Harold Camping: May 21, 2011 Is Last Day on Earth

April Peveteaux

harold camping may 21 2011Ooookay. So some guy has been doing some fuzzy math and decided that the world is going to end on May 21, 2011. Harold Camping, an 88-year-old civil engineer and evangelical radio station owner and operator, says he's got the stats to back him up, so we'd all better be prepared to meet our maker this spring.

I have a friend celebrating her birthday that day. Wow, is she going to be bummed.

But I'm not cashing in my 401(k) and making amends with all those whom I've offended just yet, even though Camping's followers seem pretty convinced the old codger has nailed it. Even though Camping already did this once before, when he and his crew gathered on September 6, 1994, Bibles open to the sky ready to be sent straight to heaven.

Just one look at the leaps Camping takes to come to the day of reckoning should have anyone thinking twice before they drink the Kool-Aid. For example:

"Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he began. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years."

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days -- the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.

Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.

Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared.

Ummmm. No. While a perfectly entertaining assumption for say, the writers of LOST, not so much for an end-of-the-world scenario in real life. Also, gay pride is another sign of the end of days. Ahem.

But Camping has convinced other people of this as well, as his broadcast reaches all the way to China. In fact, one of his followers, 60-year-old Ted Solomon is completely on board, and ready to get the heck out of dodge.

"This world may have had an attraction to me at one time," Solomon said. "But now it's definitely lost its appeal."

To which I say, dude, you just need to get on some good anti-depressants instead of putting all of your eggs in Camping's nutty basket. But Solomon will be in the San Francisco Bay area ready to be sent home with an old man who isn't long for this world anyway.

I sincerely hope no one is attempting a preemptive strike in the tradition of Heaven's Gate. If you are, please just double check Camping's math before making a final decision, and maybe see a psychiatrist.

What do you think about Harold Camping's prediction?


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