Web links related to the Back of the Book program of July 14, 2008

GLIB.COM's Web host lost connectivity for a couple of days right after this program. This site was inaccessible for that period, and all E-mail to glib.com was unable to get through during that time. So if you sent us an E-mail during that time you might want to re-send it.

It's Sunday morning, July 27, 2008 10:28, and I think that this Web finished. I've updated the page, put in the location of the LSB meeting, added text and photographs about our post-show excursion, and I think that's it for this Web page. Yay! It's the middle of July! We'll be talking about the below stuff and more on this radio program, including some mail, and I'll no doubt be updating this Web site over the next few days.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of many of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do, and I've updated them recently.

We posted the election results from the WBAI elections on the Web page for the April 21, program.

There's a LSB meeting scheduled for Wednesday July 23rd, at 7:00 PM, at Local 1707, 75 Varick Street, 14th floor in Manhattan. You can get there by taking the A, C, E, or #1 train to Canal Street. The space is wheelchair accessible and the public is welcome to attend.

The June 26, 2008, WBAI LSB meeting picked up where it had left off on June 4. We passed some motions and I made my first Treasurer's report to the LSB.

Once again the meeting got seriously disrupted by that same large nutcase who's made a habit of doing this. The issue of disruptions by this nutcase needs to be dealt with.

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. The stream was working at 9:55 PM last night.

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 months. When you first go to the Web page you'll only see the WBAI programs for the past 7 days. If you want to see older programs you can click on one of the “See ALL Shows” buttons.

Back of the Book is now one of the programs that you can download, as well as listen to on line.

I'm glad to announce that with a new person doing the archives there have been some positive changes. In the table on that Web page Back of the Book and Carrier Wave are both in the Show column. The “Date and Category” column shows the date of the program. After the program I go in and write the details of the program and say which program it is. Of course I'd recommend that you just listen to both programs in this time slot!

We'll be pitching on the next program on July 27/28.

We hope that you'll pledge to WBAI while Back of the Book is on at that time.

If you listen to the radio program on tape or via the Internet archives you probably won't be able to pledge during the program, but you can send us a check ahead of time. A regular one year membership is $25. So, if you can, please send a check made payable to “Pacifica/WBAI” and send it to:

R. Paul Martin
120 Wall St. 10th floor
New York, NY 10005

And we hope that everyone who listens pledges or sends in a check.

I should also point out that we'll need help answering the phones. In order to answer the phones you'll have to get into the building. The building Management now requires that you get your name added to a list so you can enter 120 Wall St. So if you want to volunteer to answer phones for this 'thon you should call the WBAI switchboard at 1-212-209-2800 during business hours and let the folks in charge know you want to volunteer so they can put your name on the list. We always need more folks to answer the phones.

On a previous program we talked about Verizon sending us a notice about reporting “child pornography.”

Well, we later read about how New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo had run a sting operation on Verizon and some other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) where he had people complain about “child pornography” and Verizon didn't do anything about it.

As a result of threatened legal action from Cuomo Verizon and the other ISPs, “... agreed to eliminate access to child porn Newsgroups, a major supplier of these illegal images. They will also purge their servers of child porn websites,” according to a press release from Cuomo's office.

Well, Verizon has used this to go a step further. They sent us a notice saying that they'd cut almost all of USENET from their service.

Andrew Cuomo's press release claims that 88 USENET newsgroups, out of around 100,000, had something that Andrew Cuomo defined as “child pornography” on them. Not exactly a significant percentage there.

One of the reasons why cutting off access to USENET is such a bad idea is because USENET can be used for posting messages that can't get posted elsewhere or which can't get much of an audience elsewhere. Web pages exist on a specific server and can be shut down by a government hostile to the messages on those pages. E-mail can only go to people whose E-mail addresses you already know and a government can deny you access to your E-mail account. USENET has no center. It's a freely floating mass of information. Some of it can be pretty rough, I've referred to it in the past as the wild west of the Internet, but I think it's important that it be preserved.

