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End of the Earth!

Posted August 25, 2009 7:00 AM by tinypilot18

The Long Count Calendar of the Ancient Mayans ends on December 21, 2012. There isn't much information about what the Mayans thought would happen then, but there are those who believe that there will be great change. For some people, this means a positive, spiritual change. Others believe that a catastrophic event will occur.

There is no scientific evidence of a 2012 catastrophe, of course, but there are a number of things that could threaten humanity in that year. Examples include a geomagnetic reversal, asteroid strike, nuclear war, or pandemic.

They Came from Outer Space

Some space-related events that could cause a terrestrial catastrophe are an asteroid impact, a near massive object, gamma ray burst, or even extra terrestrials. In this blog entry, however, I will focus on the possibility of an asteroid collision. As their name suggests, near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are asteroids whose orbits are very close to Earth's orbit. Some NEA orbits intersect Earth's orbit, thus posing the danger of a collision. In light of the Alvarez hypothesis, the belief that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by an asteroid impact, the possibility of an Earth-asteroid collision is very real – and potentially very dangerous.

NEAs Near You

Some recent NEAs are as follows:

On March 23, 1989, the 300-meters in diameter Apollo asteroid missed the Earth by 400,000 miles, passing through the exact position where Earth was only 6 hours before. Had this asteroid impacted Earth, it would have created an explosion thousands of times more powerful than Tsar Bomba.

Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA, which has a diameter of 1 kilometer, was lost after its discovery in 1950. It was then rediscovered on December 31, 2000. It may have a potential Earth impact on March 16, 2880.

On June 6, 2002, an object with an estimated diameter of 10 meters collided with Earth. The collision occurred over the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Libya, and the object exploded in mid-air. The energy released was estimated to be equivalent to 26 kilotons of TNT, comparable to a small nuclear weapon.

Although there have been a few false alarms, a number of asteroids are known to be threats to the Earth. Anyone want to reconsider moving to Mars?

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#1

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 7:24 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-Earth_object#Future_impacts

<...Anyone want to reconsider moving to Mars?...>

The study of Near-Earth objects is relatively advanced, while the study of Near-Mars objects is rather less so. Given the very low atmospheric pressure there, the reduced lighting, the high radiation levels, the low temperature, the absence of flora and fauna, the absence of man-made features and the complete absence of a connection to CR4 from there, the invitation is politely declined without regret.

And no, a major impact wouldn't mean "the end of the Earth" per se, though life here might have a bit of a struggle hanging on to it if the collision were a real biggie.

Journalism. Pah!

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#66
In reply to #1

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 12:14 PM

In addition Mars sweeps thru a greater volume of space allowing it to intercept more asteroid/comet orbits. This means a greater chance of colliding with an object.

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#2

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 10:43 AM

Yeah the sky will fall down because of some arbitary numbering system.
We cats know it will fall in once I catch my 100th mouse.
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#3

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 1:08 PM

The calendar ends because we will start with 1AC for "after collision"

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#4

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 1:24 PM

Yes - I'm afraid it's curtains for the Maya.

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 6:53 PM

Truly.

How much can you trust a calendar that presumes to foretell the end of the world but makes no mention whatever of its own makers' impending extinction?

About as much as I trust a fortune teller who can't ever seem to win the Lottery?

Rubbish!

[...goes back to furtively reading "Lucifer's Hammer" for the umpteenth time...]

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 11:12 PM

The Mayans are the largest indigenous group in the Americas. The calender ends its long cycle on 12/21/12, it corresponding to the end of the Earth has been...um... exaggerated. It was meant as and end of an age, and corresponds with the precession of the equinoxes. Pretty ingenious for an ancient culture to create a self correcting calender while thinking in 26000 year cycles. Descartes's (Gregorian) calender needs fixing every 4 years and still needs additional tweaking now and again.

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 11:16 PM

Wow, I read Lucifer's Hammer when it first came out. That must have been in the 50's or early 60's if I'm thinking of the right book. That was the start of my collection of S.F. books. Before I gave them to the library I had over 800. Then I started again and gave away another 400 or so. Funny, I can't get into reading them anymore.

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#5

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 1:36 PM

In my Annual April Fools Day Address of this year I declared War on Asteroids and Comets.

Transcendian advisors on this issue indicate a minimum Planet Defense System budget of about 100, million.

(Bhankii was a prominent advisor.)

It is also estimated that we are looking at a 10 year commitment for the deployment of any possibly effective Asteroid or Comet Deflection System, capable of protecting Earth from these vicious uncaring attacks by big rocks or snowballs.

P.S. The text of my address is on my site, and it I did also give it to a camera for posting on the caverntavern.com website. (I don't know why they put it on the Fun Page.)

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#6

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 1:43 PM

I have always heard that the 21 2012 date is not really the end of the calendar, its just when it resets as their calendar system is cyclical in nature.

