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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.

 

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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.


Oxygen in Comet 67P/C-G coma

The uncertainty of science: Unexpectedly scientists using Rosetta data have discovered oxygen in the coma of Comet 67P/C-G.

It was not immediately clear where the oxygen came from. The team discovered that water and oxygen were often found together — an indication that similar processes released both molecules. But Bieler and his colleagues ruled out many scenarios in which oxygen arises as a by-product when energetic particles such as photons and electrons split apart water. Instead, the researchers argue that the oxygen is a remnant from when 67P formed billions of years ago, a process that may have trapped the gas in small grains of ice and rock that coalesced to create the comet’s solid core.

But many models of the early Solar System rule this out because most oxygen tends to pair off with hydrogen. Given this affinity, it is tricky to adjust models of the early Solar System to allow for the survival of gaseous O2, says Mike A’Hearn, an astronomer at the University of Maryland in College Park and a co-investigator on Alice. But he adds that it may be possible with the right chemical abundances and temperature conditions.

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.

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