Tag: End of the World

Just in case, don’t go to work Monday

London’s Express reports, if that’s what you want to call it:

Scores of conspiracists led by self-titled Christian numerologist David Meade are certain the world will end as we know it on April 23.

The Nibiru theory, also known as the Planet X or Wormwood conspiracy, is a hoax doomsday claim which flares up online every few months.

Purveyors of the theory believe a rogue planetary system from beyond the fringes of our solar system is barrelling towards Earth.

The supposed arrival of Nibiru is meant to herald the imminent apocalypse and seal humanity’s doomed fate.

But the  has been circulated online hundreds of times before, and so far none of the predicted end of the world dates have come true. So why is April 23 a definite date?According to Mr Meade the apocalypse was meant to begin on October 15 last year, marking the start of a series of cataclysmic events.

Fast forward several months and a planetary alignment on the night of April 23 will allegedly fulfil a prophecy from the Biblical book of Revelation 12:1-2.

The Bible passage in question reads: “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.

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The end is near! (again)

I have a busy weekend ahead, announcing a football game tonight and a football game Saturday afternoon, both here.

It is possible that those might be the last two football games I announce, because of this apocalyptic news the Washington Post reports, which of course requires music first:

A few years ago, NASA senior space scientist David Morrison debunked an apocalyptic claim as a hoax.

No, there’s no such thing as a planet called Nibiru, he said. No, it’s not a brown dwarf surrounded by planets, as iterations of the claim suggest. No, it’s not on a collision course toward Earth. And yes, people should “get over it.”

But the claim has been getting renewed attention recently. Added to it is the precise date of the astronomical event leading to Earth’s destruction. And that, according to David Meade, is in six days — Sept. 23, 2017. Unsealed, an evangelical Christian publication, foretells the Rapture in a viral, four-minute YouTube video, complete with special effects and ominous doomsday soundtrack. It’s called “September 23, 2017: You Need to See This.”

Why Sept. 23, 2017?

Meade’s prediction is based largely on verses and numerical codes in the Bible. He has homed in one number: 33.

“Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God to the Jews, was mentioned 33 times [in the Bible],” Meade told The Washington Post. “It’s a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number. I’m talking astronomy. I’m talking the Bible … and merging the two.”

And Sept. 23 is 33 days since the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, which Meade believes is an omen.

He points to the Book of Revelation, which he said describes the image that will appear in the sky on that day, when Nibiru is supposed to rear its ugly head, eventually bringing fire, storms and other types of destruction.

The book describes a woman “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” who gives birth to a boy who will “rule all the nations with an iron scepter” while she is threatened by a red seven-headed dragon. The woman then grows the wings of an eagle and is swallowed up by the earth.

The belief, as previously described by Gary Ray, a writer for Unsealed, is that the constellation Virgo — representing the woman — will be clothed in sunlight, in a position that is over the moon and under nine stars and three planets. The planet Jupiter, which will have been inside Virgo — in her womb, in Ray’s interpretation — will move out of Virgo, as though she is giving birth.

To make clear, Meade said he’s not saying the world will end Saturday. Instead, he claims, the prophesies in the Book of Revelation will manifest that day, leading to a series of catastrophic events that will happen over the course of weeks.

“The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending,” he said, adding later: “A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October.”

Meade’s prediction has been dismissed as a hoax not only by NASA scientists, but also by people of faith.

Ed Stetzer, a professor and executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, first took issue with how Meade is described in some media articles.

“There’s no such thing as a Christian numerologist,” he told The Post. “You basically got a made-up expert in a made-up field talking about a made-up event.… It sort of justifies that there’s a special secret number codes in the Bible that nobody believes.”

Meade said he never referred to himself as a Christian numerologist. He’s a researcher, he said, and he studied astronomy at a university in Kentucky, though he declined to say which one, citing safety reasons. His website says he worked in forensic investigations and spent 10 years working for Fortune 1000 companies. He’s also written books. The most recent one is called “Planet X — The 2017 Arrival.”

Stetzer said that while numbers do have significance in the Bible, they shouldn’t be used to make sweeping predictions about planetary motions and the end of Earth.

“Whenever someone tells you they have found a secret number code in the Bible, end the conversation,” he wrote in an article published Friday in Christianity Today. “Everything else he or she says can be discounted.”

That is not to say that Christians don’t believe in the Bible’s prophesies, Stetzer said, but baseless theories that are repeated and trivialized embarrass people of faith.

