Posted by: Ed Darrell | June 4, 2011

End of the school year — just the end of the beginning, not more

So the school year is over.

Guy with "End Is Near" sign jolts at speeding asteroid

Not something you'll see in 2012

To those two dozen students who expressed doubt that we’d be back in the fall due to the pending End of the Earth, a summer assignment:

Read up on it.  Start at NASA, for example:

Remember the Y2K scare? It came and went without much of a whimper because of adequate planning and analysis of the situation. Impressive movie special effects aside, Dec. 21, 2012, won’t be the end of the world as we know. It will, however, be another winter solstice.

Much like Y2K, 2012 has been analyzed and the science of the end of the Earth thoroughly studied. Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the science behind the end of the world quickly unravels when pinned down to the 2012 timeline. Below, NASA Scientists answer several questions that we’re frequently asked regarding 2012.

Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012.
Answer (A): Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

Q: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012?
A: The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012. Then these two fables were linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 — hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.

Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?
A: Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. 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.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill may have put it best (though he was talking about the war remaining to be fought, as things started to look up for the British in November 1942):

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

You could read Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples, and that would give you a head start on next years work, no matter what part of social studies you have coming up.

The school year just past?  Perhaps, for you, Dear Student, the end of the beginning.

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Responses

  1. July 18th — still here . . .


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