Wow! Can you believe that just happened?! When I looked at my computer today during class it read 12:12 pm, 12/12/2012! Isn’t that amazing? This is the most amazing thing that has ever happened (since shortly after midnight last night or at least since Nov. 11th of last year) and won’t ever happen again in our lifetimes (unless you change your clock to create yet another instagram classic)!
Why don’t people understand that everything about the way we currently mark time is completely made up for the purposes of convenience? We have 12 months in a year because there are 12 full moons in most years. Our months are all different lengths because 364.25 doesn’t divide evenly by 12, which is not at all surprising when you realize that the revolutionary speed of the moon and the earth are not correlational or even related (Don’t even get me started about sidereal months!). Then there is the historical accident that we measure the hours in the day by counting to 12 twice instead of to 24 once (unless you are in the military, of course) because making accurate mechanical watches with 24 hours on their face was impossible at that time. Don’t even get me started about time zones; who’s 12:12 are we supposed to count, exactly?
Add all this together with a huge failure of critical thought and you come up with people getting all excited today shortly after lunchtime. I have totally failed to see why this is even the least bit interesting. In fact, I’m having a really hard time deciding which is more depressing; that people are apparently completely unable to see this non-event for what it is, or that I’m somehow unable to share in their child-like (childish?) glee because I do.
In any event, today gave me little hope that I’ll be able to get anything at all done on the 21st. Just in case you don’t work with juvenile delinquent-wannabes, that’s when the world is supposed to end this time. By my count, I’ve already lived through 3 apocalypses, so I imagine that I’ll live through this one as well, but for my students it is only their second, and 50/50 isn’t great odds. You may agree with me that predicting the end of the world on the calendar of a people who totally failed to invent the wheel is a bit silly or you may not, but I think that we can all agree that people will be acting like lunatics on that day in preparation for an alien invasion or whatever and the most I can hope for is that I remembered to stock up on beer so that I don’t have to go outside my house until the 22nd.