Web links related to the Back of the Book program of October 30, 2000

Well now it's Sunday 11/5/2000 12:53:16 and I've made a correction and an addition. Sometimes I just screw things up, but you can't tell that from this wonderful page! This page is definitely done now. I've added some things, including the mail, and updated the segment on the super volcano. Scary, scary stuff! This is the Halloween program, and it certainly should be a bit scary.

The brain trust on the Pacifica National Board is still trying to set up “shadow ” Local Advisory Boards (LABs) around the country in an effort to undermine the current LABs. So says Pacifica National Board member Tomas Moran in an interview with Dennis Bernstein on Flashpoints as aired on sister station KPFA. In the past fortnight Pacifica Management has escalated its attacks on Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! Details on all this and more can be found at the Pacifica Theft Page.

WBAI was being Web cast when I checked it out at 8:55 PM last night. Here's the Web cast from porus.com.

What the hell is this with the “Millennium Millions” game? After a few weeks it got up to $90 million, and then after another week at that high payoff it only got up to $110 million. Now it still hasn't been won and it's only going to go up to $125 million. How the hell did no one have the numbers? How many people are playing this game?

Oddly, as I write this the New York State Lottery Web site is off line or something.

Mid-Autumn will occur on Monday, November 6th at 10:32 AM EST. And if that's not enough for you here's my chart of the seasons.

So I read an Associated Press piece about how the Johovah's Witnesses superstitionists are rearranging their corporate structure. They had been run by something they called the “Governing Body,” however a couple of weeks ago their president Milton Henschel, 80, and the six other board members resigned. Besides ringing your doorbell and trying to convert you to their superstition the Jehovah's Witnesses also have a lot of wacky ideas that prohibit their members from accepting blood transfusions. They also are pretty nasty to members who don't toe their line, and will expel people from the group and have members shun them. Ex members are banding together and some are going to sue the Jehovah's Witnesses due to deaths and injuries from being pressured into not accepting blood transfusions and for expulsions. Apparently the owners, I mean “elders” of the cult figure that they're going to lose big time, so they've reorganized and have made it much harder for a successful plaintiff to get at their worldly resources. Funny thing for a spiritual bunch to do, eh?

After nearly a month of waiting my Verizon DSL finally went live late on on October 25th. It was originally supposed to go live on September 29th, but nothing happened then. I called a lot of times and kept getting told that they'd opened a “trouble ticket” on it. In the end I got a phone call and they said that the connection had not been wired into the frame correctly. So Verizon's just employing people who are not properly trained and don't know what they're doing in this area. Oh well, at least it's working fairly well now and it's great to have this much bandwidth to play with.

So this is my Halloween program for this year. A Halloween program should feature something scary, of course. If this was TV I'd just have to show my face, but since we're on the radio I'll have to come up with something non-graphic.

I'm not going to do something on a lame subject like ghosts, goblins and vampires. That stuff doesn't even scare little kids anymore. I figure that I'll talk about an upcoming event that has the potential to wipe out the human species and will definitely cause a strain on the very existence of civilization.

We're all familiar with the dangers of comets and asteroids slamming into the Earth from outer space. And everyone pretty much agrees now that the dinosaurs got wiped out by an asteroid crashing into the Earth 65 million years ago, forming the Chicxulub impact crater in Mexico. But it's a big solar system and we have at least some chance of seeing something seriously large coming at us. There's even the possibility that we could do something about some of the lesser threats.

The main threat that a large object from outer space poses is not so much the immediate impact, which would be devastating to anything nearby, but the huge amount of stuff that would be thrown into the atmosphere. This scenario has been referred to as “Nuclear Winter” since the publication in the early '80s, of papers about the long term results of a global thermonuclear war.

What I'm going to talk about is something called a “Super Volcano.” It's no ordinary volcano, and makes eruptions like those of Mount Saint Helen's in 1980, and Mount Pinatubo in 1991, look minuscule.

Ordinary volcanoes can cause a lot of damage. Besides the ones mentioned above, which caused numbers of deaths, the large, but still ordinary, Tambora Volcano in Indonesia blew in 1815, and caused a “year without a Summer” in 1816. This also affected weather patterns around the world, causing crop failures and probably the spread of disease in some cases.

The most recent super volcano erupted in Toba, Indonesia about 75,000 years ago. Indonesia isn't just unlucky with all these big volcanos, it's right on the edge of a tectonic plate. The Toba blast left its destructive legacy in the history of the human species.

So would a super volcano explosion in Indonesia have a big impact on us here in America? Yes, it would. But you don't have to go that far to find a super volcano. Here's a graphic about the amount of “tuff,” volcanic ash, that was put out by that big Toba eruption. Notice a familiar name in the graphic half way down the page?

Yes, Yellowstone National Park has a huge caldera from a super volcano in it. This super volcano has exploded about every 600,000 years over the past several million years. It last exploded about 640,000 years ago. Uh oh.

It's not a question of if this could happen, it's a question of just when it will happen. And we can't do anything about it. There's no possibility of it missing us, and there's no possibility of changing its orbit. And it's overdue. Lots scarier than ghosts, goblins and vampires, eh?

I'd like to acknowledge the amazing Web site Memepool for alerting me to this topic.

