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.

Three astronauts launched to ISS on Soyuz

After a month’s delay in order to replace a burnt cable in their Soyuz capsule, caused by damaged insulation, Russia today successfully placed three astronauts in orbit.

They are taking the slower two day route to ISS this time in order to test the Soyuz capsule, which is a new upgraded version, and will dock on Friday.


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  • wayne

    some launch video is at–

    Interestingly, they have cabin-cam view & one of the astronauts (bottom left seat) is using a (hi-tech) stick, to reach some of the controls.

    –Is this a Bug or a Feature, of Russian hardware?

    Completely.. just an interested-civilian as far as rocket-science, but I was under the (nebulous) impression–“all the controls are actually, ideally, within physical reach of the astronauts.”

  • C Cecil

    At 4.5 G force, it is hard to raise your arm and hand. I imagine the pressure suite is a bit of a hindrance as well.

  • wayne

    C Cecil–


    -I’ve just never seen (or don’t recall seeing) astronauts reaching for controls with a miniature stick. (It makes perfect sense.)

    on a more humorous note…
    The Big Bang Theory – Howard goes to Space

  • wodun


    Talk about cool, calm, and collected. No emotion shown. Not a grimace, nor a smile. It would tough to tell if he was struggling to hit one button or if he hit a series of buttons effortlessly.

  • wayne

    yeah, –calm, cool, and collected. Barely a hint of vibration.

    Longer clip (10:45) is here

  • Edward

    wayne asked: “–Is this a Bug or a Feature, of Russian hardware?”

    I’m going to call it a bug, because the panel is too far away for him to reach with his arm. Notice how straightened his arm is, when he is poking the button, and how much farther he would have to reach without the stick. The other two cosmonauts (actually, out of sight below the first camera is astronaut Kimbrough) have a shorter reach to their parts of the panel, so they do not need sticks, as can be seen in the longer video clip.

    It may be a feature, however. I do not know, but there is the possibility that for egress and ingress reasons the panel is far away from the commander — the middle seat.

  • wayne

    (I was actually wondering which seat the commander sat in.)
    That longer clip does give a better perspective of how the seats are laid out, and how much volume there actually is in the capsule.
    >I’ve just never seen the stick-thing, used before.

    Yo– the “debate” just started streaming live on
    Louder with Crowder

  • Robert Pratt

    Looks a fine low cost, low tech solution to me. We’d build a 35,000,000 chair to move forward for just those few minutes. Reminds of the pencil versus pressurized ink pen story.

  • wayne

    Robert Pratt–
    Most excellent!

    I’m dying to make fun of The Stick, but I can’t, ‘cuz it is a good idea. (I have just never seen The Stick in action, before this launch.)

    Don’t tell the folks over at the NTSB, they’ll draft legislation to control sticks-in-space. “If we could save just one astronaut from poking their eye out, it would be worth $35 million.”

    TBBT “It’s a Shelf”

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