Like any writer, it’s best to go back to your story, documentary or screenplay a couple of months or even years later. With a clear mind, you can make better editing choices.
As such with my post in March 19 2014 – now revised January 30 2016 : The Planet made of Gold by Bari Demers
I hope you enjoy and please pass along and like.
Photo Credit : Tianndra Demers
It was once said,” Dreams are more real then life itself.”
“Data received” I remember saying. My eyes open to the warm breeze of trade winds gently caressing my face. ”Ah yes, I know this place well, it reminds me of Kaanapali beach in Maui,” My inner thoughts begin expressing in words,”Damn, I miss Hawaii!”
Looking over the vast tropical ocean, waves crash like mighty giants, slowly eroding the sandy shores. My feet are nestled in the warm sand. It’s then I notice traces of what looks like speckled gold. Am I seeing right? Is this really gold? Scooping up a handful of sand, I inspect it closer. Stunned, the grains of sand slowly sift through my fingers. My mind is racing! Instinctively looking around, I quickly notice miles and miles of the sandy beach speckled with gold, sparkling in the afternoon sun. Smiling ear…
Oil in Alberta is the topic everyone is talking about, from activists to the folks who rely on the industry, enabling to feed their families. I’m not talking about the ‘Fat Cats’ where their interest is only in the tumbling shares. It’s important to understand what really is going on in our Canadian economy.
How it’s going to effect our way of life?
Very important to weight in on all the facts, from realizing oil isn’t just about the gas at the pumps to feed your car, but it’s about everything you see in your home and community.
To generalize, it’s plastic.
But let’s forget the fact that our TV’s, cars, fridges and stoves, counters and floors, buildings and roads are made from petroleum. Let’s take a closer look at the political gain in the east. According to George Brookman of West Canadian : Did you know Saudi Arabia ships their oil to New Brunswick, refines it and then sells it back to Canadians?
Say what ?! Is our world turning up side down ? So, let me get this straight.
Activists are complaining about our oil in Alberta, but the east are buying it from Saudi Arabia who could care less about our environment. In fact, an oil spill to them is no big deal. Just another day doing business. Look what Dubai did to their own coastal waters, digging and destroying the coral reef and the sustainable fisheries, making way for luxury man-made islands and five star hotels.
Seriously, they don’t care.
It’s all about money. And, without a doubt, our oil industry is about making money too, but it’s also the very backbone of our Canadian economy. Without oil, Canadians are going to suffer more then they thought possible. Everything will collapse, like dominoes, crashing our infrastructure and most importantly our way of life. Taxes will rises at an unbelievable rate, while our federal and provincial governments are scrambling to find income to sustain our dying economy. Our social system, we take for granted, will collapse before our very eyes, as health care quietly dissolves into money-making private healthcare systems.
And yes, it’s high-time our oil industry does take our environment into serious consideration. The ‘Oil Sands’ of Alberta is the elephant in the room. Sure, go ahead and produce oil, but not at the cost of our environment. Clean up your act. For example, stop using ‘fracking’ methods for extracting oil or gas.
The definition of fracking : ‘the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.’
And, to make it worse, they’re using our fresh water to extract it! This process not only depletes our fresh water supply, it’s causing environmental damage from man-made earthquakes to unusable soil, which grows our food while killing our wildlife. So, yes. It’s high-time our Oil Industries begin looking at cleaner viable solutions to extract our oil. And, it’s very important to begin producing other sources of clean energy to run our vehicles and to produce heat and power to our homes.
But I say this to all those activists, ” Next time you want to complain about our oil, think about how’s it effects your life. Hollywood activists are the worse, because they fly up here in their Lear Jets, get into their fancy vehicles,(both made with 50 percent of plastics) burning high octane gas all the way, and then make a big speech what global warming and our oil industry is doing to our environment. Not to mention the fact, a natural weather pattern, called a ‘Chinook’ terrifies them to hell!
Definition of a Chinook : sudden gusts of warm coastal air mixed through the Rocky Mountains, leaving a trail of melting snow. Within a day, you can have a ton of snow melt before your eyes.
