About this project
Want to live in a world with educational programming about mineralogy? If so, YOU are needed! The goal doesn't stop! The more backing you help raise for the project, the more we can all help to Kickstart Mineralogy! See the Stretch Goals and Budgets below!
Minerals Or Bust! What is it?
"Minerals or Bust!" is a laugh out loud antic show highlighting the captivating world of gems and minerals! We'll journey around the globe with our own brand of cheesy jokes and nerdy wit on a mission of mineralogical discovery. Hilarity is sure to ensue around every corner of the way!
So what's the pitch?
Join a maniacal band of mineralogists for some mineral collecting mayhem as they prospect for rare specimens others failed to notice! Watch as we load our old beat up cargo van with a bunch of rusty tools and head into the field! Prisoners do it as punishment, laborers do it for wage, mineralogists break rocks for fun! Come along as we go on location to mines, quarries and outcrops to dig specimens straight from the ground and talk about the history, mineralogy and geology of the spot. After the dig, join the discussion for identification and analysis as we share war wounds and "fish" stories from the day's finds.
Not another Treasure Show!?
Are you tired of muckers bulldozing the Amazon and washing away most of Alaska for a few measly flecks of gold? We are, too! Save the Amazon and watch Henry and Adam and a motley crew of mineralogists partake in more formative, more deliberate mineral collecting misadventures!
We've watched hours of video hosted by standard issue dinkle mcdorfs who spend way too much energy and way too many resources for a pinch of sparkly ga-ga-ga-gold dust. Those guys know exactly how to turn a $100 specimen into fifty three cents worth of shiny powder. What an embarrassment and a crying shame! But don't fret, we're here to help!
You're saying there's a better way to Prospect?
Yes! In the first episode, learn how to pull $100 bills straight from the ground for yourself! More importantly, we'll share good stories and good times. Sure, it's fun to watch the commercial guys rip into their fenced off personal gem claims with heavy machinery, but it's way better to dig your own stuff with friendly people who want to share good times. We'll show you the fun and easy way to prospect for rare minerals without permanently altering the landscape. Along with a grizzly bunch of scientists, experienced collectors and enthusiasts, we'll showcase in crisp HD some of the beautiful crystallized gems and mineral specimens right in your own back yard! When you're able to identify what you've found you're in a much better position to assess the true economic and intrinsic value of your find. From the ground to the display case, come along for the fun, laughs, knowledge, beauty and breathtaking earthly creations.
Why should anybody be interested in Minerals?
Money, of course! $$$$ Get your money for nothing and your digs for free! $$$$ Some minerals are so rare they only occur in one place on earth, far rarer than gold or diamonds, and they're very, very valuable! But more importantly, you can expand your mental faculties with a fascinating, mind-bending hobby along with lots of good friends. There's a whole astonishing world of Mother Nature's personal artwork that you've been missing out on entirely. Sure, there's a fortune to be made just waiting in the ground beneath your feet! But for the passionately curious and the enlightened thinkers, there's a greater wealth of knowledge and understanding to be had. The lure of gemstones is understandable, they're beautiful, rare, desirable and the stuff of kings and queens. Mineral specimens share the same appeal. The crystal forms and associations will truly boggle your mind and leave you with that inspiring feeling of universal awe and amazement! Just look at some of these minerals Nature made:
Is it Educational?
Spreading knowledge about minerals and mineral collecting, geology and the mining industry is our only goal. We have just the right mix of big words, witty explanations and funny zingers to make a really great informative and hilarious project! In addition to a fun television series, we want to develop material for educators, too, especially K-12. Additionally, we'd like to release extensive locality video guides for ardent collectors. No matter what the format, the first goal is to educate, so we'll strike up interest by discussing the rewards, then delve into the intellectual and analytical side of collecting.
What if I'm too [insert excuse here]?
