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7 things to know before dinner—Newspaper fight, 'Facemelter' fakes it, funding formulas, where did Voyager 1 boldly go?

Photo by BeautifullyPure via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Ink will spill: Waging an old-fashioned newspaper war in the 21st century (KPCC)

Many cities don’t even have a local, daily newspaper anymore. But now Long Beach — California’s 7th biggest city, with a population greater than Oakland — will have two duking it out when the Orange County Register goes head-to-go with the Press-Telegram.

The publishers of the two broadsheets are starting a good old-fashioned newspaper war, with insults to match. In the year 2013.

2. Did Voyager 1 boldly leave the solar system? (NPR)

Voyager 1 — launched in 1977 with an eight-track tape recorder and 100,000 times less memory than an iPod — finished its mission to Jupiter and Saturn and then kept going.

Today, billions of miles from Earth, scientists have been predicting it will soon leave the solar system. A physicist at the University of Maryland thinks it already did, more than a year ago.

3. 'Facemelter' goes through the motions, wins Air Guitar championship (KPCC)

This past weekend, the National Air Guitar championships took place here in L.A. at the House of Blues. It was the first time in nearly a decade that this sporting event was held in Southern California.

Home court advantage proved useful to Jason "Lt. Facemelter" Farnan of San Diego, who was crowned the new champ.

4. Football on the brain (The Atlantic Wire)

A "culture war" continues as the NFL season approaches. The issue at the middle of the huddle — traumatic brain injury.

This weekend saw a number of publications go under the helmet with articles in defense of American football despite what NIH calls a "concussion crisis" in the sport.

5. State finesses funding formula to funnel billions into poor school districts (KPCC)

As the school year begins, districts in Los Angeles have not gone on a hiring spree, but they might soon.

California has revamped its school funding formula in ways that will send billions more dollars to districts that educate large numbers of children who are poor, disabled in some way or still learning to speak English.

6. UCLA harvests first comprehensive study of LA's urban gardening scene (KPCC)

You can't forage for one minute these days without hearing about urban gardening, city living chickens, rooftop beehives or sidewalk strawberries.

But despite all this talk there's been little data on just how many farms there are, and where they're located. Until now. A research group at UCLA has finished a report on L.A. County's urban farms, focusing on community gardens, school gardens, local farms and nurseries.

7. Thousands vie for firefighter positions in Pasadena (KPCC)

Despite the dangers, there is no shortage of would-be firefighters. In Pasadena, some 2,000 people showed up Monday morning to take an entrance exam. Another 2,000 were expected for the afternoon exam.

There are only about 10 open positions.