December 20, 2012

Goodbye, Cruel World: December 21, 2012




This is it. The end. Kapootsville. TGIF will be DEW—Day of the End of the World.

What have you done to prepare yourself?

Today, December 20, 2012, all day, the sky sobs, its teardrops drumming on my rooftop and soaking the earth in my neck of the woods, Southwestern Pennsylvania. As we traveled this evening between Slippery Rock and Laurel Mountain Borough late this afternoon the tears splattered our windshield, created a mirror out of the black roads, and in general made driving difficult at the time of day when people were traveling home from work or to shopping. With darkness descending this day before the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) our drive, if anything, was gloomy.

Winter solstice.

I thought about my friend, Hung Pheng in Singapore. Tomorrow, December 21st, he will experience sunrise at 7:01 am and sunset at 7:04 p. m. That’s a lot better than the home of my paternal grandmother, Ida Victoria Berg, who came to the United States from a town near Stockholm, Sweden. For my relatives there sunrise will occur at 8:44 a. m. and sunset at 2:48 p. m. That’s only six hours of daylight, a slight improvement on Reykajavik, Iceland, where sunrise is 11:23 a. m. and sunset is 3:30 p. m., giving Icelanders almost four hours of daylight.1

I guess I can’t complain about our about nine hours of daylight in my area: sunrise is 7:39 a. m. sunset at 4:56 p. m.2 However, if you factor in that we are at the foothills of three mountains (or big hills, whichever you prefer), which delays sunrise, we actually have less than that about nine hours of daylight. And, since the cloud cover is heavy—and is predicted to remain so as the rain turns into snow—we may see little daylight tomorrow.

But shortest day of the year, times of sunrise and sunset—does this all matter if the world ends tomorrow? Are sunrises and sunsets the subject of this post?

No. The end of the world is the topic.

Worldwide people believe the world will end December 21, 2012.


The Mayan calendar moves in cycles with the last cycle ending in December 2012. This is often interpreted as “the world will end on 21 December 2012, at 11:11 UTC”…The Mayan calendar completes its current “Great Cycle” of the Long Count on the 13th baktun, on Using the most common conversion to our modern calendar (the Gregorian calendar) the end of the “Great Cycle” corresponds to 11:11 Universal Time (UTC), December 21, 2012, hence the myriad of doomsday prophecies surrounding this date.5

(NOTE: To translate UTC to Eastern Daylight Time (Pittsburgh region) subtract four hours from the UTC time—bringing it to 7:11…if I calculated it correct)6

One in 10 of us is said to be anxious that 21 December marks the end of the world. The Ancient Mayans predicted this doomsday, and the press is eating it up…That the world will end in 2012 is the most widely-disseminated doomsday tale in human history, thanks to the internet, Hollywood and an ever-eager press corps.3


OMG—I only have a few hours left! Before my time ends, before DEW, I want to say a few things.

I want to thank God for making this world. I want to thank Him for my crazy, mixed-up, dysfunctional family and friends, I want to offer thanks that I was born in a great nation, where all my needs are easily met (I have water just by turning on my faucet) and my wants (wonderful computer for writing) are also easily met. I want to offer thanks for all the blessings I’ve received in this life.

Wait a minute…

The 2012 phenomenon is essentially an accounting problem; a misinterpretation of some very ancient book keeping.

It is based on the Maya calendar, which counts the days since a date in the mythical past. This count reset after the last creation (on or about 11 August, 3114BC). On 21 December, we will reach that same number of days once again, and many now are concerned that a calendrical reset the following day will mean the end of the world.

But it is not even clear that the Maya themselves agreed on this book-keeping issue. Two ancient inscriptions emphasise the importance of the date. But a third focuses on 13 October 4772, the end of an even bigger cycle that cannot happen if a reset occurs in 2012.

This more detailed text predicts that, at an even later date, the great king K’inich Janaab’ Pakal will return to Palenque to rule. If this Maya prophesy is true, then the world will not end in 2012 or even 4772, no matter how the ancient calendar functioned.


It is quite clear that the Mayan system envisages a new cycle of the calendar beginning on the 22 December 2012,” says Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods, and something of a rock star in the world of ancient mysteries enthusiasts.

He says the ancient Mayan culture was a shamanic one. Those who left us the calendar were visionaries who were providing clues to this ending of one cycle and the beginning of another.

That is not to say that New Agers do not see catastrophic events as necessary in some way to this new birth.3 (bold mine)

A birth of a new earth cycle. I much prefer that to the end of the world.

Supporting this Russia’s president, Vladmir Putin, claims to know when the end of the world will be.

Speaking on the eve of the alleged apocalypse, Putin urged a scientific approach. Calculating the sun’s lifecycle at 7bn years, he said the star had already lived through 4.5bn years, leaving 4.5bn left. “That will be the end of the world,” he surmised. Never mind that 4.5 plus 4.5 equals nine.4

I guess I can proceed with my 2012 Christmas preparations. Time to do so…please return to CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS to read my future posts. Because there is a future. The world is not ending December 21, 2012.

And you could subscribe to this blog so you can read my upcoming 2013 posts. Thanks!



Winter Solstice: December 21, 2012

Two Holiday Recipes: Hors d’oeuvres and Umble Pie

Two Christmas Traditions: A Christmas Pickle and the Belsnickle

Thanksgiving 2012











1 Comment »

  1. Thanks Carolyn
    Really enjoyed your research on this phenomenon. Thanks for sharing it.
    All is well with your Maine cousins via Oregon. A lot older and slower but still getting up each morning. Thankful for our retirement community and care. Nice to not cook and clean. Time to spend exploring on the computer such things as Mayan calendars and End of World.
    Barbee and Lewis Hodgkins

    Comment by Barbee Hodgkins — December 22, 2012 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

What is your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: