According to the Mayan "Long Count" calendar, the end of human history is predicted to occur on December 12, 2012. Or at least the end of Mayan history. The recent debute of the movie "2012" has drawn massive attention to the Mayan prediction of the end of the world.

Not surprisingly the calendar industry has launched a campaign to assure people the Mayans are wrong, and that time will not end in 2012 (or 2021 as some claim the Mayan prediction really portends).

During the Long Count of the Mayan calendar, time started around 3100 BC, and covers a period of 9 hells and 13 heavens. We are, according to experts in such things, at the tail end of the 9th of the hells. What is uncertain at this time, since Mayan civilization collapsed a thousand years ago, is whether the 9 hell period comes before or after the 13 heaven epoch.

Optimists suggest we are going through the last of the 9 hell period, which is why we are facing global warming, wars, and such, and that we will start into the first of the 13th of the heaven time on December 13th 2012.

What the heaven period means is subject to much debate, though generally many forecast fewer people and more spirituality. Conventional religions seem not to play much role, not surprisingly since many connect existing religions with the 9 hell time.

Others claim the Mayans predicted the end of civilization as we know it, and that time will just end. There will be a major cataclysm and humans will vanish. With no humans, there would be no one keeping time, hence no need for calendars.

Facing not only then end of humanity, owners of calendar companies recognized that affirmative action was required.

"We cannot let the world as we know it end, because we'll be out of jobs," said Jim Clockwork, spokesman for the calendar industry. "As one part of the effort to debunk the Mayan prediction, the calendar industry has sent anthropologists to the jungles of southern Mexico to locate Mayan shamans who might be able to reinterpret the end of history forecast.

"Interestingly, there are a lot of Mayans living in the jungle," said Clockwork. "So far we have learned that the Mayan antidote for history ending seems to be avoiding living in urban environments, which is not actually very helpful for our industry."

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