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Re: Curious about this opal.

Posted by Craig Mercer  
Re: Curious about this opal.
December 29, 2009 12:11PM
au    
OMG......I'm pretty sure everyone is completely sick of this Best Minerals drama, it's now consuming the whole site. Everytime someone posts a photo it's " upload it for the BM ", seemingly no one can enjoy anything anymore without it being about the best minerals this, best minerals that, (sickening)......maybe the name should be changed from Mindat to Best Minerals. I'm sure there are alot of people who would just like to enjoy the site rather then be constantly pressured into doing this and doing that for Rocks BM. You obviously know how consuming it is Rock, that's why your trying to pass it off to everyone else. Truth be know I think it's basically a waste of time, the database covers all areas anyway, not to mention the continual bombardment on anyone who posts a photo or text on a specimen. Do it yourself, you started it, finish it.


Craig Mercer
People's not pictures


Just for the record !! I did NOT start this thread, this was a post from another thread that was put here by one of the management team.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2010 02:19PM by Craig Mercer.
avatar Re: Curious about this opal.
December 29, 2009 01:07PM
What a charming guy you are Craig. You know just how to make yourself beloved by all.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Curious about this opal.
December 30, 2009 03:59AM
Malcolm & Craig
I am not sure where this is coming from but Rock has seen more good specimens than most of us so has deveoped high standards. I really dont see him as belittling others collecting habits, just making us aware we could do better or aim higher (why not?). We all started with pebbles on the beach etc, and took other's guidance to grow our collections. Mind you, I bet he still has a few ugly clunkers for various reasons, as do most of us.

And I see the "Best Minerals" as being useful in the long term as enabling us to (ultimately) quickly focus on the best locations and images available. It find it a bit trying sometimes trying to find a single good image and some basic site details for a mineral when there are sometimes 1000's available. I wish I had time to do more but I just hope the ones I have done are helpful and time-saving for others. Maybe we should focus onthe most common species for starters?

Regards,
Ralph
Re: Curious about this opal.
January 09, 2010 07:22PM
gb    
Ralph Bottrill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Malcolm & Craig
> I am not sure where this is coming from but Rock
> has seen more good specimens than most of us so
> has deveoped high standards. I really dont see him
> as belittling others collecting habits, just
> making us aware we could do better or aim higher
> (why not?). We all started with pebbles on the
> beach etc, and took other's guidance to grow our
> collections. Mind you, I bet he still has a few
> ugly clunkers for various reasons, as do most of
> us.
>
> And I see the "Best Minerals" as being useful in
> the long term as enabling us to (ultimately)
> quickly focus on the best locations and images
> available. It find it a bit trying sometimes
> trying to find a single good image and some basic
> site details for a mineral when there are
> sometimes 1000's available. I wish I had time to
> do more but I just hope the ones I have done are
> helpful and time-saving for others. Maybe we
> should focus onthe most common species for
> starters?

Whilst I wait for the snow to stop so I can get away to Spain I thought I would deal with your message.

I have visited geological museums in London and Cornwall many times. I have seen specimens from the British Commonwealth/ Empire including the crown jewels and items from mines that were working before @America@ was founded. I have guided my daughter to be a Doctor of Marine Biology working for the government I have guided my son to be a Doctor of Earth Sciences on which subject he is a senior university lecturer, but I do not have high standards for I am limited by what is available to collect. The results of my collecting usually need the advice of someone else to identify them. Usually they do not look like the very best and no amount of aspiration will alter that. Think about it. These items have been there for an eternity. To find anything collectable is a minor miracle.

I am not wholly against the idea of best minerals. A collection of someones idea of the best would be good reading. Go beyond one and you start getting difficulties for everyones ideas are different. Get a collection of people together then you have a real problem,.

Take the project title for a start. Everyone agrees that the title @Best Minerals@ is not a good description but nobody wants to change it. Try as I have to define the purpose of the project and you will be told you have it wrong. Try using your new definition and someone else will tell you you are wrong.. Quote Rock and still someone tells you that you are wrong. It seems I have got the wrong end of the stick whereas evidence indicates it is the participants.

How many @best@ of anything can there be? On TV the programmes use the best 10 or best 50 or best 100. so what about minerals? You never had a chance because there were so many options. Hundreds of sites for one mineral. How can that be the best? Where do you stop?

