Y2K DEC2000

La copertina

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Editing Staff:

Mrs Angela Benvenuti

Teacher of English in charge of the project


Ms Linda Morganti

Teacher of English Language Assistant


Ms Laura Masini

Teacher of English


 wpe1.jpg (1505 byte)Mrs MariaCristina Dal Canto

Teacher of English


Ms Gigliola Frosali

Graphic Assistant





The Millennium Bug

3 What are we up against?A press party is no party at all

4 Travel: What to expect abroad


5 The Millennium Baby Boom

6 Ecstasy and its effects

7 Millennium City

9 Apocalypse now?

10 When the volcanoes wake up

Film Review

11 Armageddon

Poetry & Co.

12 Fire and Ice, My Millennium, Ice

13 1999. Goodbye!

14 "On the Threshold of 2000"

The Latest News

15 When in Rome…Pilgrims Cards for Jubilee 2000

16 Shopping / The New Toys of 2000

18 New Millennium Opinion Poll


20 The Dream Game

22 Cartoons

23 Penfriends

26 Season's Greetings and………Happy New Year

bug.jpg (103206 byte) "WHAT ARE WE UP AGAINST?"
At midnight on December 31, 1999 we will enter a new millennium but without an appropriate action taken now, some of our computer systems will have some problems. For years many computers and computer programs have been saving space by using only two digits to represent a year –"98" for 1998, for example. In fact since the 1960s computer programmers have been shortening the year in dates to two digits in order to save money and space, never realising that their code would effect legacy systems in the next 30 years later. The first two digits were assumed to be 19. When the date changes from 31 December 1999 to 1 January 2000 it can potentially affect all the information and calculations based on time.

Elisa Morelli, Francesca Pellegrini 4BL


Members of the media will also be celebrating new year’s eve working in camped quarters.

If you think being a journalist is a job filled with meeting celebrities and living in the lap of luxury, this story will prove you wrong.

While millions of Americans are toasting new year’s eve with champagne and friends, hundreds of journalists will be shoulder to shoulder in a cramped room ringing in the new year at the keyboard.

Besides the first full day of these operations will be December 28.

In the first few day of the operation federal officials and industry leaders will hold nearly continuous press conferences about global and national events related to Y2K computer failures.

So we can say that a press party is not party at all.


TRAVEL: What to expect abroad

Despite people’s efforts there isn’t any guarantee that everything will be bug-free. If you want to travel overseas between 1999 – 2000 you should find difficulties arising from the Millennium – Bug problem.

In every country, Governments are continuing to research the problem and its possible remedy.

In the UK, the travel industry, is considering the problems of the Millennium – Bug and it is planning its operations as a consequence.

You should know that there may be a possible disruption to your plans because of the Millennium – Bug.

The Foreign Office is giving information for public use and has published an individual country statements for 125 states, which includes how that particular country is prepared for :

  • Air transport and other forms of transport
  • Telecommunications
  • Financial services
  • Medical services
  • Power supplies
  • Water and sanitation services
  • Distribution of food and other goods

Whatever your Millennium destination, the travel industry is working to minimise any risk of the Millennium – Bug.

Sara Gherardini e Saveria Cavallini IV^ BL

bambino.jpg (60253 byte)MILLENNIUM BABY BOOM

Hospitals are preparing themselves for a particular event: the end of the year.

They are getting ready for a BABY BOOM.

In fact, lots of women have decided to try to get pregnant just at the right time for a millennium baby!

Not all the attempts have been successful , but some women have not failed.

Hundreds of expectant women from all over the world are planning to celebrate the new year with a new addition to the family, so a baby’s birth has become a planned event.

Hospitals are expecting a big crowd this year, and they are anticipating a full house from the beginning of December to January 2000.

So, while most people will be toasting the new millennium with champagne, the hospitals will celebrate the end of the year with the cry of new born babies.

This fact has some economic aspects: some hospitals are expecting to see from 30 to 40 % increase in the number of babies birth.

Others are putting a prize package for the first baby of 2000.

