Back of the Book — July 8, 2023

Here's some of what we talked on this program. The einstein tile thing was something I found unusually interesting and we have something abut that below. We also have a little bit on this page about the pandemic. We talked about a lot more, on this program, of course. I plan to update this Web page during the week, so check back for those 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.

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 Local Station Board meeting will be held on Wednesday July 12, 2023, at 7:00 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 46 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. Someone continues to cause chaos. People waste time and then complain that there's no time left and not everybody will indulge them with more time to waste. I gave a Treasurer's Report and the written version is here.

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. Now I can again and there are a whole bunch of archive blurbs up there now.

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?

an aperiodic einstein tile
Aperiodic Einstein Tiling

We talked about a mathematical breakthrough that happened recently. In November 2022, an amateur mathematician named David Smith from Yorkshire, England discovered a shape that can tile a surface in an unusual way. We're all used to seeing every day tiles shaped like squares, hexagons and even triangles on bathroom floors and other places where some ceramic tile is needed. Those shapes I've just mentioned, when put next to each other, form a periodic tiling that will completely cover a plane surface with no gaps. You can easily see the pattern formed by the tiles repeating over and over. Well an aperiodic tiling will completely cover the plane surface but no pattern it forms will repeat - ever.

Mr. Smith had been messing around with this aperiodic tiling question, called the einstein problem, for some time and he mixed and matched ordinary shapes with numerous straight sides. This einstein tiling he's come up with consists of just 13 straight lines that form a hat-like shape.

 a single einstein tile
The Single Tile

The shape is named an einstein tile because einstein means one stone in German, and you only use one shape, one tile or stone, to cover the entire plane, no matter how big it is.

Mr. Smith does this stuff as a hobby, but he figured that he was on to something big in the world of geometry when he created that single tile. He needed to be sure, of course. So he contacted professional mathematicians Craig S. Kaplan, Joseph Samuel Myers, and Chaim Goodman-Strauss and had them look at his discovery. They did the heavy-duty math and after some months they announced earlier this year that they have proven that Mr. Smith's tile will indeed tile an infinite plane aperiodically.

In a Scientific American article about this discovery they say that the mathematicians are still looking to come up with some kind of a theory to gain greater insight into this rather advanced piece of geometry. They quote mathematician Rachel Greenfeld of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University as saying, This is still very mysterious.

sars-cov-2_w_guy_fawkes_mask (93K)
It's Trying to Hide

The CDC Web site isn't giving us lot of up-to-date information about COVID-19 in America, although they're saying that Total Deaths are at 1,134,300 which means that 2,094 people have died of COVID-19 since our last program a week ago. This is puzzling because it would mean that there's been a significant increase in the death rate this past week. I think that the CDC is behind a bit on this metric. The CDC says that there's been a down tick in COVID-19 deaths in the past week. Last week they'd cited the death toll from COVID-19 in America as being 1,132,206. I need to look into this some more.

The pandemic is not over. Pickles of the North and I are still keeping our masks on. We've both gotten our bivalent vaccinations, and our bivalent booster shots. When the new boosters are put out in the Autumn I'm sure we'll get those as soon as we can too.

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.

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WBAI related links

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2023, R. Paul Martin.