This would be like your odometer if it didn't have enough digits, when it hits 99999 it flips back to 00000, the car doesn't stop just because the odometer resets.

Its not that the world ends, its just that the calendar resets and starts counting from one again.

The whole idea of an end of world catastrophic event is all just hype.

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#13
In reply to #6

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 11:32 PM

So then honorable Guest, the entire universe is the same a an automobile to you?

Catastrophes do happen regardless, as the speaking bones of Dinosaurs, and the cries of Mocking Birds attest.

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 2:09 AM

Guest, I must agree with Transcendian...........since the universe is related to an automobile, have you ever ran out of gas on the side of the highway? Now that is a catastrophe.

Better yet we have been threatened by George Orwell ... 1984 .... the Y2K bug which helped my business quite a bit by installing diesel generators in many locations. So I see the future and it is clear........

A new business is beginning called the 2112 Survival Kit, Bottled water, a shovel to dig your hole, a thermal blanket and of course golden beads for the new world market exchange.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 2:27 AM

Great Business mind "Stedou73ish"

I recall the Comet pills of 1910 during arrival of Halley's comet.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 2:58 AM

Certainly I love it when people agree with me, but I am a little confused sometimes why.

I blew an engine up on my motorcycle because I was running it too hard, and it wasn't all that bad.

One time a motorcycle mechanic asked me if I rode my motorcycle hard, and I said, "It's a motorcycle." -It's not like I get to listen to the radio, or drink some coffee, and smoke a cigarette.

Blew the engine up.

Damn.

Cracked it all to hell and pulled over.

Motorcyclist who had been following me pulled over and told me I'd been blowing smoke for 15 miles.

Lost power and looked down at the engine.

Oil all over it.

I'd broke it.

Oh, well.

"It was fun to watch." He gave me a ride into the city.

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 3:20 AM

Motorcyclist who had been following me pulled over and told me I'd been blowing smoke for 15 miles.

Shame he didn't overtake and flag you down earlier.
Don't you hate people who say 'I could see that was going to happen'....
Then why didn't you say something?????

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 4:00 AM

didn't overtake

Del, that motorcyclist could not have succeeded in overtaking! But I am more surprised, to see him follow Transcendian just to tell about the smoke!

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#76
In reply to #20

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 3:24 PM

It did cross my mind, but then again I was doing about 90. Plus once I started blowing smoke, the damage had already been done, so it hardly made much difference one way or another.

As far as Asteroids, well, I hardly care that much about any possible significance of how the Mayan calendar starts, or stops.

I am impressed though that people at the Seti Institute, and those guys out there in Colorado? were able to locate a small asteroid, predict where and when it would hit, and then go find the pieces.

That happened last year sometime.

Frankly since we have been warned by reputable scientists that Earth is vulnerable, and we do have technologies we could apply towards mitigating this threat, it seems like something legitimate to do.

P.S. The bike was an old Honda 450, and though they were and are great handling bikes based on the Triumph 650, which is well known as one of the best handling bikes of all time, the engines for the Honda 450s were known to pretty much come apart by the time you got 12 thousand miles out of them. I actually had messed around with this particular model enough to have picked up a spare engine.

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#32
In reply to #18

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:21 AM

If he could trail you for 15 miles without loosing you, you were not riding that hard, just had a lousy motorcycle.

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#97
In reply to #18

Re: End of the Earth!

08/27/2009 10:06 PM

My 1970 Yamaha has been blowing smoke for 40 years (it's a 2-stroke)!

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#27
In reply to #16

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 7:57 AM

"A new business is beginning called the 2112 Survival Kit, Bottled water, a shovel to dig your hole, a thermal blanket and of course golden beads for the new world market exchange."

Don't forget the Y2K Jelly.

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#42
In reply to #16

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 9:21 AM

Ah...Golden Beads.

KNEW I forgot something in my Y2012 kit!

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#109
In reply to #13

Re: End of the Earth!

08/28/2009 11:44 PM

Transcendian-

Dinosaurs did not go extinct. The world is full of their descendents. The truth is, the smart dinosaurs just got a whole lot smaller and learned to fly...

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#112
In reply to #109

Re: End of the Earth!

08/29/2009 12:27 AM

I knew that.

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#53
In reply to #6

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 10:51 AM

That could be... but think about the prophecies that have been fullfilled and the pending ones...

Nostradamus talks about the same doomsday event when our solar system aligns with the galaxy... 2012.

St. Malachy had a vision where he saw all the popes to the last one and their respective names or something related to them.... John paul II was the eclipse of xxxx . We are at the glorie olivae which is the congregation of Pope benedict and he is supposed to be the last pope.... and he really doesn't look like hes going to last more than a couple of years.

theres other prophecies that tell that this will all pass when the ICE begins to melt... creepy huh?

