Dictionary.com

Betelgeuse has been in the news again recently. No, not the creepy character played by Michael Keaton in the 1988 Tim Burton movie Beetlejuice . We’re talking about the red supergiant star in the constellation Orion, that Betelgeuse.

Apparently, some pseudo-scientific gossip is circulating online claiming that Betelgeuse will explode in 2012, causing damaging neutrino release and gamma radiation. There will be two bright, sun-like bodies in our earthling sky, the sun and a superbright type II supernova.

This cataclysmic doomsday prediction is a bunch of hoo-ha, malarkey, bunkum, and we’ll gladly take the opportunity to talk about the wonderful words associated with this wacky hoax. Let’s begin with the eighth brightest star in the night sky that also has one of the greatest names of all the stars, Betelgeuse.

Betelgeuse’s moniker comes from Arabic, dating from a time when the hottest scientific discoveries came from the Middle East of the 16th Century. Orion was known as the constellation “the Giant” or al-Juaza. Bet- is a shortening of abet, or armpit, the location of the star in the giant’s constellation: bet al-Juaza became “Betelgeuse” as it moved to usage in Europe.

(Don’t forget the intriguing origin of the word “hoax” itself. It may have to do with sacrilegious puns. Get the story, here.)

So how about the Star Trek-sounding effects promised in this cataclysmic doomsday warning? Well, when a star of Betelgeuse’s mass collapses, it releases neutrinos, elusive particles that travel almost as fast as light. As the name suggests, neutrinos aren’t harmful – they pass through matter without effect.

Gamma rays may be the basis of many Marvel Comics heroes and villains, but in real life they are a form of high frequency light with a wavelength too short to appear in the visible spectrum. Gamma radiation is emitted from a nuclear reaction, essentially what’s happening inside an exploding star. If exposed, this would be bad news for Earthlings. Fortunately, scientists concur that Betelgeuse’s gamma rays would not be pointing in our general direction, so we should be safe when Betelgeuse supernovas.

(This isn’t the first time we’ve written about false reports of planets and stars changing the night sky. Check out the bizarre case of Mars and learn the violent meaning behind the planet’s name, here.)

Finally, what about the appearance of 2012 in the hyperbolic prediction? 2012 is associated with doomsday predictions of varying origin, most relating to the ending of the Mayan calendar in that year. The truth is, while astronomers are very certain Betelgeuse will supernova, and relatively soon, that “relatively” is in astronomical time, which can be pinpointed precisely down to sometime in the next million years. That means you have plenty of time to receive more email hoaxes in your inbox.

General Mills Inc. And The Tom Joyner Morning Show Create Alliance In Support Of The Tom Joyner Foundation

Atlanta Inquirer May 25, 2002

Atlanta Inquirer 05-25-2002 An invaluable connection was made recently when General Mills, Inc., maker of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix and Honey Nut Cheerios cereals announced its partnership with nationally syndicated radio celebrity Tom Joyner. To launch its affiliation, the Minneapolis-based company presented a check for $600,000 to the Tom Joyner Foundation – the largest level of support by any firm in the history of the organization.

“Tom Joyner’s commitment to education and to the community is unparalleled, and General Mills, Inc. Shares his vision,” said CeLois Steele, General Mills Community Relations. “We consider it an honor to partner with Tom Joyner and his Foundation – and we look forward to helping him make a difference by helping students in financial need at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

Tom Joyner, otherwise known as the “Fly Jock,” the “Hardest Working Man in Radio,” and the “Ultimate Breakfast Host,” is star of ABC Radio Networks’ The Tom Joyner Morning Show. Every weekday morning, Joyner invites a nationwide audience of more than five million listeners into his studio quarters, delivering a combination of music, talk, sports, gossip and comedy bits. The show can be heard on over 100 urban radio stations throughout the United States.

The Tom Joyner Foundation provides money directly to Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) for the purpose of helping students complete their education. “To say we’re pleased with General Mills’ support of The Tom Joyner Foundation would be an understatement!” said Joyner. “And because every cent of every donation made goes directly to students, this level of corporate support packs a powerful financial punch for the HBCU. this web site cinnamon toast crunch

It is greatly needed and genuinely appreciated.”