Microsoft got hacked! The company that says it's the future of computing got hacked by a Trojan that even I'm protected against. Gives one hope that Microsoft will indeed be broken up.

So I got through some more mail. This first one is from a regular listener. I can see that it's intended to be funny and I hope no one takes offense at it.

Subject: Political "news" Please read B4 election!!!!!!
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 16:48:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: zigman
To: “R. Paul Martin” <rpm@glib.com>

Dear R. Paul,

I recently read this in a NY “Daily News” paper, and since it's every where on the 'net', I don't think anyone would mind you reading this on the air prior to the election in November. I think it's funny, and hope the rest of the listeners think so too!!! If you can, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!!!!! read this on air BEFORE the election!!!!!!!!

Top 10 ways the White house will change under the Gore/Lieberman Presidency:

10) Air Force One to be renamed “El Al Gore.”

9) Tipper gore to be referred to as “The First Shiksa.”

8) Saturday night state dinners to be replaced by Sunday night Chinese.

7) Inauguration to be completed with a breaking of a glass.

6) Problem: Presidental baldness. Solution: President-al yarmulke!

5) Every time “Hail to the Cheif” is played, Secret Servicemen lift Gore in chair and dance around.

4) U.S. never to pay retail again for nuclear warheads.

3) Federal employees to have Saturdays off for Shabbat ....but will have to actually start working Monday to Friday.

2) Camp David to be relocated to Palm Beach.

1) In the first major trade deal with India, New Delhi to be renamed Carnegie Delhi.

“Morals” are what governments & religions use
to condemn people of courage! Stand up for your right to
speak upon, learn and seek out the things that
“THEY” don't want you to see, do, know,
talk or EVEN THINK ABOUT !!!!!!!!!!!!

Subject: it's ok
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 21:05:27 EDT
From: North American Shirley
To: rpm@glib.com

If you watch TV tonight, don't be too scared. It's only the Vice President.

This next E-mail is about some self appointed cyber-vigilantes who may have an ulterior motive. Gosh, I wonder why the cuckoos aren't doing something about the fact that CD prices are fixed at a level that's higher than the marketplace would dictate?

Subject: Bunch of Cuckoo's To Wipe Out Napster
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 05:27:45 -0400
From: “Irene”
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul,

We've all been bombarded with a constant barrage of stories lately dealing with Napster and the peculiar love / hate relationship it shares with the world. Some people feel Napster is one of the most fantastic distribution systems to come along in years. On the other side of the fence there are those who don't look upon Napster so favorably, claiming that it is nothing more than a way to steal copyrighted music and cheat both artists and , in some cases, recording corporations out of their deserved fortunes. Regardless of whether you are for, against, or impartial to Napster, you've got to check out the following link.

The link below links to a site which explains what one man, his brother, and his wife, who happens to be an unknown folk singer, are doing to thwart Napster users and their tawdry life of piracy. These model citizens feel that if more and more people catch on to their methods, of distributing mp3's filled with noise and other stupid garbage including his wife's music, they will someday make the life of the average Napster user so miserable, so disappointing, that he/she will give up their ways of piracy and once again follow the straight and narrow path. Isn't it good to know that there are such wonderful law abiding civilians out there who are simply trying to make the Internet a safer and more honest place to surf. Furthermore, the guy claims that he is in no way trying to put in a plug for his wifey's music by conveniently embedding one of her songs into the mp3 instead of the song the person expects to hear. According to he, his wife's music just happened to be the most convenient thing they had on hand...yeah right!

Anyway, click on the link below and see for yourself how this cuckoo,ah, I mean individual is going to wipe out Napster and restore honesty to the Internet.


Yours Truly,


Subject: Intro / Outro
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 03:23:22 -0400
From: Dean
To: “R. Paul Martin” rpm@glib.com

R. Paul,

I've been listening to your program for over ten years and like the songs you play at the start and end of your show. But you don't seem to identify them anywhere -- not even on your web site. What are they?


Yes, I should make note of this on the Back of the Book page. The intro is “Barracuda” by Heart, and the outtro is “Baker Street” by Jerry Rafferty.

Subject: Mail Suggestion
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 19:31:52 EDT
From: Barry
To: rpm@glib.com

I saw your request for comments about your posting of e-mail messages that you've read on the air, and I approve, but I wish you would include physical mail letters. I don't have a home computer and I may mail you a letter, miss your reading of it, and rely on a library computer for the reply. This is most likely to happen if I send phyisical enclosures which can't be e-mailed. It's not likely to happen, but scanning and posting physical letters would be in keeping with the catering-to-the-fringe policy of WBAI.

And I saw your recent picture with your girlfriend. You don't look right.

Uh, gosh, Barry, thanks a lot. As I said earlier on this page, I guess it's good that I'm not on TV.

As for putting the snail mail letters up here, I don't see that happening soon. Scanning the physical letters in and posting them as graphics images would make program pages load very slowly for most people. Converting the letters to text is not an option I want to get into for a couple of reasons, mostly because the text rendering of a physical letter is always different in some way from what the writer had sent in.

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 follow the instructions, 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 these 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.

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 and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2000, R. Paul Martin