Web links related to the Back of the Book program of December 14, 2009

Oh, it's Sunday afternoon, December 27, 2009 17:40, and this Web page is finished. I've updated this Web page with some more of what we did on the program and a note about a video I plan to post here one day. Previously I'd added the date, time and location of the next WBAI LSB meeting, and some links to a satellite launch that Pickles of the North talked about on the program. Previously I'd posted the results of the WBAI election! Here's the original top of this page ⇒ Hey, the elections should be over soon! And we'll talk about the below stuff and more on the program tonight. Of course if you want something visual to go along with the program you can always go out and watch the Geminid meteor shower. I'll be updating this Web page some time before the next program.

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

There was a sudden Town Hall meeting held on Monday, April 13, 2009, at 7:00 PM at The Fortune Society, 630 Riverside Drive at 140th St. in Manhattan. Here's a flyer that was passed out at the event.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 23, 2009, at 7:00 PM at 388 Atlantic Avenue, between Bond and Hoyt streets, in downtown Brooklyn.

Nearest subway is A or C to Hoyt/Schermerhorn (exit station on Bond St. side. Walk two short blocks up Bond to Atlantic, cross Atlantic, 388 is on the right a few doors down.) OR any of the trains at Atlantic/Pacific (N,R,B,Q,D,2,3,4,or 5 train) OR #63 (5th Ave.) bus from Bay Ridge and Park Slope, and turns up Atlantic Ave. OR, by car, BQE to Atlantic Ave., 5 or so blocks down Atlantic (towards Clock Tower), on right. Here's a link to a map.

There was a regular meeting of the WBAI LSB held on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 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.

Not that many of the FoBs came out for this meeting. Their disruptions were a lot less crazed than previously. They may have realized that they are exposing themselves as bullies and thugs with such behavior so the leaders of that faction have toned down the disruptions.

This ought to have been the last LSB meeting for a number of LSB members. If the elections hadn't been so screwed up we would have had the election results by now, at the latest, and the Fifth WBAI LSB could have been seated at the December 9th, meeting. Exactly what will happen now is a question. There could be a very strange LSB meeting on December 9th.

At the start of this meeting faction operative Nia Bediako pulled an old trick that she'd pulled two years ago. She wanted to put on the agenda a Delegates Assembly meeting for the purpose of removing two people from the LSB.

Two years ago this tactic had been used to try to smear other candidates for the elections then. Her faction could go around saying that action was pending on throwing her opponents off the LSB, which might sway some voters. In fact it takes 16 votes to remove someone from the LSB, and the current majority is very unlikely to start kicking itself off the LSB. Even when the FoBs had a majority two years ago they didn't have the votes to do it. And in fact they just dropped the entire process as soon as it was no longer useful to use these sorts of allegations as smears. One member did amend that motion to allow any number of LSB members to be removed. That was just a little message to the the FoBs that if they want to play such games they can be played both ways.

In the end the LSB intelligently defeated the motion to waste time on any of this.

The LSB renewed the current Programming Committee for another six months.

I gave the Treasurer's Report. All of Pacifica is tight on money, and WBAI is currently up to $1.26 million in the red. WBAI's budget is late but it's coming along. Some faction operatives decided to open their mouths about the late budget. I reminded them that they had passed total fantasy budgets in the past, and that they'd covered up embezzlement at the station. They were not pleased to have their rhetoric brought down to Earth like that. I have issued a Treasurer's Report in writing about the embezzlement.

The 2009, WBAI LSB elections are under way at Pacifica. This meeting was another example of the FoBs trying to regain a majority on the LSB and the PNB in an effort to reinstall their faction boss and turn back the clock for WBAI and Pacifica, which would of course result in the destruction of both, which may be exactly their goal.

At its January 21, 2009, meeting the LSB voted to hold its meetings on the second Wednesday of every month and/or the last Thursday of that month, subject to change by the LSB, which gives us the following schedule:

All of these meetings are set to begin at 7:00 PM.

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 main stream was working at 10:19 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 the archives have seen 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!

The 2009 Local Station Board Elections Are Over!

And the results are in!

The ballot counting ended sooner than had been predicted. So here is the list of those elected:



The full list of who finished in what place is posted on the WBAI Web site.

