365 Snapshots of 2002

THE BALTIMORE SUN

It was the best of times -- no, but this year was better than some (2001 comes to mind). We're recovering from 9 / 11, the economic news is a bit brighter, the drought may be coming to an end, and the world isn't at war yet. Here's our look back at the Year That Was from a Home & Family perspective -- ranging from the serious to the sublime to the ridiculous, but not necessarily in that order.

JANUARY

1. The anthrax scare still has Americans writing postcards and e-mail.

2. Post-traumatic stress in children becomes a hot topic after 9 / 11.

3. Two for the price of one: Guitarist Eric Clapton has his two daughters baptized, then surprises guests by marrying his girlfriend.

4. Hockey dad Thomas Junta is found guilty of involuntary man-slaughter in his rink-rage trial.

5. Troubled ninth-grader Charles Bishop crashes his plane into a Tampa skyscraper. 6. How haute: Designer Yves Saint Laurent, 65, closes his salon.

7. National Cancer Institute finds no real evidence that women over 50 should have

annual mammograms. 8. Scientists announce they have cloned pigs, leading perhaps to pig-organ transplants someday.

9. Scientists announce they have cloned a kitten, leading perhaps to clones of beloved pets someday.

10. "Nesting" is huge after 9 / 11. 11. The Catholic Church spends the year trying to deal with the aftermath of predatory priests and allegations of sexual child abuse. 12. The nation has one of the warmest winters ever. 13. Ashley Pond, 12, vanishes in Oregon. Two months later her friend Miranda Gaddis, 13, disappears. Their bodies are eventually found, but it's the beginning of an unrelated series of child kidnappings that dominate the national news through the summer. 14. Morgan Kay Beamer, the daughter of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer, is born. 15. Patched jeans make a comeback. 16. Hear me roar: All-America Selection 'Diva' cucumber doesn't need a "male" plant to produce. 17. Former First Dog Buddy is run over and dies near the Clintons' home in New York. 18. Gov. Parris Glendening and his deputy chief of staff, Jennifer Crawford, marry.

19. Astrid Lindgren, author of the Pippi Longstocking books, dies at age 94.

20. Star power: Tom Cruise starts a run on beer and Patron tequila after ordering the combo in Vanilla Sky. 21. Tom Cruise gets clear braces.

22. Battle tops are the hot toy at the New York City Toy Fair. 23. Americans learn President Bush's niece Noelle has a serious drug problem. 24. Pottery Barn names a sofa after Baltimore. 25. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan's wife, Juanita, announces the end of their marriage. 26. A month later, the couple reconciles. 27. Controversial research finds most divorced people -- and their kids -- do just fine. 28. Saint-John's wort may lower the effectiveness of cholesterol drugs, studies suggest. 29. Soigne, one of Baltimore's best new restaurants, opens in Riverside. 30. Cell phones are becoming increasingly popular with teens. More than 30 percent of 15-to-17-year-olds have them.

FEBRUARY

31. Chelsea Clinton straightens her hair. 32. Hallmark decides not to add patriotic messages to its Valentines in spite of 9 / 11. 33. Study suggests more than 5 million American teen-agers are binge drinkers. 34. HGTV's Dream Home is in Maryland this year. 35. Top U.S. and French chefs launch FiveLeaf, which ships flash-frozen

versions of their haute cuisine by mail order. 36. GHB, the "date rape" drug, gains popularity on college campuses as a recreational drug rivaling Ecstasy. 37. Sitcom stars make pajamas trendy home wear.

38. Housing prices skyrocket. 39. Woof 'em down: 400,000 hot dogs are served at the Winter Olympics. 40. A miniature

poodle, Surrey Spice

Girl, wins Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. 41. December and May: Joan Collins, 68, marries theater manager Percy Gibson, 36. 42. Bunco, the

social game known as bridge for the brainless, takes off. 43. The 'Chilly Chili' pepper, which doesn't sting gardeners' hands when they pick it, is introduced. 44. Two new drugs in the pipeline, Picovir and AG7088, stop cold viruses. 45. Ninety percent of middle-aged Americans will become hypertensive, research shows. 46. Fox anchor Greta Van Susteren's plastic surgery

is the talk of the TV news industry.