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#61
In reply to #53

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:49 AM

Definately, you're right. It's better to be spiritually prepared. Too much evidence of something that will happen. Different qualified people whom deserve our respect talked about this and the most reccomended advise is to gather all available information (scientific) specially those related with Asteroids and start digging in NASA files to find the truth. Probably someone with the capabilities is hiding sensitive information.

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#92
In reply to #53

Re: End of the Earth!

08/27/2009 6:49 PM

Not really since most of the prophecies are prone to interpertation and people tend to interpert them based on what they see around them. During WW1 and WW2 the same prophecies (albiet not the Mayan one) were used to show that the apocolypse had started. The Mayan calander does not say the world ends in 2012 it simply says that the long cycle (CYCLE being the operative word) ends then. Much like my Suzuki 500 its long cycle ended somewhere in the middle of Indiana one day during the rain, but my Moto Guzzi 1000's cycle started a few weeks later...

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#96
In reply to #92

Re: End of the Earth!

08/27/2009 7:46 PM

well... have you heard about the webbot project? it also tells that in the year 2012 some calamity will happen. They all point to the same date, dec. 21st 2012. I don't believe in coincidences so I believe that we are gonna have some hard times comming up... BRING IT ON WORLD!!

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#8

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 10:57 PM

Interesting short blog.

The Mayans were long-sighted but inaccurate. The Roman has a 17 year lapse and the Chinese calender does not add up.

To whom do we trust?

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#33
In reply to #8

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:26 AM

Certainly not to the ones that anounce the end of the world, and certainly the Mayans didn't anounce it.

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#11

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 11:25 PM

Scary stuff.

I still remember the last time the world was about to end ... it was December 31 st, 1999 ... I'm still shaking.

Mayans, Romans, Chinese ... you name it ... just people trying to get grip on something they really have no control over.

Time is relative and anything can happen at any given time.

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#12

Re: End of the Earth!

08/25/2009 11:31 PM

What will happen on that day? Well if the Lord hasn't returned by then, I predict people will be getting ready for Christmas.

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#35
In reply to #12

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:39 AM

"Amen" to that ~ ! By then, even *more* people will be doing so ... having escaped the innumerable adverse influences in our society, and found their way to the Truth and the Light.

Per the OP: "there are those who believe that there will be great change. For some people, this means a positive, spiritual change." ----- Having been reborn myself, in a powerful and profound way, I can state unequivocally that life without faith cannot begin to compare to that which our Creator wants for us to have.

Looking back, I am occasionally saddened that it took (literally) an "act of God" to open my eyes again ... [how much greater blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe!].

Blessings to all ~

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#37
In reply to #35

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:45 AM

Yeah, but maybe you just weren't doing the 'without faith' bit properly. It works fine for me.
You have to have faith that 'without faith' is the right option, it's no good being half hearted about it.
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#14

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 12:40 AM

The end of the Mayan Calender does not signal the end of the Earth, but details the Earth being upside down. It will be. NASA and other fairly well funded sky observatories have also explained that our galaxy with Earth in it (obviously) will be on the opposite side of the Milky Way on 12-21, 2012...

We should be good to go... But keep in mind, we are in a new solar cycle right now (24) and new weather is bound to be coming to us like no other time on earth as we have solar flares erupting and returning to the sun's surface in the opposite direction from what they normally have done. Sunspots still cause Earth's weather.

Perfect timing for the Al Gore types to claim we caused this!

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#28
In reply to #14

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:02 AM

"...but details the Earth being upside down"

Shall we give Oz a head's-up?

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#34
In reply to #14

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:34 AM

.."our galaxy with Earth in it (obviously) will be on the opposite side of the Milky Way " Duh.. our galaxy is the Milky Way !!.

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#15

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 1:07 AM

I personally believe that the Earth will be overwhelmed by confused Mayans who are not sure if they should be going to the doctor appointment or picking the kids up from soccer practice on the day after the calendar ends.

The beauty of these types of predictions is that there are so many of them that by looking back you can always find one that fits what happened. Just watch CNBC for an example of the effect. As soon as the economy tanks they put a guy on TV that has been predicting doom and gloom for the last 15 years and they call him a sage. Too bad the reality is that he was actually completely wrong for 14 of those years.

My advice, don't rack up any huge credit card bills leading up to this End of the World. The credit cards companies will want their money and "but the world didn't end" won't be an excuse.

Doug

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#19

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 3:09 AM

I'll try to remember to pick up a 2013 calendar from Pep Boys and send it to the Maya. I'll just mark that on my...

BTW, our calendars run out every year and we just party. What does one bring to a Maya party?

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#29
In reply to #19

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:06 AM

"What does one bring to a Maya party?"

Don't bring a perpetual calendar.

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#21

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 3:57 AM

I would like to occupy the center of the bull's eye if that point is known with certainty.

Better than going through tsunami's, quakes and whatever else a tortured earth will throw up after the event.