We can say that in this particular case maternity means business.

In fact not only the hospitals but also shops are expecting an economic increase.

Shops will be crowded with Christmas shoppers and with women looking for a New Year's wardrobe.

This phenomenon is interesting because it shows us that everybody tries to begin the new millennium in a strange way:

2000 is considered the most important and the most life-transforming year of history.

Paola Mezzabotta 5^B/L


The history of ecstasy

In 1914 ecstasy in the form of MDMA was synthesised as a drug to reduce appetite.

It wasn’t until 1981 that young American people first started using it as a recreational drug. In USA, ecstasy was added to the banned list of drugs only in 1985.

Ecstasy arrived in the UK as a part of the dance culture which had spread from Chicago. The real beginning of ecstasy use in the UK was in 1985 and its use quickly increased. Recently there is a trend for pills sold as Ecstasy not to have MDMA in them at all. The Government estimate that between one, and one and a half million Ecstasy tablets are taken every weekend in the UK.


The effects of Ecstasy

After swallowing the pill or capsule the effects take between 20 minutes and one hour to appear .Initial effects are often a dry mouth, dilated pupils and various tingling sensations. Most users feel an initial rush with feelings of "butterflies in the stomach" and tingling followed by a warm euphoric glow lasting 4-6 hours during which the user feels calm and happy. Taking Ecstasy will heighten moods and feelings, therefore taking ecstasy when your mind is distracted by worry, or relationship hassles is inadvisable.

Users feel more energetic and can lose their appetite. The stimulant effect raises blood pressure and heart rate.

Depression or moodiness as well as general tiredness and hunger may follow in the days following ecstasy use .

Francesca Schiavone, Sara Orsini, Silvia Mannari 4B/L


The best city where to celebrate the beginning of the new millennium is surely London, which is changing it's image to celebrate it. In 2000 the new bridge on the Thames will be built, it will be called the "Millennium bridge", and the prestigious Tate Gallery of Modern Art will be open.

Besides, a panoramic wheel, the "Millennium Wheel", the highest of the world (135 metres) will be placed near Country Hall in Jubilee Gardens, and it will turn thanks to solar energy, and the hydraulic energy of the river.

But the real news is the Millennium Dome, a giant dome in Greenwich not far from the Royal Observatory, 50 metres high and 80.000 m2 wide. It will be open on the 31 of December, with a 24 hours gala. But before that there is the inauguration of the "Queen’s House" which will show "the story of time" with 300 works that different cultures have produced to represent time.

The millennium experience in the dome is presented like the greatest reason of attraction in an unique place, you can see the future Britannic style, from design to architecture, like an international shop-window.

londra.jpg (95850 byte) WHAT’S BRITISH LONDON EYE?
The B.A.L.E. (Millennium Wheel), is a wheel that allow you to have a panoramic complete view of the city, with 32 technological cabins. It’ll accept 1.500 passengers in one hour, and will spend 30 minutes to do a complete rotation. Beside, there will be a Millennium Pier to reach the will.

The Millennium show will be on through year 2000 in Trafalgar Square. This beautiful show will be repeated five times a day, in front of an audience of 12.000 people, starting from the first January 2000.

The Dome Ensemble Company will be composed by 160 artists divided into 2 casts. In each representation there’ll be 60 artists.

This Millennium show is a love story between a dreamer man and an action girl whose love is opposed by their family.

The story is an allegory of the relationship between mankind, nature and technology.

Francesca Pagano 3^BL


Apocalyptic views and prophecies hang over the end of the Millennium.

They won’t come true, for now.

But the future of the Earth is really at risk:

global worming, hurricanes , floods, ice melting …



When the volcanoes wake up

The "waking up" of the volcanoes is a really ancient trouble. In 1783 Iceland's volcano erupted along a 25-Km-long fissure, counting 580 square Km in lava as well. Fortunately the eruption didn't kill anybody directly, but the ash and the acid fumes caused famine and illness; 10,000 people died, and also three-quarters of the cattle succumbed.

