Web links related to the Back of the Book program of December 10, 2011

It's Saturday morning, December 24, 2011, 02:31, and I've updated this page with information about our not being able to see the lunar eclipse, and I've added a bit about our discovery of the secret of the carbon monoxide detector, which we talked about on the air. More updates to come. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We're glad we're on this morning! We're saying goodbye to Autumn. Will we get to see the start of the lunar eclipse? Tune in and find out. We plan to get to the below topics and more. I'll be updating this Web page pretty soon, I'm hoping. Check back for the updates.

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, December 14th, 2011, at the MLK Center, Local 1199 SEIU, 330 West 42nd St. (between 8th & 9th Aves.) in the Gallery.

The LSB met on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, at the New York City Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered Center at 208 W. 13th St., between 7th and 8th Aves. in Manhattan. The meeting got dominated by posturing and a motion that while it had some points to it was ill-considered.

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 00:11 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.

Yesterday was the last of the three days this year on which the Sun would set at 4:28 PM, the earliest sunsets of the year. I'm glad that's over with. The early sunsets bother me. I much prefer that the Sun stay in the sky until at least 7:00 PM every day. This afternoon the Sun will set at 4:29 PM and will continue to set last each day until early July. So, in a way, I can find some solace in these dark days with the thought that the worst is over.

A similar sentiment is what makes the Winter Solstice a time for celebrations around the world and throughout history. Everyone gets to day that the longest night of the year has hit and we're getting longer days for the next several months.

The Winter Solstice will occur in the wee hours of Thursday morning, December 22, 2011, at 12:30 AM (ET). For more on the seasons' dates past, present and future you can look at this Web page.

Immediately after this program Pickles of the North and I will be rushing off to Battery Park to see the last lunar eclipse of 2011. Of course we'll be hoping that the predicted clearing of the clouds will have occurred by then.

We aren't going to see much, the Moon will set shortly after the penumbral phase of the eclipse begins, but we're going to be right there and figure we may as well ri=ush down and see something.

UPDATE: Well, it didn't look too hopeful as we went in to the station before this program. And right after the program I went outside to see what the sky looked like. It was totally overcast, even the full Moon couldn't penetrate that cloud cover. So Pickles of the North and I will have to wait a year and a half or so to see another lunar eclipse.

Those off to the west of the Eastern Time Zone will have better views of the entire lunar eclipse.

The next lunar eclipse will not occur until April 15, 2014.

Front of our old carbon monoxide detector
Our Former CO Detector

So there Pickles of the North and I were at home, in the Martin Manse, just hanging out. And then there was this beep. Well, we hear all sorts of noises at home all the time, sometimes the meth lab on the floor below makes tons of noise, as well as some odd odors. Sometimes the guys down there start playing computer games late at night with shooting or loud music. We hear all sorts of stuff; we're used to it.

But the beep happened again. A short while later we heard it again.

We wondered if this beep could be coming from the smoke detector, it was that kind of a beep. So we walked out and looked at that. No noise from that thing, and we didn't smell any smoke. After a bit we finally located the source of this beep. It was coming from our carbon monoxide detector. We figured the three AA cells that power it had run out of juice again. That's happened before. But I thought that we'd only installed fresh AA cells a few months, or maybe a year, ago. Well, we had to go get it and change them again.

So about seven years ago a law was passed that required all dwellings in Greater New York to have carbon monoxide detectors installed. The Super of our building came by one night with a box full of the things and insisted he had to install one right away. So he did. He installed it outside our bedroom. This was better than having it installed in the bedroom because the damned thing flashes an LED every so often and that would have played Hob with our sleep at times.

The Super installed it, all right. This thing is screwed into a decorative framework over a doorway. This is about 3½ feet from the next decorative framework over a doorway. That space between those doorways is between a wall and a closet. The result is that the Super installed our carbon monoxide detector in a dead zone of air. It's like an inverted box. There can't possibly be any air flow in that thing, and so that carbon monoxide detector has no chance of ever detecting any of the highly poisonous gas if any should be wafting through our apartment, which is unlikely. You could idle a car in our living room and this thing couldn't detect it.

So I got up on a ladder and took down the carbon monoxide detector. We pried off the lid to the battery compartment and replaced the three AA cells, each of which has a little spring loaded lever under it to show if you haven't put a AA cell in the right place. I suspect this is a mechanism to keep people from just having the detector on the wall without putting AA cells in it at all.

So I swapped out the AA cells and when I did the carbon monoxide detector beeped. Nice, that loud noise right in my hand. So we figured that the detector just beeps when you put the new AA cells in. So we went to put it back up in the dead air zone and it beeped again. Why would it do that? After a short while it beeped again. It was doing the same thing that we'd taken it down for.

So we removed the AA cells and put them back in again, making really sure that we had them seated properly. It was still beeping.

Around that time we're thinking that maybe the unit has become defective. Pickles started looking for the operating manual that we were given when the Super installed the thing.

While I'm wondering what the hell is going on Pickles says, "Uh oh." She has found a passage in the manual that says that the unit will stop working seven years after it's turned on! Holy shit!

The tale on the back of the carbon monoxide detector
The Back of Our Former CO Detector

You can see the back of the detector in the photograph on the right. It says there too that it will essentially self destruct after seven years. And it will just beep every 30 seconds, for an entire month. And then it will just go silent.

Oh, this doesn't sound good.

The bottom line is that the next day we had to buy a new carbon monoxide detector. And that one also has a seven year self destruct limit built into it. What a racket!

The epilogue to this story is that a couple of days later Pickles tells me that she saw a note next to the Super's apartment door saying that one apartment's carbon monoxide detector was beeping and asking the Super to do something about it. I guess they threw away their manual or never thought to look at it. Pickles takes the stairs up and down the building sometimes, I, being lazy, take the elevator. Pickles reports that going up and down the stairs she now hears on floor after floor the telltale beep of carbon monoxide detectors screaming the news every 30 seconds that they no longer work.

How many of the people in our building are just letting this go? How the hell can they stand up to a month of these things beeping, loudly, every 30 seconds? It's incomprehensible to me. We couldn't stand it after two or three of those beeps. And I suspect that this scenario is being played out all over Greater New York. Pretty much every home and apartment had to have them installed just about seven years ago. So they're all crapping out right around now. It's probably a good holiday season for those who sell these things.

There's probably some technical reason why those things are set to self destruct after seven years, some apparently are set to do this after only five years. Maybe there's a radioactive element involved and it gets too weak to aid in the detection of the carbon monoxide after seven years or so. Anyway, this particular feature is not mentioned much in the marketing for these devices. Just one more lovely surprise that the 21st Century has come up with for us.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even though the gag rule was lifted in 2002. 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.

One popular list the “NewPacifica” mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list is sometimes lively and as of mid-2011, has 687 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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2011, R. Paul Martin.

Valid HTML 4.01 Strict