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What? Nothing for Ocean's Eleven?
November 11, 2011 12:59 AM   Subscribe

With all due respect, today (11/11/11) is not just for Veterans or those remembering the end of World War I. It is also...
Nigel Tufnel Day (facebook group) (RL event) "It goes to eleven." Whatever you do loud, today do it one louder.
Eleventh Doctor Day "GERONIMO!!!" Wear a bow tie, fez and/or stetson because they're cool.
Pocky Day for the snacks shaped like, well, 1's.
Corduroy Appreciation Day for the material that... oh, if you don't know, don't bother. BTW, what are Christopher Guest's and Matt Smith's pants made of?
But the less said about the movie the better. 11+11+11=33%? Close.
Also, it's 1 year 1 month and 11 days until the end of the Aztec Calendar. Which makes a few too many 1's, so sit back and watch this clock turn to 11:11:11.
posted by oneswellfoop (120 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yep, just passed 11 am on 11/11/11 where I am... I'm now waiting for 11:11 am.
posted by taz at 1:04 AM on November 11, 2011


11 november is a big children's event in the Netherlands because of St Martin's Day. Children make paper lanterns at school and go to neighbourhood houses in the evening singing St Martin's songs, asking for/expecting candy
posted by davar at 1:11 AM on November 11, 2011


Can we impress on the Americans that today is 11/11/11. It is not 11/11/11. (joke stolen from twitter)
posted by seanyboy at 1:12 AM on November 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


Also, 11:11am on 11/11 is the start of the Rhineland Carnival.
posted by brokkr at 1:22 AM on November 11, 2011


That Aztec calendar combined with the Gang of 4 record I picked up today just hypnotized me for a good 5 minutes.
posted by mannequito at 1:25 AM on November 11, 2011


Gang of 4 record - they love a man in uniform!
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 1:35 AM on November 11, 2011


Pocky Day

Pocky is good, sure, but Toppo is my 1-shaped snack of choice.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:44 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The linked article about Pocky Day says as much, but Pepero Day is the original.
(Though, the reverse is true about the snacks themselves).

So, it's a case of Japan-copying-Korea-copying-Japan.
posted by baejoseph at 2:04 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Germany, twice as many people have registered with various cities to get married on 11.11.11 as normal for November. I guess that's a handy way to remember an anniversary.
posted by cmonkey at 2:11 AM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


posted by cmonkey at 11:11 AM on November 11 [+] [!]

Aww yeah.
posted by cmonkey at 2:12 AM on November 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


But in honor of the day, let's all sing this song...

Hey! Hey hey hey! Hey Pocky day!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:13 AM on November 11, 2011


This is disrespectful to the victims of 11/11.

Shame on you.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:29 AM on November 11, 2011


I heard that 11/11/11 is lines day.

It is the day for doing drugs that are cut into lines.
posted by idiopath at 2:37 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


ELEVENNN!

BTW the correct palindromic time/date is (or was, now):
11:02 11-11-2011
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:11 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


With all due respect

I do not think that means what you think it means.

There were a few lulzy turds deleted from another rememberance day thread. There was a whole thread deleted because it had pictures of dead bodies (pretty much what you'd expect if you live in a Commonwealth country, but admittedly a bit of a shock for others) without adequate warning.

Today is supposed to be a day when some of us think about the millions of people who died in WWI, how pointless it all was, how wrong war is in general, and hope that it never happens again. The fact that it did only a few years later and was even worse is something else to reflect upon.

It's not fucking caplocks day and yes, we have noticed that this year the numbers line up. How fascinating.
posted by GeckoDundee at 3:17 AM on November 11, 2011 [23 favorites]


11/11/11 IS THE CAPS LOCK OF DATES
posted by Mikey-San at 3:23 AM on November 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, that was awkward. At first it seemed like a lighthearted thread, and then there was that big post at the bottom that, oh I'll read that one after I post, and then. Oh. Ugh. Gonna flag my own comment there.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:25 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Today is supposed to be a day when some of us think about the millions of people who died in WWI, how pointless it all was, how wrong war is in general, and hope that it never happens again.

And some of us find the apparent need to assign a special day and time for those kinds of thoughts distasteful and artificial. Eh, different strokes. People are weird.
posted by Decani at 3:27 AM on November 11, 2011


Elevenogeddon cares not for your conventions.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:29 AM on November 11, 2011


Because of course, you think about it all the time, right?

