Who Counts?City Paper displayed a shocking array of symbols on the front page of its Jan. 4 issue, 4,486 figures for each U.S. soldier killed in Iraq. Not displayed were the estimated 600,000 Iraqi and other nationals killed in the Iraq War. If those deaths would be graphically displayed in City Paper, it would take over 230 pages or three entire issues.
Richard J. Ochs
Yours and Mayan“The End of the Year as We Know It” by Mr. Wrong (Jan. 4) achieves being incorrect, disrespectful, and requiring further explication. Based in Merida, the Yucatan, I spent two weeks studying Mayan culture. A high point were the hours spend at El Caracol (“The Snail”) in Chichen Itza. This limestone-enclosed staircase has windows and doors aligned with astronomical events (especially the transit of Venus) and is held to be an early observatory.
Instead of being dismissed as “the Aztec or the Mayan or whoever . . . calendar,” it was more accurate than the Julian calender used in Europe until the switch to the Gregorian calendar starting in 1582. The Julian calendar has years lasting 365 and one-fourth days. Even with a leap year/day, that measure is off by 11 minutes a year, or in need of a three-day adjustment every 400 years. The Mayan calendar allowed for this correction.
Do not cash in your bonds and max out credit cards. On Dec. 21, 2012, the world does not end but another millennium-plus Mayan calendar begins its cycle.
Gary F. Suggars
Editor’s note: Remember, we want your valentines to run (free, totally gratis) in our annual Free Love issue on Feb. 8. citypaper.com/valentines2012.
And since we love you, our readers, we want to give you a little early Valentine’s Day token and take several hundred of you to the movies. That’s right, it’s time for our annual Free Movie Night at the Charles Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 24., and we’ll see you (or at least the first 800 of you) there.