Web links related to the Back of the Book program of August 16, 2004

It's Sunday afternoon 8/29/2004 14:53:17 and this Web page is done. We got to the below topics and more on this program. We also got through a lot of the mail backlog! It's all on the page, and don't get thrown by different tenses in different parts of the page, some parts were written before the program and some were written after it.

The WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) will meet next on Wednesday, August 25th, at 6:30 PM, but I don't yet know where it will meet. The venue should be posted at wbai.org by the middle of this next week.

The LSB's August 12, meeting was another meeting where there were no assaults. Two in a row! The security guards and video taping probably helped a lot towards the goal of non-violence at this LSB meeting.

WBAI now 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 feeds were working at 9:15 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.

So a sitting governor of a large state finally comes out — and he resigns on the spot.

He was really resigning because he was involved in a scandal involving giving his ex boyfriend, one Golan Cipel who says he's straight, a high paying state job. Said ex is now suing him for sexual harassment, saying that the sex wasn't consensual.

Why can't any of these closeted politicians come out when things are going well for them?

In other gay related news some moronic farmer named Wesley Bono of Greenbriar, Arkansas is going to trial on September 16, for dumping three tons of horse, cow and pig manure in front of a gay male couple's home the night before their locality's Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Pride march. He also spread leftover manure over several blocks of the Pride march route.

His defense? He says it was an exercise in free speech! Talk about a potty mouth! He is quoted as saying, “Under the First Amendment, a man is allowed to protest. That's what I was doing.” He insists that he didn't commit a hate crime, nor any crime, by doing this.

If convicted he'll just have to do some community service and pay for the cleaning up of the manure. I suppose that if he'd shot someone he'd have said that was just a free speech issue as well. Looks like another person who can't see others as having rights.

This next one is strange.

Phillip Beard and Christine Brown, formerly of KABZ-FM in Little Rock, Arkansas, have pleaded not guilty to a charge of giving pornography to a minor at another Arkansas Pride march. A 16 year old male said that Beard had handed him a DVD of gay male porn. They face up to 5 years in jail and a fine. They've already been fired from their jobs at the radio station. Their trial date is October 5.

The above is the story as the Associated Press, to which WBAI subscribes, put it out.

Having done some more research I've discovered that Beard and Brown are two straight DJs who were out to harass and mock the marchers! They were handing out gay male pornography in some bizarre effort to make fun of the gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgendered people who were marching!

Looks like this little anti-gay stunt backfired.

The stupid Pope went to Lourdes, where miracle cures are supposed to happen. But he didn't get cured. If the Pope can't get a cure there who can?

The racket at Lourdes is based on a little girl who became Saint Bernadette having visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) in 1858. This is not to be confused with the later bullshit where three little brats claimed to be getting visited and spoken to by the same BVM in Fatima. Lourdes is in France, Fatima is in Portugal. I did a program segment on the Fatima scam some years ago.

The last “miracle” cure at Lourdes was in 1976. The great predictions of the Fatima brats were supposed to be revealed to the world in 1960. They weren't.

The FBI has been harassing selected political activists for a couple of months now. I mean, even more than usual. They're now using the Draconian powers given them under the so-called “Patriot Act” to trample people's civil rights even more than they did forty years ago. The bottom line to keeping yourself and others safe in this kind of situation is to just not talk to the FBI! Never let them walk into your house/apartment/domicile. Once they're inside the courts have ruled that they can search anything they want without a warrant.

We got to some mail on this program. some of it was of the writing of words on paper variety, and some was E-mail. The latter we present below. Our first E-mail is from a regular listener and writer who sends us short, sometimes cryptic, messages from his or her cell phone. I'm not sure what all of these messages mean. The first one is actually sort of a continuation of a message we posted from the previous program.

Subject: F.C.C. Crotcheteers
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 11:21:54 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

Re: comic Non-Sequitur/ Wiley 6-30-04, Cla.

Subject: spiderman 2
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 11:37:21 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

In the book “Nicola Tesla; Master of Lightning,” a scientist's work is also destroyed, by a banker. Result:Tesla becomes poor.

Subject: supermanlyness
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 22:38:15 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

See Fahrenheit 911 yet? I did. Makes Dubya look soupy doopey- er.

Subject: supermanlyness2
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 22:44:00 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

No brain, no gain. And the emperor has no brain.

And, finally, we have a message I do understand.

Subject: about audio converters - .wma to .wav or .mp3 to .wav?
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 09:10:48 EDT
From: Rob C.
To: rpm@glib.com

Hello R. Paul,

I have a couple questions about audio converters - I heard you talking about it one time on the air about how wav files figure better in sound quality than mp3 files,... I was wondering if an .mp3 file was converted from a .wav file .. are there any damaging effects of that conversion or is it just depending on the specific program you would use to do the conversion?,.. this goes for whether it be an mp3, wav, ogg, wma or vorbis file.-->What i want to do is convert my .wma music files into .wav files or .wma files into a winamp media file or ogg format - whichever - would yield the best sound quality to your knowledge - (I downloaded a free program called dbpowerAMP - vers. 10.1 to try some conversions) i'm wondering if you have another program in mind or a way to achieve better sound quality.

Rob C.

The most important thing to remember is that you are taking sound and making it into information; once you throw information away it is gone for good. Lossy compression formats, like MP3 and OGG, throw away some information in order to make the file smaller. Sometimes the software and codecs do a good job of this and sometimes they do less of a good job.

You can convert an MP3 file into a .wav file. But the source will always be the lossy .MP3 file. Converting the MP3 file up to a .wav file can sometimes leave you with a sound quality that's disappointing. And .wma files are, in my opinion, to be avoided all together. They just link you even more soldly to Microsoft, Inc.

A .wav file is uncompressed. A .wav file is an audio recording of all the sound you were able to capture. Some form of .wav file is what is generally used for digital sound these days. There are variables to a .wav file, like the sampling rate and bit resolution. CD quality sound uses 16 bit resolution at a sampling rate of 44,100 samples per second. Some sound engineers record at higher, sometimes much higher, sampling rates and bit resolutions. But this is mostly so they can capture all of the sound and not lose anything as they edit. They then down sample the file's data for eventual burning to a CD-R, or else they record it to high quality digital tape for transfer to a machine which will make a master which will be used to press CDs. For the most part CD quality sound is quite good enough for the human ear.

The best thing is to get an original .wav file and burn that to a CD-R. Then you're getting everything that was recorded. I am not really familiar with dbpowerAMP. I mostly do not want to do conversions. When I'm trying to save a .wav file that's too big to fit on a CD-R I use Monkey's Audio Compression, which is lossless and free. People who use MAC and other non-PC or non-Windows computers may want to use FLAC which is another free, lossless audio compression program which is supported by more platforms.

When I must make an MP3 file I use the original .wav file and make the MP3 from it using my now ancient Cool Edit 2000 program, which incorporates the official Fraunhofer codec, which insures that I'll get the best audio quality in the compression.

Sometimes things happen when you're compressing to MP3. You can get what are called “artifacts.” These usually take the form of little squeaks or odd sounds which are noticeable when listening to the MP3 file. It's one of the reasons why lossless is better. A good codec can lessen the number of artifacts in an MP3 file.

There's a lot more information on all of this stuff on the Web. You should read around and learn some more about digital audio so you can make the decisions that will suit you best. Good luck with 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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2004, R. Paul Martin.