Reports of the End of the World Greatly Exaggerated

This is the piece that will never be published. Haven't you heard? The world's going to end on December 21. End-of-the-world hysteria is rather interesting. The Argentine government has restricted access to a mountain over a mass "spiritual suicide" threat associated with it, and the Chinese regime has responded to a doomsday cult by staying true to form: it arrested people. And all this based upon an interpretation of the Mayan calendar that predicts a Winter Solstice apocalypse. Of course, every age has its end-times expectations. Martin of Tours predicted that the end would come by 400 A.D.; many believed, not surprisingly, it would happen on Jan. 1, 1000; perhaps a tad more scientific, mathematician Michael Stifel predicted that at 8:00 am on Oct. 19, 1533 Judgment Day would begin; and, more recently, radio personality Harold Camping prophesied a 2011 demise, which turned out to be as accurate as a 2012 Dick Morris election prediction. For my part, I don't make end-of-the-world...(Read Full Post)