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Sunday, December 30, 2012

NY Resolutions for Your Pet

New Year’s Resolutions 
to Make for Your Pet
With January fast approaching, our thoughts have turned to New Year’s resolutions for ourselves – and our pets. If you don’t have any healthy goals for your pet yet, you may want to read the article below by Dr. Justine Lee, a regular contributor to petMD’s blog, The Daily Vet. It’s filled with simple suggestions that could make a big difference in your pet’s health in the coming year. Dr. Lee writes…

Pets love us unconditionally and seem to ignore all our faults, stress-attacks, and bad moods. And they make us better people. So, it’s our responsibility as pet owners to afford our dogs and cats (AKA, family members) the emotional, financial and physical attention that they need — to make sure we’re providing an environment that is healthy, safe, and mentally stimulating to them. As a small token of appreciation to our loyal four-legged friends, here are five simple, veterinary-recommended pet resolutions we should all stick to in 2013.


1. Cut out 30% of the food
Loving your pet doesn’t mean feeding it more. In fact, your actions may reflect otherwise. I generally consider obese pets to be poorly cared for and studies have proven it — the skinnier your dog, the longer he lives. On average, you can extend your dog’s life by almost two years1 by just cutting out the calories. The same is likely true for humans (and cats!) too. Being that an estimated 40-70 percent of pets in the U.S. are overweight or obese, I can recommend to almost all of you to cut back on 30 percent of the pet food right now.

First, use a measuring cup when scooping out your pet’s dinner, so you know just how many calories you’re serving, and when in doubt, cut back on the snacks and table scraps. Find low-fat, high-fiber snacks to make your pet feel more full. Canned pumpkin, green beans, carrots, and low-salt, low-butter popcorn are great places to start. Finally, consider switching to a senior pet food, even if your pet hasn’t technically fallen into that age category yet. It’ll contain more fiber and bulk. So yes, he’ll poop more, but he’ll shed more weight too!

2. Take an extra walk around the block

 After a long stressful day, the last thing you may want to do is take your dog on a time-sucking walk or run, but it’s important for you and your pet’s health. Take the extra ten minutes out of your day to take another loop around the block. For you cat owners, use a timer and laser pointer and dedicate a whopping five minutes of exercise time once a week with your cat. It doesn’t sound like much time, but it’ll help your cat to slowly shed the pounds. When you exercise with your pet, you release natural endorphins while burning calories, and it’s a great way for both of you to feel better.

3. Start a pet savings account
 If you can’t afford — or haven’t had time to research — pet insurance, do the next best thing: Start a savings account for your pet, and don’t dip into it unless it’s for a pet emergency. Simply saving a dollar a day will help pay for those middle-of-the-night emergencies — which are costly — and as your pet ages, the more you need to potentially save. For each year after your pet's tenth birthday, set aside (and save) that amount each week toward his or her health care needs (e.g., $11/week for an eleven-year-old dog, and so on).

4. Skip the vaccines this year

 Never thought you’d hear a vet say this, right? As your pet ages, he or she needs less vaccines — typically only those that are required by law. Instead, save the money for blood work, which evaluates your pet’s kidney, liver and thyroid function, and white and red blood cells. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can detect metabolic problems (like kidney failure or diabetes), and the sooner you can treat them. Talk to your vet about making this switch.

5. Splurge on a good toy
 If you can’t afford doggy day care or a dog walker, splurge on a good toy for your pet instead. Environmental enrichment (i.e., prevention from getting bored at home) is important for all species. For dogs, a treat-stuffed toy may provide hours of entertainment (just make sure to cut back on the dog food since you’re providing more calories this way!), while for cats, a sisal scratching post, feather on a string, or a laser pointer (human required) is a must. I also love cat window rests, so your cat can enjoy the great outdoors from the safety of inside.Sound simple? Then let’s stick to these five resolutions … not just for our sake, but for our pets.
What Resolutions did You make for Your Pet this Year?

If you are a Dog owner, 
consider adding the following Resolutions to your List this Year.
 1. Spend more time training your dog. Old dogs can learn new tricks. The trick is to spend a sufficient enough time working together and training your dog. Schedule some time, about ten minutes a day, to train and work with your dog to teach him commands and tricks. Your bond will be stronger and your dog will be better behaved.