This is nature. Not an environmental disaster.
Look. I really enjoy actors, like Leonardo DiCaprio. Very professional and without a doubt, a ‘for sure’ Oscar winner for his performance in the latest movie, The Revenant, filmed here in Alberta, within our majestic Canadian Rockies Mountains in 2014. But, please, learn all the facts about our environment and stop the BS propaganda tactics.
The facts are clear. Oil is still an important resource, but so is our forest industry, fisheries and natural gas. Did you know, Canada is one of the largest producers of natural gas?
So, let’s take a hard look at our future. It will surely effect your way of living. The high and mighty ‘Fat Cats’ of our Oil Industries can no longer rape society by greed or political gain. It’s time to get down to business and begin the process of cleaning-up-your-act. Produce oil, but not at the cost of destroying our environment. We are intelligent enough to know how to do it better, stronger and faster.
Am I willing to pay more at the pumps?
The hard question is yes. If it means to strengthen our economy and keep our social system strong, then it makes perfect sense to pay more. But, that doesn’t mean to get more then you deserve. Stop being so greedy and influencing your power onto our political system.
Can’t say I really understand the stock market or how the oil market stands in the world economy. I’m sure greed and power turns the mighty wheels of our stock market. South of the border, our American friends learned that the hard way, when the the housing market crashed, sending honest hard working folks onto the streets.
The white collar crime of greed should get the same punishment as one that robs our banks. White collar crime is actually worse then bank robbers, because they take the livelihood of innocent citizens, raping them of their homes and way of life.
This is what I know, the majority of folks in Canada, United States and the world are hard working souls, barely making ends-meat to survive. Please don’t tell us we can do with less and eat macaroni. I’m turning 60 soon. My life has been hard and tedious, but I’m grateful the economy was strong enough to feed and care for my family. Going into retirement, I’m scared of the outcome.
Will I be out on the street too ?
I’m also extremely worried for my grandchildren and what they may have to endure. Now, that frightens the hell out of me! So please, all those with the powers-to-be, please don’t become those ‘Fat Cats’ lining your greedy pockets.
It’s time to give back and help sustain the economy.
Yes. Look after our oil industries, but let’s make it a much cleaner resource having zero impact on our environment. I love my Canada and understand the importance of our way of life and the cost of our freedom.
Please take care of our economy now before its way too late. If anything, for the sake of your children and grandchildren.
“Left with his own free will…power and pride grew to darkness” Bari Demers
By Bari Demersfreelance writer and screenwriter NOTE: My style of writing isn’t your typical format. You could say it’s my trademark. It allows readers with short attention spans (due to the flood of social media) to read smaller paragraphs and lead points without becoming overwhelmed by the content of long tedious paragraphs.
I have been discussing horror films primarily in my blog, but I want to extend my examination to science fiction movies also. Certainly the two genres have much in common, especially in their examination of very real social issues through the motif of the creation of fantasy worlds. They also differ in their focus on monsters or unseen fears in horror and on the dangerous use of technology in science-fiction.
The 1950s was a decade that saw the emergence of science-fiction films into the public consciousness, especially reflecting the twin fears of the Cold War: of communists and of nuclear annihilation. These were the kind of enormous social anxieties that played well in the genre of science-fiction.
I enjoy Throwback Thursday Vegas style, because you get to see what Vegas use to look like, way back when. In particular, it’s fun to see photos from 1940’s to the late 1980’s. The El Rancho Vegas was the first hotel to spring up on the desert Vegas Strip. It’s grand opening was on April 3, 1941. After came the New Frontier Hotel and Casino in 1945, and just after that, was the infamous Mafia built, Flamingo in 1946 by Bugsy Siegel.
For someone, like me, going to Vegas for the last 30 years, I’m always amazed how much Sin City has changed. If it wasn’t for Steve Wynn starting the building frenzy in 1989 with his mega-hotel, The Mirage, Las Vegas (a 3,044 room Polynesian-style hotel and casino), I’m not sure if Vegas would have been built on such a large scale, as it is today.
