Web links related to the Back of the Book program of June 18, 2007

Welcome to the Summer of '07! Better late than never, this radio program is getting up here at last.

The next WBAI Local Station Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, 2007, at 7:00 PM, at the Harlem State Office Building, 163 W. 125th St., between 7th and 8th Aves. in Manhattan. Note: all attendees must show picture ID in order to enter the building and must go through a metal detector and have all bags searched by the security guards. Public participation is welcome.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of some of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do. And I update them from time to time. And here's a link to the video of the March 21, 2007, WBAI LSB meeting.

The May 31st, 2007, WBAI LSB meeting was not as bad as some. It had the usual faction sycophant denouncing us, and many of the other overnight programs on WBAI, for not having premiums.

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. It was working all right at 8:51 PM (ET) last night.

The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, 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.

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 weeks. Unfortunately, Back of the Book is not one of the programs that you can download, you can only listen to it on line. But maybe someone will change that at some point. NOTE: The archives have not always been behaving properly of late. They have been fixed, but we can't guarantee their condition. If Back of the Book isn't archived this time I'll post an archive myself. Also note that they have been calling the Back of the Book archive the Carrier Wave archive. You should go by the date of the program until this gets rectified, or just listen to both programs in this time slot!

On this program we talked about Don Herbert who passed away at the age of 89 this past fortnight.

Mr. Herbert was better known to me and a lot of other baby boomers as Mr. Wizard!

On his long running (1951-1965) TV program Watch Mr. Wizard Herbert basically taught science to kids. I used to watch that program from very early in my life until I entered high school and had all of my Saturdays taken up by the track team.

I talked about the influence Mr. Herbert had on me and lots of other kids over the decades, and he's probably still having an influence now. His old TV shows have been released on DVD.

A number of big deal scientists have said that they were started down the path to their careers, and discoveries, by the interest in the natural world that Don Herbert ignited in them at an early age.

Hell, we don't do real experiments on the air, but in some ways the science portions of this radio program follow on Don Herbert's efforts half a century ago.

We also talked about the recent discovery that our own Milky Way Galaxy is moving away from a vast area of truly empty space at about 600,000 miles and hour! And the entire local group of galaxies is moving off at the same speed. This makes it seem as if some other galaxy clusters are moving towards us at an enormous speed.

The thing that we're moving away from is called the “Local Void.” and it's apparently mostly the lack of gravity from inside it that's causing us to move away from it at such a great speed. Hold on to your hats!

In some good news the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a rebuff to the F.C.C. over their stupid “indecency” and “profanity” rules this past fortnight.

By a 2 to 1 decision the court ruled that what are referred to as “fleeting expletives” could not be punished as if people were actually going into a detailed description of sexual or excretory activities. According to the F.C.C. rules if someone says, “Bullshit!” during a radio or TV program they are considered to have violated the F.C.C. rules.

Right now all broadcast entities are subject to a maximum fine of $325,000 per violation. So a single exclamation of “Fuck!” on the air can result in disastrous fines for a radio station like WBAI.

The General Managers of the five Pacifica stations, of which WBAI is one, got together early this year and issued new rules within Pacifica whereby violations of the F.C.C.'s indecency or profanity rules are punishable by a mandatory two program suspension even during the so-called “safe harbor” which the F.C.C. says exists between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM every day. I guess that the General Managers are trying to make it look as if they're really on the job or something, after having neglected the training of Pacifica on-air Staff for so many years.

Well, F.C.C. Chairman Kevin J. Martin, no relation to yours truly, says that they're going to appeal this decision. And given the right wing makeup of this Supreme Court we may well see a victory of politics over logic if this issue should land there.

We talked about the discovery that some researchers have found seven different diseases that have specific genetic causes, and some of them seem related.

Oh, and then we took off from the rocket we have stashed behind a plywood fence right outside the WBAI studios and we went up and repaired the International Space Station's computers and made sure that the Shuttle Atlantis' heat shield was in good enough shape for a safe return to Earth.

Luckily all of this was done late at night, live on the air, so no one on Wall St. noticed it.

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 © 2007, R. Paul Martin.