Website upgrade

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News

Update: The upgrade is mostly finished. There are still a few tweaks that either I or Shane will do over the weekend but essentially the site is up and running.
This evening Behind the Black will be undergoing a significant upgrade. For this reason posting will cease beginning with this post at 3 pm (Pacific) until the upgrade is completed later tonight. When completed the site will be slightly different. Most of the changes will be irrelevant to readers, as I have tried in this upgrade to keep the website how I like it, clean, thoughtful, and not cluttered with unnecessary internet stuff.

Two issues will affect my readers.

  • The spam filter for comments will once again be working. In addition, comments will not be accepted until the commenter completes a Captcha screen. Once this is done, however, the comment will then be instantly approved. I will no longer have to manually approve each comment. This will speed the dialogue. It will also mean that comment threads will remain open forever. Since the spam filter failed in January I have had to close comments on posts after three weeks.
  • The look of the website will change somewhat. These changes are mostly designed to increase traffic, which will not only increase my readership but will help pay for this site. For example, it will be easier to share a post from Behind the Black in many other venues, such as Facebook and Twitter.

To complete the upgrade my software guy, Shane Rolin of Amixa, and I will have to do a number of tweaks and changes after the new site goes live. Thus, be prepared for a short period on Friday where things might not work as they should. By the end of the evening, however, all should be fixed and working properly. If you see a problem after that please feel free to comment here, describing what you see and what you think could be done to fix it. Also feel free to comment here with any additional suggestions for making Behind the Black a better experience. I am always open to new ideas.


My July fund-raiser for Behind the Black is now over. The support from my readers was unprecedented, making this July campaign the best ever, twice over. What a marvelous way to celebrate the website's tenth anniversary!

Thank you! The number of donations in July, and continuing now at the beginning of August, is too many for me to thank you all personally. Please forgive me by accepting my thank you here, in public, on the website.

If you did not donate or subscribe in July and still wish to, note that the tip jar remains available year round.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • joe

    Site upgrades look great!

  • Peter Arzenshek

    Still looks great – always appreciated websites that softened the bright look with shades …. far away the easiest website on my eyes … co-incidentally the most interesting also. :-)

  • Simon Mytton

    I hope your going to put the links to the articles you reference back in as you used to. Or am I just missing them?

  • The links are there. Initially they were not blue, so you couldn’t easily see them. Shane has fixed this. If not, let me know.

  • Simon Mytton

    Yes I see them now thanks.

  • Keith

    I’d like to see the “Evening Pauses” again.

  • Thank you. I liked posting the Evening Pauses myself, but decided late last year that I needed a break. It was too much work to find one for each night, and I was beginning to post some videos that were simply not that good.

    However, if people send me tips for interesting videos, including music, I will be glad to post them as new Evening Pauses. And I might then feel inspired to add some of my own periodically.

  • Keith

    Where can we send them? Is there a special email address to submit items for your consideration?

  • I have emailed you directly.

  • danae

    The site looks cleaner somehow, very nice.

    I agree with Keith. The Evening Pause was unique (in my largely political blog-reading experience.) In particular, introductions to unfamiliar composers and artists has informed a number of my music purchases while it was a feature here, greatly enriching my listening pleasure. Belated, but heartfelt thanks to you for widening the horizon in that regard.

    I like the idea of you allowing readers to suggest interesting videos, musical or otherwise, unless it would become very time-consuming for you to vet them.

  • I would enjoy vetting any suggestions. Feel free to send me as many as you like, though obviously it is better to spread them out rather than dump them on me.

    Keith has already sent me one, which is now scheduled as an Evening Pause on Monday.

    I should add that if anyone wishes to send me suggestions, they should tell me here and I will email them direct so that they can send those suggestions to my email address rather than to the webpage itself.

  • I have two suggestions at present. Thank you for the invitation to submit them.

  • wodun

    What kind of music do you like?

  • wodun

    The blog updates look great. I have one suggestion for a feature that works really well on other blogs. It would be great if when you click on the read more link, that the post is expanded on the same page rather than opening a new window. Ace of Spades and other blogs do this and it really helps with continuity. Opening new windows, hitting back, and re-sizing things (on a tablet) are a bit of a hassle.

  • wodun

    What genres of music do you like?

  • I am aware of the two approaches. Both have their pluses and minuses. To be honest with you, having the reader go to another window or tab to read more has the advantage of exposing the reader to more ads which increases revenue.

    I will consider this however.

  • The question isn’t so much what I like as much as what do you like. If the video is good and has that spark of originality that makes it special, I will almost certainly post it, even if the music is not my favorite.

    If you want to send me stuff, say so here and I will email you an email address to send the links. I’d rather see them first and then schedule them than have them appear in this or any comments thread. Two people have already sent me some good links, and I have found two more myself, so we will see the return the Evening Pause for at least this week beginning tonight.

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