47. Ethnic brides clean up at the box office with Monsoon Wedding and My Big Fat Greek Wedding: 48. "Wear-ability" is the word at the fall 2002 fashion shows in New York. 49. Reality TV takes over the country. 50. U.S. infant mortality rate is down 3 percent. 51. Happy Dog Toys introduces the Bubble Buddy ($9), which creates bacon-, peanut butter- or barbecue chicken-flavored bubbles. 52. Cyber-dating becomes a way of life for millions.

MARCH

53. Liza Minnelli and David Gest get hitched. 54. Men are averaging 16 hours of housework each week, women 27.

55. Adultolescents: Millions of Americans in their 20s and 30s still live at home. 56. The raw foods trend gathers steam. 57. Ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani is denied joint custody of his children because he hasn't spent enough time with them. 58. Halle Berry, the first African-American woman to win a best actress Oscar, accepts it in a daring Elie Saab creation. 59. Get a life coach: Personal growth is hot. 60. Baby boomer nostalgia fuels an interest in '50s kitchen design. 61. Texas mother Andrea Yates is sentenced to life in prison

for murdering her five children. 62. Not a drop to drink: Mandatory water restrictions arrive with spring for most of Central Maryland. 63. Big Daddy: P. Diddy settles his child support case. 64. More than half of all U.S. households have

at least one pet.

65. Anthony Cricchio, owner of Caesar's Den, dies. 66. Netflix, the online DVD rental service that delivers to customers' homes, passes the 500,000 subscriber mark. 67. Spring's "it" fashion color is white.

68. Ellicott City gets its first high-end steakhouse when Jordan's opens. 69. The clean scene: America becomes infatuated with wet wipes. 70. G-rated movies like Princess Diaries and The Rookie do well at the box office. 71. You've got mail: Almost 500 million people have access to the Internet in their homes. 72. More fine wines are being sealed with screw-top caps. 73. Vanity, thy name is... American men get their own spas, although not yet in Baltimore. 74. The Chilean sea bass boycott to prevent overfishing gains momentum. 75. Magic carpet ride: Shag rugs are important in home design again.

APRIL

76. The new fountain of youth, Botox, gets FDA approval to use for some wrinkles. 77. A plus-size model, Kate Dillon, appears in Vogue for the first time. 78. The president's niece, Lauren Bush, is on the April cover of W. 79. The area's first Cheeburger Cheeburger opens in Timonium. 80. French favorite Cafe de Paris moves to Columbia. 81. Lasik surgery gets a second, more critical, look. 82. Towson University president Mark L. Perkins steps down as the furor grows over the million-dollar renovation of the University's Guilford mansion. 83. Oprah shelves her book club, saying it has become harder and harder to find worthy books. 84. Oprah shrink Dr. Phil gets his own syndicated TV show. 85. Oprah announces she's quitting her talk show in '06. 86. European butters make it big in the U.S. 87. Skin is in, as in bare midriffs. 88. Plastic surgeons report a new interest in

bellybutton reconstruction.

89. Presidential adviser Karen Hughes returns to Texas for her family's sake. 90. Donna's coffee bars open in Clarksville and Col-umbia. Later in

the year, Donna's in Pikesville closes. 91. A dining room table with a built-in dishwasher is patented. 92. Hold the mayo: Burger King introduces a veggie burger (330 calories, 10 grams of fat).

93. Nostalgic looks in home furnishings are a huge success at the High Point furniture market.

94. Celebrities lend their names to home furnishings lines in droves.

95. The upscale restaurant Louisiana opens a casual Italian sibling, Semolina, in Canton.

96. The FDA issues a kava alert. The popular herb may be linked to liver problems. 97. Women learn their chance of getting pregnant begins to decline at 27.

