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.

Why a big Earth mountain would hardly be noticed on Mars

A big mountain lost on Mars
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on February 13, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows a cliff escarpment that, based on a rough estimate of MRO’s elevation data, ranges from 10,000 to 13,000 feet high. Because the sun is only about 32 degrees above the western horizon, the shadows are long and distinct and bring out the features quite dramatically.

On Earth, a mountain 13,000 feet high would generally be named, because there are really not that many of them. If it was a cliff face dropping down into a canyon, which this Martian cliff is, it would be quite unique and probably be one of the most popular tourist spots on the globe. For comparison, the rim of the Grand Canyon in the national park, visited by millions, is only 4,000 to 6000 feet in elevation. This cliff on Mars is more than twice as deep, and yet, it is hardly the most spectacular canyon rim on the red planet.

The overview map below explains this.

Overview map
The location of this image is marked by the small white rectangle on the left edge in Noctis Labyrinthus. In fact, this cliff is actually not the outside wall of this canyon, but the flank of an interior mesa.

It is also not very large when compared to the elevation differences found throughout the 2,500-mile-long and 400-mile wide Valles Marineris to the east. Along its length the depth from rim to floor is generally about 25,000 feet, more or less. At that depth, almost all mountains on Earth would fit inside, with only a few topping the rim.


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  • Phill O

    Cool image!

  • Diane Wilson

    Depends on where you measure on Earth. Mt. Lamlam, the tallest peak on Guam, is 1,332 feet above sea level, but it rises above the Marianas Trench, known to be at least 36,000 feet deep. That compares well with Mars!

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