Web links related to the Back of the Book program of August 9, 2010

It's Sunday night, August 22, 2010, 20:15, And this Web page is finished. I've added Pickles of the North's photographs and narrative about the “Summer Streets 2010” event that she opened the program with. I've also filled in some more of what we did on this program. Of course this was another chaotic pitching program. I've updated this Web page with our tally for the program, and a note about the stream being down while we were on the air. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ More heat waves, and the so-called end of the BP Gulf oil gusher crisis. And of course we're pitching during the WBAI Summer 'thon tonight. I do hope you'll pledge. Predicting exactly what we'll get to on a 'thon program is dicey.

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 pretty recently.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday September 8, 2010, at 7:00 PM, at a location to be announced.

The July 29, 2010, LSB meeting happened, and since no one on the LSB challenged it it became a legal meeting. It was not really disrupted, and some things got done. Time was spent on another of those feel good political statements, as opposed to talking about the serious finances, but those things happen at LSB meetings. There was a good report from the iGM.

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. And you can see the status of the streams at any time by clicking here. The stream was working at 8:41 PM last night. Unfortunately, all but one of the streams were down while we were on the air doing this radio program. The station has 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 this program any time for the next couple of months. You may need to scroll up one line to see the audio archive. Let me know if you find this feature useful.

If you want to listen to any part of the WBAI archive click here to go right to the archives. 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. Or to see only the two shows in this time slot click here.

For legal reasons, WBAI stopped making podcasts available as of June 28, 2010.

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

In the table on the archive 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!

One year ago there was a Pacifica National Board meeting going on in New York. 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 Executive Director of Pacifica, Arlene Engleheart, appointed another new interim General Manager of WBAI on June 24. So far there's been a Staff meeting to introduce Berthold Reimers as the new iGM, but Pacifica Management has not issued anything in writing yet. When they do I'll post a link to it.

The 2010, Pacifica election cycle has begun. A National Election Supervisor has been hired, she is Renee Asteria. The official Web site is here.

The 2010 Local Station Board Elections Have Begun!

The Local Station Board (LSB) is the primary governance body for WBAI. When meeting as delegates the LSB members elect the Directors of the Pacifica National Board, which is the governance body for the entire Pacifica Foundation. The Pacifica Foundation owns WBAI.

Here is the official time table for this crucial election.

This election is crucial for the survival of WBAI and Pacifica. The Sixth WBAI LSB, which will be created by this election, will last for two full years. WBAI and Pacifica are in a precarious position right now as current interim Management attempts to reverse the death spiral that the station and the network have been in for years. If some bunch of chuckleheads gets a majority on the WBAI LSB they'll be able to change the composition of the Pacifica National Board and revert to corrupt, incompetent and malfeasant Management, they might even sell WBAI.

We need decent people on the WBAI LSB who will be interested in preserving the station, not in selling it or running it into the ground. I hope that the listeners will educate themselves about the candidates and vote for good ones.

The official Web page where you can see updated information about the election is here.

We are pitching on this radio program! If you can please call 1-212-209-2950 during the radio program and pledge some amount of money to help keep Back of the Book on WBAI and help keep WBAI on the air.

If you want to pledge to the program via the Web you need to do so while we're on the air, and you also need to go here and be sure to pick Back of the Book as the favorite show. Otherwise your pledge won't be counted towards the program.

UPDATE: We raised $640 on this program. Unfortunately, most of the WBAI Stream was down during the time when we were on the air! That didn't help, although at least one person listening on the lone surviving stream, the “24K OGG Mono” stream, was able to pledge.

dumpster_pools (21K)
Dumpster pools at 40th St. and Park Ave.

Pickles here! I took a big walk during the “Summer Streets 2010” event on Saturday, August 7th, when the city opens about seven miles of Manhattan to foot and cycle traffic only. It was a relatively cool and fresh morning, though hanging heavy in the air was the ripeness of the city after our many mega heat days - phew!

But it was still glorious to stroll along and see the sights from the middle of the street, especially along Park Avenue.

One of the things I noticed the most this time was how compromised some of the trees seemed, leaves sparse and already falling. Again, this might be a legacy of the horrible heat and humidity.

New this year were the dumpster pools, which looked pretty cute and could hold about ten people. Swimming in the shadow of Grand Central Station looked like it would be a lot of fun, especially in a converted dumpster, but I chose to go on to my favorite part of the walk, up the traffic ramp to stroll around the outside of Grand Central.

It's a special thrill being up on that ramp, with a kind of an end of the world, parallel Earth feel to it, to be up where tons of traffic usually goes whizzing by. It's a great way to spend an early mid-Summer morning!

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One of the unoccupied dumpster pools

This is one of the dumpster pools to the right. The city refurbished actual dumpsters, lining them with plastic and installing a deck for each one. Changing cabanas were also provided, along with deck chairs, water toys and beach umbrellas. Gives a whole new meaning to the term tar beach!

We both went to the “Summer Streets” event last year.

The BP oil spill is supposedly completely shut down now. And people are saying that the oil is all gone, nothing to worry about. Nonsense! As anyone who pays attention knows Beakman's First law of Science is: Everything's got to go somewhere!

Oil from the Exxon Valdez spill can still be seen along the Alaska coast, and more of it can be seen if you dig a couple of inches into the beaches that were affected.

So more of the oil is now air pollution and a lot of it is in the tissues of sea creatures. That is not the end of the destruction that has been wrought by these greedy oil barons!

Owing to the necessity to raise money on this program we didn't get to nearly as many topics as we'd have liked to. One of the things which I'd wanted to go on about but which we didn't get to on the air was the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy.

I don't think there's much to say. There's something called the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America that is widely interpreted to mean that there is freedom of religion in this country. So there is no doubt that people of some particular organized superstition have the same right to have their place of worship wherever any other organized superstition group can legally have one.

I think that the opposition to this is being stoked by ignorance, bigotry and right-wing demagoguery. It's also a lot like the situation where people have taken the Bill of Rights to that aforementioned Constitution, including that First Amendment, and have presented it to people on the street as a proposed petition to make the Bill of Rights the law. Lots of people refuse to sign it, and many of those are belligerent about it, which must mean that they are not at all familiar with the Bill of Rights. Yeah, similar ignorance.

This past fortnight saw a coronal mass ejection from the Sun hit the Earth.

At the end of this week the Perseid meteor shower will happen. Depending a lot on the weather it may be something interesting to see. These meteors are remnants of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

We talked about federal judge Vaughn R. Walkder ruling that California's infamous Proposition 8, banning same gender marriage, is unconstitutional.

Judge Walker really blasted that piece of hate legislation, saying, “Proposition 8 cannot withstand any level of scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause,” and, “Excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.” The judge also wrote in answer to one of the contentions of those defending Proposition 8, “Tradition alone, however, cannot form the rational basis for a law.” This will, of course be appealed and will probably land in the Supreme Court pretty soon.

Perhaps the federal court route will finally stop the momentum that anti-gay bigots have been enjoying for a few years while they attack legislation allowing same gender marriage. It'd be nice to see this freedom to marry extended to all people.

calibrating thermometers
Three thermometers maybe getting calibrated

On the last program we were also talking about the heat waves. I said then that the three thermometers we have in the apartment were all giving different temperature readings even when placed next to each other in a room.

I said on the last program that maybe what I should do was to try to calibrate all three thermometers to get an idea of how far off they are and what adjustments needed to be made to their readings to make then useful to us again.

Well, we made the attempt this past fortnight, as you can see from the photograph on the left. What I did was to put all three thermometers in the same plastic bowl and put ice and ice water in it. I left it for a while to let the ice water get to 32° F. and for the thermometers to get settled at that temperature. But the readings were so much higher than 32° F. that I may have to do this again, and watch it more closely this time.

Of course it's possible that these thermometers really are just way off. I think I may have gotten all three of them from the now departed cast-off electronics and junk stores down on Canal St. 30 or more years ago. I think they all used to work pretty decently, except for the metal one which always showed a temperature that was about 2° F. higher than reality.

Well, we'll probably learn exactly what the story is when I try to calibrate them again this fortnight.

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.