Back of the Book — December 7, 2013

Here's the Web page for our next to last radio program of 2013. We plan to talk about the below topics, and more. We also want to get into the mail backlog and read some of what the more interactive among you have been sending to us. We hope everyone is holding up under the gloomy weather. We plan to update this Web page, so check back for those updates.

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.

I have also posted a whole lot of the minutes of the Pacifica National Finance Committee. I'm a member of that committee because I'm the WBAI LSB Treasurer.

Right now I do not know when the next WBAI LSB meeting will be held. The one previously scheduled for December 11, 2013, has been cancelled because we couldn't find a location for it. I'll post an update when I get one.

The WBAI LSB last met on Friday, November 22, 2013, at 388 Atlantic Ave. in downtown Brooklyn.

We had a very tiny Treasurer's Report at this meeting. Here's a written Treasurer's Report I had posted for the meeting.

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!

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.

The perihelion trajectory of ISON, taken from SOHO'S LASCO C3 detector.
Comet ISON Rounding the Sun
image credit: SOHO (ESA & NASA)

We had wanted to say a little something about Comet ISON on the last program, but we never got to it on the air. We did have something about it on the Web page for the last program, however.

With any luck we will get to this topic on tonight's radio program.

As we'd said, there was a good chance that Comet ISON, as a Sun grazing comet, might just vaporize from its close encounter with our nearest star. It mostly did just that, although it was getting referred to as “The zombie comet” a couple of days after it came out from around the Sun. It flared up a bit but then disappeared from view. It certainly was not the spectacular, naked eye sight that some had been predicting it would be.

So the latest “Comet of the Century” has turned out to be a lot like the previous “Comet of the (20th) Century,” that one was named Kahoutek, and Comet ISON has proven to be nothing anyone without a telescope and/or a very dark place from which to observe could see.

In the graphic we have here courtesy of the SOHO/instrument consortium (SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA) you can see Comet ISON approaching the Sun from the bottom right of the image, slingshotting around it and leaving the area in a diminished state. The glare of the Sun did not allow ordinary telescopes, or naked eye observers to really see the comet as it sped away. The sudden flare up of the comet's remnants lasted only a short while and was only captured by specialized instruments.

These things happen. People, even astronomers, want to be able to announce exciting things and so the optimistic possibility, that Comet ISON would get heated up enough by the Sun to expand and get very bright, but not get heated up enough to disintegrate all together, was ballyhooed a lot. The more mundane option turned out to be the reality. Such is life in the cosmos.

Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday. We plan to talk about him and his life a little bit.

It's late Autumn now. The Winter Solstice will occur on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM. We are scheduled to be on the air earlier that day! For more on the seasons and sub-seasons look here.

This is a depressing time of year for me. The Sun sets so early! Today and tomorrow are the worst. The Sun will set today at 4:28 PM, and it will do the same tomorrow. However, on Monday the Sun will et at 4:29 PM, according to the Naval Observatory. So the sunsets will begin to get later and that will get me to feeling better.

One thing I recommend to people is that they allow the “holiday spirit” to help them out. The real reason for all of the festivities in various cultures around this time of year, at least in the ones that were advanced enough to be able to use a solar calendar rather than the more primitive lunar calendar, is that it gets dark and gloomy in the northern hemisphere. The festivities came into being as a means for people to combat the depression that this causes. So forget the superstitious part of it all, enjoy the bright lights and colorful stuff you see all over the place. Stray a little off your diet and eat some comfort foods. Do what you can to feel good and don't give in to the gloom.

mail! (23K)

We plan to get to some mail on this program.

We have a bit of a mail backlog. We had gotten through a lot of the mail backlog a month or two ago, but we didn't get through it all, and we have gotten mail since then.

If you'd like to send us mail you can do so either via the USPS or E-mail. Here's how:

For snail mail just write to:

R. Paul Martin
c/o WBAI
388 Atlantic Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

For E-mail click here: R. Paul Martin

And if you don't want your missive read on the air just say so and we'll red it, but not on the air.

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.

We like to stay interactive with our listeners. Here are the various options for you to get in touch with us.

You can also send me E-mail.

And now you can even reach me on Twitter Twitter logo

WBAI related links

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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Back to my home page.

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