Actually the question should have been Where do you start? You start by laying down the bounds of the job. These should be simple yet restricting. You start by making it a job which can be finished before adding to it at a later time. You put each section together to make a good readable piece. You do many more things that have not been done with this project. It needs stopping and existing works made good and readable. Then publish it. This can be done within the bounds of existing mindat.

You talk of long term and ultimately being able to quickly focus upon the best locations and images. As I have already pointed out this is not what you are going to get even though I cannot tell you what you are going to get. The main point you have missed is that Rock does not see the finish of this project as being within his lifetime. I do not know how old Rock is but that rules me out of seeing the finished product due to kidney failure. Are you feeling well? Is that long term going to beat your ultimate demise? Would it not be nice to see at least some of the results of this hard work?

This giant is out of control. I have trieed in my way to correct this. Rock has apologised for demeaning my mine3ral, and I accept, Rock admits there is the need of a statement of requirements. I am glad he has seen the light. But still he is too busy to do it. I am an outsider and it needs someone closer to the qwhole thing to see what is wrong and to take corrective action.

There is much more than a foot of snow on the road but my driver says he is coming so it should be a fun ride to the airport. That gives you a month to get things going in the right direction or to chatise me for my views. I look forward to my return!!!

Malcolm Chapman
England
Re: Curious about this opal.
January 10, 2010 12:06AM
au    
Seems to have been a lot of the discussion left out for some reason. Why not put the whole thing here?? Anyway I'll help.

Craig Mercer wrote :

Ralph I have huge respect for you, and do not wish to argue in anyway shape or form with you. Now that said I have doubts about the usefulness of this Best Minerals area, I don't feel it will be useful for identifications, simply because the specimens will not reflect your average collection piece, therefore I really don't think it will be used very often at all. Ultimately taking up large amounts of space for no reason, time and resourses could be much better spent focusing on the already in place database. I find it the most invaluable tool on the internet, firstly because of the wide array of specimen quality, secondly just the way it has been designed makes it so easy to use - for everyone.

I'm personally not concerned about Rocks belittling, but I'm find it rather frustrating seeing they same post after almost every (Rock worthy) photograph posted.

Whatever I say isn't going to make a huge difference, probably just going to get me in hot water, but I say focus more on what's already there. Seriously why does it have to be a seperate thing, surely it could have been incorporated with the database. Just some simple wording with the photograph saying "these are the two best minerals samples of this species from this location" .




Malcolm Chapman wrote :

Ralph,

I find myself agreeing with Craig word for word. I had previously entered into this debate and had got this far and decided not to progress it. I am not against excellence. I often talk about my mentor Maurice Griggs. He knew and collected excellence. The best collection outside a museum of cornish minerals and a joy to behold.But he did not lose sight of items I was likely to find and his garden was full of these and he was equally keen to discuss these.

This is a broad church by any meaning of the words. We need to see the things we aspire to but need to be realistic. I do not expect my collection to be universally loved but I do not expect to be told to throw individual items as they do not meet someones ideas of collectable.

The desire for excellence to be set aside does not excite me. Most photos are good and theres a quarter million of them on mindat. I need a range of any type to help my identification skills including the best. Start each mineral entry with a couple purported to be the best by all means. That will be difficult. and keep them all together.

I like to give respect to someone who clearly has more experience and I would hope to learn from them. Any good teacher praises his pupils work then shows how it can get better. Some teachers need to respect their students for they may bring enlightenment.

Malcolm Chapman
England



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2010 12:09AM by Craig Mercer.
avatar Re: Curious about this opal.
January 10, 2010 12:40AM
Craig said:

>Now that said I have doubts about the usefulness of this Best Minerals area, I don't feel it will be useful for identifications

It's not meant to be for idenfitications. It's simply to record the best of each species (not necessarily photos of the best specimens of each species, but photos of material representing the best localities for each species).

I do feel in some places it could probably do with some pruning, some of the pages are too long, but it's still early days, and in order to make a judgement about which localities & photos should stay, it's a good idea to list all potential candidates before trimming it down later.

Jolyon
Re: Curious about this opal.
January 10, 2010 11:01AM
au    
Hi Jolyon,

You probably should have quoted the whole comment, not just a percentage. It's just like me saying......

