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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.


Pointy rocks on Mars

Pointy rocks as seen by Curiosity
Click for full image.

Pointy rocks as seen by Perseverance
Click for full image.

We have two cool images today from both of America’s rovers on Mars, each of which illustrates the alien nature of the red planet.

First on the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, is a close-up taken by Curiosity’s high resolution camera on May 14, 2022 of the rightmost jagged boulder in yesterday’s navigation panorama. The number of layers is astonishing, though hardly a unique phenomenon as seen by Curiosity in its travels. Each likely marks one of many climate and geological cycles, each laying down another unique stratum for a relatively short period of geological time. Some might be volcanic ash or lava layers. Some might be layers caused by climatic changes.

The ability of these thin layers to extend outward so much, almost like they were floating, illustrates the weak Martian gravity, as well as the thinness of its atmosphere. On Earth, if the wind and weather didn’t cause these flakes to break, the gravity would.

Second on the right, cropped and sharpened to post here, is a high resolution photo taken by Perseverance on May 15, 2022 of one of the cliff faces seen by the rover looking up into the delta in Jezero Crater. Here again we see many layers and jagged, pointy rocks, illustrating again the many cycles in the past that formed the delta as it flowed into the crater.

The smoothness on the surface of the leftmost pointy rock suggests that it has stood in this position for a long very time, allowing the wind of Mars’ very thin atmosphere to erode its rough surface.

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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