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

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.

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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.

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