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New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 6:58 am
What's happening? Before today (5-12-10) I found 60 to 75 Tracks per hour regularly. However, oddly all of the Tracks were in the 100 micron samples. I found no Tracks in the 50 microns.

Things changed this morning. Today, I have received dozens and dozens of 100's. It takes me a minute or two to carefully examine them, and less than half-dozen of them had a track. I also received a few 50's that gave me a point for "No Track." In one hour, I had only advanced nine points in score, and most of those points came from real 50 micron ones.

Also, in examining the 100 micron samples, I think I noticed the very same 100 micron ones that I'd looked at in Phase One, that I had already rated "No Track," at that time. Is this possible? Have you unloaded ALL of the original samples onto us, again? I'm very discouraged. I don't want to look at the same samples we had in Phase One, all over again. I joined Phase Three, hoping to find actual, real star dust. With this new batch, it will take me the rest of my life to find star dust --- if I have to re-examine all of the originals that had no Tracks in them. Please clue me in as to what is happening, and why the change. Thanks,

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:50 am
by Ronald C. Spencer
I am saddened to see that a fine and accomplished woman as yourself does not even warrant a single reply Evelyn. Maybe Commencement has something to do with it. Since this change scores of Dusters have left due to discouragement and the best of the best are moving at a snails pace in most cases. I predict they will eventually stop Dusting as you and the other Dusters have done Evelyn. Maybe they will see their error and end the sleepy time mode in Stardust. Good people make mistakes and Better people correct them. I'm sad to see so many dedicated people leave.

Dr. Ronald C. Spencer

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:09 am
by Ronald C. Spencer

Well Evelyn,
After 4 more hours of endless nothingness I have decided to join the large number of people who have gotten tired of endless non productive 100 micron movies that wastes large amounts of valuable time. I have other research that I am involved in so I will continue with that. It's time to crack open one of my astronomy books again. It's pointless to waste hour after hour when you only average a handful of tracks. I hope Lollia and others join us.

Dr. Ronald C. Spencer

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:45 pm
by DanZ
Yes, we are releasing all the previous Phase One and Phase Two movies. This is because we may have missed the so-called "midnight" tracks since they weren't part of the search image we were emphasizing back in those days.


Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:59 pm
by elainekeefe
DanZ wrote:Yes, we are releasing all the previous Phase One and Phase Two movies. This is because we may have missed the so-called "midnight" tracks since they weren't part of the search image we were emphasizing back in those days.

Dan, you did not say whether new movies would be released along with the previous Phase 1 and 2 movies. To think we may have missed midnight tracks is ridiculous...Most of us (those of us left, at least) have been dusting for 3 or 4 years now off and on, and we have clicked on every mark there is. I think we can all account for at least one or two "invisible marks" that we clicked on "just in case" and then wondered what they were. We were told right at the beginning to click on anything unusual...and midnight tracks certainly fall into that category! I have not gone back and counted them, but I am sure among the hundreds of movies on my Phase 1 Events List, there are at least a handful of LATs and HATs, as is I'm sure the case for everyone else. Where do you suppose the movies pulled from Phase 1 Event Lists as potential high or low angle tracks came from? I simply can't imagine that the thousands of us dusting at that time would all have missed one! You have also had them doubly checked by experienced dusters and placed and rated on the Alpha List.

What has happened to the 4500 movies promised us here? Have they been put on hold for another year or two? ... it=phase+3

This paragraph, written by you on 10/9/09 is mainly what I refer to:

1: how long we may need to wait before whatever phase 3 might be actually starts.

The new extraction system worked in tests, and we have scanned overnight on Wednesday tile #92. So within a month or so, there will be at least 4,500 NEW movies uploaded for dusters to examine (with many more to come after that).

I was undecided whether I wanted to return for Phase 3, and then decided I'd try it. Now I wish I hadn't. I, like Evelyn and Ron, am very disappointed. We are never given accurate information...and frequently no information at all. We have all contributed many thousands of hours to this program, and I think this major brush-off is akin to a slap in the face. The fact that Evelyn...a long-time, extremely enthusiastic duster... had to wait nearly a week for her answer was bad enough, but then no real information was given, other than what we had already surmised. I'm sure we all would much rather have had new movies to view than a reconstructed message board which didn't need fixing in the first place. It seems all the work goes into the fringe areas and none to the heart of this project. And yes, I do consider us the heart. Can you function without us?

