The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

November 28, 2012

December doomsday? Don't change your plans, astronomer says

JOPLIN, Mo. — The classic Maya were gifted scientists with a keen sense of the heavens, says astronomer Mark Claussen. They understood the moon's phases and detected a slight wobble of the Earth's axis.

But these days the Maya are more commonly known for predicting the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012. Its a piece of apocalyptic lore dismissed by Claussen, of National Radio Astronomy Observatory near Socorro, N.M., as well as his brother, Sam, who teaches a class in Mayan civilization at Missouri Southern State University.

“The Mayans never predicted such a thing,” said Sam Claussen. The doomsday date, he said, merely marks the end of the 20th cycle of a long-count calendar associated with the Maya.

“Think of it like an odometer in your car turning to zero,” he said. “When that happens, does the car explode or quit running? Of course not.”

Mark Claussen visited his brother's class this week to talk about the Maya, their astronomy and apocalyptic visions.

Among the latter theories: A rogue planet called "Nibiru" - which scientists have not actually seen - will soon smash into the Earth.

"A planet-sized chunk of rock can't stay hidden," said Mark Claussen. "It couldn't have escaped our attention."

Then there's the notion the Earth's poles will switch, throwing life as we know it into chaos. Evidence exists of polar switching, said Claussen, but it's a 10,000-year phenomenon, not something that occurs with four shopping days left until Christmas.

Also slow to form, he said, are solar flares, with some fear will spew from the sun come Dec. 21 and cause problems here on Earth.

A final theory, “galactic alignment," sounds like vintage science fiction and posits the sun's passage across something called the "Great Rift," a slash down the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The sun is to blot out a massive black hole, the theory holds, which will cause untold havoc here at home.

Text Only
Lifestyles
  • Off to market: Fulton Buy-Way yard sales are Aug. 8 and 9

    Flea market fans and bargain shoppers will once again make their way to Fulton.

    July 31, 2014

  • The Clinton Herald Jim Miller Low-cost, free cellphone options for seniors DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling SeniorDEAR SELDOM: For financially challenged seniors who only want a cell pho

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • School supplies offered at events

    With students going back to school soon, Clinton families will have two opportunities to receive free back-to-school supplies.

    July 30, 2014

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • YWCA offers lifeguard training

    CLINTON — The YWCA will offer lifeguard training in August.The course will be held from Aug. 4 to 10 at the YWCA. This 30-hour class will meet from 5 to 9 p.m. for four weeknights and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. A possibility of adding a class from 1

    July 25, 2014

  • GPS race Teams race to complete challenges THOMSON, Ill. — A challenge in August will pit teams against each other to complete a series of challenges.The event will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Thomson. Armed with GPS units, teams

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Habitat for Humanity hosts fundraiser

    CLINTON — Habitat for Humanity will host a fundraiser in Thomson, Illinois.The Clinton County group will showcase Laid Back Luau from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at Heirloom Cafe in Thomson. The event will feature games, prizes, music train rides for

    July 25, 2014

  • Fire departments undergo grain bin rescue training OMAHA — The Goose Lake and Lost Nation Volunteer Fire Departments each have received lifesaving grain bin rescue equipment through a donation from Farm Credit Services of America.Goose Lake received its equipment July 14 and Lost Nation on July 15. E

    July 24, 2014

  • ADM donates $75K for fire boat purchase CLINTON — Archer Daniels Midland Company has donated $75,000 to the city of Clinton for a new fire and rescue boat for the Clinton Fire Department.The boat will help the fire department respond to fires, administer emergency medical services and resp

    July 24, 2014

  • Students get first-hand look at non-profits CLINTON — An upcoming event will showcase Clinton area’s non-profits to incoming Ashford University students.The second Fresh START (Serving to Achieve Results Together) event will be held Saturday, Aug. 16. Students and staff members will serve at v

    July 23, 2014

Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.