Web links related to the Back of the Book program of December 3, 2007

It's Thursday morning , December 6, 2007, 06:13 and I've started to update this Web page. We fought our way through quite a rain storm to get to the station for this program. We talked about the below topics and more. I think that there will be some more updates to this Web page before long.

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

UPDATE as of Thursday, December 6, 2007: The elections for the WBAI Local Station Board are currently on hold while a judge works out the details of the lawsuit brought by some members.

Because of the lawsuit nobody is sure what's happening now. Is the election over? Was the election extended? It's all going to depend on what the lawsuit determines.

If you are either a listener member or a Staff member of WBAI and you did not receive a ballot and/or you requested a replacement ballot then you need to immediately contact Frank LeFever Ph.D. and let him know if you didn't get a ballot and whether or not you got a replacement ballot. Dr. LeFever is unofficially collecting the information to see if there's a pattern to the ballot non-receipt phenomenon.

There has been a lawsuit filed about the way this election is being handled. The Court case is still ongoing. The temporary restraining order is still in effect. It's possible that some of the details regarding the election could change so you'll need to keep updated.

There's a regular LSB meeting scheduled for December 27th at 7:00 PM, location to be announced.

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. It was working all right at 9:40 PM last night.

WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to the program any time for the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, Back of the Book is not one of the programs that you can download, you can only listen to it on line. But maybe someone will change that at some point. NOTE: The archives have not always been behaved properly. We can't guarantee their condition. If this Back of the Book program isn't archived I'll post an archive myself.

I'm glad to announce that with a new person doing the archives Back of the Book and Carrier Wave are sometimes properly named in the archive, and if they're not then there's a note about it. Of course I'd recommend that you just listen to both programs in this time slot!

On our previous program we talked about a breakthrough in getting stem cells from cloned money embryos. At that time there was optimism about this becoming possible for humans too.

Well, the day after that program 2 groups of scientists announced that by using a different method, which doesn't involve embryos at all, they were able to make human stem cells.

We talked a little bit about the significance of this advance, and we also mentioned that it's not going to result in an immediate benefit for people because this technique is still in the early research stages.

The technique involved inserting 4 extra genes into a skin cell harvested from a person, and a virus is used to insert those 4 genes. One of the genes is known to cause cancer. So this exact technique will never be used on human beings. But the fact that they can create stem cells like this advances the medical science involved and gets us closer to the day when a safer method of creating human stem cells will be developed.

Meanwhile this technique is apparently good enough that cells can be grown and studied, which will allow scientists to experiment with cells in vitro to determine how some diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease, occur in the body.

We also talked about a silly commercial on TV that tries to sell a product they call a “Classic Pen Set” by telling people how tough a fountain pen nib is!

Now I happen to be a real afficiando of fountain pens. I use them pretty much exclusively for my writing. And I can tell you that the nib of a fountain pen is the most delicate part of the pen! When you see older fountain pens you very frequently see them with bent or missing nibs. Simply dropping a fountain pen on the floor will wreck the nib, if the nib takes the force of the fall. I then went into a talk about why there is tipping material on the ends of most fountain pen nibs.

If you want a fountain pen I'd skip the “Classic Pen Set” and look around for a fountain pen all on its own.

We played some audio excerpts from the November 29, 2007, Pacifica National Board's Finance Committee teleconference meeting.

There were a number of revelations from that meeting. Among them that if WBAI doesn't stop its current financial dive the station will begin to be unable to pay its bills by some time in April 2008.

I've set up a Web page with the audio clips I played on the air along with some others that didn't get on the air here.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even now that the gag rule has been lifted. 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.

Probably the most popular list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 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.

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 Carrier Wave 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 © 2007, R. Paul Martin.