Jolyon said:

< I do feel in some places it could probably do with some pruning, some of the pages are too long


What I wrote was a reply to a comment made by Ralph ::

< And I see the "Best Minerals" as being useful in the long term as enabling us to (ultimately) quickly focus on the best locations and images available......

to which I replied ::

< I don't feel it will be useful for identifications, simply because the specimens will not reflect your average collection piece, therefore I really don't think it will be used very often at all.


There does seem to be a conflict of thoughts, some saying "best images" and others saying something else. The title seems to say it all ( Best Minerals ). Anyway I'm done with it, but remember, if you are going to quote someone allow everyone to see what they really meant.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2010 11:03AM by Craig Mercer.
avatar Re: Curious about this opal.
January 10, 2010 11:36AM
Craig
It agree the info we are compiling should be better integrated with the main pages, but I have understood all along that this will happen eventually in some manner. I look a at the project as a trial to see what info we can compile on the best sites along with some good illustrations - the best we have, not necessarily the best minerals, but as with any book or article we aim for an informative, quality image. I wont get into the argument about the project title (pehaps misleading but we will come up with something better eventually).

Regards,
Ralph
Re: Curious about this opal.
January 10, 2010 12:31PM
au    
Hi Ralph,

That's great news concerning the intergration of the information with the already in place galleries. It would also be great if the members of Mindat could have a say in the title for this project, just simply so we don't have another ( Money Grubbers ) title that actually seems to deter people from posting, which I actually think is half the problem with the ( Best Minerals ) project.

Ralph I really appreciate your non-judgemental, constructive communication.

Kind regards,
Craig.
avatar Re: Curious about this opal.
January 10, 2010 01:11PM
Think of the "Best Minerals" system at the moment as a tool for data collection. In the future it will be better integrated into the main database, but for now it's only a work in progress.

Craig, sorry if you thought I was quoting you out of context - your messages are in this thread so anyone following this thread can read exactly what you wrote anyway.

Jolyon
Re: Curious about this opal.
February 09, 2010 05:11PM
gb    
Well that spanish trip is over. We were lucky. The first 20 miles to the airport was on totally fresh snow then we saw the road surface slowly appearing and we got to the airport on time. We found a list of 99 cancellations from one company alone but ours was only delayed for 30 minutes.and made that up on the flight. Not long after we left the airport closed due to ice and snow.

We came back and it snowed just a little to remind us that global warming is still an issue. I have a son, as I have said, in the department of the University of East Anglia that recently got world importance by exposing some emails on the subject, leading people to believe it is all a big hoax or a mistake. I have come to believe it is, just as I have decided that the subject of best materials is both.

I probably will not say more on the subject but I shall keep watching to see what happens.

Malcolm Chapman
England
Re: Curious about this opal.
February 09, 2010 09:53PM
ca    
I think the "Best Minerals" data should be integrated into the main database. Why can't the photos in the main database then be ranked with the "best" being on page one? The locality description and history could then be attached to these "best minerals" photos in the main database.
avatar Re: Curious about this opal.
February 09, 2010 11:07PM
Reiner
as Jolyon said a couple posts back, we do intend integrating it in the main database, the present format is just meant to encourage everyone to contribute what they know about important occurrences, however small.

Regards,
Ralph
Re: Curious about this opal.
August 25, 2011 06:20AM
Old topic, yes, but I'll say this:

I've taken a glance at some entries on the "BM" pages. Then I quickly left.

I'm new to this. So new in fact that only two weeks ago did I go from "Oh, thats a shiny stone. I'll bet that'll pretty up good in a rock tumbler." to hitting strange rocks with a hammer to see what is inside, or underneath the perma-dirt.

Where I collect from is either shale (?) deposits, what I refer to as 4 billion year old blocks of nothing (NB Canada) or rust covered randomness. See photos.

So when I do find something, it looks NOTHING like the stuff in the BM pages.


I need a WM (Worst Minerals) database. So when I find a brown/black something or other with a iridescent sheen, I can look it up in the WM and know what I'm looking at. Ah, this is... Crapite. I know this, because it looks just like that crapite pictured in the WM. Whereas in the BM, Crapite is not a brown/black something or other with an iridescent sheen. Crapite in the BM is a hexagonal blue crystal ranging from transluscent to semi-opaque.

