Monday, December 13, 2004

Protein Folding and Grid Computing

I am a big fan of what is sometimes called grid computing. In essence, a master computer doles out work to other computers on the network, which would do some portion of the processing, return results, and fetch a new work unit. Probably the best known effort on these lines is the SETI at Home project.

The effort that I am really into though is Stanford's Folding at Home. It is a grid or distributed computing project that is investigating proteins and how they assemble themselves or fold. Through this effort, they are hoping to understand and maybe eventually cure dieases like cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. The client software can be installed either as a screensaver or as a service (I recommend service). It runs in the background on a low priority and the system software takes care of making sure that the user has good performance with his real work.

The program works with Windows PCs, Macintosh, or Linux. I am a member of Team 18 MacAddict4Life.

This is a really worthy effort. I encourage everyone with a computer to participate.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Steroids in Sports

I'm shocked, shocked that professional athletes are using steroids. The powers in sports and government seem quite comfortable overlooking all the mutants in professional and amateur sports until someone actually tells the truth, then they crucify the whistle blowers.

Now you have senators saying they're going to crack down on pro baseball. Hellooooo. Have they watched a pro or college football game lately? If 50% of baseball players use steroids, the number must be 95% in pro football. They did not get that way with protein powder and vitamins.

Personally I don't care what these athletes do. They are making a conscious choice to pollute their bodies in exchange for money, girls, fame, etc. We as a society really need to figure out where to be on this. Let's either get serious and stop the abuse or acknowledge that it happens and accept it. Anything less is a disservice to the people they claim to be trying to protect--the kids.