Bioramani

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 4:03 AM

I can tell you wit certainty that by law of Uncertainty, able to occupy bulls eye is very uncertain, even though you know the point with certainty

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#31
In reply to #23

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:16 AM

That all depends on how well he knows his momentum, doesn't it?

Remember, HUP involves pairs of parameters:

where Δx is, as everyone knows, the location of the bullseye.

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#56
In reply to #23

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:05 AM

In the case of asteriod impacts, close counts.

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#24

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 6:05 AM

The end of the world! Didn't I hear this before? Y2k, or was it Kahoutek?

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#54
In reply to #24

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 10:52 AM

I NEED A GAS STATION. DID I PASS ONE? NO BUT THE FOX DID, SQUEEZE HIM RIGHT

HERE AND MAYBE HE'LL PASS ANOTHER ONE.

REMEMBER, WE'RE ALL JUST BOZO'S ON THIS BUS

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#58
In reply to #54

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:16 AM

Congratulations!

I did not expect a Firesign Theater reference.

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#74
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Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 2:47 PM

Smells like a dead cat in here. Go and eat some nice blue moss.

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#25

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 7:27 AM

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Chicken Little The Sky is Falling

The Mayan Factor

All works Of fiction.

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#26

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 7:39 AM

Who cares? I don't want to know in advance, I may start drinking again.

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#93
In reply to #26

Re: End of the Earth!

08/27/2009 6:54 PM

worse yet I might STOP drinking!

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#30

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:09 AM

I read somewhere that we don't know if the last day is 12-21-12 or 12-24-12. I'm gonna go with 12-24-12 cause that gives me three more days to put off everything I want to do before the end of the world.

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#87
In reply to #30

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 10:30 PM

So you want to put off the lights and taps in the home

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#36

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:40 AM

From what I have read... on 12/21/12 there is going to be a perfect alignment of the planets. What is this alignment going to cause? People say there will be weather phenomina that we have never seen before. I think people over react. If the weather goes crazy due to this alignment - then I think it will be at a peak at that time. We will see a gradual increase of the amount of weather as well as severity over the years till then. Then a decrease of it. It will be behind us and life will go on.

Biblical reading states such catastrophies as weather, earthquakes, pestilence, desieses for future events. Is this prediction for this time? We'll have to see....

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#40
In reply to #36

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:56 AM

Hmm. Interesting. Will the increase of the amount of weather bring an increment of the conditions?

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#47
In reply to #36

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 9:58 AM

"From what I have read... on 12/21/12 there is going to be a perfect alignment of the planets. What is this alignment going to cause? People say there will be weather phenomina that we have never seen before. I think people over react. If the weather goes crazy due to this alignment - then I think it will be at a peak at that time."

If the 'weather phenomena' these doomsayers are predicting are due to gravitational influences (what else?), consider that, from Earth's perspective, the net tidal force from an alignment of all the planets would constitute less than one percent of the tidal force due to the Moon's gravitational influence alone.

"From what I have read ...."

Why take someone else's word for this and what are their credentials (and are their 'credentials' legitimate)? Compute it for yourself! It isn't hard.

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#38

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:46 AM

The movie '2012 Science or Superstition,' gives a pretty well rounded documentary of all the factors mentioned here, without drawing any conclusions.

In 1909 Ernest Shacklton discovered coal at the top of the Beardmore Range in Anartica, Scott had previously dicovered fossilized ferns.

The idea of a planetwide catastrophe is about as serious as ....well, a heart attack.

Happy camping!

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#39

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:47 AM

None of the respondents that I have read ask the simple question: What is the nature of time? Did the Mayans delve into quantum mechanics or astrophysics? If we can slow the speed of light down in a lab, can we slow down time?

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#43
In reply to #39

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 9:33 AM

"If we can slow the speed of light down in a lab, can we slow down time?"

Yes, we can. Just ask anyone who's watched a game of Cricket.

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#94
In reply to #43

Re: End of the Earth!

08/27/2009 6:55 PM

slowing time is easy, we do it all the time talk to your local GPS provider

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#44
In reply to #39

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 9:41 AM

Time is an arbitrary concept for measuring the interval and duration of events, based on an arbitrary system, eventhough it's extremely helpful, it is not a meassurable entity itself, like the electromagnetic emitions, other forms of energy or even matter.

You can meassure everything in all directions that apply to its particular scale (+/-, up/down, hotter/colder, heavier/lighter and so on) but you can't dig a femptosecond into past or future. If you apparently do, it is just an illusion; it is just relative to something else (Think of the "askasic registers").

You are not traveling to past just by analising a fossil, neither you're going to future just by accurately predicting the trajectory of a moving object.

Yahlasit

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#50
In reply to #44

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 10:32 AM

"...but you can't dig a femptosecond into past or future."

