In 2011, the world ended in Contagion, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, and Melancholia -- all of which imagined what life will be like during forthcoming global pandemics, futuristic apocalypses, and violent astral plane natural disasters. From the pop sci-fi P.O.V. things seem awfully bleak, but what's the news from actual scientists? I want facts. Is "2012" an old Mayan wives' myth that will vanish with the ball drop just like "Y2K" did? Remember when Y2K happened and we all got to exit The Matrix and live in digitally constructed dreamworlds of our own design instead? (Oh, you must have taken the wrong pill.) Most importantly, WHAT NEW ANIMALS WERE FOUND THIS YEAR? It's the first installment of the Grantland Pop Science Corner!