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2004 Year

ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2004 | Lynn Smith
The sighting of Janet Jackson's right breast during the Super Bowl halftime show this year lasted only seconds, but there appears to be no end to the fallout. The so-called Nipplegate scandal launched a yearlong crackdown on indecency by the Federal Communications Commission, resulting in time delays on live shows, the revival of the V-chip, and record fines.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2004 | Mike Boehm
Government bucks for the arts were scarce in 2004 -- not even Laura Bush could get what she wanted. In January 2004, the first lady put her weight behind a new cultural wheel that was supposed to roll through all 50 states: She announced her husband's proposal for an $18-million boost in the National Endowment for the Arts, the biggest increase in 20 years.
TRAVEL
December 26, 2004 | Beverly Beyette, Times Staff Writer
If I were Bridget Jones, my 2004 travel diary might read something like this: Number of airport security pat-downs: Three, all discreet and all random. All were in the somewhat humiliating arms-out-to-sides position and were conducted by women wielding metal detectors; one used the back of her hands. (In response to complaints, the Transportation Security Administration this month said it would allow passengers to put their arms down once their upper bodies had been searched.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Shawn Hubler, Times Staff Writer
At the end of this year's most-talked-about novel, the author Philip Roth feels compelled to underscore a point. " 'The Plot Against America,' " he writes, "is a work of fiction." He then spends 27 pages demarcating the line between "historical fact" and "historical imagining" in his chilling, World War II-era what-if book. It's a line that, in years past, might have gone without saying. But in 2004, it turned out to be a major cultural theme.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer
I want to start the new year with a clean slate, so let me make a confession about something I did during 2004. I fell so in love with "Van Lear Rose," the album country veteran Loretta Lynn made with rock star Jack White, that I may have gone from being a critic to a crusader. If so, it's not the first time, and it probably won't be the last.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer
Talk about your two Americas. Here's sobering news from pop music's great divide: Five of the year's 10 most compelling albums, including Kanye West's "The College Dropout" and U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," have sold more than 14.4 million copies collectively; combined sales of the other five totals less than 550,000.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Carina Chocano, Times Staff Writer
We here in the "reality-based community," a group recently defined by a senior Bush administration official as people who "believe that solutions emerge from judicious study of discernible reality," have had a hard time of it lately. What with all the changes around here, we hardly recognize the place anymore.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Steve Hochman, Special to The Times
The bell you hear tolling isn't your phone. It's the death knell of the music business as we know it, a clang that pealed just this month when Billboard gave out the very first honors recognizing the year's top ring tone. The award went to the telephonic rendition of Chingy's "In Da Club," if you care about such things. But having seen the writing on the wall, or hearing the ringing on our phones, we would like to announce that this very column will soon be available as a ring tone.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2004 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
Call 2004 a relatively flat year for jazz. Or, to take a somewhat more optimistic view, a year of transition. There were, to be sure, a few high points. Young singers such as Renee Olstead, Jane Monheit, Jamie Cullum and Lizz Wright combined with Diana Krall, Andy Bey and Patricia Barber (among others) to assure the continuing ascendancy of vocal music.
WORLD
December 16, 2004 | From Associated Press
The year 2004, punctuated by four powerful hurricanes in the Caribbean and deadly typhoons lashing Asia, was the fourth-hottest on record, extending a trend since 1990 that has registered the 10 warmest years, a U.N. weather agency said Wednesday. The year also has been the most expensive for the insurance industry in coping worldwide with hurricanes, typhoons and other weather-related disasters, according to new figures released by United Nations environmental officials.
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