Tom Joyner and General Mills Inc.’s collaboration includes General Mills’ participating support of The Tom Joyner Morning Show 2002 Sky Shows, as well as being the Presenting sponsor of the Tom Joyner Foundation’s Royal Caribbean Fantastic Voyage 2002 Cruise.

The Sky Show is a live broadcast of The Tom Joyner Morning Show featuring a national recording artist or group. Known as the “Party with a Purpose,” Sky Shows support HBCUs through the Tom Joyner Foundation, as well as help drive the vote with a voter registration drive. Fans of The Tom Joyner Morning Show have been attending and continue to support Sky Shows since 1996. Listeners generally wait in line the night before to party with Joyner and his Crew. There are 30 Sky Shows each year, making it the largest, free, live African American entertainment series in the country.

As a participating sponsor of the Tom Joyner Morning Show 2002 Sky Shows, General Mills’ Cereal Posse provide guests with great “Goodie Bags” filled with samples of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Honey Nut Cheerios and fun gifts, as well as an opportunity to participate in the General Mills “Crunch Time” contest. For a chance to win $500, contestants have 30 seconds to talk about Cinnamon Toast Crunch without saying “uh.”

The Tom Joyner Foundation’s Royal Caribbean Fantastic Voyage 2002 Cruise Presented by General Mills, is the ultimate party with a purpose, and all proceeds will help students who are in financial need finish their education at a HBCU. Joyner’s guests aboard the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas, experience a seven-day cruise and stop at three beautiful islands. Each night cruisers enjoy live performances from some of the biggest names in the music industry. The two previous Fantastic Voyage cruises each have raised at least a million dollars for the Tom Joyner Foundation. website cinnamon toast crunch

In addition, General Mills, Inc. will award six cruise packages for two to the Tom Joyner Foundation Presents the Royal Caribbean Fantastic Voyage 2002 Cruise in selected retail markets. The prize package includes round trip airfare to and from Miami, complimentary meals every day and cabin accommodations.

With leading brands like Trix, a lasting favorite with colorful fruit shapes and the irresistible, sweet, fruity taste kids love; Cinnamon Toast Crunch, the unique blend of delicious cinnamon and sugar; and the “Bee Happy, Bee Healthy” with Honey Nut Cheerios brand, General Mills, Inc.’s “Big G” cereal division is a category leader – creating fun, healthy and great-tasting cereal products for Americans of all ages for over 75 years.

General Mills Inc. is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods products, with annual worldwide sales of $13.5 billion. Its global brand portfolio includes Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Bugles and more. It also has more than 100 U.S.

consumer brands, more than 30 of which generate annual retail sales in excess of $100 million. Included in the U.S. portfolio are some of the nation’s most popular brands including Cheerios, Whites and other Big G cereal brands; Yoplait and Colombo yogurts, Betty Crocker desserts and dinner mixes; Betty Crocker and Nature Valley snacks; Totino’s frozen pizza and snacks and Progresso ready-to-serve soups. General Mills is also a leader in the bakeries and foodservice business as a major supplier of baking and other food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries.

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122 Comments

  1. laxsiya -  June 9, 2011 - 1:35 pm

    CAN’T WAIT UNTIL DOOOMMSSDAY!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. AMY-LOU -  February 8, 2011 - 5:50 am

    The Demon Ira on February 3, 2011 at 4:59 am
    Hey this is to Ira Von wrath A.K.A The Demon Ira. I believe that what you say it the truth…..even though you scare the crap outta me half the time! ROFL!

    I WONDER ABOUT YOU SOMETIMES BOY!

    Reply
  3. AMY-LOU -  February 8, 2011 - 5:48 am

    UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Reply
  4. Amies -  February 8, 2011 - 5:47 am

    Epesse on January 31, 2011 at 7:59 am
    aimes… you shoulg run up to mr.smarr and say beetlejuice 3 times. maybe he will disappear.

    Tried it….And instead he told me he dreamed about me being this dark angel thing…lol.

    Reply
  5. Your Worst Nightmare -  February 3, 2011 - 10:26 pm

    I believe that all of you should respect each other’s beliefs and GET OVER IT. LOOK this is JUST an ARTICLE. You don’t NEED to be throwing comments at each other as if it were knifes of DEATH. Yeah, that’s right, GO AHEAD. Do WHATEVER you people want. NOBODY is stopping YOU. YOU stop yourself.