98. Little Italy's Pasquale Chiapparelli dies. 99. A new study suggests that changes in diet and exercise may replace surgery as the treatment of choice for prostate cancer. 100. Florida becomes the latest state to pass laws allowing trust funds for pets. 101. Brides are having wedding cakes made of Krispy Kreme doughnuts in cities like Baltimore and Atlanta, Time reports.

102. Delta and American airlines and the New York Mets eliminate senior discounts.

103. Coca-Cola launches Vanilla Coke. 104. Chef Mark Hofmann

opens Henry's Bistro in Jacksonville.

MAY

105. Barbie's

creator, Ruth

Handler, dies at 85.

106. Bruce Willis

sends 12,000 boxes of Girl Scout

cookies to troops in Afghanistan. 107. Breast milk is thought to raise a baby's IQ, an article in JAMA reports. 108. Sham-Danai's Chicken-n-Waffle House, Greektown's only African-American restaurant, opens. 109. Alex Michel selects his true love on The Bachelor but in spite

of the hype, doesn't propose.

110. Nirvana: Yoga wear goes mainstream. 111. Maryland gardeners focus on drought-resistant plants like the new 'Jaio Scarlet Eye' vinca. 112. The New York Times reports a new interest in tanning among teen-age girls. 113. Steve de Castro, owner of four Ruth's Chris steakhouses, the Havana Club, Eurasian Harbor and Babalu Grill, is named the Restaurant Association of Maryland's "Restaurateur of the Year." 114. The Bicycle wins the Diners Choice Award as local customers vote for their favorite new restaurant. 115. The carnivorous snakehead fish makes

Marylanders

rethink their

love of seafood.

116. Hot rock: turquoise is the must-have jewelry this season. 117. The son of murdered Wall Street Journal bureau chief Daniel Pearl is born. 118. Cedella Marley, daughter of reggae legend Bob Marley, launches her own clothing line. 119. "Green" hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius rev their engines. 120. Burpee introduces the 'Health Kick' tomato with twice the amount of cancer-fighting

antioxidants as ordinary tomatoes (and twice as expensive).

121. The nation's first commercial egg-freezing clinic opens to fight infertility. 122. Dining rooms are disappearing in new homes. 123. Philippe Starck designs a toilet trainer-potty step stool for Target. 124. Envi, a trendy but affordable boutique, opens on Charles Street downtown. 125. Men are the main buyers of groceries and kids' clothing in 21 percent of American households, according to American Demo-graphics. 126. Direct-sales fashion in private homes is booming. 127. The James Beard Foundation names Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, star

of the PBS show Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen, America's Best Chef. 128. Today's Katie Couric and beau Tom Werner

end their bicoastal romance.

129. Heavens to Betsy!, an antiques and gift shop, opens in Brooklandville. 130. Prom dresses are more sophisticated this spring. Some two-piece creations reveal midriffs.

JUNE

131. Designer Bill Blass dies of cancer at age 79. 132. Families take shorter vacations and stay closer to home. 133. Two words for summer fashion: Think pink. 134. A huge increase in container gardening becomes the summer's top outdoor trend. 135. Blushing? Brides go for a sexier look this season. 136. New strains of roses have been developed that are much easier to grow. 137. Adventure racing takes America's extreme sports addicts by storm. 138. Hold the burger: The USDA announces two recalls of ground beef that may be contaminated by E. coli. The same week the CDC warns that a salmonella outbreak in five states may have been caused by undercooked ground beef. 139. New Tufts University program of diet and exercise brings major relief to arthritis sufferers in three weeks. 140. Phlox 'David' is named the 2002 Perennial Plant of the Year. 141. FDA bans nicotine-laced water. 142. Hawaiian

punch: The tiki craze returns.

143. The vice president's wife, Lynne Cheney, publishes America: A Patriotic Primer, a children's history book. 144. Panty-hose sales take a plunge.

145. 2002's gardens emphasize bold color. 146. Capri pants have been around,

but this summer they rule. 147. Not a drop to drink: Droughts plague the country. 148. Red Fish, a "modern Mediterranean" restaurant, opens in Canton.

