Web links related to the Back of the Book program of May 9, 2005

All right, it's Sunday night 5/22/2005 21:18:30 and this page is done. It's the Middle Third, and we talked about that. Also, our friend Fred Kuhn passed away during this fortnight. We talked about Fred, and we covered the below topics and more on this program.

A regularly scheduled WBAI Local Station Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 25th, 6:30 PM, venue to be announced.

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

At the April 13th WBAI LSB meeting the General Manager told us about the listener survey that was sent out in early 2004, and which has just been released.

I have written a statement about the constructive removal of a LSB member and sent it to the PNB, the WBAI LSB and various public mailing lists and bulletin boards.

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. Both were operating at 8:24 PM last night.

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.

Fred Kuhn

Fred Kuhn was the receptionist at WBAI for something like the past quarter of a century. Many listeners knew him by his nom de radio Fred Geobold, the name he used on his program Light Show.

Whether you knew him as the guy who answered the phone when you called WBAI and left you with the words, “Stay tuned,” as the guy who had the largest professional wrestlers and the smallest female musicians on his radio program, or as a musician in his own right, Fred was someone just about everybody took a liking to.

Fred passed away at the end of April. When he'd gone back into treatment in the middle of April I'd really thought that he was going to pull through this visit. I thought that this was not going to be “it.” So I was really taken aback when his death was announced on the WBAI Producers' list.

Fred and I used to talk about the things we couldn't do anymore (like drink alcohol), about our medications (mine for diabetes), and the fact that we were not going to live forever. We also talked about WBAI. Fred Kuhn was very concerned about the current situation at WBAI. He was concerned about the survival of the station. Fred was someone who cared very deeply about WBAI. A whole lot of us will miss him, and I am greatly saddened by his passing.

Scientists have gotten an actual image of a planet that orbits another star, called an exo-planet, for the first time!

On the last program we talked about how Microsoft pulled out its endorsement of a gay and lesbian rights bill in Washington state.

Well, now more information has come out. Microsoft is apparently paying right wing Christian activist Ralph Reed $20,000 a month for some sort of service! Or is is extortion?

Microsoft says that maybe next time they'll be pro-gay.

The President of the Navajo nation has vetoed a bill passed by the Tribal Council that would ban same gender marriages. The President, Joe Shirley Jr., said that if people want to bring this up it should be dealt with by a referendum of the 300,000 members of the Navajo nation. It seems that most of the Tribal Council is trying to line up with the Bush Administration. Historically, Native American societies have not been homophobic, so this is something that's been introduced from outside.

In other news, Irene Elizabeth Stroud, the minister who was “defrocked” by the Methodist church last December because she came out as a lesbian, won her appeal and was technically reinstated by the panel that heard her appeal. But this will probably go to the Methodist's Judicial Council, which is the highest authority for stuff like this in the Methodist Church.

Ms. Stroud is not resuming her ministerial duties because she takes them seriously and wouldn't want to start doing it again only to be removed by the Judicial Council.

We got to some of the mail on this program. And here are the E-mails we read on the air.

Subject: What do you think of this disappointing news?
Date: Sun, 03 Apr 2005 14:45:47 -0400
From: Dock
To: rpm@glib.com

R. Paul,

This is the first time I have E-mailed you, but I thought this NY Times article might be of interest to you and the “Back of the Book” audience. You may have even read it already. Among other things, DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is cutting back on some of it's funding for long term research projects (think ARPANET, which gave birth to the Internet), and instead, is shifting its funding to narrowly focused research projects and short term “deliverables.” Even scarier, some projects that were once “open” are now classified. I think that the focus on short term projects and DARPA's apparent new disdain for openness, and open source software, could hurt technological innovation in the United States, at least in the area of computer software.


Well, I can't reproduce the New York Times article here for copyright reasons, but here is something which summarizes the cutbacks and their possible consequences. I think this is bad news. One rare thing that the government funds that brings good things to people and Bush and his pals find that to be something to stop doing. Typical.

Subject: Google Map
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 01:52:27 -0400
From: Frank
To: rpm@glib.com

Hey Paul, Check this site out !!!. Holy godlessness!. Big Brother is = watching!! Whoa! The site is http://www.maps.google.com Put in an = address and click on the satellite option. Then zoom in!!/ Frank from = San Francisco!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA...Here's a Pic of China town I = took. How did the computer know my camera's brand was “Olympus?” hmm?. = BIG BROTHER AGAIN! YIKES!.. =

Well, they probably knew the brand name of your digital camera because your digital camera told it to them.

