IS IT THE END?: Mayan calendar runs out of dates as people run for cover

COLUMBIA CITY — “It’s the end of the world as we know it,“ so sang the 1980s rock band R.E.M. Ask one out of 10 Americans and they would agree — the world is going to end when the Mayan calendar reads Friday, 12/21/12.There is a fear of the world’s end tomorrow. Some believe that polar shifts will happen causing tsunamis and earthquakes. Some think a rogue planet will collide with Earth.In a report filed with the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe many of the claimed fates waiting the world are debunked with practical evidence.A newspaper reported thrill seekers, partyers and folks seeking spiritual experiences pouring into the Yucatán Peninsula. The Mayan people there appear to be greeting the event serenely, with a sense of humor and bemusement.Retailers are cashing in on the doomsday fear with survival gear and supplies becoming a hot-selling item, according to market reports. “In check-out lines, there are two kinds of people – those that are buying Christmas presents planning on the world’s survival and those stocking up on canned goods and batteries planning on the world’s end,” said retail merchants to area media.The revenue source is a big one – into the millions of dollars. When the world faced the Y2K scare, the total cost of the work done in preparation was estimated at more than $300 billion worldwide — today that would equate to more than $400 billion.Analyst reported the U.S. alone spent an estimated $134 billion preparing for Y2K, and another $13 billion fixing problems in 2000 and 2001. For a more in depth look at this story, see the Dec. 20 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.