2. Reevaluate dog food choices. Read the label. Make sure the first ingredient is real meat and there are some other real ingredients on the list.
3. Spend more time playing with your dog. Get down on the floor and play with your pet. You might be surprised how much stronger your bond will be by simply playing with your dog for five solid minutes every now and then.

4. Take more responsibility for your dog. It is not usually the dog’s fault if he has an accident in the house. A housebroken dog usually tries to get your attention and hold it as long as possible. However, he can only hold it so long. Make sure to pay attention to these signs to minimize accidents.

5. Learn from your dog. Dogs are always happy to see you, no matter what you said or did before you left the house this morning. Learn to forget and move on, like your dog.  Dogs live by instinct. Learn to trust your gut more.
A dog can communicate withot speaking our language.
Learn how express yourself better through body language and by your actions rather than relying on words so much.

6. Get organized. This year, take some time to organize all of your pet’s information. Locate all of her medical records, tags, and any other information that is important. Schedule vet appointments, renew your dog’s license, and make sure all immunizations are up to date.

7. Take longer walks. By getting outside and taking longer walks with your dog, you will not only be improving your dog’s health, but your own as well. Not to mention, you may make some new friends, meet new neighbors, and bond with your companion more.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gracias a La Vida

GRACIAS A LA VIDA
Mercedes Sosa
 


Haydée Mercedes Sosa (9 July 1935 – 4 October 2009), known as La Negra (literally: The Black One), was an Argentine singer who was popular throughout Latin America and many countries outside the continent. With her roots in Argentine folk music, Sosa became one of the preeminent exponents of nueva canción. She gave voice to songs written by both Brazilians and Cubans. She was best known as the "voice of the voiceless ones".

Sosa performed in venues such as the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Théâtre Mogador in Paris and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, as well as sell-out shows in New York's Carnegie Hall and the Roman Coliseum during her final decade of life. Her career spanned four decades and she has been the recipient of several Grammy awards and nominations, including three nominations which will be decided posthumously. 
She served as an ambassador for UNICEF.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes_Sosa
 
Violeta Parra
Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval (4 October 1917 – 5 February 1967) was a Chilean composer, songwriter, folklorist, ethnomusicologist and visual artist.  She set the basis for "Chilean' New Song", the Nueva canción chilena, a renewal and a reinvention of Chilean folk music which would absorb and extend its influence far beyond Chile.

Her most renowned song, Gracias a la Vida (Thanks to Life), was popularized throughout Latin America by Mercedes Sosa and later in the US by Joan Baez. It remains one of the most covered Latin American songs in history. Other notable covers of this tragic, but widely beloved, folk anthem include the Italian guitar-vocal solo of Adriana Mezzadr and La Oreja de Van Gogh at the 2005 Viña del Mar International Song Festival.
It has been treated by classically trained musicians such as in the fully orchestrated rendition by conservatory-trained Alberto Cortez.
The song has been re-recorded by several Latin artists and Canadian Michael Bublé to gather funds for the Chilean people affected by the earthquake in Chile, February 2010.

The song is in waltz time (3/4) and thus suitable for romantic dance forms; it opens with a very common shift between A minor and E Major chords, then it goes to G7-C/C7 before returning to the Am/E motif.

"Gracias a la vida" was written and recorded following Parra's separation with her long-time partner and shortly before she took her own life. Parra's lyricism is ambiguous; at face value, Parra's lyricism may be read as a romantic celebration of life and individual experience, however the circumstances surrounding the song suggest that Parra also intended the song as a sort of suicide note, thanking life for all it has given her. 
It may even be read as sarcastic or ironic, pointing out that a life full of good health, opportunity and worldly experience may not offer any consolation to grief and the contradictory nature of the human condition.

The song opens with a simple strumming at a leisurely tempo and exploits the poetic beauty of the Spanish language with consummate skill.

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
    Me dio dos luceros que cuando los abro
    Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
    Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado
    Y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo

Translated into English the lyrical sentiment and ambiguity is best conveyed by personifying life;

    Thank you life, you have given me so much
    You gave me two eyes which when I open them
    I can distinguish perfectly between black and white
    And the starry depths of the sky above
    And amongst the masses the man that I love

And the closing refrain "Gracias a la vida", ironically,
    Thank you life
    Thank you life
    Thank you life

http://www.last.fm/music/Violeta+Parra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violeta_Parra
Joan Baez
Live at Festival des Vieilles Charrues
Carhaix, Bretagne
FRANCE, 2000

"This is one of Joan Baez's classics, although it's a cover of a song written by a Chilean folk singer and visual artist: Violeta Parra, who committed suicide in 1967. 
Her song "Gracias a la vida", composed one year before her death, is one of the most covered Latin American songs"

*
Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me dio dos luceros que cuando los abro
perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado
y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto
me ha dado el oido que en todo su ancho
graba noche y dia grillos y canarios
martillos, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos
y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado.

