Web links related to the Back of the Book program of March 3, 2003

Oh, my, am I back to my bad, old ways of not getting these program pages updated in a timely manner again? I hope the next one gets updated sooner than this one is. It's Sunday night 3/16/2003 21:39:05 and this page is done. I got to all of the below topics but I only made a tiny dent in the new mail backlog. You'll hear about my adventures over the fortnight o the next program. As always, don't get put off by the different tenses in the paragraphs below, it's all being written at different times.

Here is the latest on the saga of Pacifica. The big meeting of the interim Pacifica National Board has been changed again to March 7-9, in Los Angeles, CA, to discuss and possibly even pass the new bylaws for the Pacifica Foundation.

WBAI now has a program schedule up on its Web site. It's not completed yet, they still haven't gotten the individual program pages together to provide links and such, but it's a start and it's official. 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 10:04 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.

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

We raised $1,000 pitching on the last program. Thanks to all who contributed.

On a previous program I talked about the Norwegian kid called “DVD Jon” who was acquitted of piracy for writing DeCSS, which allows people to make copies of their legally owned DVDs. Well, the Motion Picture Association of America has managed to expose the kid to double jeopardy and he's going to have to undergo another trial!

It just shows that the big media conglomerates care nothing for people or laws or even what they produce. They're just after the dough.

In a really despicable move Lexmark, the printer manufacturer, has filed suit using the Digital Millennium copyright Act (DMCA) to prevent recycling of its printer cartridges!

What next? Will they try to claim a copyright of everything you print from one of their machines?

I plan to talk about some scientific subjects tonight. One thing that gets overlooked sometimes is that small things can mean a lot in science. In the wee hours of November 15, 1953, Dr. Leon Stuart photographed and watched what he believed to be a meteor striking the Moon. His claim was largely dismissed half a century ago, but now two scientists have found a crater on the Moon where the 20 meter wide meteor Dr. Stuart saw crashed releasing energy equivalent to half a megaton of TNT. Dr. Stuart is apparently the only human known to have ever witnessed anything crashing into the Moon.

In another example of small things in science having great meaning, scientists who were looking to prove that time is “quantized” got a surprise when their experiment proved that it isn't!

This means that quantum theory cannot be applied to time. Scientists had assumed that it could, but it's back to the drawing board now. This will have an effect on the theories related to quantum gravitation, something which a lot of scientists have been trying to figure out since Einstein's day.

Speaking of time and Albert Einstein, he once said, “The past, present and future are only illusions, even if stubborn ones.” Perhaps this latest experimental result will really get some scientists exploring the possibility that time itself doesn't even exist. Most of what we perceive of as the passage of time is really just observations of the workings of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. in other words, stuff happens.

There was a tragedy on the subway system in Taegu, South Korea when a nut spread flammable fluid in a subway car this past fortnight. Apparently most of the deaths occurred in a second train which came into the station in back of the flaming train. I'd thought that this second train must have been under remote control because no motorperson would drive his or her train right up in back of a flaming wreck. Well, i was wrong about that! The motorman drove right up to the back of the burning subway train and then left the motorman's cab of the train by some separate exit it has. He saved himself, unfortunately his leaving shut down the train and locked all of the doors trapping hundreds of passengers and condemning them to certain death. It's amazing what one cowardly act can do. I certainly hope that this motorman gets prosecuted for killing his passengers.

Even though it was the actions of a motorman that killed all of those people, this is still another argument for why the New York City subway system shouldn't go to automated subway trains. I think tragedies of the sort that happened in South Korea are more likely to happen here if there's no one physically there with the passengers. Besides, the New York City subway cars do not have separate exits for the crew.

We did get to some mail on the program. I read some snail mail and then I read this E-mail.

Subject: Diabetes
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 09:02:13 -0500
From: Michael
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear RPM,

Whenever I chance to slip into consciousness on a late Sun.-early Mon. and you are broadcasting, I do my best to pay attention. I was very moved by your revelation regarding your recent diagnosis i.e.,“diabetes.” I know that you don't seem to have a very high opinion of Gary Null (I assume because of his opinion on AIDS) but he has been right-on about a lot of other illnesses, including diabetes. Why don't you give it a shot? It`s got to be better than the traditional approach that you were describing on the air . At any rate I wish you all the best (health the most), I do really enjoy your show . I hope you`re not getting into enjoying “playing the victim,” I seemed to detect a bit of that last night; but what do i know.

Keep fighting and be careful about that CD burner- Michael Charney

Nah, I won't be consulting Gary about any of this. Yes, Mr. Null is an AIDS crank, from what I've heard him say on the air. As for “playing the victim,” I sure don't think I'm doing that, but we can all watch out for that.

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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2003, R. Paul Martin.