Of course, the biggest question on some people's minds for 2012 is: Will the world end? Are the planets going to align in such a way that Earth as we know it will cease to exist? That depends on who you believe. NASA scientists say everything's fine, calm down, nothing bad will happen. Scientists at NASA even set up a special section on the official NASA website to discuss the situation. Skeptics seem to agree, but there are always those who disagree and think we're in for total disaster and doom.
Will the World End?
NASA Senior Research Scientist Don Yeomans
Yeomans is one of several NASA scientists who don't think some planetary alignment will result in the end of the world in 2012. He's quick to point out that yes, there's a ton of interest in the position of the planets (and their trajectories) in relation to Earth this year, particularly towards the end of the year, but he says there's no need to panic. This is a lot of hype, and speculation. Yeoman says: "Now, I for one love a good book or movie as much as the next guy. But the stuff flying around through cyberspace, TV, and the movies is not based on science."In case you're interested, NASA has established a special FAQ page to address the whole 2012 end-of-days theory, which you can read here.
'The God Particle'
Physicist and Director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Rolf Heuer
Ever heard of the so-called 'God Particle?' This particle, also known as the subatomic Higgs Boson particle, could finally be proven (or disproven) to exist in 2012, according to physicist Rolf Heuer, the director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Discovering the Higgs Boson particle could fill in a major piece of the missing puzzle with regard to the formation of the entire Universe. In short, the particle could help to answer the fundamental question about why matter has mass.Over the summer of 2011, Heuer said that 2012 is THE year for this discovery, noting that, "I would say we can settle the question, the Shakespearean question - 'to be or not to be' -- by the end of next year."
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, 'The Atlantic' and Robert Hof of 'Forbes'
Facebook crossed the 500 million users mark in July of 2010. At the beginning of 2012, Facebook had roughly 800 million users. Back then, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg predicted that the company would eventually see one billion users. Could this happen in 2012? Or has the growth slowed down for the world's largest social network? Some industry watchers, including The Atlantic's Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, say yes, it's going to happen. Let the countdown begin!Another Facebook-related 2012 prediction: The company will offer a long-anticipated IPO and it will be huge - valuing the company at up to $100 billion ("billion" seems to be a key word where Facebook's concerned in 2012). Not everyone thinks the IPO will be the saving grace for the economy, however, including Robert Hof of Forbes, who says that the Facebook IPO "won't launch a thousand IPOs as a gazillion venture capitalists and angel investors hope."
The Year of the Tablet
Vivek Wadhwa, 'The Washington Post'With the Kindle Fire's explosion in popularity, will more, even lower-priced Android-powered tablets surface in 2012? Possibly. 'The Atlantic' predicts that Google will lead the way with a $200 tablet, while Washington Post columnist Vivek Wadhwa predicts that prices will go even lower - possibly into the "sub-$100" range.