April 22, 1992 |
The soldiers in the doomsday bunker are headed for the day shift. The Pentagon announced yesterday that the Alternate National Military Command Center, a huge post buried inside Raven Rock Mountain near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border, is going off its 24-hour alert and on to "a normal week-day schedule. " The center served throughout the Cold War as a backup Pentagon, where commanders were to gather if Washington were destroyed in a nuclear war. Visitors to the secret post, just off the Appalachian Trail northwest of Camp David, Md., say it is a subterranean city with streets and electric cars, fresh-water reservoirs, tons of freeze-dried food and hundreds of soldiers.
May 3, 1999 |
Though Hollywood has made an obscene pile of money with end-of-the-world scenarios in Deep Impact and Armageddon, the Canadian Last Night proves there's more power when doomsday arrives with a whimper rather than a bang. It's moving rather than maudlin.In this haunting and riveting film, the world will end in six hours for reasons that are wisely left unexplained. In his strong and confident directing debut, Don McKellar, who wrote both The Red Violin and Thirty Two Short Pieces About Glenn Gould, has penned a minimalist and highly effective drama.
March 28, 1997 |
California is not the only place to spawn Doomsday cults; Philadelphia has had its share of grim prophets all the way back to the city's birth. Two years after William Penn founded the city, 40 robe-wearing mystics from Germany arrived to meditate and to await the end of the world, which their leader predicted would come in 1694. In the 1780s, prophetess Jimima Wilkinson stirred Philadelphia with predictions of doom and established an all-female sect. Then there were the "Millerites," who in 1844 sold all their earthly possessions, put on "ascension robes" and waited for the end of the world in a soggy field in West Philadelphia.
September 6, 1990 |
The hero/victim of Kurt Vonnegut's new novel is writing his memoirs in a prison library, on blank pages torn from some of the 800,000 volumes that no one has ever read or is likely to. Is that metaphor or what? The year is 2001. The place is Scipio, in upstate New York. The author is named Eugene Debs Hartke, who is now awaiting trial on the absurd charge that he masterminded a blacks-only prison breakout. But, enough of the plot. Vonnegut tells a story - he always does.
November 13, 2011
Jay Rubenstein is a professor of history at the University of Tennessee and the author of Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse On Oct. 21, the world did not end, despite predictions by Christian radio personality Harold Camping. We have by now laughed him off, but perhaps we owe Camping one more serious hearing. I for one can't help but ask: What if the apocalypse had happened? Or if not "the" apocalypse, then at least something fairly apocalyptic? That is what occurred 900 years ago. Thousands of people expected the apocalypse, and they got it, though not the one they were expecting.
January 17, 2000 |
Burnell Yow!'s vision of doomsday involves an invasion by an outside force, particularly extraterrestrials. "When I was a kid, I had this theory that aliens were going to come and harvest us," Yow!, 48, of Philadelphia, said yesterday at an exhibit at Salon des Amis gallery here. Yow! molded this theory into a $1,200 multimedia work he calls We Are Delicious, after a poem of sorts that he penned as a teenager. In it, humans are food for aliens. Yow!'s work was one of 42 pieces on display yesterday at the grand opening of the gallery's "Doomsday: Revelations" show, which drew entries from Philadelphia and its suburbs.
April 1, 1991
To some, today is a day for bad jokes. But for 10,000 kids being cared for by social service agencies under contract to the city's Department of Human Services, the only foolishness on this April 1 comes from city and state officials. DHS Commissioner Joan M. Reeves wasn't joking, however, when she warned City Council two weeks ago that April 1 was doomsday for the kids in her care. Without money from local or state sources, she warned, 6,281 children in dependent placements, 459 in subsidized adoptions, 774 in delinquent residential placements, 180 in group homes and more than 4,000 receiving in- home services, day care, or day treatment services would be out of luck because her department would be out of money.
June 26, 1995 |
It's the Cave of Kelpius, and it's probably the most obscure, hard-to- locate historic site in Philadelphia. Johannes Kelpius is probably the most obscure, elusive figure in local history. So, of course, his cave is hard to find. The man was seeking an isolated place in the wilderness to meditate. Three hundred years ago, Kelpius and his crew were waiting in the hills above Wissahickon Creek for the Second Coming, the end of world. So, it's timely to consider Kelpius and "the Hermits of the Wissahickon" now because every time a new century approaches, a group appears in Philadelphia predicting the apocalypse.
May 17, 2011 |
HE'S THE Joe Namath of Doomsday hucksters, but the stakes are much higher than Super Bowl III. Harold Camping, the 89-year-old Christian evangelist from Oakland whose Family Radio broadcasts are heard in 61 languages, doesn't think that Judgment Day will come Saturday. He guarantees it. "It is absolutely going to happen," said Camping, who has determined after five decades of studying Scripture that May 21 marks the beginning of the end. "We do not have a Plan B at all. There is no possibility that it will not happen, because all of our information comes from the Bible.
November 1, 2009 |
Roland Emmerich has an ongoing project: destroying the world. In 1996's Independence Day, the German director sent aliens to wipe out the White House. In 1998, he unleashed Godzilla to wreak havoc on the streets of New York. In 2004's The Day After Tomorrow, he froze the planet in a new ice age. But in his new film, 2012, to be released Nov. 13 and already the eye of a vast promotion storm, things get really bad. Emmerich, who has earned the unofficial title of "Master of Disaster," admits having searched Google for a doomsday scenario even more spectacular than his previous destructions of Earth.