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The New York Times Magazine
July 1, 2007


The Final Days

A growing community of amateur scholars believes that the world as we know it will come to an end in 2012, as prophesied by ancient Maya. Is the New Age apocalypse coming round at last?

by Benjamin Anastas

Steven from Arizona—a caller on "Coast to Coast AM" late one night in February—had slipped into a future reality and caught a glimplse of the devastation that was coming when the supervolcano under Yellowstone erupted. James in Omaha, on the other hand, was worried about the likelihood of a magnetic pole shift, while Rod from Edmonton had recently spoken to a member of the Canadian Parliament about the global-warming crisis and couldn't believe what he had heard.

"We're coming to an end time beyond anything that anybody has ever imagined," Rod said with a trembling urgency. "The scientists right now, they're not even studying the real causes. "The Kyoto treaty and CO 2 have nothing to do with anything."

"Coast to Coast AM" is an overnight radio show devoted to what its weekday host, George Noory calls, "the unusual mysteries of the world and the universe." Broadcast out of Sherman Oaks, Calif. and carried nationwide on more than 500 stations as well as the XM Radio satellite network, "Coast to Coast AM" is by far the highest-rated radio program in the country once the lights go out. The guest in the wee hours that February was Lawrence E. Joseph, the author of "Apocalypse 2012"—billed as "a scientific investigation into civilization's end"—and he came on the air to tell the story of how the ancient Maya looked into the stars and predicted catastrophic changes to the earth, all pegged to the end date of an historical cycle on one of their calendars, Dec. 21, 2012....



Schott's Almanac 2007

Conceived, edited and designed
by Ben Schott

Bloomsbury USA, New York
Ben Schott 2006


...Schott's Almanac offers a biography of the year—its aim is to select, record, and analyze the significant events of the past. In the modern information age, however, the role of the almanac has changed. Just as C20th almanacs were less concerned with astronomical and ecclesiastical data than their C18th and C19th predecessors, so the C21st almanac must adapt to its time. Schott's Almanac reflects the age in which it has been written: an age when information is plentiful, but selection and analysis are more elusive. So, while Schott's Almanac hopes to include all of the essential data one would expect to find in such a volume, it has not attempted to be comprehensive. Perhaps in contrast to some of its venerable forerunners...rather than simply presenting encyclopedic listings, Schott's Almanac aspires to provide an informative, selective, and entertaining analysis of the year.

—Schott's is an almanac written to be read.





The Los Angeles Times/Editorial
July 1, 2007


Culture wins one

The rescue of Dutton's from the wrecking ball is a victory for bookstores and L.A.'s civic spirit.

Los Angeles has a way of plowing under its landmarks. It is a corollary of our enthusiasm for the new and a consequence of our free-spirited capitalism that local institutions are sacrificed to progress....

And so it is with genuine delight that we receive word that a Los Angeles landmark will survive. Dutton's Brentwood Books is a cultural institution of the first rank, host to happenstance discoveries that define great bookstores—the chance lighting upon a bit of fiction across from the latest biography, the illuminating browse through a book of photographs, the helpful wisdom of a literary clerk....

Charles T. Munger, the owner of the property, at one point had in mind a condominium complex for the site. But the community, led by Diane Caughey, fought back, and Munger reconsidered. "Bookstores are fragile," he told the Times last week. "Jostle them slightly and they never re-open." To hear such poetry from a billionaire lawyer suggests the power of Dutton's to influence the imagination. Doug Dutton, the soul of this enterprise, captures that spirit as well. "There is something rather phenomenal, " he noted, "about a community that considers a bookstore so important."...

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