2012: Off-base or on-target?

Mona Hill
Staff Writer


There’s been a steadily building crescendo for 2012 doomsday prophesies. It seems the end of the world, civilization or the human race — depending on who you listen to — is supposed to occur in a little less than a year: Dec. 21, 2012, the winter solstice.

A 2008 History Channel delved into the coming end of the world. Combining a mishmash of astronomy, the Mayan calendar and Nostradamus’ prophecies from “The Lost Book of Nostradamus,” the History Channel uses an earnest voiceover, talking heads and somber music to predict the end of life as we know it.

It seems the sun’s center is crossing the Milky Way’s center, a-once-in-26,000-years event, a galactic alignment. Our sun rises directly in front of the center of the galaxy, this year.

It’s all a bit reminiscent of the Y2K bug that was going to wreak havoc on our computerized society, because none of the programmers planned for dates beyond Dec. 31, 1999.

Aside from keeping the media and computer programmers busy for months, it didn’t amount to a hill of beans, which is what most of us had stockpiled in our cupboards against famine on the land.

There are maps galore on depicting “safe” havens against the rising flood of melted icecaps. The good news is that homeowners in Plumas County appear to have beachfront property. And we thought we were buying beachfront property because most of California was going to fall into the ocean. How silly of us.

Yessireebob, it’s clear 12/21/2012 must be some kind of code for the end of all we know. Looking at it numerically, I recognized it as base 3 from eighth-grade math.

You remember base theory don’t you? Our number system is based on base 10 that explains the placeholder thingy related to borrowing and carrying in basic arithmetic.

Because I’m math-challenged, I resorted to googling base 3 conversions to come up with 4,271 in base 10. I can’t make any sense of 4,271 either. Is 26,000 divisible by 4,271? Is it a prime number? Oh, it makes me dizzy!

All that doom and gloom; is nobody satisfied with simple New Year’s resolutions anymore?

Life looked a lot brighter when we only had to worry about losing 10, 15, 50 pounds, stopping smoking or starting a regular exercise program.

I used to worry about things like the sun becoming a red giant and scorching the Earth to a shriveled pea. While I do worry about the icecaps melting, there seems to be damn little I can do about that or nuclear winter. Those things are pretty much beyond my control.

I can do my bit to recycle, repurpose and reuse. I can grow some of my own food and preserve it. We only own one car and, hassle though it is, we’ve been getting by for the last 6-1/2 years. I use power-saving light bulbs and compost my kitchen waste.

The point is that it starts with me and you. We should do our bit and live our lives according to our lights.

We should be striving to bloom where we are planted.

I’d like to see us worry more about the quality of our lives today, instead of storing up riches for a tomorrow that never gets here.

Mainstream media is busily building a fear-based society. Maybe the sky will fall in 2012, but we should be busy living because Henny Penny turned out to be a very dumb chicken.

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