Merry Christmas!

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As We Know It

This is an interesting article about the much-speculated Myan calendar and its implications on… tomorrow.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/20/world/doomsday-coming/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews

 

Merida, Mexico (CNN) — There may be no one left on Earth to say TGIF this week.

Some believe the world is coming to an end Friday — on 12/21/12 — which is when an important phase on the ancient calendar of the Mayan people terminates.

Mayans don’t buy it.

At least the ones living in the city of Merida, Mexico, don’t. Neither does anyone in the Mayan village of Yaxuna. They know the calendar their ancestors left them is about to absolve a key phase — the end of an era and the heralding of a new one — but they don’t think we’re all gonna die.

“It’s an era. We are lucky to see how it ends,” said wood carver Santos Esteban in Yaxuna, a sleepy village of fewer than 700 Mayans, located in a territory that once belonged to the ancient kingdom founded around 2000 B.C.

Debunking doomsday: Mayan calendar

Mystery of the Mayan calendar

He feels it is a momentous occasion and is looking forward to the start of the new age. He is not afraid.

“Lots of people say it’s the end of the world, but we don’t believe that,” he said.

Read more: China cracks down on ‘Doomsday cult’

People in his village will keep living much as they have, preferring hand-built, palm-thatch huts to concrete buildings, and baking tortillas on an open flame.

For those less optimistic than the Mayans, an “official” website in the United States has collected links to all the doom articles and videos Internet users can consume.

December212012.com also offers tips on survival and advertisements for the needed gear — from gas masks to first aid kits and hand-crank radios. Comments are welcome on its Facebook page, which has over 14,000 likes, and website owner “John” from near Louisville, Kentucky, sends out tweets under the handle @December212012.

On the doomsday Facebook page — in between gloomy superstitious links and user comments — John has confessed that he does not really believe the world will end on Friday, but thinks that a new era could dawn that may include some improvements for the world. That new era, however, might require a good bit of destruction as well.

John asked posters not to take the whole thing too seriously.

“PLEASE PEOPLE. . . I’m begging you. Do not overreact or make any rash decisions regarding Dec 21st. Anyone who knows anything about the 2012 prophecies, including myself, does not believes that the world is going to end,” the Facebook page says.

Opinion: The Maya collapsed – could we?

Gunmaker Ryan Croft in Asheville, North Carolina, does take the prediction seriously. He is building a special assault rifle to deal with any signs of doom lurking around the corner.

He doesn’t think life on Earth will come to a complete end Friday. “I’m not planning for the world to go away,” Croft told CNN affiliate WHNS.

However, he thinks the day could mark the beginning of cataclysmic times introduced by a disaster. That may call for drastic measures, Croft said.

His new rifle, a hybrid of an AR-15 and an AK-47, is designed to handle it and be easy to use at the same time, the Gulf War veteran said. Trouble in the United States could ensue in the wake of an economic catastrophe, he thinks.

“I taught about economic collapse and how it actually looks on the ground,” he said. “People want to act like it can’t happen or doesn’t happen, and it happens around the world. There are places on fire right now.”

In true survivor manner, Croft also teaches his family how to subsist on alternative sources of nourishment, such as algae, roasted mice and live earthworms.

Though 12/21/12 marks a somewhat congruent date on the western calendar, the Mayan version enumerates the event in a different way.

The ancient people measured time in cycles called “baktuns” of 394 years each, and the winter solstice coming Friday marks the end of the 13th baktun. Some who study the calendar say the date for the end of the period is not Friday, but Sunday.

The Mayan calendar is based on the position of the heavenly bodies — the sun, the moon and the stars — and was meant to tell the Mayan people about agricultural and economic trends, said archeologist Alfredo Barrera.

NASA is also weighing in on the matter, with a post on its website declaring that the world will not end on Friday.

“It will be another winter solstice,” NASA said. “The claims behind the end of the world quickly unravel when pinned down to the 2012 timeline.”

Read more: Hotels ready for the end of the world

The hubbub about a calamity occurring comes from a Mayan stone carving called monument 6, made in 700 A.D., which predicts a major event at the end of this baktun, Barrera said. But half of the broken tablet is missing, so one may only speculate on what the complete message may be.

Whatever it is, it’s not about the end of the world, he said.

“We don’t have a prophecy or inscription related to the finish of the world. It just mentioned a deity.”

Barrera believes the hullabaloo about the end of the world has been whipped up by online speculation — and he finds it a bit ignorant.

