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Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 15th, 2012, 6:15 pm
by 10manwire
Hello! I was wondering if any of you knew what Barite (Baryte) typically looks like. I've seen many pictures of it, and none of them seem characteristic or all that similar. Thank you!

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 16th, 2012, 8:11 pm
by Allinea
10manwire wrote:Hello! I was wondering if any of you knew what Barite (Baryte) typically looks like. I've seen many pictures of it, and none of them seem characteristic or all that similar. Thank you!
I've never had a barite sample on a test, but from pictures I'd say either a dirtied yellow-green, sometimes orange (not like sulfur, which is more lemon or bright yellow), or translucent or white with a shape kinda like calcite, but a bit flatter? I'd say the main characteristic to look for is the shape (looks kinda like calcite, to me at least), and if the color matches. You'll be able to tell the difference between clear barite and calcite because calcite has double refraction, barite doesn't. Does that help at all?

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 17th, 2012, 10:39 am
by 10manwire
Allinea wrote: I've never had a barite sample on a test, but from pictures I'd say either a dirtied yellow-green, sometimes orange (not like sulfur, which is more lemon or bright yellow), or translucent or white with a shape kinda like calcite, but a bit flatter? I'd say the main characteristic to look for is the shape (looks kinda like calcite, to me at least), and if the color matches. You'll be able to tell the difference between clear barite and calcite because calcite has double refraction, barite doesn't. Does that help at all?
Yeah, that kind of does. Thank you!

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 18th, 2012, 10:35 am
by pjgscioisamazing
10manwire wrote:
Allinea wrote: I've never had a barite sample on a test, but from pictures I'd say either a dirtied yellow-green, sometimes orange (not like sulfur, which is more lemon or bright yellow), or translucent or white with a shape kinda like calcite, but a bit flatter? I'd say the main characteristic to look for is the shape (looks kinda like calcite, to me at least), and if the color matches. You'll be able to tell the difference between clear barite and calcite because calcite has double refraction, barite doesn't. Does that help at all?
Yeah, that kind of does. Thank you!
Also, a big hint is the specific gravity. If you have a non metallic mineral that isn't a blue crystal, and it feels quite heavy, chances are it's barite.

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 19th, 2012, 1:17 pm
by quizbowl
So from what I heard, nationals (for C, at least) was a debacle. First of all, UPS lost all of the mineral samples, so they resorted to using "descriptions" for those stations. And speaking of stations, there were only six - each was eight minutes long with about twenty questions, and a lot were true/false. Look, I might be no national coordinator, but it's quite obvious that ID events were created to be quick-paced with short, crammed stations. I understand the issue with the minerals, but the entire setup sounds disappointing. Not what I'd expect from a Nationals competition. I hope that in the next few years the Rocks and Minerals event can be run much more smoothly.

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 20th, 2012, 11:26 am
by iYOA
they could have at least given pictures of the minerals. and when was ups supposed to deliver the minerals? they probably should have been expecting to deliver them way b4 competition started. anyways, i dont know the full story.... so w/e

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 20th, 2012, 4:49 pm
by chalker
iYOA wrote:they could have at least given pictures of the minerals. and when was ups supposed to deliver the minerals? they probably should have been expecting to deliver them way b4 competition started. anyways, i dont know the full story.... so w/e

My understanding is the samples were delivered to the hotel, care of the event supervisor ahead of time. For some strange reason the hotel then shipped them back before he arrived. He had to overnight from another source whatever he could get, then completely rewrite the test overnight.

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 20th, 2012, 5:52 pm
by SciBomb97
Even the div B test was a bit strange...we were given 4 minutes per station (isn't it usually around 2 minutes at nationals?) and the test did not cover most of the topics discussed on the rules sheet. What's on the rules sheet isn't necessarily required to be one the test I guess, but still, there should be an adequate amount of the topics represented in the test, right? And most of the questions were way too easy...although I can't really say much about that since we got 47th. :?

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 20th, 2012, 5:57 pm
by iYOA
i still dont understand why the event supervisor couldn't have kept the questions the same but used pictures for the missing specimens or turn the entire thing into a big powerpoint. Either way, despite the complaints i heard about it, i think the r&m test still must have been decent because i did a least squares regression analysis on the r&m rankings compared to the overall rankings and the r^2 value was .66 which is pretty good, in fact, it was the highest among the 6 events i tested. although the setup was probably far from ideal, i think its safe to say that it was much much better than the tps test...

EDIT: i didnt check div B so idk how that test was.

Re: Rocks and Minerals B/C

Posted: May 21st, 2012, 2:18 pm
by gneissisnice
quizbowl wrote:So from what I heard, nationals (for C, at least) was a debacle. First of all, UPS lost all of the mineral samples, so they resorted to using "descriptions" for those stations. And speaking of stations, there were only six - each was eight minutes long with about twenty questions, and a lot were true/false. Look, I might be no national coordinator, but it's quite obvious that ID events were created to be quick-paced with short, crammed stations. I understand the issue with the minerals, but the entire setup sounds disappointing. Not what I'd expect from a Nationals competition. I hope that in the next few years the Rocks and Minerals event can be run much more smoothly.
That sounds absolutely awful, and I'd be furious if I were the event coordinator for that and my samples never arrived for the event.

I also hate when they do fewer, longer stations. We had that with Fossils at Nats when I was in 12th grade, I much prefer a lot more stations with fewer samples. Mistakes happen, but that sounds like an utter nightmare.