LAFD: FireBlogging for the 21st Century

I may be relatively new to Los Angeles, but I was knee deep in rss feeds upon arrival – and soon after getting in rhythm with the Metroblogging LA feed, I became aware that Brian Humphrey, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, actively publishes the LAFD News & Information Blog.

I’m not aware of other FD blogs, though there is a “firehouse forum“, but the LAFD Blog puts an end to the “do blogs really matter?” question. The LAFD blog is not only chock full of public service safety reminders and police-report rescue911 style recaps of deadly highway wrecks… it is one of the finest and purest examples of the PURPOSE weblogs serve.

Blogs tell it like it is, and no exception here, as Mack @ LA Voice pointed to this week. LAFD has posted a video (to Social Distortion’s cover of “Ring of Fire”) that will have you running to test your smoke alarms and buy backup 9-volt batteries

You may not hear it on the radio, and the paper won’t come until morning… but after being motionless in your ride on the 405 — moreso than usual — you can find out ASAP (via rss feed to mobile, blackberry/treo, pda or surfing at home) that the fire department was responding to a man who was killed when a construction rig flipped over at LAX. Or something.

Also: LAFD on Flickr.

Even ‘Ballers Keep Tabs Online

“He’s not going to tell you if he’s down or not, because he doesn’t want to do that to the team. I know some of the guys have e-mailed him, text-messaged him, called him and haven’t heard back from him because he knew we were coming home in a few days. That’s pretty indicative of how he really must feel.

That’s what Dusty Baker told the Trib Monday regarding Derrek Lee — on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

A decade since AOL Instant Messenger went live, texting and online status has become a way of life for many.

Three weeks ago, A front page Washington Post article was headlined: On IM, Keeping Tabs and Keeping Up Appearances: Status Icons Show Who’s Where When.
text message
Even my grandfather would understand what that means. This is how we communicate circa 2006. While the lines of communication are more accessible than ever, and the news cycle runs a hideous 24-hours, nothing says more than silence.

In my opinion, it’s a beautiful thing. When the team captain goes down, he can’t sit on the bench pouting… but in this age of post-cordless, post-laptop, post-palm communication, silence says it all.

DJ Bobby D

Bob SimpsonYou heard about it earlier in the year — and now, the Observer UK has capitalized on an exclusive preview of Bob Dylan’s first DJ set for XMradio. This article gives the complete rundown, including the playlist. A second article adds even more — hello American media, Bob Dylan DJ-ing is worth at least ONE column, right? Get over the David Lee Roth / Howard Stern muck-fest.

The articles give a few examples of Dylan’s DJ persona, for example, the second article quotes his segue after playing Muddy Waters’ Blow Wind, Blow:

‘Chicago is known as the Windy City, but it’s not the windiest city in the US; the windiest city is Dodge City, Kansas. Other windy cities are Amarillo, Texas; Rochester, Minneso-taaa … all of which beat Chicago.’

The one hour weekly show, dubbed The Theme Time Radio Hour, launches May 3rd at 10am EDT on XMradio ch. 40. The British musicologist Charlie Gillett adds, “It draws you in and you never for a moment think he’s playing games, which he’s supposedly notorious for doing.”

One surprising fact mentioned in the article is that the program will apparently be broadcast online to U.S. internet users, via XMradio Online (a service that is noticeably absent from Sirius). Trial passes are available here.

Expecting Rain provides a key to access a preview of the show. (First entry under April 23).

In celebration of my recently expanded bandwidth, Here’s a cut from a recent Dylan performance: