1K Arrested in China as 'Doomsday' Approaches
NASA gets hundreds of worried calls daily
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 20, 2012 6:30 AM CST
In this photo taken Nov. 24, 2012, Lu Zhenghai, who has predicted a flood tomorrow, stands inside his ark-like vessel under construction in China's northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.   (AP Photo/ANPF-Chen Jiansheng)

(Newser) – With just hours left before the apparent end of the world, people are making final preparations—while others are squashing rumors of our imminent demise like there's no tomorrow. In China, that means arresting hundreds more members of a cult that claims the so-called Mayan doomsday is the real thing. Authorities have now nabbed almost 1,000 people for fearmongering, the New York Times reports. Fascinating side note: The Church of Almighty God sect became highly concerned about the end of days shortly after the release of the John Cusack-helmed 2012—which was a huge hit in China.

  • Meanwhile, NASA is taking a decidedly softer approach, the Los Angeles Times reports. The agency is receiving between 200 and 300 calls and emails per day asking whether the world is going to end; usually, officials there get contacted with questions about 90 times per week. NASA is doing "everything in our power" to quash the rumors, says a rep, including a special 2012 webpage and interviews with scientists.
  • For its part, NPR has interviewed a Maya expert who says the world will "absolutely not" end tomorrow. In fact, "the Maya never, ever said anything about the world ending at any time—much less this year." All that's happening is that a cycle of the Mayan calendar is turning over, "and it's a big deal—if you're an ancient Maya astronomer priest," says David Stuart.
Still not convinced? Read this or this.

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Dec 20, 2012 6:07 PM CST
How stupid will everyone feel tomorrow when nothing happens? i keep explaining to everybody, the Mayans didn't predict the end of time to take place on Dec 21, 2012! It's just that it was the maximum amount of time their 'primitive' system could calculate. Example: Look at Roman numerals... 4998 is the highest number standard Roman numerals can count, MMMDDDCCCLLLXXXVVViii. So now what happens if you have 5000 of something? Do you simply claim it's impossible to have 5000 total of anything? Centuries later, in the Middle Ages, people tried to come up with a solution. They'd put a horizontal line over the numeral to represent that it's "times 1000", and vertical lines on the sides of numerals to represent "times 100,000". So for them, their highest number was 499,800,000. But even STILL, the best they could come up with then was relatively finite... meaning, you could only count so much and then be forced to END. The Mayan calendar is in the same boat.
Dec 20, 2012 2:42 PM CST
Dec 20, 2012 9:40 AM CST
even "doomsday" would be better than obamastan!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUBO!