Web links related to the Back of the Book program of July 9, 2011

It's Monday morning, July 11, 2011, 03:17, and I've pdated this page with the location of this coming Wednesday's LSB meeting. I've also taken out a segment that we just didn't get to on this program. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ This will be our program where we cover the 2011, Pride March. We were preempted for our last program. Better late than never, I suppose. We also plan to cover a number of scientific stories that we hope will be of interest. In addition we'll go on about various other things and do what we can to keep folks informed for 55 minutes. Check back for updates which we really hope to get done some time in the future.

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

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver St #501, in Manhattan.

The LSB tried to hold a regular meeting on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at “Brooklyn Commons” at 388, Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn. But we never reached a quorum and couldn't hold a legal meeting. The meeting was convened an hour late! You can read a little more about it here. After the meeting was over one faction operative started stalking me, insisting that I engage in a conversation with him. Yeah, another of the so-called Justice & Unity Campaign members turns out to be a thug.

At a previous meeting the WBAI 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 1:07 this morning. The station has a 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.

Back of the Book is again 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 Saturday Morning With the Radio On 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!

In the Summer of 2009, there was a Pacifica National Board meeting held 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, 2009. 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 Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Manhattan the weekend of October 1-3, 2010. The audio has been posted for the first day of the meeting, the second day of the meeting and the third day of the meeting.

Well, we're back after almost a full month. That's what happens when you preempt a biweekly radio program.

This will be our program in which we talk about the Pride March and other gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered issues. Not that we don't all the time, but this one's an annual on-air event. This year it's just coming much later than ever before.

The BiRequest banner at the 2011, Pride March
The BiRequest Banner

So Pickles of the North and I went to the 2011, Pride March. We got there in time and didn't have to wait long until our section actually started marching.

Pickles of the North and I usually march with the bisexual groups, because I am. We were in Section One this year. That section comes right in back of the lead section. I don't know why we were that far up in the march order this year. Last year I think we were in Section Two, and I'm wondering if next year the bisexual groups will be at the very end section of the march. I guess we'll find out then.

But it was good to be so far in the front of the march. For many years we were in something like Section Fourteen or so!

Of course right after we got onto Fifth Ave. there was a lot of stopping and waiting. But that's just the nature of a large march like this. It was better than times in the past when we've sat around on a side street for hours waiting for our section to be fed onto the avenue.

There were a lot of festive people at this year's march. Only a couple of days before Governor Cuomo had signed into law the same-gender marriage bill that had been fought through the New York State legislature. The band played Mendelssohn's Wedding March a few times. This was a lot better than the year when the Supreme Court had declared days before the march that the police could go into bedrooms and arrest consenting same-gendered adults on a charge of sodomy.

New York Area Bisexual Network banner at the 2011, Pride March
The New York Area Bisexual Network Banner

Mayor Bloomberg has forced the Pride March, as well as all other such events, to be a lot shorter than it had been in the past, both in terms of time and in terms of the physical length of the march route. I personally do not find this to be a good thing, but then I always wanted us to march out of the old Greenwich Village ghetto and up to Central Park for a rally. But then I'm an old fossil, I suppose.

From what we could see it was the usual march down Fifth Ave. But we did experience one hitch.

We had gotten to the reviewing stand just above 23rd St. and groups were being acknowledged by the official March announcer there. It was 12:58 PM. So we'd made good time marching down the avenue. At that point the person doing the announcing said that the one minute “Moment of Silence,” the first of two for the day, was about to begin. But that was supposed to start at 1:00 PM. Uh oh, that timing didn't seem right.

So they finally got the attention of the folks on a float that had been squeezed in in front of us and got them to turn down their sound system for the “Moment of Silence.” And then there was a count down. And then the count down sort of hesitated. But the Big Apple Corps band in back of us didn't get the word. They kept on playing as the announcer announced that the “Moment of Silence” had begun. After a while they stopped, but others elsewhere in the march could be heard. At this point the announcer said that her watch was an old analog one and was off by a few minutes. It sure was. She then said for everyone to just go on with it all and promised that they'd do better with the 3:00 PM “Moment of Silence.” I hope they did, but Pickles and I were eating lunch on W. 14th St. by then.

Other than the screwup I've mentioned above the entire march seems to have gone off pretty decently again this year.

On our next program, July 23rd, we'll be pitching as a part of the WBAI Summer 'Thon. We have to pitch in order to get enough money to get to the end of our fiscal year, which ends on September 30th. The fourth quarter of our fiscal year is always a struggle for survival, and so we have to pitch at some point during the Summer in order to survive.

If you would like to contribute but you figure you may not be able to catch the program when it airs on July 23rd, you can always send your donation in ahead of time. A regular one year membership is $25. If you want to send more than $25 that would be great. 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.

We're going to talk about some scientists who've used the European Space Agency's Integral gamma-ray observatory to observe some very distant gamma ray bursts. They have been looking at the data in an effort to establish the lower limit of the Planck length which is the theoretical smallest unit of length in the universe.

If their experiments and deductions from the data hold up then the Planck length is a lot smaller than anyone had thought it was. And this also brings into question the calculation by which the Planck length was originally arrived at.

The Plank length should be about 10-35 meter as per the calculations. But these scientists think it can't be larger than 10-48 meter. The Planck length is arrived at by a bit of simple mathematics applied to three constants of the universe, the speed of light in a vacuum, the gravitational constant and the reduced Planck constant. How it could be so far off from the theoretical value is a big question.

Of course the scientists may have made a mistake, but if they haven't there are some big questions before the physics community. Among other things some quantum gravity theories would now be impossible.

It's not a development that will make it to your TV news, but it could be something very fundamental.

The last Launch of a Space Shuttle happened yesterday morning. The Space Shuttle Atlantis went up for the 135th, and final, Space Shuttle mission. We plan to talk about that on this program.

Uncle Sidney and Pickles of the North at Battery Park after our July 11, program
Uncle Sidney & Pickles of the North at Battery Park

So Uncle Sidney Smith joined us after our June 11th, program and we all walked down to Battery Park for a stroll.

As I took loads more of my usual blurry photographs Sidney and Pickles hung out on a bench on the promenade.

Yes, that's a pencil under the bench that they're sitting on. I had wanted it but they both said it was way too ratty looking for me to add to my collection.

And after this we went shopping with Uncle Sidney for groceries. Sidney went through some health issues before and after this outing, so we're glad that he's feeling better now.

And for those of you who don't know, Uncle Sidney alternates with us in this time slot, and you should listen to him on those alternate weeks.

Some plastic, aquatic creatures in our sink
An aquatic Whimsy by Pickles of the North

So I walk into the bathroom one day this past week and this is what I see. We have an array of plastic creatures in and on the bathroom sink.

Pickles of the North had arrayed all of them there to surprise me. Oh, she is such a cute kid.

So in the sink we have a horseshoe crab, the real ones were around locally mating during the Full Moons of May and June, and a rubber ducky. I think this particular rubber ducky is one that can tell you the temperature of the water on its bottom as an aid to people who want to avoid boiling their kids in the bath water.

In addition we have a couple of plastic frogs, or maybe they're toads, hard to tell when they're plastic, lurking about on the side of the sink and on the faucet. I think they're just laying in wait for a plastic insect to fly by.

The R. Paul artifacts visible in this photograph include my shaving brush and three plastic shot glasses in which I'm soaking fountain pen parts.

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 © 2011, R. Paul Martin.