Dec. 21, 2012: Is it the end of the world as we know it?

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

Will it or won’t it?

Will the world end Friday?

Should we worry? Should we hunker down like some folks plan to, with basic survival supplies and skills? Or should we be partying like it’s, er, 2012?

This Friday, Earthlings will find out once and for all about reported demise of their world that may or not be greatly exaggerated, based on interpretation of an ancient Mayan calendar that seems to go nowhere after Dec. 21, 2012.

Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach is opting for a celebration.

The planetarium is having an End of the World Party on Friday night. A scheduled 7 p.m. showing of “Tales of the Maya Skies,” a full-dome video, is all booked up in the 85-seat theater.

An additional 8 p.m. showing has been scheduled, planetarium director Mark Jankowski said Tuesday, adding they’ve been bombarded with phone calls.

There will also be Mayan-inspired crafts, a Mayan trivia contest and other highlights. Jankowski will be there to answer questions.

“We’re going to talk about the science behind some of the doomsday prophecies like Planet X and galactic alignments—something that happens all the time, and we’re still here,” said Jankowski, who doesn’t believe the world is going to end Friday.

In 1966, a professor known for his Mayan knowledge made an off-the-cuff remark that the “end of the Mayan calendar would be the end of the world,” Jankowski said, explaining how the world-ending rumor got started 46 years ago.

“The media ran with it and has turned it into a modern folklore story,” he said. “So it’s not even an ancient thing.”

Jankowski believes the Mayan calendar ended simply to launch a new beginning, since the Mayan New Year was on Dec. 21.

He likens the world-ending buzz of 2012 to the bogus Y2K preparation of 2000.

“For some strange reason, it seems to be programmed in humans to be waiting for the end and attributing all kinds of stuff to it,” he said. “They want to make something match.”

Jankowski believes more in the biblical version regarding the world’s end: “No man knows the last day.”

If both Friday night showings get booked up, Jankowski said people could come and watch the program at 2 p.m. Thursday or Friday.

“If the world continues on, they can come Saturday at 2 p.m., because it’s not the end of the program,” Jankowski added.

He promises the planetarium will only forego the showing if it’s the end of the world.


Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.