Sorry, Mikey-San. Nothing personal, towards you or even the OP.
posted by GeckoDundee at 3:30 AM on November 11, 2011


I guess that's a handy way to remember an anniversary.
I would guess it's a way to ensure even more than the normal amount of derision when you inevitably end up forgetting it anyway.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:31 AM on November 11, 2011


GeckoDundee - people hijacked a thread about the political and social meaning of Pulp's Common People by going on about William Shatner. Sure, nobody died, and it's irritating to see people discuss trivialities in the face of something you find should be handled with a wee bit more seriousness, but people will talk on what they want to talk about. 9/11 isn't a 'rememberance holiday' all over the globe, and similarly there are countries and people who choose not to wear a poppy or take the two minute silence.
posted by mippy at 3:32 AM on November 11, 2011


Also: ELEVENELLIUM.
posted by mippy at 3:33 AM on November 11, 2011


Elevenopalypse?
posted by Burhanistan at 3:37 AM on November 11, 2011


Somewhere between 8 million and 10 million horses died in WWI, if you care about that kind of thing.

9/11 isn't a 'rememberance holiday' all over the globe
Yeah, but you expect everyone to understand the significance, and of course, they do. I can't see anybody making a post about the numerology of some future anniversary of Sep 11, I hope.
posted by GeckoDundee at 3:38 AM on November 11, 2011


Brow beating always works so well here.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:41 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


After 17 years in Japan, I got permanent residency at the immigration office today, just a few minutes after 1 p.m.when they got back from lunch. It will be easy to remember 11.11.11 for all the forms I fill out in the future. I picked up some Pocky on the way home.
posted by planetkyoto at 3:43 AM on November 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm not browbeating anyone. I'm asking for some consideration of other people's feelings.
posted by GeckoDundee at 3:48 AM on November 11, 2011


Gecko, might it not be a good idea to have TWO threads? That way this one can be for all the "wooo-hoo wheee look at all the elevens" and another one could be for the Rememberance Day people?

I'll admit that I'm probably not the one to create that Remembrance Day thread, as I'm American and the event didn't have as much impact on this country as it did on the Commonwealth. I leave it to you or someone else more versed to create that.

But two threads may be a good idea, as people will just be prone to whooping it up about the calendar coincidence.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:54 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


You forgot Poland.
posted by Rat Spatula at 4:03 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's also my birthday!
posted by OmieWise at 4:04 AM on November 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


I can't see anybody making a post about the numerology of some future anniversary of Sep 11, I hope.

I don't mean by this that other countries are not respectful, but for most of us outwith the US it is just a date in the calendar. We mark 7/7 (though not annually) but people were still amused when it was 07/07/07. I've just attempted to eat a Durian fruit candy so maybe I'm cranky, but I doubt very much anyone here is intending disrespect. We're all going about our day normally, and silly jokes about the date are just part of that.
posted by mippy at 4:08 AM on November 11, 2011


[There's a remembrance day thread further down the page; it would be great if everyone would stop making jokes in that one, and stop with the WWIII in this one. Please.]
posted by taz at 4:14 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm asking for some consideration of other people's feelings.

Not my feelings--I like this post. I personally would vastly prefer an interesting numerology post on 9/11 than a patriotic re-tread thread that just reminds me that a few years ago a dozen men with box-cutters managed to gut our country of the principles that made it great.

And you know what? I'm going to carefully think about the sacrifices people have made--soldiers and (often unwitting) civilians--in the name of fat cats, politicians, stupid grudges, misunderstandings, jingoism, all the generally stupid stuff that gets folk killed (over and over through the course of our species' history), and I'm going to take some pleasure in watching Spinal Tap on the tube, pondering all the ones in today's date, and so on.
posted by maxwelton at 4:15 AM on November 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


Happy birthday OmieWise!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:17 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyway, the point of this particular date isn't that it's November 11th. It's that the day, month, and end of the year number in our calendar system all are congruent.

This only happens 12 times each century. This is the next to the last one until after 2100. Next year we will have 12/12/12, and then that will be it for basically all of us in our lifetimes.

