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The Rational Person's Guide to the Mayan Apocalypse

Just the unbiased facts about 12/21/12 PLUS a preview of an astounding new Prezi feature, as yet unreleased! Or is it?
by Jaquelynne Avery on 22 December 2012

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Transcript of The Rational Person's Guide to the Mayan Apocalypse


Instead of using a base-10 (decimal) scheme like Western numbering, the Long Count days were tallied in a modified base-20 scheme. Thus is equal to 25, and is equal to 40. C Katun Tun Winal Kin (7,200 days) (360 days) (20 days) (1 day) 20 Tun in a 18 Winal in a 20 Kin in a It helps to think of it like an odometer At the end of the 13 Baktun (, the odometer loops back to and the calendar starts over Like we use days, weeks, months, years, decades, and centuries to measure time, the mayans had a system in place as shown below 1 day is called a Kin.
20 Kin was called a Winal.
18 Winal make up a Tun,
20 Tun in a Katun
and 20 Katun in a Baktun. Baktun (144,000 days) 20 Katun in a The Long Count's "zero date" was set at a point in the past marking the end of the third world and the beginning of the current one, which corresponds to August 11, 3114 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. This means that the fourth world will also have reached the end of its 13th baktun, or Mayan date, on December 21, 2012 AD. D A far more apocalyptic view of the year 2012 that has spread in various media describes the end of the world or of human civilization on that date. This view has been promulgated by many hoax pages on the Internet, particularly on YouTube, as well as on several cable TV channels. It's the End Speculation The results of Mayan observations and calculations of astronomical phenomena are concentrated in the Dresden Codex. It is a band of paper 3.5 meter long set up into 39 sheets making up 78 pages 8.5 x 20.5 cm. The paper was obtained from the bark of wild-growing species of fig tree. It is supposed that it originates from Yucatan as a latter transcription of an elder original. It contains calendrical data, written in the Mayan dating system, concerning astronomical data and the sky mechanics, and tables of multiple integers that are to be used for calculations of planetary movement ephemerids and tropical years, next to the hieroglyphic texts and numerous depicturings of the Mayan gods and ritual scenes. The Dresden Codex
A New Age interpretation of this transition is that the date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that December 21, 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.
Others suggest that the date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe.
Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum,
an interaction between Earth and the black hole at the center of the galaxy,
or Earth's collision with a planet called "Nibiru". M There is no clear evidence that the classic Maya were aware of precession.
Some Maya scholars have suggested that some Mayan holy dates were timed
to precessional cycles, but scholarly opinion on the subject remains divided.
There is also little evidence, archaeological or historical, that the Maya placed any importance on solstices or equinoxes. There is also no evidence that the classic Maya attached any importance to the Milky Way; there is no glyph in their writing system to represent it, and no astronomical or chronological table tied to it. Over the course of 25,800 years, a period often called a Great Year, the Sun's path completes a full, 360-degree backward rotation through the zodiac. In Western astrological traditions, precession is measured from the March equinox, one of the two annual points at which the Sun is exactly halfway between its lowest and highest points in the sky. Presently, the Sun's March equinox position is in the constellation Pisces and is moving back into Aquarius. This signals the end of one astrological age (the Age of Pisces)
and the beginning of another (the Age of Aquarius) Precession of the Equinoxes Because Earth's axis is tilted 23° 27' with respect the plane created by Earth's orbit around the Sun (the ecliptic plane), Earth's equatorial plane (green) is also tilted at this same angle with respect to the ecliptic plane (blue). These two intersecting planes (Earth's equatorial plane and the ecliptic plane) create an intersecting line in the ecliptic called the vernal axis. Though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship, Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to December 21, 2012, ESPECIALLY astrological interpretations associated with the phenomenon of axial precession. WHAT WE Galactic Alignment KNOW Some allege that the Maya based their calendar on observations of the
Great Rift or Dark Rift, a band of dark dust clouds in the Milky Way, which, according to some scholars, the Maya called the Xibalba be or "Black Road". There is no clear evidence that the classic Maya were aware of precession. Some Maya scholars have suggested that some Mayan holy dates were timed to precessional cycles, but scholarly opinion on the subject remains divided. There is also little evidence, archaeological or historical, that the Maya placed any importance on solstices or equinoxes.

