Author Topic: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!  (Read 4974 times)

Kookaburra

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2014, 09:17:08 pm »
Hi Darren!

I am quite new here myself (unlike those experienced hands above) so I can give you a bit of perspective from a recent addition to the crew.

As you read through the instructions, you will see that the weather reports are what really matter and transcribing the commentary is optional.  But in only a few months (ship-log time), I have learned so much about life at sea, ships, Alaska and much more from the commentary sections.  It is what has kept me engaged in the story of my ship - to see what happens day-to-day and in those moments of crisis. 

This is much more than simply transcribing a series of somewhat indecipherable scribbles.  That would not hold my interest for long - but reading the story of how they rescued a whaling ship stuck in the arctic ice and what they found as they stopped at native villages gives me a view of history and culture I could not get elsewhere.  You get hints about the style of the commanding officer and the men based on comments in the log - my favorite has been a man who was put on bread and water until he mended his clothes!

Pick yourself a ship and give it a try.  It takes awhile to get used to a given log-keeper's handwriting, but now I am pretty good at understanding most of it for my ship (Thetis).  There is always help from the old salts for the missing bits and there is loads of reference material in the forums (geographic locations, naval terms, crew lists). 

Good luck!

DZM

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2014, 02:05:31 pm »
Hi Kookaburra! Thank you; you're a good salesman for the project!

I'd love to go through such incredible stories, but doesn't it still require some ability to read cursive squiggles?  :'( I have the fiercest admiration for those of you who are so good at it!!

propriome

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2014, 02:29:46 pm »
Hi DZM and welcome!

Like Kookaburra (I share the same exact point of view and feelings ;) ), I enjoy most reading histories from logpages, and English is not even my mother language!

Don't worry too much about handwriting... except for some really hopeless cases (yup - there are), after an initial period in which you'll find hard to handle a logkeeper writing, it will become more and more clear as you read.
Also reading again and again the same nautical terms (with occasional new words - i've learned not so long ago the meaning of "belayed" when related to fires under the boilers) will make your life easier as your transcribing work goes on.

More experienced transcribers will have to wait just three or four pages before handwriting becomes decently clear, while newbies will have probably to wait a little more, but in the long run the only problem will be when a new logkeeper joins the ship (you'll have to get used to a new writing), normally to replace another one.
Obviously, for Murphys Laws, those departing ship are always the ones with the better handwriting... it must be some kind of fundamental constant of the universe ;D
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 02:47:25 pm by propriome »

DZM

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2014, 03:12:18 pm »
Thanks, propriome! I will give it a shot when I get a chance! I hadn't thought about how you'd get used to one particular logkeeper's handwriting... Do you ever feel like you're losing an old friend when there's a changeover? :-)

Randi

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2014, 03:37:10 pm »
You also get used to the terms used, and that makes a big difference.
If you have a question about a log page, you can post a link to the page in the forum (Posting Links and Images (A Guide)), and someone (probably several someones!) will do their best to answer. ;D

propriome

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2014, 04:38:34 pm »
Thanks, propriome! I will give it a shot when I get a chance! I hadn't thought about how you'd get used to one particular logkeeper's handwriting... Do you ever feel like you're losing an old friend when there's a changeover? :-)

Definitely! :)
I often try to imagine them filling those logs... sometimes from a little search over the internet we can find interesting events (sad as his premature death, or happy as his marriage inside local newspapers - i've found them both) and several other information about these men and the many years they spent aboard.
Every little bit of information we manage to find concur to (re)discover a fantastic historical background picture...

Helen J

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2014, 05:15:06 pm »
Hi DZM, welcome to Old Weather!  It is entirely addictive - but don't let that put you off ....  I'd echo what the others say about the fascination of the events pages.  I started back in Phase 1 with Royal Navy ships, and now I alternate transcribing on one of the US ships (Pioneer - you'd be very welcome to join - it's an endlessly long log ....) with editing the ship histories from the British ones. 

I've definitely found myself getting very involved with 'my' ships and crew; I remember one where the number on the sick list kept going up and I knew this must be the Spanish flu at the end of WW1.  Although it was nearly a hundred years ago and obviously whatever had happened had happened, I was really worried about my crew and delighted when they seemed to come through with no one dying.

DZM

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2014, 05:17:25 pm »
Helen, thank you for the welcome! Wow, that's quite a story about the influenza. It rings a bit close to home here at the office, where it is a very lonely Friday with several of our folks out with what I've decided to dub the Flu-niverse.

It's a joke now, but I can't imagine how bad it was in 1918... if I'm not mistaken, didn't it practically decimate the population of some urban centers? A small miracle that "your" crew came through 100% intact!

Helen J

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2014, 05:23:53 pm »
It was very very bad - and I always think it's particularly sad that so many people who had survived the war then succumbed to the flu.

