Back of the Book — August 4, 2012


It's Sunday morning, August 5, 2012, 03:15, and I've updated this Web page with the piece about Dan Siegel's speech regarding what he thinks should be done with WBAI. I have a link to a Web page containing the audio of that speech. I've also corrected the damned spelling errors that were on this page. More to come. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We plan to get to the below topics and much more on this program, including someone's plans for WBAI. So we will be updating this page soon. Please 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, August 8th, 2012, at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan. For the third time as many meetings I got to make a Treasurer's Report. I talked about the current quite bad state of WBAI's and Pacifica's finances again. During this one LSB member, Russell Dale of the so-called Justice & Unity Campaign talked about how the solution to WBAI's problems is to get underwriting for the station, some big, rich person or entity that could just give us a lot of money to operate on. Dale's fellow faction operative Ray Laforest agreed and joked that we needed a “sugar daddy.” Of course this is exactly the sort of thing that WBAI and Pacifica were founded to avoid. Any big underwriter would have an influence on the radio station's programming, there's really no way around it.

But all that these faction operatives know is that they want to bring back the disastrously failed Management of the past to WBAI so that they can resume getting paid off in air time, paid positions they're not qualified to fill and occasionally a cut of the actual loot that their pal could collect.

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 newly revamped 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.

Artist's depiction of the Curiosity rover on Mars
Artist's Idea of Curiosity on Mars
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We brought up the subject on our last program, and we'll talk about it more on tonight's program. The Mars Curiosity rover, the largest Mars rover yet. This rover is looking for signs of life on Mars, both signs of life currently living in the harsh environment of the planet and signs of ancient life that lived there for a while but has probably long since died out.

The latest Mars rover will land in Gale Crater at about 1:31 AM (ET) this coming Monday morning August 6. This will be a complicated landing both for the rover and for those at NASA. The rover will be dropped into Gale Crater by a rocket and parachute lander, which will then fly clear of the rover's landing zone. But on Earth we won't be seeing live video of the landing from Curiosity because the Earth will be below the horizon in the vicinity of Gale Crater when Curiosity makes its landing. The Mars Odyssey Explorer is expected to relay video of the landing from orbit.

One instrument aboard Curiosity, the Radiation Assessment Detector has been working since the spacecraft was launched November 26, 2011.

We're certainly hoping that Curiosity makes a good, safe landing on Mars and is able to fulfill its nominal two year mission.

You can watch the NASA coverage of Curiosity's rather complicated landing here.

It's mid-Summer, at least astronomically speaking. The exact minute of mid-Summer will be less than 13 hours after Curiosity lands, that is on Monday August 6, 2012, at 2:59 PM (ET). More on the season dates here.

On this program we talked a little bit about a threat to WBAI from some folks at another Pacifica radio station. At the KPFA LSB meeting of July 7, 2012, Dan Siegel, who is a member of the KPFA LSB and also a member of the Pacifica National Board, which is in a position to make most of the decisions about what Pacifica does, made a speech. Some of what Mr. Siegel said, was, “I don't know if it's true or not anymore, but a few years ago at least it was possible there were actual people who would buy WBAI for enormous amounts of money, and that part of the deal in exchange is that WBAI would get a new spot on the dial admittedly, a less attractive one in the eyes of the person who wanted to buy it. Now we've always been extremely resistant about even thinking about ideas like that but given 1) the urgency of the situation, and 2) the fact that BAI really has a tiny number of committed listeners making that change doesn't seem as radical as it might be anymore.”

I played the audio of this speech on the air. You can listen to Dan Siegel's entire speech here. The audio clip is two minutes and forty seven seconds long and it shows that Mr. Siegel, who is in a position to initiate actions that could greatly hard or totally destroy WBAI, really is threatening the radio station.

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.