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(Music of) Resistance
Posted December 25, 2000

This is CJLY Nelson, 93.5 fm. You're listening to Music of Resistance, sponsored by Cat's Tats Skin Art Studio. My name is Tom Clegg. Normally Mark Stoddart does this show, but he had something better to do tonight (if you can imagine that) so I'm going to play some of the more rebellious and political selections in my own music collection.

So Mark, this show is dedicated to you. Thanks for the great radio shows. And for standing up for what you believe in.

6:40 Bob Marley & Wailers -- Rebel Music (3:00 road block) (1/4)

That was Bob Marley and the Wailers with Rebel Music, from 1974's Natty Dread.

Next I've got a few songs written by Canadians on the subject of America. Obviously I'm going to play The Trees, by Rush, but first, here's Joni Mitchell, with The Fiddle and the Drum.

3:00 c Joni Mitchell -- The Fiddle and the Drum (2/5)
5:00 c Rush -- The Trees (2/2)
5:00 c Thom Barker -- I'd Rather Be (6)

Music of Resistance is sponsored by Cat's Tats Skin Art Studio. I'm Tom Clegg, filling in today for Mark Stoddart.

The song you just heard was "I'd Rather Be", by Thom Barker, from a 1995 CD called The Forest For The Trees. Thom Barker is from Ottawa. So is Mark Stoddart. So am I. So is Marty Jones, who did the production work on Thom's CD at his Sound Of One Hand studio. Four years earlier, in 1991, I was listening to Marty's Ottawa punk band, Furnaceface. This next track is from an old Furnaceface tape which I listened to way too many times in my walkman as I toured Ottawa on those lovely 50s-style OC Transpo buses, which incidentally seem to end up in Nelson after the mechanics get tired of trying to fix the squeaky brakes. The song is about censorship, and it does contain some four-letter words, so if you're sensitive to four-letter words then you should turn down the volume for four seconds and say "beep" when you hear the words, "try and censor this." The song is called, "We Love You, Tipper Gore."

3:00 c Furnaceface -- We Love You, Tipper Gore (2/1)

You're listening to Kootenay Co-op Radio. This program is called Music of Resistance. My name is Tom Clegg; I'm filling in for Mark Stoddart tonight. You just heard, "We Love You, Tipper Gore," by Furnaceface.

If you've heard any of my Mozart shows, you're probably wondering whether I'm going to say anything about physics during Music of Resistance. Well, I couldn't do a show called Music Of Resistance without saying something about Resistance.

Resistance is the opposite of conductivity, which means that it inhibits the flow of electricity. It's measured in Ohms, in Ohmage to someone called... Ohm. The greek letter Ohm-ega is used as an abbreviation instead of O, which looks way too much like Zero.

Electricians use the word "load" to refer to anything that acts like a resistor. For example, anything you plug in to the wall would be called a load. It could be a light bulb or a heater or a telephone; anything that runs on electricity, or receives an electrical signal, can be seen as a load.

I took a course when I was in grade 10 called Computer Technology. I learned a lot about electronics in that class; in fact, thanks to my teacher Richard Jackson, I got through a degree in computer science without having to learn a single new thing about electronics or microprocessors. One of the many great moments, in that class of 6 people, was when Mr Jackson demonstrated how to use resistors in series and in parallel. First he hooked up ten resistors, end-to-end. These were the low-wattage resistors that you see on low-tech circuit boards; each one looks like a plastic bead with a wire through it, and four coloured rings that indicate how many ohms it's worth. The technical word for "end-to-end" is "in series," and if you put ten 100-ohm resistors in a daisy chain and plug the two ends into an electrical socket, you're putting a 1000 ohm load on that circuit.

Now, don't try this at home! 100-volt electrical sockets are not a good way to learn about electricity. Your heart and brain both run on electricity and you can kill both of them with house wiring if you're not careful.

So anyway, Mr Jackson put a 1000 ohm load in a power plug and turned on the switch. Nothing happened. The resistors probably started to get warm. But we couldn't tell because we were sitting at our desks like good obedient high school students.

Then he took apart the daisy chain and plugged in the resistors in parallel, by twisting together all 10 resistors like an after-dinner mint wrapper. He plugged this into an electrical socket and turned on the switch. Did I mention that you should not try this at home? OK. So the electricity had ten separate paths to get from one side of the electrical socket to the other. So it took all of them, and we got 10 times as much current as we would with just one resistor.

The reason that circuit breakers exist is that too much current causes an explosion. So, a few milliseconds after our pack of resistors exploded all over the floor, the circuit breaker tripped and the lights went out. This was an illustration of the law that a transistor or a microchip will always try to protect a fast-blow fuse, by blowing itself first.

It also explains why telephones specify a "load number", which indicates how much current they're going to draw from the phone circuit. If you put too much "load" on your phone line, you'll draw too much current from the equipment at the other end of the wire, and you'll set off a circuit breaker. Phones are hooked up in parallel, and so is just about anything else you plug into a wall, so the more you plug in, the less total resistance you get.

There's a short epilogue to the story about my computer technology class.

Every high school has a computer geek troublemaker, who tries to break everything to prove that he knows more than the teachers. Later he usually goes on to bigger things, like writing computer viruses and going to jail for breaking into the Library of Congress web site. Or maybe he settles down and opens a computer store. I don't know.

Anyway, our troublemaker was called Martin, and he volunteered to run down the hall to turn the breaker back on. As he got to the breaker panel, we heard the door open to the classroom next door. The teacher was just coming out to see who turned off his room full of computers, and when he saw Martin standing at the breaker panel he started to get very angry. Mr Jackson ran out in time to save Martin from a grisly fate, but nevertheless it is clear that there is always a potential human cost when it comes to resistance.

4:00 Clash -- Clampdown (2/4) (32:00)

That was Clampdown, by the Clash, from the height of their career, 1979's London Calling.

You're listening to Music Of Resistance, sponsored by Cat's Tats Skin Art Studio.

I'm Tom Clegg, filling in for Mark Stoddart.

Coming up next, I have a couple of tracks that have some vague connection to Christmas. I've always hated Christmas music, so I won't be playing Handel's Messiah, or Do They Know It's Christmas, or anything like that. But in the spirit of peace, here is Mark Weinstock, with a song called White Dove of Zion, from his CD Mark's Patchwork.

5:00 c Mark Weinstock -- White Dove Of Zion (11)

That was White Dove Of Zion, from a CD called Mark's Patchwork. If you like it, there's a nice web site called where you can order the CD or just look at a whole bunch of photos of Mark Weinstock.

You're listening to CJLY Nelson 93.5 fm. Music of Resistance is sponsored by Cat's Tats Skin Art Studio. I'm Tom Clegg and I'm filling in for Mark Stoddart tonight. Mark will be back in two weeks at this time, so you can listen to the authentic version of this show.

My last selection is more of a thanksgiving song than a Christmas song. But if I were at my mom's house tonight, there's a pretty good chance I would be listening to this. It's about war, politics, justice, and some of the strange reasons why you might end up in jail. The song was written in the sixties, but this version was recorded live at The Church in Housatonic, Massachusetts, in 1996. 30 years have passed, and he's still naked, knife and fork in hand, thinking about a thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat.

22:00 Arlo Guthrie -- Alice's Restaurant (1)