Web

Apocalypse never: Newly discovered Mayan calendar further disproves doomsday myth

Apocalypse never: Newly discovered Mayan calendar further disproves doomsday myth

The world is not going to end on December 21. No, not even according to the Mayan calendar. And especially not according to the awesome newly uncovered Mayan calendar — the oldest known Mayan calendar in existence — which was recently discovered by Boston University archeologist William Saturno.

First glimpsed by an undergraduate student of Saturno’s in 2010, this new Mayan calendar was found buried at a well known Mayan archeology site in Guatemala. After first dismissing the value of the bit of paint spotted by his student, Saturno later went back to record the discovery, regardless of whether it had value.

What Saturno found turned out to be a well-presevered mural that includes the oldest known Mayan calendar to date. And just like the Maya Long Count calendar, which serves as the basis for the apocalypse myth, this calendar extends indefinitely into the future.

“The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future,” University of Texas archeologist, author, and Maya expert David Stuart told LiveScience. “Numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.”

In case you’re stumbling upon the Mayan doomsday nonsense for the first time, here’s the gist of it: The Mayan calendar is broken down into “baktuns” (or “b’ak’tun”), each of which equals 400 years, or about 146,000 days. According to Mayan legend, the current world — the one in which we are all currently living — was created over 12 baktuns ago. At the end of the 13th baktun, the world as we know it will cease to exist. December 21, 2012 — the winter solstice — is that day.

Of course, many scientists with real understanding of ancient Mayan culture and language have for decades tried to explain that, no, the end of the 13th baktun does not literally mean the end of the world. In fact, they say, not even the Mayans themselves believed such silliness. The end-of-world myth was actually concocted by Christian missionaries. And some experts say that the end of the 13th baktun is actually December 23, not December 21.

The newly discovered Mayan calendar has cycles of time recording 17 baktuns, rather than the standard 13. This and other details, which Saturno describe in this week’s issue of the journal Science, should be all anyone needs to stop their urge to stock up on canned food and ammo.

To check out photos of the newly discovered calendar, click here.

Image via Lia Koltyrina/Shutterstock

Movies & TV

You should read these epic sci-fi novels before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Web

Privacy-focused DuckDuckGo added to Chrome as a default search option

DuckDuckGo is now listed as a default search option on Google’s popular Chrome browser. The privacy-focused search engine was added this week as part of the browser's latest update.
Computing

Netgear’s new Nighthawk Pro Gaming router keeps you connected at a nice price

Netgear's latest router expands its Nighthawk range with a $200 entry. It's still fast and helps reduce lag in gaming, but it does it at the lowest price of a Nighthawk Pro Gaming router yet.
Mobile

Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Dodge the cryptojackers with the best torrent clients available today

Looking for the best torrent clients to help you share all of that wonderful legal content you own? Here's a list of our favorite torrent clients, all packed with great features while dodging malware and adverts.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.