Readers!
 

The final week of my annual February birthday month fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black has begun. I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, including numerous donations and a surge of new subscribers willing to commit to donating anywhere from $2 to $25 per month. Wow! The numbers are too many to send out individual thank you’s, so please forgive me for thanking you all with this one announcement.

 

The campaign however must go on, especially because I have added more regular features to my daily workload. In addition to my daily never-ending reporting on space exploration and science, my regular launch reports, my monthly sunspot updates, the regular cool images, and the evening pauses I post each evening, I have now added a daily weekday post I have entitled "Today's blacklisted American." Its goal is not to discuss policy or politics, but to note the endless examples occurring across the United States where some jack-booted thug or thugs think it is proper and acceptable to censor, blackball, cancel, and destroy an innocent American, merely because that American has expressed or holds an opinion or is of a race or religion that is no longer considered acceptable to the dominant leftist and bigoted culture. I want to make clear to every American that a large number of your fellow citizens no longer believe in the enlightened concept of freedom of speech or the idea of treating each person by the quality of their character.

 

Instead, they wish to shut you up, and oppress you if you happen to disagree with them or have the wrong skin color. This evil must be exposed.

 

To continue to do this into the foreseeable future however I need your support. If you are one of those millions who read Behind the Black each month, please consider donating or subscribing. Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

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


 

If Paypal doesn'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
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Bell Labs – The Transistor

An evening pause: This 9-minute documentary, made in 1952 by Bell Labs, provides a short and clear history of the transistor as well as its predecessor, the vacuum tube. It also tries to imagine the future that such a new invention might bring. As the youtube page notes,

While The Transistor’s vision of the future seems somewhat quaint in retrospect, it captures a moment in time before the transistor became ubiquitous; a time when Bell Labs wanted the world to know that something important had occurred, something that was about to bring tremendous change to everyone’s daily lives.

Hat tip Jim Mallamace.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

5 comments

  • pzatchok

    I still like my tube radios.

  • Kevin R.

    Valves still have their place in music production and listening; they add a rich harmonic structure that gives a fuller body to sound.

  • Phill O

    Now, that is dating me!

  • Jay

    Good video. Yes, vacuum tubes are still used today for radio amplifiers, but those days are coming close to an end with the LDMOS amplifiers. The only place I can buy tubes are either from Russia or with questionable quality from China. No more New Old Stock (NOS) U.S. tubes can be found anymore.

    Yes, there is a difference in sound quality between tubes and transistors. In school I was told about this difference and one of my teachers demonstrated this, but I could not hear the difference. All I thought of was that area of that knee voltage of the push-pull amplifier and I could not hear it. Later in my career, a fellow co-worker who is an audiophile demonstrated the difference again, but he used various types of music to show the ‘warmth’ of the sound vs. a transistor type radio. I did finally hear the difference.

  • pzatchok

    I got started in tube radios because I needed them for the cars I was rebuilding.

    I got lucky and found an older gentleman who showed me how to get them working.

    Since them i have been collecting home models that could be repaired. They make nice working furniture.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

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