November 11 comes around every year. 11/11/11, once in a lifetime.
posted by hippybear at 4:20 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


once in a lifetime
water flowing underground
and you may ask yourself...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 AM on November 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


[Some comments deleted; seriously, take it to Metatalk if you need to.]
posted by taz at 4:36 AM on November 11, 2011


It's also my birthday!

You and me both!

(It was actually quite interesting having 11/11 as a birthday, growing up in Canada (Commonwealth, of course). We would stand by our desks for the minute of silence at 11:00 AM, and I grew up having the feeling that 'my day' was special. This led to an interest in the history of the Great War, and learning of the astonishing human tragedies involved ...

I got permanent residency at the immigration office today

Welcome to the club!
posted by woodblock100 at 4:42 AM on November 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, I'll be damned! happy day to you to, woodblock!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:57 AM on November 11, 2011


Deary me. I like all the 1's in a row. It looks very cool. It's no more (or less) important than that. It's not impinging or denigrating any other thing happening on this day.

Multi-tasking - it's not just for computers!
posted by h00py at 4:58 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've just attempted to eat a Durian fruit candy so maybe I'm cranky

Now why go and do a damfool thing like that? Did someone lie to you and swear it didn't taste like fart?


I did briefly consider giving durian candy to trick-or-treaters, but I'm not actually mean, and I didn't want a bag of outhouse flavored treats sitting around the house.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:00 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is also Singles Day! Happy Singles Day, single single people.
posted by pemberkins at 5:03 AM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's also bored people with too many matchsticks day.
posted by h00py at 5:07 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


What no mention of Skyrim?
posted by empath at 5:14 AM on November 11, 2011


Why don't they just make November 10th the top day, and make that a little louder?
posted by ShutterBun at 5:27 AM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was about to say, Empath! I've been playing it since I got home from the midnight sale, it's now... let's see, 8:26am. Perfect time for a little break.
posted by Spacelegoman at 5:27 AM on November 11, 2011


It tasted like being slowly beaten to death by every single member of the allium family.
posted by mippy at 5:36 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


11/11/11 11:11:11, at least in their timezone.
posted by delmoi at 5:38 AM on November 11, 2011


it's our fifth wedding anniversary. '11 11 11' can be rearranged to make '1+1='. We like that.
posted by Hogshead at 5:38 AM on November 11, 2011


Pardon me while I do the math to make a clever comment about 6 ones
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:43 AM on November 11, 2011


I was in Germany (actually, both of them!) on 8/8/88, and people there were really excited about the date. One lady at the front desk of our hostel made a big deal about stamping our hostel card and writing the date on it -- all those eights! -- like we would cherish it forever.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:50 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was four I lived at house no. 111.
We called it 'eleventy-leven'.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:51 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


That rolls off the tongue well. I find myself shortening it to 'leventyleven and thinking about hobbits. Kind of know why but it's embarrassing admitting to it in the wrong company.
posted by h00py at 5:55 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was four I lived at house no. 111.
We called it 'eleventy-leven'.


Among my people, that would be eleventeen.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:00 AM on November 11, 2011


onety one/onety one/onety one
posted by rh2 at 6:04 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was in Germany (actually, both of them!) on 8/8/88,

Sad day. It was the day they turned the lights on in Wrigley Field.
posted by eriko at 6:08 AM on November 11, 2011


Today is my Mom's birthday.

Happy Birthday Mom.
posted by LoudMusic at 6:12 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll be observing Nigel Tufnel Day, but of course it's only 23 hours long.

'Cause it goes to eleven.
posted by kyleg at 6:13 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was four I lived at house no. 111.
We called it 'eleventy-leven'.


It's "eleventy-first" in Tolkien-speak. (or, more correctly, Hobbit-speak)
posted by ShutterBun at 6:19 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the first season of the podcast "Never Not Funny", hosts Jimmy Pardo and Mike Schmidt called the number 11 a "Lazy Baker". So I think today should be "Ultimate Lazy Baker Day".
posted by inturnaround at 6:22 AM on November 11, 2011


The Meta related to this post currently has five elevens of comments.
posted by zarq at 6:24 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm in the OmieWise and woodblock100 Awesome Birthday Club. Plus I was born at 11:00 pm. (Could I not have waited 11 more minutes?)
posted by desjardins at 6:26 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


11/11/11 is my 11th wedding anniversary.
posted by candyland at 6:28 AM on November 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


'Cause it goes to eleven.

