back to article Better pay your taxes: The world's NOT going to end this year

Those folks counting down to the end of the world, currently scheduled for 21 December according to the Mayan calendar, are going to be disappointed, a gaggle of experts have said. Archaeologists, anthropologists and other experts in old things meeting over the weekend in Mexico have suggested that the Mayas may indeed have …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone asked the Mayans?

    Has anyone asked the Mayans?

    Seems like they built a calendar that outlasted their nation.

    Seems to have been a very effective calendar.

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Re: Has anyone asked the Mayans?

      To be fair although they didn't predict their own demise , they stopped filling in the kids school holidays after a certain date.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Has anyone asked the Mayans?

      I can just imagine modern civilisation collapsing (due to a global thermonuclear overpopulation GMO nanobot insect warming catastrophe no doubt no doubt), and our future descendants, their civilisation rising from the ashes of ours, pointing to our calendar and saying "OMG - the Gregorian calendar only has 4 digits, what will happen when 9999 turns to 10,000??? End of the world OMG!!!!"

      It's the same thing innit?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was he going to return as a Klingon with a name like that?

  3. GrumpyJoe

    It's all very vague anyway

    We can standardise time down to physical contants (vibrating atoms etc.) but we have more difficulty tying down actualities such as periods of time - look at the Jewish Orthodox/Muslim/Far Eastern calendars - all on different timescales but with days as the standard (obviously).

    If we could work out how many seconds have occured since the Big bang we might have something to count up from, but as it is we just count from 'signifigant event' upwards.

    Anybody remember what Startrek Stardates were based on?

    1. John70

      Re: It's all very vague anyway

      "Anybody remember what Startrek Stardates were based on?"

      Difficult to say. Check out for calculating Stardates.

      1. GrumpyJoe

        Re: It's all very vague anyway

        Thanks for that, looks like it was mostly made up. Imagine the problem once we start colonising other planets with +/- 24 hours days... superluminal flight...

        UNIVERSAL TIME!!! (runs off with a pen and paper).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's all very vague anyway

      "Anybody remember what Startrek Stardates were based on?"

      Ahem... they were originally the date in which the epposide was finished, along with the series number and then a random number following that.

      /geek mode

      Annon cause i dont want the wrath of Khan / BattleStar Glactica fans / Star Wars fans after me

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ironic really

    All those people thinking the world will end based on a Mayan prophecy seem to have missed the elephant in the room. The Maya didn't seem to forecast that they wouldn't be around to see it, so the accuracy of their forecasts is obviously not to be relied on.

    However, if all the batshit crazy doom-mongers who live their lives based on the centuries old scribblings of dead civilisations would like to leave the planet on Dec 21st, I'll be more than happy to wave them off.

    1. bexley

      Re: Ironic really

      There are thousands and thousands of maya people who will be around to see it in 2012, who do you think lives in central and south america?

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Ironic really

        Mostly descendants of people who came from Spain and Portugal.

      2. JEDIDIAH

        Re: Ironic really

        This makes as much sense as calling the Italians Romans.

        The civilization fell apart, people left the cities, those cities fell to rubble.

        We wouldn't even be aware of them if not for some busybodies willing to go out and find that stuff and beat away the jungle afterwards.

  5. ElectricFox

    Unfortunate that my taxes and student loan get taken straight out of my salary before I can ever get the chance to withold them based on my strict Mayan religious beliefts.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      That your "strict Mayan religious beliefts [sic]" don't match up with any of the actual archeological finds or Mayan beliefs, then yes, absolutely like all the rest of Religion. None of those other religions are keeping their written laws either, IE "do not harm" or "don't murder".

      1. swampdog

        Re: Considering...

        'IE "do not harm" or "don't murder"'

        Internet Explorer is not a religion!

        1. chr0m4t1c

          Re: Internet Explorer is not a religion!

          Are you absolutely sure about that?

          It's a bit Anglican, in that no-one really believes in it, but it's the default option if you don't think about things too much. Or possibly Catholic, in that you use it because that's what your parents gave you to use (and you feel a bit guilty about it).

          Opera on the other hand is a bit more..... shall we say "Scientologist"?

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    The end of the world is nigh

    I too predict that the world will come to an end and since no one will be around to verifiy it I can only be correct.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The end of the world is nigh

      You're a climate scientist?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The end of the world is nigh @ Khaptain

  7. A J Stiles


    According to my understanding, the date (written in ancient Mayan numerals: base 20, but with the last-but-one digit in base-18, thus giving a 360-day year) overflows from 4 to 5 digits on 21 December 2012. The calendar monks (or whatever their proper title was), being able to make several days' worth of predictions per day, soon got ahead of themselves; so the rollover afforded them a convenient excuse to take a well-earned break.

