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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

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Razor butte on Mars

Razor butte on Mars
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The picture to the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, was taken on November 18, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The science team labeled this image “Inverted Channel and Possible Lake Deposits.” The sharp razor-like butte, which I estimate is about 200 to 400 feet high, is an example of the several inverted channels in the full image. The serrated-edged flat plateau at the top of this picture, one of several in the full image, is an example of those possible lake deposits.

Why do the scientists think a lake might have once been here? Located at 8 degrees north latitude in the dry equatorial regions of Mars, there is almost certainly no near surface ice here now.

As always, the overview map provides the context, and a possible explanation.

Overview map
The dot west of Ganges canyon marks the location of this picture, which covers the northwest quadrant of a 30-mile-wide unnamed crater on the plateau north of the giant canyon Valles Marineris.

Scientists have accumulated a lot of evidence that the canyons and craters north of Valles Marineris once held lakes. For example, see this November 2020 post about a paper outlining the evidence that lakes and rivers once existed to the west of the sixty-mile-wide and three-mile deep Juventae Chasma, about 150 miles to the northwest of this crater. At that location MRO images found inverted channels similar to the razor butte above. As I wrote then,

What scientists think happened is that in the past an intermittent lake of varying depth … would come and go … at intervals separated by 100 to 100,000 years, with the lakes themselves possibly lasting as long at 10,000 years.

As the lakes ebbed and flowed, they eroded the bedrock on the floor of the crater. The ridges represent former flow channels. Because the channel floor was packed down by the flow, it became denser, and thus remained behind as the surrounding terrain was eroded away.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


Readers: the rules for commenting!


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