Tabloid-style Magazine Promotes Doomsday Nonsense, but Doesn’t Believe in it

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Nov. 27 2012 12:16 PM

Mayan Notpocalypse

Do you think the world is coming to an end on December 21, 2012?

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Well, it isn’t. The whole thing about the Mayan calendar ending on that date is baloney. Hog wash. One hundred percent unadulterated phooey. I could go into details—and I have, over and over and over and over and over again—but you can just go to the fantastic 2012 Hoax website and get everything you need to debunk this unfettered crap.


Of course, there are lots of people promoting this flim flam, including some hoping to profit from it. When I was shopping at a local drug store the other day (cough cough Walgreens cough) I walked past the magazine rack and saw this gem:

Cover of "Apocalyptic Prophecies" magazine
The ludicrousness in question.

Image credit: Phil Plait.

I thumbed through it, and it’s chock full o’ ridiculousness, as you might expect, including two pages right next to each other with one saying it was maybe all real, and the other (rather lackadaisically) debunking it. So this may not be the best reference you can find.

I was fairly unhappy while perusing it—it was pretty much the same feeling you’d have getting down the last bite of a plate of food and then finding a maggot in it—but then I noticed something that made a slow, evil grin spread over my face.

What was it? Why, did you notice the statement made at the bottom left of the cover, under the bar code? Here, let me show you:

Close up of a "sell by" date on the magazine cover
Huh. How about that?

Image credit: Phil Plait

Ayup. It kinda makes you wonder how seriously the publisher takes all this, doesn’t it? I never knew expiration dates themselves had expiration dates past their own expiration date.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 4:33 PM Walmart Is Killing the Rest of Corporate America in Solar Power Adoption
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.