Web links related to the Back of the Book program of April 3, 2000

It's Wednesday, 4/5/2000 08:27:12, and I'm hoping that I have finished this page. Instead of getting it done a week, or more, late as I've been doing for the past month I'm trying to get this page in its final version a mere couple of days after the program. On the program I was able to catch up on a significant amount of the mail, and I blathered on about some scientific things and some Internet/free speech issues.

WBAI Producer and fellow Shop Steward Errol Maitland was brutally beaten and arrested by the police at the funeral for Patrick Dorismond last weekend. After days of being handcuffed to his hospital bed in the cardiac intensive care ward at Kings County Hospital they finally uncuffed him. We're hoping that he'll get well soon.

There's a job action ongoing by the freelance reporters and stringers for Pacifica Network News. Look at the Pacifica Theft Menu to find out more.

The Web cast of tonight's program should be working for Back of the Book. Unfortunately, this may not be the case for much longer. WBAI's wacky General Manager, Valerie Van Isler, has not paid Porus dot com the $2,500 she'd promised to upgrade their carriage of WBAI. This feed may cease to exist soon.

Paul Williams of UFO Desk is arranging for this feed. And we thank Porus dot com for this feed.

“Emmanuel Goldstein” of Off The Hook is maintaining this feed.

Let me tell you about the IRT.

So the Metropolitan Transit authority (MTA) did it again! As I got to the train station for Sunday night's program I found a brand new sign up saying that they were doing track work again and this shuttle bus crap was going to be implemented again. They didn't have those signs up last Tuesday, I know. They'd previously done this same thing for more than a month, but those signs said that the “shuttle bus” stuff would end on March 26th. So I got to the train station in time, but all I saw were shuttle buses and that new sign. When I got to Franklin Ave. I was able to glimpse a #2 train pulling out of the station as I ran down the steps.

Maybe the MTA just doesn't like radio.

In a sort of “Web only special,” here's something that I found about the the number 666 that appears in the Book of Revelations, a part of the Bible that even many superstitionists cringe at. Someone's got a lot of time on his hands.

I eventually got led there from an initial listing at MEMEPOOL.COM, a really great Web resource. I plan on doing a program in the near future about MEMEPOOL.COM.

It's been nearly two years since I first talked about the cottage industry of one Dr. Laurence Godfrey. Apparently he's making a business of filing libel suits, and threatening to file libel suits, in England. As this New York Times article details, Demon Internet has capitulated and will pay this vulture about $25,000, plus six figures in court costs because people said things about him in USENET news groups and Demon Internet refused to censor the news groups.

His similar suit against Cornell University is still pending. But the ruling by the English judge that Demon Internet was responsible for what was carried may hurt them too.

In the United States an ISP is considered a common carrier, such as the Post Office or the telephone companies are. You can't hold the Post Office responsible if someone mails something defamatory or libelous about you; neither can you sue the phone company for carrying defamatory or libelous phone calls. But the English judges and courts are apparently even further behind the times than their American cousins are.

The search for extra solar planets has reached a new level of sensitivity in discoveries of planets that are only the size of Saturn. Previously they've only found planets that were bigger than Jupiter.

This raises hopes of eventually being able to find planets the size of Earth. As I've said in the past, they're only seeing what their equipment is biased towards seeing, that's why they've only found such large planets.

I spoke on the air about this “Quark Gluon Plasma” that high energy physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) believe that they were able to create recently. They've been working on this for six years, but the proof that they've achieved this new state of matter, which is the condition that the universe was in about 10 microseconds after the Big Bang, isn't satisfying to some scientists.

I used information from the New York Times, wire services and Scientific American for this segment of the program. Of those sources the one most accessible on the Web, which is also the most link rich, is the story in Scientific American.

The next step, which scientists hope will provide better evidence of a Quark Gluon Plasma than the CERN results did, will take place at the Brookhaven National Laboratories on Long Island. They're going to use a facility they've spent some years building named the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) to smash gold ions together at nearly the speed of light. RHIC will produce ten times the energies that the CERN experiment did. Not to be outdone, CERN will leapfrog RHIC in 2005 with an accelerator that will produce 30 times the energy of RHIC.

