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. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

Buster Keaton – Elevator chase

An evening pause: Some funny silliness from the silent movie era. And if you don’t know who Buster Keaton was, it is time you found out.

Hat tip Cotour.


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. 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.

Regular readers can support 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


  • Ian C.

    Allow me to point out that this is part of a 23 minutes movie, which puts the chase into context.

    Buster Keaton in The Goat 1921 Colorized silent movie COLOR

  • LocalFluff

    Buster Keaton’s scene where he hangs from the hands on the face of a clock tower is one of the most famous scenes in movie history.

    More comedy. When Sweden’s prime minister Löfvén came back from his summit with India’s prime minister Modi, he wanted a red dot painted on his forehead. His PR consultant (who is running the country) asked him why:
    “- Because after having talked with Modi for half an hour, he pointed to the forehead and said that I am missing something important up here.”

    These first 20 seconds of this complete idiot’s speech in India is worth seeing for a laugh. He would get along very well with Bunker Biden if he would become president, imagine what conversation the two of them will have:

  • wayne

    Good stuff.

    I think you are referring to the Harold Lloyd film, “Safety Last” from 1923.
    [tangentially-incredibly remastered complete print. I’m not big on silent-film but I got totally sucked into this for a bit of time; crisp. clean, high-contrast & definition.]

  • LocalFluff

    Oh yes, that was Harold Lloyd!
    Now I’ve revealed how much I know about movie history…
    (That was almost as bad as confusing India with China.)

  • eddie willers

    The only time I have fallen off my chair laughing, and I mean literally fell off my chair laughing, was at a “talkie” with Laurel and Hardy where they dressed up as each others wives and Stan was sent to buy ice cream. He kept calling back saying they didn’t have the flavor that they wanted so Ollie would tell him to get a different flavor. He kept calling back they didn’t have such and such flavor. Not only did he spend all his money making the phone calls, but was told they didn’t have that flavor because he was in a hardware store, not the ice cream parlor.

    I guess you had to be there, but it was right up there with “The Two Tars” and “The Music Box”.

  • Edward

    Eddie willers wrote: “I guess you had to be there …

    I got a chuckle anyway, but I am easily amused. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • If you don’t know who Buster Keaton is, I feel sorry for you. His stunts were all physical effects. Groundbreaking stuff.

  • wayne

    Susquehanna Hat Company
    -Abbott & Costello
    [“In Society” 1944]

    Joe “what’s a Susquehanna?” Rogan
    –> extreme adult language & subject matter<–
    Joe Rogan 's Susquehanna Moment
    Rogan / Diaz / Redban
    Joe Rogan Experience #128

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 *