Thursday, December 20, 2012
“According to made up information,” the world is supposed to end Friday at 6:11 a.m.
Waitaminute, what about all the parties on Friday night?
DALLAS I’m willing to bet you’ve seen the symbol to the right a lot in the run-up to the supposed end of the world.
Just one problem — it’s an Aztec calendar stone, not a Mayan calendar. Whoops. If we’re all going to cease to exist tomorrow, we should at least get the calendar right. Right?
Donny Claxton, a Dallas-based publisher of interactive iPad books, is on a mission to get that bit of misinformation corrected (not to mention all the misinformation about the supposed apocalypse itself).
If you do a Google images search for “Maya calendar stone,” Claxton says, “about 90 percent of the (results) are going to the round Aztec calendar stone. And it’s wrong.”
Earlier this year, Claxton published 2012: Science & Prophesy of the Ancient Maya, by Mayan scholar Dr. Mark Van Stone. (You can get it in the iBooks store here.) Van Stone, who has a doctorate in Latin studies from the University of Texas, is a professor of art history at Southwestern University near San Diego.
This image to the right is one of the only surviving examples of a Maya calendar, according to Van Stone’s book. It’s two pages from the Madrid Codex (from the Yucatan, circa 1500-1530.)
Claxton says he got to know Van Stone via Twitter, and worked with him to turn what was essentially a textbook into “a living version of the book,” with 53 videos, several 3-D animations, and nearly 200 photos, illustrations, and maps.
“It’s the only book in the world like it,” Claxton says.
It’s been entertaining to talk about impending apocalypse, even though we all know it’s a bunch of hooey. (Even NASA is telling us to calm down, already.) So I can rest easier knowing that even though we’re having some fun with it all, we can at least have fun with it using a historically correct image.
Here are some more fun facts about end-of-the-world hysteria, courtesy of Claxton:
According to made up information, the world is supposed to end tomorrow at 6:11 a.m. EST, or 11:11 UTC.
The Maya did not leave any information behind predicting doom. Instead, they said one god, Bolon Yokte, is going to come down tomorrow and “put on a costume.” That’s it.
Tomorrow’s Maya calendar end is supposed to be the equivalent of an odometer in your car rolling over.
We are not going to run into planet Niburu tomorrow. If we were, you’d be able to see it in the night sky already.