Europe has only a few volcanoes, the major ones situated in Iceland, Italy and Greece. The major ones in Italy are Vesuvius - the volcano that buried Pompei - and the Etna volcano, in Sicily. About 1,5 million people in the Naples area live around the mountain and on its lower slopes; the Vesuvius mountain is in fact the primary geological worry in Europe for the volume of its explosive material. Since AD 79, Vesuvius has erupted more than two dozen times, most recently during the Allied invasion of Italy in 1944.

At the University of Pies scientists are working on computer simulations that can reproduce past eruptions to predict how damaging new ones might be.

The Etna volcano has always been active; one of the major latest eruptions occurred during the night of 4-5 July 1964: lava fountains jetted hundreds of meters from the new cone formed during the previous eruptive episodes, and lava overflowed the crater rim in five or six places.

And now update information on the ongoing activity of Etna volcano.
28 October 1999: on the afternoon of 27 October, a lava flow fed by vigorous activity at the Bocca Nuova since about noon cut the Forestale road on the W flank at about 1750 mt. elevation and burned a section of a beautiful pine forest.

This is the longest flow produced so far by the ongoing summit activity of Etna, and one of the longest flow ever produce by an etnean summit eruption. Access to the summit craters is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Activity in the Bocca Nuova and in the voragine is very intense, and bombs are falling over all the summit area. Access to the craters is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Besides, weather conditions are often unstable, even during the summer. Summit visitors may be surprised by snowstorms (as occurred on 24 July 1999) or thunderstorms; one man was killed by lightning at about 2000mt elevation on 30 August.

Will the rumbling volcanoes of the world ever roar out in anger at the awe-struck ashes of the

Apocalype someday?



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There was a time when the dinosaurs roamed a lush and fertile planet, the Earth. A piece of rock just six miles wide changed all that. It hit with a force of ten thousand nuclear weapons. A trillion tons of dirt and rock hurtled into the atmosphere, creating a suffocating blanket of dust. The sun was powerless to penetrate for a thousand years.




The earth is called to face a terrible count down! There are only 14 days left to prevent an asteroid as big as Texas colliding with our planet. NASA can't but keep the news "top secret " to avoid general hysteria and to face up the geological disaster with sophisticated technological means and human resources. Instead of experts and qualified astronauts, they decide to recruit a group of somewhat "reckless" drillers. Their mission consists in positioning some nuclear warheads on the asteroid to break up the mass and to deviate orbit. Twelve days later they are ready to take off on two shuttles called Freedom and Independence.
In the book of Apocalypse, Armageddon is the place of the final war and so, watching Michael Baby 's film is like experiencing the end of the world, though sitting comfortably in an armchair. And, at this point, we would probably remain nailed there and confused by the special effects, if the director didn’t interrupt the suspense of the space misadventures with a good quantity of irony and humour. Among the protagonists only Harry, starring Bruce Willis, has got a dramatic part; the others have the task to minimise the events with paradoxical and unexpected cues. We couldn’t miss out a female presence, like Tyler. The girl is Grace, Harry’s daughter, AJ’ s girlfriend (Ben Affleck ) and everybody’s mascot. She grew up in the middle of the ocean, upon the launch pad with this lot of reckless drillers, she had a lot of putative fathers who hid her flirting with AJ and tried to make Harry’s forgive her. Another character takes up the easy going tone, the Russian spaceman on board the space station MIR, a happy caricature of the Soviet power and of himself, full of amusing jokes and technical mending. So, both Powers have had their lot of lampoon and the diplomatic common sense is once again assured. Extraordinary the power of images and special effects: the incandescent deposits rain which is falling on New York, the sharp surface of the asteroid, and the spectacular nuclear explosion are terrific; they are exciting for the lovers of this genre and make the others curious.
The experience of living a catastrophical nightmare is assured but fortunately it’s only visual.                                          III BL


(by Robert Frost)

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

(by Veronica Antonelli)

This is a strange world .
Some say the new Millennium’ll be ok,
Some say the Earth is going to die.
And others think … well, I don’t know
What exactly they think.
Nothing maybe. Maybe death.
And the horror we witness these days.
D’you know what I think? This is the hour
When the mystery emerges, and everything’s unusual...
How can I find the right way to let you understand?
There’ll be so many conflicts inside
all sorts of problems beside
and the world will be dark and unhappy.
And we will see ourselves as we had never seen,
The sorrows we’ve suffered so far will be stronger,
We will be tired inside
And we will be lost for ever,
Imprisoned in this new cruel world.