There are many of us who most certainly will leave this program (such as Ron, a valued and experienced top duster) unless some changes are afoot. May I make a suggestion? Why not give us all the new movies you have scanned (or perhaps there aren't that many), and insert the old ones a handful at a time, if you really believe they need yet another look. I don't think any of us would mind a few thrown in here and there, but a steady diet of nothing else has become unpalatable. I don't know why we need to start from scratch, when we can work just as efficiently in a different order.

We were all very enthusiastic about this program in the beginning, and now we are all in comas. The Stardust staff sure knows how to ruin a good thing! (I'm not trying to lay this all on your shoulders...I know you are just the spokesman...but maybe you can relay the message?)

I hope other dusters will post here also and let the Stardust staff know how you feel. Some of you may be fine with it, but I think most will feel the same frustration I do.

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:55 am
by Mitchell Criswell III
Dear Elaine,

I could not have expressed my displeasure with this project any better. Thanks for being bold enough to voice your opinion. As volunteers we may not have the right to weigh in on decisions that govern the course of this research, but we are certainly due a heads up when things do change. Dr.Westphal owes us all a sincere apology. We did not join Stardust@home to be 'used' but to contribute.

best regards,

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Wed May 19, 2010 6:39 am
by Ronald C. Spencer
Dear Elaine & Mitchell,
What you two have written is certainly correct and timely and I applaud those who have come to rally around Evelyn's observations. Elaine, your right on the mark, couldn't have been said any better and Mitchell it was nice having you chime in, unfortunately truth is seldom welcomed but ignored in hopes it will go away and that may be what happens (if) your voices are dismissed . What the Duster's have done cannot be measured because of their tens of thousands of hours of hands on work, computers, and your dedication is priceless, for many like me an Astronomer, (a labor of love) . A Nobel prize in Science might be awarded someday for this work and if I am alive to see it, I will salute those who had a huge part in it, Dusters like you. :) I hope Dr. Westphal is recognized someday and receives it but your finger prints will be all over it.

Dr. Ronald C. Spencer

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Wed May 19, 2010 5:20 pm
by jsmaje
I find it very sad, for all the reasons very well-expressed above by ERSTRS, Ronald C. Spencer, elainekeefe & Mitchell Criswell, that dusters' engagement with the SD@Home project now seems at risk of collapse. I fear the team are now in great danger of throwing away their prime asset, and their pioneering opportunity to encourage public participation in science.

Perhaps as scientists they will take more notice of graphs than individual opinions, so if they are in any doubt I present three of the latest graphs from Stardust Top 100 (phase 3), showing that (1) an unprecedented 33 of the top 100, otherwise likely to be the most enthusiastic, chose not to participate during the last week (12-19 May '10); it was 24 the previous week; (2) only 10 out of the 100 were sufficiently interested to score at or above their own previous working rate; and (3) the total score during last week dramatically fell to only 48% of last week (and just 34% of the first week):


I was particularly shocked to read Dr. Spencer's virtual resignation note, who has been one of the most enthusiastic and well-qualified dusters throughout the entire project (as a professional astronomer, and 3rd top duster), and particularly that Dan (to my mind disrespectfully) made no reference to it in his terse response.

And while moaning, I see no reason why they persist with those specifity/sensitivity percentages, since they have never had any ultimate bearing on anything at all, such as (during phase 2) membership of the 'Red team', who were simply the top (was it 19 or 29?) in the list regardless of their specifity/sensitivity.

It is now becoming difficult not to feel that the team actually wished we'd all go away for the moment. And as has been suggested to me by others, it could well be better that the present @Home program be temporarily suspended to avoid the growing disillusionment and frustration that appears to be building, not least in order to save such a pioneering distributed project as this from being discredited, thereby feeding the objections of those who feel that the public have no place in science.

I suspect the essence of the problem is that this small team (for otherwise admirable, well-argued and forward-looking reasons) actually bit off more than they could possibly chew, and were unprepared time/personnel/resource-wise to properly maintain. One only needs to read some of the early forum posts during the huge initial whipping-up of duster recruitment and excitement and compare them with the sad mirror-image of the present situation.