“We do believe some odd things,” he said. “That Jesus is coming back, that he will set things right in the world, and no one knows the day or the hour.”

The doomsday date was initially predicted to be in May 2003, according to NASA. Then it was moved to Dec. 21, 2012, the date that the Mayan calendar, as some believed, marked the apocalypse.

Morrison, the NASA scientist, has given simple explanations debunking the claim that a massive planet is on course to destroy Earth. If Nibiru is, indeed, as close as conspiracy theorists believe to striking Earth, astronomers, and anyone really, would’ve already seen it.

“It would be bright. It would be easily visible to the naked eye. If it were up there, you could see it. All of us could see it. … If Nibiru were real and it were a planet with a substantial mass, then it would already be perturbing the orbits of Mars and Earth. We would see changes in those orbits due to this rogue object coming in to the inner solar system,” Morrison said in a video.

Doomsday believers also say that Nibiru is on a 3,600-year orbit. That means it had already come through the solar system in the past, which means we should be looking at an entirely different solar system today, Morrison said.

“Its gravity would’ve messed up the orbits of the inner planets, the Earth, Venus, Mars, probably would’ve stripped the moon away completely,” he said. “Instead, in the inner solar system, we see planets with stable orbits. We see the moon going around the Earth.”

And if Nibiru is not a planet and is, in fact, a brown dwarf, as some claims suggest — again, we would’ve already seen it.

“Everything I’ve said would be worse with a massive object like a brown dwarf,” Morrison said. “That would’ve been tracked by astronomers for a decade or more, and it would already have really affected planetary objects.”

Some call Nibiru “Planet X,” as Meade did in the title of his book. Morrison said that’s a name astronomers give to planets or possible objects that have not been found. For example, when space scientists were searching for a planet beyond Neptune, it was called Planet X. And once it was found, it became Pluto.

If Charlie Sykes can appear on Wisconsin Public Radio and the world hasn’t ended (and if you’re reading this you can assume the world indeed hasn’t ended), I doubt Meade (of whom I’ve written here previously) is correct, since Harold Camping (twice), the MayansJames Hansen, the blood moon prophets, and the eBible Fellowship, among others, couldn’t get it right. (That includes me, since I claimed that a Chicago Cubs World Series win and Donald Trump’s getting elected president were surely signs of the end times.) I keep repeating Matthew 24:36 (and apparently some people need to actually read it), in which Jesus Christ says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

The first time I recall a prediction of The End was in the late 1970s, when Pope Paul VI died and his successor, Pope John Paul I, died after just a month in office. That brought up St. Malachy’s Prophecy of the Popes, listed on always-accurate Wikipedia as …

… a series of 112 short, cryptic phrases in Latin which purport to predict the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few antipopes), beginning with Pope Celestine II. The alleged prophecies were first published by Benedictine monk Arnold Wion in 1595. Wion attributes the prophecies to Saint Malachy, a 12th-century Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland.

Given the very accurate description of popes up to around 1590 and lack of accuracy for the popes that follow, historians generally conclude that the alleged prophecies are a fabrication written shortly before they were published. Certain theologians in the Roman Catholic Church have dismissed them as forgery. The Catholic Church has no official stance on the prophecies, however.

The prophecies conclude with a pope identified as “Peter the Roman”, whose pontificate will allegedly precede the destruction of the city of Rome.

And what pope are we on according to Malachy? The last one!

112. Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End. …

Popular speculation by proponents of the prophecy attach this prediction to Benedict XVI’s successor. Since Francis‘ election as Pope, proponents in internet forums have been striving to link him to the prophecy. Theories include a vague connection with Francis of Assisi, whose father was named Pietro (Peter).

Assuming Malachy was incorrect (or even if he isn’t), for those who want to plan for such things, A Brief History of the Apocalypse provides future dates of the end(s):

2017: The “Prophet Gabriel” supposedly told the Sword of God Brotherhood that the “dying time” will come in 2017, and only members of the cult will survive. Everyone else will “perish in hellfire.”

So maybe the end is after Saturday but before Dec. 31. Riiiiiiiight.

Sept. 28, 2020: George Madray predicts a Yom Kippur Parousia in 2020.

“Parousia” is a Greek word that apparently now means “second coming.” If correct, that means no one will ever get a chance to vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president again. And though Pope Francis is 80, he certainly could live three more years …

2022: James T. Harmon’s Rapture prediction #4.