The fact that you cannot manipulate time says nothing at all about whether you can measure it. Do you have a clock on your wall? A wristwatch? Does your cell phone sport a clock? Does your computer? If you believe that time is not measurable, then why are you paying attention to any of these devices? If you've ever been late for work, you can rest assured that your boss does not share your beliefs.

"You can meassure everything in all directions that apply to its particular scale (+/-, up/down, hotter/colder, heavier/lighter and so on) ....... If you apparently do, it is just an illusion; it <time> is just relative to something else"

All measurements - including that of time - are relative to something else and, ultimately, to a standard. All units of measurement are arbitrary, as are the standards by which they're gauged, but that does not in any way detract from their usefulness.

There is a considerable gulf between the concepts of measurement and control. You don't seem to be making this distinction.

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#55
In reply to #50

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:03 AM

You are absolutely correct on all you said, except maybe the part where I recognized it as measuring system for intervals and durations; and yes, I didn't make any distinction between control and measurement, I have no excuse for that (actually I have one but won't post it as it would piss off everybody).

It is very satisfactory when someone not only pays attention to ones' writing, but he truly understands it.

Yahlasit

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:13 AM

Wasn't trying to detract their usefulness either.

Yahlasit

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#59
In reply to #50

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:16 AM

Until better information becomes available, I'm inclined to think the the Plank unit and Plank time are actually as real as it gets.

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:32 AM

That is true, but still you can't control time, unlike everything else.

Yahlasit

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#62
In reply to #60

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:53 AM

Maybe I don't understand your point. I was unaware that I could control anything. Being a living organism I always assumed my role was to react to things.

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#95
In reply to #60

Re: End of the Earth!

08/27/2009 7:07 PM

Not sure about that, I can control the speed in which time passes, simply by controlling the speed of myself relative to my surroundings therefore I can control time. Astronauts/cosmonauts have experianced a different time than you are I simply by the speed of orbit. Tested and proven. GPS users know (or should be aware) of this phenomenon. therefore the rate that time passes can be controlled and QED we can control time.

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#52
In reply to #39

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 10:45 AM

can we slow down time?
Come to one of our management meetings....

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#41

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 9:13 AM

Funny how close this falls on the heals of the US presidentail election in 2012. If what I am seeing lately is any indication of things to come then we will have the end in some fashion anyway.

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#51
In reply to #41

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 10:42 AM

Yeah brother, can I have an AMEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#45

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 9:50 AM

The calendar on my wall ends on Dec. 31st 2009, printed by people more advanced then the ancient Mayans. It doesnt mean the world will cease to exist then.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 9:58 AM

Neither the Mayan calendar predicts such a thing, or just tell me in what part of it.

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#48

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 10:16 AM

I have never heard of any reasons in Mayan folklore why the calander stops on that day, maybe the mayans just decided it was time to call it a day.

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#63
In reply to #48

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 11:54 AM

I don't know if anyone else is paying attention but I really like this one. LOL

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#67
In reply to #48

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 12:17 PM

Actually, the world will not exactly end in 2012, but there will be widespread chaos--with tremendous local variability--and vast numbers of casualties (I estimate 60 million or more).

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#98
In reply to #67

Re: End of the Earth!

08/27/2009 11:38 PM

Good. It's agreed then. The world will be in chaos (as though it hasn't many times before). I will probably die. With that in mind, I will begin spending ALL of my savings with any left over on 12/20/12 paying for a last big party. If, on 12/22/12, nothing has happened and I'm still alive, I will declare myself destitute and become a ward of the state and all of you Chicken Littles can pay my way. (The sky IS falling, you know. Well, we are slowly losing our atmosphere if that counts.)

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#100
In reply to #98

Re: End of the Earth!

08/28/2009 10:00 AM

My comment was intended to be true, only if 2012 is a reasonably "normal" year with no major global calamities. Normally, there is always widespread chaos (to some degere)...as in chaotic situations scattered in countries all over the globe...the weather is frequently chaotic...also 60 million is not an unusually large number of expected deaths (from all the usual causes) in a year, as the global poulation creeps toward 7 billion.

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#101
In reply to #100

Re: End of the Earth!

08/28/2009 11:17 AM

GA. I believe your argument is on point, but 60 million might be a low estimate.

7,000,000,000 people / 60,000,000 deaths per year = 116.67 life expectancy.

If the population was static at 7 billion, with birth and death rates being equal, we would need an average life expectancy 116 2/3 years just to keep rates at 60 million in a normal year (the actual life expectancy is about half of that). I think the current estimate is ~57 million worldwide deaths per year. As birth rates continue to shrink toward replacement levels in both the developed and developing nations, this number will be rising with each generation, even with no major catastrophe.

