Web links related to the Back of the Book program of 5/31/99

It's currently Thursday, 6/3/99 03:12:21, and I think I'm done updating this page. I hope it's good for you.

I'm wondering if some of you would like to see the program's Web page updated with more than just the topics and links related to the last program. Lots of stuff never gets to the program, and a lot happens in the week that Back of the Book doesn't air. I guess we'd have a sort of newsletter evolving in that case. What do you think? Would you want to have the bi-weekly program page updated with stuff that will not get a chance to get onto the program due to time? Please let me know what you think either way.

The last program's Web page didn't get done until a week later! But if you missed it you can still take a look.

Additionally, I forgot to put the information on getting a good buy on cheap pens at Staples on the Web page for the last program. So here it is: tell them that you saw a lower price for BIC stick pens and PaperMate stick pens in their red catalog. The shelf price of both of these types of pens is 98¢, but the price of the BIC pens is 79¢ in that catalog and the PaperMate pens are only 59¢! Yeah, I know that the overwhelming majority of people don't care, but maybe someone will find this useful. Of course it's really crappy that they have different catalogs with different prices, too.

I've been saying for some years on the air that “Global Warming” does not have to manifest itself as simply a rise in temperatures. It could also manifest itself as large bodies of air moving faster than we're used to. The result may be more storms, or more frequent storms or more violent storms, and a generally windier atmosphere all together. We may be in for a rougher ride than anyone had predicted.

Part of my reasoning is that most of what's initially warming is the air, the atmosphere. The temperature of any body of air, whether it's a continent sized chunk of the atmosphere or just the air in a room, is determined by the average kinetic energy of the molecules of that air. These molecules are moving around in a random manner, called “Brownian Motion”. The faster the molecules are moving the higher the temperature. But what if this is not the only way in which air molecules are affected by global warming? Motion is motion, and what if the motion imparted to those air molecules is not purely Brownian, but has some general direction to it? In this case wind velocities would be higher, storms would be more violent and weather systems would be moving around the globe faster as well.

Pickles of the North asked, “What if New York City starts getting tornadoes regularly?” Now there's a question. The huge skyscrapers of Manhattan will not blow away, but the acres of windows on each one of them certainly will. And the density of 1 & 2 family homes outside of Manhattan is certainly something that would be tornado fodder.

Here's a New York Times article about some folks who seem to be saying the same thing. Unfortunately, this link sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. This is something that's caused by what the Times does with its archives from time to time. Since this link works at least some of the time I'll leave it up here.

Here's an older New York Times article about the possible impact of global warming on New York City.

I expect the current entrance to WBAI's studios at 120 Wall St. to be lapped by high tides from the adjacent East River in another fifty years. Buying a condo by the water in this area may not be a wise investment for the long term.

Although I'm largely talking about the idea that higher temperatures are not the only manifestation of global warming, and that higher winds are another aspect of the same phenomenon, the general warming trend is, of course, still happening. The Washington Post has a good overview of some of the things that are happening. And the idiot Rep. Joseph Knollenberg mentioned in that article is right in line with George Bush Sr's contention from the '80s that global warming isn't really happening.

There is a good sized Web site devoted to the issue of global warming, and if you want to get, or keep, up to date on the science, the politics and the issues related to global warming this is a site you'll want to book mark.

Additionally, the Antarctic ice sheets are doing some odd things which many scientists strongly suspect is related to global warming.

We're not the only ones with fierce weather, Mars had a big storm a little while ago too.

Pickles of the North and I went looking to see if the horseshoe crabs had shown up at Marine Park in Brooklyn Sunday morning. The full moon, a “blue moon,” had occurred at 2:04 AM on Sunday. This is when the horseshoe crabs would have swarmed ashore to lay eggs and generally pitch arthropod whoopie. I'm sure that this occurred all along the Atlantic seaboard, but the only horseshoe crabs we saw in Marine Park were dead. They had been killed by people. Most unfortunate, and Pickles of the North was bummed out by this.

I'm not sure, but it's possible that the horseshoe crabs may be coming ashore again tonight (5/30/99). Tomorrow's a holiday, so you might take a chance and go out and look for them along the Atlantic shore or in inlets. The horseshoe crabs should definitely be doing all of this again during the next full moon which is on Monday, June 28th, at 5:37 PM EST. Now this is a much more accessible time than 2:04 in the morning, so maybe we'll see them then, and there will be fewer drunken idiots around to kill them.

Coney Island is open for the season. Pickles of the North and I went there last weekend and, among other things, looked at the nascent Coney Island Museum. It only costs 99¢ to get in, and although there isn't much there now, old timers will recognize some stuff from their youth. Pickles of the North and I will be at the annual Mermaid Parade on June 26th. If it rains and they push it off to the next day we'll be at the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender March instead.

Just a nice place to look at is the site that has the Hubble Space Telescope photographs.

Wanna help find ET? Try out the SETI @ Home project.

The new LOTTO is a rip off!

They've been going on for months about how it's easier to win the New York State LOTTO now, and about how the odds are better now. Well, this is just not the case. True, the per number-set odds are less, but now you're only allowed one set per dollar, so the per dollar odds are larger! In the older LOTTO you got to pick two sets of numbers for one dollar. In the new LOTTO you only get to pick one set of numbers for that same dollar. But they try to phrase their ads to make it seem as if for your dollar you're getting a better shot at the big prize now, and that's just not the case.

Under the old LOTTO the odds per number were 25,827,165, to 1. With the new LOTTO the odds per number are 18,009,460. However, since in the old LOTTO you got two numbers for a dollar the odds were 12,913,583 to 1 against you. So for your dollar bet the odds are now actually 1½ times worse for you.

A prosaic example of hype being used to fool people.

Of course I've been a sucker for this thing for years. But with the new LOTTO I'm only going to buy a ticket when the risk/benefit ratio is even or better, that is when the prize is $18 million or larger. It won't increase my odds, but it will at least see me betting less frequently and only when the reward is commensurate with the risk.

And if you're not playing the LOTTO yet my advice is don't start. It's a bad habit.

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 fill out the form, 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 the 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.

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