the eotw as i know it

WikipediaSolarSystemPlanets2008A month from now, Sony Pictures will release its Roland Emmerich film, 2012. And if everything stays true to its script about the world ending in 2012, then I have only a little over three years left to maintain this blog, barring any other earlier personal misfortune. Bummer! I wish I could be with you all forever!
But do I honestly think the world will end three years from now? Of course not! Why? Because I believe that no one really knows exactly about the day and hour of this apocalyptic event! The Bible says in Matthew 24:36 that “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” If even the angels in heaven don’t have a clue about it, then, how can I possibly believe any of these human-derived prophecies? And, yes, I am talking about the end of the world as I know it, meaning, the end of all life forms. As in planet earth never even existed in the first place!
So when will the world really end? I have no idea. I’m just trying to write a blog post here. If I knew its exact date for certain– without any shadow of a doubt– I will let you know about it immediately by any means necessary! I will inform you of it on this blog, I will go on national TV, I will tweet you, I will email you, I will put it on my facebook wall, I will text you. Heck, I may even knock on your door to tell you personally about this not-so-sweet news! But I’m just…me, a fickle-minded human being who always makes mistakes! Sigh.
The gist of the 2012 film tackles the earth’s doomsday scenario as taking place around the Mayan civilization’s supposedly end-of-cycle date which is December 21, 2012. At about this time, a series of terrifying natural disasters are presumed to take place worldwide culminating in earth’s eventual destruction! And how an ancient race even came to specify this ominous date is beyond me! All I know is what I’ve only seen on TV, that their knowledge of astronomy was far ahead of their time!
Bear in mind that some people thought the world would have already ended way back in 2000. But nine years later, I’m still here (and even blogging right now) and our planet earth  is still rotating around its axis and revolving around the sun. The world population has even gone up from 6.07 billion in 2000 to the current estimate, 6.79 billion! As you and I can see, life went on in spite of such prophecies. There are still night and day, earth and sky, you and me, and babies born every second!
Sorry to say, but I don’t really care how the world will end; please pardon my nonchalance. Because, let’s face it, when the world ends, everything and everyone ends with it for good! No one will be around to pat you on your remaining shoulder and say, “You’re bloody right, my friend! The world did end in one horrific explosion!” And I’d rather not venture even an educated guess because I’m not good when it comes to multiple choices. Even if I try my darnedest to influence the weather, I know I won’t be able to stop a tsunami from rushing inland or a volcano from erupting! I simply can’t go up against mother nature and expect myself to bend it according to my will! See, I don’t really want to know when or how the world will perish. It is what it is when the time comes and I will try to deal with it and face it with my faith. But of course it would be nice if I died with some sort of peace of mind or a clear conscience, wouldn’t it? The only way I know how this is possible is by following Christ’s teaching of loving one another– to love my fellow men as myself until the end! And by living this way every single day like it were my last day will help me keep check of my own personal mortality and salvation. That way, when I die loving, there is a greater chance that I will die with a smile on my face. 🙂
For all I know, the end of the world can happen any day now, in a way I’m afraid I least expect it to be. Sure it’ll end my earthly existence. But I also believe in the Messianic prophecy of Christ’s resurrection and triumph over death, that He “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,” that He will resurrect the just and true believers and that “His kingdom will have no end” from this moment forward. When this day happens, you’ll either see me in a happy place up there with all the angels and saints, or in a terrible place elsewhere. And when we see each other in heaven, remind me to double-high-five everyone! Thank goodness, God bless all of us, thank God a lot!!! But– heaven forbid– if I end up in that “fiery furnace” where there is always “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” my only wish is that I don’t see any of your lovely faces in there. Because if that were to happen, I am sure I’d be tempted to crawl up to you just to ask this one nagging question: What in heaven’s name did you do on earth to end up with me in this hell of a place??! And please, don’t answer me with “Secret!”

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The barcode

The word "artissining" in barcode form

The word "artissining" in barcode form

According to Google, today marks the 57th anniversary of the patent filing for the barcode or Universal Product Code (UPC, to those who work in retail and merchandising). Yes, that ubiquitous array of thin and thick lines and spaces that are commonly found on products sold on the planet. Who would have thought that a cryptic series of lines and spaces could standardize the way merchandise are scanned and sold in our local grocery stores?
Many, many years back in high school, this barcode symbol was a popular print on Hanes t-shirts. At that time, I had no idea what the barcode really meant. All I know was that it signified something that was imported or PX (Post Exchange) goods that you could only buy in (U.S.) military installations and select department stores. The symbol became so universally recognized that, years later, it would enter pop culture not only as accepted marks on products sold but intriguingly so as the Mark of the Beast itself! This belief came by way of the biblical reference in Revelation 13:17 that says, “so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name,” and the understanding that every barcode is interspersed with the number “6” in the beginning, middle and end of the code, hence the number 666.
But as mundane (and satanic) as the symbol is, it fascinated me! Somehow, the varying widths of lines and spaces were pleasing to look at even if they were printed only in one color, black! In a design standpoint, the barcode conveys an asymmetrical pattern that appears to illustrate the underlying principles of repetition (of lines), gradation (from thin to thick and vice versa), contrast (of the black positives to the white negative spaces) and dominance (of the thick black lines that are sometimes grouped together). It is an unlikely figure that seems to throb with conflict, harmony and unity! Sometimes, a symbol as trivial as a barcode can acquire as much importance as alphabet and numbers.

If you want to find out what your name or any word translates into barcode form (like I did with the name of this blog shown in the figure above), please click on this link.