You don't need ancient calendars or the ravings of 'prophets' to see that we have reproduced and consumed ourselves into a bit of a bind. We are living through a disaster of our own (unintentionaly) making. Throw in the random comet impact, reversal of the magnetosphere, a virulent new plague, and maybe a shutdown in global oceanic currents - we are in for more than a bumpy ride. Considering the large number of folks who are actively ROOTING for a disaster, to validate their belief in some ancient prophecy, the situation may well be far worse.

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#103
In reply to #101

Re: End of the Earth!

08/28/2009 12:23 PM

I gather that you got the 116.7 "life expectancy" by dividing 7 billion by 60 million. If so, that would not give "life expectancy" (i.e., as in "average life span"), rather, that would yield the number of persons surviving for each person who died in a year. That is, in that year, one person would die for about every 116 who lived...or, approx. 8.57 deaths per thousand persons per year.

Re the future we are creating for our children, grandchildren...I vacillate between optimism and gloom. Barring global events beyond our current control, human ingenuity and enterprise seems capable of developing strategies and technologies for better managing human survival issues. On the other hand, those same capacities make humans and human societies capable of engineering our destruction. Probably, the two tendencies will persist, more or less, in equilibrium for several more generations.

After that, the future will be too weird to predict. In fact, the current definition of "human" may may not well describe those who inherit this world beyond several generations from now. Rather, our progeny several generations out will be a mix of our DNA, the tricks we develop to tweak it, and the non genetic technologies we develop to alter/augment the capabilities of the flesh. It's already happening. It's not a question of if...it's only a question of how much, how soon.

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#104
In reply to #103

Re: End of the Earth!

08/28/2009 12:50 PM

You need to post more often.

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#105
In reply to #104

Re: End of the Earth!

08/28/2009 2:06 PM

I'll take that as a compliment and as a license!

I enjoy this forum and appreciate the opportunity to read the comments of those who have real insight and sharp tools. My college degrees were in Philosphy and Psychology--both mind blowing, but academic--then I added a law degree. So, I am not qualified to offer much in the way of science, but I have always been generally interested in science, tech, and the past/present/future of us and our universe.

So many people seem to see the future as basically the same, but with smaller and more gizmos. I long ago observed that our early ancestors were the result of a series of increasingly useful evolutionary tools and conditions that naturally* evolved without our input in our pocket of the universe, however; starting with the development of language and the related capabilities of sharing and preserving experience, humankind increasingly became the agent of its own evolution and the new tools are coming online at an ever increasing rate. Increasingly, we are taking those tools and using them to enhance our ability to generate new tools. It's exponential and the effects will become increasingly apparent even to the masses. As we change ourselves, our disparate views of what we are and what we should be will evolve and the change will be varied and rapid. I am 47 and may live to see some of it, but expect that the really (r)evolutionary developments will be in the generation or two after that.

* I use the word "naturally" to refer to all the processes and mechanisms that arose and operate independent of human influence. However, since there is only the one universe of which I'm aware; I also am of the opinion that, since we and everything else in existence is the product of the natural universe, everything is natural and "unnatural" is an entirely aribtrary concept.

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#107
In reply to #103

Re: End of the Earth!

08/28/2009 4:14 PM

I agree with Tippycanoe, You need to post more often. Good answer

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#106
In reply to #101

Re: End of the Earth!

08/28/2009 2:16 PM

Im one of those people rooting for disaster... but I see it on the bright side: New inventions come from necesity and with disaster events we will see a lot of necesities we don't have right now so we will struggle at first but we will have brilliant ideas on how to survive. This would the most dramatic adventure of your life time! survival of the fittest at its best! I don't know about you but I am getting bored of sitting behind my desk.

also there will be huge change in ideals, and you know you can't change those without disaster. People are totally closed to new ideas, they just don't believe we are at danger

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#49

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 10:27 AM

We will see it when we believe it.

Should the belief of an earth-ending castrophe become engrained in a panic stricken human race, then a castrophe will manifiest itself.

If the Mayans believed a great change will happen; then, by goly, a great change will manifest itself.

There are an infiinite number of possibilities of what will happen in 2012 as their are an infinite number of possibilities of what will happen tomorrow.

Scientific evidence? Science is yet another manifestation of beliefs.

Manifesting the idea of moving to Mars is yet another possiblity in the infinite universe.

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#83
In reply to #49

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 5:45 PM

Re: Heisenberg uncertainy principle. Just lately prooved.

It is what we make it, and like our politicians, we deserve it!

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#86
In reply to #83

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 8:23 PM

"Just lately prooved."

You're kidding, right?

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#111
In reply to #86

Re: End of the Earth!

08/29/2009 12:18 AM

"lately" seems a reasonable relative term, considering our species appears to have been working on the problem for something like 200,000 years, more or less, depending on the criteria used to distinguish us from them...

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#119
In reply to #86

Re: End of the Earth!

