Web links related to the Back of the Book program of March 22, 2010

It's Sunday night, April 04, 2010, 20:31, and this Web page is finished. I've updated this Web page with a fuller obituary for David Nolan. previously I'd updated it with some information about that music logging software we had to use on the air, and I'd added a link to a new Web page I've done about the big nor'easter of 2010. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We're glad to be back after a month off. We plan to talk about various things tonight including the devastating nor'easter that the area experienced a little over a week ago, and I plan to talk about Viet Nam 41 years ago a little bit. We'll get to other topics as well and we'll try to comply with the record labels' use of the government to bother us.

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

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 Thursday, April 14, 2010, at 7:00 PM at a location to be announced.

Since our last radio program there have been two WBAI LSB meetings. Here's a full report on the February 25, 2010, WBAI LSB meeting. It happened in the midst of a blizzard and the faction had a majority at it. There was another WBAI LSB meeting on March 10, 2010. The faction was better behaved than usual at this one.

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 stream was working at 9:28 PM last night. They have a new Flash stream here, make sure you enable Javascript so it can work for you.

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.

As an experiment try clicking here to go right to the archive entry for this radio program. You may need to scroll up one line to see the audio archive. Let me know if you find this feature useful.

You can also go here to subscribe to the podcasts of Back of the Book and Carrier Wave.

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

NOTE: A listener reported that the archive for the January 11, 2010, program was truncated at 91 minutes. So I reported this to the person doing the archives and he fixed it right away. So the archive for this program in intact now. Thanks to Michael for fixing it so soon, and thanks to the listener for pointing it out.

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 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 new Executive Director of Pacifica, Arlene Engleheart, has appointed a new interim General Manager of WBAI starting February 1, 2010.

David Nolan

David Nolan died during the blizzard on February 25, 2010. Here's the WBAI Web page about his passing.

I first met David when he came to WBAI back in the early '80s. Jeez, he was so young.

I'm really shocked and saddened at this death. We talked about David on this program. I played a little comedy thing we did for the December 29, 1986, Back of the Book program. In that one I was the technical guy and David was the talent.

David Nolan was quite young when he came to WBAI. As with a lot of producers he'd been a listener and came to the station to be a part of what he'd been hearing for years. He learned as most of us did in those days, by hanging around the radio station. He accumulated some nicknames like “the kid,” “junior” and “pee-wee,” the last of which I think he never knew about.

One of the interesting things about David was that a whole lot of people, both male and female, found him very attractive. I recall David being followed around the station by women who were hoping for some intimacy with him, the pursuers sometimes included lesbians who were willing to make an exception in his case.

I wasn't interested in David in that way, but we were friends, and on more than one occasion we shared a conviviality of a more chemical nature.

David learned about audio production at WBAI and he helped people and he stuck around and was good at it and he became a part of what was then the Engineering Dept. He did engineering on a lot of programs.

I recall once when I was hanging around the station and David had just finished engineering the WBAI Evening News. There was a 'thon going on and the news person left Master Control after the news was done. There was half an hour left before the next program, and the News Dept. was supposed to be pitching. For whatever reason the News person just left the room. I wandered down the hall to Master Control after a couple of minutes when David was playing carts in the absence of anyone pitching. So David and I just started pitching, as a pair of made up, gonzo characters. For about 25 minutes we had a great time, and raised $450. And then the News person returned and we had to rapidly go back to seriousness. But I think we gave some listeners some laughs that evening.

David became a part of WBAI and produced his own programs, mostly music. He was a part of the group that produced programs centered on the Grateful Dead, and he did Morning Dew on WBAI.

David went on to do audio work for a lot of places around the city. There's more about David Nolan's extensive work in this article.

I see that he died of a heart attack brought on by heart disease. This is something that I've heard runs in David's family, as it does in mine. He was so young to lose his life like that. I'll miss David Nolan, we could sure use some more David Nolans at WBAI these days.

So they had a blog entry on the New York Times about signalling alien cultures and the possible consequences, and I just had to reply to it. Mine is comment #23.

crushed garage in Brooklyn
A crushed garage in Brooklyn

Starting on Thursday, March 11, a series of storms hit the entire northeast United States.

After days of everything getting soaked the big Nor'easter of 2010 hit. We got something like two to four inches of rain within a day or so and the storm was accompanied by 75 mile an hour wind gusts and steady winds of 30 or 40 mph.

