Dallas, Texas – With 91 days remaining before the oft predicted “end of the world” based on the anticipated “turning over” of the Maya calendar, Southwestern College Professor Dr. Mark Van Stone Wednesday offered suggestions and resources for parents who have children and teens asking questions about the growing tensions in the world based on what they have seen or heard about the Maya.

Dr. Van Stone’s new digital book for the iPad, 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, provides colorful, scientific and interactive answers about the Maya for kids of all ages, and it is a resource parents can rely on when children ask, “Is the world really coming to an end on Dec. 21, 2012 based on Maya predictions?”

Dr. Van Stone, recognized as one of only four scholars in the world to write a scholarly book on the Maya and their predictions for 2012, says knowledge of the ancient Mesoamerican civilization is limited, “but we know enough to say confidently they didn’t predict an end of the world in December of this year.”

He believes parents, grandparents and teachers have an obligation to assure youngsters that doomsday predictions have long been part of our culture, and as yet, none of them have come true. He also emphasizes that there are no written clues that were left by the Maya of an impending, immediate doom in the year 2012. In fact, according to his exhaustive work, the Maya actually predicted a long and stable future to at least 4772 AD – 2,700 years from now.

“While archaeologists have dug up 1 percent of the Maya cities … there’s 99 percent of the information that’s still there available for us to find, and nothing has been found that spells the end for anyone in the next 90 or so days,” Dr. Van Stone says.

For this reason, Dr. Van Stone says there are many reasons to approach popular prophecies of the Maya critically. He also believes that many current world events, including the most recent protests in the Muslim world and last week’s eruption of the volcano in Guatemala are not evidence of fulfillment of Maya prophecy. Rather, these are merely coincidences – the kinds of events that will continue to happen in the 91 days remaining before the “end” of the Maya calendar.

“While junk scientists and new agers have made so many wild predictions about Dec. 21, 2012, that some of them are bound to happen, especially if these ‘predictions’ are non-specific, there is not a shred of evidence to support them,” Van Stone said. “Lots of potentially tragic events are going to happen between now and the end of December. Lots have happened every year and will continue to happen. As for that volcano right smack in the middle of Maya country: its eruption is indeed impressive. But there is a reason they call it ‘Volcano of Fire.’ It is always smoking and sputtering, and it often erupts violently. We don’t have a single Maya inscription about volcanoes. We don’t even have the glyphs for the words volcano, eruption or lava, because they apparently never mentioned them,” Dr. Van Stone said.

Dr. Van Stone suggests parents with a child who is seeking answers to what they have seen on TV or read on the Internet be open and straightforward with them.

“This is a great teachable moment to talk about the fantastic history of the Maya and there are many scientific resources available, like my book for the iPad, that can help open a new world of learning for children of all ages,” Dr. Van Stone said. “My colleagues and I are celebrating this attention for the Maya because we know once children begin to study them, they only will want to learn more. We very well may have a great new number of Maya scholars in the next decade because of the wild predictions that have been made about this year.”

In his book, now available on the iBookstore in a format exclusive to the iPad, Dr. Van Stone addresses all the actual Maya predictions made for Dec. 21. It can be used to help educate the public as more, and more shrill, “prophecies” come out of the woodwork as we approach the 5,125-year “end” of the Maya calendar-cycle.

This 179-page book has 3-D animations, interactive maps and drawings, beautiful photographs, and two hours of video illustrations. It is the best tool to counter the exponentially-expanding fantasies of pseudo-scientists, dreamers, hallucinators and snake-oil salesmen looking to capitalize on the “end” of the Maya Calendar on Dec. 21 or 23, 2012. Dr. Van Stone points out that more scholars correlate the “end of the Bak’tun” in the Maya Long Count Calendar to Dec. 23 or 24 than to the 21st.

With degrees in physics and art history, Dr. Van Stone is an expert calligrapher, netsuke-carver, artist, and scholar of ancient writing.

“This book expands the way an individual can learn on their own, at their own pace and to a level not previously possible,” said Dr. Van Stone. “I am proud and delighted to be part of a team that has set a high standard for this new kind of educational tool.”

Dr. Van Stone also is offering classroom teachers wanting to do guest video conferences about the Maya to schedule a time when he can join their students.

This fascinating book discusses the 2012 “meme,” Maya culture, the workings of their calendar, mathematics, astronomy, world-view, creativity and their hieroglyphs. A section on deciphering their hieroglyphs introduces the reader to how we know what we know about the writings of this ancient and noble culture.

About Dr. Mark Van Stone:
With degrees in physics and art history, Professor Mark Van Stone is an expert calligrapher, netsuke-carver, and scholar of world paleography and hieroglyphic writing. He has worked as a musician, disk jockey, interviewer, laboratory technician, animator, type designer, author, lecturer, and archaeological illustrator. His beautifully-illustrated books on Maya hieroglyphs and culture bridge scholarly and popular genres. This Renaissance man is a gifted and entertaining lecturer, ably explicating arcane subjects for a wide audience. His new interactive book for the iPad, 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, sets a new standard for popular cultural and science education.

Device Requirements:
* Requires iPad with iOS 5.0 or later
* iBooks 2 or later

Pricing and Availability:
2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya is $14.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the iBookstore in the Astronomy category. Schedule an interview now about this amazing technological work.

Claxton Creative
2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya
Purchase and Download
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Claxton Creative is a Dallas-based full-service public relations firm focused on the development of interactive, multi-touch publications for mobile devices worldwide. The company was founded by former Dallas ISD communications director, Donald J. Claxton and is supported with the assistance of Fort Worth Author Ron Rose, Dallas Author Allen Manning, Birmingham, AL editor Larisa Lovelady, Ally Stephenson of Huntsville, AL, and others. Copyright (C) 2012 Claxton Creative. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

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