Monday, September 27, 2010

At 113 degrees, downtown L.A. hits all-time record high

LA Times: "It's not just you. Monday turned out to be the hottest day ever recorded -- at least in downtown L.A.
At 12:15 p.m., the weather station at USC hit the 113-degree mark, breaking the old all-time high of 112 set on June 26, 1990.
It makes Monday the hottest day ever since records in downtown L.A. started being kept in 1877, said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service.
Seto said the record was impressive, "especially after such a cool summer."
As of noon, Weather.com reported that Santa Monica had hit 106, West Hollywood was at 111, and Long Beach was at 107.
The National Weather Service warned of extreme heat and red-flag fire dangers Monday. A small fire broke out in Ladera Heights but was quickly put out. Another small brush fire was contained Sunday night in South Pasadena.
On the energy front, California consumers were expected to use more than 45,000 megawatts by peak afternoon hours, said Gregg Fishman, a spokesman for Cal-ISO, which coordinates power for 85% of the state's grid. "

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baltimore honors late rocker Frank Zappa with bust


BALTIMORE — Rocker Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore but gained greater popular acclaim in Europe than in the United States. On Sunday, devout European fans of the late musician brought his mustachioed likeness back home in the form of a bronze bust.
Several hundred fans gathered on a sweltering afternoon as city officials dedicated the bust of the ponytailed rocker outside an east Baltimore library. The bust is a replica of another in a public square in Vilnius, Lithuania, and was donated to the city by Zappa enthusiasts in the small Baltic nation.
"The spirit of Frank Zappa is alive and well in Baltimore," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
The mayor joined Zappa's widow, Gail, and three of his grown children in watching as a curtain was drawn back to reveal the bust set atop a 12-foot steel pole. Later, Zappa's son, Dweezil, took the stage with his tribute band, Zappa Plays Zappa.

Zappa was known for everything from novelty rock songs to elaborate classical compositions. He died of prostate cancer in 1993 at 52.
Sunday's ceremony marked the 25th anniversary of Zappa's testimony before Congress on freedom of expression for recording artists, though the scheduling was coincidental. Zappa had testified against proposed warning labels about lyrical content, calling them a path to censorshiop.