Back of the Book — January 25, 2020


It's Saturday morning, February 8, 2020, 01:11, and I have updated this Web page with some of the things we'd talked about on this radio program. The original top of this page follows the arrow. In quite a rush this morning. We plan to get to a lot more than what's on this page right now. We hope to update this page too.

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

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.

The next WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to be held on February 12, 2020, at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, January 8, 2019, at the YWCA at 30 3rd Ave., Between Atlantic Ave. and State Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.

At this meeting the WBAI LSB elected Directors to the PNB and debated and defeated a bylaws replacement proposal from some people who are hostile to WBAI, and to Pacifica, in my opinion. There was no time for a Treasurer's Report. I put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read.

Some years ago the WBAI LSB voted to hold its regular meetings on the second Wednesday of every 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.

Here is WBAI's current Internet stream. We can no longer tell if the stream is working without testing every possible stream. Good luck.

WBAI is archiving the programs! WBAI has permanently switched to yet another new archive Web page! This one is more baffling than the previous one. For some time I was unable to post archive blurbs, but I've found that once again do so owing to some fixes this past week. There are still some limitations, but I am assured that I can plug in the archive blurbs that were lost in the latest upgrade.

This is a link to the latest version of the official WBAI archive. The archiving software appears to have been at least partially fixed. To get to the archive of this program you can use the usual method: you'll have to click on the drop-down menu, which says Display, and find Back of the Book on that menu. We're pretty early in the list, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Once you find the program name click GO and you'll see only this Back of the Book program. Management has fixed some problems that we'd been having with the archives.

For programs before March 23, 2019, we're all out of luck. The recent changes that took place once WBAI Management took control of the WBAI archives seems to have wiped out all access to anything before that date in March. You'll have to click on the same drop-down menu as above, which says Display, and find Specify Date, it's the second choice from the top. You are then given a little pop-up calendar and you can choose the date of the program there. Then click GO and you'll see a list of programs that aired on that date. For instance, the previous program will be under January 12, 2019. You'll just need to scroll to the 5 AM to 6 AM slot to get to us. For those previous programs you can get the audio, but nothing else, since I can't post anything to those pages anymore. Yeah, it looks like they'll have the alternating program's name prominently there, but if you have the right date it'll be our program. Good luck.

Since the General Manager has banned Sidney Smith from WBAI he's not alternating with us on the air. At this time there's a regular, pre-recorded, program in the alternate week's time slot.

Bring Back Uncle Sidney!

Our friend, fellow WBAI producer and Saddle Pal Uncle Sidney Smith has been banned from WBAI by General Manager Berthold Reimers. The General Manager will not say why. He won't even tell Sidney why he's banned! This is grossly unfair to Sidney and constitutes abuse of Staff. Why did Berthold ban Sidney?

More to come.

starfleet_spaceforce_logos (65K)
Jeez, Trumpoids Can Only Create Corruption!

We plan to talk about this absurd situation where Trump's Space Force has a logo that looks very plagiarized from the Star Trek Star Fleet logo. Really, they thought no one would notice?

Orion with Betelgeuse circled in red.
Betelgeuse is Circled in Red

We talked about recent findings that the star Betelgeuse, in the constellation Orion, is getting dimmer. That it's getting dimmer is not the real story, Betelgeuse is a variable red super giant star, which means that it gets brighter and dimmer over time. The fuss about it dimming right now is that it is dimming more than it has been observed to have dimmed ever before. Now ever before needs some perspective. People have been looking at Betelgeuse since humans came into existence, but it hasn't been possible to accurately measure the brightness of the star for more than, at most, a couple of hundred years. But in the time when it's been getting measured these latest reading show the star getting dimmer than ever.

The import of this dimming is that some astronomers believe that this may presage the star's going supernova, which means that the star would explode. There has not been a supernova visible in the Milky Way galaxy, where we are, since just before the application of the telescope to astronomy. When Betelgeuse does blow, and at some point it must, it will explode as a type II supernova. The star is about 640 light years from Earth and when it goes it will shine as brightly as the Full Moon for some months, at least. But when will Betelgeuse go? Well, scientists say that it's probably not going to go for anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 years from now. Yeah, these things do not happen on human time scales. In any event, at the distance of Betelgeuse a supernova would pose no threat to life on Earth. In fact unless a star goes supernova within about 30 light years from Earth all we'd get from it wold be a light show that no one has seen in over 400 years. Still, the astrophysicists are keeping tabs on the big, red star in Orion for any signs that it may rewrite the text books on just when a red super giant star will blow up.

Chess setup

At the end of this program I mentioned that the United State Chess Federation (USCF) has announced that they are putting the digitized issues of two chess magazines they own on the Web. One magazine is Chess Review, which published from 1933, to 1969, when it merged with Chess Life magazine, which was, and remains, the official organ of the USCF. The entire run of Chess Review is posted and the run of Chess Life from its start in 1946, through 2018, is also posted. I've been looking through the old Chess Review issues. I am seeing photographs of people who were middle aged or old when I was active in chess 50 or so years ago when they were young. For me it's interesting, you might have a good time looking through these old magazines too. Both sets of magazines can be found on the USCF Web site.

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.

Our very own Uncle Sidney Smith, whose program Saturday Morning With the Radio On used to alternate with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

One formerly popular mailing list is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list has been moribund for a couple of years due to de facto censorship by the group owner. As of February 2020, it had 696 subscribers coast to coast, but postings on it are very infrequent now.

Back in the day it sometimes also got a bit nasty. All sorts of things used to happen on this list and official announcements were 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.

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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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2020, R. Paul Martin.