Web links related to the Back of the Book program of April 7, 2008

It's Saturday afternoon, April 19, 2008, 14:18, and I think that this Web page is finished. I've updated this page with links to the corrected archive of the program, as well as the location of the next LSB meeting and more about what we did on the program. The certified election results from the WBAI election are also here. Spring is supposed to be here! It doesn't feel like it. We plan to get to the below and more tonight.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of many of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do.

UPDATE as of Tuesday, April 8, 2008: The 2007, WBAI elections are over at last. The surviving Elections Supervisor has counted the ballots. To see a copy of the official E-mail announcing the certification of the election results click here.

WBAI Listener Election Results
Omowale ClayJustice & Unity (sic) Campaign
James RossIndependent
Tibby BrooksJustice & Unity (sic) Campaign
Bernardo PalomboIndependent
Lisa DavisJustice & Unity (sic) Campaign
Sara FloundersJustice & Unity (sic) Campaign
Jennifer JagerIndependent
Robert M. GoldIndependent
Don MathiesonIndependent
WBAI Staff Election Results
 R. Paul Martin*
 Vajra Kilgour*
 Max Schmid*

* Note: Staff are not allowed to run as part of a slate. Max Schmid and I are independents anyway.

The elections have been certified so on Wednesday there may be a WBAI Delegates' meeting on Wednesday night, April 9, starting at 9:30 PM, to be held at the Sixth Street Community Center, 638 East 6th St., Manhattan (between Avenues B & C) for the purpose of electing the WBAI station representative Directors of the Pacifica Foundation.

The Delegates' are the same people as are on the LSB but they'll be meeting as Delegates in order to vote for Directors to the Pacifica National Board (PNB) for the rest of 2008.

There's a regular LSB meeting and a Delegates' Assembly scheduled for April 23rd, at 7:00 PM, at District Council 1707, at 75 Varick St., just north of Canal St., on the 14th floor. Take the A, C, E, or 1 trains to Canal St. Bring a photo I.D. to get into the building. This location is wheelchair-accessible, and public comment is welcome. This should be the first meeting of the Fourth WBAI LSB. If it is then we'll be electing the officers of the LSB for the rest of 2008, at this meeting.

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.

WBAI has an official Web stream of what's on the air at any time! You can go here and pick which type of stream you want! If this stream isn't working let me know.

WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to the program any time for the next couple of months. When you first go to the Web page you'll only see the WBAI programs for the past 7 days. If you want to see older programs you can click on one of the “See ALL Shows” buttons.

Oops! The official WBAI archive had a hiccup and split this program into two parts with hours of other programs before and after Back of the Book. So I'm supplementing the WBAI archive by posting the two parts up here. For copyright reasons I've edited the music down to next to nothing. Click here to go to a page where you can listen to or download the April 7, 2008, Back of the Book program.

Back of the Book is now one of the programs that you can download, as well as listen to on line.

I'm glad to announce that with a new person doing the archives there have been some positive changes. In the table on that Web page Back of the Book and Carrier Wave are both in the Show column. The “Date and Category” column shows the date of the program. After the program I go in and write the details of the program and say which program it is. Of course I'd recommend that you just listen to both programs in this time slot!

We talked about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. 40 years ago. I was in the army then and we learned about the assassination when the day's training was done. On the way back to the barracks, in a bus, the drill sergeant was waxing ecstatic over the assassination, chortling that they had probably trained the assassin right there on the rifle range at Fort Gordon, Georgia. It was pretty awful stuff and the black trainees on that bus must have felt really terrible. It was a bad experience for me too, and I can feel how awful it was even 40 years later.

Two NASA scientists are reporting that they have found the smallest black hole to date.

By “smallest” they mean the lowest mass. For more on black holes look here.

And speaking of black holes, two guys are trying to stop the Large Hadron Collider from being completed and turned on.

The Large Hadron Collider is a project of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, called CERN for reasons you can read about here.

These two guys, Walter L. Wagner of Hawaii and Luis Sancho from somewhere in Spain, are claiming that the Large Hadron Collider will create a black hole that will destroy the Earth and maybe the entire universe.

Basically, they're spouting nonsense. Although the speeds of the protons involved are truly huge, about 99.999999% of the speed of light, the masses involved are tiny. If a black hole were created by their experiments it would be so small that it would “evaporate” in a very tiny faction of a second and do no harm at all.

And how they intend to stop a project of a pan-European organization that's actually taking place in a facility that spans the borders of France and Switzerland is a bit of a legal enigma. They seem to think that if they can get a judge to stop the U.S. Department of Energy from participating in a small part of this project that they'll stop the whole thing. That's just not going to happen.

One of the guys bringing this lawsuit had tried in the past to prevent the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider from being started up at the Brookhaven National Laboratory for pretty much the same reasons. He failed. That experimental collider has been operating without destroying the planet Earth since the year 2000.

