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
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FlippinDingDong – Trailer Annie

An evening pause: Hat tip Jim Mallamace, who rightly added, “No clue what this means, but I’m certain the student animators had fun making it.”

Fun to watch too. They might have done it on a computer, but it sure has the feel of hand-drawn animation.

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.


  • Col Beausabre

    “The General” is Douglas MacArthur with his trademark sunglasses and corncob pipe

  • eddie willers

    Kinda strange seeing a cartoon with the line, “To help defeat the sappy Jappies would be great!” made by a Sony division.

  • Col Beausabre

    “Kinda strange seeing a cartoon with the line, “To help defeat the sappy Jappies would be great!” made by a Sony division.”

    :Late in WW2. the US public began regarding the Empire and its troops with disdain, so, “The Japs are saps’ is probably the the sort of thing on could hear. The Army decided that the country needed a reminder of reality, particularly in view of the anticipated casualties of Operation DOWNFALL.

  • JC Collins

    That’s a period cartoon. I’m not saying that I remember it from that time, but I remember it from the 1960s. Spike jones!

  • JC Collins: No, what you remember is Spike Jones’ music, which is of that time. The animation is new.

  • Phil Berardelli

    Right you are, Bob. But did you notice that the animation features wobbly registration, such as would result whenever a film had been run through a projector a number of times? Or the incidental dust bits and “scratches” on the supposed film stock? Amazing that I spent so much time and effort trying to preserve film and prevent degradation and now sophisticated young animators can apply those aspects artificially.

    Here’s another growing trend in film-presentation technology, which I think will create new existence for historical material. Peter Jackson did this with “They Shall Not Grow Old” in 1918, and it’s appearing more and more frequently. Fascinating!

  • wayne

    Those films at your link, are amazing! I do object however, with the added colorization & sound.
    Q: what software is used to stabilize the picture?

    “John Carter of Mars”
    Test Animation
    Bob Clampett

  • Phil Berardelli: Your observations note a re-definition of ‘reality’. If film-makers can make a film look ‘period’, then what are researchers 300 years hence to think? What is a ‘real’ film from a given era, and what has been ‘manufactured’. Even the media won’t give much of a clue, as many older films have been issued on modern media. It will be a bit of a mess.

  • Edward

    Phil Berardelli,
    Thank you for your time and effort to preserve films. I used to go to the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto to watch many of the old movies on the big screen. I may have seem some that you helped to preserve.

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