… or five more years …

2023: Ian Gurney predicts in his book The Cassandra Prophecy — Armageddon Approaches that the “final date, Judgement Day, the end of mankind’s time on this planet, is less than twenty two years away” from 2001, which means that the world is set to end by 2023 at the very latest.

2025: In this post, Georgann Chenault, a frequent poster on Usenet, wrote “I think the rapture of the church will be before 2025.”

Nov. 13, 2026: According to an article published in Science magazine in 1960, this was the date that the world’s population would reach infinity, a result of the so-called “doomsday equation.”

2033: Believed by many to by the 2000th anniversary of the Crucifixion, this is a date just begging to be targeted by doomsayers whose prophecies for 2000 and 2001 will have failed.

2035: The Raëlians are working hard to establish an embassy in Jerusalem in anticipation of the 2035 arrival of aliens called “elohim”, who will usher in a New Age. However, their arrival is contingent on the completion of the embassy.

2037: In her book The Call to Glory, psychic Jeane Dixon wrote, “The years 2020-2037, approximately, hail the true Second Coming of Christ.” The Battle of Armageddon is to take place in 2020.

2040: Pyramidologist Max Toth predicts the physical reincarnation of Jesus Christ occurring in 2040. Like other pyramidologists, he used the dimensions of the Great Pyramid’s passageways to predict future events.

Futurist John Smart of Acceleration Watch (formerly Singularity Watch) estimates that a technological singularity will take place around the year 2040, when technological advancement reaches asymptotic levels. After this apocalyptic event, a new era of balance and compassion will begin.

ca. 4,500,000,000 AD: The sun will swell into a red giant star, swallowing Mercury, Venus, Earth, and perhaps Mars. This will be the true end of the world!

One of those predictions is bound to be right. Right?

 

Just in case, thanks for reading

Any plans you have for today or afterward are wasted, according to a “Christian” group …

… on which Raw Story reports:

While our planet may have survived September’s “blood moon”, it will be permanently destroyed on Wednesday, 7 October, a Christian organization has warned.

The eBible Fellowship, an online affiliation headquartered near Philadelphia, has based its prediction of an October obliteration on a previous claim that the world would end on 21 May 2011. While that claim proved to be false, the organization is confident it has the correct date this time.

“According to what the Bible is presenting it does appear that 7 October will be the day that God has spoken of: in which, the world will pass away,” said Chris McCann, the leader and founder of the fellowship, an online gathering of Christians headquartered in Philadelphia.

“It’ll be gone forever. Annihilated.”

McCann said that, according to his interpretation of the Bible, the world will be obliterated “with fire”.

The blood moon – a lunar eclipse combined with a “super moon” – occurred without event on 27 September. This was despite some predictions that it would herald the beginning of the apocalypse. Certain religious leaders had said the blood moon would trigger a chain of events that could see our planet destroyed in as little as seven years time.

According to this new prediction, however, there will be no stay of execution. On the day of 7 October, the world will end.

“God destroyed the first earth with water, by a flood, in the days of Noah. And he says he’ll not do that again, not by water. But he does say in 2nd Peter 3 that he’ll destroy it by fire,” McCann said.

The expectation of the world ending this fall stems from an earlier prediction by Harold Camping , a Christian radio host who was based in California. In 2011 Camping used his radio station, Family Radio, to notify people that the world would end on 21 May of that year. When that turned out to be incorrect, Camping revised his prediction to October 2011. That also turned out to be incorrect, and Camping retired from public life soon after. He died in 2013, at age 93.

McCann believes that Camping’s 21 May 2011 prediction did have some truth, however. That day was declared to be “judgment day” because it was actually the day God stopped the process of selecting which churchgoers will survive Wednesday’s massacre, McCann said.

Following 21 May 2011, God turned his attention to deciding which non-churchgoers to save, according to McCann. The eBible Fellowship believes that God said he would devote 1,600 days to this task – bringing us to 7 October 2015.

“There’s a strong likelihood that this will happen,” McCann said, although he did leave some room for error: “Which means there’s an unlikely possibility that it will not.”

The eBible Fellowship, which McCann was at pains to point out is not a church, is a predominantly online organization. The group does hold meetings once a month, however.