Wouldn't it only be eleven hours long, then?
posted by kirkaracha at 6:31 AM on November 11, 2011


It's 111111, or as we hip, cool computer types say, 63.

I'm hip and cool, right? My mom said so, anyway.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:35 AM on November 11, 2011


It is also my sister's birthday. Yay Willa!
posted by alms at 6:47 AM on November 11, 2011


Another one was the The Great Blue Norther of 11/11/11 100 years ago, in which many Midwestern cities experienced a fairly unique weather phenomenon of having both record highs and record lows in the same day. For example, Kansas City had a high of 80, and a low of 13.
posted by kaszeta at 6:53 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


In parts of Denmark, today is known as "the Baker's Birthday" because the ordinal 11th ("elvte") and the verb knead ("ælte") are homophones.
posted by brokkr at 7:00 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


!!/!!/!!
posted by shakespeherian at 7:05 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


In parts of Denmark, today is known as "the Baker's Birthday" because the ordinal 11th ("elvte") and the verb knead ("ælte") are homophones.

So my "Lazy Baker" idea isn't far off then! Cool!
posted by inturnaround at 7:09 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well it was fun to read about the corduroy meetups; I'd definitely go if there was one in the area. On top of that, it reminded me of the other famous headlines made by corduroy...pillows!
posted by TreeRooster at 7:10 AM on November 11, 2011


Our dates go to eleven.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:17 AM on November 11, 2011


Also, Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut!
posted by hillabeans at 7:18 AM on November 11, 2011


"I'll be observing Nigel Tufnel Day, but of course it's only 23 hours long. 'Cause it goes to eleven."

Then shouldn't that be 22 hours long, because it only goes to eleven -- but does so twice?

(Incidentally, as our local clock approaches 11:00 am here, I plan to focus at length and seriously on not just my Dad's 20-year hitch in the RCAF, but on a lot of other things relevant to the traditional observances on this day. Doesn't mean I think less of it, or myself, by having a little fun with the numerology in this thread. I can walk and chew gum at the same time, too!)
posted by Mike D at 7:22 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


For people with kids and jobs in the US it's No Childvare But You Still Have To Go To Work day. Hurrah! Wait, not-hurrah.
posted by Artw at 7:24 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


El'ven
posted by pracowity at 7:32 AM on November 11, 2011


How many time zones?
posted by ardgedee at 7:56 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


OmieWise: "It's also my birthday!"

woodblock100: "You and me both!"

Me too!
posted by brundlefly at 8:06 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


TIMEGASM
posted by Burhanistan at 8:11 AM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Metromedia TV station (now an NBC affiliate) from my hometown of Minneapolis prepared me for this day: Eleven, eleven, eleven! It's rather hypnotic.
posted by kuppajava at 8:12 AM on November 11, 2011


Well, I'm already wearing corduroy pants. I GUESS I can go put on a bowtie. *sigh*
posted by cthuljew at 8:16 AM on November 11, 2011


Krank! - Krank it to 11
Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid 24/7


Damn it, I just know I'm going to have this song stuck in my head all day.
posted by quin at 8:35 AM on November 11, 2011


Golly... does nobody remember when this was called Armistice Day?

I had relatives who served in WW I; one was a balloon-corps veteran who suffered from PTSD for the rest of his life. Made WW I seem almost as immediate as WW II. What horror.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:44 AM on November 11, 2011


I just now realized that the seeming plethora of birthdays today might be because 9 months ago is right around Valentine's Day.

Sorry for any mental images that might conjure up.
posted by desjardins at 8:50 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


ARRRRRRRGH SHIVER ME CAPS LOCKED TIMBERS MATE 111111 IN BASE 2 IS 126 IN ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER DO YOU SPEAK IT?

(Actually this is a test of if 11:11 on my computer is the same as 11:11 on Matt's. It's like two spies synchronizing their watches prior to the big cut-to-the-chase-scene.)

I love almost you all.
posted by bukvich at 9:11 AM on November 11, 2011


oneswellfoop: Also, it's 1 year 1 month and 11 days until the end of the Aztec Calendar.