It is possible that only the early Mesoamericans observed solstices, but this is also a disputed issue among Mayanists. There is also no evidence that the classic Maya attached any importance to the Milky Way; there is no glyph in their writing system to represent it, and no astronomical or chronological table tied to it. John Major Jenkins claims that precession will align the Sun precisely with the galactic equator at the 2012 winter solstice. Jenkins claimed that the classical Maya anticipated this conjunction and celebrated it as the harbinger of a profound spiritual transition for mankind. New Age proponents of the galactic alignment hypothesis argue that, just as astrology uses the positions of stars and planets to make claims of future events, the Maya plotted their calendars with the objective of preparing for significant world events In Maya myth, Venus is the companion of the sun. This no doubt reflects the fact that Venus is always close to the sun in the sky, rising not long before sunrise as morning star or after sunset as evening star. my The Mayans were excellent builders and many of their temples and buildings are aligned
to help observers monitor the positions of stars. For example, many buildings pointed towards the equinoxes or midsummer, whilst other buildings had doorways and windows aligned with the most northerly or southerly rising of Venus, one of the most important celestial bodies to the Mayan culture. So accurate were their observations that their predictions of the orbit of Venus lost only two hours in a 584-day cycle. Everything you need to know about the Mayan Apocalypse Sources: 12/21/12: The Facts The Mayans possessed advanced knowledge of the movement of celestial bodies, and created monuments to help them observe these events. Their obsessions with astronomy contributes to the wonder and apprehension that people feel in regards to the calendar end date. WHAT WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW of the World as We Know It Some people have interpreted the galactic alignment apocalyptically, claiming that when it occurs, it will somehow create a combined gravitational effect between the Sun and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy (known as Sagittarius A), thus creating havoc on Earth. Sagittarius A
Some believers have used the term "galactic alignment" to describe a very different phenomenon proposed by some scientists to explain a pattern in mass extinctions supposedly observed in the fossil record. According to this hypothesis, mass extinctions are not random, but recur every 26 million years. It suggests that vertical oscillations made by the Sun on its 250-million-year orbit of the galactic center cause it to regularly pass through the galactic plane. When the Sun's orbit takes it outside the galactic plane which bisects the galactic disc, the influence of the galactic tide is weaker. However, when re-entering the galactic disc—as it does every 20–25 million years—it comes under the influence of the far stronger "disc tides", which increase the flux of Oort cloud comets into the inner Solar System by a factor of 4, thus leading to a massive increase in the likelihood of a devastating comet impact. Mass Extinction Patterns Galactic Alignment Another idea tied to 2012 involves a geomagnetic reversal (often incorrectly referred to as a pole shift by proponents), possibly triggered by a massive solar flare, that would release an energy equal to 100 billion atomic bombs. This belief is supposedly supported by observations that the Earth's magnetic field is weakening, which could precede a reversal of the north and south magnetic poles, and the arrival of the next solar maximum, which is expected sometime around 2012. Geomagnetic Reversal Most scientific estimates, however, say that geomagnetic reversals take between 1,000 and 10,000 years to complete, and do not start on any particular date. Furthermore, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now predicts that the solar maximum will peak in May 2013, not 2012, and that it will be fairly weak, with a below-average number of sunspots. It is believed a solar maximum would be mostly notable for its effects on satellite and cellular phone communications. Some believers in doomsday in 2012 claim that a planet called Planet X, or Nibiru, will collide with or pass by Earth in that year. This idea, which has appeared in various forms since 1995, initially predicted Doomsday in May 2003, but proponents later abandoned that date after it passed without incident. The idea originated from claims of channeling of alien beings and has been widely ridiculed. M t no ro As ya st is m a y oo m s da y Th eo ri es T he al e n d ar Many important Maya buildings, such as temples, pyramids, palaces, observatories and ball courts were laid out in accordance with astronomy. Temples and pyramids, in particular, were designed in such a way that the Sun, Moon, stars and planets would be visible from the top or through certain windows at important times of the year. One example is the Observatory at Xochicalco (which, although not considered an exclusively Maya city, certain had much Maya influence). The Observatory is an underground chamber with a hole in the ceiling. The sun shines through this hole for most of the summer, but is directly overhead on May 15 and July 29: on these days the Sun would directly illuminate an illustration of the Sun on the floor: these days were considered very important by Maya priests. Astronomy in Architecture Planet X The "galactic alignment" already happened in 1998, and the Sun's apparent path through the zodiac as seen from Earth does not take it near the true galactic center, but rather several degrees above it. Even if this were not the case, Sagittarius A* is 30,000 light years from Earth and would have to be more than 6 million times closer to cause any gravitational disruption to Earth's Solar System Argument This "alignment" takes place over tens of millions of years, and could never be timed to an exact date. Evidence shows that the Sun passed through the plane bisecting the galactic disc only three million years ago and is now moving farther above it. Argument Also there is no scientific evidence linking a solar maximum to a geomagnetic reversal, which is driven by forces entirely within the Earth. Instead it would probably be most notable for satellite and cellular interference. Right now we have no solid scientific evidence to fully support these theories. Going off of past events, galactic alignments and planetary conjunctures have not caused ill effects to the Earth. As for a planet heading for a collision with ours, nothing is visible. Argument Astronomers have calculated that such an object so close to Earth would be visible to anyone looking up at the night sky. Argument A third suggested alignment is some sort of planetary conjunction occurring on 21 December 2012; however, there will be no conjunction on that date. Argument Multi-planet alignments did occur in both 2000 and 2010, each with no ill result for the Earth. Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System; larger than all other planets combined. When Jupiter is near opposition, the difference in gravitational force that the Earth experiences is less than 1% of the force that the Earth feels daily from the Moon. Conjunction
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