Well, after all that soaking rain and high wind gusts the current estimate is that there are about 768 trees that were destroyed in Brooklyn alone. They think that about 500 trees were destroyed in Staten Island.

I've done a somewhat large Web page about this storm and I've included a lot of photographs on that page.

We had to go to the V.A. Hospital on the Monday after the big nor'easter, and it was intermittently raining pretty hard then, too. There were a number of photographs I didn't take that day because we can't afford to replace the digital camera if it gets soaked by the rain. But on March 16, the Sun came out and Pickles of the North and I went walking around Brooklyn, eventually ending up in Marine Park, where at least 50 trees had been knocked over. It was a pretty terrible sight.

Here you can see a huge, old tree crushing a garage, and it's also shoving another tree in the left of the photograph. Given the soaked ground I'm not sure how that tree will fare in the long run.

So we talked about this nor'easter on this program and we have that Web page about it.

We're going to talk about a discovery regarding type 1a supernovae on this program.

These huge explosions involving one or more white dwarf stars are used as “standard candles” by astronomers to help tell how far away things are and to glean details about how fast the universe is expanding.

Copyright Confessor screen capture
This program's playlist

So on this program we had to log the music we played.

On the left is a screen capture from the software that we had to use to log it all.

As you can see, this wasn't so difficult for us because we hardly play any music, but there are those on WBAI who play a lot more music than we do. There are programs that are almost entirely music.

Oh yes, all of the logging had to be done live, while we were on the air.

The software even has an objectionable name, “Copyright Confessor.” As if we're bringing our sins to some sky pilot and seeking forgiveness!

WBAI's on-air Staff got very little notice that this was going to be imposed on us, and the training most of us got on this logging software consisted of an on-line manual we got to read. Unfortunately, the manual and the software didn't exactly match.

Pickles of the North had the fun of logging all of our music into this thing.

Unfortunately, this rigmarole is something mandated by law! The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and an agreement between the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Sound Exchange, an entity set up by the record labels after they bought enough of the Congress to get the laws they wanted passed, is an actual legal requirement if WBAI is to continue broadcasting over the Internet. Here's what we were told about it all.

So this was a rather wacky hassle we had to deal with during the program.

UPDATE:We have just been informed that this whole procedure only has to be gone through for two weeks out of every quarter. And for WBAI this quarter ended on March 31st. Well, that's better than having to do it for every program. We won't be bothered with this again until the middle of June. So I say let's enjoy not having to do it while we can!

First Logistical Command
insignia of the First Logistical command
RPM At Ho Nai, Republic of Viet Nam
R. Paul at the Ho Nai, Viet Nam railhead 1969

Oh, I'm going to talk about my time in the Republic of Viet Nam tonight.

I was there from November 8, 1968, to November 9, 1969.

I did not want to be there. I was drafted at a time in my life when I thought that I really couldn't avoid it. Had they come for me six months later I might well have avoided the draft. But history does not reveal its alternatives.

It was, of course a terrible experience. And it was made worse by the constant concern that the army might discover that I was gay and arrest me. For my entire time in the Republic of Viet Nam I was more concerned about what the Americans might do to me than what the Viet Cong or the North Vietnamese army might do.

So on tonight's program I'm going to talk about some of that stuff. I've talked about it before, but maybe I'll remember something I haven't spoken about on the air before on tonight's program.

In the photograph to the right I'm at the Ho Nai railhead. I had found a lizard creeping around the place and I was fascinated by it. The two youngsters watching were among the kids who were always hanging around the railhead, and they were a little squeamish about the lizard. I no longer remember their names. The smaller of the two was eleven years old, but was the size of an American eight year old, and she's the one whom two GIs were trying to rape one day. I stopped them by annoying them with paperwork every minute or so until their plans fell through.

This is the only photograph I can find from my time in Viet Nam. I must have had between 24 and 50 photographs, but I just can't find them. I haven't been able to find them for many years now. If they're in the apartment they are well hidden. But they may have been left behind with my parents who may have lost them in one of their many moves.

This photograph may have survived because it wasn't with the others. I was taken by another guy I was at Ho Nai with, he used a third person's camera. When that third person got his film developed he was surprised to see this photograph of me which he hadn't taken. He just gave it to me. And now there it is.

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 © 2010, R. Paul Martin.