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me ha dado el sonido y el abedecedario
con él las palabras que pienso y declaro
madre amigo hermano y luz alumbrando,
la ruta del alma del que estoy amando.

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados
con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,
playas y desiertos montañas y llanos
y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio.

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me dio el corazón que agita su marco
cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,
cuando miro el bueno tan lejos del malo,
cuando miro el fondo de tus ojos claros.

Gracias a la Vida que me ha dado tanto
me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto,
así yo distingo dicha de quebranto
los dos materiales que forman mi canto
y el canto de ustedes que es el mismo canto
y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto.

*
*
 

Thank you to life, which has given me so much
It gave me two beams of light, that when opened
Can perfectly distinguish black from white
And in the sky above, her starry backdrop
And from within the multitude
The one that I love

Thank you to life, which has given me so much
It gave me an ear that, in all of its width
Records— night and day—crickets and canaries
Hammers and turbines and bricks and storms
And the tender voice of my beloved

Thank you to life, which has given me so much
It gave me sound and the alphabet
With them the words that I think and declare
Mother, Friend, Brother and the light shining
The route of the soul from which comes love

Thank you to life, which has given me so much
It gave me the ability to walk with my tired feet
With them I have traversed cities and puddles
Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains
And your house, your street and your patio

Thank you to life, which has given me so much
It gave me a heart, that causes my frame to shudder
When I see the fruit of the human brain
When I see good so far from bad
When I see within the clarity of your eyes

Thank you to life, which has given me so much
It gave me laughter and it gave me longing
With them I distinguish happiness and pain
The two materials from which my songs are formed
And your song, as well, which is the same song
And everyone's song, which is my very song
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiyWaRqW7RXw1fC58bw5Ym-zT1wolGiSm

To Read More see links below...

Mercedes Sosa  

Violeta Parra
  1. http://www.last.fm/music/Violeta+Parra
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violeta_Parra

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mayan Apocalypse Observances 12-21-12

December 21 Mayan Apocalypse Observances 
Fueled By Mysticism 
And Internet
A few words by an American scholar, a crumbling Mexican monument and the love of a good yarn were all it took to spawn the belief that the world could end this week.

December 21 marks the end of an age in a 5,125 year-old Maya calendar, an event that is variously interpreted as the end of days, the start of a new era or just a good excuse for a party.

Thousands of New Age mystics, spiritual adventurers and canny businessmen are converging on ancient ruins in southern Mexico and Guatemala to find out what will happen.

"No one knows what it will look like on the other side," said Michael DiMartino, 46, a long-haired American who is organizing one of the biggest December 21 celebrations at the Maya temple site of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula.

It is not the world but "the way we perceive it" that will end, said DiMartino, who pledged his event at ground zero for 2012 acolytes will be a "distilling down of various perspectives into a unified intention for positive transformation, evolution and co-creation of a new way of being."

A mash-up of academic speculation and existential angst seasoned with elements from several world religions, the 2012 phenomenon has been fueled by Hollywood movies and computer games, and relentlessly disseminated by Internet doom-mongers.

Mass hysteria in a Russian prison, a Chinese man building survival pods for doomsday and UFO lovers seeking refuge with aliens in a French mountain village are just some of the reports that have sprung up in the final countdown to December 21.

Robert Bast, a New Zealander living in Melbourne who wrote a book called "Survive 2012" on how to cope with the possible catastrophe, believes the Maya may have sent out a warning.
"The most likely thing for me is a solar storm, but that's not going to kill you straight away. It's more of a long term disaster," said Bast, 47, noting a flu pandemic could also strike the planet. "I feel the world isn't as safe as we think it is. The last couple of generations have had it very cozy."
When dawn breaks on Friday, according to the Maya Long Count calendar, it marks the end of the 13th bak'tun - an epoch lasting some 400 years - and the beginning of the 14th.

