Back of the Book — June 9, 2012


It's Sunday, July 1, 2012, 22:46, and I've updated this page with more about the announcement I'd made about the bleepin' blue board at the end of this program. Previously I'd updated it with more about the spider's nest and some stupid legislation that's been proposed for New York State. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ Jeez, I'm a goddamned wreck, it's related to gizzarditis. I'll talk about that on the air tonight. We're back after being off for four weeks. We plan to get to the below topics and more on this program. Check back for the updates.

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 all of that.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012, at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012, at the Local 1199 MLK Center, 310 West 43rd St. between 8th & 9th Aves. in Manhattan. I actually got to make a Treasurer's Report for the first time since July. Of course some faction operative disrupted it.

There was an LSB meeting held on Thursday, March 29th, 2012, at the “Brooklyn Commons” 388 Atlantic Avenue, between Hoyt & Bond Streets in Brooklyn. This was our second LSB meeting this March. We again mostly heard from Management about how swimmingly things are going. We also elected members to the various PNB committees. Some “Occupy Wall Street” folks were at the meeting and left some rather revealing posters for us to see as we left the meeting at about quarter to one in the morning. The public session had ended at 9:46 PM. After the public session we'd had an executive session.

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 02:53 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 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 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.


Gil Gilmore
1947-2012


Gil Gilmore
Gil Gilmore 1947-2012

Over the past weeks Gil Gilmore passed away. Gil was the latest operator of what we know on this program as “The Bleepin' Blue Board.” The formal name of the BBS is the “Goodlight Board

Gil was a musician and an avid WBAI listener. He got somewhat involved with the craziness that was going on with the radio station a decade ago. The Goodlight Board was founded by Frank Fitzgerald around then, but when Frank had to move away, and had had enough of the crazy board, Gil stepped up and took it over. He ran is for several years until his death in May.

I never actually met Gil in person. We were acquainted purely on-line, but you could tell that he was someone who cared and did his best to help others.

Gil had had cancer for some years. He and I had talked about it on-line more than once. He was a good guy, and he did a service for everyone who wants to see WBAI survive. Gil would try to moderate the Bleepin' Blue Board as best he could, even when his health had deteriorated. A lot of people will miss Gil. He was a good guy.

Venus transiting the Sun
Venus Transiting the Sun
Image Credit: NASA

We talked about the final transit of Venus on the last program, and we posted links to places where it could be viewed on-line if the weather was bad.

Well, the weather was bad enough in Brooklyn. Pickles of the North and I had to watch it all on-line. We'll talk more about the transit on this program.

A closer view of the transit
The Transit as Seen From NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Image Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

We talked about some really stupid legislation that a pair of idiots in the New York State legislature want to pass to outlaw on-line anonymous speech in New York State.

New York Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte and fellow fool Republican Thomas OíMara in the New York Senate have proposed legislation that would force New York State based Web sites of all sorts, “and any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages,” to, “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.”

Apparently this pair of dimwits doesn't understand the meaning of the word anonymous.

Mr. Conte said that this piece of stupid legislation, if it became law, would stop, “mean-spirited and baseless political attacks.” Hah! Sounds like a pair of politicians who are afraid of criticism, or exposure of things they've done.

In the Wired article I link to above Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney with the Center for Democracy and Technology says, “This statute would essentially destroy the ability to speak anonymously online on sites in New York,” and that such a law would result in a, “hecklerís veto to anybody who disagrees with or doesnít like what an anonymous poster said.”

Just to illustrate that these two cynical politicians are both stupid and ignorant, not only are they clueless about how the Web works, but they are apparently unaware of the First amendment to the Constitution of the United States!

Oh yeah, the bill doesn't require that the person who demands that the comments be taken down identify him or herself. Are these guys on crack or what?

Well, we certainly hope that this piece of amazingly stupid legislation dies before even wasting the time of the Assembly and Senate.

The Summer Solstice is nearly upon us! The Solstice will occur on Wednesday evening, June 20th, 2012, at 7:09 PM (ET). You can see more about the season and sub-season dates here.

a spider's nest
Someone Else's Spider Nest
photo credit: Brocken Inaglory

So there I was trying to get a piece of Javascript going, and I figured I'd look at the CD that came with one of my now pretty obsolescent books on the subject.

