Back of the Book — July 22, 2023

Here are some of the topics we talked about on this radio program. I still have more work to do on this Web page, but right now I'm fighting to stay awake. So check back for the 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 a special one held on Wednesday July 26, 2023, with the LSB and the General Manager to talk about the current situation and how to increase audience and revenue in the short term. The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be on Wednesday August 9, 2023, at 7:00 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. These meetings will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 47 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, July 12, 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?

flying saucer
Future Congressional Perk?

So they can't agree on much else but the Democrats and Republicans in Congress are adamant about getting the government to disclose what information it has about space aliens. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has prepared legislation to create a commission with a lot of authority and its main mission will be to declassify government documents about U.F.O.s and extraterrestrial stuff. The idea behind this commission is to force the government to share everything it knows about unidentified phenomena. This commission is being partly justified as something that would fight against the wacky conspiracy hoaxes that surround anything to do with U.F.O.s which are now officially called Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. Senator Schumer is going to make this commission an amendment to the annual defense policy bill. Apparently it has bipartisan support, including that of Senator Mike Rounds, Republican of South Dakota, and Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who has who has previously supported legislation to force the government to release a series of reports on unidentified phenomena. In the house they already have something in their version of that defense bill that would pressure the Pentagon to release documents about unidentified aerial phenomena. President Biden would appoint a nine-person review commission, subject to Senate approval. Supposedly the idea here is that a group of people would be appointed to this commission who would push for disclosure while protecting sensitive intelligence collection methods. There's the risk that the videos of things that our fastest fighter aircraft can't catch up to could let Russia or China know enough about our capabilities to spot any weaknesses. All sorts of records have been released in the past, but because of the recent stuff around the fighter jets being out-maneuvered over American air space there's new stuff that some want released. I think that in the end there won't be much at all released that hasn't already been released. Is it really worthwhile to risk letting competitors know what the capabilities are of the Unites States military and intelligence agencies?

sars-cov-2 with Guy Fawkes mask
Is It Getting Tamed?

The CDC Web site isn't giving us all that much information about COVID-19 in America, although they're saying that Total Deaths in Americas are at 1,135,364 which means that 654 people have died of COVID-19 since our last program a week ago. That would mean that about 240 more people died of COVID-19 this past week than had died of it in the previous week.

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 is the this thing called the Standard Model of physics. It's a theory which purports to describe how three of the four fundamental forces of the universe, the electromagnetic force, the strong force and the weak force, behave and interact with each other. All of this is related to sub-atomic particles which are associated with those three forces. The Standard model does not address gravity, as described by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, nor does it describe a bunch of other physical phenomena. But some physicists are now thinking that recent experiments are showing that axions may constitute what's called dark matter.

Scientists who have been saying that axions may be dark matter have seen their theory getting a boost recently. Using detailed modeling, scientists worked out how the images of the distant universe would be distorted by gravitational lensing if dark matter were made of WIMPs versus how they would look if dark matter were made of axions. The WIMP model didn't look much like the gravitational distortions that the observations had shown, but the axion model accurately reproduced all features of the system.

The result suggests axions are a more probable candidate for dark matter, and their ability to explain lensing anomalies and other astrophysical observations has some scientists very excited.

American theoretical physicist, mathematician, Nobel laureate and Chief Scientist at the Wilczek Quantum Center, Frank Wilczek named this new hypothesized particle the axion after a brand of laundry detergent because it cleaned up a problem in physics that - I'm not going to get into that here.

I've been skeptical of a lot of the candidates for dark matter in the past; in fact I've been skeptical about dark matter even existing. All that scientists have really found before this were various phenomena that did not necessarily mean that some sort of exotic matter was involved. With this discovery of axions fitting the details of the gravitational lensing that's been observed, however, I'm thinking that maybe the scientists have hit upon something real this time. We'll see.

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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