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Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Morning Mess: End of days

Not finished your Christmas Shopping? Don’t worry about it.

No plans for New Year’s Eve? Don’t sweat.

Bank sitting like a wolf at your door, ready to pounce on you in the New Year?

Just smile and kick back, relax.

All this of course is fine advice if you believe the ancient Mayan calendar. After all, the Mayan’s started that calendar 5,000 years go, 3,000 years before the birth of Christ. Problem is, they say the end of days will happen at winter solstice. That’s this Friday December 21st. (I guess that also means this is my last column in a Saturday Brandon Sun.)

But as many joke of zombies taking over, Justin Bieber rising to take over the world, or Kim Kardashian taking over as some type of alien queen ruler of the planet next Friday, others aren’t laughing.

From Moscow to France, the US to Brazil, panic is setting in. The New York Times reports some spooked Russians have been panic-buying matches, fuel and sugar. And they are not alone. A poll by Ipsos recently found that one in seven of us believe the world will end during our lifetime. The same poll says one in 10 have fear and/or anxiety about the implications of next week.

Experts in Mayan culture call BS, saying the 2012 phenomenon misrepresents the Long Count calendar. Translation: it is unsupported by any surviving Mayan texts. But, thanks to the Internet, with its ability to grow conspiracy theories regardless of fact, this thing is growing fast. But governments around the world are taking the predictions seriously. Seriously enough to inform their citizens that they are NOT taking it seriously.

In the US, an official government blog entry was posted last Monday, reassuring Americans that "Scary rumours about the world ending in 2012 are just rumours."

In Russia, Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov, issued a statement saying that "the world would not end this month."

In South and Central America the response is mixed. The mayor of San Francisco de Paula Brazil, has urged residents to stock up on supplies, but in Yucatan, Mexico (which still has a large Mayan population) a cultural festival is planned for Friday.

That sounds better. Another reason for a party. But what’s a party without the two best components — music and food. (But be sure to charge the restaurant and music man to your credit card. You know, just in case.)

Here are the top 5 songs about the "end of days":

5) Metallica Blackened

Go figure. The "feel good" up-beat rock band of the 80’s with a song about the end of days? Wow. Shocking isn’t it. About as surprising as hearing that 40 year old male football fans didn’t like Justin Bieber at the Grey Cup halftime show. In other shocking headlines, OJ did it, there was more than one shooter on the grassy nole, and reality TV is junk food for your brain.

4) Soundgarden Black Hole Sun

The only top 40 hit for this band. This song is terribly depressing. Make sure you’re in a good mood, with sun shining and bright colours nearby. It’s so dark it would make Richard Simmons dress in black, cradle his face in his hands and start crying.

3) Prince 1999

For those who were old enough to be scared New Years Eve 1999, remember the Y2K bug? The lyrics (as "feel good" as they are) even says so much. Party’s over, oops out of time. Tonight we’re gonna party like its 1999. So much fun to listen to in 1989, 1994 and even 1998. Then it was New Year’s 2000 and the experts said nothing would work. In a world controlled by computers, everything including our power grid, emergency response and food supply would shut down. Know what happened? People got drunk, acted stupid, and woke up with a hangover. Kinda like every New Year’s.

2) Nena 99 Luftballoons

Did you know the song is about the end of the world after a nuclear war? Of course you didn’t. The original song was done in German. There is the English version that might clear up some of the confusion. You’ll never listen to it the same way again, won’t you? Doesn’t matter, its still up beat, and guaranteed to get everyone on the dance floor at your "OMG the world ends tonight" party.

1) R.E.M. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Regardless of what happens Friday, this song is AWESOME. The 90’s pop/rock version of the song "I’ve been everywhere man" complete with hard to follow but super fun lyrics that makes you want to learn every word of this song.

But what do we eat? Researchers recently looked at 247 people executed in the US from 2002 through 2006. The study looked at the 193 meals. (After excluding 51 inmates who did not choose a last meal, two who had a meal under 200 calories, and one person who requested a single pitted olive.)

So what did these guys want? French fries, soda pop, ice cream, hamburgers, chicken, steak and pie. Cornell researchers found trends in this bizarre research of last meal orders. More than two-thirds of the condemned ordered fried foods, mostly french fries, and they ordered dessert at about the same rate. Inmates were five times more likely to request soda pop over milk. The average meal request came in at an estimated 2,756 calories, more than a typical man needs in a whole day. Research says four of the meals clocked in at 7,200 calories, including a request for 12 pieces of fried chicken, two buttered rolls, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, two cokes and a pint each of strawberry and vanilla ice cream. More than a third asked for the most popular meat, chicken, followed by hamburger (24 percent) and steak (22 percent). Four percent requested fast-food takeout from chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s or KFC. Fruits and vegetables were much less popular, though more than a quarter requested a salad.

Something to note from a Facebook Friend:

Arthur Wiebe says "The Mayan calendar didn’t take in account for leap year. So really the end should have come around July 30th." So stockpile your food and water, and get your mp3 players filled with music for the end. Or you could do what most people do when a calendar runs out: buy a new one. They got them with puppies, horses, men and women without much clothing and winters scenes. I like the ones with the beach scenes.

JOKE THIS WEEK

On a road through a desert in Arizona, a preacher named Nathaniel Evans walked everyday, preaching to the many people who roared past in their cars. "Repent, the End of the World is Near!" he yelled.

One day, as he was walking, he came to a big lever in the middle of nowhere, just by the side of the road. It had a sign next to it that read, "Pull this to end the world"

Nathaniel saw this as the perfect spot for him to preach, and soon many automobiles were parked nearby. All was well, until there were so many people, and so many cars, that the road was nearly blocked. Then a big 18-wheel rig came down the highway, and couldn’t stop in time. The driver had a choice: run over Nathaniel, or run over the Lever.

As the driver later explained to the Highway Patrol, he had no choice. Pointing to the red smear on the road that used to be Nathaniel Evans, he said, "Better Nate than Lever."

BIRTHDAYS

Natasha Torres

Wendy Dawson

Scott Cochrane

Laura Blair

Chantell Tardiff

Mildred Huntinghawk

Taylor Olinyk

Justin Oertel

Tanya Brandon

Cassandra Milcharek

Francine Cristal Demas

Angie Wiens

Kimberly Lynn

Becky Okemow

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 15, 2012

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