This fact would probably have languished in academic obscurity had not a young Maya expert named Michael Coe written in the 1960s that to the ancient Mesoamerican culture the date could herald an "Armageddon" to cleanse humanity.
Since then, the cult of 2012 has snowballed.

Among the sun-bleached pyramids, shaded mangroves and deep cenotes of the Maya heartland, there are hopes December 21 will bring a spiritual re-birth.
Nobody seems quite sure what to expect on Friday, but it has not stopped people getting their hopes up.

"This is the Arab Spring of the spiritual movement," said Geoffrey Ocean Dreyer, a 52-year-old U.S. musician wearing a sombrero and mardi gras beads. "We're going to create world peace. We're going to Jerusalem and we're going to rebuild Solomon's temple."

ANXIETY ATTACKS

The words of Coe, a highly respected Maya scholar, were published in 1966 at the height of the Cold War, stirring fears in a world haunted by the prospect of nuclear holocaust.
Coe could not be reached for comment for this article, but friends and academics who know him insist he never meant to inspire a vision of apocalypse when he committed them to paper.

Stephen Houston, a Maya expert at Brown University in Rhode Island and student of Coe's, said too much has been read into the end of the 13th bak'tun, which was little more than a "dull mathematical declaration" used to bracket dates.

"I see it all as an expression of present day anxiety and not much more than that," Houston said.

Few remaining inscriptions refer to the event, and the best known one is part of a monument recovered from a Maya site in Tabasco state called Tortuguero - much of which was torn down in the 1960s to make way for the construction of a cement factory.

Still, the mix of religion, ancient inscriptions and media-driven speculation about impending doom remains potent.

"I got an email the other day from a mother who was contemplating taking her own life, because she didn't know what was really going to happen, she didn't want her children to live through this ordeal," said David Stuart, a Maya expert at the University of Texas. "We can dismiss it as a kooky idea, which it is, but they're still ideas and they still have power."

U.S. space agency NASA has sought to allay fears of impending catastrophe, noting that "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."

Nothing has given the 2012 theories more oxygen in the run-up to the big day than the Internet, noted John Hoopes, a Maya anthropologist at the University of Kansas.

"Computers come straight out of the same people who were smoking pot and protesting at Berkeley and Stanford," he said, referring to U.S. student movements in the 1960s.

"This Maya calendar stuff has been part of hacktivism lore for 40 years, since the beginning, and with every significant change in computer technology, it's gotten another boost."

Many of those gathering in Chichen Itza praised the Internet as a discussion forum and organizing tool for New Age events.

"We don't need leaders now we have the Internet," said Muggy Burton, 66, who had traveled to Mexico from Canada with her 15-year-old, blue-haired granddaughter, Talis Hardy.

The two, who communicate with each other by whistling, plan to live in Mexico for six months, according to Burton, who is going to homeschool Hardy. "It's the end of the world for her, and the beginning of a new one," she added.

MAYA SKEPTICS

Mexico's federal government is not officially marking the phenomenon, but the country's tourism agency has launched a "Mundo Maya 2012" website with a countdown to December 21.
Up to 200,000 people are expected to descend on Chichen Itza alone for the night of December 20.

Among modern descendants of the Maya, the idea it could all come to an end on Friday generally raises a wry smile - but they are happy to play along if it makes money.

"It's a psychic epidemic," said Miguel Coral, 56, a cigar salesman in Merida, a colonial town and capital of Yucatan state. "It's all about business, but that's fine. It helps our country. I think it's excellent we've exported this idea."

Nearby, workers built a pyramid of spray-painted polystyrene blocks for the opening of the town's Maya festival.
"If people who believe in this joke want to come, let them," said Jose May, a Merida tourism official of Maya descent. "Nobody here believes that. Those people were sold an idea."

Hazy rumors have helped feed the sense of anticipation.

A few hours' drive south of Merida in the remote Maya town of Xul, which means "the end," media reports began circulating as early as 2008 that a group of Italians were readying themselves for impending doom by building apocalypse-proof bunkers.

Today, the settlement dubbed the "end of the world resort" is open for business as "Eco Spa Las Aguilas."

"There's no truth in it," said deputy manager Andrea Podesta, 45, referring to speculation it was a cult.

"Some people came here, took some hidden photos, and published some very unpleasant articles about us," he added, noting the glistening new spa was booked up well into 2013.
Inside, a group of elderly Italians, mostly dressed in white, were watching the path of an asteroid on a giant screen. A black-and-white image of Christ's face hung from the wall and a large stone statue of a robed woman greeted visitors.

Whatever lies in store for the planet, even Maya academics who have fought to play down the hype surrounding the passing of another 24 hours feel there could still be some surprises.

"I think there may be some mischief on December 21 because the whole world is watching," said Hoopes in Kansas, citing rumors hacktivist group Anonymous was planning a stunt. "It's a very fertile opportunity for a tremendous prank."

(Editing by Dave Graham, Kieran Murray and Mohammad Zargham)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/19/december-21-mayan-apocalypse-_n_2330846.html

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Be Warrned ;-) 2012


2012: Why the World Won't End

2 0 1 2
 
There are a variety of popular beliefs about the year 2012.
These beliefs range from the spiritually transformative to the apocalyptic,and centre upon various contemporary interpretations of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar.
Scientists have disputed the apocalyptic versions.
The Truth Behind the Maya Calendar
Mayan Group Protests 
Planned Doomsday Party in Guatemala

Are people stilling buying into the whole 2012 Mayan Doomsday thing, you may ask yourself?
The answer, we can report from a well of near-infinite sadness, is yes, because many people are stupid. Now, an alliance of Mayans in Guatemala is demanding that the government’s tourism agency halt a planned celebration of the end of days on December 21st, saying that the festival twists and bastardizes the beliefs of a community in a shameless grab for tourism dollars. No word yet on how the tourism agency has responded, though we assume it will be something along the lines of  ”Um, yeah — that’s what tourism agencies do.” Which, in all honesty? Pretty fair.

The group said in a statement that popular readings of the end of this cycle of the Mayan calendar as heralding a doomsday scenario or the end of the world twists the meaning of the original Mayan in the interest of putting on a bunch of big stupid parties and producing a number of big stupid films and documentaries. In a statement, the group pointed out that a more accurate reading of the Mayan calendar entering a new time cycle “means there will be big changes on the personal, family and community level, so that there is harmony and balance between mankind and nature.”

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/10/26/mayans-protest-guatemalas-2012-doomsday-tourism/
*
A 2012 doomsday group is charging $5000 for admission to a survival bunker in the northern NSW hills.
*

Another Opinion from Bolivia

*

December 21
The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, notably used by the pre-Columbian Mayan civilization among others, completes a "great cycle" of thirteen b'ak'tuns (periods of 144,000 days each) since the Mesoamerican creation date of the calendar's current era.


 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon

The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on 21 December 2012.

This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.


A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.

Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth's collision with a planet called "Nibiru".

Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic events occurring in 2012. Professional Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the extant classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history and culture.
Astronomers and other scientists have rejected the proposals as pseudoscience, stating that they conflict with simple astronomical observations and amount to "a distraction from more important science concerns, such as global warming and loss of biological diversity".

In India, the guru Kalki Bhagavan has promoted 2012 as a "deadline" for human enlightenment since at least 1998.
Over 15 million people consider Bhagavan to be the incarnation of the god Vishnu and believe that 2012 marks the end of the Kali Yuga, or degenerate age.


In 2006, author Daniel Pinchbeck popularized New Age concepts about this date in his book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, linking b'ak'tun 13 to beliefs in crop circles, alien abduction, and personal revelations based on the use of hallucinogenic drugs and mediumship.
Pinchbeck claims to discern a "growing realization that materialism and the rational, empirical worldview that comes with it has reached its expiration date ... [w]e're on the verge of transitioning to a dispensation of consciousness that's more intuitive, mystical and shamanic".

Beginning in 2000, the small French village of Bugarach, population 189, began receiving visits from "esoterics"—mystic believers who have concluded that the local mountain, Pic de Bugarach, is the ideal location to weather the transformative events of 2012.
In 2011, the local mayor, Jean-Pierre Delord, began voicing fears to the international press that the small town would be overwhelmed by an influx of thousands of visitors in 2012, even suggesting he may call in the army.
"We've seen a huge rise in visitors", Delord told The Independent in March 2012. "Already this year more than 20,000 people have climbed right to the top, and last year we had 10,000 hikers, which was a significant rise on the previous 12 months. They think Pic de Bugarach is 'un garage à ovnis' [a garage for UFOs]. The villagers are exasperated: the exaggerated importance of something which they see as completely removed from reality is bewildering.
After 21 December, this will surely return to normal."


