Golden Globe Awards
January 11: Brokeback Mountain star Jake Gyllenhaal will host the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards and could well deliver a posthumous award to a former co-star. Heath Ledger, who appeared with Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain but died last year, may be named best supporting actor for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.
North American International Auto Show
January 11: Beleaguered by red ink and buoyed by Washington's $17.4 billion industry bailout, the three Detroit auto titans will showcase new product offerings. After prematurely killing the Taurus in 2006, Ford will debut what CEO Alan Mulally called "the [Taurus] we should've built originally." Meanwhile, General Motors will debut its Chevrolet Cruze, ostensibly a Daewoo rebadged for the American market and meant to compete for price-conscious sedan buyers.
Hall of Fame selection
January 12: Jim Rice will be listening closely when the Baseball Writers Association of America announces its 2009 picks for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Last year the former Red Sox slugger fell just short of the 75 percent of voters needed to gain induction. This year Rice and former Yankees pitcher Tommy John (who has a surgical procedure named after him) will appear on their 15th and final ballot. Former Oakland outfielder Rickey Henderson, who holds major league records in career stolen bases and runs scored, will headline former players in their first year of eligibility for baseball's top individual honor.
World Future Energy Summit
January 19: Atop about one-tenth of the world's proven oil reserves, close to 11,000 renewable energy experts and industry leaders will meet in Abu Dhabi to talk about alternatives to petroleum. The summit is an outflow of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates' Masdar Initiative, a project to create a 2.3-square-mile energy-efficient model neighborhood.
Ruffles and Flourishes
January 20: Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and cellist Yo-Yo Ma headline the musical entertainment on Inauguration Day, but a Hawaiian high-school marching band will also appear. After taking the Oath of Office to become the United States' 44th president, Barack Obama is scheduled to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol steps. Students from Punahou School, Obama's high-school alma mater, will join the festivities.
Roe v. Wade anniversary
January 22: In the 36 years since the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision, over 50 million babies have been aborted legally under the 1973 ruling that found laws prohibiting abortion purportedly violated a woman's right to privacy.