I first discovered the world was ending during my year 9 physics class.
Our then teacher, My Syrda - a man who once told my mother during parents evening that my knowledge of the male reproductive system was very below par (before any strange connotations along the lines of indecent student teacher relations are brought into question here, I feel it best to clarify he was our then sex ed tutor - lucky me), a man who kept an air rifle in a cupboard behind his desk which he brought out with relish upon some poor unsuspecting year 7 who hadn't completed a homework task to a sufficiently high standard - he informed the class at the end of lesson that at 12:35 a giant meteorite would, very unfortunately, be crashing into the pacific ocean, wiping out humanity.
Now as a rational 13 year old I realised I was in a predicament. Did I continue to Mrs Bradwell's food technology class, in the knowledge that death would strike before lunch was over? Did I use these final hours as an anarchistic expression of the inevitable superiority complex humanity is embedded with; strip naked; run about the streets declaring 'Apocalypse nigh!'; call my mother and father, tell them I loved them; declare my feelings to my then school crush in the hope to achieve my first kiss, a pivotal moment in my youth for the first and very last time?
Safe to say as I am sitting here today and not behind the gates of a mental facility, that no, I didn't. Instead I went, begrudgingly, to Mrs Bradwell's class. Fortunately the end of the world postponed itself for that day. Oh and I managed to achieve my first kiss, teeth knocking and all, later on that year. Phew!
Needless to say Mr Syrda went on throughout my remaining school years to remind us at various points that the end of the world was always on our doorstep: usually through some nuclear accident, a cataclysmic space event, or more often than not the Russians. I'm unsure whether or not My Syrda has any up to date predictions, as I believe he was suspended from the school following an incident with the afore mentioned air rifle.
Then, just as I thought things were safe, the television seemed to want to inform me that time on earth for humanity was limited. There was an imminent disaster at Yellowstone park in America; a volcano, mega-moon, super-fantastic-hurricane, mega-wopping-faultlines and some other geographical thing somewhere under the sea, or possibly under a whole continent due to explode any day now. The television supplemented this news with horrifying CGI footage of utter devastation, hypothetical death figures, and talking heads from people wearing kooky t-shirts. I have always had a strong belief that people in kooky t-shirts would hold the key to understanding these sorts of events. I certainly wouldn't trust being left alone with them, but they do seem feverishly passionate about their causes. Take for example Thor Templar, the self titled "Lord Commander of the Earth Protectorate". He claims to have killed more than twenty aliens. (See Louis Therous weird weekends - Series 1, episode 2). He further claims that an alien super invasion will happen during our lifetimes. Now am I going to believe a man who has actually killed 20 - T-W-E-N-T-Y - aliens over whatever NASA inform me regarding extra terrestrial life and the upcoming super galactic warfare heading our way?
However, and most frustratingly, Thor Templar and the other kooky t-shirt wearers must have got their dates mixed up, as I'm still patiently waiting for complete system shutdown.
Now, the newspapers must have realised what awful predictions the television had divulged to us mere mortals, because suddenly they were warning me about all sorts of awful things...terrorists...global warming...red wine causing cancer....chocolate causing cancer....terrorists causing cancer...cancer causing cancer....
If that wasn't enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, a machine called 'The Internet' (for detailed analysis and description see South Park, Season 12, Episode 6, Over Logging) told me the end was nigh in all manner of ways I didn't even see to think possible. I found out that there was a secret underbelly of society, a dark mysterious faction of people who know much more about the impending doom our poor world faces than anyone with a silly PHD or any other nonsense scribed in academic journals and the like. For you see these people have blogs. They have interactive forums.
Of first, I must admit, I was somewhat sceptical of these apocalyptic accounts, but soon realised that with the doomsday clock ticking, spending one's time arduously involved in thesis writing was a pointless exercise when one can set up a wordpress account in a matter of minutes.
Furthermore, no-one here will dispute the fact the internet is an entirely credible knowledge bank, the same as no-one would dare dispute that say, historical writings were nothing more than absolute factual records of totally true events. Of course there was a bloke, in fact a number of blokes a few thousand years ago that did a number of very wonderful things. Many ancient records have said so. It's not like anyone would try and convey an event in a manner as a means of propagandist scaremongering to influence people in a primitive and overtly superstitious society. If you ever find me evidence that they did, I would eat my hat. Although I wouldn't recommend the ingestion of headgear, as studies have linked such activity to cancer (see Daily Mail, vast majority of publications, for up to date list of cancer attributing activities).
Anyway, I digress. Back to the internet. Unfortunately I have found that single handed I am unable to bring you a complete record of all impending disasters and fascinating events and phenomena earth is facing through my studies. Where to start! There's Michael From Maui's Saturn earth connection, the study of Djinn Angels and Demons, the Mayan Calander and we haven't even got into the Biblical prohecies! (Details can be found at www.bible.ca/pre-date-setters.htm - unfortunately all of the 220 dates for apocalypse are outdated, but taking into account recent disasters I'm positive someone can convey a more accurate prediction).
With this vast and never ending stream of forthcoming disasters I keep uncovering, I can safely say humanity has never had it so bad. I'm sure you've been privy to the inconsequential numbers of catastrophes over the last few days, months, years and decades that have blighted humanity. All these, my friend are a sign. Of what? There's simply to many too choose from.
For example many of them do lead to a freaky correlation date wise with ancient calendar readings. If you add the co-ordinates of Mount Etna, the San Andres Fault and Pompei, divide it by 16, factor in the position of the moon, today's weather forecast and the menstrual cycles of Girls Aloud the reading is scary. Practically unbelievable. But at least it's comforting to know that as humans we are able to rationally apply patterns and provide justification of these events to a greater cause. The feats of the human mind are incredible, and I'm glad that we are masters of our own universe. Did you hear we've even manage to create flip flops to help lose weight? Incredible.
To summarise, I do apologise if I have given any of you readers cause for concern. I'm sure you now feel as confused as my poor 13 year old self; life it seems really is as vulnerable as ever. I may have triggered some form of existenialist ponderings upon the fragility of existence, the knowledge that as individuals, factions, humanity as a whole we exist nothing more as a mere moment, not even compromising specs of dust in an eternal sandstorm.
But either way, it's comforting to know that there any numerous theories and reasons to use as an emotional blanket to justify and reason what would otherwise be seen as the random and awe inspiring power and force of the Universe. I hate the thought of not being in control, thereby am thankful so many people can assure me of the certainty of events forthcoming. Even if they occassionally get it wrong.
But if you find the thought of all this doom and gloom talk too much to consider, I suggest you sit back, relax and continue as you were. All this need really be no concern. After all, who knows, today could be your last.