Web links related to the Back of the Book program of May 23, 2005

It's Sunday night 7/31/2005 21:35:16 and this page is at long last done. This was a pitching program and we never know what's going to happen on one of these. I've posted the results of our pitching below.

A regularly scheduled WBAI Local Station Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 25th, 6:30 PM, at AFSCME District Council 1707, 75 Varick St., 14th Floor (just north of Canal Street), in Manhattan. Take the 1, 9, A, C, or E train to Canal St. The location is wheelchair-accessible and public comment is welcome. Please bring photo ID for access to the building.

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. UPDATE: At 9:50 PM last night the MP3 stream was asking that I register with Live365. Is this the end of the usual streams? I don't know, but we'll find out.

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 pitched during this program as a part of WBAI's Spring Fundraising Marathon. All sorts of things happened. But in the end we made $1,350 in our pitching shift. Thanks to everyone who pledged or sent in a check ahead of time. And thanks to regular listener, correspondent and contributor Seth who did tally duty for us and who, with Pickles of the North, took the phoned in pledges.

This was a somewhat odd pitching shift. The first thing that happened was that this large guy started telling us that we couldn't pitch because he was the Tally person and he was shutting down the Tally room and that was that. He was very belligerent about it. At some point when I was in another room he was even yelling at Sidney Smith and Pickles of the North. This put rather a damper on the evening for Pickles, who was not in a mood to do her segment of the program after that.

However, our old pal Seth had shown up and he was fully capable of doing the Tally job and so we just had Sidney open up the Tally room and we went on with things with Seth and Pickles handling the phoned-in pledges, after that other guy had gone to another part of the radio station.

This same, large guy has since been banned from the station for having attacked a female Staff member, it was not Pickles. If you care about the details, here they are.

We read a story about a Dr. Hod Lipson of Cornell University who has succeeded in getting robots to replicate. They're pretty primitive, just somewhat animate blocks, really, but they can make more of themselves. This is the sort of thing that just looks goofy at this state but which can form the basis of something major after more development is done on it. It's sort of like those late '70s, modules that would allow someone to construct his or her own computer with between 1 kilobyte and four kilobytes of RAM. If you weren't into it those things were pretty much “so what?” But they developed further into the gigantic computer industry and related industries and formed the basis of the technological revolution that we're still in the early stages of today.

Speaking of replicating, we carbon based units accomplish that through the use of genes.

Steven Pinker, Professor of Cognitive Science at Harvard University, wrote a piece about the discovery that gay men and straight women had similar reactions to male sweat and some estrogen-like compounds while straight men had a different reaction. He talks about this being a genetically based phenomenon. He raises some very good questions and one of them is why would homophobia evolve? Of course the ultimate answer is politics.

In other genetic news, a team of scientists led by Dr. Vincent Macauley of the University of Glasgow has released the results of some research they conducted on the Orang Asli people of Malaysia. The scientists traced their mitochondrial DNA and figure that these folks are from what they call the “first migration” of humans coming out of Africa. There's more about it here, just scroll down to the bottom of the page. Dr. Macauley and his colleagues think that this was the first migration of humans out of Africa. Personally, I doubt that. The Orang Asli people may just be the descendents of the first successful migration by humans out of Africa. Successful meaning that they still have descendents alive today.

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

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