2012: the last news quiz of the year (we promise!)
The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, notably used by the Maya, came to the end of a “great cycle” of 13 b’ak’tuns on 21 December 2012 - leading some to predict the final annihilation to which humanity has given many terrifying names (Armageddon, Ragnarok, Doomsday, Qiyamah) for the busy pre-Christmas shopping period. How did the world end for you?
Ever since 21 December I’ve just been dust and vapour! How can I answer that?
Not at all. Now on with the quiz!
Sorry, the wifi here on this French mountain that turned out to be an alien spacecraft and is now spinning me to safety through outer space is terrible. I can’t load the page
Cold snap: Deep in the Serbian snow a dog shows his displeasure at visitors to the area who have come in the belief that unusual electromagnetic waves in the region can shield them from the predicted Mayan apocalypse. Photograph: Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images
Like any internet community, it is not without its flaws. Here, the hackers’ comments came uncomfortably close to a lot of Tumblr users’ excesses. It is sometimes a deeply silly place, keen on self-congratulation. It is also largely decadent, and because it is made of millions of fallible human beings, it’s not always terribly original or profound. But that does not mean it does not have the capacity to be those things, and it often is.
Tumblr is where I go to laugh, but it also a fantastic place to learn: this is where I first read about Trayvon Martin, for example. It often hosts some of the most eloquent and nuanced conversations about society, from gender to race to equality and social justice. It is a community that gives and shares and supports its own – only last night, I witnessed people organise a whip-round for a fellow Tumblr user who needed to get out of an abusive situation fast.
It can be a brilliant place, because it is a lot more than the sum of is parts: you get out of it what you put in. Not many sites can give you all of that and a gif of Chris Evans punching a bag in slo-mo. And for that reason, I’ll remain onboard. No contest.
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