News: Do you believe in Doomsday?

The Star, 16 Dec 2012

While some are shaking in their boots waiting for the end of days, there are those who try to have fun with it.

TODAY, we are just five days away from what some believe may be the end of the world.

Will Dec 21, 2012 be Doomsday as has been talked about ever since it was discovered that the Mayan calendar ends on this date?

Unless you are totally removed from the rest of civilisation, it is impossible that you have not heard about it. The event has excited interest among people all over the world, and there are many who are preparing or have prepared for the day, their intention being to survive it.

Some believe that the change could be spiritual, others are convinced that it’s apocalyptic.

Numerous other Doomsday theories exist apart from the calendar. These include the possibility of earth’s collision with a planet called Nibiru, solar flares hitting the earth, shifting of earth’s magnetic pole, cyclones, earthquakes and, interestingly, a zombie attack.

The so-called “preppers” have been hard at work, from safeguarding their houses to stocking up on food, other essentials and more.

Still, there are some believers, like the creator of the Facebook account Doomsday Preppers Malaysia, who may just be borderline hoaxers or just plain pranksters.

Doomsday Preppers Malaysia, which has gained about 20 likes since it was created in October this year, encourages believers to start preparing for Dec 21, as one would never know what could happen.

The administrator writes: “I believe in Doomsday, I believe in zombie apocalypse, I believe that tsunami can happen in Malaysia, I believe in mysterious incurable epidemic. I believed, therefore I became a prepper.

“I also personally think that one of the crucial instruments we need during critical hours is a water purification system.”

Sense and logic: Researchers suggest that Dec 21 was simply marking the end of the Mayan calendar, not a prophecy of doom. Sense and logic: Researchers suggest that Dec 21 was simply marking the end of the Mayan calendar, not a prophecy of doom.

He points out that humans can live without food for a few days but they cannot live without water for even a day because the human body consists of approximately 75% water.

“So for a start, let us find or engineer a simple water purification system that is mobile and can weed out elements such as bacteria that can adversely affect our health during the critical hours,” he notes.

Followers of this page also suggested various food to stock up, including peanut butter and lentils.

One follower also highlights the importance of learning archery, saying it is very crucial during difficult times.

Archery can save us ammunition (if any) and train us in the art of stealth hunting, he/she explains.

Another follower believes that a bug-out bag (a portable survival kit one would require to survive for 72 hours when evacuating from a disaster) to keep usable items such as a medical kit, knife, food, water bottle, GPS, compass, torch light, fire starter kit and disposable lighter would help.

“The bag should be medium size, compact and have multiple pockets so as a prepper, we can strategically place the most important items in that bag,” the follower says.

One hilarious remark raises the problem of body odour and the need to know how to make armpit deodorant.

It reads: “The smell of your armpit can cause a lot of problem during Doomsday time, so I found a simple solution to make homemade armpit deodorant.

“Basically all you need is an emptied bottle of deodorant, water and salt. Pour a cup of salt into simmering water and keep it in the bottle. Now you have an all-natural armpit deodorant for the fraction of the price and it is safe from toxic and other chemical.”

The Internet is teeming with discussions on Doomsday.

A blogger by the name of Ken Wooi has come up with witty business ideas for the end of the world.

A search on his website saw “End of the World Survival” travel packages from cheap to first-class accommodation ranging from RM99 to RM1,999, inclusive of breakfast and a Malaysian flag on sale.

Wooi even included add-on packages such as clubbing, scrumptious buffet and casino, all for RM99 each.

Obviously poking fun at the 1Msia concept, he claims that the Malaysian Government secretly launched the “1Malaysia Ark Project” five years ago, and it has been kept as “top confidential secret, until today”.

There are also numerous apps out there that not only provide information about the impending doom, but also help believers prepare for the event.

The Apocalypse 2012 End of Days game allows players to prepare for a life below the ground.

There are multiple levels where one can create new bunkers and invite more people to share, repair goods and sell them for gold, which can be used to buy more floors. Players can even create avatars and invite Facebook friends to play along.

Android users can check the Countdown to Mayan 2012 LiveWP. It features pictures of the Mayan civilisation and also displays some sparkle animation when players tap the screen.

Apart from the countdown, it also allows players to create a bucket list of things one can do in the remaining time.

Another app that features cool graphics is Countdown 2012 Mayan Calendar Doomsday. It allows player to update their Twitter followers on how much time is left.

While sceptics may laugh at such paranoid behaviour, it cannot be denied that Doomsday is on most people’s mind.

They believe this could be catastrophic but researchers now suggest the date was simply marking the end of the Mayan calendar, not a prophecy of doom.

The science is real

According to Nasa, our planet has been getting along just fine for more than four billion years and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with the world ending in 2012.

Nasa said there is no evidence of Nibiru’s existence and, so far, none of the identified objects poses any direct threat to Earth. The earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids but the last big impact was 65 million years ago and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003 but when nothing happened, the Doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012.

Nasa also firmly denied claims that some sort of alignment of the universe will cause a total blackout on Earth on Dec 23 to Dec 25.

The American space agency explained that there are no planetary alignments in the next few decades and even if there are, the effects on Earth would be negligible.

The Malaysia National Space Agency (Angkasa) also affirmed that the reports of Doomsday and total blackout from Dec 23 to Dec 25 are totally untrue.

Scenarios have mounted on how the Earth, Sun and Galactic will meet at the centre line (alignment), causing convergence of gravity which will result in the destruction of the universe.

According to this theory, there will also be dark dust clouds near the Galactic centre which will cause the Earth to become totally blacked out.

According to Angkasa, all the assumptions are not true because the galactic centre is too far from the earth and the sun (165 quadrillion miles), so the effect of gravity is too small.

When asked via Facebook about their thoughts on Doomsday and what they would do if such an event occurred, this writer’s friends were sceptical but played along.

Here are some of their thoughts:

“The idea that the world will end soon might be is a strong belief in Western Culture, but probably not in Malaysia.”

Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof

“My wife repeatedly said her friends are forecasting the world to end before Christmas. I said to her, yes, the world is going to end for them provided that they pass away before Christmas. The others will continue to live.”

Sulok Tawie, journalist

“Well, everyone is worried due to some predictions that say the world is coming to an end in December 2012. Just like any other big worries a few years back which said Earth will collide with a comet. But it didn’t happen right?”

Hatta Ally, civil servant

“It will not end but probably darkness for three days, so we should start buying candles, dry food and basic necessities.”

Yok Ming, architect

“As Christians, we know the signs of the end of times in the book of Revelations. From the signs, we can prepare.”

Jezamine Dior, lawyer

“Anything’s possible, so let’s just roll with it.”

Puvaneswary Devindran, journalist

“Changes are inevitable, but whether it is going to end or not, let’s just live life the best we all can.”

Koi Kye Lee, journalist

“Run naked on that day and die beautifully.”

Rowena Grinsam, nurse

> Those who wish to seek further clarifications about the planetary alignment can contact Angkasa’s SPACE Scientific Officer Zamri Fairos at 03-8888 8668.