Web links related to the Back of the Book program of January 3, 2005

It's 1/16/2005 19:02:29 and this page is finished. Merry New Year! We talked about various things on this program some of which are referenced below. Don't worry about verb tenses changing from one paragraph to the next, it's okay.

The WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) will meet next on Wednesday, January 5th, at 6:30 PM at Community Church, 40 E. 35th St., between Park and Madison Ave. Take the 6 train to 34th Street, or Metro North to Grand Central, transfer to downtown local #6 to 34th St.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of almost every WBAI LSB meeting so far? Well, I do.

The elections for WBAI Local Station Board are over and the faction currently in charge lied and cheated its way to a majority on the WBAI Local Station Board. This is not a good thing. We'll see how it works out over the next few months.

WBAI has a program schedule up on its Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and a new MP3 stream. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed.

The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, has revamped its Web site and now has something called the Pacifica Lounge where you can post messages about Pacifica, WBAI and other Pacifica radio stations. This may be a good thing, and of course there are other, long term fora in which to participate.

WBAI also has a forum on its Web site now. You have to register to post messages, but anyone may read the messages.

Brand new is the Pacifica Internet Radio site.

John Fisk
1943 - 2004

I spoke about John Fisk on this program. He passed away in the past fortnight. He used to do a radio program called Digressions, part of which aired in the same time slot as this program. He was a wild and crazy guy.

Back in the early '80s, he did his program on Sunday night/Monday morning, but it lasted from midnight to 5 AM. John was never without some substance designed to alter his state of consciousness. He would bring in at least a six pack of beer, Heineken I think it was, and drink it on the air. This would be illegal today, but I don't know that there were laws against it then. Besides the alcohol John also smoked, and it was not all tobacco.

This all tended to give Digressions, which was heavily influenced by conspiracy theories, a certain flavor. I disagreed with a lot of John's content, but we got along fine.

John would also share things with folks. If it was your birthday he'd give you one of the confections he made. They were called “Mariela's Butter Cookies.” They had a lot of butter in them, and the butter was the solvent for the tetrahydrocannabinol which formed the major attractive ingredient of these cookies. The cookies were about the diameter of a quarter and half an inch thick. They were no taste treat, but they were quite popular. Of course when it wasn't your birthday you could buy the cookies, along with any number of other plant materials that had the same active ingredient, from John.

John was a fixture around New York poetry circles, helping to put out the Poetry Project and he looked like someone who had just stepped out of Zap! comics with his very long beard and hair and dress habits that sometimes seemed to lean heavily toward the grooviest fashions of 1969.

John Fisk was a character, and I doubt if he'd fit in well with the WBAI of today, or of the past fifteen years or so. But he did a radio program that was certainly unique and he will be missed.

Of course we're going to talk about this tsunami in the Indian Ocean. This page from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a time line of the events as they saw them.

As I type this the death toll has gone up to 155,000.

This just shows that terrible things can still happen to people from natural causes. And this relates to the ticking time bomb in the western United States.

And there are other natural disasters that we have to be careful about, too. Some astronomers were a little preoccupied during the holidays.

We got to some mail on the program, most of it cards and letters. We did get to one E-mail, however, and here it is.

Subject: a new star
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 03:06:36 -0500
From: Ted
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear RPM,

I just happened to tune in and caught your last radio program on BAI. Thanks for the info on the new star. I can dig it.
Good show! Hope to catch you again in the new year.


This new listener heard us talking on the last program about a newly discovered star that may be only 11.8 light years away. Yeah, there aren't that many radio programs on in the middle of the night discussing astronomy and the other sciences, along with civil rights and other political issues. We're doing free form live radio, all right.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even now that the gag rule has been lifted. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.

Probably the most popular list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast.

Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are frequently posted there.

You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the “NewPacifica” mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.

There is the option to receive a “digest” version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

This list also has a Web based interface where you can read messages and from which you can post your own messages.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. It is sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as “the bleepin' blue board,” owing to the blue background used on its Web pages. This one has many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary “WBAI people” board that's just totally out of hand.

When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes have live interaction with people posting on the “Goodlight Board” during the program.

And then there is the historic “Free Pacifica!” list, which has been used to help organize resistance to Pacifica Management hijackers since the mid-90s. It's become a low volume mailing list because it's been eclipsed by some of the newer, more technologically advanced, lists. Just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. This is a mailing list only, it doesn't have a digest option nor does it have a web interface.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2005, R. Paul Martin.