Jason Headley – It’s Not About The Nail

Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space cover

After being in print for twenty years, the Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space, covering everything that was learned on every single space mission in the 20th century, has finally gone out of print.

I presently have my last four hardback copies available for sale. The book sold new for about $90. To get your own autographed copy of this now rare collector's item, please send a $120 check (which includes shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

"Useful to space buffs and generalists, comprehensive but readable, Bob Zimmerman's Encyclopedia belongs front and center on everyone's bookshelf." -- Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut


"The Chronological Encylopedia of Discoveries in Space is no passionless compendium of information. Robert Zimmerman's fact-filled reports, which cover virtually every spacecraft or probe to have ventured into the heavens, relate the scientific and technical adventure of space exploration enthusiastically and with authority." -- American Scientist

An evening pause: Hat tip Jim Mallamace, who wrote, “This video is maddening to a male. I’m afraid to show it to my wife.”




  • wayne

    Jim–a most excellent selection!

    (It’s about how the nail got there! Removing it, is a different operation entirely.)

  • ken anthony

    The symbiotic relationship… the problem creator and the problem solver.

    “You just don’t get it; Do you?”

  • Chris

    Your Mission: Maintain the bliss of “She, who must be obeyed”* though all obstacles near or far, obvious or subtle.

    * BBC – Rumpole of the Bailey, I think.

  • Edward

    I have been in this frustrating conversation, learned not to try to fix the problem that a woman complains about, and learned not to ask whether I may suggest fixes until after she has finished, because sometimes it is not about the problem, it is about expression. We men, however, are problem solvers. This is yet another way in which men do not understand women. This is why women are so amazed when they find a man who will listen to them, because we men are brought up to solve problems, not just listen to them, and women are brought up … different.

    Of course, for a man, it is about the nail. Isn’t it expected of us to make life better for women, or at least for ours? That is what makes it about the nail.

    I am reminded of the housekeeper at the end of the film “Gosford Park,” who explains that the perfect housekeeper anticipates what the family members want even before they know it themselves, so she has it ready for them ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0280707/quotes/qt1314018 ). I have come to believe that this is what women want, not what the film “What Women Want” tells us: reading minds — although it seems the same. If only we men had been raised to be — or could turn ourselves into — “the perfect housekeeper,” women might be happier with us. Then we wouldn’t try to solve problems that they only want expressed, not solved.

    In this case, the perfect servant listens, not solves. It is not about the nail.

    So, have I solved this problem for anyone? Or should we all have just listened and not commented?

  • Edward: There is a wonderful episode of the Dick van Dyke show in which Laura Petrie is upset about something, and Rob Petrie wants to help and find out why. Her answer, done in a classic Mary Tyler Moore crying fit, “Well, if you don’t know I am certainly not going to tell you!” Later, in the office Rob talks about his problem with his co-writers, and when he starts to quote Laura Buddy Sorell chimes in with the exact same line, indicating that he has heard the same thing from his wife Pickles.

    I think they do it a third time, with a different husband, but that might simply be because I’ve heard real husbands say it themselves at other times.

  • Edward

    Well, if you don’t know I am certainly not going to tell you!

    Yeah. I think that one is a way of expressing frustration that we are not that “perfect servant.” We should have known without being told.

    One of my early girlfriends told me that she didn’t like to play games. A few days later she was in tears, because I should have known that she didn’t mean what she said. “What she said” was on another topic, something she wanted or wanted me to do, but clearly she was playing a game on me. I like to call it “The Game,” and it is demonstrated in the film “The Breakup,” where the girlfriend thinks “if he loves me he will …” do whatever. The boyfriend, naturally, does not do it, because he has no idea that it is what she wants. Instead, he believes that she wanted what she had said.

    Once again, we men lack that gift of anticipation that seems so necessary in the battle of the sexes.

    You have reminded me that I want to find a set of Dick van Dyke show DVDs. Thank you. I remember the show from when I was young, but that memory is fading.

  • wayne

    (I tried to locate that Dick Van Dyke clip, but I could not readily find it. But I haven’t seen these in literally 50 years.)

    Tangentially— never use the word “fine” in an escalating back-n-forth. Your rationality is pretty much shot at that point.

    Jordan Peterson:
    “Men test ideas; women test men.”

  • Edward: I’ve mentioned this before on BtB, but we purchased a set of the full Dick van Dyke series in the spring for about $100. Worth every penny. It is available on amazon right now for $130.

  • wayne

    A Purchasing Tip for Amazon–

    I’ve had moderate success with manipulating their dynamic-pricing, on occasion. Sorta depends on the time-frame you’ll put up with, and popularity of the Title. If you want it Now, they definitely have it. If you want to try to pay less, try this….
    1) add the Title to your want-list and let it sit for awhile. (days to weeks) If you have Notifications turned on, they’ll try to gently cross-sell you similar titles or volumes via email, and suggest similar material while browsing. Put a few minutes of activity into it, but don’t buy anything. Just create the Event, and they’ll run with it.
    at some point in the future–
    2) Put the Title in your shopping-cart (with similar material/Volumes) and start to conduct a purchase, but just bail the Cart at the last minute, leave it and sign out. Let it sit a few days. Revisit, and Save for Later when asked, and/or edit your Cart. Create some activity for them to track, they’ll remind you haven’t ordered it

    -These prices will change, and generally decline, but Not guaranteed, and depends on supply/demand/popularity (and a whole lot of other manipulation on the part of Amazon) but I have a lot of boxed-sets and it pays to shop judiciously when you are spending that kind of money. (Note who is selling it as well, Amazon or a 3rd party vendor, 3rd party fulfillment through amazon, they have to pay a storage fee to amazon, on a monthly basis for every disk. They are most likely to lower a price, over time, to clear stock.)

    CBS is pushing Dick Van Dyke on their pay site, (with the colorized versions & re-issue) and that has spillover effects on demand for the physical DVD’s both old/new.

  • To all: Do not buy the colorized version of anything. Yuch. See it as it was made.

  • wayne

    Yes, be careful with colorized anything! (I’m with you Mr. Z.!)

    I’m seeing $79 for the (2015 issue) Boxed-set of Dick Van Dyke, (25 discs total, 3950 minutes of fun.) “Remastered” 35mm prints, and are in original B&W. (3rd party vendor, “25 copies available.)
    -That’s pretty good in my mind, roughly $3 a disc. (For this, I don’t foresee the price going down from $79. MTM died recently and CBS is streaming it.

    (Colorized version are confined to streaming for now.)

  • ken anthony

    “Well, if you don’t know I am certainly not going to tell you!”

    There is an obvious purpose to this. It’s all about destabilizing the situation. You can’t solve a problem you can’t identify. If you accidentally do identify the problem, it will be changed to a different problem without any indication that it’s been changed. The whole point is to ensure there can’t be a solution. It’s how women control by making men feel incompetent.

    Men are going to find out how insane a world we will soon be living in as woman take control.

    Makes me glad I’m dying.

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