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2004 Year

ENTERTAINMENT
January 1, 2005 | Nathan Bierma, Special to The Times
The journey of the word "blog" into the mainstream is now complete. Late last month, Merriam-Webster announced that "blog," the crude but catchy name for an Internet journal, was the most searched-for word at its online dictionary, www.m-w.com, in 2004. Reuters said the word "came to symbolize the difference between old and new media during this year's presidential campaign."
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SPORTS
December 30, 2004 | Mike Penner
1. CURSE, FOILED * We're never going to hear the end of it, not with Stephen King's fortuitously timed chronicle of the Boston Red Sox's championship season already on the shelves and the movie "Fever Pitch," starring Jimmy Fallon as a tormented/demented Red Sox fan (is there any other kind?) due out in 2005.
SPORTS
December 30, 2004 | Mike Penner, Times Staff Writer
So where was it written that the seams of the universe would come undone, with great dynasties toppling and life as we know it changing irretrievably, if and when the Red Sox ever won the World Series? Nostradamus? Not quite. Scholars have looked into it. Turns out Ol' Gloom N' Doom was more of a Cubs man. Notre Dame? Sorry. The golden domers had one prophecy to get right all year -- And in the twelfth month, as it is his destiny, Urban Meyer shall inherit the football program -- and punted it.
AUTOS
December 29, 2004 | DAN NEIL
Think of our relationship with the internal combustion engine as a roller coaster ride. We've had our ups and downs, but 2004 was the first year most people could see, clearly, that the tracks were out ahead. Californians saw gasoline hit $3 per gallon and not for the last time. American foreign policy is bloodily fixated on a region of the world whose single strategic value is oil. Even the Bush administration had to concede this year that there was something to all this talk of global warming.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2004 | From Bloomberg News
New York's Broadway theaters posted a record $748.9 million in revenue this year, 3.2% more than in 2003, the League of American Theaters and Producers reported Tuesday. Paid attendance, or the number of tickets sold for Broadway shows, reached 11.3 million. That's up 2.2% from last year, the trade group said. Midway through the 2004-05 Broadway season, which runs from June to June, revenue and ticket sales are little changed.
FOOD
December 29, 2004 | Valli Herman, Times Staff Writer
Creativity should be applauded. But sometimes heckling seems more appropriate. 2004 was a year that spawned hundreds of ridiculous new food and drink products and ideas, from the low carb to the highly questionable. It was difficult to choose, but here are the worst offenders. Jalapeno peanut butter in a tube: Who could resist? PB n' Go portable peanut butter comes in two other disgusting flavors, Cinnamon Surprise and Carmel-Caramel crunch. This must make Mr. Peanut sad.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2004 | Leslie Earnest, Times Staff Writer
How are holiday retail sales looking three days after Christmas? It depends on whom you ask. According to one estimate released Monday, credit card purchases through Christmas Eve were a sturdy 8.1% ahead of last year. And that "would indicate that we did in fact have a strong holiday season," said Michael McNamara, director of research for MasterCard Advisors, the unit of MasterCard International that released the report.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 28, 2004 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
If you think you had a rough year, imagine what it must've been like to be Michael Eisner's lawyer. Everywhere you looked this year, the longtime Walt Disney Co. chief was embroiled in an ugly dispute, often with one of his own key business partners. It was hard to say which high-profile feud inspired the most malicious gossip. Was it the ongoing shareholder trial over the severance package valued at $140 million that Eisner awarded to his former pal Michael Ovitz?
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