(by Laura "Brookner", teacher)

Too short to look outside, aren’t they! Chairs, yes! There, under the dark wooden table near the sombre fireplace, stuffed with straw, are they. The children take them up to the window and then climb on to them, so that they can reach the window now. Beside the windowsill the astonishing whiteness of the enormous mass of ice is closing over the outside world. And soon will get inside, inside...He takes her by the hand. Gasping against the window pane, they see the enormous mass get bigger and bigger. Bulging up, belly-like, the deadening white is growing and growing; a ball is bulging up anew, and, oh! Another ball! That’s growing wider too. Everything has been swallowed! The earth all covered in ice! They look at each other, still holding hands. They climb down the chairs now and go to a corner of the large sombre room and then, with no words, they kneel down onto a straw mattress and hug.
Stroke, stroke, warm as toast; stroke, stroke, warm as toast.
The darkness is growing bigger. But I can see his eyes still.
There they come, her eyes!
Huddled on the straw mattress, your face! Hug my tummy!
What to do? How can we ever stand the icing of the globe? How can we?
They keep warm as coldness shrouds the room in blackness with its grip of ice.
I stood up in the bed, my stomach gripped with anguish. My mouth was tasting sour gooseberries. I had to do something, I had to. I got up. It was a chilly November morning. And I was dying of ice.
My stomach groaned empty. What on earth could I do? It was useless, useless.
I knew I had to do something, but I couldn’t. And the whole morning and the afternoon lazied around, messed with hopelessness.
It was getting darker. I grasped the telephone, at last.
Put it down or say something. Quick!
"That’s me."
I didn’t die of fire though. Anyhow, I didn’t die.

1999. GOODBYE!
(best wishes from a teacher)

I remember 1945...
My dad telling me all the stories
The war and the Germans, the Americans then
And the bombs, and the girls and the lads, through his eyes
Can’t remember 1955
And the men on the Vespa
They were boys, but men to my eyes
They drove them black new cars
As we sat in the back
And, oh, the TV!
I remember my mum teaching me how to write
She, so beautiful then!
Then, I remember the first school days...
I remember the snow
And my father on crutches
Around ‘63...The Pope, such an old good man, wasn’t he. So was Krushov
I will never forget one evening we were watching a film on the telly
When it suddenly blackened
‘n’ the news read
John Kennedy’d been murdered in Dallas alas. The shots,
The wounds, the dead, in Vietnam runs the war
As Armstrong walks on the Moon...
I remember the flood, in 1966
Some still fancy, though Fancy has no Power
‘76, ‘77, ‘78... Moro was killed. I was studying Othello. Shit, there wasn’t no bus.
More than anything else, the ‘79 I remember. Someone was born...
Love and hate and sex and friendship
And the marches for peace and the songs and all
And work and worries
And sickness
And the terror of death in the shadow of life - forever
And the frantic struggle and... How can I...?
And sickness...
Never will I...forget!
The world upside down
So what 1989? Walls are all over
Still, inside
Like loneliness
1999. The end of an era. And I’ll cry.

"On the threshold of 2000":

a Millennium legend.

I teach Italian. In our language there is an expression, "alle soglie del 2000", lit. "On the threshold of 2000", which I never hear or read without feeling slightly irritated. The press are particularly fond of it and, unfortunately, my pupils are too. Why do I dislike those innocent words so much? Because they just have no meaning. When people say "on the threshold of 2000", they implicitly convey the idea that, having achieved this venerable age, human beings should, at last, be free, wise, peace-loving and happy. But I don't think that time has got something like "thresholds" or that any important change happens for calendar reasons. In any case, mankind was already old enough to be wise and peaceful 2000 years ago, if such virtues were to come with age!