Mineral collecting is a great hobby for kids, adults, grandma, great grandma, the family dog and your third cousin twice removed. Families can share outdoor adventures and tell whopper style "fish" stories about their big finds. Developing minds as well as aged minds can benefit from the amazement and wonder of gems and minerals and we want to show everybody this great, intellectual, family hobby. Everybody can participate and even if you don't like finding treasure, the outdoors always improves any mood.
The knowledge isn't limited to just rocks, there's a lot of great history to some of these old mines. Nature lovers can see a whole array of plants and animals while they're out on digs, as well! But the best part is that sometimes the trips pay for themselves when you hit a nice strike of rare minerals. Divide up the collecting with an afternoon barbeque or make it a weekend with an overnight camp-out. Whether you're a hiker, birder, plant enthusiast, photographer, BBQ aficionado, avid camper or just somebody who loves good company and beautiful scenery, mineral collecting could be for you. Truly great times!
What about the science?
Documenting gems and minerals is very important to our understanding of the world around us. Many specimens are sent to crushers and furnaces, sold for jewelry, destroyed by commercial operations who were only looking for the showiest pieces or the specimens disappear from private collections when heirs don't know or understand the value of the collection. We want to create some fun, lasting evidence of what came out of the ground and what treasures may still be down there waiting for someone just like you to dig them up! The work's not over in the field, either, we'll go inside the lab, classroom, swap meets, shows and conferences to really gain an understanding of the earth's inner workings.
When will your project begin?
We hope to begin shooting the first episode in fall of this year. Episodes will go to downloadable video and DVD initially and we're hoping for a television series if we can find any networks that still value quality, educational entertainment!
What will you share with others?
We'll share a wealth of knowledge about mineralogy, mining history, geology and collecting localities for viewers at home starting with episode one! Learn about all the great, accessible collecting spots near you, what can be found there and what some of the finds might be worth both intrinsically and monetarily. We'll also feature great resources for discovering your own prized collecting holes for yourself, describing many of the tell-tale features of promising areas to dig. We'll discuss the specific minerals and their crystal structures and compositions and where to look for resources that will help with identifying any new oddballs that aren't part of the typical suite of minerals for a locality. We won't give away anybody's secret spot or suggest off-limits commercial operations, only areas we know to be accessible to everyone!
What's your budget? What are your goals?
Goal #1 - Shoot episode one of a funny show about minerals and mineral collecting, raise awareness - Free download of Episode One for everyone! - $30,000 Goal
Here's an ideal budget for Episode One:
✓ One old beat up field van with four tires - $8,500
(well, a newer old beat up van, anyway. Ours is a bit shifty.)
✓ A road-side tool kit for when the van breaks down - $200
✓ A case of Fix-A-Flat for when the tires give out - $50
✓ Two Good HD cameras with interchangeable lenses - $13,000
✓ Several new wireless UHF field mics - $2000
✓ Decent Field lighting for underground footage - $1000
✓ Three pairs of GoPro's for 3D & microscopy - $3000
(includes lens modifications necessary for microscopy)
✓ Splitters, scopes, software, workstation, memory cards - $3300
✓ Some new used miscellaneous field equipment - $2500
(tools, tables, chairs, gear, drills, bags, buckets, etc.)
✓ Reasonable travel budget for seedy roach motels - $4000
(and mostly gas!)
✓ Kickstarter & Amazon fee mitigation - $2500
✓ If the project raises a little more support we'll get a slightly better van and a spare tire.
Here's our realistic budget:
✓ Do what we can with what the support you help raise.
Stretch Goal #1 - Dedicate an entire video sub-series to K-12 mineralogy and geology education - Free downloads for everyone! - $60,000 Goal
$60,000 - If the project raises sixty thousand dollars you'll help dedicate an entire sub-series to K-12 mineralogy and geology education, for free download by anyone! Your pledge can make this a reality!
✓ Additional support for location footage, samples and research - $20,000
✓ Additional travel budget - $10,000
Stretch Goal #3 - Develop free online mineralogy and geology courses - Free online courses for everyone! - $250,000 Goal
$250,000 - If the project raises two hundred and fifty thousand dollars you'll help develop free online basic through advanced mineralogy and geology courses for everyone with interactive media for young people and games for kids! You can make this happen with your support!