So lets set up a handy WM database for guys like me who deal with rocks encrusted with perma-dirt which no amount of pressure washing will clean, and have little to no easily identifiable crystal properties because even though half this area is mantle, and the other half is shale, the rest somehow manages to be a hundred metres thick of rusty mud and worn rocks. (breathe)

PS: I LOVE this website!
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avatar Re: Curious about this opal.
August 25, 2011 10:05AM
Stephen,
Yours plea for a worst minerals gallery has been raised before, and we should probably have one. However it should probably be called something like common minerals and rocks. Often authors of books on minerals and rocks purposely choose to picture rock types and low quality minerals in their books on the valid theory high quality minerals and even beautiful rocks(gem lapidary material) in their pictures is not what beginners are going to have access to, and they do this because their books are aimed more at beginners than advanced collectors.

The problem is that this is an all volunteer effort and to create a worst minerals gallery as a counter weight to the best Minerals gallery we would need someone to step up and volunteer to create it. As the creator of the Best Minerals project and have neither the time or energy to take on such a project. As it is, I will die long before the Best Minerals project is even half way done.

How about you? Would you like to volunteer to spend the several thousand hours needed to bring such a project to completion? Do you have enough knowledge to do it? You can use fields on mindat, exactly the same as these to do it. The fields in best minerals are identical to these. Ill help you get started. The first thing you need to do is to go through the images here on mindat and make note of which images would be suitable for the WM gallery. You may want to include rock types as well. In such case you will have to decide exactly which rock types you want to include and since we don't have many rock types pictured here on mindat you may need to search out and buy and or collect samples of typical rock types and take pictures of them that you can upload to mindat so they can be used in this project. Then you will need to propose some sort of structure for the WM project. Do you want to show the rock types alphabetically by name, arrange them by color? by locality? Would you want to group them by Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic groups? And of course you would have to somehow work the minerals into this and to decide best how to do that. Remember you will be working for people like yourself and they will need a method to find pictures the kinds of things they are finding in the field and find similar images in your WM project. What do you say?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
WM Project
August 25, 2011 03:34PM
Already hard at work on it, Rock Currier. I started last night and have the following pages finished which I will eventually put in order using the Dewey decimal system:

Round Dirty Stone - Red Dirt;
Round Dirty Stone - Grey Dirt;
Asteroid;
Whitish Sparkly Rock I Found on the Beach;
Cinder Block.

But my plan is to expand this as soon as possible. I'll add photos, spectrometer graphs, X-rays and taste relation (ie: "When you lick it, it will taste like cheap vodka in an Afghan sandstorm." Or "It tastes like burning.")

It will be an open project, anyone can add to it. There will even be a helpful anecdote section: "I got this sample after I dumped my girlfriend - she threw it through my 60" television. It came from my garden in Hamilton, ON."

I look forward to seeing everyone participate. Though someone like yourself probably won't have anything to do with such a plebeian venture, yes? Thanks for the great idea though, I'll be sure to credit you when its completed.
avatar Re: WM Project
August 26, 2011 09:54AM
Stephen,
Keep going, I think others will join you. Be prepared for all kinds of suggestions comments and criticisms. You will learn as you go along. I don't know if the Dewey Decimal system will work out well, but that is the beauty of a format like this, you can can change it around any time you want. You can call it Worst Minerals if you want, but I will abstain from making other suggestions, I am certain Craig and Malcolm will be glad to help you with the project and Ill be glad to lend a hand here in there, but I have way more than enough to do already in Best Minerals. Good luck!. How many different kinds of granites do you think you should show? You might find it useful to visit the yards of companies that sell granite and other kinds of stone counter tops. They often have yards full of big cut and polished rock slabs that their customers can select for kitchen counter tops. You will find however that the salesmen usually know nothing about petrology and will often call most of what they sell granite even though it may be a conglomerate, marble or some type of metamorphic rock. They will be able to tell you the wild and fanciful commercial names that have been given to their various types of "granite". If you live near a university that has a good geology section, these schools sometimes have good collections of classic pillow shaped rock types that are correctly identified and often thin sections made from the same rock types.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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