In particular, there has also been an awful lot of floundering regarding means of communication. There was nothing wrong with the excellent Update section of the forum during the early part of phase 1, until it seemed to have become too much for team members to be able to respond to, given the number and depth of questions.
Fair enough, but essentially they then stopped responding altogether, and embarked on a pacifying project of occasional responses and explanatory articles by ZackG, sadly aborted after only the first few when he moved on. The subsequent few flashy-looking 'Blogs' may have been to some degree informative, but were never designed to answer specific forum questions, any more than Andrew Westphal's few attempts at those trendy multi-media presentations.
And poor old DanZ! Like Brian Mendez before him, as the latest recruit to be public relations officer, he has had to function as a thankless go-between between 'them and us'.

By the way, where have all the 'DustMods' gone (moderators of the forum)? They used to be able to provide useful information independent of the team, and to share the benefit of their experience. Of the initial 10, only the ever-faithful 'fjgiie' now occasionally contributes (but has also drastically reduced his own dusting). No replacements have been recruited, only serving to suggest that the team now have minimal interest in the forum in general.

All this said, I have no reason to fault the team's apparently meticulous science, even though I wonder if they/we may temporarily being exploring a blind alley with the new fetish for HATs (I'm sure they worry about that too).

To be constructive, could I suggest it might be useful to take time out to sample a couple of tiles from each quadrant of the collector rather than concentrating on just the top-left third? I would naively predict that any IS particles coming from a not-quite head-on shallow angle, and then deflected by the spacecraft surfaces, would be more likely to end up in the bottom section rather than the top.

Of course science can indeed move remarkably slowly; I have no problem with that, and intend to hang around to see what may, or quite possibly, doesn't happen. After all, Nature is a totally inconsiderate Goddess, keen to hold onto Her long-held secrets. It's just the six of the team, along with the rest of us, who are trying to prise them from Her fist (oh dear, I've come all over poetic and sillyphosical! Time for bed.)


Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:36 am
by McAngus
"Friends, Dusters, Colligues, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Stardust@Home, not to praise him.
The evil that Searchers do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with this Search."

What a severity.

The statistics I've found in the Web say that all the internet search projects die after two years.

Be patient.

And moreover, even if we are less than one hundred, is it problem for others, not for the dusters.
The following is extract from My Events of this mornig (2010/05/20):
Movie 305392V1 441 100 Passed cut 1 idp at 3:30
I repeat 441/100.
A famous italian TV program is named. "Meno siamo, meglio stiamo" (less we are, better we live).
It's all.


Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:04 am
by elainekeefe
Don't get too excited, McAngus. That movie is from Phase 1, is on the old Phase 1 candidates list, and was flagged by 80 people or so. Scroll down the list and click on the movie to view the people who clicked. ... esnews.php

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:04 am
Elaine, Thank you for your last Post. When I asked in my original Post on May 12, "what is happening," I had no idea what the problem really was, or how far reaching the consequences would be. I'm now overwhelmed by, yet appreciative of all the responses, for I realize the horrendous job that the @Home Team now expects us to do! Elaine, you pointed it out succinctly: Thousands, or maybe hundreds of thousands, of movies already viewed and judged by scores of dusters in Phase 1, have again been dumped on us to take one more look! I think the 80 dusters who viewed the movie that McAngus cited, are more than sufficient, already. No more dusters need take another look at it! PLEASE, @Home Team, Instead of shutting down for just a few hours tomorrow evening, please shut down until you can rethink, reevaluate, and reformulate this program, or it clearly is going to fail! I know that I will not look at one more movie, now that I know for sure that I and dozens of others have already seen it in Phase One.
Please help us out of this quagmire!

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:24 am
by Ronald C. Spencer

On behalf of The Committee for the Preservation of Quagmire herein is the Official Reply

HUH??? :roll: :shock:

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:42 am
TO: Committee for the Preservation of Quagmire

"Houston, (AKA Berkeley) we have a problem. . . . "

Is anybody listening?


Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:46 pm
by tudorbug
A change has occured, back to a large number of 50 micron films interspersed with an occasional 100 micron film. The 100 micron films are again either dark featured, grainy in appearance, with little respose to scrolling the entire height of the scroll bar, or the more pleasing shades of grey with a more noticeable scroll response. This was the state that existed just before the entry that started this thread.

Re: New 100 cm's flooding the site?

Posted: Fri May 21, 2010 12:41 pm
by Ronald C. Spencer
OK Folks,
Looks like they heard the voices of those calling for common sense and integrated the Movies into a fairer and more enjoyable format :) Now they should be commended. So
"Chop, Chop" "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off too Dusting we will go" :) Let's work hard for them :)

The Ole Time proverb is true, "The squeaky wheel , gets the grease"

Dr. Ronald C. Spencer