New San Francisco Bay Bridge nears completion


Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

New San Francisco Bay Bridge nears completion.

Readers!
 

Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
 

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
 

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
 

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


 

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

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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
 
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2 comments

  • Art Harman

    Nice bridge, Bob! The shame of it is this new ‘American’ icon was manufactured with Chinese labor. Sure the assembly was American, but how many thousands of Americans could have been employed if we just used American companies to make the parts? Let’s hope they didn’t use counterfeit bolts and sub-standard steel.

    Sure its cheaper to outsource; you may have read this week how Disney got busted for sweatshop labor making their toys, and everyone knows of Apple’s sweatshops. It’s probably the same or worse for their steelworkers, and of course there are no labor/safety/wage/pollution laws to make the ‘China price’ fair and competitive with American workers.

    This is why our economy, so hollowed out by outsourcing, has such great troubles recovering: the skilled jobs aren’t there like they used to be. Recoveries don’t come from hiring more people to sell Chinese junk to each other, you gotta MAKE stuff, THAT produces national wealth and that is the point the Chinese learned from our incredible success in the 20th century. Result; their economy is prospering while ours slides towards second-rate status.

    This is the revealing quote the article didn’t think to expand upon: “On Sunday, the four final pieces of the span’s 28-piece deck arrived from Shanghai.”

  • I agree that it seems odd that Caltrans couldn’t find an American company to make the deck sections, but government contracts are let to the lowest bidder. It wold be instructive to find out if American companies are allowed to bid on Chinese government contracts.

    It’s true that to add value to raw material you have to make something useful out of it. But the Western world decided long ago that making things was dirty and smelly and just generally icky. And if hurts the environment. Far better to ship all that undesirable industry across the world where it can pollute someone else’s environment. Out of sight, out of mind; but we still need the products. .

    The Wikipedia entry on the biridge notes that the bridge has been under construction since 2002, and if it meets the projected openening date in 2013, it will be six years behind schedule. The construction time of the original Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge combined was seven years.

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