Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

Curiosity’s new mountain views

Curiosity's future route
Click for full image.

With the resumption of communications with Mars, following the two week hiatus because the Sun was in the way, Curiosity is about to begin its travels again. The view above, taken by the right navigation camera and reduced and annotated to post here, looks forward, with the red dotted line indicating the planned route.

The distinct white outcrop on the right top is the same spectacular outcrop I have highlighted previously.

At the moment however the rover is not going anywhere. Just before the hiatus the scientists had Curiosity move a short distance to crush some nearby nodules so that they could see their interior. At their update they post an image of one crushed nodule, and write the following:

[L]ook closely for very straight imprinted lines in the middle of flattened areas that appear slightly more grey. You can also see cracks, especially clearly on the right of the nodule in the image, but if you look around, you’ll find there are more of them. Some of the scratched areas are looking white, too. All those features will allow us an insight into the nodules and an interpretation beyond what we can otherwise see on the surface.

The image below, also taken by the right navigation camera and reduced to post here, looks back at Curiosity’s earlier travels, across the floor of Gale Crater about 1,500 feet below. The rim, about 25 miles away, can be seen through the atmospheric haze as the distant mountain chain.

See the orbital map at this post in September to get the context of what the two images are viewing. The top image looks south along the cliff line, the bottom looks almost due north.
Looking across Gale Crater
Click for full image.


In order to remain completely independent and honest in my writing, I accept no sponsorships from big space companies or any political organizations. Nor do I depend on ads.

Instead, I rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal, or $3 to $50 through Patreon, or any amount through Zelle.

The best method to donate or subscribe is by using Zelle through your internet bank account, since it charges no fees to you or I. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). What you donate is what I get.

To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


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


If these electronic payment methods don'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

One comment

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.