| Saturday 01/01/2000|
It was fireworks all around the world as the new year began but Britain's Millennium Dome stayed dark, apart from torches flashed around by security staff, on what should have been its big opening night. Even the repair crews got a night off as the government thought better of paying out massive amounts of taxpayers' cash on a pointless gesture of defiance.
After attending a service at Southwark Cathedral, the Queen pressed the button which fired a laser beam across the Thames to set the new 450ft London Eye ferris wheel rotating. Prime Minister Angus McBlair was supposed to have perform this duty but, insiders are saying, he pulled out after problems were found with the safety of three of the 32 passenger capsules. Mr. McBlair was unwilling to take the risk of being involved in another Millennium flop, our informant added.
Despite a lot of work by engineers, the Eye could not be granted its safety certificate and it rotated without passengers through the night. Meanwhile, the Queen moved on to Tower Bridge to light the first of the chain of beacons which grew to stretch from one end of the country to another. She then returned to Windsor Castle for new year celebrations with her family.
Two million people, according to a police estimate, gathered in central London to watch the million-pound fireworks display. The other big event, the so-called "River of Fire" along the Thames, turned out to be less than impressive.
The string of 2,000 'pyrotechnic candles; described as one for each year of modern history [Except that we haven't done 2000 yet. Ed]; stretched from Tower Bridge to Vauxhall Bridge. They were let off, starting at midnight, at a rate which fired candle No. 2000 10.8 seconds after candle No. 1, which gave a movement rate corresponding to the rate at which the earth revolves at London's latitude.
The concept behind the 'River of Fire' was described in a press release from the Culture Secretary as "a spiritually rotation with the planet into the new millennium". In fact, all people on the ground saw was a few pops and squirts of light and the whole thing was considered a total flop by anyone who saw it.
A spokesman for the company which organized the 'spectacle' said, "Everything went off entirely as planned. Unfortunately, people were expecting rather more than what there was to see." Cynics are filing the "River of Fire" along with the rest of the New Labour hype and spin associated with the bogus millennium change.
Elsewhere in the country, and around the world, Bogus Millennium firework displays and parties went on into the small hours as 2000 swept around the planet. But while Angus McBlair and his cronies were enjoying a good junket at vast public expense, all of them must have been well aware that the brooding, wounded monster that is the Millennium Dome is still lurking in Greenwich and waiting to serve up more embarrassment for them when the nation sobers up.
filed by Jarvic Klute [firstname.lastname@example.org]
|A Conspiracy of Idiots?|
What's all this stuff about 'The Millennium', which the BBC and national newspapers keep inflicting on us? Is there only one of them?
Well, no, actually. A new one comes along every thousand years or so. In fact, each of them should be exactly 1,000 years long. But New Labour, and a lot of other idiots around the world, have conspired to reduce the second millennium of the Christian calendar to just 999 years.
The first millennium of the Christian era began with the year 1 AD and lasted to the end of 1000 AD. The second millennium began on January 1st 1001 and should have run for 1,000 years less the odd 14 days for the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.
But this British government, along with other idiot regimes around the world, had decided that their people are too thick to deal with anything other than round numbers. They think that their customers cannot grasp the simple concept that millennia start with a number ending with '1', e.g. the years 1, 1001, 2001, 3001, etc.
So even though the Victorians celebrated the arrival of the 20th century on January 1st 1901, New Labour's idiots think it ends on December 31st 1999. Do the sums and you'll find New Labour has short-changed the 20th century by a whole year, making it just 99 years long, and performed the same shabby political trick on the second millennium.
Previous rulers of this country have debased the coinage. New Labour has chosen to add debasing time to this List of Shame.
Cash plus intellectual dishonesty equals dumbing down
Why are newspapers, regardless of their 'quality' or 'tabloid' status, going along with 'The Millennium' concept? Why does that formerly respected institution the BBC have all sorts of rot on its website about the UK welcoming the 21st century when it doesn't arrive for another year? Or a headline saying 'UK greets 21st Century dawn' when any educated person knows it is total garbage?
Money and sheer laziness has to be the answer; that and a large measure of arrogance and double-think. Why else would columnists like Pollen Tonybee of 'The Guardian' sneer at people who insist on accuracy and call them 'pedants', or normally sensible people like Keith Waterho of the 'Daily Mail' go along with the millennial sham?
If the likes of Tonybee and Waterho were challenged under circumstances in which ignorance would be humiliating, then they would be quick to acknowledge that they have been enthusiastically serving a political lie. But they are being paid to write rubbish in their respective newspapers, and they seem quite happy to take the money and run, knowing that they are contributing to New Labour's dumbing down process. Which reinforces yet again the maxim that you can't believe anything you read in the papers. Sad, isn't it?
filed by Meridien Fulbright [email@example.com]
|Millennium Bug Didn't Bite|
The Millennium Bug What is it?
Like most things to do with 'The Millennium', the concept is plain wrong. The 'Millennium Bug' is not a defect in computer programs, it's a limitation. Many programs written in the 1980s and earlier used 2 digits to identify the year. Which works fine up to 1999 but when 2000 comes along, it is logical for these programs to interpret '00' as the year 1900.
The Millennium Effect can be considered a limitation rather than a defect because, given the pace of development in software of all types and computer operating systems, no one expected these programs to be in use still when the year 2000 arrived. And very few of them will be as the software industry is aware of the problem and there has been a concerted campaign to identify programs in which this limitation is a disadvantage and rewrite or replace them.
Billions spent but a successful campaign
This campaign has involved expenditure of hundreds of millions of pounds for large companies but it has been very successful. No part of the world where 'The Millennium' dawned ahead of Britain's new year has reported significant problems. Even in Russia, which was expected to have problems if any nation did, the millennium bug has taken a day off and none of Russia's nuclear installations has blown up and none of its nuclear missiles has taken to the air.
Dire warnings of telephone systems dying, power cuts, TV and radio blackouts, transport failures, cash machines refusing to work or paying out huge sums of cash, and aircraft dropping out of the sky have been proved to be nothing more than idle scaremongering.
The Foreign Office was particularly zealous in warning that the Millennium Bug could be a major problem in backward countries and that international travel was likely to suffer severe disruption. It was in this context that over-cautious airlines elected to put fewer aircraft than normal in service when midnight struck. None of these aircraft reported having 'Millennium Bug' related problems.
filed by Dana Howmaj [firstname.lastname@example.org]