Back of the Book — April 3, 2021


It's Monday morning, April 5, 2021, 01:31, and I've updated this Web page. I've put in the link to the official audio archive, and I've added some of the topics that we talked about on the air. This Web page is almost done now. Also note that we are preempted next week. Our next program will air on April 17, 2021. The original top of this page follows the arrow. I'm in a huge rush here! Computer crashes and problems finding images did not help me to get this Web page up here. I will definitely be updating this Web page soon.

You can now listen to this program on the official WBAI Archive.

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 on this Web site. 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 Wednesday, April 14, 2021, it will probably be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 15 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

The LSB spent quite a bit of time on a motion regarding something I can't talk about on the air or even on this Web site, for now. But you'll hear about it on the air at some point, just not from me - until later.

Before the meeting I had 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, 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. As of November 2020, Back of the Book airs weekly.

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?

Easter Bunny and girl
Why Is a Bunny Giving Her Eggs?

And a Hopping Oyster to all! So why the hell is a rabbit giving out eggs? Do rabbits lay eggs? Well, Pickles of the North tells about how one very special bunny did long ago, sort of.

Pickles here. We talked about the origin of the word Easter. It comes from the ancient Germanic goddess, Ostara, who represented the eastern sky and Spring-time renewal. Her Anglo-Saxon name was Estre or Eastre. She had a pet bird that she once turned into a rabbit to amuse some children. The bird's rabbit name was Osterhase. And the rabbit gave the kids some colorful eggs! So that's how the Easter Bunny can lay eggs — she used to be a bird! Here is another ancient Spring festival that had to be glommed onto by the early Christians — people wouldn't stop remembering the old goddess and the joyful celebration of Spring and renewal. Today many folks still enjoy Easter eggs, hand painted, decorated, dyed, or in their most most delicious option, made out of chocolate!

Note: Back of the Book will be preempted on April 10, 2021, for a WBAI fund raising special. We'll be back for the April 17th, program.

New York State legalizesmarijuana
I Guess We'll See How This Works

Marijuana is now legal in New York State. Well, okay, I don't care if people use it, but I don't want to be forced to use it simply because I'm walking down the same street as someone who's getting loaded in public. Quite a few people walking down the street stink of it now, what will it be like after the pandemic eases and more people are wandering around smoking it in public? And of course all of those people will be loaded. I don't like disinhibited drunks around me, and I certainly am not pleased when disinhibited marijuana smokers start acting out nearby.

And how smart is it to smoke anything? I've heard people who are all in favor of banning tobacco smoking in various places go on about how marijuana smoke is harmless. It's not so. And people smoking the stuff also tend to take much deeper draws of the marijuana smoke, pulling it deeper into their lungs. I suspect that the damage done to the lungs by one joint is worse than the damage done from a single cigarette. But people want to get high and this is what we have now.

Marijuana sales won't be legal in New York until at least 2022. So therefore almost everybody smoking the stuff now is doing so after having bought it from some illegal dealer. Yeah, some people will grow it at home, but most are buying the stuff. Seems strange to have a law that enables the still-illegal vendors of the stinky weed for a year or more before a legal means of obtaining the stuff can come into existence. The state doesn't deal with alcohol sales this way.

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and workers whose jobs are regulated by the feds, including cops, MTA workers and various others would still be fired if they tested positive for the drug. I wonder if these finer legal points will just be ignored in the rush to get loaded or if some people are going to find themselves losing jobs or in trouble in some other way due to the dichotomy between the state and federal laws?

earth cutaway schematic
The Old, Four Layer Structure

Researchers at the Australian National University say that they have discovered a new layer of the Earth. They say it's located within Earth's inner core.

For quite a while geologists have considered that the Earth has four layers to it: the crust where we live, the mantle which is liquid (think of lava coming out of a volcano), the outer core which is liquid iron and seems to be the source of the Earth's magnetic field and the inner core. The illustration on the left shows the four layer model of the Earth's interior as deduced from seismic data.

The inner core is made up of a solid iron alloy with a radius of about 760 miles. Now these scientists from the Australian National University are saying that the inner core is in two parts. They say that their work has revealed a distinct change in the structure of iron deep within the inner core at about 3,604 miles below the Earth's surface. The radius of the Earth is only about 3,959 miles. The inner core is solid because the pressure from almost 4,000 miles of stuff on top of it prevents it from liquefying.

The Australian National University scientists used a special search algorithm to compare thousands of models of the inner core with many years of data from seismographs which show how long seismic waves take to travel through the Earth. This data helped detect the changes in the structure of iron in the inner core. These findings helped confirm that Earth's inner core has another layer.

We talked a little bit about the hollow Earth enthusiasts. We talked about recently seeing the movie Unknown World (1951) on TV. This movie was made with the assumption of there being a lot of open space inside the Earth. The idea of the movie was that humans would need a place to live after the thermonuclear war happened, so scientists get in an atomic-powered drilling machine and go looking for that place. There is a movie hitting the theaters right as this program hit the air that also features a hollow Earth. Seventy years later Hollywood is still feeding people nonsense. Oh yes, some conspiracy theory nuts insist that the Earth is hollow and that the governments don't want most people to know about it.

No medical care in arkansas
Arkansas Politicizes Medicine

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed into law a bill that allows doctors and other medical professionals to refuse treatment to anyone on the basis of religious or moral objections. This is being seen as an attack on LGBTQ+∞ people. The Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union are pointing out that it's clearly something to allow doctors who have a fundamentalist bent to discriminate against LGBTQ+∞ people. Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, has reportedly said that the legislation is just another Brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people and deny Arkansans the health care services they need, and then she said, Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but it is not an excuse to discriminate against people or deny them health care. I suspect that this law is going to get challenged in court. The question will then become whether or not the current, right-wing Supreme Court will decide to endorse flagrant right-wing hatred in the medical field.

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.

There used to be a number of mailing lists related to Pacifica and WBAI. Unfortunately, they were all located on Yahoo! Groups. When Yahoo! Groups was totally shut down in December 2020, all of those mailing lists ceased to exist. One year earlier their file sections and archives of E-mails, had been excised leaving only the ability to send E-mails back and forth among the members. Now it's all gone. Older Back of the Book program Web pages tell a little more about those lists.

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

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