"On the threshold of 2000" is often used, I'm afraid, as an all-purpose shortcut to avoid hard thinking about hard subjects.

E.g. when I ask pupils to write something about child abuse, or war, or addiction, or one of the many ailments of our world, they invariably begin with the magic spell: "On the threshold of 2000, how can such things just happen"? How dare violence, hunger, unhappiness, disturb the glorious end of a millennium? A nice, dark painted description of the horrors in question follows, and that's it! Understated goes the idea that the year 2000 should put an end to all evil.

When I was a schoolgirl myself, 25 years ago, a teacher I liked very much told us that men don't have something to achieve in front of them, but just a road to walk on. My wish, to all of us, is that, beyond " the threshold of 2000", we shall be able to find that road, and the strength, and the joy, to walk on it, only relying on the consciousness of our human weakness.




The Vatican has introduced a "Pilgrim Card" with a microchip identifier in order to help officials co-ordinate and control events for Christianity’s 2000 Jubilee.

It is waiting for that the organisers to plan 12 million cards for the 30 million visitors with a price of between 10.000 and 50.000 lire each.

The card offers free use of subways , buses and other transport , rates for phone calls , and discounts all year long .

It is possible to use the cards with the jubilee web page to choose and reserve spots in the millennium events .

The card’s microchip will also hold some information about the owner . Monsignor Crescenzio Sepe hopes " The pilgrim can live the spiritual moment in a safe manner, without running the risk of finding himself tossed about by the happenings that can disturb the tranquillity of the spirit".

Erika Balducci and Sara Lucchesi 4B/L


At Christmas, shopping becomes more than just a routine task as we all rush out to buy what we need for the celebrations. This year, the extended holiday period could make it busier than ever.

No-one can make the crowds disappear, but a great deal has been done to make sure you don’t encounter any problems with your first shop in the new century.

Food manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and supermarkets throughout the country have been working for years to ensure that you won’t encounter any difficulties shopping in the New Year.

Checkout desks quality control and electrical items such as freezers, heating have all been checked so that they will work normally from January 1st 2000.

The industry is now fully confident that you will be able to shop in the New Year just the same as every other year.

Signorini Beatrice & Tognetti Morena 4B/L

            furby.jpg (85819 byte)The new toys of 2000pok.jpg (102425 byte)

The year 2000 will be the year of Pokčmon. Pokčmon will most likely be available here in Italy just in time for Christmas. The craze is being created by Nintendo. Already a popular item in Japan, America, Australia and most of Latin America, Pokčmon is difficult to define. It is a hand-held computer game, a series of toys, a cartoon series, a soon-to-be Hollywood film, a league that sponsors competitions, a series of books, a line of clothing, a series of trading cards, a line of candy, and probably, it will be a whole lot more. Nintendo has obtained a good result. His big investment seems to be paying off with Pokčmon estimated to be worth £6 billion (18 thousand billion lire)-for now. It has even created specializes in selling the Pokčmon trading cards at four times the sticker price.

Another new trend of the year 2000 is Furby Fever. Meet Furby, the furry talking friend that had kids – and their moms – going crazy this holiday season. Cute and cuddly, Furby sings, dances and makes rude noises. What’s more, he speaks Italian as well as his native Furbish . Furby costs in the U.S. $29.99; 70000 in Italy.

If you think that kits get to have all the fun, you’re wrong. In Italy, you can pop into a La Rinascente or Fiorucci store and find Hello Kitty. Created by Japanese company Sanrio and distributed by Italian company Camomilla, Hello Kitty is becoming more and more popular in Italy.

Delia Degl'Innocenti & Roberta Asiaghi 4B/L


The new Millennium has almost arrived, so we have decided to carry out an opinion poll among our schoolmates. We handed out a questionnaire to 150 students aged between 14 and 18 asking:

"What three things, (people, objects, animals, personal, abstract etc.) would you like to take with you into the new millennium and what would you leave behind?"