Possible. It just might of taken longer, that’s all. Before the Mirage, Las Vegas opened on November 22, 1989, with its fiery volcano, it was common place to see hotels relative to the size of the Dunes, Las Vegas with 1300 rooms; which I might add, Steve Wynn bought the Dunes for $75 million, imploding it in 1993.
Before the mega-hotels explosion, Vegas was more intimate, you might say.
Romance was in the air.
The nostalgic history behind Las Vegas is considered a more romantic time, instead of today’s hustle and bustle, a fury of madness along the Vegas Strip. Looking at Stardust, Las Vegas in 1979 signifies the past when the Mafia had a strong hold on the small desert town. Even though the mobsters were busy skimming their pockets with untaxed cash, they were the first to treat their customers well, lavishing them with the now traditional room and restaurant comps you see today.
After all, it was good business.
The prices back then were always considered cheap. As you can see for yourself in the Stardust photo by Ned Paynter, the billboard advertises incredibly low prices :
Gamblers Breakfast for only $0.99 cents – Wow!
All you can eat Brunch – only $1.95
And a full Dinner Buffet – once again, All you can eat – only $2.95
I’m loving the prices back then. I remember getting steak and eggs for $1.99 back in the 1980’s. Oh how I wish those prices were back today!
Buffet pricing has increased considerably in the last 37 years.
*All day, add $16.99 for unlimited Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, Champagne, Premium Beer and Wine on TAP. See more HERE
To be fair, a lot has happened in 37 years.
Buffet choices are more elaborate, trained Chefs are now employed and the general food market prices have gone up throughout the world. Each restaurant must have a 33% Food Cost to cover the cost in staff, electrical and heating, bringing the food in and so on. Mind you, with the above prices I’m thinking, their food cost is closer to 25%, which is a good margin.
The add-ons like the All day Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and Beer is likely where they make money, simply because with food in your tummy, drinking your monies worth is hard to do. Even if you can stand to come back the same day. I actually tried that. Did my best to come back and get my monies worth, simply couldn’t do it.
My full tummy said otherwise.
But, if you put everything into perspective, you’re on holidays after all. It’s easy to loose $20 in the slot machines within minutes, so part of their strategy (I’m thinking) would be to remove $20 from your pocket as fast as they can.
Even going to the pool, the drinks start from $15 – $40 depending on the size of alcoholic drink. My wife and I will spend $80 and maybe more if we have a nice breakfast overlooking the pool. Of course, let’s put in the equation of PROMOS where one receives promotional items, such as “Free Play”, free buffets, rooms and entertainment. There’s a bunch of different ways to receive PROMOS from Highrollers to playing games on-line.
So, you see everything must be put into perspective. I really do love Vegas and everything it offers. Even though the nostalgic side of Vegas is gone forever, the brand new Vegas is very much as exciting. That’s why I keep going back. It still is an affordable fun holiday. As always, I hope to see YOU in Vegas !
When you think of famous scientists, you immediately think of Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking. Why do we do that? Why do we automatically think of famous men before women?
Aren’t women equally qualified ?
Did you know, women behind-the-scenes of STEAM ( the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) are rarely discovered, simply because they don’t think of themselves as the conventional ‘heroes’ of science. Or could it be possible women are overruled in a political male dominant arena?
Do you know any women behind-the-scenes in the Space Program?
Unless you personally worked with one, they are hardly noticed. Whatever the case, female scientists, space engineers, chemists and inventors across the world seem to fall through the cracks, leaving their achievements unannounced.
How’s that possible, you may ask ? Let’s take a quick history lesson.
Do you know the woman who wrote a paper on reversed aging ?
Either did I.
In the 1950’s scientist Wanda Ruth Lunsford claimed she reversed aging. Unfortunately it was the only scientific paper she ever wrote because the dominant male scientific community didn’t believe her. They even publicly shamed her by calling her Dracula and Frankenstein. Wanda’s claim to reversed aging was apparently to much for the male ego at the time.
