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It was Dec. 17, 1919, and the world was all but coming to an end. From England and France to Cleveland and Indianapolis, people huddled, prayed, cried and stared into the sky, waiting and watching for a dramatic climax. There would be torrential rains, massive lava eruptions and deafening winds that would rattle the earth for days.
Fear spread to Canada, Europe and part of Latin America. Lava eruptions, hurricane-force winds and torrential rains were some of the natural disasters that would destroy life on the blue planet. As the fatal date approached, many people gathered in churches, looking for a miracle. So many others were crying in the streets. The miners refused to work for fear of landslides. Even some people committed suicide.
According to an eye-popping history of this affair by the University of Michigan's Heritage Project, Alberto Francisco Porta was born in 1853 in Italy. He studied architecture and civil engineering. After service work rebuilding earthquake-damaged churches in Central America with the Society of Jesus, he moved his family to the San Francisco Bay area where they witnessed the devastating 1906 earthquake. He taught mechanical drawing, civil engineering, architecture and geometry at a small Jesuit school, Santa Clara College.
He was no longer employed at the college when the priest in charge of the school observatory hired him temporarily in 1913 to do some math calculations about sunspots.
In 1915, Porta set himself up as a weather- and earthquake-forecasting institute — Instituto delle Scienze Planetarie, the Institute of Planetary Sciences. There was no telescope at the institute. Porta had no scientific apparatus there at all. Instead, he had a copy of a federal booklet, American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, which annually published the movements of the Earth, Sun, Moon and stars.
There are very few ways the "world will end"
originally posted by: okrian
a reply to: Gothmog
Isn't the Milky Way supposed to collide with Andromeda before our sun goes red giant? The collisions and orbit rewriting from that will be the end of the way our earth exists. But... that's a ways off.