Isn't it 1 year, 1 month and 10 days?

*party-poops*

*leaves*
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:15 AM on November 11, 2011


In parts of Denmark, today is known as "the Baker's Birthday" because the ordinal 11th ("elvte") and the verb knead ("ælte") are homophones.

Any time I start getting depressed over English spelling, I just stop and think about Danish for a minute and it cheers me right up.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:02 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Xipe Totec for president!
posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on November 11, 2011


My wife is performing 11 weddings today.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:40 AM on November 11, 2011


I turn 30 today. Do you know how many time zones there are in the Soviet Union? Eleven.
posted by yourcelf at 11:11 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


My father died early this year at the age of 90.

He was a World War II veteran.

He was also the best example you'd ever see of undiagnosed PTSD. He saw the horrors of war and I saw the horrors of him.

I made this post because I specifically did NOT want to have MetaFilter, like so much else of the media, dominated by questionably sincere Veterans Day mawkishness*. It was worded very carefully, and I fretted over using the phrase "with all due respect", which has become more often used to mean "here comes some disrespect".

One more point: MEMORIAL DAY in May is the day set aside to honor America's war dead. VETERANS DAY is for the war survivors. Other nations, with REMEMBRANCE DAY, will vary. But that's how it's supposed to be where I live. I honored my father on Memorial Day, six months ago and a month after his passing.


*I came to believe a long time ago that the best way to honor those who served and died in wars was not to send any more to do the same.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:11 AM on November 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


I think today would be a good day to time travel to, because it would be easy to remember. Just press one for a while in your flux capacitor, and when the DeLorean comes to a stop, you will know you have pressed one enough.

R.I.P. Mitch :(
posted by hincandenza at 11:21 AM on November 11, 2011


Also it would be a good Schelling point for meeting up with other time travelers, so keep an eye out.

(Though with our luck they're probably all back in 1111 going "Dammit, why does the most salient date on the Gregorian calendar have such shitty restaurants?")
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:31 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The NY Times in 1911: As none of us is likely to be living in the year 11111, it would be well for those who delight in curious trifles to take their fill of enjoyment out of this method of dating to-day, 11-11-11.
posted by davar at 1:34 PM on November 11, 2011


(Though with our luck they're probably all back in 1111 going "Dammit, why does the most salient date on the Gregorian calendar have such shitty restaurants?")

In the year 2222, you won't find a thing to chew, nobody's gonna look at you.
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


We live in a weird. weird world:

86-Year-Old Veteran Chronicles His Life in Heartwarming Rage Comic
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on November 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


the end of the Aztec Calendar

I can't let this pass, as it's wrong in two ways. First, the calendar in question is Maya, not Aztec, and second, "end" is an oversimplification. So here's some stuff about Maya calendars.

The Maya used at least three different calendars. The Tzolk'in was the main religious calendar; it identifies a day using a number from 1 to 13 and one of twenty day names: Imix', Ik', Ak'b'al, K'an, Chikchan, Kimi, Manik', Lamat, Muluk, Ok, Chuwen, Eb', B'en, Ix, Men, Kib', Kab'an, Etz'nab', Kawak, and Ajaw. These two cycles ran concurrently, so 1 Imix' is followed by 2 Ik', which is followed by 3 Ak'b'al, and so on. Nothing special happened when you reached the end of one of the cycles; 13 Ok is simply followed by 1 Chuwen, and 9 Ajaw is followed by 10 Imix'. This calendar provides a cycle of 260 days. The Aztec also had a calendar with this structure, though the day names were different.

The Maya also had 365-day calendar, the Haab'. This calendar consisted of 18 months of 20 days each: Pop, Wo', Sip, Sotz', Tzek, Xul, Yaxk'in', Mol, Ch'en, Yax, Sak', Keh, Mak, K'ank'in, Muwan', Pax, K'ayab, and Kumk'u. The first day of each month was not numbered, but instead written with a special glyph called "seating"; the other nineteen days were simply numbered from 1 to 19. After Kumk'u came the five-day month Wayeb', generally considered to be unlucky. This calendar was also shared with the Aztec.

