Back of the Book — June 5, 2021


It's Monday morning, June 7, 2021, 03:31, and I have updated this Web page with the information about the program not getting on the air until late. I have also posted a full archive of what we said on the program below. You probably don't tune in to the program for the music anyway. We await, once again, information from WBAI Management about what happened this time. The original top of this page follows the arrow. . So the program got posted without the drama and stress of the previous program, and Max got to go home on time. More on that below. We mostly talked about the article in the May 2021, Scientific American about the migration of people to the Americas right after the last big Ice Age. It was certainly an epic journey full of suffering and changes, and not all of the groups of people who started out on that journey made it. It's also interesting the genetic research has been able to contribute so much to the story of the first human beings to come to the Americas. Pickles of the North also talked about the annular solar eclipse that's coming up soon. We also talked about the pandemic, of course. There isn't a lot left that I have to do in order to get this page finished, so check back for the final version of this Web page soon.

This Program Was Started Quite Late

The audio file had been received by the Operations person on duty and had been put into the rotation. At 5 AM filler was aired for 13 minutes 27 seconds and then the scheduled program began to air. Since the program started late the last several minutes of it were cut off. That was the part of the program that had Pickles of the North's segment on the upcoming eclipse in it. The audio file posted here is complete.

Since we're pre-recording the program during this pandemic I have the raw audio for this program. It's a bit different from what would have aired. It's in mono, not stereo and since it's the raw audio it just has us talking. The music beds that had been mixed in to the program that had been prepared for air can't legally be played on my Web site. So you'll hear some short tones replacing the music. Since the Uncle Sidney station promo at the top of the program has music in it I can't post that here either.

This is the third time that Back of the Book has has had a problem getting aired, even though the program was there, in the past seven months. The first time the program didn't air in its time slot. The second time the program never aired at all. This time it started late and was truncated.

The Web Version of the June 5, 2021, Program — ℗ 2021 R. Paul Martin

The official WBAI Archive of this program, which starts late and is truncated, is here.

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 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, June 9, 2021, it will probably be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 16 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

The LSB passed three motions 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. Have you visited the official Pacifica Web site lately? Ahem.

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?

Maxwell J. Schmid in ritual head gear.
Max!

On this program we thanked our Saddle Pal Maxwell J. Schmid for getting our program on the air last week.

What usually happens is that after Pickles of the North and I record our voice part of the program and I then edit that primary audio and mix whatever extra audio we want to use on the program into a final version. This usually results in an audio file that's about 600 MB in size. I then use FTP to send the file to my Web site. Just where on the Web site I send it I'm not saying. I then send Max an E-mail letting him know that the audio file has been posted and letting him know where it is and what the file name is. Max then downloads that and puts the audio file onto the WBAI file server so that it can be aired at 5 AM.

Well, on May 28th, I did all of that as usual but as I was FTPing the file up I noticed that it was progressing very slowly. So I sat there and waited, hoping the upload speed would pick up. And then the FTP software suddenly said that the upload was over. I looked and the upload had in fact failed.

So I started it again and told Max that this upload might be late. The upload was again going slowly. and after it had been going for a little while longer than the previous one it failed again. I tried a third time and although the speed was still slow, only about one third of the usual upload speed, it kept on going. I did notice that the speed was actually slowing down a little bit every few seconds. I waited. Max was good enough to wait as well. I think the file's size was about 612 MB. I watched as my FTP software showed that more and more was getting posted and there was less and less left to post. I kept my eyes glued on the progress of the upload. After quite a while I saw that about 610 MB had been uploaded, and the time it had taken was 59 minutes and change. The FTP software showed the upload stopping and I thought that it had gotten the file posted. But nothing showed up on the remote server at my Web host. The damned thing had timed out at the one hour mark when I was one or two MB away from success!

Max and I looked for solutions. In the end I converted the audio file from a .wav file to an .mp3 file. I posted it via FTP again, and this time it finally all got up there. Max was then able to grab it and put it on the WBAI server.

This had all taken a great deal of time more than it should have. Max gets off duty as the WBAI engineer at midnight. With all of this technical trouble Max didn't get the audio file until just after one o'clock in the morning. Yes, Maxwell J. Schmid went above and beyond the call of duty to get out radio program up there. Had he not made that extra effort and stayed there waiting we would not have had a radio program last week. So we wanted to thank him here and on the air this week. Thanks, Max!

The ancient Beringia Land Bridge 21,000 years ago.
The Beringia Land Bridge 21,000 Years Ago

We talked about the original Americans, who had come over the Beringia Land Bridge thousands of years ago and who ended up, eventually, populating North, Central and South America.

This segment of the program was based on an article titled Journey into the Americas in the May 2021, issue ofScientific American written by Jennifer Raff Ph.D.

Dr. Raff is a geneticist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas, and she is also the President of the American Association of Anthropological Genetics. Her article talks about how genetics has revolutionized anthropology and she tells about various groups of people in ancient Asia, starting more than 36,000 years ago.

It's a wild story of people enduring the cold and desolation of what we now call Siberia, and of two groups of people, one called the Ancient East Asians and another called the Ancient North Siberians, who came together, interbred for thousands of years and formed one group. They took refuge in some unknown place during what's called the Last Glacial Maximum and then showed up in what today is referred to as Ancient Beringia. This is the area from eastern Alaska to western Siberia which includes the land bridge that formed when the sea levels fell due to the huge glaciers taking up so much water.

The merged groups survived the Last Glacial Maximum, which sounds like it was pretty bad and which ran some groups of humans into extinction. After surviving in Beringia the group split into at least two branches between 22,000 years ago and 18,200 years ago. One group, called the Ancient Beringians died out and they have no known living descendants. The other group called the Ancestral Americans went on to populate the Americas down to Tierra Del Fuego at the extreme southern tip of South America. And they got it all done in less than 1,000 years. She notes that there are some puzzles regarding the ancestry of some of the Amazonian tribes' genetics.

One thing she did note in her examination of the peopling of the Americas is that, All genetic studies rule out the possibility that the First Peoples mixed with Europeans or Africans or any other populations before 1492. She says that this is contrary to some cross-Atlantic migration stories that have been getting told on TV, and sometimes on the radio. About those stories she says that, The totality of genetic and archeological evidence emphatically invalidates those notions.

She then goes on to talk about the difficulties of finding out some of what happened and she tells why she believes that the theory that the Clovis People were the first humans in the Americas is just not borne out by the evidence. She says that they came later. She says that there could be changes to current theory and that scientists working in this area have learned to become comfortable with uncertainty. She finishes with saying that new technology and techniques may uncover some of what's not yet known about the peopling of these continents.

A Ring of Fire annular solar eclipse.
A Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse

Pickles of the North told us all about the annular solar eclipse that's coming up soon. This one is expected to be one of the eclipses that's called a Ring of Fire.

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.

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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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2021, R. Paul Martin.