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.

Inexplicable ridges north of China’s Mars rover

Wrinkle ridges in Utopia Planitia?
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, shows some unusual geology about 450 miles north of the approximate area where China’s Zhurong rover landed in the northern lowlands of Mars. It was taken on April 14, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

These scattered ridges remind me of wrinkle ridges, formed when the surface of a place shrinks. With less surface area, the extra material needs somewhere to go, and so ridges are forced up at weak points to release the pressure.

Assuming this hand-waving explanation is true, the next question would be: What causes the shrinking? The overview map below might help provide an answer.

Overview map

The white rectangle marks the location of these ridges in Utopia Planitia. At 33 degrees north latitude this is a region where it is believed there is much underground ice, some of which should be relatively close to the surface. The shrinkage that caused these ridges could be from some freeze-sublimation cycle as that ice erodes away with the changing Martian climate.

Sounds good, eh? Hogwash. I am only guessing, based on very little information. For one thing, click on the first image above and take a look at the full image. As you move north the ridges begin to fill the space and become ubiquitous. How does my simple theory of wrinkle ridges explain that?

The image appears to be a terrain sample photo, one taken by the MRO science team not based on any specific scientists request but to maintain the camera’s temperature by taking regular images. When they do this they try to snap pictures of interesting things. They succeeded here.

Since no scientist requested this image it means no scientist is doing work to explain these features. Are you a student of planetary science looking for a research project? Here’s one, open for the taking.


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One comment

  • Greg the Geologist

    Only a brief note. In the ‘southern’ (lower) part of the full image, the ‘fractures’ appear to have a preferred orientation. That’s a key to the structural context. Would need to see surrounding area, ideally in 3-D imagery, to take a shot at explaining these. Like thin ice on a lake, or ???

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