We are four days away from Dec. 21, 2012 and the supposed end of the Maya calendar. What an interesting ride this all has been.
As you know, work began innocent enough last year on The Wonders Expedition site. That grew into a connection with Dr. Mark Van Stone, just a short while after we discovered the new technology released by Apple to make books for the iPad. When I showed Dr. Van Stone what the technology could do, we were off to the races in turning his previously written textbook on the ancient Maya into an amazing product for the iPad. (You can buy it now from iTunes at MVS2012.com)
That was a painstaking process. One of immense cost and learning.
But I have learned so many new things about technology, people, history and even myself throughout 2012. It’s really been a great growth year for me personally.
Through the course of this year’s adventure, I’ve gained much in my knowledge of Apple products and technology.
I’ve learned how to use Apple’s iBooks Author and iTunes Connect software products to make the most amazing books for iPad.
Tumult released an update to their software called Hype this year. It helps makes cool animated widgets that then can be added to books for iPad.
And then came the release of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Because I already owned Photoshop, I was able to use the full suite of products for a mere $32.95 per month, with tax included. That means I’ve been able to use an updated version of Photoshop, but also been able to use inDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Encoder, Encore and more.
But as you may know, you don’t just dive into an Adobe Suite and begin using it. Well, I kinda did. And the website Lynda.com helped a lot.
I’ve worked with and had the backing of some great people this year who have made sacrifices along with me to help make magic come to life. It’s probably best that I don’t start a list of names here, but we did feature and thank many of them within the pages of Dr. Van Stone’s book for iPad.
You can’t work for eight months on words, photos, videos and 3D imagery of historic items and not come away with a new appreciation for what once was. There are many new places in the world I want to visit and make books about because of the studies of 2012. And I also have a new understanding and appreciation for the ancient Maya, and a disdain for how so many people have perverted the memory of who they really were.
As you may know, the past few years have been pretty hard personal ones. So much of my foundations were ripped out from under me over the past few years it’s been like walking on virtual and emotional quick sand much of the time. But alas, 2012, as I’ve grown in new areas of understanding and skills, also has allowed my mind to grow and focus on new dreams, new challenges, and new opportunities.
THE END OF THE MAYA MEME
In some ways, I’m saddened to see Dec. 21, 2012 approaching. It is going to be an end of sorts for me, because it means what has become a large part of the focus of the year is going to turn into a thing of the past.
The other night we were featured on WFAA ABC here in Dallas. But the story was less about how we’d made the coolest book ever on the Maya, and more about the nuttiness that’s going on out there. The video even featured a nut running around in a gas mask. I felt less good about it all being linked in a story with someone so clearly out to lunch. We worked hard to make this book. It’s factual and one of the coolest things technologically that’s ever been made. And sadly, that’s getting lost in all the ridiculous hype that has become Dec. 21, 2012.
It has truly been frustrating to watch nutjobs get lots of air time with their ridiculous claims when we’ve got factual information that shows they’re full of it. And something really should be done to question the charters of The History Channel and even NatGeo because they have been a part of giving credence to the whacky and not doing everything possible to balance it with reasonable fact.
I guess that’s another important lesson. You kind of have to be careful about what stories you’re really telling in life because if you’re telling facts, even about something very scientific, and there are crazy people who are seeming to get more air time because of you just because they’re proving to the world they are certifiable, the guilt by association might be a little more than you asked for as well.
I firmly believe we’re all going to be here after Dec. 21, 2012. We even are working on an update to put on iTunes that says, “WE TOLD YOU SO!” but few will hear that either…..