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May 23, 2017

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10 days before the world ends, so what are we going to do?

There are less than 10 days left for you to celebrate the upcoming holiday season — if you believe in the Mayan prophecy of the apocalypse. On Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, we might experience the end of days, like John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Amanda Peet, who barely escaped the "heightened change in the elements" in Roland Emmerich's epic "2012."

Yet, we shouldn't rush to any conclusions. Hiding in the mountains may not be the best move, for such predictions are mostly opportunistic.

If you type "2012" in your Web browser you will be directed to some disturbing pages, like or that feature countdowns and advice for surviving the apocalypse. Such nuggets of assistance include refraining from breathing for a couple of minutes or drinking for a few days. The same websites also propose apocalypse-related business books, survival courses, bunkers and first aid kits ... just in case.

The theories of the end of the world, however, were not an invention of the Internet, nor screenwriters nor Mayans. In the New Testament, John the Apostle, who was one of the first chosen by Jesus Christ to be among his 12 closest followers, envisioned the Apocalypse before the return of Christ on Earth. Some advocates of the end-of-the-world theory were inspired by St. John but they forget that this prediction ends well. God arrives and saves the day.

In the 16th century, Nostradamus, the famous astrologer of the Renaissance, also made some accurate predictions, including the death of Henry II, the rise to power of Napoleon and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More questionably he had a few comments about the end of the world.

If these scenarios make you smile, you should also know that they are equally dangerous. In 1978, James Warren, the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, led its members in a mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana that killed 914 people, including 200 children, by cyanide poisoning.

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