The Washington Post

How Harold Camping actually calculated the May 21 end date

On The Post’s Under God blog, Elizabeth Flock drew out Harold Camping’s calculations that predict the May 21 end of the world.

But I know better.

Here are the actual numbers Harold Camping used to calculate the arrival of the End.

Jesus = #1! +

Guy in Wisconsin eats 25,000 Big Macs +

.000003 = Odds life without Oprah will be worth living +

$54,808,297 = Domestic gross to date of the movie “I Am Number Four” +

4 = The Number That I Am +

34 = Number of times I have awakened in the middle of the night with a really good thought I should have written down +

2012 = the year it is next year +

June 18, 2011 = expiration date on this can of peas I happen to be holding +

559-3827 = phone number that showed up in my phone under the name Not Jonathan +

6 = number of times I’ve seen “Pretty Woman” and cried +

30 = number of times I’ve seen “Pretty Woman” +

1 = number of times I’ve seen “Pretty Woman” and choked up a little bit but I think it was allergies +

Rosebud +

59 = Stephen Hawking’s age

37 = copies of “Life’s Little Instruction Book” I’ve given to people for graduation because I forgot to buy gifts that weren’t terrible +

2 = cast members of “The View” who remind me of my mother +

07734 = number you can type into your calculator to make it look like it’s talking to you +

3,444,9 = I assume the total number of bears in North America +

8 = optimal height for a Christmas tree, in feet +

8! = I just really like the way this number looks like it’s wearing a belt +

-40320 = In my enthusiasm for the number 8, I wrote it with an exclamation mark, making it a factorial and throwing off the calculation! +

1 = number of times I’ve been wrong about the world ending before +

8 = I really like this number +

21 = hit album by Adele +

- 49669598.000003 - e = number God whispered to me once in a dream

= 5212011

May 21, 2011!

Clear as pie!

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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