    However, before they could resume writing predictions for the 5-digit dates, a few dozen pissed-up Dagoes arrived, slaughtered all the Mayans and nicked their gold. They didn't predict that .....

    1. Steve Graham

      Re: Hmm

      Yes, it's a roll-over to an extra digit, exactly like 999 AD to 1000 AD, when the world ended, obviously.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Roll-over

        And we all knew what happened in 2000 AD with the end of the world!

        I so think it's just the media, never was the Mayans. Just with the Y2K malarkey, they want to flog end of the world posters and pub nights out to make more money, and leave the gormless to fall for it. :(

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "And we all knew what happened in 2000 AD with the end of the world!"

          The world may not have ended in 2000 AD, but the global economy did. That has to count for something.

        2. Killraven

          Re: Roll-over

          The Y2K fears weren't malarkey. Governments and business heavily buckled down and fixed the majority of potential issues before it happened.

          1. A J Stiles

            Um, no

            Y2K was mainly a non-issue all along, although a few scam-artists managed to make a quick buck out of it. (And a company I worked for at the time had to certify some fully analogue modules -- none of them bearing any semiconductor device more sophisticated than a triac-- as "Y2K compliant".)

            "The majority of potential issues" are going to happen in 2038, when the 32-bit Unix timestamp rolls over.

            1. Bill B

              Re: Um, no

              Um yes. The company i worked for made embedded controllers and yes, we did have roll over problems that we had to fix.

              Y2K was a non event because we put work into making it a non event. There seem to be a large amount of ignorant people who claim "it was a load of hype because it didn't happen"

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Um, no

                The "end of the world" hype was rubbish. The "broken computers" was a foreseeable and fixable problem. I'd not disagree with you.

                Or did your computer also shoot down an incoming asteroid/alien invasion/zombie apocalypse? :D

    2. John Bailey

      Re: Hmm

      Nobody predicts the Spanish invasion..

    3. nuked

      Re: Hmm

      <<<< this @ A J Stiles

  8. Mystic Megabyte


    The Apocalypse has been delayed for legal reasons as it had rounded corners.

    1. Sam Liddicott

      Re: Later..

      Well said - the guy in this picture is carrying a tablet with rounded corners. Possibly he's just ready to climb down a chimney with his sack

      Thinks: Doesn't this count as prior art?

      1. Sam Liddicott

        Re: Later..

        What happened to my link?

        www. dtownmag. com/the-end-is-near-the-real-lesson-of-the-coming-mayan-apocalypse/

  9. Colin Brett

    insert favourite apocalyptic scenario here

    OK. How about

    Oracle releases true benchmark results and spins Sun Microsystems out as a separate company

    Any others?


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    First contact?

    Date of first contact with an Asari exploration vessel.

    (and as all Asari are stunning, blue, female like aliens......)

    1. Scott 2

      Re: First contact?

      Stunning? I prefer hair personally, rather than tentacles...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: First contact?

      As they are aliens, you hope they resemble "female". The true form of whatever alien exobiology may not be as welcoming.

  11. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    or worse

    they are a year out and that comet thats been spotted out near Saturn is due to come round the sun in Dec 2013

    Anyone fancy Ellie ?


  12. Alister

    "Those folks counting down to the end of the world, currently scheduled for 21 December according to the Mayan calendar, are going to be disappointed, a gaggle of experts have said."

    Won't they feel silly if they're wrong...

    ...Oh, wait...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've been going on for ages about the Mayan calendar's upcoming non-event. The end of the long-count calendar is as notable to the Mayans as New Year's Eve is to us: It signifies that it is time to get a new calendar as this one is spent

    Perhaps ones with kittens this time?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Kittens won't cut it for a Mayan calendar. Kidneys otoh would make a more fitting decoration.

  14. Arachnoid
    Thumb Down

    Its certainly not going to be a drought in the UK just ask any of those who already need water wings to get to work and its not even Winter yet.,.....

  15. Captain DaFt

    Poo poo on the apocalypse

    The only event the Mayans predicted for that date was [drumroll] :

    Happy Meta New Year!

  16. Katie Saucey


    Is anyone else a little saddened that this conference was even held ?(not to put down the field of archaeology) Seems to me like more cash wasted to point out the obvious.

