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.

Freaky badlands on Mars

Freaky badlands on Mars
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated and cropped to post here, was taken on November 18, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Labeled merely as “Danielson Crater Outcrops,” it shows us a perfect example of the strangeness and sometimes very forbidding terrain of Mars.

We are looking at the outcrop tops of many tilted layers, worn into curves semicircles with the convex side all pointing to the southwest. In the hollowed concave-side, dust and sand have accumulated and been trapped, sometimes forming small ripple dunes when there is enough space for the wind to get inside, as seen in the picture’s lower right.

Danielson Crater is 41 miles in diameter. The overview map below provides the context.

Overview map

The white dot marks this photo’s location, in the southeast quadrant of the crater floor. Scientists have used MRO to take many high resolution images of this crater interior because the pictures reveal many such tilted layers.

At present scientists have no real understanding of what caused these layers. They could have been put down either by the Martian atmospheric climate cycles, where the widely changing tilt of the planet caused many swings over many eons. Or this crater floor might have once been under water, either filled like a lake or at the bottom of a larger sea. No one knows, though scientists have found evidence suggesting an inland sea might have once existed to the west in the outlet from Valles Marineris.

What we likely do know is that the impact that created the crater occurred after the layers were created, meaning that they are very old. We also can see that travel in these badlands is likely to be very difficult for any ground-based vehicle. Exploration will likely only be practical with some form of helicopter.

Below is a beautiful 3d fly-over animation using MRO photos. It makes it very easy to see the layers and their tilted nature.


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  • Jeff

    Remarkable animation. Thanks for the virtual fly-over.

    Speaking of layers, Curiosity’s recent photo examination of the rock formation “Prow” had me just as amazed.

    Click on photo for full resolution version. Photo credit to user PaulH51.

  • Blackwing1

    Mr. Zimmerman:

    Thank you for posting the incredible picture and video; I would not have found them on my own.

    I live in northwestern Wyoming where we get occasional heavy snow during cold nights, but always have very high winds. In fact. my small town is renowned for having some of the windiest areas in the lower 48, particularly right where I live. The only problem is that the snow almost never lasts long enough to melt into the ground before it is blown away. The joke here is, “Snow never melts in Wyoming, it just blows around until it wears out.”

    The shapes of the “waves” very closely resemble what’s left on the ground here just before the snow is scoured to the bare grass. At low temperatures (below -20°F) snow is extremely abrasive, probably much like the Martian dust, and so the wind and snow leave patterns that are very similar to these images.

  • Blackwing 1: If this is your first visit here, you can have some fun looking at a lot of cool images by simply searching the website for “cool image.”

  • Blackwing1

    Mr. Zimmerman:

    Thanks for the courtesy of the reply. Naw, I’ve been surfing your site for a while (years?) and have even commented previously.

    I just really liked those particular pictures of the Martian surface since they looked so familiar.

    In any case, I greatly appreciate your “blacklisted” posts as well as the imagery and space commercialization information.


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