Hey Mayans! We're still here! | Bangkok Post: learning

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Hey Mayans! We're still here!

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It's morning in Bangkok, the sun has risen and life is normal. It seems the ancient Mayan calendar was not a prediction of doomsday after all. 

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Photograph proof the world has not ended: This photo, taken at 10am December 21, 2012, shows that life is continuing normally on busy Soi Ekamai. TERRY FREDRICKSON

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Hey Mayans! We're still here!

Bangkok Post and agencies

It's morning in Bangkok, the sun has risen and life is normal. It seems the ancient Mayan calendar was not a prediction of doomsday after all.

Around the world, superstitious people have fretted over a quixotic, not to say apocalyptic, interpretation of the ancient Mayan 5200-year calendar which ends today – taking refuge in mountains or bunkers, with some stockpiling guns and survival rations.

In the United States, still in shock after a massacre at an elementary school, officials in one county of the midwestern state of Michigan sent thousands of students home early for the Christmas break.

The Lapeer County district said "rumours connected to the Maya calendar that predicted end of the world" had distracted students and teachers, even though they have been "thoroughly investigated and determined to be false."

Still, classes were cancelled Thursday and Friday.

Even with the sun shining brightly in the sky, some people, like this Bangkok motorcycle taxi-driver, were still asking if there was any truth to the doomsday rumours. TERRY FREDRICKSON

Here, in Thailand there have been some end-of-the-world preparations as well. Villagers in Phitsanulok province rushed to a market on Thursday to buy supplies.

Most of the items bought at the market in Nakhon Thai district are instant noodles, eggs and cooking oil. Some villagers also bought large candles from temples.

Pon Arsasena, 70, said she and her neighbours went to buy large candles from a temple after hearing that the sun would disappear and that there would be a blackout.

She said there was nothing wrong with being prepared, adding that if nothing happens, the food can be eaten and the candles can be used for light at night.

Meanwhile, half the world away in a thick forest at the site of Mayan ruins where the calendar was found, winter solstice ceremonies began.

There were no signs that doomsday was imminent.

At sunset, Guatemalan President Otto Perez was to kick off a long night of Mayan dance and other rituals, lasting until dawn, when Mayan natives will greet the rising sun on December 21, 2012.

Most experts interpret the calendar to mean December 21, 2012 is simply the end a 5,200-year era for the Maya and the start of another. The Mayans themselves appear to agree.

proof – information, documents, etc. that show that something is true  การพิสูจน์
normally – as usual; properly ตามปกติ
ancient – very old ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
calendar – a printed table showing all the days, weeks and months of the year ปฏิทิน  
prediction – a statement about what you think will happen in the future คำพยากรณ์,คำทำนาย,การพยากรณ์
doomsday – the last day of the world วันโลกาวินาศ, วาระสุดท้าย
superstitious – believing in the power of magic or luck เชื่อโชคลาง
fret – to worry วิตกกังวล
quixotic – not practical or believable and usually not happening or succeeding  ซึ่งเพ้อฝัน, ซึ่งเป็นไปไม่ได้
apocalyptic – showing or describing the total destruction and end of the world, or extremely bad future events
interpretation – an explanation of the meaning or importance of something การตีความ
take refuge – to go to a place which provides protection or shelter from danger or trouble ลี้ภัย
bunker – a strongly built shelter for soldiers or guns, usually underground หลุมหลบภัย, ที่กำบัง
stockpile – to collect large amounts of things that may be needed เก็บสะสมไว้ใน
survival – the fact or state of continuing to live or exist, especially in difficult conditions การอยู่รอด
ration – a limited amount of something which one person is allowed to have, especially when there is not much of it available  nothing to improve a difficult or worrying การปันส่วน
shock – a strong feeling of surprise as a result of something happening, especially something unpleasant; the event that causes this feeling ช็อค, ความสะดุ้ง, อาการช็อค
massacre – the action of killing a lot of people การสังหารหมู่
elementary school – a school for children between the ages of about 6 and 11 or 12 โรงเรียนประถม
county – the largest political division of a state in the US - like an amphur in Thailand เขตปกครอง
rumour – unofficial information that may or may not be true ข่าวลือ
distracted – having your attention taken away from something  ไขว้เขว เสียสมาธิ
investigate – to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
determine – to discover something by examining evidence to or calculate something กำหนด, ระบุ, แสดงผล
rush – to move or do something very quickly รีบเร่ง, วิ่ง
supplies – the things such as food, medicines, fuel, etc. that are needed by a group of people สิ่งที่จัดหาให้, เสบียง, เวชภัณฑ์
candle – a stick of wax with a string in it called a wick that you burn to give light เทียน
neighbour – someone who lives near you,  เพื่อนบ้าน
disappear – to no longer exist; to no longer be in use หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย
blackout – a sudden loss of electrical power ไฟดับ
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
site – a place where something is located  สถานที่
ruins – the remains of a building that has been badly damaged or destroyed ซากปรักหักพัง
winter solstice – (in the northern part of the world) the time (December 21-22) at which the sun is appearing at noon at its lowest height above the horizon
imminent – happening soon ที่จะเกิดขึ้่นเร็วๆนี้
sunset – the time of the evening when the sun is no longer seen พระอาทิตย์ตกดิน
kick off – to begin an event; to launch เริ่มต้น, เริ่มทำ
ritual – a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly, especially as part of a ceremony พิธีกรรม
dawn – the beginning of the day, when it begins to get light รุ่งอรุณ, เช้าตรู่
native – someone who was born in a particular place ชาวพื้นเมือง
era – a period of time that has a particular quality or character ยุค, สมัย

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