  17. Local G

    There is also the possibility that world has already ended. (EOTW 3.0)

    And we don't know it yet. Like the chicken with its head cut off, we're still very busy doing a lot of things. "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing etc.etc."

    If the world ends with EOTW 2.0, we wouldn't be able to go on line to comment about it and vote on the comments.

    So yes, EOTW 3.0 is a major improvement. We are able to discuss the end of the world after it ended. How cool is that?

  18. Shonko Kid

    "are going to be disappointed"

    Really?!? I'm amazed.

    "a gaggle of experts have said."

    Experts? Experts?!? Who are these so called experts and where can I get a job like that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "are going to be disappointed"

      So far the "experts" have never made a mistake. The Mayan false claims and made up predictions attributed to them in error are wrong all the time though. ;)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they did predict the spanish invasion

    Well in as much that they predicted anything at all. It's open to interpretation.

    Christ, at least have a Google around before banishing a thriving people to extinction.

    (it's "maya" not "mayan" as well)

  20. Kevin Turnquist

    Wish I could remember where I read...

    ... that the Mayans considered 13 a lucky number, and so entering the 13th baktun would be considered (in Mayan think) a Good Thing.

    As noted in the article, the calendar itself supposedly goes out into the 4000s, so if the Mayans thought 2012 was going to be the be-all/end-all, they probably wouldn't have bothered.

    Sadly, there are actually people in my area of residence buying guns and survival rations for this.


    Like I said in the header, I wish I could remember where I read that, because I'd like to hand a copy of that to a few people running around like Chicken Little.

  21. Telic

    Bombe Suprise

    This is the type of superstituous mythos that may be exploited by terrorists, for mass hysteria.

    If they can knock out a major public site or service on 21 December, the media will hype the fate factor.

  22. M7S

    There's still time for them not to have been wrong

    and (genuine question) does the date given allow for the change in Western calendars from the Julian to the Gregorian dates, and suchlike? If not we could all be prematurely relieved* a dozen or so days early.

    *Stop it.

  23. King Jack

    The Calendar Explained

    Some clerk was given the job to make a calendar. He began, but eventually as with all things, he had to stop. 2012 was so far into their future that it made no difference. Idiots, sorry experts today put meaning to the end of days. My brother has been bleating on about it. As the date draws closer he keeps changing altering what 'the end' means. The Earth will split in two, the poles will shift, the world governments will implode, they way mankind behaves will change... The list goes on. I predict that he will shut up on that day.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I always thought Doomsday will be caused when an as yet unknown scientist working on quantum power generation accidentally initiates a Big Bang.

    We all know that the words of creation were in fact "Hey I wonder what this button does"...

    Shortly followed by "Oops.. Call insurance, we have another black hole in the lab again."

    Said black hole expanded outwards into M-space "creating" our Universe as it went.

    AC but not as we know it...

    1. Jtom

      Re: But...

      Actually, this world is just a recurring dream I have. When I am awake, you don't exist (you think you're sleeping). When I sleep, the dream - and this world - resumes.

      This world will end when I die. Absurd? u r e?

      1. Magister

        Re: But...

        Only two things in this life are certain.

        Death and taxes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Death & Taxes

          I understand death can sometimes be painless though

        2. swampdog

          Re: But...

          "Only two things in this life are certain.

          Death and taxes."

          They way they drive round here, the two go hand in hand! Could be handy on the Styx though.

          1. Local G

            "Only two things in this life are certain."

            I thought they added root canal in '02.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Oh bollocks

    You mean I have to pay back all this debt I racked up from a reputable loan shark who maybe break legs?

    Damn you scientists! :)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Death can be excruiciatingly painful, such as being forced to listen to Lady Gaga over and over at 95dB until one's head explodes.

    Although the electric chair improperly used has to be pretty high up on the list, death by fire is pretty nasty.

    I've heard of the infamous case where someone's hair turned white due to the pain...


  27. Stevie


    Clearly the "apocalypse" is a world shortage of bacon. Mayans:1, Hogfarmers:0

  28. JaitcH

    I support Romney, so I don't have to pay taxes

    I have decided to join Rooney's 47% non-tac paying fraternity, whether he likes it or not. Then I can claim my free telephone.

    I'm not alone, over 2000 households earning USD$1,000,000 plus last year in the US also collected unemployment benefits.

    Good place America, regardless of what the Mayans say.

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