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from Photographers' Blog:

Are you ready for doomsday?

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By Petar Kujundzic

Is the world coming to an end on Dec. 21, 2012 as the ancient Mayans predicted more than 2,000 years ago?

After seeing a short video about a farmer in northern China who built several "pod" arks to survive the Mayan prophecy, we decided to go to his village and try to find him. Helped by local villagers it was relatively easy to find his little factory, so we ended up in front of several giant cannonball-shaped objects sitting in his courtyard.

Liu Qiyuan (45), the former owner of a furniture factory, started drawing concepts for his “doomsday” survival device following his own daughter’s fears of natural disasters in years past.

The original, named "The Enemy of Shipwreck", is a 4-meter-tall life survival capsule weighing 4.2 tons, with a passenger capacity of up to 30 people. The pods are equipped with seat belts, oxygen tanks, power generators, batteries and food supplies, which according to the inventor are enough to sustain passengers for at least two months.

from FaithWorld:

Sleepy French hamlet seen at threat from Apocalypse sects

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(Pic de Bugarach, 14 November 2007/Thierry Strub)

The tiny southern French hamlet of Bugarach has drawn scrutiny from a government sect watchdog over droves of visitors who believe it is the only place in the world that will survive a 2012 Apocalypse. A report by the watchdog, Miviludes, published Wednesday said the picturesque village near Carcassonne should be monitored in the run-up to December 21, 2012, when many believe the world will end according to an ancient Mayan prophecy.

Miviludes was set up in 2002 to track the activity of sects, after a law passed the previous year made it an offence to abuse vulnerable people using heavy pressure techniques, meaning sects can be outlawed if there is evidence of fraud or abuse.

from FaithWorld:

Judgment Day forecaster points to new doomsday date

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(Harold Camping during an interview at Family Stations Inc. offices in Oakland, California May 16, 2011/Reuters Television )

The evangelical Christian broadcaster whose much-ballyhooed Judgment Day prophecy went conspicuously unfulfilled on Saturday has a simple explanation for what went wrong -- he miscalculated. Instead of the world physically coming to an end on May 21 with a great, cataclysmic earthquake, as he had predicted, Harold Camping, 89, said he now believes his forecast is playing out "spiritually," with the actual apocalypse set to occur five months later, on October 21.

from FaithWorld:

Camping’s Judgment Day a dud, believers baffled

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(Harold Camping, 89, the California evangelical broadcaster who predicted that Judgment Day would come on May 21, 2011, in an interview at his Family Stations Inc. offices in Oakland, California May 16, 2011/Reuters Television)

With no sign of Judgment Day arriving on Saturday as forecast by an 89 year-old California evangelical broadcaster, followers were faced with trying to make sense of his failed pronouncement. Harold Camping, the former civil engineer who heads the Family Radio Network of Christian stations, had been unwavering in his message that believers would be swept to heaven on May 21.

from FaithWorld:

U.S evangelical predicting May 21 doomsday to watch it on TV

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(An American evangelical from the religious group Family Radio displays a doomsday placard on the streets in Manila May 13, 2011/Romeo Ranoco)

The U.S. evangelical Christian broadcaster predicting that Judgment Day will come on Saturday says he expects to stay close to a TV or radio to monitor the unfolding apocalypse. Harold Camping, 89, previously made a failed prediction that Jesus Christ would return to Earth in 1994.

from FaithWorld:

Manila shrugging off foreign prophets of May 21 doomsday

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(Detail of Michelangelo's Judgment Day fresco Christ the Judge, and the Virgin at the Vatican's Sistine Chapel)

A U.S.-based Christian group took to the streets of Manila earlier this week to preach that the end of the world is fast approaching -- on May 21 at sunset, to be precise. Volunteers from the religious group Family Radio, a Christian radio network in the United States, donned neon-coloured t-shirts and walked along Manila's main thoroughfares, handing out pamphlets to passerby with warnings of impending Judgement Day.

from Commentaries:

Wall Street meets The Matrix

Michael Durbin is no Wall Street rebel. But Durbin, who has been on the front lines of
high-frequency trading (HFT) since its early days, isn't afraid to buck the industry line that lightning-fast trading of stock, options and commodities poses little or no risk to the stability of the markets.

Durbin says it's reasonable to wonder whether Wall Street's unfettered embrace of algorithmic automated trading could be setting the stage for a future meltdown.

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