XEarth For Windows
For you grizzled Unix hacks out there, this might be old news, but I just learned of a really neat tool that I'm sure will appeal to the geophysicist in each of us (or at least Erik).
XEarth for Windows is a neat little application that acts as your desktop image. It displays either a globe, or a flattened representation of earth with the areas that are currently bathed in sunlight lit up, while the areas that are in the midst night are darkened. Not only that, any earthquake of magnitude 4.0 or above is also displayed as a yellow circle. The larger the circle, the larger the earthquake. Check it out.
UPDATE: Los Angeles doesn't exist in the list of cities - its location is 33.56, -118.24 and you can add that manually.