If you believe everything you read on the Web, the world will go down in flames no fewer than a dozen times in the year 2012. One of the many apocalyptic predictions comes to us from a host of Internet-roaming Web bots. Yep, the very software we created in the late '90s to track search keywords and message board chatter might just have the inside tip on doomsday.
According to Clif High and George Ure, creators of the Web Bot Project, their work somehow managed to foresee both the 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina from our Web browsing activity. Granted, it was only meant to predict market trends based on what everyone's searching for or writing about, but the duo argues that linguistic changes precede far-reaching behavioral shifts. Naturally, High and Ure keep the details of the programming secret and sell their results to interested parties.
The next big stop, according to the bot masters, is a 2012 cataclysm. Bear in mind, however, that the bots have been wrong on numerous other predictions, so they're ultimately no better a source for future predictions than your daily horoscope.
How to Prepare: If the Web bots speak the truth, the Internet may be of little use in the ensuing confusion of a 2012 apocalypse. As with any disaster, FEMA suggests you keep a battery- or crank-powered radio on hand to stay abreast of local evacuation plans.
Ah, but where do we flee to if doom comes to Earth in the form of a man-made black hole? Find out on the next page.