Hello again readers. Christmas 2013 is nearly over. The turkeys have been consumed, presents opened and enjoyed and Santa is safely back at the North Pole ! Christmas celebrations are about to give way to those for the impending new year. These are two distinct celebrations rolled up in one long holiday or festival. Whilst we may link arms and sing Auld Lang Syne just after the midnigh bells ring out, New Year is more about looking to new things rather than the old. It is a time to start over, begin again. Time to make a resolution or two and for some people time to make predictions too. Of course making predictions is nothing new at this time of year. For centuries we have had booklets called almanacs which were popular gifts at this time of year.
An almanac (also archaically spelled almanack and almanach) is an annual publication that includes information such as weather forecasts, farmers’ planting dates, tide tables, and tabular information often arranged according to the calendar. Astronomical data and various statistics are found in almanacs, such as the times of the rising and setting of the sun and moon, eclipses, hours of full tide, stated festivals of churches, and so on.
They seem to have been used as far back as 1267 and must have been very useful to agricultural communities and societies where weather knowledge was vital and could literally mean the difference between life and death.
For some though the New Year is a time to predict something really momentous and it does not get much bigger than the apocalypse – yes folks the end of the world ( as we know it). Now I thought the apocalypse prediction was a modern phenomena, something dreamed up by townies or city dwellers. So I was truly shocked to find the first recorded end of the world scenario goes right back to 643 BC when the Romans believed their city would be destroyed on the 120th anniversary of its founding! There was a popular myth that 12 eagles had revealed to Romulus a mystical number representing the lifetime of Rome and for some reason each eagle was worth 10 years.
The first apoclaypse prediction I witnessed in my lifetime was for 1975. In 1966 Jehovah’s Witnesses published an article which stated that the fall of 1975 would be 6000 years since man’s creation. Thankfully I survived that one and lived to tell the tale,and write this blog. I was aware of a few other predictions by some barmy sect or other, often related to comets or some cosmic event. The next one that really caught my attention was for 2000. I was re-training to work in IT at the time and we were all well aware of the doom that was about to be caused. Yes the Y2K computer bug would cause aircraft to fall from the skies, hospital machinery would not work and societies fail. I actually knew people who went off to work for IBM in a call centre and they had to work New Years Eve 1999 to help correct any problems caused by this doom-laden bug. Well it didnt stop me taking my family off to Florida for Christmas! We spent Christmas Eve 1999 inside Seaworld, saw in the New Year well past midnight, and safely flew back across the Atlantic on New Years Day 2000! What I did not realise at the time was the huge number of other apocalypse predictions there were for 2000, indeed no less than 14 and including one from Isaac Newton. He predicted that Christ’s Millennium would begin in the year 2000 in his book Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John.
I have just checked a very impressive list of apocalypse predictions to be found on Wikipedia (and reference weblink will follow below) . If you are planning to go out tonight to celebrate New Years Eve and see in New Year 2014 you just might want to check your 2014 diary and re-arrange any holidays you have planned for February 2014 right out to March 2015. First of all, according to Norse mythology The Apocalypse, known as Ragnarök is predicted to take place on 22 February 2014. Now if we survive this watch out because sometime between April 2014 and March 2015 author John Hagee warns that four blood moons throughout 2014 represent prophecies allegedly given in the book of Luke relating to the second coming of Jesus Christ. It doesnt stop there.Fast forward to 22,000,000,000. Brad Larson claims his BIG RIP theory proves the entire Unviverse will be torn about by dark energy increasing. Oh hell!
Well after all this scary stuff let me finish on a lighter note and with something I have only just found on a wonderfully eccentric website called FORGOTTEN FUTURES. A wonderful article written way back in July 1900, by Herbert C Fyfe and published in Pearsons Magazine called “How Will the World End?” In this article the writer quotes some very famous writers and scientists of the day. Let us begin with H G Wells who we all know came up with some amazingly accurate predictions in his various novels. In this article he writes the following…
“Mr. Wells has the testimony of science on his side. and has indeed based his assumptions on the learned treatises of Professor J.H. Darwin.
By dint of laborious calculation it has been shown that the sun’s heat is by slow degrees becoming less and less, and that some day, long years hence, the sun will no longer give out the warmth necessary for human existence. Mounting his “time machine,” Mr. Wells plunges off into the future, and, when he has journeyed millions of years hence, he finds a slowly freezing world in which man and beast fail to find the means of subduing the pangs of hunger or of protecting themselves from the cold. The sun hangs in a grey sky — a pale, weird, ash-coloured ball, incapable of supplying light and warmth.”
Dont think this would go down too well with the global warming mafia! How about famed scientist Nicholas Tesla?
“Mr. Nikola Tesla, of world-wide fame, announces that if we are not cautious we may set light to the atmosphere with our electric discharges of a “few million volts.”
He suggests that “periodical cessations of organic life on the globe ” might have been caused through the ignition of the air by flashes of lightning. Electricity is, indeed, a mysterious force, and Mr. Tesla’s warning certainly appeals to the imagination. It would be interesting to know if the distinguished American electrician has a remedy to propose.”
Just time for one more but please DO read the whole article , weblink will be provided below.
“An alarmist correspondent recently wrote to a daily paper foretelling the collapse of the earth by reason of the constant drawing
out of her vital fluid in the shape of — oil! This theory is a novel one, and
deserves a word of explanation here. According to the writer, the interior of
the earth is liquid oil, and if this is drawn out the outside crust must give
way. Each country, urges the terror-stricken individual, should pass a law
constituting it a criminal offence to draw a drop of liquid oil out of the
Oh dear, apparently we are now at “Peak Oil” and this still has yet to happen – could it? Should it? Would it? Now lets throw Fracking into the mix with all its attendant risks and earthquakes and could this be how the world will end? Now I dont want to scare you readers but this MIGHT just have started and not that far from where I live in the High Peak. A scary 130 foot deep sinkhole opened up near Buxton in Derbyshire only yesterday December 30th. Could this be ………. THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME?
These inane twitterings are the work of aspiring writer Michael Sheridan who wants to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2014. May your creative juices flow freely, your ink never smudge and……… if you see a crack in the ground in 2014….. RUN LIKE HELL!!!!
Images with article are from Forgotten Futures website ( thanks !)