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Infographic Commemorates Scientific Milestones Of 2012

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Sure, we’re nearing the end of the first month of 2013, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to look back at last year’s scientific achievements. 2012 was a huge year for breakthroughs and findings, and as far as I can tell, nearly every single celebration is done for a past event, and is almost always commemorated on an infographic. Gettysburg Infographic anyone?

And so I present to you this image for “2012’s Biggest Moments in Science” as designed by someone at BestMastersPrograms.org, capturing seven of science’s most notable moments for the year. Granted, seven is an extremely limited number for such a subject populated with entries, but limitations have to come somewhere. Maybe if somebody could figure out the perfect number of items to put on an infographic, it’ll make the list in 2013.

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Bring Out Your Dead: The Science Fiction Disappointments Of 2012

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There was a lot to be excited about in the science fiction landscape during 2012. But in spite of kick-ass outings like Looper and Dredd, and a reinvigorated season of The Walking Dead, we also got stinkers like Battleship, the frustrating wheel-spinning of Alcatraz, and an ambitious misfire in the form of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.

We already celebrated the sci-fi triumphs of 2012, so now it’s time to air our grievances. Bring out your dead!

Alcatraz

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Chinese Cult Members Arrested En Masse Over Mayan Apocalypse Fear-Mongering

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2012You’re reading the words I typed between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. on December 21, 2012, so obviously you’re not a casualty of the Mayan apocalypse, or if you are, it was apparently crazy enough to allow reading online news after death. I know of quite a few people who won’t be reading these words though, and it has nothing to do with worldwide catastrophes. Just the belief of it.

Eastern Lightning, or the Church of the Almighty God, is a quasi-religious cult founded by the notorious Zhao Wei Shan, whose belief that a peasant woman is the second coming of Jesus Christ seemed as good a thing to start a cult over as anything else. They’re a hateful group of religion-bashing zealots who follow their own fucked up system of theism and anti-government beliefs. Cough – Westboro Baptist – cough. The other time you may have heard of them was when they kidnapped and held 34 members of the China Gospel Fellowship hostage for over two months. You don’t even want these people flipping your burgers. Or egg rolls or whatever. Well of course, the Mayan prophecies are a part of their religious texts.

Over the last week, the Chinese government has taken a firm stance to crack down on these kinds of sects, arresting nearly 1,000 members of the Church for all the rumor spreading, and the subversive ways they go about it. Can you imagine if China had Facebook and Twitter to worry about? Only 1,000 people would go without being arrested. The Qinghai province police bureau ransacked many of the Church’s headquarters, confiscating banners, DVDs, books, computers, cell phones and other “advanced anti-detection” things. The group has also been banned from the country’s most popular microblog Sina Weibo.

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NASA Releases Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday Video

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It was a good run while it lasted. According to some conspiracy theorists, the world will come to an end on December 21st 2012 at the end of the Mayan calendar. But the U.S. Government and NASA want to assure people that we will all still be here on December 22nd. To convince naysayers, NASA released a video entitled “Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday” explaining why the world will not end. Check out the video below…

The video continues to explain why the Mayan calendar is more advanced than anything we have seen today in our modern world but also explains the cultural and mathematical differences between Mayan and Western ideals. The biggest misconception about the Mayan calendar is that it doesn’t end but rather it rolls over like a car’s odometer.

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A Giant Freakin’ Thanksgiving: Here’s What We’re Thankful For In 2012

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Managing Editor David Wharton
I’m thankful that we’ve had more than one memorable science fiction movie this year. I’m thankful that I got to watch my childhood dreams dance across a giant screen in John Carter, sitting the whole time next to my dad, the guy who introduced me to Burroughs’ books in the first place. I’m thankful for The Cabin in the Woods, the single best time I had in a movie theater all year. I’m thankful that Joss Whedon made The Avengers work better than any of us could have hoped. I’m thankful for the good parts of Prometheus, and that at least the painfully stupid parts looked pretty. I’m thankful that Seeking a Friend for the End of the World didn’t wuss out. I’m thankful for Total Recall…the original version. I’m thankful for the pleasant surprise of Robot & Frank, a movie I hope more people discover on DVD.

I’m thankful that the enjoyable science fiction wasn’t limited to summer would-be blockbusters. I’m thankful for a Dredd movie that knew exactly what it wanted to be, and excelled at being just that. I’m thankful that Looper was just as good as I’d hoped, and even more of a surprise than I could have guessed. I’m thankful that the Wachowskis returned to both the big screen and the science fiction genre with Cloud Atlas, an unforgettable movie experience that I still find myself thinking about all these weeks later.

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Apocalypse Averted: Mayan Calendar Won’t Run Out In 2012 After All

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Conspiracy and armaggedon theorists love to look back on ancient texts for ominous portends of our ever-imminent downfall. After the Bible and Nostradamus, the go-to for end of the world prophecies is the Mayan calendar. The calendar is thought to “run out” in December 2012, supposedly indicating that humanity’s time does as well. Hollywood even made it the premise of a big-budget action flick. But it looks like we can all stop worrying and stocking up our bunkers. The oldest-known Mayan calendar has been found in the Guatemalan rainforest and, according to researchers, it’s “going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future.”

The Mayans kept time in groupings of 400 years called baktuns, with a 13 baktun cycle finishing up on December 21, 2012. Despite the fact that Mayan scholars have long held that the completion of a 13 baktun cycle just begins a new one, many people have interpreted that it actually signals the end of the world. This newly discovered calendar strengthens the argument against that fatalistic interpretation because it includes an abnormally long cycle of 17 baktuns and a “ring number”. The “ring number” is a notation “used to record time in a previous cycle, thousands of years into the past.” Together, that’s pretty clear proof that the Mayans didn’t think of a baktun as the – their cycles could sometimes vary in length and have ended-restarted before.