Category: helicopter

Geo-movie review: Gold

In my quest to see all “geology” movies (no matter how cheesy or inaccurate!), I finally watched Gold (2016). This film hits closer to home for me than some other geo-movies, like Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow, or the heart-wrenching Impossible, since I live and work in Vancouver. This city is home to more junior exploration companies that any other so I occasionally mix with slightly similar characters and understand the games they play!

In Gold, Matthew McConaughey plays Kenny Wells, a sleazy, drunken “prospector desperate for a lucky break”. His exploration/promotion business, inherited from his father, looks for gold deposits, and hopes to find investors willing to pay to develop them into mines.

The company goes downhill after his father passes away, and the ragtag crew take up office in the local tavern, spruiking small, pitiful projects to gullible investors between swigs of beer and whiskey. One day, Wells hears that a geologist, Michael Acosta (played swarthy Edgar Ramirez), may be sitting on a literal gold mine in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia and travels to the project.

Spoilers ahead!

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Taking to the skies for girls in STEM

One excited co-pilot

Fewer than five per cent of pilots, flight engineers, and flight instructors are female*. That’s 19 men for every one women flying a fixed-wing plane or helicopter, maintaining an aircraft, or teaching a class of new aviators. As with so many male-dominated industries, female role models for young women dreaming of taking to the skies are scarce. “You can’t be what you can’t see” is the mantra. So, in 2012, Kirsten Brazier, a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot, founded “The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too” to energize more girls and women to discover the opportunities available to them in aviation, aerospace and space.

“From shop floor to top floor, we’re inspiring future leaders!” says Brazier.

Kirsten Brazier is a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot and founder of the Girls Fly Too event

The annual event is held at Abbotsford airport, about an hour east of Vancouver, B.C. A free helicopter flight for first-time female fliers is the highlight of the event for most attendees, but there are also the opportunities to peek inside the coast guard helicopter, watch a police dog at work, or even meet a real astronaut.

When my family and I first went to the event in March 2015, my daughter was four and a half. Two years later, she still remembers her flight, getting her face painted, and learning to pop-rivet! (more…)