A Christmas tree for the end of the world

Published 8:29 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

My co-worker, Anna, and I had a really bad idea a couple weeks ago.

For those who work with us it’s no big surprise. They’ll happily tell you that when you put the two of us together bad ideas are bound to happen.

Our most current joint bad idea was in the form of a Christmas tree…or at least it’s supposed to look like a Christmas tree. Our idea was to make the said Christmas tree out of paper after we searched for tree ideas online.

We started the tree last week and needless to say it looks nothing like what we intended it to look like. To be fair, we’re not done so there’s still hope that our Christmas tree will actually look like what it’s intended to be.

Anna says we’ll get the tree done by Christmas, but our Editor Cal Bryant is betting on Easter. Our Managing Editor Thadd White says July 4th.

My goal is December 21, in case…well, ‘ya know…that Mayan Calendar thing.

Ah yes, the Mayan Calendar thing. It’s been subject for bazillion documentaries and a lot of restless nights for believers.

The story stems from the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar written thousands of years ago. Strangely enough even though the Olmec created the calendar it’s become synonymous with the Mayan, who used the linear calendar.

The Long Count calls for the “fourth world” to end on December 21, 2012. This obviously has led to visions of the Apocalypse and doomsday for many thanks to the Internet.

However, the Mayan Calendar joins a long line of “end of the world” predictions, as according to NASA and the U.S. Government, the world will not end on Dec. 21 or even December 2012.

To deal with the thousands of letters received by NASA about the end of the world the government has posted a response on USA.gov in reaction to the “scary rumors” caused by the Mayan Calendar.

NASA went so far as to post on their web site a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about why the world will not end anytime soon.

“This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then—just as your calendar begins again on January 1—

another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar,” is their response to December 21, 2012.

When it comes down to it, no one on Earth knows if, when and where the world will end.

So I guess my response to Anna’s current death stare should be to help her with our monstrosity of a tree.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.