149. Arcadia Collection,

a new home furnishings store, opens in Historic Savage Mill. 150. Peasant blouses define summer shoulders. 151. Oh baby! Some hospitals prepare for a spike in births nine months after the terrorist attacks.

152. Teen-age girls and their angst are the subject of several

best sellers and a Newsweek cover. 153. Love me do: Paul McCartney remarries. 154. A new petunia, 'Tidal Wave,' arrives with silver blooms. 155. The film star Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, launch a hair-care line. 156. What's in a name: Max is the favorite name for dogs, Mollie or Tiger for cats, survey shows. 157. Americana is a best seller in home and fashion. 158. Mc-Mansions: People are building bigger and bigger homes, now averaging 2,200 square feet. 159. Con-versely, expensive furniture is having an unusually tough year. 160. Columnist Ann Landers, 83, dies. 161. Census data is released showing crowding in the nation's housing is rising after almost 50 years of decline. 162. A U.S. Court of Appeals panel in San Francisco rules that "under God" cannot be included when the Pledge of Allegiance is recited in public schools. A day later, the federal

appeals court judge who issued the ruling puts it on hold indefinitely.

JULY

163. On July 5, the heat index at BWI reaches 105.

164. The TV show American Idol draws in the whole family.

165. Hot yoga is the fastest-growing form of the 5,000-year-old discipline. 166. It's a bad thing: Martha Stewart is accused of insider trading. 167. The shortage of nurses in the U.S. grows more

severe. 168. Weber grills celebrate their 50th birthday.

169. Some pig: Charlotte's Web comes out on CD, read by E.B. White himself. 170. Fashionis-tas make charm bracelets the jewelry of the moment. 171. Julia Roberts marries cameraman Danny Moder in a surprise

wedding. 172. Meow power: Hasbro's FurReal Friend, a robotic cat, hits the stores and becomes

an instant hit. It sells in the

millions. 173. Remember

the '80s? They're ba-a-a-ck. 174. Carolina Herrera

launches her new perfume, Chic.

175. Camden Yards launches the vegetarian hot dog. 176. The popular high-fat Atkins diet may actually be a more effective way to lose weight than a low-fat diet, scientists admit. 177. John McEnroe tells all about his divorce from Tatum O'Neal in his autobiography, You Cannot Be Serious.

178. Denim is once again big fashion news. 179. Take two sugar pills: Brain imaging studies give the placebo effect new respectability. 180. Women learn that hormone replacement therapy isn't the fountain of youth. 181. Charter schools get a bad report card in their 10th year. 182. Fifties redux: Fondue becomes chic again. 183. A new magazine, Grace, targets plus-size women. 184. A 3-D you: Full body scans are trendy but may not be an efficient way to detect serious illnesses. 185. Because of a glut of white truffles, the price plummets to less than $1,000 a pound.

186. Johns Hopkins is named the best hospital in the U.S. for the 12th time by U.S. News & World Report. 187. Trans-fatties: 64 percent of adult Americans are now overweight or obese. 188. Cafe Asia opens in Power Plant Live, adding more heat to a sizzling summer. 189. Tea -- black and green -- may be the new wonder drug, leading to stronger bones and healthier hearts. 190. Golden oldie: Breck Shampoo, with its Special Gold Formula, is re-launched. 191. DVD players are fast replacing VCRs for home entertainment. 192. New study concludes

that Prozac is ineffective.

193. Soccer shoes inspire

the latest in hip footwear.

194. Eight a day? There's no scientific evidence that drinking lots of water is better for you.

195. Animal Planet gets a new pet psychic, Sonya Fitzpatrick. 196. Under-achievers: Family movies like Stuart Little 2 and Spirit falter at the box office. 197. The U.S. wins the World Team Pastry Championship in Las Vegas. 198. Teflon-coated Dockers Go Khakis have messy eaters swooning. 199. It's the

summer of rub. For grilling, that is. 200. Lose yourself: Kids drag their parents to 8 Mile to get around the R rating.

201. Hollywood's most bizarre couple, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton, split. 202. The popularity of outdoor living rooms explodes.