Other alignments
Some people have interpreted the galactic alignment apocalyptically, claiming that when it occurs, it will somehow create a combined gravitational effect between the Sun and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy (known as Sagittarius A*), thus creating havoc on Earth.  Apart from the fact noted above that the "galactic alignment" already happened in 1998, the Sun's apparent path through the zodiac as seen from Earth does not take it near the true galactic center, but rather several degrees above it.  Even if this were not the case, Sagittarius A* is 30,000 light years from Earth, and would have to be more than 6 million times closer to cause any gravitational disruption to Earth's Solar System. This reading of the alignment was included on the History Channel documentary, Decoding the Past. However, John Major Jenkins has complained that a science fiction writer co-authored the documentary, and he went on to characterize it as "45 minutes of unabashed doomsday hype and the worst kind of inane sensationalism".

Some believers in a 2012 doomsday have used the term "galactic alignment" to describe a very different phenomenon proposed by some scientists to explain a pattern in mass extinctions supposedly observed in the fossil record.
According to this hypothesis, mass extinctions are not random, but recur every 26 million years. To account for this, it suggests that vertical oscillations made by the Sun on its 250-million-year orbit of the galactic center cause it to regularly pass through the galactic plane. When the Sun's orbit takes it outside the galactic plane which bisects the galactic disc, the influence of the galactic tide is weaker. However, when re-entering the galactic disc—as it does every 20–25 million years—it comes under the influence of the far stronger "disc tides", which, according to mathematical models, increase the flux of Oort cloud comets into the inner Solar System by a factor of 4, thus leading to a massive increase in the likelihood of a devastating comet impact.  However, this "alignment" takes place over tens of millions of years, and could never be timed to an exact date.  Evidence shows that the Sun passed through the plane bisecting the galactic disc only three million years ago and is now moving farther above it.

A third suggested alignment is some sort of planetary conjunction occurring on 21 December 2012; however, there will be no conjunction on that date.
Multi-planet alignments did occur in both 2000 and 2010, each with no ill result for the Earth.  Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System; larger than all other planets combined. When Jupiter is near opposition, the difference in gravitational force that the Earth experiences is less than 1% of the force that the Earth feels daily from the Moon.


Cultural influence

The 2012 phenomenon has been discussed or referenced in several media. Several TV documentaries, as well as many contemporary fictional references to the year 2012 refer to 21 December as the day of a cataclysmic event.

The UFO conspiracy TV series The X-Files cites December 22, 2012 as the date for the alien colonisation of the Earth, and mentions the Mayan calendar "stopping" on this date.

The History Channel has aired a handful of special series on doomsday that include analysis of 2012 theories, such as Decoding the Past (2005–2007), 2012, End of Days (2006), Last Days on Earth (2006), Seven Signs of the Apocalypse (2007), and Nostradamus 2012 (2008). The Discovery Channel also aired 2012 Apocalypse in 2009, suggesting that massive solar storms, magnetic pole reversal, earthquakes, supervolcanoes, and other drastic natural events may occur in 2012.[137] In 2012, the National Geographic Channel launched a show called Doomsday Preppers, a documentary series about survivalists preparing for various cataclysms, including the 2012 doomsday.

Hundreds of books have been published on the topic.  The bestselling book of 2009,  Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, featured a coded mock email number (2456282.5) that decodes, according to The Washington Post, as "December 21, 2012".

The 2009 disaster film 2012 was inspired by the phenomenon, and advance promotion prior to its release included a stealth marketing campaign in which TV spots and websites from the fictional "Institute for Human Continuity" called on people to prepare for the end of the world. As these promotions did not mention the film itself, many viewers believed them to be real and contacted astronomers in panic. Although the campaign was heavily criticized, the film became one of the most successful of its year, grossing nearly $770 million worldwide.

Lars von Trier's 2011 film Melancholia features a plot in which a planet emerges from behind the Sun onto a collision course with Earth.   Announcing his company's purchase of the film, the head of Magnolia Pictures said in a press release, "As the 2012 apocalypse is upon us, it is time to prepare for a cinematic last supper".

