by Dan Smith
In a dark, damp, stone stairway in the Mexican state of Tabasco, a researcher from Brown University shines his penlight on the wall to reveal an ancient engraving.
The Mayan glyph when translated predicts the world will come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012. Soon after, a scientist from the University of Texas comes to the same conclusion.
Not only does the Mayan engraving predict that our world will come to an end but it also predicts how. According to those aforementioned scholars the Mayan writings tell us that a god with a bad attitude will descend from the heavens to begin a new life cycle. I don't know about you, but I am planning on staying up late for I would never forgive myself if I missed that.
Through the years, many religious fanatics and even some scientists have taken a stab at predicting the apocalypse. So far, about the only grade I could assign to those would be "incomplete." This Mayan thing, however, is based on a calendar that has run for 5,100 years. By any standard that is one heck of a calendar. While it is easy to pass it off, the fact is that any prediction written in stone is -- well -- written in stone and not to be taken lightly.
If you investigate the Mayans a bit more closely, you will learn they were quite an impressive group. They built magnificent cities with running water and sewerage when our own ancestors were living in caves. When we think about great B. C. societies we usually stop at the Egyptians, but the Mayans were so far ahead of them, the Egyptians couldn't see their taillights.
Right now modern mathematicians are working to unravel a Mayan theorem so advanced our best minds are having to learn as they go. Naturally, we all expect there will be signs that will tell us when to prepare for the end and recently there have been plenty of those. Wars, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires and famines are terrible, but are just a bit obvious to my way of thinking. I would offer there are many more subtle signs we should heed. Here I will list but a few.
Pet meds delivered to your door. Green coffee extract. Ellen DeGeneres and Queen Latifah are cover girls. Merlot. John Travolta enjoys man massages. Sham wow! Food is served in buckets. Crocs. Madonna writes children's books. McRib. Siskel died, but Ebert lives. Smart cars. Turkey franks. Synthetic pot. Five dollar cups of coffee. Headlight wipers. Joy Behar has three TV shows. Fiber. Mexican food at a Chinese buffet. BOGO. Iphones. Snooki. Kirstie Alley has her own diet plan. Monte Cristo sandwich. Dr. Oz. Mel Gibson makes a religious movie. Hair mousse. Pilates. Black Friday begins on Thursday.
Now I am certain that some of you reading my list of the signs of Armageddon began to think of some of your own. That's fine. Add them, but don't tamper with my list for those are irrefutable. Sure, each one alone will give you chills or cause the hair to stand up on the back of your neck, but considered as a group my list signals a definitive harbinger of doom. Certainly I hope our life cycle will continue for I have two columns written that I have yet to submit. Anyway, maybe the 21st is just the Mayan New Year's Eve. I'll let you know next week.
Dan Smith is on the board of directors for the Ormond Beach Historical Society and The Motor Racing Heritage Association and is the author of two books, "The World's Greatest Beach" and "I Swear the Snook Drowned."