AUGUST

203. Richard M. Nixon's daughters, Julie and Tricia, bury the hatchet after a three-year fight over their father's presidential library funds. 204. Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 50, has surgery for prostate cancer. A month later he's back at work. 205. The world's No. 1 women's player, Serena Williams, stuns the tennis world by competing at the U.S. Open in a black Lycra catsuit.

206. Not to be outdone, sister Venus, No. 2 in the world, unveils her Florida-based interior design company V Starr Interiors.

207. Two Purdue University

students invent freeze-dried beer.

208. Two home offices are starting to be standard in new houses.

209. West Nile virus infects and kills more people in 2002 than any year since its discovery in 1999.

210. At New York City's Lingerie Americas show, styles are very feminine, with lots of lace. 211. The Institute of Medicine recommends one full hour of exercise a day. 212. Honda comes out with a

retooled Accord; it's Consumer Reports' top-rated family sedan. 213. No thanks, I'm full: Celebrities like NBC weatherman Al Roker get gastric bypasses. 214. Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, in which a murder victim watches her grieving family from heaven, makes the New York Times' best-seller list. 215. The U.S. Botanic Garden reopens after extensive renovations. 216. Fire closes the popular Monkton restaurant Manor Tavern. 217. C'est magnifique: Julia Child celebrates her 90th birthday. 218. A Harvard study reports that just one cigarette can stress your heart.

219. Baltimore gets its first oxygen bar at the Spy Club in Mount Vernon. 220. Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley take the plunge.

221. Level two mandatory water restrictions go into effect in Maryland. 222. Julia Child's kitchen enters the Smithsonian.

SEPTEMBER

223. Taylor Davison, a 10-year-old Illinois girl, dies after football practice.

224. The Year of the Coat: Outerwear takes center stage in fall fashion.

225. Reality TV? John Ritter tries to survive two teen-age daughters in ABC's new 8 Simple Rules...

226. NBC's family drama set in 1963, American Dreams, has its premiere.

227. In WB's new Everwood a father moves his family to Colorado after his wife dies.

228. NBC's new Hidden Hills follows the lives of two suburban couples.

229. Dark, rich wood is the newest look for kitchens.

230. Plum gorgeous: Purple reigns in fall makeup.

231. U.S. life expectancy hits a record high of 76.9 years.

232. Suits are in, casual Fridays are out.

233. For the hip and thrifty, Living Room magazine publishes its first issue.

234. Whole Foods market brings natural and organic products to Inner Harbor East.

235. An Indiana woman beating her 4-year-old is captured on a store security camera.

236. Best foot forward: Mary Janes are back.

237. Bowling shoes are back.

238. Pointy toes are back.

239. Clogs are back.

240. Dr. Scholl's Exercise Sandals are back.

241. Ooh-la-la! Ma Petite Shoe starts selling shoes and chocolate in Hampden.

242. Shod, a new women's shoe boutique, opens in Fells Point.

243. Yu-gi-oh trading cards are banned in some Baltimore schools because of the distraction.

244. Memories: Scrapbooking becomes the craft trend of the year.

245. Ellicott City's new Tiber River Tavern serves American food with an exotic twist.

246. The Glendenings have a new baby girl, Gabrielle.

247. Water resistance exercise classes make a splash.

248. Thai Arroy restaurant opens in Federal Hill.

249. Americans are eating bacon and eggs for breakfast more often than they used to, according to trend watchers.

250. Baby boomers cause an explosion in second home buying.

251. Italian-made Marvis toothpaste, in flavors such as ginger mint, arrives in the U.S., selling for $8.95 a tube.

252. The owner of the Ambassador opens a Lebanese restaurant, Carlyle Club, in Homewood.

253. Spring 2003 fashion shows in New York play it safe with feminine clothes.

254. Lacoste brings back the crocodile on its polos.

255. A survey of sexually active teens finds that 22 percent had their first experience in their own home; 34 percent in their partner's home.