Wanda Lunsford is a very small example of a female scientist, who was never recognized for her “genius” status. A friend of mine would quote this as,”…It’s a testosterone thing, I think.” In fact, throughout the centuries, undetected by time, there are thousands of unsuspected women, who have shaped the lifestyle, you most commonly take for granted today.
So today, let’s make this assumption fade away into our past, and begin recognizing the intriguing intelligence of a woman. After all, it’s the women behind-the-scenes, who have helped make important decisions for past Presidents of the United States. And, to make it easier for you, I just so happen to know of one remarkable woman who’s hiding in plain sight right now.
Roberta “Robyn” Villavecchia, former NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineer and formation aviation pilot. This rocket chemist is sure to get you to the moon and back.
Robyn’s mission was to help develop the engines, a crucial part to get the astronauts to the moon and bring them home safely. By her own words,”…I was with NASA at the height of the Moon Program from Apollo 1 through Apollo 12, where we were developing the engines for the lunar landers…”
A behind-the-scenes chemist helping NASA shape our future in the space program. As said by DJI,”…at the height of the Moon program, Robyn was developing fuel for rockets. Since then, this pioneering rocket scientist has never stopped pursuing her love of flying.” Today, Robyn is retired, but that doesn’t mean she’s RETIRED. It’s common place to find her tinkering and flying the DJI Phantom series.
“When your young, nothing seems impossible to you…,” Robyn claims.
Robyn is first to tell you, women are an important part within NASA and the technology mainstream, and never should gender be a deterring factor. In fact, women should be considered as equals to men, providing generations of incredible scientists. So, it’s more important then ever for younger women of today, to give it all they got with STEAM, and begin the exciting journey with NASA or other scientific adventures.
This week, I had the privileged to talk to Robyn. Here’s our conversation:
ME : What would you say to encourage girls to pursue a career in the STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineers and Mathematics) field?
ROBYN : Encouraging girls and young women to pursue a career in STEM (and I must change that somewhat to STEAM, for Art is an integral part of the answer) is much easier today than in the past because the image of the “homemaker/housewife” has largely gone the way of the Dodo.
ME : I’m enjoying the analogy, “…the image of the “homemaker/housewife” has largely gone the way of the Dodo.” So true! LOL. Please continue…
ROBYN: Men, I believe, tend to attack a problem exactly that way…attack, throw muscle or dollars or blunt force of numbers to solve a problem. It is a testosterone thing, I think. On the other hand, women tend to solve problems by finding much more elegant solutions. Rather than the bull in the china shop approach, they innately seek a solution based on finesse. Just my opinion of course. Fortunately, our more enlightened educators and human resource people are beginning to realize this.
ME: So, what you are saying, women add a touch of finesse and should be encouraged into the field of STEAM, to even out the testosterone. Would that be a fair statement ?
ROBYN: Yes, definitely. Women generally contribute a alternate way of thinking about a problem or an issue. They can often mitigate the thinking in such a way as to make the proposed solution, shall we say, more elegant…more refined.
ME: Do you think privatization of the space program is the key to success?
ROBYN: For some reason, most folks suffer under a misguided opinion that NASA was the only entity involved in Project Apollo. I must emphasize that all NASA programs have been and always will be a partnership between industry and the government. I give you this: Though I was intimately involved in our going to the moon, I never received a dime of pay from the Federal Government. It worked this way. We were a contractor personnel with the knowledge working under the watchful eye of NASA’s quality control people. We used to laugh that the job stayed the same, the only change was the color and logo on our paycheques!
ME : Do you think NASA should have continued on with the moon project ?
ROBYN : To this day, that is a “hot button” issue with me. Everyone is familiar with Launch Complex 39. LC-39A and B are still with us. But did you know we were already moving dirt in the construction of LC-39C and D? LC-39C was designed to be the launch site of Apollo Applications Program, the follow of the moon landings. And, hang on to you pen Bari, because LC-39D was to be the launch pad for the manned Mars landing program, and we were well on the way to proving the engines for the missions. You might want to look up “Nerva“. Being a propulsion chemist/engineer, that was pretty damned close to my heart.