Some folks, who apparently don't quite understand the issues, have been trying to get people excited for the past year or so over the next step in this quest. Unfortunately, they want to get people excited enough to stop it. There's this seriously uninformed scare going around that the RHIC facility will produce a black hole that will swallow the entire Earth. The author of an article in London's Sunday Times, NOT to be confused with the mainstream London Times, has taken the usual, diffident speech habits of scientists and tried to make it sound scary. If anyone has some sort of proof that the danger is real, they should publish it. So far all I've seen is Luddite rhetoric and what look like willful misinterpretations by people who are trying to sell books and stories.

There are some serious things to be worried about coming from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, such as radioactive materials and chemicals contaminating ground water, but the end of the world is not one of them.

Reform Rabbis have approved gay marriages. Well, that's a good thing.

Of course I read some mail on the program! I made a bit of a dent in the backlog. Here's some of what we got through.

Subject: pacifica
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 08:17:35 EST
From: ————@aol.com
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi R.Paul
Pacifica was one of the subjects on On the Media Sunday--author Ralh Engleman (Public Radio and TV in America) was the guest. Unfortunately, to get 820 AM I have to wear my yellow headset portable and hold my head just so to hear it--I think the gist of it was that the new board may restore Pacifica's standards to what they once were and programming would reflect a higher standard than some of the stuff on now.Not to pull a Monroe, but I have written whiny complaints about —————'s programming, esp. when he uses listener dollars to fund personal ruminations and confessions. Oh wait--maybe I only like it when you do that. Anyway, he was getting to be on so often with ad hoc programming that I suggested they change the name to W———. I really miss David Kenney--there's nothing like cabaret music at 4 a.m. to help a person deal with sleep disorder--as opposed to some guy giving 25 reasons why Caucasians should immolate themselves.

Subject: Seen in the New York Times
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 09:34:30 -0500
From: North American Shirley
To: rpm@glib.com

From yesterday's Metropolitan Diary

Name: Walter (also answers to Don't You Ever Shut Up!)

North American Shirley
(in her new incarnation)

Subject: Fwd: Control Over the Forces of Nature?
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 15:26:12 -0500 (EST)
From: Susan
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi R. Paul -

You posted:
>I have arranged for the Vernal Equinox to occur on the next Back of the
>Book program.

So, who or what did you arrange this with anyway? Or did you just make those arrangements yourself?

It's been quite a year!

Happy Spring!


Actually, I bribed the existential void. Cost a couple pounds of karma, but I'd pilfered the karma from a government dump anyway.

Subject: feeling vernal
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 19:35:39 EST
From: North American Shirley
To: rpm@glib.com

thanks for arranging for the equinox this year; if you hadn't thought of it egad! who would?

the bipolar among us swing wider at equinoxes and solstices, which leads me to wonder ... these times have been celebrated since prehistory ... and maybe NOT just for obvious reasons; like the "rebirth" of the sun

but maybe our brains are more open at these times to the full range of our human potential

there are many ways to measure progress, and some of the ways we think of first may be among the more superficial

the vision that makes us fully human goes back at least 30 thousand years; art that old compares in every way with anything created since

maybe those at the fringes of the population, those of us labeled manic depressive, for example, who feel the changing of the seasons so profoundly, are more in touch with the forces that led our ancestors for millennia to celebrate seasonal changes, not just as celestial events but as times of neurobiochemical flux conferring visions that are hidden at other times of year ...

or so it seems at least for that elusive species, the ...

-North American Shirley

Subject: geocexpl.htm "The Universe Revolves Around Earth"
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 11:12:17 +0000
From: "Irene B."
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi R. Paul.

Sarcastic mode on... As I write with a smirk...

