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, lava, quakes, and faults, all in one Martian image

A lot of geology in one picture
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, was taken by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) on April 25, 2021. It grabbed my attention because it possibly captures a whole range of Martian geological processes, all in one place, including evidence of quakes, of lava, of faults, and possibly of glaciers.

First, ignore the black rectangle, which is merely a small section of lost data.

The picture itself shows a wide north-south fissure, as indicated by the distinct western cliff and the fainter and less pronounced eastern cliff. This fissure, likely formed along a fault, was created when the crust was pushed and stretched upward by the pressure of underground volcanic magma, part of the long series of eruptions that formed the many similar and parallel north-south fissures south of the shield volcano Alba Mons.

The overview map below illustrates this fissure’s relationship with Alba Mons.

Overview map

That upward stretching would have caused quakes as the ground was shifted, stretched, and cracked. Such cracks are called grabens by geologists, places where two pieces of surface crust become offset along a fault when one drops or the other rises.

Within this fissure however is material that suggests vaguely, but not certainly, the presence of buried glacial ice. The latitude is 33.5 degrees north, which places it far enough away from the equator for such glaciers to exist.

At the same time, the altitude is high, which tends to be dryer on Mars. The material filling the fissure could also be flood lava, coming downhill from Alba Mons to the north.

What strengthens the hypothesis that the material in the fissure is ice is the small secondary crack on its western edge. While this smaller canyon’s interior has many features suggestive of glaciers, it also appears that whatever flowed down this canyon ate into the material in the main canyon. If so, it is possible that the small canyon was a lava vent that when it reached the main canyon acted to heat and melt away the main glacier there.

All guesses, though taken all together the image suggests that both ice and lava contributed to this geology, after it was first formed by quakes and volcanic eruptions. A busy place indeed.

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