If you're one of millions of Americans faced with a crushing debt load, no job, a circle of family and friends in similar straits, and no reason to expect the future will be any better, take heart: the world may end tomorrow!
Even if the world doesn't officially explode, a rash of shocking violence may engulf several regions of the globe in wars so gruesome that your petty First World troubles will seem like a blessing. So there's that.
On Wednesday, the moon will pass in front of the sun, causing a complete solar eclipse. And certain Indian astrologers have some definitively bleak ideas about what happens during a solar eclipse:
Pregnant women are advised to stay indoors to prevent their babies developing birth defects, while prayers, fasting and ritual bathing, particularly in holy rivers, are encouraged.
[...] Astrologers have predicted a rise in communal and regional violence in the days following the eclipse, particularly in India, China and other Southeast Asian nations where it can be seen on Wednesday morning.
Doesn't sound like much fun, does it? But a collection of international scientists takes a more sanguine view:
Around 200 astronomers, including 22 from Japan and five from the east European countries of Bulgaria and Romania, will be [in the Indian city of Surat] from Tuesday. [...] "To view a total solar eclipse is the experience of a lifetime and we don't want to miss it," says workshop convener Dhananjay Rawal.
Well, sure! Who would want to miss out on witnessing the very instant when the world exploded in an orgy of violence, disaster, and birth defects?
Except you, of course. You should probably stay inside. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Close the drapes. And if we're all still around for President Obama's evening press conference about our bankrupt and broken medical system, well, we can consider ourselves lucky.