Back of the Book — April 9, 2022

Here's the Web page for this program. I fell asleep in these wee ours, so there isn't much here yet. I do plan to post more on this Web page later on. So check back for updates.

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? 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 that you can listen to and maybe even participate in will be held on Wednesday April 13, 2022, at 7 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 34 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Some people were still demanding that elections be done over because their candidates lost. I insisted that the results of the election to fill a seat on a committee that rarely if ever meets be revealed to the LSB. And with a little bit of difficulty that was done. The people complaining lost again. This time it was a clear victory, no tie-breaker was needed.

Before the March 9, 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, so we have the following schedule:

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?

SARS-CoV-2 virus
Of Course It's Still Here

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 496,909,990 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,172,850. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 80,348,778 and the death toll in America was 984,934, so 4,137 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death rate is very close to last week's. The BA.2 sub-variant of the omicron variant is still becoming the dominant variant of COVID-19 in America now. The pandemic is not over.

By the time this program airs on Saturday morning all of those figures we quoted will be higher of course. This was all mostly preventable.

Pickles of the North gets her second booster shot later today. I'm seeing when I can get mine at the VA Hospital.

Meanwhile some people are behaving as if the pandemic actually is over. Congress is largely doing that. They having hearings without masks, they're gathering to celebrate the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. They're doing their legislative business without masks and all. And now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tested positive for COVID-19 and so have Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Raphael Warnock, Rep. Peter De Fazio, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark and Michael LaRosa, the spokesman for First Lady Jill Biden. The BA.2 sub-variant of omicron is expected to cause a spike in America soon.

An angry Sun
The Angry Sun

Pickles of the North called my attention to some alerts that on March 28th, the Sun experienced 17 or more solar flares and then on April 4th, the Sun had an X-class flare, that's the most intense kind of solar flare. And then there were two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) which came out of the Sun at about 2,000,000 mph. The second CME was going a bit faster than that and that one caught up with the first CME and they merged to form what some are calling a cannibal CME. So this thing was really powerful. And the whole thing headed directly toward Earth. It was predicted that the Aurora Borealis would be visible much farther south than usual, but when the big CME hit we in the New York metropolitan area were under a big storm cloud. Luckily, the big CME doesn't seem to have caused any real damage.

The current solar cycle is expected to peak some time in 2025. At that time the Sun's magnetic field will flip.

These solar events can cause a lot more than interesting colors in the sky at night. Geomagnetic storms from the Sun have caused problems in the past. In March 1989, a geomagnetic storm hit Canada and caused the Hydro-Quebec electrical grid to collapse. It even damaged a transformer in New Jersey. Millions of people in Canada lost their electrical power for hours. In such a situation radio communications of all sorts are also disrupted.

Solar flares happen all the time, although they aren't usually classified as X-class flares. There is evidence of a much bigger geomagnetic storm hitting the Earth on Sept. 1 and 2, 1859. Eventually, long after the event when scientists could come to understand what had happened, this was called the Carrington Event. It was named after one of the British astronomers who'd observed it. This was the first solar flare that scientists had observed. There was no radio then, and there wasn't a lot of electrical equipment in use in 1859, but the electric telegraph was in use by then, and those wires were stretched across thousands of miles of territory in a number of countries. Some telegraph operators reported receiving electrical shocks, some telegraph systems failed completely and some telegraph systems were able to operate without have their batteries attached. The aurora borealis for September 1/2, 1859, was seen as far south as Colombia, South America! Still, there was hardly any electrical equipment being used then, and no electronics were being used yet. A Carrington Event today would really make a mess of things. But there could be even worse. Examinations of Antarctic ice core samples have shown that there was an even bigger geomagnetic storm that occurred around the year 774, it's known as the Miyake Event. That solar flare produced the largest and fastest rise in carbon-14 ever recorded. If something like that hit us today I doubt that we'd be doing radio programs for a while afterwards, and those smart phones so many people carry would become paper weights.

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

A WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2022, R. Paul Martin.