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.

Paisley terrain on Mars

paisley terrain on Mars
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, is actually a somewhat old image from the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It was taken more than a decade ago, on December 28, 2010, and featured as a captioned image one month later. I post it now because it was recently featured as MRO’s picture of the day, and thought it deserved a new look. As the caption from 2010, written by planetary scientist Alfred McEwen, noted,

Remember those paisley shirts during the summer of love in 1967? If so, this terrain may look somewhat familiar.

How did this terrain really form? One theory is that it’s a landslide deposit, perhaps associated with draining an ancient lake.

The overview map below might help make sense of this theory.

Overview map

The black box marks the location of this paisley terrain, on the southern slopes of 2,000-mile-long Valles Marineris, the biggest known canyon in the solar system. At this point the canyon is at its widest at about 200 miles across.

Being on those southern slopes suggests the landside theory has some merit. Then again, the slopes here extend for many tens of miles, which make their downward grade to the north somewhat uneven. The terrain itself also appears relatively flat, though in the full image there appears to be a slight downward trend to the northeast. Where are the landslides?

The feature could possibly be caused by wind-erosion. Maybe we are looking at the bottom of what was once a lake that is now eroding being exposed to wind and sun and seasonal climate changes Or not.

I did some digging and could find no studies of this geology. It remains a mystery for some future planetary geologist to decipher, possibly one who is right now in elementary school and will figure it out, on the surface of Mars itself.


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