The Maya did not simply number the years of the Haab'; instead, a longer cycle could be provided for by writing down the name of a day in both the Tzolk'in and the Haab'. For instance, a day might be recorded as 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u; the following day is then 5 Imix' 9 Kumk'u, which is then followed by 6 Ik' 10 Kumk'u, and so on. This calendar only repeats itself after 52 years.

But the most famous Maya calendar is the Long Count. This calendar records a date as a sequence of five numbers, using a modified base-20 system. For instance, the date 8.5.16.9.7 represents the Gregorian calendar date 11th of July 156 CE in the commonly accepted correlation. The fifth and last digit, k'in, counts days and the fourth, winal, represents 20 k'in. The third digit, tun, represents eighteen winal, so that one tun is 360 days, or nearly a year. The second digit, k'atun, represents 20 tun, and the first digit, b'ak'tun, represents 20 k'atun, so one b'ak'tun is nearly 400 years. The date 8.5.16.9.7, then, simply expresses the number of days that have passed since the beginning of the count, the date 0.0.0.0.0. In the Gregorian calendar, this date is the 11th of August 3114 BCE. A complete date generally consisted of the name of the day in all three calendars; for instance, the 28th of July 878 CE would be written as 10.2.9.1.9  9 Muluk 7 Sak'.

In the Long Count, the 21st of December 2012 is recorded as 13.0.0.0.0. The day is then the end of a b'ak'tun, an event that is known to have been considered very important by the Maya: it indicated a time of great change, though not necessarily cataclysmic change. But there's more to it. See, the starting day of the Long Count is mentioned in multiple places among the known Maya inscriptions, but it is never written as 0.0.0.0.0. It is written 13.0.0.0.0. It is also known that the Maya viewed the world itself as going through cycles of creation and destruction; the Popol Vuh records that the Maya believed themselves to live in the fourth creation. Based on this, it might be suggested that the Maya believed a cycle of creation to consist of 13 b'ak'tun, which would make the 21st of December 2012 the end of the fourth cycle.

So is this interpretation correct? Well, there's at least one set of texts that use 13.0.0.0.0 as a genuine date, by recording events in the 12th b'ak'tun and stating that these events lead up to the creation date:
At Palenque, the texts of the Cross Group state that on December 9, 3121 BC a woman named Muwan Mat was born. Then 754 years after the era began on August 11, 3114 BC she gave birth to GI of the Palenque Triad on October 23, 2360 BC. These dates span the creation date, beginning in a 12th bak'tun and picking back up in a 1st bak'tun. Here are the long counts in sequential order:

12.19.13.4.0  8 Ahau 18 Sek -- December 9, 3120 BC -- Birth of Muwan Mat
13.0.0.0.0  4 Ahau 8 Kumku -- August 11, 3114 BC -- Creation Date
1.18.5.3.7  13 Kimi 19 Keh -- October 23, 2360 BC -- Birth of GI
But then, on the other hand:
There is reason to believe that the number 13 was used as a symbolic way to say "completion." There are texts at Yaxchilan, Coba, and the Dresden Codex that present long count dates in which many cycles above the bak'tun repeat the number 13 as their coefficients. The example at Yaxchilan, on a panel in front of Temple 33, places ten 13's above a contemporary date:

13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.9.15.13.6.9 -- Oct 19, 744 AD
And what did the Maya think of the date 21st of December 2012? In a shocking twist,
there is only one text known to record the 13.0.0.0.0 date for December 21, 2012 AD. It was found on Monument 6 from Tortuguero and the text is broken right after the date is mentioned, occulting the event that was to have been referenced.
So in short, the 21st of December 2012 would have been significant to the Maya because the date ends a b'ak'tun, a cycle of almost 400 years. The significance may also go beyond this, but this is far from certain.
posted by Tau Wedel at 2:42 PM on November 11, 2011 [230 favorites]


tl;dr: SKY DEMONS ARE GOING TO EAT YOU, then the world will be destroyed by a mutated neutrino pulse powered by dark timewave energy.
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, I'm glad I reigned in my pedantic impulse, because that was a way more interesting explanation than I could have come up with. Thanks, Tau.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:49 PM on November 11, 2011


Tau Wedel's comment is an example of why I love mefi. Everyone knows something awesome.
posted by desjardins at 2:53 PM on November 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


Flagged with hope of sidebarage.
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on November 11, 2011


Can we impress on the Americans that today is 11/11/11. It is not 11/11/11. (joke stolen from twitter)
posted by seanyboy at 1:12 AM on November 11 [11 favorites +] [!] [quote]No other comments.