Scientists have several theories about when earth will be destroyed, although none of the data points to this Wednesday. The most widely accepted theory is that the sun, which is already gradually increasing in temperature, will expand and swallow up the planet. Some scientists believe this could happen as soon as 7.6bn years time.

As noted, Camping was wrong the last time, and the time before that, and he’s not around anymore to explain why today’s prediction won’t happen. It is possible that someone’s prediction will eventually be correct, and yet Matthew 24:36 more likely applies.

But what about the Packers?

If Moviepilot‘s reporting is correct, among other things students won’t really have to worry about the 2015-16 school year:

It seems not a year can go by without someone out there claiming it will be our last. Whether it’s the rapture, nuclear war or general garden-variety extinction, some conspiracy and biblical theorists just love to get everyone else slightly perturbed at the threat of our destruction. I say ‘slightly perturbed’ because let’s face it, it’s not the first time we’ve heard this.

This time, the various blogs are claiming the world will end at some point between September 22-28th, 2015. For the most part, the actual reasoning behind our inevitable doom is a bit confused, but the main line of thought states an asteroid will collide within the year, which will then usher in an oppressive world government controlled by the New World Order.
What’s Apparently Going To Happen?

Well, according to a theory known as the Blood Moon Prophecy, September 2015 is important because it marks the end of a lunar tetrad – a sequence of four successive blood moons – that began in April 2014.

According to some biblical theorists, these blood moons – each of which coincided with a Jewish holiday – mark the end times described in the Bible in Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12. Some, such as Youtuber Lewey7777, seem to suggest this wrath of God will be manifested as an asteroid which will collide with the Earth during the period of the final blood moon. One blog, titled 888whistleblower.com claimed:

“Most likely we are for real talking about is the end of all life on this planet. The efforts to stop the process, which could very well be an inevitability, aren’t working. The methods they are using are right in the skies above your head, and they are still top secret.
Most likely they are making the end come sooner, and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do except wake up to what is going on, and wake our friends and family up, at the risk of looking like a fool. One thing I think I can assure you though, is that the end is coming, and I don’t think it is that far away.”

Other conspiracy websites such as BeforeItsNews.com, have suggested other events which occur during September 22-28th also point unflinchingly towards annihilation. These include:

  • The Pope, who is apparently the anti-Christ, talking to the UN on September 23rd about the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda – or the “New World Order plan.”
  • CERN intends to conduct experiments with the most powerful cycle of the Large Hadron Collider yet.
  • Large scale military exercises – most notable Jade Helm.
  • The apparent stockpiling of food, weapons and ammunition in underground bunkers.
  • Video games, films and television shows pointing to the apocalypse. They state: “Titles include Tomorrowland, Mission Impossible, Call of Duty Black Ops III, Mad Max. All are being used to condition using subliminal messages for the coming and acceptance from the masses of events that will unfold very soon.”
  • Additional assorted mumbo-jumbo.
    NASA has previously stated there is no asteroid anywhere near Earth, claiming:

“NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small. In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.”

Also, as I suggested above, this is not the first time we’ve heard this. Let’s just remind ourselves of some of the most recent apocalyptic portendings:

  • 1,000 AD: A rise in Christian activity was prompted by fears the millennium would usher in the end of the world. People left their jobs and homes only to be disappointed when the year changed and no Horsemen of the Apocalypse had arrived. The original predictors claimed it was because they miscalculated Jesus’ age and that the world would really end in 1033. We all know how that turned out.
  • February 1524: Astrologers in London noticed a strange alignment of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. This led some to claim a giant biblical flood was imminent. Some sought shelter on high ground only to return home completely dry and a bit embarrassed.
  • Fall 1982: In 1980, popular television evangelist Pat Robinson told viewers of The 700 Club: “I guarantee you, by the end 1982 there is going to be judgment on the world.” It didn’t happen.
  • 2000: The second millennium also came with apocalypse fears, although this one was about computers. The so-called millennium bug would supposedly fry computers all around the world – plunging us into a new dark age.
  • May 21st, 2011: US pastor Harold Camping claimed rapture would arrive in 2011, after initially getting the date wrong in 1994. His claims were widely reported, and some of his followers even sold their belongings.
  • December 21, 2012: The much vaunted end of the Mayan calendar was similarly linked to the end of the world. News flash: It didn’t happen.

Of course, perhaps it is true, and I’m just a member of that insidious New World Order/Illuminati/Zionist/Globalist conspiracy? I guess we’ll have to wait until September to find out.