I knew that I had that CD somewhere in the pile of stuff on top of the scanner lid. The scanner is another old computer component I have. It's huge and it's 16 years old.

So I go through the pile of mostly papers, digging down for that CD's jewel case. And then I spot it. So I go to get it, but the papers right above it won't move out of the way, the bottom couple are stuck together. I figure that I have stupidly put some sort of Post-It® note in among the papers and now it's adhered to what's near it.

So I delicately pulled so as to get that annoying little piece of adhesive paper out of there and not have it tear any of the papers it's stuck to. I was wondering how the hell I'd gotten one of those things in a pile; I really avoid them for exactly the reason that they cause problems when you have other papers under them.

Pulling delicately didn't really get it to move. So I pulled a little bit harder. I could sort of see what was sticking the papers together. It looked odd, not at all like a Post-It® note. It looked like some sticky thing was there.

I couldn't imagine what sticky thing could be in there. It looked like gum maybe. But I don't chew gum and I'd never put any among the papers I shuffle through all the time.

When I pulled on it I thought I saw something moving. So I figured I'd better turn the light on and get my reading glasses on too. We usually have the room lit by a couple of small lamps at night, with the computer screen and the TV set providing their share of the room's light as well. But I needed to see what was happening here.

So on went the bright, overhead lights. And I could see the sticky thing which was this black and white mass, and there was activity near it, a large number of very tiny spiders was running all over the place, fleeing from what was obviously a spider's nest! Oh boy.

I'm not one to worry about wee beasties like this, and I have no problem with spiders. But I did not need these things running around inside my scanner, which has louvres all along its sides and into which some of the tiny spiders were already running for shelter.

So I picked up the piece of paper that the nest was still attached to, some 1982, notice from my bank that they were going to charge higher fees for bounced checks, and started to bring it to the bathroom.

Not all of the tiny spiders had fled from the nest, and now that it was airborne those remaining tried to escape. So I was holding this blue piece of paper by one corner and there were a bunch of tiny spiders rapidly descending from it on nearly invisible strands of silk as I carried it.

I got it into the bathroom sink and turned on the hot water.

Well, the hot water got the slowest of the tiny spiders, and it turned the silk nest into a sopping blob, but for the next half hour or so the sink still had some tiny spiders scuttling around on it. Maybe the influx of tiny spiders will help forestall any roach incursions for a while.

After I got back into the bedroom, where Pickles of the North was not entirely pleased at this sudden reminder of the old National Debris Preserve that she had conquered more than a decade ago, I found a few more tiny spiders still running about, most had successfully hidden themselves. And then I saw an adult spider on top of everything. I figured that this was the mother of them all. I decided to just shoo her away. She leapt to the other side of my scanner and that was the last I saw of her.

I am really hoping that the next time I have to do some scans that I don't discover that they have set up another nest inside of it this time. Cleaning such a thing out of that delicate mechanism would be a real drag.

Pages on this site that have been updated since the last program:

The Web page for the April 14, 2012, program


With the passing of Gil Gilmore the bleepin' blue board, the official name of which is still the Goodlight Board, was without a moderator. The founder of the board, Frank Fitzgerald, had to step in. He initially warned folks that the bleepin' blue board would cease to exist as of June 30th, 2012, unless someone could be found to take over moderating it.

The behaviors that had made the bleepin' blue board less than a great place to go over the past couple of years continued, and Frank got fed up with it fast. He revised his original message to state that the bleepin' blue board would be folded up on June 9th, 2012.

Shortly after Frank's announcement of the imminent demise of the bleepin' blue board I made a reply pointing out how the board had been important for WBAI in the past and could be again.

Frank contacted me after I'd posted that message and asked me to take over the bleepin' blue board as moderator and owner. I looked for someone else to fill the role, but I couldn't find anyone. With the deadline approaching I accepted, and so I am now the moderator, and maybe the owner, of the whole thing. It's very strange to go from being one of the participants to being the guy in charge. There are a lot of challenges with regard to keeping the bleepin' blue board going and trying to make it relevant again, and something people can read and learn from. I'll try my best at it.


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.

DISCLOSURE: as of June 7, 2012, I am the moderator of the bleepin' blue board.

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.