Some Like It Hot: Summer in South Florida is hotter than the hinges of Hell -- that's no secret to anyone who has ventured out of their house in the past three months. But why does it get so nasty? And when are we going to feel some refreshing summer showers? Cool off and learn a little about the weather today from noon to 5:00 at the Museum of Discovery and Science (401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale). WFOR-TV (Channel 4) meteorologist Joe Haynes will be on hand to demonstrate the science of weather forecasting, and the museum staff will re-create various types of conditions at "weather stations" throughout the museum. Kids can learn about weather safety with a puppet show, make an anemometer and weather diorama, and participate in hands-on weather experiments. Museum admission is six dollars. Call 954-467-6637. (GC)
Mike Gerber Benefit Jam: Legendary local pianist Mike Gerber has been pounding the keys behind many of the best local and national names in jazz for several years, but now his musical career is threatened by hearing loss. He's given a lot of pleasure over the years; time to give something back. The Sunshine Jazz Organization is pitching in to help Gerber with this benefit jam, featuring Gary Campbell, Ira Sullivan, Pete Minger, Melton Mustafa, Jessie Jones, Nestor Torres, Othello Molineaux, Jeff Grubbs, Nicky Yarling, Brenda Alford, Lonnie Smith, and many other local jazzsters. All proceeds will go to a medical fund for Gerber's surgery. The jam is today at 4:00 at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables). Admission is ten dollars. Call 233-6583. (GC)
Florida Grand Opera Film Festival: The Florida Grand Opera presents its annual film festival, featuring filmed versions of operas from its upcoming season, at the Miami Space Transit Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave.). Tonight's feature is Verdi's Il Trovatore; WTMI-FM (93.1) radio host Justin LaBarbera will provide a prescreening lecture. The festival concludes on August 18 with Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea. Tickets are $15. Showtime is 7:00 p.m. Call 933-0656. (GC)
Lelen Bourgoignie and Beatriz Bordas: Two emerging women photographers from South Florida turned their lenses to, and captured images of, two very different subjects; the results are on view at the the Photogroup Center (130 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables) through August 30. Lelen Bourgoignie's photographs document the plight of street children in Romania, candidly and poignantly exposing how they run in gangs and live in sewers. Bordas's lens stretched back into art history; her constructed images recall seventeenth-century still life paintings. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Call 444-0198. (GC)
Buzz Aldrin: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin has long been a leading advocate of the U.S. space program; since garnering fame for becoming the second man to walk on the moon, he has written several books maintaining the importance of space exploration. His latest book, Encounter with Tiber (co-written with John Barnes), is a fictional space saga that captures the challenges and excitement of space exploration. The Miami Space Transit Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave.) hosts an evening with Aldrin tonight at 8:00. Admission is free. Call 854-4244. (GC)
Tracy Chapman: When Tracy Chapman hit the charts in 1988 with her multiple Grammy Award-winning self-titled debut album, she seemed an unusual candidate for pop stardom. The publicity-shy singer-songwriter was seen primarily as a folk-oriented artist at a time when women folk artists were not exactly the rage. She stretched that definition by producing two more blues-and-rock-influenced albums, 1989's Crossroads and 1992's Matters of the Heart, and, after a four-year break, has cemented her popularity with her latest disc, the aptly titled New Beginning. Chapman is most gripping when her rich, husky alto relates personal, sobering stories and socially conscious meditations, but her blues-drenched pop tunes sure do shake. Chapman performs tonight at 8:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $26 and $33. Call 673-7300. (GC)
Images of Women: The Bass Museum (2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach) takes a look at the way women have been portrayed by artists throughout history in its latest exhibition, "Images of Women." The approximately 60 works included range from rare pieces such as Benjamin West's Countess of Northampton and Daughter and Toulouse-Lautrec's Mlle. Marcelle Lender, en Bust to Berenice Abbott's Twenties-era photographic portraits of bohemian American expatriates in Paris and contemporary depictions of sadomasochism and feminism by Richard Linder and Audrey Flack. Also featured are nineteenth-century Austrian and French portraits of literary figures and stage actresses, as well as contemporary portraits of Miami Beach residents by photographers Mary Ellen Mark, Andy Sweet, and the late Marcia Walkenstein. Admission is five dollars. Museum hours are 10:00 to 5:00 from Tuesday through Saturday (open 1:00 to 9:00 the second and fourth Wednesday of every month), and 1:00 to 5:00 on Sunday. Call 673-7530. (GC)
A Night of Disarray: Rather than schedule a bunch of bands that all look and sound the same, Squeeze (2 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale) goes the eclectic route tonight with an assortment of alternative music acts that could hardly be lumped together. The four-man hardcore band Endo blends rap-style vocals with hard-hitting rhythms, power chords, and a positive message for a Rage Against the Machine-esque vibe. The Weeds do a spare, rhythmic jazz-funk thing to back a smokin' spoken-word performance. The Nocturnals explore the darkness with trippy psychedelic rock. And Honeysticks drip with darkly sweet, Brit-pop-influenced melodies. Admission is five dollars. Showtime for this eighteen-and-over show is 10:00. Call 954-522-2151.