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Maybe the Mayans were Correct

The world was a-twitter last December as the 21st day approached. According to someone(s?) the world would end on that day, 12/21/12.

It didn’t.

But after watching TV last evening, it has struck me that perhaps the 21st is only the beginning of cataclysms that will indeed end life as we know it. Hell, it may well end life period. We probably will not know it. We will be dead.

Gloria and I are not “Reality TV” fans, in fact have never deliberately watched any of the adventure shows that began the genre. However, we do watch Antiques Roadshow and its ilk which are reality I think, on the Public Broadcasting System. If you can’t trust PBS who can you? A rhetorical question.

We began our viewing last night with “Nature,” and the story of a fairly tame Indian tiger named by the videographer, “Broken Tail.” This because he was born with a broken tail, obvious in the pictures. I give credit to the photog for choosing a moniker lacking in sentimentality, some name like “Fluffy,” or Cuddles.” Anyhow, after Broken Tail was up close and personal with the photog he disappeared and never was seen by the man again. The short version of speculation is that he was hit by a train after leaving the preserve. That was a downer, but not as bad as the videos from Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan we had watched on the news program before, with a lot of death and stuff from each country.

So in two hours we had a goodly serving of morbidity. Next on the PBS menu was their regular show called NOVA, a science-based series that takes viewers to places like Black Holes in space to gopher holes in Montana. Well done documentaries. This one, “Island Volcanoes” was a killer - literally. Iceland.

There are four active volcanoes currently in the small Island country between Great Britain and Greenland. One of them (I don’t remember the names) is fifty years overdue and bubbling now. Each of the volcanoes has its own personality and history, like the one a few years ago that shut down the skies to air travel. That one was an ash-spewer that at one time in the past deposited fifteen feet of ash, including some 20 pound hunks raining down.

Another one produces sulfur dioxide. High in the atmosphere this compound turns to sulfuric acid which then comes down with any precipitation and ultimately kills not only people, but trees, crops, and other living things, “as we know them.”

Needless to say, the cliche’ “It’s not a matter of what, but WHEN” was used with some frequency as it is on almost any disaster documentary. Such is the original writing for television, even PBS. But wait, there’s more.

A third volcano’s speciality is lateral magma flows, and the program hints-- or shouts--that there could be a connectivity between it and other volcanoes, covering an area in a mass explosion from a crater larger than Manhattan Island.

The final one on our tour is boiling near the surface of a glacier-covered mountain, and this could be the biggest eruption of all, doing the most damage, although I really don’t remember why, short of producing a lot of hot water flowing. I admit to being a lousy reporter, especially when I am offered the choice of mentally deciding how I wish to be consumed. For all of these will cover the entire northern hemisphere of the globe--Mazama, Winthrop, maybe even Carlton.

Hidden in the recesses of my recess-ridden mind is Yellowstone. The big caldera there was once a subject of a few documentaries featuring the beloved “It’s not a matter of what, but WHEN!” This one, if it erupted would send a cloud of ash, chemicals and gray wolf particles as far as the globe-circling jet stream could carry them. Mention of Yellowstone was not given, even peripherally or comparatively in the PBS program. Maybe because Iceland is more imminent, that “WHEN” is right around the corner, Yellowstone is down the block a ways.

So, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, I reckon. The Mayan calendar may be right on target, as we likely will be. What it will be I cannot speculate, and anyhow it is not a matter of WHAT, . . .

Anyhow, when WHEN arrives, I suggest you not wear Lycra. It melts in extreme heat and that could be very uncomfortable.


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So, like the debt ceiling we're merely putting forward the end? Can we negotiate? Let's sequester those Mayans until... Summer! I hate dying in the cold. ;-)

Tom (the grand janitor) Berry