The what? Here's Wikipedia:
The Maya calendar is a system of calendars used in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and in many modern communities in highland Guatemala and in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico.
The essentials of the Maya calendar are based upon a system which had been in common use throughout the region, dating back to at least the 5th century BCE. It shares many aspects with calendars employed by other earlier Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Zapotec and Olmec, and contemporary or later ones such as the Mixtec and Aztec calendars. Although the Mesoamerican calendar did not originate with the Maya, their subsequent extensions and refinements of it were the most sophisticated. Along with those of the Aztecs, the Maya calendars are the best-documented and most completely understood.
By the Maya mythological tradition, as documented in Colonial Yucatec accounts and reconstructed from Late Classic and Postclassic inscriptions, the deity Itzamna is frequently credited with bringing the knowledge of the calendar system to the ancestral Maya, along with writing in general and other foundational aspects of Maya culture.
The fabled calendar ended today. Or did it? Wikipedia also notes:
Despite the publicity generated by the 2012 date, Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, stated that "We have no record or knowledge that [the Maya] would think the world would come to an end" in 2012. "For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle," says Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal River, Florida. To render December 21, 2012, as a doomsday event or moment of cosmic shifting, she says, is "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in." "There will be another cycle," says E. Wyllys Andrews V, director of the Tulane University Middle American Research Institute (MARI). "We know the Maya thought there was one before this, and that implies they were comfortable with the idea of another one after this."
So some people who apparently didn't grasp Mayan culture ran with the idea that today was the end of times.
I have had that happen twice in my own life. The first time I was in 2nd grade. And all the kids who went to this one church were saying the world was ending (because the preacher was saying that) and that we wouldn't see each other Monday because we were all going to die over the weekend.
We didn't all die. And my mother spent a long time -- before the weekend ended -- explaining to me that the world was not ending.
Come Monday, when the kids saying the world wound end were back at school, they didn't speak to anybody. Not just for the day but for the rest of the year as though we were being shunned for the crime of their being wrong.
The second time was in middle school. I can't remember what Prince did but he did something that pissed off a local preacher (maybe the preacher had just discovered "Head"?) and the world was going to end because of something Prince had done.
I said, "God isn't going to punish the world for the actions of Prince." (I also didn't think, whatever 'bad' thing he had supposedly done, that Prince had done anything that wrong.)
It's interesting to me when people latch on to "The world is ending." Why do you suppose they do that?
Yes, I decided to take the week off from Tell Me More, sorry.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"