Thanks to all who voted for independent candidates. Now WBAI and Pacifica may have a chance to survive.

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in New York City from Friday July 23, to Sunday July 26, 2009.

The meeting was held at the Beekman Towers Hotel, 3 Mitchell Place, in Manhattan, a couple of blocks north of the United Nations.

There's an election going on in Pacifica, so there were a few candidates attending and speaking during the public comment sessions. Some disrupted the meeting.

Here's the Web page I did about this PNB meeting and the amazing things that went on at it.

And the PNB has also met in Houston from Friday October 9th, through Sunday October 11th. The official audio archive of that meeting is here. It was not disrupted as the New York meeting was, although some of the same miscreants got out there to say stupid things.

The Winter Solstice will occur next Monday, December 21, 2009, at 12:47 PM. It'll be the shortest day of the year, and after it the days will start to get longer. Oh, I'm looking forward to the days getting longer, all right.

For more about the seasons and sub-seasons click here.

The Geminid meteor shower will be occurring while the program is on the air!

It'll be ongoing until pre-dawn makes the sky too bright to see the meteors burning up in the atmosphere anymore.

Astronomy magazine's Web site has a lot more about the meteor shower, including guides to help you find just where to look in the sky for it.

Maybe after the program Pickles of the North and I will see if we can spot any shooting stars through the murk and light pollution of lower Manhattan.

A same gender marriage bill has been voted down in the New York State Senate.

In New Jersey they didn't bring a similar bill to a vote because they didn't think they had the votes.

Washington, D.C. has voted to allow same gender marriages.

An openly lesbian woman has been elected mayor of Houston, Texas.

An openly lesbian woman has been elected as Assistant Bishop in the Episcopalian diocese of Los Angeles, there's sure to be more fighting over that.

Pickles of the North and I got our H1N1 flu shots this fortnight. And I see where the CDC is saying that about 10,000 Americans have died of the Swine Flu so far. And yet people are afraid of getting the flu shots that might prevent getting sick from this disease.

Pickles of the North talked about the WISE spacecraft that was supposed to be launched later on the morning of the program. And in fact the launch went off on schedule.

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission will look at the universe in the infrared and will map the stars closest to the Sun and bright galaxies.

I talked about a supernova unique in the annals of astrophysics. This supernova, called SN 2007bi, looked atypical and so a group of scientists who call themselves the Nearby Supernova Factory started to examine it.

This supernova had been especially bright and it had stayed bright for a lot longer than was usual for this type of supernova. It had occurred in a nearby dwarf galaxy.

After a lot of study the scientists determined that this was the first ever confirmed example of what's called a “pair-instability supernova.”

In such a supernova the star starts out really big. This one was probably at least 200 times the mass of the Sun. The gamma rays produced at its core were so energetic towards the end that they turned from energy to matter. This forced the star to collapse on itself which caused the supernova explosion. Unlike most supernovae this star blew itself completely apart, leaving no neutron star or black hole remnant.

This was a star that had very low “metallicity,” astronomers call any elements in a star that are heavier than hydrogen or helium “metals.” So this enormous star was a lot like the earliest stars in the universe, the ones that initially formed heavier elements through fusion at their cores and then spread the elements which were necessary to form worlds, and us, by exploding billions of years ago. The elements from those ancient, exploded stars eventually mixed with some more hydrogen and the solar system was formed. And that's where most of the matter with which we're familiar, including the matter that makes up our own bodies, comes from.

After the November 16, program we shot still photographs of the geysers at Battery Park. And after the last program we found that it was again high tide there. This time I shot some video through the Canon A580 digital camera that I have. Yeah, as videos go they're probably awful in every sense. But I'm going to see how I can possibly get those videos posted. If I can, I'll put them up. The geysers are sort of bizarre to watch sometimes. Pickles wonders what happens when unsuspecting tourists sit on those benches during high tide. UPDATE: Well, I have to get the short video turned 90° to the right, at which point the aspect ratio will be off. I will try to get that very short video posted at some point though. I'll just have to get over the learning curve for a fast and sloppy video edit first.

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 © 2009, R. Paul Martin.