Back of the Book — April 23, 2022,

We covered the below topics about the comet and the rogue black hole as well as a little bit about the war of conquest that Russia is waging against Ukraine. We also talked about the pandemic, of course and more. I really do intend to update these Web pages when I get the chance.

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 will be held in executive session on Monday April 25, 2022. The next WBAI LSB meeting that you can listen to and maybe even participate in will be held on Wednesday May 11, 2022, at 7 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 35 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. We had more elections for PNB committees. We'll see how those come out. There was some posturing, and some talk about the reality of the financial situation, which not everyone wanted to be quite so frank.

Before the April, 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?

A comet
a Comet

NASA says that it's spotted the biggest comet nucleus ever seen and it's between 75 and 85 miles in diameter. It's called Comet C/2014 UN271 or comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein to its friends. Comet Hale-Bopp was a big comet at about 46 miles in diameter. This new, huge comet is an Oort Cloud comet and it appears to be approaching the Sun at about 22,000 miles per hour, which is not particularly fast. It was discovered just inside the orbit of Neptune, which is the farthest out that any comet has been discovered.

Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is predicted to reach a perihelion of about 10.9 AU (just outside of Saturn's orbit) in January 2031. It can't be seen with the naked eye and it will not get in to the inner Solar System; so there will be no big sight in the night sky from it. It's estimated to be about 100,000 times more massive than a typical comet. This shows that we really do need to keep funding the searches for incoming celestial bodies. If this thing had a different trajectory we might be looking at an attempt to deflect it from hitting the Earth. With something that big it would be quite a challenge to come up with a deflection method that could be implemented in only a decade or so.

Currently some Harvard astronomers are speculating that a meteor from beyond the Solar System zipped trough Earth's atmosphere recently. Last month, the U.S. Space Command released a memo to NASA scientists which stated that the data from a missile warning satellites' sensors was sufficiently accurate to indicate an interstellar trajectory for the meteor. But NASA said in a public statement this month that the short duration of collected data, less than five seconds, makes it difficult to definitively determine if the object's origin was indeed interstellar. This may turn out to be one of those arguments that goes on for a long time.

Meanwhile astronomers have made the first confirmed detection of a stellar-mass black hole that's completely alone. Black holes are hard to detect. Despite the difficulties involved, hundreds of black holes have been detected so far, their accretion disks usually give them away, but this black hole doesn't have one. It was detected through microlensing. They're calling it a rogue black hole.

If a rogue black hole were heading toward the Solar System scientists might easily not see it until it started affecting things. It wouldn't have to be on a collision course with the Earth to be a problem. Its gravity would affect the Earth, the other planets and everything else in the Solar System. There was a cover article in Scientific American years ago about what would probably happen if a white dwarf star collided with the Sun. The bottom line was that almost all life on Earth would end within minutes of the impact. The scenario kept track of what would happen until the white dwarf star burst out of the other side of the Sun, but those events would be of no interest to humanity. The surface temperature of the Earth would sky rocket, the atmosphere would be blown away and within a short time the oceans would boil off. A rogue black hole entering the Solar System could do a number of things from sending lots of big ice balls from the Oort Cloud into the inner Solar System, where they might well collide with the Earth, to the rogue black hole becoming a companion of the Sun and having the planets revolve around the common center of gravity of the Sun and the black hole. The black hole could also just gobble up the entire Solar System, including the Sun, over time. It's not something we want to have happen. Keep watching the skies indeed.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
Still Around

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 508,355,497 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,214,658. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 80,901,424 and the death toll in America was 990,972, so 2,554 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death rate is once again down significantly from the previous week's. The BA.2 sub-variant of the omicron variant is the dominant variant of COVID-19 and there are a lot of hospitalizations in Europe. 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.

This past week Kathryn Kimball Mizelle a federal judge appointed by Donnie Bonespur Trump after he'd lost the 2020, election struck down the federal mask mandate on aeroplanes and public transportation, ruling that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had no authority to implement such a mandate. Mizelle also stated that the CDC improperly invoked the good faith exception to the Administrative Procedure Act's notice-and-comment rulemaking process. It's important to note that the US Supreme Court had refused to issue injunctions against the CDC's mask mandate three times. The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which rates the qualifications of federal judicial nominees, rated Mizelle Not Qualified to serve as a federal trial court judge, noting that Since her admission to the bar Ms. Mizelle has not tried a case, civil or criminal, as lead or co-counsel. Before her appointment, she had only taken part in two trials, each of which only lasted for one day in a state court and they were conducted while she was still in law school. So now this unqualified Florida judge is causing chaos in America in line with the Republican party's political opposition to mandates that are designed by public health professionals to keep people from dying from COVID-19 in even greater numbers. Even after he's been flushed out of office Trump continues to damage the United States.

Putin i n 2006
War Criminal

Vladimir Putin's war against the people of Ukraine has been going on for more than eight weeks now. The predicted three day war to take over Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, fell to the ground long ago. Even after weeks of the huge Russian war machine bearing down on the city, and devastating the streets of Kyiv with artillery and occupying some of Kyiv's suburbs Putin's armored columns couldn't get in to the city. So they contented themselves with bombarding Kyiv's residential neighborhoods and committing mass murder of civilians, many of whom had been found shot to death with their hands tied behind their backs.

This past week Putin's generals withdrew the mighty yet frustrated armored columns that had been threatening Kyiv and switched their strategy to attacking the eastern part of Ukraine, where their proxies and disguised regular army personnel have been waging war since 2014. Just before we recorded this program we heard that they offensive in the east had begun and a lot of villages and small towns had been taken over by the Russians. Despite the spirited resistance of the Ukrainians the Russian army is huge, and has a lot of equipment to throw into the fight. The questions being asked these days are how long will this war go on and how will it all end?

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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