I don’t recall Robertson’s claim of impending judgment. I do recall Y2K (I remember radio talk show host Art Bell reporting on power outages in Quebec in the middle of the night on New Year’s Day 2000), and this blog covered Camping and the Mayans. Before Robertson, there was also a prediction of doom stemming from the planets’ all being aligned, covered by none other than Leonard Nimoy in his “In Search Of” series.

Of course, denying the conspiracy proves you’re part of it.

It’s the end of the world as we know it (again)

Cue the Armageddon music …

… because the world has one day left, reports FrontPageMag:

Forget the Mayans, they were a bunch of chumps who wore their headgear inside out. It takes a scientist to nail down the real date when the world ends.

January 17, 2013.

James Hansen, the man who looked at Venus and decided that it was once just like Earth before the Venusians built too many smokestacks and ruined it all, gave a very timely warning back on January 17, 2009. …

And sadly, while the EPA did courageously attempt to regulate water as a pollutant and killed a bunch of coal plants, shale oil took off and all the good work was undone. …

Pack your bags. Bundle up your cats, dogs, penguins and cleaning robots into the SUV and drive north into the ice gloriously blasting pollution in your wake while tossing soda cans out the window because it no longer matters… the world is doomed.

And isn’t that liberating?

So the end of the world was not in May 2011, and it wasn’t in December. it’s tomorrow? I guess I won’t make the kids do their homework or, in our second son’s case, finish his Pinewood Derby car for tomorrow night’s race.

Breaking news: No, it’s not tomorrow, it’s …

But like every false prophet, James Hansen, who reads the future of earth in Venus, has found a new date for doomsday. It’s the date when Canada unleashes the terrible fury of its tar sands.

In the spring of 2012, Hansen warned, “If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.”

Game over indeed and we’re not just talking hockey season here. “If we were to fully exploit this new oil source,” James Hansen proclaimed, while waving a megaphone in the middle of an abandoned shopping mall. “Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction.”

Not to be outdone, Hansen has apparently figured out that if you use the word “market,” you get a few more people’s attention:

“We should impose a gradually rising carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies, then distribute 100 percent of the collections to all Americans on a per-capita basis every month. The government would not get a penny. This market-based approach would stimulate innovation, jobs and economic growth, avoid enlarging government or having it pick winners or losers. Most Americans, except the heaviest energy users, would get more back than they paid in increased prices.”

“The heaviest energy users” would include, by the way, those who have to commute to work, farmers who have to take their crops and livestock to market (which means higher food prices), businesses that have to get their products from factory to store (which means higher prices), business’ suppliers who have to get their raw materials from their factory to their customers’ facilities … get the picture yet?

What news media treats Hansen seriously?

See the lower right corner of the screen: Current TV, sold by hypocrite Al Gore to Al Jazeera, funded by fossil fuels.

Just in case, thanks for reading

The subject of this post requires its own soundtrack:

Family Radio has been broadcasting and advertising that the end of  the world will occur Saturday at 6 p.m. wherever you are.

RBR.com reports:

According to a fact sheet published on the group’s website, this is what is about to happen: “On May 21, 2011 two events will occur. These events could not be more opposite in nature, the one more wonderful than can be imagined; the other more horrific than can be imagined. A great earthquake will occur the Bible describes it as ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ This earthquake will be so powerful it will throw open all graves. The remains of the all the believers who have ever lived will be instantly transformed into glorified spiritual bodies to be forever with God.” The rest will be “thrown out upon the ground to be shamed,” and will experience “horror and chaos beyond description.”

There will be an interim period running from 5/21/11 until 10/21/11, when Family Radio says final destruction of the Earth take place.

The Family Radio website notes that it is still accepting donations, and although its donor computer operation is said to be undergoing maintenance, the group says it has representatives on hand to process donations from call-in givers. It accepts credit or debit cards.

So any ministers reading this apparently need not bother to prepare a sermon or homily for Sunday.

I pointed out in selecting Family Radio my “Sunday Insight with Charlie Sykes” Loser of the Week that evidently Family Radio was unfamiliar with Matthew 24:36, which readeth: “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

Oh, but Harold Camping, owner of Family Radio, has an explanation:

In the Bible a wise man is a true believer, to whom God has given a profound trust in the authority of the Bible. True believers have been in existence since the beginning of time. But the timeline of history as it is revealed in the Bible was never revealed to the hearts of the true believers. For example, throughout most of the church age it was generally believed that Creation occurred in the year 4004 B.C.