The real reason why some of us think that Verizon is doing this is because they can dump yet another service and still charge the same monthly rates. Currently Verizon is carrying 3,700 news groups, they had been carrying around ten times that number. Yeah, I'm sure that alt.sewing.extraspecial.fabric.and.custom.sewing had lots of “child pornography” in it.

This being Summer I rambled on about going fishing in the Prospect Park lake when I was a small kid. This led to a description of being in a rowboat unintentionally playing chicken with a large ship, my father's used '51 Plymouth and my dog. Ah, the associations that come up sometimes.

Pickles of the North talked about a variety of subjects, including some projects going on in space. She also touched on the topic of global warming possibly making air pollution worse in some areas. Smog may encroach on places where it's never been encountered before and it may well get worse in places where people are familiar with it.

Following on this I talked about a piece from the July 2008, issue of Scientific American that has a little bit of an irony attached to it.

It seems that the efforts to stop the depletion of the ozone layer have started to show some progress. The world wide ban on chlorofluorocarbons has resulted in the Earth's ozone layer starting to make a comeback. The emblematic symptom of the depletion of the ozone layer was the hole in the ozone that has been forming over Antarctica every Spring for the past few decades. And that ozone hole is healing too.

But one computer model shows that it was that hole in the ozone layer which, during the warmer months, kept the interior of the Antarctic continent colder than it would otherwise have been! So now that the ozone hole is lessening, the impact of global warming is being felt in Antarctica's interior and it is predicted that the air over Antarctica could get warmer by up to 9° C. over the next few decades!

When you mess around with complex systems like the weather there's no telling what may happen.

view towards southern tip of Manhattan in the rain
Battery Park in the rain, looking towards the southern tip of Manhattan

On the program I mentioned that Pickles and I had discovered a very cheap little digital camera being sold in a Brooklyn drug store. It's a lot like the keychain camera that we already have in that it's quite inexpensive and will only take about 25 photographs at a time before it fills up its memory; it also does not use flash memory technology so if your two AAA cells fail before you can copy the digital images onto something more permanent all of your photographs still in the camera just vaporize.

The Battery Park promenade
Battery Park in the rain, at the southern tip of Manhattan looking west

The attractive feature of this little camera is that it's billed as being waterproof! Supposedly this thing can go to a depth of 50 feet and still operate.

The camera itself is housed in a clear plastic case that has rubbery seals along the edges. I would never trust this thing to actually go under water, even in a pool, but I figure that the fitted plastic case should be able to keep the camera safe from rain.

Water is the big enemy of our other digital camera. So we just never bring out the good digital camera when it's going to rain or when there's the threat of rain. This means that sometimes we just can't take photographs.

Pickles took a risk on June 30, and brought out her keychain camera to get some shots of the rainy Pride March. She was lucky that a plastic bag was good enough to keep that little camera dry, but she still couldn't take any photographs while it was actually raining.

But with this little camera we at least have a chance at getting some photographs in wet situations.

Battery Park geyser
A Geyser on the Battery Park promenade

After this radio program we walked through lower Manhattan, and after a few minutes there was a downpour. So we took a few photographs out there. As usual it's hard to figure out just what sort of a shot you're framing with these little cameras and the slightest movement can blur everything, having to also hold an umbrella in the wind made it even more difficult. But we got some photographs that we would otherwise have been unable to get at all.

So we have some shots here of Battery Park, where we went after the program. This last photograph is of one of the drains on the Battery Park promenade. Since the promenade is simply a shelf over the harbor these drains are just holes in the ground with grilles over them. When the tide is high enough and when the swells get high enough, such as when a passing ferry makes waves, the water comes in under the promenade and these drains become little geysers! Inclement weather isn't required for this to happen but it seems to have always been a bad day for a camera before. In the Winter we've seen cold harbor water shoot a good 20 feet into the air from these drains and fall down to start forming ice calderas on the promenade. This geyser is pretty minimal compared to others we've seen on the promenade. Maybe some day I'll be able to capture the sound that these little geysers make.

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.

Our very own Uncle Sidney Smith, whose program Carrier Wave alternates with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2008, R. Paul Martin.