Back of the Book — February 22, 2020

It's Friday, March 6, 2020, 19:20, and I've updated this Web page with more about the segment we did concerning the extinction of the dinosaurs, among a lot of other living things. The original top of this page follows the arrow. Okay, this will be a pitching program. That's better than the no program at all we got two weeks ago when 4 Times Square, where the WBAI transmitter is now located, had to power down to do overnight maintenance. We didn't get on at all then. We will most probably get to the two topics listed below, but there are others topics we'd like to get to. Whether or not we can get to them on this program will largely depend on how well we do in pitching. So there will probably be additions to this Web page, including some graphics, in the next fortnight. Check back for those additions.

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 March 11, 2020, at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at the YWCA at 30 3rd Ave., Between Atlantic Ave. and State Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.

At this meeting the WBAI LSB tried to create a Program Director Search Committee, which would go through the entire process that would result in a short list of candidates for the position of Program Director at WBAI. Right now we have an interim Program Director. For various reasons some people couldn't deal with the parliamentary rules which govern how to do this. Most of the time allotted to this agenda item was used up in people complaining about their own lack of understanding of the rules of order. A substitute motion got a majority and became the main motion, and then the Chair began to equivocate as one person whose motion had been defeated tried to re-do the whole process. And the Chair let that person table the motion that was on the floor. After 46 minutes we had no resolution, and will have to try again at the next meeting. There were elections for the various PNB committees and task forces. public Comment followed, and then the task forces were populated. The LSB then went through a process where the Vice Chair read written questions to the General Manager about the budget and he answered as he could. I was called on to give a one minute report on what the local Finance Committee is! The General Manager gave the interim Program Director's Report and then we got to a short Treasurer's Report. Before the meeting I had put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read. The Ad-Hoc Management Evaluation Committee was discussed for about five minutes and that was the end f the meeting.

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, then I could, and then I couldn't again. You can take a look at it and see if I've been able to post anything on it lately. 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 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 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 some 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. There is sometimes a 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.


The WBAI Winter 2020, 'thon is happening right now. Management has moved programs around based on their evidence of having listeners, which is accomplished in the WBAI Managerial mind by how much the programs raise during these on-air fund raisers and by the Nielsen ratings, which the station is now getting after years of not getting any ratings at all. I hope we raise some money for the station this time.

So for this WBAI Winter 'thon, 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. Remember, the phone pledge needs to come in while we're on the air for it to count, otherwise use the on-line method below.

If you want to pledge to the program via the Web 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.

We plan to talk about change as a bad idea tonight. People are always finding fault with things as they are, and then they come up with solutions. Sometimes the solutions are worse than the problem they're supposed to solve. One prominent example of this is the replacement of the Weimar Republic, which I've read nearly no one in Germany liked, with the Third Reich, which any number of people thought would be a much better replacement for the weak democratic republic that had replaced the German Empire after World War I. On a less horrifying level there was the phenomenon of the New Coke which was introduced in 1985, and replaced by the previous formulation of Coca Cola three months later, after consumers pretty universally, and in some case vociferously, rejected the new flavor.

Looks like the space rock did them in.

We talked about new research that seems to show exactly what it was that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Some years ago we talked about, and linked to, a story that gave evidence that the dinosaurs were wiped out not by the asteroid that hit the Earth in what would later become the Yucatan Peninsula, forming the Chicxulub crater, but mostly by the enormous amount of volcanic activity at the time that was happening in the landmass that would eventually become the Indian subcontinent.

This volcanic activity was busy forming what would become the Deccan Traps in modern day India. Those volcanos put out an enormous amount of sulphur dioxide and other toxic gases and the gases and volcanic dust filled the air with dark material. This had an effect on the climate and the resulting climate change certainly affected the dinosaurs and other living things that were on the Earth at that time.

A new study by scientists headed by Dr. Pincelli Hull, Assistant Professor at the Yale University Department of Geology & Geophysics and Assistant Curator, Invertebrate Paleontology at the Yale Peabody Museum says that the asteroid was the main driver of the dinosaur extinction, while the volcanism in what would become India caused the climate change that would have affected how life recovered after the impact Winter caused by the asteroid collision with the Earth. Dr. Hull said that while many people had been thinking that both the volcanism and the asteroid impact had caused the dinosaur extinction that from what her group sees it was only the impact that actually killed off the dinosaurs.

So it looks like the pendulum has swung back to the idea proposed in 1980, by scientists led by by Luis Alvarez and Walter Alvarez that the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event was indeed caused by the asteroid impact, which happened either 65 or 66 million years ago. I've been seeing the time since that impact stated as 65 million years ago for decades, but lately I'm seeing the time of the Cretaceous-Tertiary event as being 66 million years ago. I suppose that the time since the impact is something else that's being refined.

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 open list that no longer exists was the WBAI specific Goodlight Web based message board. It was sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as the bleepin' blue board, owing to the blue background that was used on its Web pages. This one had many people posting anonymously and there was also an ancillary WBAI people board that was just totally out of hand.

In June 2012, I ended up having to salvage the bleepin' blue board, and so I was the moderator on it for its last seven years, until it got too expensive.

Sometimes we used to 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 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 2019, it had 696 subscribers coast to coast, but postings on it had become very infrequent. During the WBAI Coup of 2019, traffic picked up on that board again, for a while.

Back in the day it sometimes also got a bit nasty. All sorts of things used to happen on that 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.

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

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WBAI Management's official Web site

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