Here are the results!

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As you can see from the pie chart, family, friends, peace and love are important values for our schoolmates who insist on carrying them over into the new Millennium. So it goes without saying that war and violence are what they want to leave out.

Next on the list of things to get rid of is…school! Although we have listed it as school, the kids have specified that they hate Latin, Maths and Biology. Hypocrisy, drugs, sadness, diseases all follow. Not so important for our mates is getting rid of death, celebrities, politics.

After peace and love, happiness and music are the most important values while freedom, sex and money, although important, are not utmost in our students’ minds. Also to take into the new Millennium is tolerance, health, technology, sport and celebrities. We mustn’t forget to take pets and partners which are very important, probably because everybody needs to love and be loved.

We were surprised to find out that some of our friends included "beer and drugs" into the things to take with into the third Millennium, luckily only few of them.

The listing "others" had the strangest of ideas. As the students were more decided about what they wanted, "others" only takes up a tiny fraction of the "things in the new millennium" chart and included eloquence, 29.09.’98 (an anniversary) but a much larger slice of the "to leave out" chart, which includes spiders, one-way systems, the dentist, ideas of beauty, alarm clocks and time.

What about you? What would you take or leave out? It would be interesting to compare results among teenagers in other countries of Europe.

Elena Turchi, Federica Gabbani, Valentina Dolfi IV°C/L


Did you dream last night? Can you remember what you dreamt about? Do you often dream ? Do you often have the same dream? Do you think dreams are important ? If you are interested in dreams , you can play this game.

Some people say that they never dream, but that is not possible .Everybody has dreams, every one and a half hours throughout the night .But as soon as we wake, the dream starts to melt, and the more we try to remember the details, the more we forget . So, why do we dream ? Are dreams important ?The experts tell us that they are, because they can help us prepare for the problems of everyday life .The images in our dreams have special meaning ,and they can help us to understand our inner personality.


  2. Image you are asleep and you are dreaming. In your dream you find yourself in your perfect house. What is it like in detail?
  4. Now you are walking along a narrow path. Suddenly you find a cup on the ground in front of you. What is it like? What is in it?
  6. Now the path ends and you are walking in a wood. You walk quite a long way until you find a clearing .In the middle of the clearing is a building. What sort of building is it?
  8. Around the building is a garden. Think about what it is like.
  10. You walk out of the garden and trough the wood. At the edge of the wood there is a wall. The wall is too high to climb over, and it is too long to walk round. Suddenly you notice a small door in the wall. It slowly opens as you watch. What do you do? Do you go trough the door?
  12. On the other side of the wall is water. What does it look like? Do you want to swim in it?

Now read about what the images represent and try to analyse your answers


The house is your idea of yourself . If your hose is old, you probably do not like change, you like traditional things. If your house is large, it means you are quite confident, with a high opinion of yourself. If it is filled with light, you are optimistic. If it is dark, you are pessimistic. The number of rooms is the number of people you want your life.


The cup is your idea of love. The more beautiful and valuable the cup, the more important love is in your life. You are a romantic person. The contents of the cup show what your experience of love has been so far.


The building is your idea of religion and God. A strong building is a strong belief. A ruin would mean a lack of belief.


This is your idea of the world around you, your country, or the whole world. If the plants and flowers in your garden are dying, this might mean that you are worried about the environment and pollution in the world.


This is your idea of death. Is it the end or is there something after it? Do you go straight through the little door?Do you look and check before you go? Or don’t you want to go through at all ?


The water is your idea of your future .If there is a sea with big waves ,you feel positive and excited about your future .If you want to swim you feel confident and want to take risks .If the water is a stagnant pool, you might fear your future and the future of the world .

Lazzeri Laura-Marinai Clara 4B/L


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disponibili soltanto nella rivista

angel.jpg (171869 byte)Happy New Year















Elena M.


Elena T.

Elisa C

Elisa N.













M. Cristina


Martina F

Martina Q









Sara D.

Sara L.









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