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Friday thoughts and foldingPosted Friday, October 5, 2007, at 9:22 AM
I was really under the weather Thursday, so I missed all the excitement on my blog post about smoking.
I understand the discussion became smoking as well. So much so that one of you was smoked out of here for making an ash of yourself.
Seriously, can't some of you folks get along? Or has it become impossible for adults to have a civil conversation on any topic without it degrading to name calling and such?
We all have opinions on things, but I have noticed that some out there react to the mere expression of any mindset other than their own with vicious hatred, seeking to vilify the other person just for the beliefs they hold.
No matter if it is about the war, health care, race relations or whatever, it is becoming more and more difficult to hold a civil discussion on any topic without someone degrading the conversation with insults, or leading the conversation into unrelated directions toward the current obsession of the day, which is usually surrounding matters in Iraq.
Let's behave, folks, OK?
No more Friday silliness for a little while. Not until I can find something that doesn't involve celebrities "accidentally" showing parts of their bodies, painful homemade "stunts," skateboard accidents and other stuff that passes for "entertainment" to certain parts of the population. I may start just linking to things that interest me, since many of the "funny" webpages are closer to becoming soft porn sites, considering the footage they are posting.
Instead, here's a good cause: Folding at Home.
What is Folding@Home? A Stanford University project to find out how proteins fold.
Why it's important: Proteins folding wrong causes all kinds of diseases, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and forms of cancer. Folding@Home uses novel computational methods and large scale distributed computing, to simulate timescales thousands to millions of times longer than previously achieved. Through Folding@home, scientists now have the horsepower to study the mechanics of protein folding. With its ability to share the workload among hundred of thousands of computers economically, Folding@home can help scientists understand how proteins snap, or don't, into their predestined shapes - and may help to explain the origins of diseases such as Alzheimer's and apparently unrelated diseases. By running the program, you're fueling research that could end all that.
How does it work?: You download a safe, tested program (see link above) that is certified by Stanford University. It gets work from Stanford, runs calculations using your spare computer power, and sends the results back to the University.
Is it safe? Yes! Folding@Home rarely effects computer performance in any way and won't compromise your privacy in any way. It only uses the computing power you aren't using so it doesn't slow down other programs.
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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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