Two for a Penny – The Grapes of Wrath

A quick holiday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black!
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In past years I have managed to avoid asking for donations for Behind the Black during the holiday season. My finances however now compel me to do a short one-week fund-raiser, from November 11 to November 17.
I do not use Twitter for ethical reasons, which I have been told cuts down on traffic to the website. So be it. Furthermore, Facebook has clearly acted in the past two years to limit traffic to Behind the Black, almost certainly for political reasons. So be this as well. Finally, I do not post outside ads, as I have found them annoying to my readers and not that profitable to me.


Therefore, I need to ask for the direct support from my readers. If you like what I do here, please consider contributing, either by making a one-time donation or a monthly subscription, as indicated in the tip jar below.


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


Or you could consider purchasing one of my books, as indicated in the boxes scattered throughout the website. My histories of space exploration are award-winning and are aimed for the general public. All are page-turners, and all not only tell the story of the beginning of the human exploration of space, they also help explain why we are where we are today. And I also have a science fiction book available, Pioneer, which tells its own exciting story while trying to predict what life in space will be like two hundred years in the future.


Note that for this week only I am also having a sale on the purchase of the last 20 hardbacks of Leaving Earth. (Click on the link for more information about the book, which was endorsed by Arthur C. Clarke himself!) This award-winning out-of-print book is now only available as an ebook, but I still have a handful of hardbacks available, normally for sale for $70 plus $5 shipping. For this week only you can buy them, personally autographed by me, for $50 plus $5 shipping! Just send me a check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to the address above, with a note saying that the money is for the Leaving Earth hardback.


Please consider donating. Your help will make it possible for me to continue to be an independent reporter in the field of space, science, technology, and culture.

An evening pause: To help start out a new year, a scene from the 1940 John Ford classic, The Grapes of Wrath, based on John Steinbeck’s novel. While the movie tended to make government a saintly hero, which bothered me from the first time I saw it, it also captured the heart and generosity of the American spirit, as certainly existed in the previous century. Even if you are poor and desperate, if you insist on paying your fair share and don’t ask for a hand out, Americans immediately rally around you, in a quiet unassuming way, without wishing credit or accolades.

Hat tip Wayne DeVette.

Note that I am in need of suggestions for evening pauses. If you have made suggestions before, you know where to send them. If you haven’t and want to, leave a comment here and I will email you. Don’t include the link to the pause, however, as I want to schedule it, and that will blow the punchline.



  • Localfluff

    To me, your space related comments IS the treat. I don’t care much about old movies or any popular music. I prefer watching a lecture about something I understand half of, but that’s just me.

    Maybe you could give your blogging popular cultural interludes a space twist? There’s space science fiction and space item collectors and model builders and space historians and living space industry legends (who are not as legendary as they maybe should be, but will be in historic retrospect). And other people, space is a crazy business.

    This doesn’t qualify to your pause, but a model that someone built of how the planned Soviet Lunar space mission would transfer one cosmonaut via a space walk to the landing craft. And apparently moving over some payload via a cable. Lunar Landing LOK & LK

  • Localfluff

    The image of the model, if it doesn’t load above:
    I think there might be a renaissance of physical models (and mechanics) as a recoil against the flat touch screen and virtual reality culture.

  • Michael Dean Miller


    ….truck drivahz….


  • ken anthony

    On occasion I’ve found things I thought would be perfect here, but can’t predict when. But I would like to contribute should I come across something.

  • wayne

    I’d like to see some of your suggestions– go for it!

    (tangentially– if you ever come across any animation-shorts from Jean Marsh’s “International Festival of Animation,” (PBS 1977-1979) let me know!)

  • RobertJr

    Love the Evening Pauses. I have a suggestion for one if you’d like to consider it.

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