Back of the Book — February 16, 2013,

It's Monday morning, February 18, 2013, 08:34, and I've updated this page with the information about the LSB meeting being definite and I've given its location. I've also added some text, a graphic and a link about the move of WBAI's broadcasting facility from the ass end of Wall St. to CCNY. I've updated the information about our pitching shift. More to come. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ So contrary to what we'd been told earlier on we will be broadcasting this program from the old haunt at 120 Wall St. I think that this one really will be the last program we do from that venue. We plan to get to the below topics and more on this program. This is, however, a pitching program, and what we get to is going to largely depend on whether or not we raise any money. We had to get our program evaluations in yesterday, and Management may well be looking at how we do during this major 'thon as a part of the evaluation. So if people would pledge early on, and if a lot of listeners would do so, it would help us to get to the stuff we want to get to in the time allotted, and it may well help us to stay on the air. I'll update this Web page at some point.

The 2012 Local Station Board Elections Are Over!
And the results are in!

Here is the list of those elected in order of their finish:


RUNNERS UP in order

Staff *

* Staff aren't allowed anymore to run as a part of the same slate as listeners, but the designations above show the affinities of the elected Staff.

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 some of that.

A special WBAI LSB meeting will happen on February 28, 2013, at 7:00 PM at “Brooklyn Commons,” 388 Atlantic Ave., (between Hoyt & Bond Streets) in downtown Brooklyn.

There were meetings of both WBAI LSB and the Delegates' Assembly on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at Alwan-for-the-Arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan.

The LSB meeting met to mostly elect its officers for 2013. Here are the results of those elections:

Here are the Officers elected for 2013

The Delegates' Assembly met right after the LSB meeting in order to elect Directors from WBAI.

These are the WBAI Directors elected for 2013

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 newly revamped Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

Because WBAI was forced out of its studios by the flood waters' destruction of the building's electrical system we still have this alternate, temporary stream for the radio station! I do not know how long this emergency stream will be up for. If this stream isn't working let me know.

New WBAI stream! WBAI has 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. There is also another version of the archive here.

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 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.


We are pitching on this radio program! If you can please call 1-516-620-3602 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 it's best to do so while we're on the air, you need to go here and pick the amount you want to donate, then click on “Add to cart,” and then be sure to pick Back of the Book as the favorite show from the drop down menu. Otherwise your pledge won't be counted towards the program.

UPDATE: it looks like we raised $185 on this pitching shift. Thanks to all who pledged. I think we're pitching again on the next program, so if anyone missed this opportunity to pledge you should get another one on the March 2, program.


Empire State Building
Getting From There to Here

We had been told, with little notice, that we'd be broadcasting from the new facility at CCNY for this program. But there were technical difficulties there and so we broadcast from 120 Wall St.

Staff were given a couple of hours' notice that the switch over to the temporary CCNY broadcast facility would in fact occur on Monday morning, February 18, 2013, and that has happened.

Here are the E-mails we got about all of this.

In the image on the left you can see where WBAI's transmitter room is on the upper floor sof the Empire State Building. The “CCNY” is my approximation of where CCNY is, way uptown. Getting the transmission details worked out over that distance is not a trivial exercise.

And so a new era, a temporary one, begins for WBAI.

the meteor of July 20, 1860
The meteor of July 20, 1860, as seen from Brooklyn
Graphic credit: John McNevin for Harper's Weekly

A bolide (a meteor that explodes) hit the Earth's atmosphere over central Russia at about 9:20 AM local time (12:20 AM EST) Friday. The bolide was about 50 feet wide and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, estimated its mass at about 7,000 metric tons. The bolide hit the atmosphere traveling at about 40,265 MPH.

The meteor soared through the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere for about 30 seconds before it exploded in the stratosphere at an altitude of between 12 and 15 miles. A spokesperson for the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama estimated that the air burst released about 300 to 500 kilotons of energy, similar to the yield of some tactical nuclear devices.

The airbust occurred over a populated area of the Urals and resulted in about 1,000 injuries to people on the ground, according to a statement from Russia's Interior Ministry. Two of those injured are described as being in grave condition.

Structural damage on the ground ranged from broken windows to one partially collapsed building.

By contrast, the bolide that exploded over Tunguska in the Russian Empire on June 30, 1908, released an estimated 10 to 15 megatons of TNT, which flattened hundreds of square miles of forest. But there were no reported injuries or deaths as the result of the Tunguska event because it was in a remote section of the Czarist empire.

When I was a kid it used to be pointed out that no one had ever been killed or even injured by a meteorite, despite their fierce velocity. And then in 1954, a woman was hit and bruised by a meteorite that crashed through her roof, bounced off the floor and struck her.

Recent research suggests that over a thousand years ago a more robust meteor broke up over northern Europe and devastated a Norse village. The terrain there in the late 20th Century showed a number of small lakes and ponds that are thought to be the modern remnants of the craters which formed as the meteor broke up and hit the populated area like a cosmic shotgun blast.

Joey Ratzinger has gotten tired of playing Pope, so he's resigning at the end of this month.

Well, this is an excellent opportunity for me! Yes, I am going to run for Pope. I could be the first open atheist Pope. We'll be kicking off my campaign on this program.

So vote for r. Paul Martin for Pope, that's the office of Pope on the Militant Bisexual Atheist ticket.

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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2013, R. Paul Martin.