This post tells the story of how one of 'our' RN ships has the dubious distinction of bringing the flu to Africa.  And if you have a bit of time and put 'Spanish flu' into the search box at the top of the forum you'll find a whole list of other posts about it.

http://forum.oldweather.org/index.php?topic=2801.msg42293#msg42293

If you're feeling lonely in the office you can always check in here - there's usually someone around to be friendly!

studentforever

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2014, 05:28:25 pm »
Yes indeed, it seemed to be a flu which killed off young adults as or even more easily than the elderly. It is supposed to have killed a similar number to the war. Of course some of the deceased had been weakened by privations in the war but it was a vicious bug, as or more lethal than some of the recent bird flu variants which have worried the medics in case they start transferring person-to-person. It must have been really bad on board a ship, especially if they started going down with it in mid-ocean.

Randi

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2014, 05:52:50 pm »
Jamestown 1866 had an outbreak of Yellow Fever.
They don't say too much in the log, but when I was trying to verify the spelling of a crew member's name I found an article by a Naval surgeon. The guy I was looking up was the first victim!
Reading the article in parallel with the log was almost creepy.
Jamestown (1866) -- Discussion: Questions and Comments

Hanibal94

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2014, 09:16:18 pm »
Hello DZM, and welcome!

Unlike the others here, I cannot show any fascination for the event pages because I belong to an entirely different faction: The weather specialists.
I believe that while the history part can sometimes be interesting, the science part is way more important and we should be focusing on that.
So I don't transcribe any events at all - when I do an events page, I just add the date, scan it for mentions of sea ice or animals, add those if they pop up, and then move on. I'm just way too impatient and eager to see some results.

Even so, I have become very addicted - I do at least a couple hundred weather records (WR) per day, and I really like to see ships get finished. In the old days, this meant I was always hopping from vessel to vessel, doing just enough to finish them off without having been on board for long.
Since this is no longer possible with the US ships, which are few in number but have loads of logs, I have developed the habit of picking one ship and focusing entirely on her until she is done at last - I'm doing the Unalga right now.

Oh, and I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I do hold the record for "Most WR transcribed in one day", and I am very proud of it:

Mainly due to me transcribing 2305 WR in a single day (new personal record!)

...three months of weather reports in a single day?! And I thought I was fast when I occasionally managed to do a week's worth in an evening...

Hope you have a good time on this project,

Hanibal94 (I am a very private person, and do not wish to publicly reveal my real name)


P.S. I am a little eccentric, so some of the things I say may sound a little odd or hard to understand. Please keep that in mind.

AvastMH

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2014, 10:32:35 pm »
Hello DZM,
Welcome! AvastMeHearties here.  I nearly quit after the first two pages of weather reports - thought it was far to hard. SO GLAD I didn't. I'd have missed reports of the aurora, spectacular comets, and Kathy's news that one ship selflessly shared its chocolate with another.  Then there was the half cow that got lost overboard, drawings of sun spots, boats burning down, visits from the Emperor of Brazil...
Enjoy!
Joan

Dean

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2014, 05:02:51 am »
Hi Darren. Welcome to our little corner of the world!

I originally got involved with OW as a 'weather guy' having taught Science for 38 years and learning about OW in Scientific American Magazine. Did lots of data entries and got really involved. When we started the 'history' stuff I was asked to edit and 'write' a ship's history. Not being a 'history guy' I ended up finding myself hooked!! I haven't done much with the weather on the US ships lately but I'm finishing my 7th edit on the British ones.  I have gotten really involved in 'MY' ship and the men who sail her and 'miss' them when I finish.

BTW - If you want to find out where our 'corner of the world' is just check out:
 
 https://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?msid=218286446278739362631.0004e0f7349871c7c7721&msa=0&ll=0.35156,-156.445312&spn=132.034234,302.695312

Blessings,  Dean

tastiger

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Re: Hello from a new Zooniverse staff guy!
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2014, 03:13:09 pm »
Hi Darren. Welcome to our little corner of the world!

I originally got involved with OW as a 'weather guy' having taught Science for 38 years and learning about OW in Scientific American Magazine. Did lots of data entries and got really involved. When we started the 'history' stuff I was asked to edit and 'write' a ship's history. Not being a 'history guy' I ended up finding myself hooked!! I haven't done much with the weather on the US ships lately but I'm finishing my 7th edit on the British ones.  I have gotten really involved in 'MY' ship and the men who sail her and 'miss' them when I finish.

BTW - If you want to find out where our 'corner of the world' is just check out:
 
 https://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?msid=218286446278739362631.0004e0f7349871c7c7721&msa=0&ll=0.35156,-156.445312&spn=132.034234,302.695312

Blessings,  Dean

Cool, how do I add my location(s) to that map?