How odd--the mercury’s taken a nose dive...

How odd--the mercury’s taken a nose dive of nearly 20 degrees in the last two days, yet somehow it still seems like summer.

So let’s ponder a question raised by the Journal of the Senses, the publication of the Elysium nudist colony in Topanga.

Obviously stung by warnings from the medical profession about the harmful effects of the sun, the magazine asks:

“A nudist wearing something. Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?”


Not any more.

In what may rank as a landmark decision among the birthday-suit crowd, Elysium has decreed that a nudist is not compromising his or her principles by wearing a hat and/or sunglasses, thongs and sunscreen lotion.

But a wristwatch is still verboten, the magazine said, because it “creates hideous tan lines.”

There’s no water shortage on the front lawn of City Hall. Scores of trash cans full of the wet stuff have been set out to restrain the crowds that show up to see Nelson Mandela today.


Incidentally, widely traveled though he is, the anti-apartheid leader will be seeing one phenomenon for the first time: The famous Numbered Trees of City Hall.

Each large tree bears a numeral painted in white. Officials so daubed them after one Dodger celebration there when several fans fell from branches. By numbering the trees, the authorities can quickly direct the paramedics to the impact spots.

Despite the large number of water barricades, City Hall is taking heed of the drought in other ways. After all, the Tom Bradley Fountain outside the New Otani Hotel is dry.

In the wake of Norm Nichols’ resignation as general manager of the Department of Water and Power, two officials who are rumored to be in the running to succeed him are the agency’s assistant general manager and its chief financial officer.


Their respective names:

Daniel Waters and Norman Powers.

Tommy Lasorda knows how to shield himself from the sun. He donned a Saudi robe during a recent pregame visit by Badr Bakhsh, the director of a Saudi cultural exhibition at the L.A. Convention Center. One reporter couldn’t help but rechristen the Dodger manager Lasorda of Arabia.

Some officials don’t return reporters’ calls. Then there’s county Supervisor Ed Edelman, who initiates such contacts--in fact, he even had The Times’ operator route his call to the home of bleary eyed Only in L.A. on Thursday morning.


Edelman wanted to make sure someone knew:

A day after rivals on the board endangered his political future by proposing a new heavily Latino district for him, he hosted the eighth annual Ed Edelman Jr. Tennis Clinic in East L.A.

We think it’s fine that you’re already starting your campaign, Ed.

But next time, just leave a message at work. We promise to call back.



In case the thought has occurred to you during the current heat wave: There are more than 600 passenger flights leaving LAX each day.