256. One-button men's suits show up on runways.

257. Some people are buying antibiotics meant for animals at pet stores.

258. Newlyweds are substituting extreme adventure trips for traditional honeymoons.

259. Read anything good lately? Book clubs take off after Oprah's ends.

260. Bold stripes are trendy in home decor.

261. The HMO backlash produces "boutique" doctors who even make house calls.

262. Towne Hall restaurant in Greenspring Station turns into the City Crab & Seafood Company.

263. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccines for healthy babies.

264. New government data show that about 9 million children in the U.S. are overweight.

OCTOBER 265. Maryland residents are terrorized by a series of sniper attacks.

266. The Dawson family is killed in East Baltimore for speaking out against drug dealers.

267. Yale and Stanford announce they will eliminate early decision for the class of '08.

268. Organic food standards go into effect.

269. Spider-Man is Halloween's top costume.

270. The new 'Orange Smoothie' pumpkin is bred to be a "canvas" for Halloween painting.

271. Martha Stewart takes the home furnishings market in High Point by storm with her Signatures collection.

272. Reality bites: Winona Ryder dresses demurely for her shoplifting trial.

273. The Zagat Survey reports that Charleston has been voted Baltimore's most popular restaurant.

274. Prime Rib gets the votes for Top Food.

275. The phalaenopsis orchid is the au courant flower in interior design.

276. Samuel Parker Clothier opens in the Mt. Washington mill.

277. The number of women participating in triathlons has grown from 11 to 29 percent in the last decade.

278. Cheap chic mag Budget Living publishes its first issue.

279. Suck it up: RootCyclone, the best-selling vacuum in Western Europe, arrives in Maryland.

280. Mayor O'Malley and Judge O'Malley have their fourth child, John.

281. Bomber jackets explode onto the fall-fashion scene.

282. The EXPO Design Center opens a store in Columbia with ten designer showrooms.

283. People magazine names Ben Affleck the sexiest man alive.

284. The community of Lutherville celebrates its 150th anniversary.

285. The Osbournes become the year's First Dysfunctional Family, replacing the Sopranos.

286. Interior design magazines feature Moroccan style.

287. The children's museum Port Discovery has declining attendance and is likely to move.

288. A decade-long study suggests breast self-exams don't prevent cancer death.

289. Chico's, the baby boomer women's store, comes to Cross Keys.

290. J. Jill, also selling women's clothes, isn't far behind.

291. Hair today: "Is Ehrlich's real?" becomes an unspoken campaign issue.

292. Manor Tavern reopens.

293. Mortgage rates hit four-

decade lows, resulting in a record number of homes being refinanced.

294. Rosie O'Donnell and her partner, Kelli Carpenter, have a baby girl, Vivienne Rose.

295. Stingray leather bags are a hot accessory.

296. Trendy exercise fanatics are getting into aerobagogo, a combination dance and cardio workout.

297. Furniture prices go down at both the wholesale and retail level.

NOVEMBER

298. Pop star Michael Jackson horrifies the world by dangling his infant son over a balcony in Berlin.

299. Aaron Buerge proposes in the second season finale of The Bachelor.

300. Identity theft reaches epidemic proportions.

301. Teeth-whitening reaches epidemic proportions.

302. Don't pass the sunscreen: New study correlates insufficient sunlight with increased risk for 13 types of serious cancers.

303. Ikea's new ad campaign encourages consumers not to get attached to their home furnishings.

304. Everyone has to have a floor-length knit scarf this winter.

305. Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley split.

306. The handsome new James Joyce Pub opens downtown.

307. Beach-home style becomes a new year-round interior design look.

308. Researchers announce that Ecstasy users run the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

309. No way: The National Cancer Institute recommends nine servings of fruits and veggies a day.

310. Florida teens Derek and Alex King are convicted of murdering their father.

311. Star couple Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. tie the knot.

312. Washable suede -- real leather, not Ultrasuede -- is this season's hot seller.

313. The government announces plans to vaccinate everyone for smallpox within ten days of a terrorist attack.

314. Harry Potter the movie part deux bewitches fans.

315. PETA protests at the Victoria's Secret fashion show.

316. That hurts: Winona Ryder carries Demerol, Diazepam, Vicoprofen, Vicodin, Valium, morphine sulfate and Endocet in her purse for her broken arm.