You don't know how hard it was to not add another favourite to that. BUT! I added a favourite to the one quoted below and was number 11!

posted by cmonkey at 11:11 AM on November 11 [+] [!]

Aww yeah.
posted by cmonkey at 2:12 AM on November 11 [11 favorites −] Favorite added! [!] [quote]Other [2/2]: «≡·

posted by deborah at 5:57 PM on November 11, 2011


This thread is ridiculous. It's not even funny.
posted by whuppy at 7:07 PM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Now, would it be more or less ridiculous if we made a targeted effort to have every single comment sit at 11 Favorites?
posted by mannequito at 7:30 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now, would it be more or less ridiculous if we made a targeted effort to have every single comment sit at 11 Favorites?

Eleven go so far as to say it would break Metafilter.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:22 PM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


My grandfather was born in Germany; he was a kid during the "Great War." (His father/my great-grandfather was an infantry sgt. in the Kaiser's army 1914-1918.)

Grandpop used to tell us how, on his 13th birthday, all of a sudden all the church bells in town were ringing non-stop, and at first he thought it was because it was his birthday.... yep, that was Nov. 11, 1918.
posted by easily confused at 6:30 AM on November 12, 2011


the end of the Aztec Calendar

I can't let this pass, as it's wrong in two ways. First, the calendar in question is Maya, not Aztec, and second, "end" is an oversimplification.


This correction is also wrong. The calendar isn't Aztec or Mayan. It's Olmec. Olmec. The long count calendar predates the Mayans and is most likely Olmec in origin.
posted by euphorb at 10:15 AM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Were those the dudes with the big flying head in Cities of Gold?
posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on November 12, 2011


You're talking about Zardoz.
posted by muckster at 12:31 PM on November 12, 2011


Metafilter: Everyone knows something awesome.
posted by leviathan3k at 3:50 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tsk. Better than Zardoz.
posted by Artw at 5:05 PM on November 12, 2011


My grandfather was born in Germany; he was a kid during the "Great War." (His father/my great-grandfather was an infantry sgt. in the Kaiser's army 1914-1918.)

Grandpop used to tell us how, on his 13th birthday, all of a sudden all the church bells in town were ringing non-stop, and at first he thought it was because it was his birthday.... yep, that was Nov. 11, 1918.
posted by easily confused at 6:30 AM on November 12 [+] [!]


What's German for eponysterical?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 3:34 AM on November 13, 2011


14,13,11,12 with a couple of 18s and a 6:30 thrown in there - I'm confused.
posted by mannequito at 3:40 AM on November 13, 2011


Hello, I'm David McGahan: "What's German for eponysterical?"
Eponysterisch.
posted by brokkr at 7:14 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, at least I know now that my off colour post I was planning on making on convenience store day should be okay, since millions dead is apparently a-ok
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:46 AM on November 13, 2011


Tau Wedel: Based on this, it might be suggested that the Maya believed a cycle of creation to consist of 13 b'ak'tun, which would make the 21st of December 2012 the end of the fourth cycle.

Interesting little addendum to your comment, Tau Wedel. The Long Count may not even run out on Dec. 21st 2012. In an interview with Errol Morris about an ancestor of his, recently passed away Mesoamerican calendar expert David H. Kelley put forth the idea that the conventional understanding might be off by about two centuries. Here's the relevant bit.
ERROL MORRIS: Did the Mayans really predict that the world would end on December 21, 2012?

DAVID HUMISTON KELLEY: No. It’s based on a false assumption.

ERROL MORRIS: Please explain.

DAVID HUMISTON KELLEY: They are 208 years too early. [The correct date is December 21, 2220 – E.M.] I wrote a long article on various ways of solving this problem. I included in a footnote that you could almost get things to matchup correctly, if you used correlation 660205, the Julian day number of the base state of the Mayan calendar. Which is also the interval between the translation of the number in the Mayan baktun, katun date, if you add that number to that date you get what we would consider to be the equivalent date. Ha! A bit complicated but I think you can follow. The colonial Mayas, most of them didn’t have any clue about this. The ones who did were the calendar specialists and they made sure to keep their mouths pretty tightly shut because the Spaniards were burning people at the stake for maintaining pagan ideas of which the calendar was a major part. The calendar determined all the ceremonies and rituals, when people were sacrificed, all the nasty things and all the good things.
I'm no expert, so I'm not up on the scholarship regarding the Mesoamerican calendar, but I've always liked this idea since I read it.

