Web links related to the Back of the Book program of October 20, 2008

It's Sunday, November 2, 2008, 17:53, and this Web page is finished, I've added the username and password information and changed the link to the bleepin' blue board to reflect the new way to get onto it, while they're trying to deal with a spam attack, earlier I'd put in the location of the November 3rd, LSB meeting. Yay! We all own banks now. This is good news, isn't it? Well, we'll talk about that, other topics below and we'll try to get to the mail tonight.

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

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Monday, November 3, 2008, at 7:00 PM, at the Judson Memorial Church Assembly Room, 239 Thompson Street (just south of Washington Square Park, between W. 3rd & W. 4th St.), in Manhattan. The space is wheelchair accessible and the public is welcome to attend.

There was a meeting of the WBAI LSB held on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008, at the Cathedral Parkway Towers Community Room, 125 W. 109th Street in Manhattan.

We learned a bit about the layoffs and other Staff cuts that are being implemented at WBAI in order to keep to the FY09 budget. Some of it's pretty bad. I think that Management needs to share much more in these cuts, instead of almost everything landing on the Paid Staff.

I delivered a truthful report on the finances, as I know them. Let's just say that this was not the sort of Treasurer's Report that has been delivered in the past. It was not rosy.

We elected three members to the new Management Evaluation Committee.

The General Manager's Report was, um, interesting.

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 10:04 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!

Well, I feel the need to start off with something totally absurd. The Microsoft Corporation has patented “page up” and “page down” in software. You can read more about it here. This is U.S. Patent #7,415,666 which talks about Microsoft inventing “A method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed.” This function has been around for decades! Look at your computer, it already has “page up” and “page down” keys on it. I guess we'll hear soon about how Microsoft has come up with another brilliant innovation here.

How can we expect a country that has a Patent Office that allows this sort of nonsense to properly police its huge banking industry?

Speaking of the huge banking industry, we talked about the economic meltdown some more. Now that we all own the banks we may as well talk about our properties. It turns out that some of the money being turned over to the banks for these huge bailouts has been spent on junkets. And when the Treasury Dept. got the CEOs of the biggest banks in America into a room to discuss the bailout some were outraged that the Treasury Dept. wanted to put a lid on the notorious CEO bonuses. These greedy cretins were told that there was to be no choice in the matter.

I likened this current situation to the Panic of 1873, which was started because of unsuccessful real estate speculation, funny business with mortgages and other things that sound eerily familiar to anyone who's been tracking the financial news over the past month or so.

I read the now public domain account from the New York Times about brokers running out of the New York Stock Exchange, falling over each other, and rushing to their firms on Wall St. to report that the market was crashing and that a large financial house had essentially gone bankrupt all of a sudden. Of course this was in the days before the telephone had been invented and guys running down Wall St. was how the financial news got carried. The Panic of 1873, led to a depression which lasted at least four years.

It turns out that s Professor Scott Nelson had been writing about the parallels between our current situation and what happened in 1873. And it sure looks like people haven't learned much in the past 135 years.

What an irony that Reaganomics has led to a Socialist banking industry!

And so we go on to what may well be a global economic depression.

We talked about a unique species of bacteria that apparently doesn't need any other biological organisms around in order to survive. Discovered in water in a deep crack at the bottom of the Mponeng gold mine in South Africa this new species of bacteria is named Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator. These bacteria can live purely off water and the minerals they can get from rocks. And they get some of the energy they need from decaying radioactive elements in the rocks, like Uranium. The ionizing radiation from the Uranium breaks water molecules apart and the oxygen thus liberated combines with iron sulfides in the 140° F. mine water to form sulfates and the bacteria eat those sulfates.

The “audaxviator” part of its name is Latin for “bold traveler,” a reference to a passage from Jules Verne's 1864, book Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The water that these bacteria live in was last on the surface of the Earth somewhere between 3 and 10 million years. The bacteria have very slow metabolisms and may take up to 10,000 years to replicate, most bacteria do this in a time frame of minutes or hours.

Astrobiologists say that this discovery is important because microbes like these could be distributed throughout the universe. They can live in some pretty harsh conditions and they could provide material for a larger biota on barren planets.

Speaking of life in the universe, scientists are currently looking hard for life on this nearby planet. They need to know what a habitable planet looks like when all you can see is a single pixel in a camera. So if you don't want to smile at the camera you don't have to.

Pickles of the North talked about her favorite holiday, Halloween! She provided plenty of virtual candy for all listeners. And even those of us who are diabetic were able to participate in the feast.

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. UPDATE: The bleepin' blue board has had to add a step for folks to get onto it because it's under attack by spambots. When you click on the above link you may be asked for a username and password. Type in Username: poster Password: enternow

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.