Sunday, January 1, 2012
2012 (MMXII) is a leap year that started on a Sunday in the Gregorian calendar, and it is the current year. It is the 2012th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 12th year of the 3rd millennium and of the 21st century, and the 3rd of the 2010s.
The United Nations General Assembly designated 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, in particular recognizing their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration; it is also designated as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
It has also been designated Alan Turing Year, commemorating the mathematician, computer pioneer, and code-breaker on the centennial of Turing's birth.
There are a variety of popular beliefs about the year 2012. These beliefs range from the spiritually transformative to the apocalyptic, and center upon various interpretations of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Contemporary scientists have disputed the apocalyptic versions.
The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.
A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, or Earth's collision with a black hole, passing asteroid or a planet called "Nibiru". (read more)