Scroll down to read this post.


I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

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

If Paypal doesn'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


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

Martian mountains, near and far

Navigation image
Click for full image.

Martian mountains, near and far
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, taken on June 18, 2022 by high resolution camera on the Mars rover Curiosity, provides a close-up of the area indicated by the arrow in the navigation camera image above taken three days earlier.

Because the rover had moved uphill slightly during those three days, the close-up can peek over what was the most distant ridge to see farther up Mount Sharp. (For context take a look at the overview map here.) All told, this close-up to the right shows four mountain ridges/ranges. First we have the ridgeline to the right, partly in shadow, which forms the right wall of the saddle that Curiosity appears heading for. Next we can see to the left the top section of the large 1,500 foot high mesa on the other side of the canyon Gediz Vallis. Note its many layers, all of which are going to become a major item of study as Curiosity gets closer.

Third we have a very rough and tumbled ridgeline, formed in a layer the geologists have dubbed the sulfate bearing unit. This layer tends to be very light in color, and more easily eroded. Curiosity is presently beginning to move into this layer as it climbs.

Finally there is the most distant ridge, which is simply the higher reaches of Mount Sharp though not its peak by a long shot.

The dusty winter air is quite evident by the chariscuro effect, causing the more distant ridges to appear more faded.

Note: This will be the first of three cool Martian images today. Stay tuned.

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.

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.