Back of the Book — January 21, 2012

It's Tuesday morning, February 21, 2012, 08:10, and I've updated this Web page with the Moon photograph and text. Previously I'd added to it a little bit with some photographs and links. We did get to some of the mail on this program. We have put in a link to a Web page referred to in one E-mail we read on the air. More to come. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We plan to get to the below topics and more on tonight's/this morning's radio program. So check back for updates to this Web page.

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

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held in executive session on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012, at the Local 1199 MLK Center, 310 West 43rd St. between 8th & 9th Aves. in Manhattan. As per the official announcement, “The meeting will be reviewing the proposal by the Management Search Committee vis a vis Program Director. .... This meeting will not be open to the public. However, all members of the MSC are invited to participate.”

The LSB had planned to meet on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Well, that didn't work. We were able to hold a Delegates' Assembly which elected the Directors below, which are the same Directors we'd elected. Here's the Web page I did on this meeting and the various events around it.

These are the WBAI Directors elected for 2012

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 03:18 this morning. The station has a Flash stream here, make sure you enable Javascript so it can work for you.

New WBAI stream! WBAI has just put up an experimental stream for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. This is a brand new, experimental stream. So if you have one of those devices you might try the link out. And let us know how it works for you one way or the other. That way the folks implementing it can iron out any kinks in the system.

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.

On our next program, February 4th, we'll be pitching as a part of the WBAI Winter 'Thon. We'll be hoping to raise enough money for the station to survive until the Spring 'thon.

If you would like to contribute but you figure you may not be able to catch the program when it airs on February 4th, 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.

front page of on January 18, 2012
Front Page of this Web site on January 18, 2012

So This Web site joined many others this past Wednesday in making a point about the two pieces of legislation known as SOPA/PIPA that threatened to pretty much destroy the Internet as we know it.

The two pieces of legislation would have removed any presumption of innocence for Web sites that were accused of violating someone's copyright, and would also have required ISPs to take site4s down on request. It would also have had the government forcing routers throughout America to refuse to allow people to even see Web sites accused of violating any copyright at all.

Referred to as legislation that would have created the Great Fire-Wall of America, a reference to the censorious practices of the so-called People's Republic of China, it was broadly supported by many in Congress as the result of lobbying from the motion picture industry and record companies.

Well, after Wednesday's bug “blackout” events by Web giants like Google and Wikipedia, which Pacifica joined in on but none of the five stations participated in, the Congressional rats jumped ship and took their makes off the legislation faster than a lobbyist could slip $100 bills under a table.

This monster will be back, of course. The so-called Child On-Line Protection Act of 1996, had to be smashed several times before it stayed down. This attempt to destroy people's communication freedoms will also need to be stopped more than once.

Mars Rover Opportunity at Greeley Haven
Opportunity at Greeley Haven

Opportunity, the Martian rover that has outperformed any of the original expectations scientists had for it, will be Wintering on some tilted rocks named “Greeley Haven” for the next few months. The rock outcrop is named after Ronald Greeley, Arizona State University Regents' professor of planetary geology, who died late last year.

The Mars rover needs to spend its fourth Martian Winter, which is about 77% longer than an Earth Winter, in a place where it can tilt at an angle that allows it to get the maximum amount of solar radiation on its solar panels. It hasn't had to do this in the past, but its solar panels are now coated with much more Martian dust than in the past, as you can see in the accompanying photograph, and this cuts down on the amount of sunlight that can get through to the panel and provide the electricity Opportunity needs in order to not only work, but just survive the bitter Martian Winter when night time temperatures dip well below -100°F.

Here's a satellite photograph of Opportunity's Winter quarters on the rim of Endeavor Crater, which also shows the rover's recent path along the Martian surface.

Opportunity's twin rover Spirit ceased to operate early last year due to not being able to keep itself warm enough.

Opportunity was launched with plans for it to perform its mission of exploration for three months. As of January 24, 2012, it will have performed that mission for eight years.

the new Hinsch's
The New Hinsch's

We visited the newest version of Hinsch's, which used to be an old fashioned soda fountain type place that had been in Bay Ridge since 1948, but had closed last year due to the landlord hiking the rent up beyond where the owner of the place could pay it. The old Hinsch's had the feel of a neighborhood place in its previous incarnation. This time, not so much.

On this program we did get to some of the mail. Our friend, regular listener and contributor Seth sent us an E-mail about Cornell University acquiring the Harry H. Weintraub Collection which consists of more than 10,000 gay-themed photographs from the Civil War Era to the Present. And here's the on-line story from Cornell.

an almost full moon rising
An Almost Full Moon Rising

Even though I have a crappy point-and-shoot camera that sometimes will not focus I still like to try for photographs of things that challenge what can laughably be called this equipment.

So sometimes I'll see the Moon and just have to shoot it. Yes, I sometimes shoot the Moon.

Here we have a shot of the Moon late on the afternoon of January 8, 2012, a little more than nine hours before it was full.

I can really only get a chance at a decent shot of a full Moon when one is rising. When the sky around the Moon is dark I just get a burned out disc, or crescent, depending on the phase of the Moon. I keep thinking that my little camera will one day take a Moon photograph that'll really be detailed and quite interesting. Hasn't happened yet though.

At some point I may get a good photograph of the Moon. Until then this will have to do, until the next try at least.

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 Saturday Morning With the Radio On 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 © 2012, R. Paul Martin.