09/04/2009 10:23 AM

Nope. I read of an experiment involving three groups in a 'blind' experiment where each group was asked to observe the effects of temperature changes to a very thin, narrow bi-metal strip. The wording was nearly identical in the terms of the observational techniques for each group, however two of the groups were given subtle hints as to the direction of the expected results, both opposite.

The 'change of temperature' was a faked thermometer reading, while no change in actual temperature occurred. The results were random in the control group. In the two groups that were given opposite hints, opposite twisting was observed to a significant degree.

This 'bear of little brain' forgot to hard copy the event, so lost the reference as well as the exact figures. But it did come from a reputable source ('tho I am not) and may be still out there in Google Land.

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#64

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 12:00 PM

I never really considered moving to Mars in the first place. No man knows the day or the hour. I think this probably includes the Mayans. But, hey, it's all gotta end sometime, right? I just hope i'm long gone before it does.

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#65

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 12:09 PM

I was hoping to retire in 2012. Dang. But that has always been my luck. So citing Murphy's law, the 2012 date for the end of the world is confirmed.

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#72
In reply to #65

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 2:11 PM

No no no! You've got it all backwards. It's you! Don't you understand? The moment you retire, it's curtains for the Human Race!!!

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#68

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 1:11 PM

A few thoughts...

The Mayans made no predictions; it's only our interpretation of an abrupt ending to their calendar. One may naturally wonder, why extend the calendar that far in the first place? And they seem to have disappeared relatively suddenly. Maybe that riddle will still be solved, but so far not yet (unless I'm behind in my news).

Catastrophic planetary change HAS occurred in the past. Read any introductory geological textbook for current understanding on that score.

One can say, "The sun is coming up" starting at midnight. Repeat it to all in the household every few minutes until morning. Most of your listeners will have turned in for bed and fallen asleep long before you get to finally say, "See, I told you so." The fact that catastrophic changes have happened (because the Earth IS a dynamic system) means they are VERY likely to happen in the future. As long as there are people there will always be a cry that "the end is near". It especially happens around the change of millenniums. Sooner or later, the changes WILL happen as predicted by the generation repeating it when it happens. And they can say, "See, we told you so."

Earthquakes are getting more predictable via instrumental readings, so that isn't at the whims and mercy of "prophecy" as much anymore. Many animals seem to "know" when an earthquake is immanent... or can "smell" cancer. So there probably are indicators that we just aren't aware of yet.

Having said all this, there have been so-called "prophets" that have predicted things that came true that do not fit the above scenario. One near out times who did, although, certainly not 100% accurate, was Edgar Cayce. One such prediction was the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. I would not claim to be a staunch advocate of all his predictions, but his story is interesting and his "predictions" as well as his story of the Earth's past history makes for good reading, whether or not you come away believing it. As a matter of fact, not taking it too seriously allows one to enjoy reading it, rather than getting into arguments as to whether he was a "fake" or not, which many claim.

The Judeo-Christian tradition includes prophecy. Most religions have prophecies in their histories. If one has had any experience like prophecy, such as thinking of someone you haven't heard from for a long time just as the phone rings and it's them, or maybe even had a vivid dream about future events that then came true, you will have your scientific curiosity piqued enough to find an explanation for it. Good hunting!

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#71
In reply to #68

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 2:08 PM

There may be prophets, but your other point is beyond dispute. Long ago people noticed that bad things happen. It didn't take long before some of them learned that they could gain power and status by predicting that something bad was going to happen, and then link that prediction to something else as in 'when the bad thing happens that will prove that my god is stronger than your god'. We have a fine current example of this parlor trick in Dick Cheney's warning that 'when we are attacked again by terrorists (which a casual glance over the past couple of decades suggests is very probable), that will be proof that Obama was wrong to stop torture and close GITMO'.

Predicting calamity and speculating about its nature is the slave's revenge: 'My master may think he is almighty, but will see him laid low.' So it is probably not so unusual that at a time when many people feel threatened and powerless, such thinking would be wide spread. So we romanticize that the Mayans were 'magic', and that they 'predicted' that the world would end on a date that just happens to occur during our lifetimes (sadly not theirs) because it suits our needs.

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#118
In reply to #71

Re: End of the Earth!

08/31/2009 2:51 PM

... about Cheney's comments -- agreed!

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#69

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 1:51 PM

There will be many impacts from space objects in 2012, but the ones which pose the greatest threat are at the tiny end of the spectrum. Toward the end of 2012, after many months of accelerating global decay and a rapid expansion of the magnetic hole currently centered over the Atlantic coast of Brazil, the integrity of the Earth's magnetoshere will completely break down as the poles flip.

Actually, "flip" is misleading, as it suggests a speedy event. The reversal of the magnetic poles has a winding down phase and a winding up phase, which, combined, will leave the Earth with no protective magnetosphere for several months. As result, we will have no global protection against the charged plasma of the constant solar wind and the intense coronal mass ejection (which will, unfortunately, occur just at that most inopportune time).

