Back of the Book — January 7, 2012

It's Friday night, February 3, 2012, 22:13 and I've updated this Web page slightly with a bit about the Master Control clock being restored. Sounds like a small thing, but when you're on the air live it's important to be able to see what time it is. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ This is our first program of the new year, and you'll notice that we have a slightly different top of the page now. This reflects how things have changed regarding how people use the Web and how these Web pages relate to the radio program. We plan to get to the below stuff and to do some of the mail on this program. There will be updates. Check back for those.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of some of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, at “The Commons” in Brooklyn — 388 Atlantic Avenue, between Hoyt & Bond Sts. As per the official announcement this meeting will be, “... to review, discuss and vote on the report from the LSB's Management Search Committee concerning selection of a pool of candidates for the position of Program Director at WBAI. At 6:30 PM there will be a Delegates' Assembly to elect the Pacifica directors from WBAI for 2012, the executive session LSB meeting will begin right after that.

It will start immediately following the conclusion of the Delegates Assembly meeting, where delegates will vote for Directors from WBAI to the Pacifica National Board for 2012. This election occurs every year. All those serving on the Local Station Board (except the GM) are ‘delegates’ under the bylaws and may take part in that vote.

The LSB has invited all members of the Management Search Committee, whether on the LSB or not, to attend and participate in the Executive Session meeting.

The Delegate Assembly is called for 6:30 pm and should take no longer than one hour, possibly less. The LSB meeting will begin immediately after the Delegate Assembly ends.”

The LSB met on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at the MLK Center, Local 1199 SEIU, 330 West 43rd St. in Manhattan. We elected the officers of the LSB for the next year. Yeah, they're, we're, the same officers as last year.

Here are the Officers elected for 2012

At a previous meeting the WBAI LSB voted to hold its meetings on the second Wednesday of every month and/or the last Thursday of that month, subject to change by the LSB, which gives us the following schedule:

All of 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.

WBAI has an official Web stream of what's on the air at any time! You can go here and pick which type of stream you want! If this stream isn't working let me know. And you can see the status of the streams at any time by clicking here. The stream was working at 03:18 this morning. The station has a Flash stream here, make sure you enable Javascript so it can work for you.

New WBAI stream! WBAI has just put up an experimental stream for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. This is a brand new, experimental stream. So if you have one of those devices you might try the link out. And let us know how it works for you one way or the other. That way the folks implementing it can iron out any kinks in the system.

WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to this program any time for the next couple of months. You may need to scroll up one line to see the audio archive. Let me know if you find this feature useful.

If you want to listen to any part of the WBAI archive click here to go right to the archives. When you first go to the Web page you'll only see the WBAI programs for the past 7 days. If you want to see older programs you can click on one of the “See ALL Shows” buttons. Or to see only the two shows in this time slot click here.

Back of the Book is again one of the programs that you can download, as well as listen to on line.

In the table on the archive Web page Back of the Book and Saturday Morning With the Radio On are both in the “Show” column. The “Date and Category” column shows the date of the program. After the program I go in and write the details of the program and say which program it is. Of course I'd recommend that you just listen to both programs in this time slot!

In the Summer of 2009, there was a Pacifica National Board meeting held in New York. Here's the Web page I did about this PNB meeting and the amazing things that went on at it.

And the PNB has also met in Houston from Friday October 9th, through Sunday October 11th, 2009. The official audio archive of that meeting is here. It was not disrupted as the New York meeting was, although some of the same miscreants got out there to say stupid things.

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Manhattan the weekend of October 1-3, 2010. The audio has been posted for the first day of the meeting, the second day of the meeting and the third day of the meeting.

Lynn Samuels

The day after our last program we heard that our old WBAI colleague and friend Lynn Samuels had passed away on December 24th.

We'll be talking about Lynn on this program. We'll probably be one of the last programs to eulogize our old pal, since she passed away almost two weeks ago now. I'll post more up here after the program, too.

Titan and Dione with Saturn and rings in background
Saturnian Moons Titan and Dione
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

On the left is some nice looking science related eye candy courtesy of the folks running the Cassini probe that's charging around the Saturnian system these days.

That large, round object at the center of the photograph is Saturn's satellite Titan, the largest satellite of any planet in the Solar System. Titan is actually larger than the planet Mercury. It's so large that it has a substantial atmosphere. In fact you can see a little bit of that atmosphere at the very top of Titan's disk. That's not a blurry outline, that's a thick atmosphere you're looking through.

Beside Titan is the smaller satellite Dione. Dione is much closer to Saturn than Titan is so from this perspective it looks even smaller relative to Titan.

That yellowy background behind it all is the body of the enormous planet Saturn. That line that's going in back of Titan is a part of one of the rings of Saturn. More rings can be seen below Titan.

What a nice gift to the world to start off the new year this image is.

The WBAI Master Control clock restored
The WBAI Master Control Clock

On a couple of previous programs we've complained about the clock in Master Control being out of order and just having a piece of paper over it that said that it wasn't working. Such lack of a convenient place to see the time can have a bad effect on a live radio program.

We're glad to report that the Master Control clock has been restored to working order, or else another clock has been substituted as a replacement. It's good to be able to see the time without craning your neck and going off mic to do so.

Almost the first full Moon of 2012
This Moon Would Be Full Early The Next Morning

The first full Moon of 2012, was on January 9, at about 2:30 AM. Yeah, we weren't up right then, and my crummy little camera won't take a decent photograph of a full Moon in the deep, dark wee hours of the morning. It just shows a burned out disk of white in a black background. It's a point and shoot camera and can't be made to just darken everything enough. The older point and shoot camera I have had settings I could fiddle with to stop down the aperture and shorten the exposure and so get a half way decent shot. Unfortunately, that camera's lousy Lithium ion battery died and it was expensive to replace, I also got something on the lens that affected every photograph. It may be paint, which I'll never get off. Well, maybe one day I'll plunk for the Lithium ion battery and just try to shoot around the blobs on that lens that won't come off.

So I was able to take this shot of the almost full Moon when it was a little less than 10 hours away from the exact minute of fullness. There's less contrast with a brighter sky and the Moon's brightness is tempered by the low angle because the light has to come through much more atmosphere. So here's my shot of the first almost full Moon of 2012.

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 popular list the “NewPacifica” mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list is sometimes lively and as of mid-2011, has 687 subscribers coast to coast.

Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are frequently posted there.

You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the “NewPacifica” mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.

There is the option to receive a “digest” version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

This list also has a Web based interface where you can read messages and from which you can post your own messages.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. It is sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as “the bleepin' blue board,” owing to the blue background used on its Web pages. This one has many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary “WBAI people” board that's just totally out of hand. UPDATE: The bleepin' blue board has had to add a step for folks to get onto it because it's under attack by spambots. When you click on the above link you may be asked for a username and password. Type in Username: poster Password: enternow

When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes 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 alternates with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2012, R. Paul Martin.