    PS- I think that a fraction of you are children without a mind at all.

    Reply
  6. The Demon Ira -  February 3, 2011 - 4:59 am

    Hey this is to Ira Von wrath A.K.A The Demon Ira. I believe that what you say it the truth…..even though you scare the crap outta me half the time! ROFL!

    Reply
  7. hahahahehehahuhuha -  February 2, 2011 - 9:34 pm

    wow this is the stupidest third actualy thing i’ve heard all day
    also how will we all die anyways???

    Reply
  8. twirly -  February 1, 2011 - 12:58 pm

    someone just stepped on my tail…it hurts real bad :-(

    Reply
  9. The Demon Ira -  February 1, 2011 - 5:47 am

    @Blake

    I believe your calculations are correct, and if the star did go SuperNova Type II we would not know about it for 640 years. Nor would it actually affect the Earth.

    We have more to worry about from the Comets that pass Earth every so often, or a nuclear war from our own race.

    Gotta Love Science Dude :)

    Ira Von Wrath

    Reply
  10. ron -  January 31, 2011 - 10:11 pm

    Betelgeuse is 3.3 light years away. hardly a problem.

    but the real point is that if it does go nova in 2012 we will not know about it until sometime in 2015.

    Reply
  11. TSIM | Wyatt's Stuffarium -  January 31, 2011 - 9:04 pm

    [...] away, too far away to hurt us. BTW, Dictionary.com’s The Hot Word blog has a great post about Betelgeuse. In Satchian, Betelgeuse is Mroþu, a completely made-up name. The only reason I have made-up names [...]

    Reply
  12. Blake -  January 31, 2011 - 6:09 pm

    Hubris Hugo, your calculations are utter nonsense. You can’t even seem to figure out whether a lightyear measures time or distance. A lightyear is by definition the distance that light travels in a year. Light takes 1 year to travel 1 lightyear, and 640 years to travel 640 lightyears.

    The Earth is constantly bombarded by gamma rays from the sun, so you’re wrong there too. Gamma rays are light, and so they always travel through space at the speed of light.

    Regardless, I’m not sure why you’re attacking me when were on the same side.

    Reply
  13. G -  January 31, 2011 - 5:34 pm

    I noticed that some people have been mentioning the sun “going-nova” as a possible apocalyptic senario the problem with this is that before a star can “go-nova” it must progress through the red-giant stage and the white-dwarf stage before it can explode each of those stages last longer than a billion years and are more than 2 billion years away.

    Not to mention that the earth would be SUPER heated (past twice the temperature of mercury) so that no life could possably be sustained there. So I can personally guarantee that no human will ever die from the sun “going-nova”.

    Reply
  14. UKNOIT -  January 31, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    JUST STOP COMMENTING EVERY1 GETS THE WORLD WILL NOT END IN 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  15. Gravity Cat -  January 31, 2011 - 4:55 pm

    Gravity Cat says “Why you no clean litterbox?”. Man says “Have you heard Gravity Cat, the end of the world is comming because a star is blowing up!” Gravity Cat replies “And where did you hear that?”. Man replies “Got an email from a Prudent Wise Guy.” Gravity Cat says “Gravity Cat is not amused.” (Man goes flying everywhere and explodes.)

    Reply
  16. THE PRUDENT WISE GUY -  January 31, 2011 - 4:31 pm

    and this time is WAY OFF.

    Reply
  17. anonymous -  January 31, 2011 - 4:21 pm

    amazing what rumours people these days can think up of

    Reply
  18. this is stupid crap -  January 31, 2011 - 4:19 pm

    idiots

    Reply
  19. this is stupid crap -  January 31, 2011 - 4:13 pm

    lol this time is screwd.

    Reply
  20. Hubris Hugo -  January 31, 2011 - 4:07 pm

    also, if gamma rays hit the Earth at the speed of light, we would not see it or know it happened because we would be killed nearly instantaneously by all of the rays be thrust at us. Peaceful death, maybe. Though the world will not end anytime soon.

    and with that, whoever believes in these hoaxes and are terrible at math and calculations (Blake), is a completely misunderstood.

    Reply
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