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.

Russian filmmakers safely return to Earth

Capitalism in space: A Russian Soyuz capsule safely returned three Russian astronauts to Earth today, including the two filmmakers that spent the last twelve days filming scenes on ISS for a movie.

Russian actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko landed with cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian federal space corporation Roscosmos on Sunday (Oct. 17). The three descended aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft to a touchdown at 12:35 a.m. EDT (0435 GMT or 10:35 a.m. local time) on the steppe of Kazakhstan.

The landing concluded 191 days in space for Novitskiy, who wrapped up his stay on the station by playing a bit part in the movie Peresild and Shipenko were there to film. A joint production of Roscosmos, the Russian television station Channel One and the studio Yellow, Black and White, “Вызов” (“Challenge” in English) follows the story of a surgeon (Peresild) who is launched to the station to perform emergency surgery on a cosmonaut (Novitskiy).


I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.

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.

Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.


  • George C

    Such rescue mission movies are never by the book routine. There always has to be extra elements of drama such as equipment failures. I wonder if they were filming the crew of ISS when the return capsule problem happened?

  • Joe

    Glad they are back safe and the thruster issues did not cause them problems.

  • Gary

    I wonder if their presence and filming had anything to do with the “accidental” booster firing. Could they have been staging a shot which went wrong?

  • wayne

    Armageddon (1998)
    Russian Cosmonaut scene (“…this is how we fix problem…”)

  • Mark

    Wayne – can you provide a film clip from the upcoming movie The Challenge, about a Russian doctor, played by Yulia Peresild, who travels to the space station to treat a sick cosmonaut?

    While I hope the rumor is true that the recent new ISS clothing regulations involve tank tops, I state unequivocally and for the record that I have the utmost respect for the film work of Russian actress Yulia Peresild. Peresild starred in The Edge which was nominated for the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
    Yulia is also in ‘The Golden Horde’ which I just recently added to my Prime streaming watchlist. ‘The Golden Horde’ is about ancient Russia under Tatar-Mongol rule.
    And I bet I’m not the only one on BtB wondering if pictures featuring Zero-g eye candy will soon leak out of Roscosmos. Let’s Go Russia!

  • Patrick Underwood

    Mark: I congratulate you on your impeccable aesthetic judgment.

  • Questioner

    Finally – after a long time – a pretty woman in space again.

  • John hare

    Questioner, towards the end of a six month mission, Phylis Diller would start looking good.

  • Jeff Wright


  • Ray Van Dune

    In high school my much more worldly friend told me that with the lights out, they are all movie stars. I have never verified this, but apparently my friend made a valiant effort to do so.

  • Edward

    Gary asked: “Could they have been staging a shot which went wrong?

    In this case, they were performing a routine checkout of the spacecraft before putting a crew into flight, and it had nothing to do with the film project. Think of it as a pilot walk around or a pilot checklist. The problem was that the thrusters would not respond to the command to shut down. A routine procedure became exciting, which is usually a bad thing.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *