Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and 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.

The ship cut in half

An evening pause: The youtube page explains:

Norwegian cruise ship “Braemar” was literally split in half. Carried out at the shipyard in Hamburg operation was aimed at extending the hull by 30 feet. Between the two separated parts inserted third. The ship was repainted and with a new name – “Balmoral” – went on another tour.

Hat tip Edward Thelen.


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  • Jason Hillyer


  • Localfluff

    It’s amazing that it is practical to rebuild ships in this manner. They weren’t designed for it to begin with, I assume. Kockums, the Swedish u-boat builder, extends “any conventional” submarines like this, cutting up their hull to extend them and install their silent Stirling engines.

  • Noah Peal

    So interesting, Edward. Thanks!

  • Kirk

    Nice selection!

    I found it interesting that the large, rail-mounted cranes followed the ship in and out of the graving dock. I wonder if they were controlling hawsers to aid the tug boats in the berthing and unberthing.

  • Tarkus

    If you notice when the ship leaves drydock, it’s still named Braemar. That’s because Balmoral is another ship that under went the same modification. Both ships operated by John Olsen Cruise Line. Still an interesting video, 2 thumbs up.

  • wayne

    “Birth of Victory” 1945
    Building the Liberty Ships During World War II

    “Henry Kaiser was known for developing new methods of modular ship building, which allowed his yards to outproduce other similar facilities and build 1,490 ships, 27 percent of the total Maritime Commission construction. Kaiser’s ships were completed in two-thirds the time and a quarter the cost of the average of all other shipyards. Liberty ships were typically assembled in a little over two weeks, and one in less than five days.”

    “The Liberty ship SS Robert E. Peary was assembled in less than five days as a part of a special competition among shipyards. At the Oregon Shipbuilding Yard on the Columbia River, near Portland, the Victory ship SS Joseph N. Teal was built in ten days in fall 1942.”

  • Col Beausabre

    The Peary was, even at the time, acknowledged to be a stunt with much pre-stocking of materials. In terms of increasing the size of ships, its called “jumboizing” and has been done for decades.

    From Wikipedia

    Jumboization is a technique in shipbuilding consisting of enlarging a ship by adding an entire section to it. By contrast with refitting or installation of equipment, jumboization is a long and complex endeavour which can require a specialized shipyard.

    Enlarging a ship by jumboization allows an increase in its value without needing to purchase or build an entirely new ship. This technique has been used on cruise ships and tankers, as well as smaller vessels like sailing or fishing ships

  • It’s been done this way for a long time. For example, the first SSBN boats were created by cutting SSN boats in half and splicing in the missile tubes, back around 1960. When I worked as a marine machinery mechanic (long time ago) boats in for repair and refit had “patches” cut in the hull for access, as there was no way the stuff inside was going to come out and be put back in via the weapons loading hatch. When the refit was done, the patches cut out with carbon arc were simply welded back in. Standard shipbuilding technique.

  • Dick Eagleson


    That would be the Fred Olsen Cruise Line. Balmoral and Braemar are, indeed, separate ships in the same fleet. Another inaccuracy is the size of the stretch section for Braemar. It wasn’t 30 feet, it was 102 feet. The Balmoral’s was 98 feet. Watching the video, the inserted section was obviously a lot longer than 30 feet. Here’s a link to a site with the relevant data.

  • Cotour

    Thank you.

    That 30 foot extension did not make sense to me, I thought as I read that spec. 30 feet, whats the point? Still its one hell of an undertaking in the “big” class of projects, and they really go on more often than one would think. Lots of big stuff out there.

  • Tarkus

    Thank you Mr Eagleson,

    Great link. Much better site than where I found my information.

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