Well, we made it. Another doomsday survived - this is becoming quite a habit, isn't it? I don't really want to jump on the bandwagon of poking fun at all those true believers who woke up bewildered this morning. If they didn't look silly enough in these last few weeks, they surely do now.
For those wanting to know more about this particular event, NASA has put together a nice video talking about the myths and realities of the day. What I hope this highlights is the remarkable skill and foresight in astronomy possessed by many ancient cultures. Peoples from the Inca and Maya in the west to the Egyptians in Africa and the Chinese in the east used the motions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars to navigate the oceans, measure time, plant their crops, and even predict the weather.
The remnants of these complex astronomies lie all around us: the ruins of Cahokia in this US, Stonehenge in Britain, the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Antikythera mechanism found underwater in Greece - these were scientific accomplishments that took the western world centuries to recreate.
As someone who can barely remember which planets are up when, this history fascinates me, and I'm hoping to put together a series next year chronicling some of these accomplishments.
Image source: Wikimedia