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.


Ice-filled crater on the Martian north polar ice cap

Ice-filled crater on the Martian north pole ice cap
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped to post here, was taken on September 18, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and shows a very distinct impact crater on top of the layered deposits of ice mixed with dirt that form the bottom layers as well as surround the visible north pole ice cap on Mars.

I purposely cropped the high resolution image so that the crater is off center to show the dark streaks that appear to blow away from the crater to the northwest, west, and southwest. This asymmetric pattern suggests the wind direction at this location generally flows to the west, but the pattern might also be caused by lighting effects. The location is at 82 degrees north latitude, and the Sun was only 31 degrees high when the picture was taken, causing long shadows. Also, in the full image, you can see a whole strip of similarly oriented streaks, suggesting that these are slope streaks descending a slope going downhill to the northwest.

The overview map below also provides important information about this location.

Overview map

The yellow cross indicates the location of this small 500-foot-wide crater. For most of the ice cap, the descent down from the icy upper layers (generally green on the map) to the dirtier layered deposits (trending to blue on the map) is steep and abrupt, a cliff where orbital images routinely capture avalanches in the spring, as they occur. At this location however that slope going down to the west is more gentle, with only a few relatively small and gentle steps downward. This crater happens to be located along one of those steps, which might explain the northwest pointing streaks.

Note that the ice in the crater might not be water ice. At this latitude each winter a mantle of dry ice snow covers everything, only to sublimate away when the Sun arrives in the spring. It is possible that this ice is dry ice that has not yet disappeared.

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