Back of the Book — June 11, 2022

We went all over the place on this program, from experiments growing small plants in lunar regolith, to NASA initiating a study of what used to be called UFOs, to digital locks that have a serious flaw, to the January 6th Committee, to higher CO2 levels, and more. I am again planning to get this page finished soon. Check back and see if I get that done this time.

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 July 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 37 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. We finally got to those really, really important agenda items that some people have been pressing the LSB to deal with. They were not so important seeming when we got to hear what people wanted to say about them.

Before the June 8, 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?

Moon plants
Weeds in the Regolith!

A study published in the journal Communications Biology Documents says that researchers have used a small sample of lunar regolith to sprout seeds. They only had a small amount of lunar dirt, and the experiment was done in a pot about the size of a thimble. The team could tell both physically and biologically that the plants grown in the lunar soil struggled and tended to be smaller and they contained purplish pigments that were indications of stress.

digital lock
Maybe Not so Secure

Everything has to go hi-tech these days, and maybe that's not the best thing. There are all sorts of digital locks around these days that rely on a signal from a smartphone to work. A lot of the time you just have to bring the smartphone close to the lock and it opens. Well, researcher Sultan Qasim Khan was able to open and then drive a Tesla using a small relay device attached to a laptop which bridged a large gap between the Tesla and the Tesla owner's phone. This is on locks that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, which is used in millions of cars and smart locks which automatically open when in close proximity to an authorized device. The group that Mr. Khan is a part of said that, any smart locks using BLE technology, including residential smart locks, could be unlocked in the same way. Well, physical security can be quite a challenge sometimes.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
The Pandemic May Be Permanent.

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 534,632,885 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,307,667. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 85,445,611 and the death toll in America was 1,011,058, so 2,751 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death toll is about 1,000 lower than last week's, which means it's around what we'd seen the week before. The pandemic is not over, even though a lot of people are behaving as if it were.

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.

Flying Saucer
Now NASA's Looking at Them

NASA has announced it's forming a team to conduct a nine-month study into unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). Daniel Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said NASA is uniquely positioned to address UAPs. Few other than us can use the power of data and of science to look at what's happening in our skies. We plan on bringing together some of the country's leading scientists, aeronautics experts and data practitioners. Mr. Evans will serve as the NASA official responsible for orchestrating the study.

Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for science at NASA's Washington HQ said there may be some reputational risk that comes with talking about UAPs. It's clear that in a traditional type of science environment, talking about some of these issues may be considered selling out or talking about things that are not actually science, I vehemently oppose that. I really believe the quality of science is measured by the outputs that come from it but also the questions we're willing to tackle. Mr. Zurbuchen added, I do believe it's absolutely necessary in this and other places to lean into high risk, high impact areas. NASA stressed that there's no evidence at this point that UAPs are extra-terrestrial in origin.

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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