????? – John Wilson Orchestra

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.

An evening pause: This pause is going to be a challenge. I am curious who can most quickly identify the film that this suite comes from, performed here live in 2013. I am sure that anyone that knows anything about movies will figure it out by around 2:30, but can you do it sooner? One hint: this is one of the greatest and most popular films ever made.

Hat tip to Phil Berardelli, author of Phil’s Favorite 500: Loves of a Moviegoing Lifetime.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

Therefore, I hope you will 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 paypal:

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  • Jim

    I think this is from “Casablanca”!

  • D.K. Williams

    Can almost see Bogey and Bergman at the airport.

  • Dale Martin

    Casablanca. Too easy, find a really obscure one to test us with…

  • Ah, but no one is saying how much they had to hear to get it. It is obvious if you listen long enough, but I am curious if anyone gets it in the first minute.

  • susie

    I got it at about the 1 minute mark.

  • Steve Golson

    It sounded familiar right from the start, but I couldn’t place it until 0:50 as “La Marseillaise” began.

  • Edward

    Thought I knew at the 20 second mark, and was certain 2 seconds later. It was the Warner Brothers intro that made it take so long. I love this movie. It occasionally plays at a local theater — to a packed house.

    Excellent find, Phil. Thanks for posting it, Robert. :-)

    To paraphrase: Of all the sound tracks, in all the movies, in all the world, he had to play one of my favorites.

    Yeah. The DVD’s already in the player. AFK!

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