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Comment Article wrong, GMT correlation not wrong (Score 5, Informative) 600

The most commonly used correlation of the Gregorian Calendar and the Maya Calendar is the GMT correlation, after Goodwin, Martinez, Thompson, the main proponents. In this correlation, December 21, 2012 will be the end of the 13th Baktun. The only other correlation used by any but fringe scholars places the end of the 13th Baktun two days later on December 23rd. These guys are proposing a new correlation because of some reading of the Venus pages in the Dresden Codex. However. as has been known since at least the 1950s the Venus pages work exactly right with the GMT correlation, so these guys are just wrong about their correlation.

The reason for all the hoopla about 2012, is that in the Maya Calendar, the last creation ended on a 13th Baktun. The lunatics suppose that since the last creation ended on a 13th Baktun, the Maya supposed that this creation would also end after 13 Baktuns, but there is no evidence that the Maya had any such beliefs. There is a date on the West Panel of the Temple of Inscriptions from Palenque that refers to an anniversary of the crowning of the king, Pacal, that makes it quite obvious that the Maya believed that there was a 14th through 20th Baktun.

So, in summary, these guys are wrong about the new correlation, and all the 2012 nutjobs are wrong about even the Maya believing that 2012 was the end of this creation. For more information, see the presentation on the FAMSI (Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies) web site by Mark Van Stone that fully details what is known and what is true about Maya beliefs about 2012.


"2012" a Miscalculation; Actual Calendar Ends 2220 600

boombaard writes "News is spreading quickly here that scientists writing in a popular science periodical (Dutch) have debunked the 2012 date (google translation linked) featuring so prominently in doomsday predictions/speculation across the web. On 2012-12-21, the sun will appear where you would normally be able to see the 'galactic equator' of the Milky Way; an occurrence deemed special because it happens 'only' once every 25.800 years, on the winter solstice. However, even if you ignore the fact that there is no actual galactic equator, just an observed one, and that the visual effect is pretty much the same for an entire decade surrounding that date, there are major problems with the way the Maya Calendar is being read by doomsday prophets." I wonder what Amazon's return policy on a box full of 3 doomsday wolves shirts is?

Comment Only 10% of users even consider changing defaults (Score 1) 339

I was at a meeting at Microsoft recently. A program manager on Visual Studio said that in their metrics, only 10% of the people ever open the Options dialog in a program, much less change anything. For that reason, the default configurations have to be right, and it takes a very strong argument to add the feature to make changing the default configurations even possible.

Comment Re:Database rights (Score 5, Interesting) 378

So create an app so that it collects real-time data gathering information via GPS, Wi-Fi hub, and cell tower triangulation and uploading it to a central server (similar to Google Latitude). You could even use the accelerometer in the iPhone to detect when trains started moving, since I'm sure that it would be a different profile than walking. After a month or so, you'd have a real database of when the trains run rather than what appears on the schedule, which is more valuable information anyway. They couldn't touch that info, since they don't own it. If I lived Down Under, I'd write it just to tell them where they can stuff their copyright.

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