*This post is slightly deviating from the usual course, but we can do with something out-of-routine. Can't we?
I might as well pack my BTech and put peace in my home, for it would be 2012 before I graduate and get a job, just in time to earn some bucks before the world ends.
If our ancients ( the good old Mayans) are to be believed, the world will end on December 21, 2012 by some sudden,huge and imperceptible disaster. While we were busy making plans for our, our childrens and their childrens future, in the present tense, the Mayans were busy banging their heads for making their calender, in the past tense. I think they didn't know the concept of infinity, so they put an end to their calender, which unfortunately befalls on December 21,2012.
A typical mayan calender consists of months, each of 30 days, years of 300 days and most importantly 'baktuns'. A baktun contains 144000 days. And unfortunately, in their calender they have only 13 baktun cycles. Their calender started on 3114-AUG-13 BCE with the birth of Venus and ends during the Winter Solstice of 2012 December.
Not only the mayans, but astrologers and prophets across the world were and are busy estimating a date to end our world. Almost all of them say the world would end before 2050, and most of them coincide with 2012. And to add to our misery, even some of the scientists agree with this prediction ( though, by different means). Geologists say it will be the radiation from sunstorms, while physicists say, it's been a long time before a catastrophic change occurred in the world and it is most probably to occur near 2012. And some even point out that the experiments of the Large Hadron Collider, scheduled to be in 2012, might create black holes and bring an end to the space-time continuum. The Large Hadron Collider, is the dream project of the now popular, CERN (thanks to Dan Brown). It is supposed to be the world's largest particle accelerator. The idea is to accelerate particles to the utmost speeds, collide them and observe frequencies generated in the process, to find out that particular frequency which caused the Big Bang. But some critics claim that, in the process miniature black holes will be created, that can put an end to our world. Even a law suit was filed against the project. The whole thing, also coincides with the mayan prediction that the end of the world would be caused by humans themselves.
From the start of the civilization, human was interested to know the mysteries of the future, and tried to predict it ( but forgot to change it, by manipulating the present). First came the question how were we ( the world ) created? We did some (dil)logical inferences of the sensational occurrings in nature and stated some axioms (sorry, CS lingo. Cant help it), from which was created the God. Now that we have the START, the obvious next question was, where is the END? While for the ordinary person, the notion of the world's end wasn't so fascinating, so he ignored it. But theologists didn't. Many speculations about the end of the world can be found in the literature of almost every religion, from Christianity, Hinduism to Islam. You will be surprised to know, but Eschatology, a whole part of Theology, is donated to answer this question. It became a frenzy among symbologists and cryptologists to decode the information about the end of the world, provided in the Bible, Nostradamus quatrains ( You should be careful of this guy though. Many of his predictions, were proved to be true. He used scrying as means of predicting the future. To save his predictions from falling into bad hands, he encoded them in 4 line verses called quatrains. Some of his famous predictions include 9/11, Kennedy assassination, World War 2, rise and fall of Hitler, rise of Napolean and the prediction of the death of his own king ( Apparently he warned the king about it. Apparently and obviously the king ignored it) . And he predicts that the end of the world would be in 3797 due to the fall of burning stones from heaven, which he names as "final conflagration". So wait till then...) , Quran and many other famous religious literature.
But the ultimate truth is end of the world cannot possibly be hidden in Bible's crypts, or Quran's mathematics, but it is hidden in our hands. The only thing that can possibly end this world is human's greed, be it in the form of terrorism, environmental pollution, or war.