Pickles of the North and I are not going to worry about the sky falling from the effects of the Large Hadron Collider. But we do look forward to seeing some interesting scientific results from it.

Pickles of the North talked about even more ice sloughing off Antarctica, and the implications of this for the world.

She also talked about archaeologists exploring a cave in Oregon gathering evidence that pushes the earliest date of human migration to the Americas back to about 14,000 years ago, maybe a thousand years earlier than had previously been established. Archaeologists used coprolites to determine the age of the cave settlement that they'd discovered. They were also able to get some human mitochondrial DNA from the used food and determine from an analysis of the DNA that the people living in the cave were closely related to people in Siberia and East Asia.

We talked about Joey Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict XVI coming to New York City next week.

The TV news twinkies are already all a-twitter over this visit. When he actually gets here I'm sure that we'll see a true excess of obsequious behavior in the mass media.

On the air I told about my experiences when previous Popes have visited New York City.

On October 4, 1965, Pope Paul VI visited and he passed through Queens. As it happened I was in Queens that very day.

I was going to Queens College then. I was on the track team. I wasn't at all good at running, but I'd run on the track team on high school so I'd just continued on it in college.

Well, we had track practice that day, but I think that some of the faculty wanted to go ogle the Pope, who was not only getting driven through the streets of Queens on his way to address the United Nations (fat lot of good that did), but was stopping at the still limping along New York World's Fair to see the Pietà, by Michelangelo.

I should note that I was still a Roman Catholic at this point. But I didn't have a big desire to go see the Pope. What I wanted to do was get better at running long distances.

That day the track team went to the gym as usual but the track coach wasn't there. Instead we found a note on a chalkboard telling us to just run the Chiapetta Course. The Chiapetta Course was named after a faculty member at Queens College who ran in marathons, which was a very odd and rare thing in those days. As part of his own personal training regimen Prof. Chiapetta, who was not a part of the Phys. Ed. Department and whom I never met, had marked out an 8½ mile course through the streets and parks of Queens. The chalkboard had directions outlining the course. Luckily, I thought to copy those directions onto a piece of paper.

I was very optimistic in those days. I would think that this time I could keep up with the good runners if only I tried harder. So I went out with several other members of the track team in our skimpy tank tops and thin running shorts. It was not a warm October afternoon.

Well, after not that long a while I was so far behind the good runners that I couldn't even see them anymore. I was all alone on unfamiliar streets. It was a good thing that I had the directions written down or I might still be running through Queens!

The streets were pretty much deserted. Everyone was off trying to get a look at the Pope.

Eventually I got back to Queens College. I certainly hadn't seen the Pope.

The next time a Pope came to New York City was October 2, 1979, and the Pope was John Paul II. By this time I was an atheist. I was also a veteran gay activist. I went to Dag Hammarskjöld Park, right across the street from the U.N., where some of us had decided to assemble to protest the Pope's visit. Of course the Catholic Church was and is very anti-gay.

The interesting thing was that the assembled gay activists consisted of only about six people! And the six of us did not get along at all. There happened to be a lot of tension among certain gay and lesbian groups at that time and I think that among the six of us there were 3 or 4 factions.

Sign: The Pope is an Anti-Gay Bigot

That morning I'd made my own sign. It started out as marker on sketch pad but after seeing what that looked like I rewrote it with India Ink.

I've dug that sign out from between pieces of furniture and I've posted a photograph of it here. The sign says, “The Pope's an Anti-Gay Bigot,” which certainly was to the point.

John Paul II was dithering about in terms of leaving the U.N., and we were waiting around amid the throngs for quite a while. So when at one point it looked like the limousine carrying him around was going to leave we held up our signs. Not everybody had signs, I think that the couple of other signs were on oak tag and so were bigger than mine.

Well, the second the signs went up there was a howl from in back of us. We were right up against the barriers and the howls were protests from those behind us whose view of the Pope was being obstructed by our signs. We had a bit of a time standing our ground at that point, surrounded almost entirely by “The Faithful” who just wanted to see their Superstitionist-In-Chief. And when John Paul II's limo showed no signs of actually moving we stopped holding up the signs.

And then the limo charged out of the parking space in front of the United Nations and the Pope sped past. We immediately held our signs up again and shouted things, I can't remember exactly what, at the Pope as he sped past. The thousands of his fans who had been standing out there for an hour or more were disappointed at the speed with which he went by and the fact that the limousine had tinted windows and so there was no way to get a glimpse of him. I doubt if he saw our signs or heard us shouting at him above the general din.

And those are my experiences with some damned Pope or another showing up in New York City. I plan to ignore Ratzinger when he shows up.

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.

Our very own Uncle Sidney Smith, whose program Carrier Wave alternates with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

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

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2008, R. Paul Martin.