317. The Ladies Home Journal column "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" is 50 years old.

318. Miss America Erika Harold comes out in favor of abstinence.

319. Hospital infections are now the nation's fifth leading cause of death.

320. Say it ain't so: Fashion-forward women are wearing cropped pants into the fall and winter.

321. Oprah gets skinny again. Since January, she's lost 33 pounds.

322. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick become parents of baby James.

323. J.Lo and Ben Affleck get engaged, sort of.

324. Mainstream health resorts and spas add sex education courses to their offerings.

325. Paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve regains some motor function.

326. Fried Twinkies become the guilty pleasure du jour.

327. Snuggle up: Eighties-style leg warmers make the rounds again.

DECEMBER

328. Thousands of people decide the virtual world of the Sims Online is more fun than their own daily lives.

329. Achoo: FDA approves selling popular allergy drug Claritin over the counter.

330. Carmela Soprano kicks out the unfaithful Tony.

331. Pop divas are wearing men's ties.

332. Nora Roberts' Chesapeake Blue lands the top spot on the New York Times' best-

seller list. Set in Maryland, it's the romance writer's 151st novel.

333. Two New York teen-agers sue McDonald's for making them fat.

334. Hip-hop style is starting to fade.

335. After years of telling us to stop eating butter, scientists announce that more than half the people who suffer heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels.

336. Johnny, we hardly knew ye: JFK is revealed to have been in constant pain and heavily medicated.

337. The GE Profile Speed Cooking Oven (available next spring) is in the works. Turkey, for instance, takes less than 5 minutes a pound to cook.

338. Boston bans smoking in bars, nightclubs and restaurants. New York City follows suit.

339. Afraid of needles? FDA is close to approving a nasal spray flu vaccine.

340. Silver is the new black in everything from stoves to lipsticks, USA Today reports.

341. Infant homicide rates are up in the U.S.

342. The FDA approves Pediarix, a combination vaccine. It protects babies against five different viruses.

343. The '50s family melodrama Far From Heaven wins the New York Film Critics Circle best film award.

344. No new Harry Potter books are published.

345. Two-dishwasher home: Buyers now ask for major appliances in several different areas of new homes, builders report.

346. Almost half of weekday meals now take 30 minutes or less to prepare.

347. Half the world's adults with HIV are now women.

348. Consumer Reports finds that half the chickens it tests are contaminated with harmful bacteria.

349. Bittersweet: 20,000 attend New York City's fifth annual Chocolate Show.

350. Mount Vernon's Holly Tour is back after 17 years.

351. Teens discover Indian bidi, the new hip -- but just as deadly -- cigarette.

352. Raw Sugar, an upscale children's clothing and furniture store, is the first new business to open in the renovated Belvedere Square.

353. Great genes: Boston Red Sox star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and soccer star Mia Hamm get engaged.

354. Nostalgia fuels the demand for this season's sellout gift: the Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition.

355. The Wine Spectator's 2002 Wine of the Year is E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1999 ($30).

356. No pain, no gain: Extreme fitness classes are increasingly popular.

357. Ground Zero residents fear the air is making them sick.

358. HIV cases drop 24 percent since 1999 in Baltimore.

359. Winona Ryder is found guilty of shoplifting at Saks in Beverly Hills.

360. Hear me whisper: Major changes for Title IX, legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools, are in the works.

361. Taking multivitamins may be more important for good health than previously thought, a number of studies conclude.

362. Peter Rabbit is 100 years old.

363. Hold the Happy Meal: Fast food giant McDonald's posts its first-ever quarterly loss.

364. Bon Appetit magazine names its food trend of the year: "the quest for the best." Americans are searching for quality ingredients.

365. Year-end miracle: 13-year-old Iran Brown, near death 10 weeks ago from a sniper's bullet, is up and playing basketball.

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