An abbreviated look at the year 2005:

Famous deadly events

3,100,000 dead: Worldwide AIDS epidemic ref: unaids.org
87,000 dead: Earthquake in northern Pakistan
2,000 dead: Hurricane Stan hits Central America
1,800 dead: Floods in Pakistan
1,323 dead: Hurricane Katrina strikes US gulf states
1,313 dead: Earthquake in Indonesia
1,000 dead: Monsoons strike western India
950 dead: Stampede in Baghdad
844 dead: American troop losses in Iraq
653 dead: Floods in China
612 dead: Earthquake in Iran
280 dead: Marburg virus outbreak in Angola
250 dead: Stampede in Wai, India
209 dead: Mining explosion in China
200 dead: Flooding in Aghanistan
107 dead: Train crash in Osaka
105 dead: Flooding in India
88 dead: Terrorist bombings in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
74 dead: Terrorist bombings in Pakistan
56 dead: Terrorist bombings in London
22 dead: Terrorist bombings in Bali

Actors who Died

Richard Pryor (aged 65; The Toy)
James Doohan (aged 85; Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise)
Sandra Dee (aged 62; Gidget)
Bob Denver (aged 70; Gilligan)
Pat Morita (aged 73; Mr Miyagi)
Don Adams (aged 70; Maxwell Smart and the voice of Inspector Gadget)
Sir John Mills (aged 97; Mr Chips)
John Spencer (aged 58; Chief of Staff for the Bartlett presidency)
Barbara Bel Geddes (aged 82; Miss Ellie Ewing)

Writers who Died

Arthur Miller (aged 89; playwright)
Hunter S. Thompson (aged 67; writer)

TV Guys who Died

Peter Jennings (aged 67; ABC news anchor)
Johnny Carson (aged 79; Tonight Show host)

Leaders who Died

Pope John Paul II (aged 85; pontiff)
Edward Heath (aged 89; former British Prime Minister)
Lord James Callaghan (aged 92; another former British Prime Minister)
Robin Cook (aged 59; former British Foreign Minister)
Stanley 'Tookie' Williams (aged 51; former leader of the Crips)
Cardinal Jaime Sin (aged 76; religious leader in the Philippines)
David Lange (aged 63; former New Zealand Prime Minister)
Rafiq Hariri (aged 61; former Prime Minister of Lebanon)
King Fahd (aged 84; ruler of Saudi Arabia)
Rtd Gen. William Westmoreland (aged 91; led US forces in the Vietnam War)
Milton Obote (aged 80; former Ugandan President)
K.R. Narayanan (aged 85; former Indian President)
William Rehnquist (aged 80; US Chief Justice)
Kerry Packer (aged 67; media magnate)
Frank Perdue (aged 84; chicken magnate)

Athletes who Died

Max Schmeling (aged 100; boxer)
George Best (aged 59; soccer player)

Other Famous People who Died

Simon Wiesenthal (aged 97; Nazi hunter)
Rosa Parks (aged 92; US civil rights figure)
Johnnie Cochran, Jr. (aged 67; lawyer)
Terri Schiavo (aged 41; person at the centre of a debate on euthanasia)

What we listened to

New Leaders

Existing leaders who survived elections included Tony Blair (Britain), Thaksin Shinawatra (Thailand), Junichro Koizumi (Japan), Mahmoud Abbas (Palestine Authority), Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) and Helen Clark (New Zealand).

Famous Marriages (and Civil Unions)

What science discovered

Honoured People

Nobel Prize Winners
Peace: Mohamed El Baradei (Egyptian) and the International Atomic Energy Agency
Literature: Harold Pinter (British)
Physiology or Medicine: Barry Marshall (Australian) and J. Robin Warren (Australian)
Physics: Roy Glauber (American), John Hall (American) and Theodor Hänsch (German)
Chemistry: Yves Chauvin (French), Robert Grubbs (American) and Richard Schrock (American)
Economics: Robert Aumann (American) and Thomas C Schelling (American)

Pulitzer Prize Winners
Fiction: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Music: Second Concerto for Orchestra by Steven Stucky

General Non-fiction:Ghost Wars by Steve Coll

Academy Awards (awarded in 2005 for films realesed in 2004)
Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Jamie Foxx
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Hilary Swank
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Morgan Freeman
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Cate Blanchett
Director: Clint Eastwood

BAFTA Awards
Film: The Aviator
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Jamie Foxx
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Imelda Staunton
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Clive Owen
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Cate Blanchett
Director: Mike Leigh

Other awards and citations
Time Magazine's People of the Year: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Bono
Statesman of the Year: Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski
Sydney Peace Prize: United Nations Advocate for Children Olara Otunn
Host city of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: London
World Statesman Award: John Howard
Metacritic's album of the year: Illinois by Sufjan Stevens

Dangerous Places

On Trial

Anything else that is boring but important

  • The French and Dutch rejected the European Union constitution in referenda.
  • World trade talks effectively fail in Hong Kong.
  • Fears of bird flu rose after several deaths in East Asia, but there was no evidence that the strain had mutated to allow human-to-human infections.
  • Half the world's population now live in cities.
  • Japan's population starts to shrink.

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