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Doomsday debunked – Looking back on the 2012 apocalypse that wasn’t

Somewhere underground thousands of boxes of Spam sit untouched.

Dec. 21, 2012 began as the prophetic day conspiracists believed would usher in the cataclysmic collapse of life. Monstrous tsunamis, fiery asteroid collisions and catastrophic solar flares were among the fruity array of ways mankind would meet its end.

However, much to the dismay of doomsday “preppers” who shelled out thousands on elaborate bunkers, gas masks and freeze-dried meals, the hysteria became more comic than cosmic within a few hours–the punch line of millions of tweets.

 “Everybody loves a good apocalypse theory. The more ridiculous, the more entertaining,” Isabel Perry ’15 said. “Though my version would probably have had more to do with zombies.”

The 2012 phenomenon, which first bubbled up in the dark and sketchy corners of the Internet, caught fire with the release of doomsday spectacle “2012.” Despite a lack of substantiating evidence, the theory gained major publicity as the film introduced the masses to the frenzy surrounding the expiration of the Mayan calendar.

“It’s a very clear example of what I like to call ‘the voodoo effect,’ which is when people are so convinced so highly of something that does not make sense that they will not listen to logic or reason,” Suki Hyman ’15 said.

However, false alarms of cataclysmic paranoia are nothing new. Humanity has a long history of auguring its own demise, which some say they attri

bute to the fact that it’s purely entertaining from a YOLO standpoint.

 “Believing that the world might end puts people on edge. But it’s not always said that people don’t love living on the edge,” Chris McKinney ’14 said.  “Having our own sense of mortality advertised and thrown in our faces constantly puts our lives into perspective.”

While the 2012 phenomena may have come and gone, conspiracists are still developing new theories.

Science teacher Michael Aitkenhead raised some interesting cataclysmic scenarios, just fatal enough to be the plot of the next disaster movie. He discussed the eruption of super volcanoes in Yellowstone National Park and the Canary Islands that could trigger landslides and tsunamis powerful enough to wipe out the US.

However, with an overwhelming number of possibilities as to how Earth could face its end, Aitkenhead doesn’t see reason to fret. “There’s a million and one things that have happened on Earth that have caused widespread destruction. The reality is they will happen again. They could happen tomorrow, they could happen a million years from now,” Aitkenhead said. “We can’t predict it, so why worry about it?”

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Katie Settos, Creative Director
While many students at Staples spent their summers bumming it at Compo beach, Katie Settos was busy hiking the tallest mountain in Northern Europe. Katie spent three weeks of her summer on an action packed, challenging, and frankly dangerous backpacking trip through Norway; but that’s just the type of girl she is. No challenge is too big of a challenge for Settos, even if it means spending six hours climbing a slippery glacier in sub zero temperatures. Katie was totally up for test of spending half of her summer completely disconnected from the rest of the world: “I really like the outdoors, even though I’m not a sporty person.” Settos explained that her backpacking trip was one of the best experiences of her life, and that she was so glad she decided to go on it, “I just love a good adventure.” When Katie isn’t spending her summers going on adventures all over the globe, you can most likely find her designing fashion and sketching. Katie is a dedicated artist and describes her time drawing as “a distraction from school and stress.” Art is her happy place, a time where she has a peace of mind. Katie’s passion for fashion is fitting for her position at Inklings as the Creative Director. She gets to design, assemble, and put her own creative twist on almost every issue. So if you ever see Settos in the hall, make sure compliment on her amazing art abilities that help make Inklings what it is today, but also give her chocolate peanut butter ice cream; it’s a staple in her everyday routine.

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