ME: Were you part of the NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) Program ?
ROBYN : No. I was not a part of the NERVA Program, though I was aware of it and followed it’s progress. I was a Hypergolic Propellant chemist. Fancy name for chemicals that go boom and spit fire on contact. I did “bench chemistry” analysis on the density, viscosity and purity on a day to day basis using test tubes, pipettes and the like. Gus Grissom once introduced me to a group of touring suits, as “Old Fearless” 😊
ME: It’s amazing to hear the LC-39D was meant to be the launch pad for the manned Mars landing program, way back in 1963. To think about it, a manned Mars Landing Program, over 53 years ago. Wow!
ROBYN : I did say,”hang on to your pen Bari.”
ME: You did too. Did you enjoy your work?
ROBYN: It was fun. Lots of challenges, and lots of rewards. The really sad thing is that no one has ever told the story of so many who were in the trenches. Pipe fitters, carpenters, steel workers, women sitting for hours at a time staring through microscopes counting and sizing foreign particles in the gasses and liquids used in the vehicle.
ME: The Apollo missions were scraped by the stroke of a pen. That must of made your blood boil. I know I was extremely disappointed.
ROBYN: Makes it boil to this day. Nixon destroyed our “better angels”. With the stroke of the Presidential Pen, Nixon scrapped the last three Apollo missions, all of Apollo Applications and the Mars Program. Seems he need the money freed up to bomb the crap (pardon the language) out of the North Vietnamese…and I thing we can all agree on the idiocy of that particular decision. Remember what I said about the testosterone method of problem solving?
ME: Had things been different, would we have a colony of families on the moon by now?
ROBYN: I don’t think so. There would be no, or very little, financial incentive to do so. Maybe if a hoard of diamonds had be found perhaps. But certainly manned cadres of scientists, much like today’s ISS would probably be contributing to our store of knowledge and that, Bari, is priceless.
ME: You were telling me you witness the Saturn V launch ?
ROBYN: I lived on a canal off of Sykes Creek in Merritt Island. No one knew what to expect when the first Saturn V was launched. Our folks were moved from the Lab back to the area of the VAB. After the launch when I got back to the lab, my phone was ringing off the hook. It was my sister, living with us at the time. Sounding panicky she almost shouted, “What blew up?” I told her nothing, why? She then told me all the windows in the house facing the launch area were broken. The sound waves were that violent and strong.
ME: That would have been awesome to see. What’s most frustrating in the Space Program today ?
ROBYN: What do I personally see as the most frustrating, and I might add, tragic things I see today regarding NASA ? In a nutshell year by year funding. Without multi year and multi administration funding, there can be no long term planning, no long term funding and no setting of long term goals. Without these, the dreamers will still be dreaming, but the dreams will never come to fruition.
ME: So true. Thank you Robyn for spending time with me answering some hard questions about the Apollo Program, the direction of the Space Program and most importantly women of tomorrow reaching for space.
I had a great time talking to Robyn and curious if NASA’s future will truly hold the key to mankind’s destiny. Robyn is indeed a women behind-the-scenes during the NASA Apollo missions, but I must add, one of the most valuable persons. Without a chemist, you wouldn’t have rocket science. Take a minute to hear Robyn for yourself, on DJI showcasing her remarkable achievements. Our friend, Robyn, who’s much loved by all.
In short, it actually is rocket science and Robyn ROCKS!
In my books Robyn is a HERO for her achievements as a pioneering chemist with the space program. Never under estimate the will power and intelligence of a woman.
Bravo Robyn – To the Moon and back!
As a grandfather of three grandchildren, with two granddaughters, I foresee a bright future for all of them, possibly in space exploration. Fortunately, NASA’s latest astronaut class has finally reached the 50 percent mark for female astronauts.
