When did John Bull come to refer to the typical Englishman? KAREN That epitome of Englishness, John Bull, was created by Scottish author and doctor John Arbuthnot (1667- 1735). A Tory, in 1712 he wrote a series of pamphlets which satirised the Whig war policy. The Whigs were in favour of Britain's role in the War of the Spanish Succession, while the Tories were not. England's system of parliamentary government was emerging under Queen Anne, although party government was not yet established. The monarch still had the power to make and dissolve the cabinet, although public opinion was growing in influence. One popular way of influencing public opinion was through political pamphlets satirising the opposition. Arbuthnot's series of five pamphlets introduced the character of John Bull, who was intended to be representative of the English nation. The character proved popular and stuck in the popular imagination as the personification of Englishness. In 1713, Arbuthnot and some of his witty literary friends formed the Scriblerus Club to satirise 'all false tastes in learning'. While Arbuthnot is today remembered for his satirical writings, he also served as physician to Queen Anne, wrote several medical works, taught mathematics and was widely admired. Which place will be the first to see the sunrise on the new millennium? Many places in the Pacific Ocean have been making claims that they will be the first place to see the sunrise in the new millennium. The International Date Line runs along the 180 degree line of longitude. Places to the west of the line are a day ahead of places to the east of it. Useful as it is, the date line was not decided by any international agreement or treaty and has no legal weight. Slavishly following the date line would lead to some strange situations in those places which are crossed by it. For example, the western-most Aleutian Islands would be a day ahead of the rest of the United States. Similarly, far northeastern Russia would be a day behind Moscow. As a result, the date line has been moved in many places to provide a more practical solution to the problem of time keeping. Apart from far northeast Russia and the Arctic - both of which will be in darkness on New Year's Day - only Fiji (or rather, three Fijian islands) is actually on the 180 degree line. In 1994, the Republic of Kiribati, which is a collection of islands scattered across the Pacific, decided to bring all of its islands into the same time zone. This means that its most eastern territory - uninhabited Caroline Island, which has been renamed Millennium Island - will see the first sunrise of the new millennium a day before Hawaii and Tahiti. However, arguments about the date line are irrelevant in the Antarctic, which will be enjoying 24-hour daylight, making it certain to be the first place to see the sun on January 1, 2000, even though the sun will actually have risen on September 22, 1999.