By Denise Dick
Well, we’re still here. The world didn’t end on 12/21/12.
“It’s not a surprise at all,” said Patrick Durrell, associate professor in Youngs-town State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.
At the heart of the theory of the end was the Maya calendar, which some interpreted as ending Friday.
Durrell and Matt O’Mansky, associate professor in YSU’s Depart- ment of Sociology, Anthropology and Gerontology, gave presentations leading up to the purported last day, dispelling the theory.
O’Mansky, an archaeologist specializing in the ancient Maya who has worked in Belize and Guatemala for more than 20 years, has said there’s nothing in Maya culture that points to the world ending.
Durrell, for his part, dismissed the series of astronomical events that believers said would cause Earth’s demise.
Still, there were media accounts of people prepping for the end and others who wondered if it would happen.
Not only didn’t we see doomsday, but Friday was just the beginning for one new Lordstown resident.
Sara Marsh gave birth at 5:29 p.m. Friday to her first son, Grayson Jack Marsh, who weighs 7 pounds and 15 ounces. She and her husband, Josh, also have a 3-year-old daughter, Madilyn.
“He’s perfect and beautiful,” said Eric Thompson of Newton Falls, Sara’s father and the grandfather of the new baby.
He said his daughter didn’t pay attention to all of the “end of the world” talk.
“It was just a passing joke,” he said.
Thompson thought it was silly.
“People were getting all worked up over it,” Thompson said. “When we found out it was going to be around his birthday, I thought, ‘Well that’s interesting. Many people say it’s going to be the end of the world, it’s the beginning of the world for him.’”
Before the couple picked a name, Sara got some good-natured ribbing.
“We keep teasing her that his name should be Doom,” Thompson said.
Emily Wills of Cortland celebrated her birthday Friday, too. It was her 21st.
She had been a little worried about “end of days” stories.
“You kind of never know what to expect,” she said.
Her plans for the day involved “having a beer in celebration of being 21 and the world not ending.”
She drove Wednesday night to Kent State University, where she’s a student, for a little pre-celebration — just in case.
“All we did was sit around and watch movies,” she noted.
Her friends in Cortland got her a cake Thursday night, another pre-emptive measure.
“We basically talked about, ‘Do you think it’s really gonna happen?”
Her religious beliefs, she noted, tell her that no one knows the date or the time for the end.
Wills lamented that her birthday, being so close to Christmas, always seemed to get short shrift. “It really seemed like I was going to, if the world had ended,” she said.
The Rev. Daniel Rohan, pastor of St. Mark Orthodox Church in Liberty, didn’t encounter people in his congregation who believed that Friday would be the end.
“The Scripture teaches that no one knows the end of time, not even Christ knows the end of time,” the Rev. Mr. Rohan said. “Only his father knows.”