I’m reaching 60 and it really is my hope and dreams a manned Mars Landing Program becomes a reality before I die. As a kid I always dreamed of space exploration, flying around our solar system in my well constructed spaceship made out of cardboard.
Going to school, reality set in. I just wasn’t smart enough for NASA.
But I realized my imagination and storytelling turned out to be my real asset. I’m part of STEAM after all, the Arts of science-fiction.
In final summary, I would like to say,” Oh please, lets get back to the Moon and begin exploring Mars.” With over seven billion people on earth using up our resources at a staggering rate, we just might run out of time. It’s about time we take the leap and adventure forward, before mankind becomes a statistic. And while we are at it, let’s make sure we recognized all the women in the space program, including women sitting for hours at a time staring through microscopes counting and sizing foreign particles in the gasses and liquids used in space vehicles.
It was a real pleasure Robyn, aka “Old Fearless” Thank you!
The Holocaust Against Humanity – 10 appointed Judges
Mankind has always been plagued by the misuse of power. It isn’t any different today as it was throughout our bloody history. There’s always someone who seeks power by either religious means or dictatorship.
It was common place to see androids from all walks of life, from space exploration to household protectors. Back in 2015, Steven Hawkins warned us,” Artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”.
But no one took Steven’s advice.
At first androids were clumsy, to the point of even being comical. So, the thought of androids controlling mankind was preposterous, to say the least. All the ‘Terminator Trilogy’ movies heed caution, but again, it was just a bunch of science fiction.
Really, what could possibly go wrong?
Celebrations bringing in the New Year 2045 started off very promising, with new heights to space exploration.
Mankind had finally established a Mars colony after three failed attempts. Galileo III ( predecessor of satellite Galileo) explored our cosmic gas giant Jupiter for a third time. Scientists knew from previous missions, Jupiter didn’t…
Today is a sad day to hear the passing of legendary David Bowie. His passion for music, without any doubt, made an impact on our artistic culture.
When an artist dies, it brings me deep sorrow.
The loss of a gifted human being touches the very soul of my aching heart, because I realize that person won’t be able to express his or her love anymore. Of course, their art will live-on through music, photography or writing, but the person will be gone forever.
I say this,” Damn our short life! Seriously, there must be more than this? Otherwise the evolutionary human being is nothing more than a cruel joke throughout the ages of millennium.”
So, that’s why it’s so important that we follow our passion.
Whatever your passion is, follow it and never ever give up, no matter what others feel or think. It’s not always about money. The passion within you will speak for itself and others will follow. Everyone of us, including stars and musical wizards, had to start from somewhere.
If it grabs you, never let go!
Passion is the love of life; without it you’re plagued with emptiness. Your soul will reap with happiness the very moment you begin pursuing your dreams.
Whatever it takes, give it all you got!
From the very depths of your soul, bring out the creative YOU, as precious and unique as a snowflake. There’s only one of you, the mould has long been destroyed. Some of us are gifted more than others, even considered prodigies, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for you to give up.
It only means you must try harder. The burning passion within touches the very core of your soul.
You must express it!
It constantly taunts you forward, the minute you awake, to the minute you fall asleep. But then there are times you can’t sleep because a word, an image or a phrase lures you to pick up that musical instrument, that brush, that pen, to begin exploring that whimsical thought dancing in your head and boasting it to the world.
So, reach out and make yourself known. Expressing your artistic self may touch the heart and soul of other human beings, just waiting for your spark of life.
Today, I give my heartfelt tribute to David Bowie, a man who expressed his love for music. While his passion captured the world, leaving his fans ecstatic for more, David Bowie’s kindness touched everyone.
It’s in deep sorrow I express my loss for David Bowie, a true legend. Thank you David for enriching our lives and soul. You will be missed.
PS – Here’s what I said on my Twitter account @jrobbmontana, ” I would also like to express the sad loss of David Bowie . When I hear an #artist is taken away from us, it’s a very sad day.#musicians #DavidBowie #UnderPressure @DavidBowieReal youtu.be/fCP2-Bfhy04 ”