✓ Server(s), domain(s), database(s), hardware, software, misc. equipment, annual fees - $45,000
✓ Materials/samples purchase and acquisition, development, travel, photography, additional videography, reference development, freight (travel is a big expense here for location references!) - $45,000
✓ Course/System development support, administrative, personnel - $100,000
Stretch Goal #4 - Start youth summer camps and after school mineralogy clubs - Educational, science related afterschool activities for kids!
$500,000 - If the project raises half a million dollars you will have helped do everything mentioned plus you'll have helped start youth mineralogy summer camps and after school mineralogy clubs starting in the L.A. area for kids and teens and expanding from there as funds allow! No breath holding, but here's to hoping!
✓ Lots and lots of microscopes, lights, tables, chairs, splitters, tools, projectors, personnel and probably several buses - $250,000
Why do you need funding?
Funding is greatly needed and greatly appreciated to help give this important project the Kickstart it needs. It's very hard to find a market for educational videos about specific sciences because there's such a lack of awareness of the topic. It's an irritating Catch-22 that there aren't enough interested people to keep a good series such as this going, and yet you can't get young people interested without an entertaining series such as this. That's why we need Kickstarter and you!
We're just a couple of average Joe's with an interest that's, unfortunately, going extinct and we want to change that! A shoestring budget will do, but we're hoping for significant backing to get off to a great start! We need top notch field production equipment to get this project rolling. Unfortunately production companies often snub education in favor of reality television these days, so we have to turn to crowd funding for support to help projects like this along.
Who are you people?
My name is John Adam Barwood and I've been a mineral collector and enthusiast since childhood. Having a clean, fun, intellectual hobby in my life changed my world for the best. Having educated old coots as friends certainly gave me some much needed wisdom, culture and a wry sense of humor! My lifelong dream has been to bring the mind-boggling world of gems and minerals to television so everybody has the chance to share in the fun, the free roaming adventure and the fantastic finds.
The mineral bug hit my family hard. My grandfather started picking up minerals and fossils in plowed fields and his fascination grew into a full fledged hobby. He and my dad went on digs and traded through the mail and eventually opened a small rock shop for a short time, Woodpatch Minerals, in Auburn, Alabama.
My dad's interest in minerals and fossils grew. He earned a BS in Geology and a Master's in Clay Mineralogy at Auburn University and graduated with a PhD in Clay Mineralogy from Virginia Tech, where I was born. Naturally he passed the bug on to me and we've been having great times collecting ever since!
I'll be joining my father and co-star, Dr. Henry "Bump" Barwood and introducing many of our regular expert collecting buddies and scientists as we document gems, minerals and fossils like never before!
All right, I'm in! Nice Pitch! What do I do now?
Pick out a reward, make a pledge and help spread the word! There are some fun rewards in exchange for pledges so please help out where you can. If just a few hundred people chip in here and there we'll beat our goal, so if you know anybody (even if they're not interested in minerals) who does happen to be interested in promoting science education, please suggest the project to them. Sincere thanks to everyone for your time, likes, shares, mentions and especially any backing! Even if it's just a dollar, every bit counts! And even if it's just a like on Facebook, that helps, too! It's you who can Kickstart mineralogy!
Risks and challenges
The cold reality is that the greatest risk to our project is simply not doing one in the first place. Mineral collecting is an interest that is dying out and we want desperately to breathe some new life into this great past time. There are practically no young faces at swap meets, in local clubs and at conferences and if we don't do something fun and entertaining to grab some new interest now we'll lose an entire branch of scientific study. Every year notices circulate about friends and colleagues who made great strides in mineralogy who've passed away. Their collections and research materials disappear, sometimes just into the dumpster! Oh, what a true shame that is!
But that's where we can help! There's no better bunch to put a comical spin on some educational awareness about minerals right now than a goofball father/son team with an extensive mineralogy background. Please help us Kickstart an entertaining and informative series about gems, minerals and mineralogy!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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