2000

The American Frontier: Dream or Nightmare?

Throughout the nineteenth century the American frontier was a continuously-advancing line which marked the westward movement of settlers. It separated the natural and native Indian from the civilized and artificial white. It was a meeting place of two entirely different cultures, a place where, on the one hand a tragic clash took place, and on the other a priceless lesson was learned.

The Dream Factory.

A hundred years ago there were no movies and there was nothing in Hollywood. Today the film industry is worth billions of dollars and Hollywood is one of the most famous places on the planet. How did it happen?

20 Questions

I thought it would be fun to take a humorous look at everyday life issues in the United States and ask the question made famous by many 4-year-olds: Why? Why? Why? So why ask why? Why not?! Even if the answers are obvious to us, even if the questions themselves are wrong (some of us love the taste of cough syrup, for example: see below) kids will always ask why. The following is my Top 20:

1. Why does a gallon of bottled water cost more than a gallon of gas?

The Opportunity of a Lifetime.

Almost every student dreams of winning an Olimpiada. Why? The answer is simple. Along with being a great honour it is a very practical investment for the future, as the twenty winners get free entry to all state universities. Let's take a closer look at the English Language Olimpiada, one of whose patrons and sponsors is the Copernicus Foundation in Poland, publisher of The World of English.

Gulliver's Travels.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) is best known today for his novel Gulliver's Travels (1726), one of English literature's greatest satires. Read in its expurgated form, it has been enjoyed by generations of children for its entertainment value alone. But the lasting importance of the book lies in its merciless analysis of the failings of human nature. In Gulliver's Travels, Swift holds a mirror to the face of mankind and shows a degenerate reflection.

Down by the Riverside

The giant disused power station at Battersea on the south bank of the River Thames in London has long been a symbol of the decline of the city's main waterway. Compared to the elegantly designed River Seine in Paris and the magnificent canals of Venice, the Thames has often seemed a bit of an industrial mess.

This image is being transformed, however, by a series of exciting public projects aimed at making the river a place to be visited and not just crossed to get to work and back home.

Whose Music is it Anyway?

Napster, Gnutella, Reflecter: it sounds like the latest line of chocolate products. But these computer programs are revolutionizing the world of web music - and giving the record industry the fright of their lives.

You never know what a kid will come up with, given the proper tools.

Pretty in Pink.

Lavender is a sweet-smelling herb with pink flowers often grown in English gardens. But there is only one place in Britain where it is still harvested on a commercial scale. This is the Norfolk Lavender Farm, a place of endless fields covered with pink flowers, where visitors can learn about the fascinating history of this unusual plant.

On the Catwalk

A truly international man, South African Kevin Oakes lives and works in Germany as a producer of fashion shows. His job takes him all over the world to such places as Paris, Milan, Istanbul, Las Vegas, Budapest, Morocco and Cuba. Heinrich Feuerbach caught up with him in Berlin and discovered some fascinating things about the fashion industry.

The Peace Corps: Putting Women in the Picture

This year the Peace Corps' Women In Development committee initiated a photographic competition to show the value of Polish women in society, and help a good cause along the way.

From Olympia to Sydney.

This year's summer Olympic Games take place in Sydney, Australia, from September 15 to October 1. Since the modern games were started over a hundred years ago they have become the world's biggest sporting event, with a television audience of around half of the world's population. The Sydney Games open a new era where the sky is the limit.

The Evolution of English

The English language originated in Britain, of course, but who will influence the direction it is taking now, the Americans or the British?

The popularity of English in the world is indisputable. However, it isn't the most widely spoken language. Mandarin Chinese is spoken by about 70 per cent of China's one billion people, whereas English is spoken by no more than 500 million. Of course, no statistics on the spread of English are authoritative today because of changes in the world in the twilight of the last century.

A City that doesn't Sleep

The summer holidays are here again and it' s time to see the world. What better place to start than New York City?

Not so long ago, to young people in our part of the world, the very thought of visiting America seemed like an impossible dream. There was the huge cost and the problem of getting a passport. Since then much has changed. With the zloty now convertible, the relative price of a flight ticket has come down. And airlines often offer special rates for students.

A City of Art

The history of Florence is the history of Renaissance art. Producing many of the finest artists the world has ever known, the Italian city' s impact on European culture is unrivalled.

From the Australian Ambassador

Ms Margaret Adamson, the Australian Ambassador, recently spoke to Grzegorz Nawrocki about her country's view of Poland and the possibilities for Polish students in Australia.

GN: What image do Australians have of Poland?

The Bug that didn't Bite.

Post-Y2K, the world is asking itself: Was the Y2K bug a hoax, a way for computer companies to make some money? Or was it a real problem that was solved with a great deal of time, money and effort?

Car Crazy.

The French National Car Museum in Mulhouse

Mulhouse, near the German and Swiss borders, has a total of seven museums. One of them, popularly known as "The Car Louvre", is the biggest automobile collection in the world. Since its recent renovation the museum has become the most modern of its kind.

Fast Cars, Beautiful Women and Seriously Funky Music.

At any party there is one band whose CDs are a must. We are talking, of course, about Jamiroquai, the British group fronted by the guy with a funny hat and an impossible voice, Jay Kay.

From Rags to Riches

"Charity Begins at Home" or so the old axiom goes. But does it really? For the many homeless of Britain it begins where they live - on the street.

Different countries have different traditions when it comes to charity. Christmas is a time when attention is particularly focused on the notion of philanthropy. In Poland on Christmas Eve many households leave a place set at the table for the lonely or those without a family of their own. How often does the seat get filled? Who can say?