Upcoming exhibition will debunk Mayan prophecy of the end of the world in 2012

An exhibition coming to Philadelphia will tackle this year´s hottest pseudo-archaeological topic: the Mayan prophecy that the world will end in 2012.

“Maya 2012: Lords of Time” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology will explain the Mayan civilization’s complex interlocking calendar systems through interactive displays and a rich collection of art and artifacts. These calendars developed out of an advanced knowledge of astronomy and an obsession with the cyclical nature of astronomical events such as the solar and lunar years, eclipses, and the movements of the planets.

One of these calendar systems is the so-called Long Count, which starts a new cycle every 1,872,000 days, or approximately 5,125 solar years. The current cycle ends on December 21 or 23, depending on which scholar you believe. Most scholars say the Long Count doesn’t actually end on this date, it merely starts another cycle. The other Mayan calendars keep going too. No Mayan text says the world is supposed to end this year. In fact, some Mayan inscriptions actually mention dates later than 2012. They don’t mention anything about cosmic vibrations, visiting UFOs, or any of the other bullshit theories being bandied about either.

Dr. Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, said in an interview that the ancient Maya felt the end of a cycle was cause for celebration. Anthropologist and Maya specialist Dr. Judith Maxwell did what the New Agers didn’t bother to do and actually asked the Maya what they thought. While the ancient civilization is gone, the Mayan culture is alive and well in Mesoamerica and Mayan shamans, called daykeepers, told Maxwell that the end is not coming.

Apparently the exhibition organizers agree there’s nothing to fear. The exhibition runs from May 5, 2012 to January 13, 2013.

So the world isn’t going to end in 2012.

This ranks top on my list of “unsurprising news of the week.” I’m 42, and I have a hard time remembering a year that the world wasn’t supposed to end. Some hack writer or religious conman is always trying to scare us into thinking the world is going to end. The sad thing is, people embrace this nonsense. The world is not ending this year. You still have to deal with the consequences of your actions and you still have to shoulder your responsibilities. Chances are you will have to do that for many years to come. Chances are you will grow old and live through many more of life’s ups and downs.

That’s not a bad thing.

Philly TSA agent plays cruel drug baggie joke on traveler

In what appears to be a daily report of the “dumbest TSA agent”, a story from Philadelphia airport will really have you fuming.

22 year old Rebecca Soloman was heading back to Detroit on January 5th, when she passed through the airport checkpoint. As her bag came out of the X-ray machine, a TSA agent motioned for her to come towards him. As she approached, he held up a small plastic bag containing white powder, and asked “where did you get it”?

Rebecca describes the next 20 seconds as the longest in her life. As she went through all the various terror scenarios in her mind, she held back her tears. It was then, that the TSA agent smiled and told her that he was “just kidding”.

Just kidding – a TSA agent makes you think he found drugs or explosives in your bag, and he was just kidding. Before you get as mad as I did reading the story, you’ll be happy to know that this guy is no longer employed by the TSA, though the agency would not say whether he was fired, or quit on his own.

Look – I understand that every organization in the world is going to be staffed by a small percentage of incompetent fools. But I just don’t get how so many of them ended up in charge of protecting our skies. From missing loaded guns to robbing us blind, the organization always manages to attract the worst of the worst.

A TSA spokesperson issued the following statement to Philly.com:

“The TSA views this employee’s behavior to be highly inappropriate and unprofessional. We can assure travelers this employee has been disciplined by TSA management at Philadelphia International Airport, and he has expressed remorse for his actions.”

Kudos to the agency for taking swift action against this employee. The quicker they get rid of people like this, the better.