Looking forward to the 14th b’ak’tun

The media has been discussing the recent discovery of Mayan astronomical calculations of events well past 2012. They are saying that this debunks the notion that the Maya predicted the end of the world on 21 December. Here’s a video news summary from Slate:

While this is really cool as an archaeological find, it doesn’t debunk anything that hasn’t been debunked a many, many times before. Indeed, the notion that the Maya ascribed any eschatological meaning to the end of the 13th b’ak’tun has been throughly discredited. For example, here’s an expert on the ancient Maya quoted in 2009:

“For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle,” says Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal River, Fla. To render Dec. 21, 2012, as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting, she says, is “a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.”

And here’s a Mayan elder quoted by the Associated Press in 2009:

Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly “running out” on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it’s not the end of the world.

Or is it?

Definitely not, the Mayan elder insists. “I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff.”

Let me tell you why I find the 2012 hype obnoxious: One of the key tenets of this 2012 stuff is that the ancient Mayan civilization had important insights that are now being ignored by modern Western society. Its believers hold themselves as more “enlightened” for recognizing the value of this native culture. Except, in reality, the hype is based on ignoring what the Maya said and misappropriating their voice to push silly new-age ideas.

Hopefully, these latest archaeological finds will tamp down this 2012 nonsense.

A bowl full of candy bars is another example of “a breakfast they’ll want to eat”

Recently, the makers of Nutella settled a class-action lawsuit from a San Diego mother who claimed advertising mislead her into thinking the stuff was healthy.

I found a YouTube video of one of the ads embedded in Carly Rothman’s article about the lawsuit:

Here’s a question for you: Do you think the health claims in this ad are misleading?

Continue reading “A bowl full of candy bars is another example of “a breakfast they’ll want to eat””

First post

Welcome to PhanBlog!

I’ve created this blog to share my valuable insights with the rest of the world. I am planning to post about funny things found on the Intertubes, politics, mathematics, and perhaps West Wing episodes (because more online discussion of six-year-old TV shows can’t hurt). Anyway, in the mean time, here is a video of my parents’ cat: