Thursday, 29 November 2012

The End Is Nigh! (surviving 21/12/12): Part 1

...well, according to the conspiracy/prophecy theorists anyway.

The idea of doomsday is certainly not a new one, as the succession of judgment day / natural disaster / zombie take over films suggests our strong fascination with the idea of impending doom. From Nostradamus to Harold Camping, the latest apocalyptic prophecy comes in the form of the Maya Calendars, and the fact that they come to an end on the 21st December 2012.

End of the line?

The longest of the Maya calendars is the Long Count calendar, which is divided into cycles called bak’tuns that began at the Maya creation date. The winter solstice of 2012 (Dec. 21) is the last day of the 13th bak'tun, marking what the Maya people would have seen as a full cycle of creation.

Contrary to popular belief, the Maya are far from being an extinct, ancient civilisation, and have regularly spoken out about the misinterpretation of their calendars, both ancient and modern. At the start of the 21st century, there were an estimated 7 million Maya living in Central America and Southern Mexico.

Science vs Hollywood

Scientists have recently uncovered new etchings that support the existing Maya people in suggesting that the 22nd December was simply the start of a new calendar cycle, not the end of the world! BBC – May 2012

However, despite this around 10% of people worldwide still believe the Maya calendar predicts Earth’s destruction on the 21st December 2012, whilst 15% of people also believe they will see the world end in their lifetime. Reuters Survey – May 2012

So, it looks like there are two camps to fall into when it comes to the 21st December: science or Hollywood. While science (and possibly common sense?) has sided with life after the 21/12/12, Hollywood, however, prefers the morbid glamour of an apocalypse. Of course, if science and the Maya are wrong, Hollywood has at least taught us that it is possible to make it through/be immune/triumph over aliens. So, here is our “End Of The World Survival Guide.” stay safe out there…

Bring on the gadgets!

Of course no doomsday survivor would be without the classics: Swiss Army Knife, Maglite, waterproof matches etc. (FYI, Amazon has a very handy Zombie Apocalypse Supplies page!) But, there are a few modern day essentials to add to this Scout list.

Firstly, the smartphone, which is surely the gadget of gadgets. They can be used for GPS Navigation, to identify any edible finds (see the Wild Edibles app) and not to mention Instagraming the aftermath of Judgment Day etc. (how we’ll laugh at those retro ‘Lo-fi’ style photos later). But, they will need protection. And possibly an external power source. And working cell-towers. And GPS satellites still in orbit. And the Internet. And… well you get the idea.

Otter Box is an American based company who offer some pretty hardcore smartphone and gadget cases. These bad boys protect from impact, dust and water on a Bear Grylls scale. You only need a quick search on YouTube to see them being put through their paces, although they’ve not been tested in a post apocalyptic world.

But, I hear you cry “My iPhone battery has the life span of an X Factor contestant!” Do not fret my lithium-polymer challenged friend; those clever Americans (I say that through gritted teeth...) have a solution!

Introducing the BioLite camping stove. This ingenious device uses nothing but the twigs you find along your way, so no need for petrol or gas. It then converts the heat from the fire into usable energy, meaning you can charge your phone whilst you cook. Bonza!

Whilst your steaks are sizzling on your BioLite camping stove, throw in the Eton Rukus Solar sound system and I think you might have a right old knees up! After all, there’s no use in moping about the state of the world, you’ve just got to face the music and dance!

Finally, we leave you with a selection of escape pods to help you ride out the storm, hopefully in some level of comfort. Although I would suggest having some old fashioned wood and nails to hand, just in case these don’t make it to market in time.

Hopefully, we’ll be back with another blog soon, where we'll be taking a look at saving your digital self in the End is Nigh Part 2, but just in case, we’ll send it out before the 21st December. Coincidentally, this is when we close for Christmas and if the scientists are right, we’ll be back on the 2nd January! If not… do send us your Instagram pics of the End.

Over and out.

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