Optical Engineering • Open AccessThe End of the World As We Know It and Giving Thanks
With many others, I was sitting around on 21 December waiting for the world to end according to the prediction about the end of the Mayan calendar. I went in to work, signed some time cards, passed out some Christmas gifts to people in my division office, and left early to pick up my kids (the 14-year-old triplets). I picked them up around 2 p.m. and started the long drive to the small town of Sylvania outside Savannah, Georgia, to spend Christmas with my family. This town is in a county of roughly 5000 people, and spending a few days there is like stepping back in time 50 years. We arrived at 11 p.m., so the nine-hour drive gave me plenty of time to think about how the world was going to end. My triplets gave me many accounts of how they thought it would end, such as a meteor hitting the earth right on Interstate 95, or global warming causing the atmosphere to trigger a sudden and immediate toxic reaction in the air that humans could not survive. They were much more creative than I was since I thought maybe the sun would just explode taking out the Earth in missile-like chunks. It was a good end-of-the-world driving party.