Web links related to the Back of the Book program of January 20, 2003

It's Sunday evening 2/2/2003 19:40:54 and this page is done. I got to the below topics plus some more on this program. We also read some more E-mails and some interactive stuff from listeners live on a Web based board.

Here is the latest on the saga of Pacifica. The big meeting of the interim Pacifica National Board has been changed to February 28-March 2, in Berkeley, CA, to discuss the bylaws.

Here's the WBAI schedule. Don't blame me if it's not accurate, I didn't make it up I'm only relaying it. Here's a schedule made by a listener who has Web links for various programs and producers.

Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and a new MP3 stream both of which were working at about 6:33 PM last night. 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.

We had some good news and some bad news about on-line issues like free speech and copyrights on this program.

In Norway a court found Jon Johansen, known as “DVD Jon” in that country, not guilty of breaking any laws about movie piracy when he wrote and distributed a program called “DeCSS,” about which I've spoken on the program in the past, which unlocks DVDs that people own. Unfortunately, it's being appealed by the Motion Picture Association. Interesting what can happen in a country whose judges and legislators are not owned by big business interests, like the MPAA. And apparently the MPAA doesn't have any concerns or moral qualms about subjecting the teenager to what in America would be double jeopardy.

In other good news the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan has ruled that Network Associates, a software company, has violated the free speech rights of its customers by including as a condition of buying their software that “The customer will not publish reviews of this product without prior consent from Network Associates Inc.” The company is updating the language on their products and may face a fine of millions of dollars. Network Associates' licensing language was only the worst of the restrictions that software companies try to impose on the people who buy their products, but other companies may well find themselves in court some time in the future as well.

And then there was the bad news. The Supreme Court by a 7 to 2 decision upheld the right of the best Congress that money can buy to extend copyright protection to 95 years. Although they upheld the copyright law extension, which serves the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America and other big copyright holders, some of the Supreme Court justices made mention of the fact that this is a bad law. How grand that in America is this sort of stupid law for the rich and greedy passed and enforced.

I am no fan of vegetables and most fruits, but a scientist has raised a serious alarm about bananas as we know them possibly not being available in another ten years or so. This is more serious than an issue of people not being able to decorate their corn flakes with disks of the fruit. Bananas are an important daily staple of the diets of an estimated 400 million people around the world. The golden age of food may be starting to unravel at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Albert Einstein had predicted over a century ago that gravity propagated at the same speed as light in a vacuum. An experiment using the American Very long Baseline Array of radio telescopes plus a 100 meter radio telescope in Germany has pretty much proven Einstein's assumption to be correct. Although they only sought to prove that gravity propagates at less than infinite speed, which most scientists figured was probably the case, they were able to show that gravity acts at the same speed as light in a vacuum with an accuracy of 20%. Measurements involving gravity are very hard to do because of gravity's ubiquity and the fact that three's no way to shield from it. For more details on the experiment look at the Astronomy Magazine site.

We did indeed do some interactive communication during this program with listeners on the Goodlight board. We'll do it again in the future, too.

We went through a bunch of mail on the program. Much of it was snail mail, but here are the E-mails we read on the air.

Subject: The Sound of Thunder, the Sight of Lightening
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 17:44:14 EST
From: Stan
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi R. Paul and Ms. North,

By the time that you read this the Winter Solstice will have passed and the Sun will be starting to sit longer in the Western sky. Bring on the light!!!!!!

Two shows ago you discussed Fundamentalism in a few of its more gross and dangerous forms. This manifestation of lunacy does not, and never did, surprise me. We like to think that Homo Sapien Sapiens are enlightened, technologically advanced beings; phooey on that. The truth is that many humans have not evolved from being frightened children, huddling together in caves, petrified at the sound of thunder and frozen in fear at the sight of lightening.

Granted, many Fundamentalist leaders are just scamming their followers by playing on their fears and thereby gaining adulation and buckets of cash. But what of the followers, the true believers, the people who want to kill us for attempting to live in the 20th century instead of the 11th? What could possibly be in their heads?

I don't know as much about science as I wish I did, but I know that our medullas have never evolved, they are the same as they were in ancient, perhaps prehistoric days, pumping adrenaline into their bodies fight or flight mechanisms, and making them afraid of the dark, women, homosexuals, free thought, science, any religion other than their own, and any manifestation of modern life.

>From an Attorney General who anoints himself in butter every morning, to a parent who is willing to strap a bomb onto his 7 year old child, they are truly dangerous people and their rising power cannot be discounted, ignored, or brushed aside.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.........Your man Stan

P.S.--I have told you in the past how much I enjoy your science segments. Perhaps, in the future, you can discuss, from a scientific viewpoint, how our medullas have not evolved. In other words, can you do a show in part about the scientific roots of Fundamentalism. Obviously, I did not, and cannot do a good job of explaining it.

Subject: Gerard sent you a Yahoo! Greeting
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 01:53:13 -0500
From: greetings@reply.yahoo.com
To: rpm@glib.com

Surprise! You've just received a Yahoo! Greeting from zigman___!

To view this greeting card, click on the following Web address at anytime within the next 30 days.


If that doesn't work, go to http://view.greetings.yahoo.com/pickup and copy and paste this code:



The Yahoo! Greetings Team

Yes, the above greeting isn't going to be there anymore by the time you get to it. Oh well.

Subject: Greetings
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 00:06:10 -0500
From: steve
To: rpm@glib.com

Wishing you and Pickles a joyous Solstice and a happy new once around the sun.
Health and wealth to you both.
All bestest from, Steve of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ and Lynn of the upper west side who is now known unofficially as “Pickles of Zabar's”.
Lynn really enjoys hearing Pickles of the North on Back of the Book but she usually can't stay awake past two-ish. She'd be delighted if Pickles gets to speak early in the show.

Pickles was feeling kind of badly during part of this program and so couldn't reply. We'll see if she wants to read some of the mail, however.

Zigman has sent us another greeting.

Subject: Gerard sent you a Yahoo! Greeting
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 01:31:48 -0500
From: greetings@reply.yahoo.com
To: rpm@glib.com

Surprise! You've just received a Yahoo! Greeting from zigman_____!

To view this greeting card, click on the following Web address at anytime within the next 30 days.


If that doesn't work, go to http://view.greetings.yahoo.com/pickup and copy and paste this code:



The Yahoo! Greetings Team

Subject: Christmas Greetings!
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 18:47:50 -0500
From: "rudypk"
To: rpm@glib.com

Well, thank Dog! It's snowing on my personal Debris Preserve! (Note the accompanying snowglobe.) Happy Guaranteed Annual New Year to Yourself, Pickles of the North, and SaddlePals everywhere!


There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that these issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.

Another 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. With that warning in mind, you can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too, although you'll have to deal with Yahoo! to do so.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. This one has a great many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary board that's just totally out of hand.

The “Goodlight” Web based message board has expanded to cover all Pacifica stations.

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 and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2003, R. Paul Martin