In Merida, Mayan priest Valerio Canche carries out an ancient ritual to honor the dead in light of the upcoming end of the 13th baktun.

“It is considered the closure of the great cycle of Mayan time,” he said. “But, of course, the cycle (14th baktun) begins the following day. For the Mayans, it’s not the end of the world.”

If you’re reading this on Thursday, keep in mind, it’s already Friday in New Zealand, and it’s still on the map. If it’s Friday, a look out the window may be reassuring.

If it’s Saturday, and no major calamity has occurred, then relax and go celebrate the beginning of the 14th baktun with the Mayans.

 

What do you think? Is Friday going to segue into a holiday weekend or the end of the world? Share your thoughts!

12 in 13 – Three Ways to Make Your Goals Stick

With the New Year quickly approaching, here’s a new perspective you can try with your resolutions.

new-year-quotes-funny

One and Done

Instead of a sprinkling of random ideals, why not focus on one main goal for the whole year? Whether it’s a business aim or a personal one, don’t try to tackle every weakness at once. As long as a year seems, it’s probably not enough time to get everything in your life exactly where you want it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. Which goal should you pick this year? The one that most immediately needs to be addressed. Whether it’s a personal health goal or your company’s pricing structure, whatever is hurting your progress the most should be first on your list.

Specify and Quantify

A lot of resolutions are set up for failure simply by the way they are worded. If your goals last year sounded like this, there’s a good chance you didn’t feel like you achieved them:

  • Lose weight
  • Meet new people
  • Be more positive
  • Spend more time with family
  • Take more chances
  • Make more money

Consider the wording. Lose weight–but how much? Meet new people–okay, does one count? You can see how the more vague these goals are the less inspiring they are. If your goal is to lose weight, you should pick an ideal weight and then stick to that goal all year. Make sure your goal has a clear aim and specific outcome, so you can for once savor the feeling of meeting a New Year’s resolution.

Chew Carefully

The old adage comes to mind: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” There are twelve months in a year, and that’s the perfect pace to keep you on track with your one goal for the year. If you want to revamp your pricing structure, as mentioned before, break that goal down in to twelve steps and then attach them chronologically throughout the year. Put it in your calendar, so you’ll be reminded of where you should be month to month. For example:

January – Review current pricing and organize products

February – Determine actual cost of sale for each product

March – Determine ideal profit margin

April – Create new pricing for each product

May – Design new package options

June – Implement trial credit system

July – Design new price list

August – Test new pricing on family and trusted clients

September – Print limited number of new pricing lists

October – Survey clients after each order on pricing, price list and credit system

November – Review survey results and continue to survey

December – Assess new sales numbers, tweak pricing and hopefully reach the target profits.

This is just an example, and this progress could certainly be made in less than a year. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed as it is, this approach to resolutions can make attaining that dream goal so much more realistic. You might not net your dream annual income in only one year, but with twelve easy-to-digest steps you will have set yourself well on your way.

Hopefully this approach will help you reach your goal. Go on and share! Whats your number one resolution for 2013?

Random Acts of Kindness

Snow -1Here are some of my favorite good deeds that you can easily incorporate into your hectic holiday schedule for a little warmth, goodwill and cheer!

Sing a Carol

This counts even if you are humming it at the grocery store, singing it to a neighbor with a tray of goodies or just picking up the phone and surprising grandma. There’s nothing like your favorite Christmas carol to cheer someone up.

Lend a Helping Hand

Sometimes those kind, simple gestures of respect can mean the most. Help an elderly person across the street or out to their car. Just ask, “Can I help you?” and you’ll make their day.

Buy a Round

Get a drink or two for the people behind you in line at a coffee shop or drive through. It’s easy and always an unexpected and welcome surprise.

Spread Some Cheer

Ironically, the holidays will find more cranky children out and about than any other time of year. Lighten the mood for a frazzled mother by playing peek a boo with a whiny toddler behind you in the checkout line. Smile and say, “Happy Holidays”.

Grab a Shovel

If you get a blanket of snow, wake up a little earlier and shovel your neighbor’s walk, or pick a random house. Clean off a coworker’s car for them after a late shift. That’s a classic move that always makes someone’s day.

Be Sweet

Everyone loves holiday cookies and treats. Make your favorite homemade goodies and give it to someone who needs cheering up!

These random acts of kindness can really make a difference to the people around you, and are sure to brighten your holiday season too! Have more inspiration? Share your favorite random act of kindness or one that someone has done for you!