Did you know that the universe revolves around the earth?? I sure didn't. But, thanks to the good citizen who put up this information (in the link below), I now am aware that not just the sun, but the entire universe revolves around the earth! Not only did this inform me of the real truth, and how I'd been lied to for so many years by teachers, professors, scientists, physicists and astronomers. And, not only does this great information give me such fabulous insight into the truth, it also gives the Christian/Creationists/Geocentrists the real scientific evidence that they need to challenge those rotten deceitful scientists who have been lying to us, trying to tell us that the earth is just some dumb arbitrary planet that revolves around the sun. I believe the article also exposes that lying Einstein and that theory about relatives or whatever. Now excuse me, while I sprinkle some garlic under the windows to keep away the vampires and light the incense to keep the evil spirits (and scientists) away. Now go check out the link below, and see the truth.


Sarcastic mode off.

A few weeks ago I heard UFO desk interviewing a man called "Dennis Lee". Did you ever hear of him? He claims to have achieved super conductivity at room temperature and to have developed ultra efficient ways to produce and transmit electricity. Curious, and extremely skeptical I punched his name into a search engine and my skepticism was verified. The list of quack buster sites talking about the flaws in Mr. Lee's claims were overwhelming. Apparently Mr. Lee seldom likes to allow real engineers and scientists to measure his so called high efficiency devices. The few devices that have been measured, such as motors, etc. have been found to have nowhere near the efficiency levels that Mr. lee claims. In addition his superconductivity at room temperature demonstration is nothing more than a third magnet suspended between 2 magnets via balanced magnetic forces. Apparently the same device can be purchased as a novelty from any scientific novelty supply store, such as Edmund Scientific, and I've seen it at Star Magic in Manhattan. He also does an experiment where he drops a magnet through 18 inch long aluminum and copper tubes and it turns out that the magnet takes longer to fall through the tubes than if it were dropped and allowed to free fall the same distance via gravity. I don't know what Mr. Lee's exact claim is for that phenomenon, either something to do with superconductivity or hidden magnetic energy in non magnetic materials. The real scientific explanation has to do with repulsive forces created in the tube due to the electromagnetic fields that are induced when the field of the magnet moves through the copper or aluminum tubes which are electrical conductors. It is basically the same sort of repulsive force that is created in a generator as the magnetic field cuts across the copper windings in the stationary coil. It is that same force which slows the magnet down as it passes through the tube. Virtually there is a common scientific explanation for virtually everything that Mr. Lee claims the scientists are trying to hide from us.

Anyway, let me close here before I make this letter too long. Also, let me add that my criticism of Dennis Lee, and the fact that I heard the show on UFO desk is in no way, shape, or form a put down on UFO desk. I think Paul Williams does a great job and it's an interesting program, although I am quite skeptical of most of the claims made by guests on the show.

Bye for now,


That geocentrist's Web page is a hoot! Full of superstition and wild suppositions. Oh well, at least it's relatively harmless, as compared, say, to the Uganda mass murders in the name of those “Ten Commandments.”

I did talk about Dennis Lee on the March 20th, program. He's got a lot in common with the right wing Christian who did the geocentric Web page.

Subject: Nifty cosmic phenomenon...
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 01:13:07 EST
From: andorra
To: rpm@glib.com

Hey, R Paul. I haven't written you in a while, but still love your program, no matter how tired i am in school because of it. I had already known about the Vernal Equinox and full moon occuring more or less on the same night...at least mere hours apart.

But even cooler: Later this year, in October, there'll be a Friday the 13th...and on the same night, a full moon will occur. The full moon-friday-the-13th is cool in itself, but being an X-Files addict, i gotta add that OCt. 13, 10-13, is a very big in.joke number among X-Philes.

Just thought i'd let you know...

Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 01:13:45 EST
From: "ellis"
To: rpm@glib.com

R. Paul,
Yes, I am listening to the web with your web site also up...a real multi media experience. I installed a cable modem 2 days ago, but the WBAI stream isn't all that great...it's just sounds scratchy, but steady. I am very tired and will try to stay awake for the party.

I have been listening to you since 1989, when I can, and really enjoy your show. Happy Vernal Equinox!

There are a lot of issues that we can't 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.

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

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Union bulletin #12

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 and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2000, R. Paul Martin