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More than almost anywhere else, Russians are having trouble dealing with the upcoming apocalypse on December 21. You probably shouldn't miss The New York Times' Ellen Barry's story on how the country is dealing with the rumor the world will end soon. There are reports the country is on edge because, according an old Mayan prophecy, the world is going to end in less than three weeks. Russian prisoners tried to escape because, "one of them imagined that the earth yawned." That's just one of the weirder anecdotes in the story. It got so bad, according to Barry's story, the director of the Russian minister of emergency situations had to assure citizens last week that they had, "methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth," and that he could promise there would be a December 22. Instead of worrying about the end of the world, the minister provided this helpful list of other things Russians should fret over: 

He acknowledged, however, that Russians were still vulnerable to “blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply.”

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