SYDNEY, Dec 21 � While doomsayers hunkered down to await the coming apocalypse, others took a more lighthearted view today of a Mayan prophecy of the world�s end and marked the event with stunts and parties.
Interpretations of the Mayan �Long Count� calendar point to an era of more than 5,000 years coming to a halt on December 21, although in Sydney it was business as usual.
With Australia one of the first countries to see the sun rise on what is supposed to be the end of days, Tourism Australia�s Facebook page was bombarded with posts asking if anyone survived Down Under. �Yes, we�re alive,� the organisation responded to fretting users.
Scientists in Taiwan also had their tongues firmly in cheek, setting up a two-story replica of a Mayan pyramid and planting an electronic countdown timer on top, drawing crowds at the National Museum of Natural Science.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard set the satirical tone this month with a one-minute spoof address recorded for a youth radio station.