The phenomenon has also inspired several pop music hits. As early as 1997, "A Certain Shade of Green" by Incubus referred to the mystical belief that a shift in perception would arrive in 2012 ("Are you gonna stand around till 2012 A.D.? / What are you waiting for, a certain shade of green?"). More recent hits include "2012 (It Ain't the End)" (2010) performed by Jay Sean and "Till the World Ends" (2011) performed by Britney Spears.

In February 2012, American automotive company GM aired an advertisement during the annual Super Bowl football game in which a group of friends drive Chevrolet Silverados through the ruins of human civilisation following the 2012 apocalypse. (When the whereabouts of one of their friends is queried, it is revealed that he died because he drove a Ford.)

In 2011, the Mexico tourism board stated its intentions to use the year 2012, without its apocalyptic connotations, as a means to revive Mexico's tourism industry, which had suffered as the country gained a reputation for drug wars and kidnapping. The initiative hopes to draw on the mystical appeal of the Maya ruins. On 21 December 2011, the Maya town of Tapachula in Chiapas activated an eight-foot digital clock counting down the days until the end of b'ak'tun 13, while in Izapa, a nearby archaeological site, Maya priests burned incense and prayed. 
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2012 Planetary Alignment

December 21, 2012 - The End Of A Cycle
Since the Mayan calendar is based on cycles (read our article on How Does the Mayan Calendar Work to learn more), December 21, 2012 merely indicates the end of a cycle that began on August 11, 3114 BC. While there are wild interpretations as to what this date means, and many holiday resorts are booked out on this day, there is no evidence from any Mayan literature suggesting that the world will come to an end.

It is simply the end of the current Long Count, and December 22, 2012 will be the beginning of the next Long Count, or cycle in the Mayan calendar. In fact, the Mayans have names for the Long Counts, and the fact that they’ve named Long Counts beyond this one suggests that this won’t be the last. It is significant, however, that we are entering a new cycle in the Mayan calendar.

What Will The Next Mayan Long Count, Or Epoch, Bring?
Assuming as we did above that the world will not come to an end on December 21, 2012 - we ask ourselves, what will happen? What is so significant about December 21, 2012? The significance lies not merely in the fact that a Mayan epoch is coming to an end, but in the celestial events that astronomists have confirmed will occur on this day.
    
What Happens On December 21, 2012?
December 21 is the winter solstice, and in 2012 the Sun on the solstice will be almost perfectly aligned with the plane of the galaxy (the Milky Way galaxy). What is astonishing is how precisely the Mayan calendar was able to pinpoint this alignment of the planets.
What’s So Special About Planets Aligning?
The equator of the Milky Way galaxy (Galactic Equator) and the path of the Sun (the Ecliptic) will cross each other at exactly 11:11 am GMT on December 21, 2012. What does this mean exactly? Or, even better, what is the probability of this occurring?

Every year on the winter solstice, our Sun has a Declination of -23.5 degrees, and a Right Ascension of 18 hours. But what makes the alignment of 2012 special is how this alignment occurs relative to very distant stars. On December 21, 2012, the alignment will be right along the plane of the entire galaxy. This precession of the equinoxes goes in a complete circle and happens only once every 26,000 years. In other words, the winter solstice moves 360 degrees every 26,000 years, or 0.01 degrees each year.

A significant detail that promoters of the 2012 doomsday fail to point out, however, is that the plane of the galaxy is not the width of a needle. The plane of the galaxy is quite wide - in fact, it takes the winter solstice between 700 hundred and 1,400 years to cross the plane of the galaxy! So 2012 is just one year amidst a span of 700 years.
We Are Entering A New Mayan Epoch
Did the Mayans know something about 2012 that we don’t? I think more significant than the fact that the planets align in 2012 is the fact that we are entering a new Mayan epoch, or Long Count. While the pundits will be focused on doomsday prophecies and the destruction of the world, those pondering our purpose may find themselves enlightened by a greater perspective - one that may not be clear until hundreds or thousands of years from now.
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  1. Buddhist eschatology
  2. Christian eschatology
  3. Hindu eschatology
  4. Inter-religious
  5. Islamic eschatology
  6. Jewish eschatology
  7. Zoroastrian eschatology
Why the World Won't End

Dec. 21, 2012, won't be the end of the world as we know, however, it will be another winter solstice.
Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the claims behind the end of the world quickly unravel when pinned down to the 2012 timeline.
Below, NASA Scientists answer questions on the following 2012 topics: