This is just a bit of a stream-of-consciousness. I'd heard about this Mayan prophecy schtick when I was a kid. I remember specifically hearing that inanimate objects and animals would join forces to kill us. Images of our pets going mad and of our toasters self-destructing around us filled the airwaves on that particular "Doomsday Prophecy" show.
My next interaction with the subject matter was actually through the game Shadowrun, which I've just done a Dystopian Review of so that you can get a taste of it! Anyway, Shadowrun portrays "The end of the world" in a more "...As we know it" sense, because life ticks on - it's just radically different!
The truth of the matter is that the Long Count does come to an end, and there's at least some scholarship I've read over the decades that indicates the Mayans were very good at astronomy, and so synced their calendar up with our little blue dot's travels. Fine. That doesn't make them fucking psychic. It sure as hell didn't help them against the Conquistadors! Okay, bad example; irrelevant, actually, and meant for a joke! But does that mean the world is doomed? No way. It just means the next Long Count starts!
Now, as a bit of a news nut, among other things, I've learned what "Threat Maps" are. There's your standard variety (in this case, the Quakes segment of the Global Incident Map), but my preferred map is the RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service. It isn't always spot-on accurate or detailed, but when it comes to earthquakes, tsunami warnings, and near-earth objects (asteroids, friend!), it's pretty frikkin' accurate and quick to update. But it looks pretty clean to me, save for a thingie or two.
Naturally then, I started to wonder - when will the world end? If it ends on the 21st, does it end as soon as we hit 12:00 AM?: Do I set my alarm-clock for 11:58 and say my prayers? Chances are it'd be in a more west-coast or central time, as the Mayans were a Mexican tribe living on the Yucatan Penninsula, so there's that to consider! And what if we have the 21st to say goodbye, but it actually ends just before the 22nd?
I don't know. I have my doubts. It'd be cool if something happened, but instead of it being destructive it was beautiful. One person I know (who I'd argue is something of an extremist) reminded us of the Biblical line about knowing the hour - and that nobody will. It's from Revelations, but I only look up Bible quotes on special occasions, and I'm stream-of-consciousnessing.
I liken this whole situation to the Mayans holding the bag...That we put in their hands all on our own. If something - anything - happens, it can be considered as a disaster in keeping with the prophecy. Check out this thread at one of my favorite sites; it's based on seriously spurious information with only the loosest possible connection to 12/21/12, but believers find ways to argue for anything. That's a double entendre, get it?!
In all seriousness, though, be safe. The greatest danger isn't that the whole world ends, but that one's own world ends - you party too hard in anticipation of the end, get in the car unwisely, and crash. You die - your world ends - and it's for nothing! Nothing worse than a prophecy fulfilled by itself. And on that note, sweet dreams, all! I'll consider an alarm clock. Maybe a prayer. It can't hurt, can it?