For something so esoteric, it's weirdly how often I've quoted that excerpt from the interview.
posted by Kattullus at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


This video makes it very easy to understand the Maya calendar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhWItvjk9Yg
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 3:25 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


well, all I have to say is that the 32nd century BC, the beginning of this Bak'tun, is fairly momentous. 3100BC is the accepted time period for the creation of stonehenge. 32nd Century BC is the start of the Kali Yuga, the earliest hieroglyphs in Egypt, etc.
posted by Freen at 6:06 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


David H. Kelley put forth the idea that the conventional understanding might be off by about two centuries.

Ah yes, the correlation question. I skipped right past that in my previous post, but it deserves a mention, so here goes.

Once you've determined that the Long Count inscriptions are, in fact, a calendar, the question naturally becomes: how does this calendar correlate with our own? That is, when the Maya wrote 10.2.9.1.9  9 Muluk 7 Sak', what day were they actually referring to? Of course, if you want to discuss this, it becomes handy to have a standard way of stating a proposal. The method that became standard was to state the so-called correlation constant, the Julian Day Number of the creation date, 13.0.0.0.0  4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u. The Julian Day Number expresses a date as the number of days that have passed since January 1, 4713 BC in the Julian calendar. With fractional days included, this system is widely used in astronomy. This is what the number 660205 refers to -- Kelley is suggesting that the starting date of the Long Count is JDN 660205.

There have been a great number of suggestions for the correlation constant -- Wikipedia lists no less than 27 different proposals, ranging from 394483 to 774078 (a difference af more than a thousand years). There's several different methods for calculating the correlation constant:

First, there is radiometric dating. Some recovered items can be connected with a specific Long Count date, so radiometric dating can be used to place that date within a certain interval. This isn't very precise, since the uncertainty of radiometric dating is measured in years, but it'll at least tell you if you're in the right ballpark.

Second is the correlation with the Calendar Round and the Short Count. The Calendar Round refers to the combination of the Tzolk'in and the Haab', which was used by many Mesoamerican peoples. The correlation between the Long Count and the Calendar Round is perfectly well-known, since it is recorded on every Maya inscription of a date. But unlike the Long Count, the Calendar Round was still in use when the first Europeans arrived in America, and there are records from Spanish explorers that make note of the Aztec calendar system and its correlation with the Julian calendar then used in Europe. In fact, the Calendar Round never disappeared entirely -- it is still in use among some Mesoamerican peoples. The Short Count was a cycle consisting of 13 k'atuns which remained in use among the Maya for some time after the Long Count fell into disuse. This calendar was also noted by the Spanish, and the correlation with both the Calendar Round and the Julian calendar was recorded. Since it is reasonable to guess that the Short Count is a reduced form of the Long Count, so that beginning days of k'atuns should be the same in both calendars, this gives another set of data points.

Third, and most famous, is the astronomical record. The Maya were avid astronomers, and they made extensive records of their observations. Many date inscriptions made by the Maya include the lunar series, a record of the current position of the cycle of the moon. In addition to this, the Dresden Codex contains tables of eclipses and the cycles of Venus. Because of the regularity of celestial mechanics, these cycles can be reconstructed perfectly based on modern observations.

Putting everything together, various scholars eventually settled on the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson (GMT) correlation, with correlation constant 584283. These days, the GMT correlation is very nearly the consensus -- the only other correlation that still has some traction is the GMT+2, with correlation constant 584285, which fits better with some of the astronomical data (but does not fit with modern Mesoamerican peoples' reckoning of the Calendar Round). Note, by the way, that Kelley's correlation constant 660205 is exactly four cycles of the Calendar Round later than GMT+2. This puts his proposed end date for the 13th b'ak'tun at 3 November 2220, not 23 December 2220, the difference being a result of the fact that the Haab' has no leap years.
posted by Tau Wedel at 10:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


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