OK now I understand the question.
Blue ticks are "unrated" threads, the number of stars is the rating from 1 being terrible and 5 being excellant. There is a "Rate Thread" drop down box above the very first post in every thread. Click it and give it your rating if you want. It won't let you vote twice. The tally is averaged and the result displayed for all to see. The idea is if everyone that read it rated it high then others would notice it and perhaps see a thread they might miss. Not every thread gets a rating unless someone rates it. Of course not all threads are the most informative - just most of them
If you see a thumb tack it means the Admin has decided the thread needs to remain and not scroll off the board and it remains near the top of the list and a paperclip shows an attachment was added.
You never see any of this if you access using the "Home Portal" page. That page only shows the recent active threads. The "Discusion Board" page allows you to see all forum sections then select a whole forum section at a time and you will see all the ratings and all threads in that section even if it is not active since you were here last.
If you come many times a day then the Portal pages makes sure you never miss anything new. If you are looking for something the other method or better yet the search tool wil let you dig for treasures from the past to the current
We have ticks all year long. Flea collar or Frontline is advised for you dog only.