As for the Big Brother aspects of this stuff, it certainly is something. Going to the above site and plugging in the address “120 Wall St.” actually delivers a somewhat incorrect map. WBAI is not at the corner of Wall St. and Front St., we really are at the very ass end of Wall St.!

But if at that page you click on the “satellite” link you can navigate your way to a rather hard to figure out picture, which I'm nevertheless sure shows WBAI's glorious headquarters from above. The image you get to eventually is what WBAI looks like from a satellite. It certainly shows why it takes a bit of education to read such photographs.

Not everyone who listens to Back of the Book likes what they hear. Such is life.

Subject: Goodbye
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 16:31:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: Krakhool
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear Sir,

I'm sure that this is one of many emails you have received regarding your rather tasteless comments on the death of Pope John Paul II last night. I've been a listener to your program for many years, and I enjoyed it until last night. You certainly are entitled to your own point of view, but you chose to go for the jugular with your crass commentary. I used to like to listen to you to get a different perspective on the whole gay/lesbian/transgender issue, no longer. Your movement started out for a quest for tolerance, only to become the new thugs. Perhaps you are well justified in your dislike and loathing toward the Roman Catholic Church and God, but there was no need to belittle those who get some comfort from religion. Your playing of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead...." crossed the line of reason and good sense. It also graphically demonstrated how much of a troubled individual you must be. I'm not angry so much as I am sorry for you in the long run. You can;r have it both ways, wanting tolerance for your lifestyle while knocking another groups rights to theirs. Last n night marked the last time I listened to your program. In conclusion, I would just like to add that if you examined your own life under the same scrutiny you saved for the Pope, you would have even more reason to become ever more hateful.

Regards, MK
Queens, NYC

PS Read the email on air if you wish. I will not be among your listeners in any case.

And I did read it on the air!

Well, there's no hate involved, it's just my comment on a politician, which the Pope undoubtedly was, as are all Popes.

Sorry to lose a listener, but what would the use of this radio program be if I weren't myself on it? If the ex-listener didn't complain about my playing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead when Ronald Reagan and Richard M. Nixon died then maybe he has to re-think his displeasure at the Vatican's chief politician being treated the same way.

And I don't know what the hell any of this has to do with sexual orientation.

Subject: missed yesterday's show
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 19:29:45 -0400
From: eric
To: rpm@glib.com

I live near Boston & usually tape (actually TOTALRECORDER digital recording) your show from the internet feed which has been unbelievably reliable UNTIL last night when it was down.

Is there any way you can make a digital file of your show available???

Thanks to you & Pickles for providing me with many hours of company in my car (I always listen while I am driving).

be well...
...eric in arlington

Unfortunately, Eric, the answer is “No.” After years of Management promising this sort of capability we still don't have it at WBAI. There are also some legal things that have to be worked out for the music and stuff that are played on the air. There is some hope for the future, however. And maybe I'll see what I can do on this score.

Subject: A LITTLE NIGHT'S NEUROSCIENCE (SUSAN from Long Islan) 2nd attempt toemail
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 21:47:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: Susan From Long Island
To: rpm@glib.com

Hey R. PAUL !! (a missive from outta da blue)

It's been a L O N G time between missives. I always enjoyed the 'Brain Stuff' feature of 'Back of the Book'. Hope you're still including it.
. . . Overdue Greetings from

SUSAN from Long Island!

What Susan inclued, but which I can't post here for copyright reasons, is an article by Richard Anderson, Professor of Neuroscience at Caltech, regarding the discovery that new neurons can appear in the adult brain. And this is indeed a very interesting discovery. And I've found it on line and this is the article that Susan sent us. It may be a discovery that will be of some help to me personally, as the tiny fragement of brain I have lodged in my skull ages.

Subject: John McCormack
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 18:37:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sharon, the Wicked Witch of the East (Side)
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear Pickles,
May the fairy folk forgive ye for calling Our John a Scot! Ireland's greatest tenor was born in Athlone in 1884. He's sometimes billed as Count John McCormack because he was given the title by Pope Pius XI for his work on behalf of Catholic charities. He became an American citizen in 1917 and died in Dublin in 1945. He was an opera singer as well as a recitalist, and you can download many of his recordings at various websites. Then you can play them on the air if the equipment ever gets fixed. (I've been listening to WBAI since the mid-60s, and if there's one constant theme, it's broken equipment. The hum from the console helps me to tune in my radio in the dark.)

Sharon, the Wicked Witch of the East (Side)

Pickles of the North is indeed chagrined at this gaff. We've done the correction on the air.

As for the equipment, it's quite a problem. At least it helps you to get that radio tuned in though! Maybe we should take a page from Microsoft's book and push this as a feature, rather than a bug?

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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

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