Doomsayers Get Second Chance For End Of World

Look out Chicken Little, the planets are aligning.

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As if those of us on Earth don't have enough to worry about, what with the Y2K computer bugaboo bearing down on us and the doomsayers shouting "End of the world!" on every corner, a planetary catastrophe is just too much to take.


After all, there's still Christmas shopping to wrap up and greeting cards to mail and food hoarding to finish.


And now, for crying out loud, the planets are aligning.


The doom-and-gloom crowd is saying that if the Apocalyptic calendar change Jan. 1 doesn't wipe us out, a planetary alignment with the sun May 5 certainly will.


Good grief. So many cataclysmic events, so little time.


The reasoning behind this latest cosmic conspiracy goes something like this:


On May 5, 2000, the solar system's six inner planets -- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn -- will more or less fall in line with the sun.


Earth will be on one side of the sun and the five other planets will gang up on us and line up on the other side.


"Proponents of the doomsday scenario predict a domino effect of catastrophic proportions," reports the Arizona Republic. "They believe the Earth's polar regions are unstable and about to shift because the weight of expanding glaciers has pulverized the rock beneath it, turning it into a slippery layer of goo.


"The 'great alignment,' they say, with its extra gravitational pull on Earth, will provide just the catalyst to set the polar regions slip-sliding away toward the Equator."


That could easily put a damper on Cinco de Mayo celebrations.


Of course, scientists who wasted all kinds of time earning degrees and stuff steadfastly poo-poo the idea.


Of course, if the planetary alignment doesn't get us, the presidential election in November probably will.

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