All wireless technologies will go first and, before long, very few electronic devices of any sort will work reliably without effective shielding. There will be no cable TV, in fact, the only signal any receiver will reproduce will be the sounds of the sun and the Earth screaming.

The plasma will superheat our atmosphere causing a global temperature spike, making surface life within 3,350 miles of the equator virtually impossible. Few will get to enjoy the intense St. Elmo's Fire displays. Those lands will dry up and burn. The atmospheric CO2 levels will spike and quickly rise to 11.3 times current levels. There will be worldwide drought as the hotter atmosphere retains more and more moisture. The drought-stricken areas will burn and the smoke and dust will darken the skies. The weather and the storms will be far more intense and variable than at any other time in human history. Think of the conditions which were portrayed in the book and film entitled "The Road."

89% to 93% of Earth's population will not last to see 2013. The plant and animal kingdoms will suffer similarly. Life will be manageable in scattered pockets where local conditions, adequate shelters, and stores of resources meet minimum requirements.

The oceans will become toxic to virtually all present life at the surface and any life forms that cannot persist at depth will perish. Extremophile microbes will quickly take over the surface of the oceans and, unfortunately, they will release massive quantities of methane. The colors, however, will be greatly varied and often brilliant.

When the flipped magnetosphere is once again restored to adequate strength, the sun's plasma will be deflected, but conditions will actually worsen. The high altitude smoke and dust will cool and actually reflect virtually all of the sun's energy and the Earth's surface temperature will nosedive. Freezing rains will start the formation of a blanket of ice. Even as the smoke and dust settles out, the increased albedo of the Earth's surface due to the ice sheet will reflect most of the sun's energy.

The weather will remain extremely volatile as the high atmospheric methane and CO2 levels create hot air masses, which will roil turbulently as they are displaced by the cooler air masses over the frozen surface areas. Hurricanes, tornados, and violent electrical storms will raze the surface.

By the end of 2013, only .1% of the current global population will have survived. Existence will be hard for the several thousand scattered, disconnected pockets of survivors, but much of our history, science, and technical knowledge will remain available. Aircraft and land machines will disperse soot to decrease the albedo of the ice sheets and achieve a better balance with the atmosphere's prevailing greenhouse gas conditions. Humanity will get a new start. The scattered pockets of survivors will slowly restore means of communication and the global pool of survivors will resume limited reintegration. In the year 2027, the 11th census confirms that new births exceeded the rate of mortality for the first time since 2012 and the year will be renamed 1 PA (post-apocalypse).

Life will be hard, but humanity will be wiser and, by the year 73 PA, happy childhoods and robust life expectancies will be the norm.

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#73
In reply to #69

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 2:38 PM

what book did you get this information from? damn, that sounds wicked.. Hope its all true :) so we can stop caring so damn much about politics and money and start caring about what is reaaally important...ENGINEERING / PHYSICS / BACK TO BASICS BABY EXCELENT!!

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#75
In reply to #73

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 3:13 PM

I synthesized it from a variety of resources, including a recent program on cable which discussed the recently weakening magnetosphere (down about 10% in the past few decades), the magnetic "hole" over the Atlantic coast of Brazil, and some of the possible ramifications if this were leading up to the poles flipping. I'm a lawyer, not a scientist, but I try to follow scientific progress (and strive to compose convincing BS). My story is, hopefully, a fantastical worst-case scenario by 11 orders of magnitude, but...

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/16dec_giantbreach.htm

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#77
In reply to #75

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 3:37 PM

"...(and strive to compose convincing BS)."

Small world.

What did your studies say about the effect a weakened geomagnetic field would have on the Earth's magnetosphere? This is where a weakened field would have its most dire consequences, because the magnetosphere does much to protect Earth from the solar wind and to a good degree from high-energy charged particles originating elsewhere (but not all charged particles. Some so-called cosmic 'rays' have enormous energies against which we have no defense. The record is currently held by an alpha particle - a helium nucleus - that triggered a huge air shower detected a few years ago by a network of sensors designed for the purpose. The particle was estimated to be moving at nearly the speed of light and had roughly the same kinetic energy as a baseball moving at 100 miles per hour. Scientists have yet to identify the mechanism(s) responsible for accelerating particles to these energies.)

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 3:46 PM

See my post #69, above. That's where I let my imagination run amok with several particles of information to generate adoomsday scenario for the 2012 topic. I figure it's convincing enough to trigger a brief concerned pause in over 93.7% of the susceptible general public.

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#80
In reply to #78

Re: End of the Earth!

08/26/2009 5:16 PM

See? That's what I get for spending more time writing bullshit posts than reading good ones.

Well, someone has to do it and I have the qualifications.

Re: field reversals. These have occurred many, many times before and without all the fuss of your scenario above. But it's fun to speculate just the same, neh?

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