However, about 35 years ago God began to open the true believers’ understanding of the timeline of history. Thus it was discovered that the Bible teaches that when the events of the past are coordinated with our modern calendar, we can learn dates of history such as Creation (11,013 B.C.), the flood of Noah’s day (4990 B.C.), the exodus of Israel from Egypt (1447 B.C.) and the death of Solomon (93l B.C.)*

However, it was not until a very few years ago that the accurate knowledge of the entire timeline of history was revealed to true believers by God from the Bible. This timeline extends all the way to the end of time. During these past several years God has been revealing a great many truths, which have been completely hidden in the Bible until this time when we are so near the end of the world.

(The essay gets more creative from there, believe me.)

So Camping is, similar to Matthew Harrison Brady (that is, William Jennings Bryan) in “Inherit the Wind,” a believer that the Earth is only tens of thousands of years old. I am neither a scientist nor a theologian, but it seems rather presumptuous to limit God to a 24-hour day, does it not? The Episcopal Church, to which I’ve belonged for a decade, describes itself as a tricycle of Scripture (the big wheel), tradition and reason. And there is no real reason that evolution is incompatible with God’s creation.

The minister who married my wife and me claims that there is only one verse of the Bible, John 3:16, that does not require an additional verse to back it up. Matthew 24:36 has two — Mark 13:32 (“But of that day and that hour knows no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father”) and, from my favorite book of the Bible, Acts 1:7 (“And he said to them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power”). Moreover, the quoted words of Jesus Christ would seem to have paramount ranking as a source of information for Christians, would they not?

A Brief History of the Apocalypse has a listing of predictions of the end of the world dating all the way back to 2800 B.C. A real wave of apocalysomania took place in 1000 A.D., which I guess would have been Y1K. (I remember Y2K, when driving back home after a sumptuous not-really-millennium meal we listened to that paragon of reason, Art Bell, report about mysterious blackouts. Bell somehow neglected to mention that the University of Wisconsin football team’s going to back-to-back Rose Bowls must have been a sign of the end times.) And we’ve had predictions of the end practically every year since 1972. (No, Richard Nixon’s reelection was not one of them, but at the University of Wisconsin, Ronald Reagan’s reelection was.) Before Pat Robertson was claiming that 9/11 and hurricanes were divine retribution, he predicted the end of the world would take place in the fall of 1982. (Breaking up with my first girlfriend and losing my job in the same week seemed like the end of the world, but it wasn’t.)

I recall two specifically. In 1978, Pope Paul VI died, and then his successor, John Paul I, died a month after becoming pope. Newspapers at the time noted the legend of St. Malachy, an Irish priest who wrote down descriptions of every pope from Peter forward. When the list of popes runs out, the legend has it, our time runs out. And there is only one pope left on the list, Benedict XVI’s successor, who by the way is supposed to be the Devil incarnate. (That should make the next College of Cardinals meeting after Benedict’s death really interesting.)

The other prediction, in 1982, was not exactly a prediction of the end, but of galactic disorder caused by all the planets in this solar system lining up. Leonard Nimoy narrated an episode of “In Search Of” that warned of the calamity on the way. Nimoy’s most famous character, Mr. Spock, would have pointed out that such a theory is illogical because the planets are not all on the same plane. (To which Dr. McCoy would have contributed, “How do I know? I’m a doctor, not an astronomer!”)

The planetary alignment previously occurred Feb. 4, 1962; astrologer Jeane Dixon predicted that the Antichrist would be born the next day. (Which means the Antichrist is actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.)

Remember the earthquake that destroyed Taiwan and created the tsunami that killed millions May 11? You don’t, because the prediction of someone named Professor Wang didn’t happen. Of course, this year is less than half over, so we may still enter thePhoton Belt (no, that was not an episode of Star Trek) before the end of the year.

The next prediction of our doom is Dec. 23, 2012, according to the Mayans, whose calendar runs out on that day. (So don’t bother getting Christmas presents next year, and you can skip gassing up the snowblower, when by then gas should be about $14 a gallon.) But if that prediction isn’t accurate, there are plenty of others waiting in the wings. For instance, back in 1960, Science magazine predicted that on Nov. 13, 2026, the world’s population would reach infinity.