New millennium really begins on New Year’s Day

Y2K’ Or just 2K’ That is the question.” One year ago at this time, nay-sayers and doomsday proponents were predicting the possible end of civilization as we know it when the clock turned on the new year. Now, one year later, the hype of Y2K and all of the problems it would bring are gone, but one topic is still being discussed. It has been questioned that Jan. 1, 2000, was the beginning of a new millennium’the one that counts off years from a numerical perspective. Since we as a society base our math and counting on the ten fingers that come as standard equipment on human beings, the year 2000 does represent one of those convenient times when a year ends in all zeros (unless you are a computer programmer and count in binary or hexadecimal). But Jan. 1, 2000 wasn’t the actual beginning of the new millennium. As you probably know, the world has many systems of calendars and ways of marking time. The one that brings us the year 2000 was created by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus (literally translated Dennis the Short) back in the sixth century. After much study, he determined that time should be marked by the birth of Jesus, and as a result of his studies, set that time in the year we know as 1 AD (Anno Domini, “the year of our Lord”). However, in his plan, time counted backwards before the birth of Jesus down to the year 1 BC (before Christ), and then immediately shifted to the year 1 AD’with no year 0 in between. By setting the start date as he did, Dionysius also started the First Millennium at the beginning of year 1 AD. So the Second Millennium began at the start of year 1001 AD, and the upcoming Third Millennium will start at the beginning of year 2001 AD. And that fact is why Jan. 1, 2001 is the real beginning of the new millennium. One year ago to date, Bradyites joined the rest of the world in finishing last-minute preparations for the much anticipated clock rollover to the year 2000. Banks were running their last minute computer checks, electric companies were running diagnostics and city government officials were hoping and praying that everything they relied upon would come through without a hitch. On New Year’s Eve last year in Brady, parties were interrupted and celebrations were put on hold as bank executives watched over their computer systems and ran tests once the new year arrived. Brady city officials including most departmental supervisors gathered at City Hall just in case things went wrong. Contingency plans were ready and waiting and emergency personnel all across the nation were prepared for the worst. One year later, the Y2K bug and all the hype it created has virtually slipped from the minds of everyone. “I remember at this time last year, that is all anyone was talking about,” said Brady resident Tina Huerta. “There was a lot of talk about stocking up on food and supplies, and a lot of people were worried, but nothing ever happened.” Some persons concerned with the possibility that all things could come to a screeching halt at midnight Jan. 1, 2000, stockpiled food, water, batteries and even generators to ensure that they would have enough supplies to outlast any problems that were created. Many of those persons are looking back and wondering what they are going to do with the mounds of dried food and survival supplies that lie in storage collecting dust. The year 2000 came and is just about gone. Most computers didn’t completely shut down, planes didn’t fall from the sky, and there wasn’t mass hysteria and pandemonium because the computer-driven world in which we live went belly up when the clocks changed. In fact, most things continued on completely as normal. It has even been said that the whole ordeal was anticlimactic and a “non-event” and part of a huge ploy to get people to spend money on computer software. “I think that the reason it was so anticlimactic is because there was so much planning and organization that went on ahead of time,” said McCulloch County Emergency Coordinator Rick Melcer. “It was definitely a legitimate concern, but it was handled properly.” With the dawn of the new millennium now just a few days away, people might be wondering why all of the hoopla and big celebrations are a thing of the past. Yes, there will be the annual parties in the Big Apple and other major cities, but nothing like that which occurred a year ago. The hype and money was used up a year ago and now people are just glad that all of the chads have been counted and, we have a future leader. Computers are still functioning’ and they still have problems. Some people say that they have had more problems now one year later than they did when 2000 was still new and fresh. One thing is almost certain, the new year is sure to be filled with more problems that need to be solved and questions that need to be answered. Computers may be part of the problem and most likely will be part of the solution. Here in Brady, let’s just hope and pray that the answers to the problems lead to a better and stronger community that is more focused on the one who created time.

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