Nibiru is the name of Jupiter in the Babylonian compendium of astrology, Mul.Apin.

    Jupiter isn't going anywhere, of course.

  • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @06:35PM (#30136306) Homepage Journal

    You know plenty of people laugh at the superstitions of people in the Dark Ages, but science as we know it, didn't exist then. I mean Aristotle had some great ideas, but there was little or nothing to take the place of raw superstition until about the 13th or 14th century (at least in the West).

    But what is peoples' excuse today? How is it that people who presumably graduated from the American educational system are no better off than some dirt-farming peasant from barbarian times? Things weren't always this bad. If I had the choice of hiring someone with a high school education from 1909 or someone with a high school education from 2009, I'd choose the 1909 person, and 90% of the time I'd be better off.

    But of course or education system is fine, it just needs more money thrown at it.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky