Thursday, July 27, 2006

World Community Grid

I was listening to NPR several years ago and I heard about this research project that involved university researchers using the internet to connect individual PCs together to act like a supercomputer. Last November, I again was listening to NPR and I heard about it again and caught the name: World Community Grid. You download this software and once you set it up, your computer downloads a "problem" and begins making calculations when your CPU is available. When the calculations are complete your computer uploads the results and downloads a new problem. My computer is currently doing AIDS research. Projects include, Help Defeat Cancer, Human Proteome Folding, and Fight AIDS @ Home.
World Community Grid's mission is to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle projects that benefit humanity. Our work has developed the technical infrastructure that serves as the grid's foundation for scientific research. Our success depends upon individuals collectively contributing their unused computer time to change the world for the better. World Community Grid is making technology available only to public and not-for-profit organizations to use in humanitarian research that might otherwise not be completed due to the high cost of the computer infrastructure required in the absence of a public grid. As part of our commitment to advancing human welfare, all results will be in the public domain and made public to the global research community.

The software created by IBM is not obtrusive and most people wouldn't even know that it was running. You can even join teams and compete for the heck of it to get the most points. I am on the Nashville, TN team, but there should be a Nashville Bloggers team. Check it out and make your computers down time do something.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Movie Madness

I am a movie and DVD nuts. We have at least 160 DVD movies, 10 seasons of Friends, 9 seasons of X-files, 8 seasons of Frazier, 3 seasons of Cheers, 4 seasons of Seinfeld, 2 seasons of Law and Order, 2 seasons of Mad About You, 1 season of Night Court, 1 season of The Andy Griffith Show, 2 seasons of Homicide, and 1 season of The Flintstones. Needless to say, I have more AV media than anyone could watch in a year. Since I basically have run out of space to store these discs, today I went through my entire collection, we found 2 discs that I was willing to get rid of. It was pretty pathetic.
You may ask why so many DVDs of TV shows. There are several reasons why TV DVD is superior to movies on DVD or TV on TV.

1. Who has time to watch a movie?-A sitcom with no commercials will last about 24-25 minutes, so it is pretty easy to fit in.
2. More bang for your buck-for about $30, you get at least 10 hours of entertainment versus 2 hours of entertainment for $14-20.
3. When you watch a season on DVD, you can see the arch of story lines and see the characters develop more clearly over time.
4. Watching old shows on DVD, you relive memories from the past-The other day I was watching Cheers season 8 and felt like I was back in school doing my homework in front of the tube.
5. I WILL win at any Friends or Frazier trivia.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I saw a cop put a guy who was resisting arrest on the ground in 0.0 seconds. No bullets, no guns, and it didn't even get physical. It was cool. It is amazing at least how well trained this guy was. I know some people aren't that amazed by cops, but the ones that wear uniforms are just plain cool.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Have you ever wondered how much family connections affect how far you go career-wise in this world?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Man knows best

If you haven't heard the story of Starchild Abraham Cherrix, you need to hear of him. He is a 16 year old with Hodgkin's Disease. Here is his basic story:

After three months of chemotherapy last year made him nauseated and weak, Abraham rejected doctors' recommendations to go through a second round when he learned early this year that his Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes, was active again.

A social worker then asked a judge to require the teen to continue conventional treatment. In May, the judge issued a temporary order finding Abraham's parents neglectful and awarding partial custody to the county,
with Abraham continuing to live at home with his four siblings.

I don't understand why the government feels that it needs to be involved in every family situation. Laws about medical right seem to outrightly contradict each other. Parents do not have the legal right to know if their child has HIV, because it is the child's right to withhold that information from their parents because the child's right to control his medical information and treatment under HIPAA. While I disagree and believe a parent needs to know if their child has HIV, it the law and would seem to contradict the ruling in Abraham's case. By restricting the information from parents, the government has said that a child know what is best for him or her. Abraham's family and Abraham feel that the standard medical treatment is not for him. If Abraham is choosing the course of treatment, why is some paper pusher more qualified to make the decision. I may disagree with the decision and feel it is unwise, but it is not my decision to make.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Trix are for kids!

My supervisor at work informed me of an interesting blog. This woman rates kids breakfast cereals. Finally, a topic worth blogging about.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


This evening, Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 8-10 central time, Paul Winkler is the tentatively scheduled guest on the Futurequake radio show. Paul Winkler is an investor coach with his own radio show, the Investor Coaching Show, on WLAC 1510AM in Nashville. The topic will be Strategies for Investing in the World of the Future. Basically how does all of the conflicts and brouhaha around the world change where one should invest his or her money. You can listen to the show online at If you have any questions that you would to ask, post them as a comment and the good doctor ask the question of Mr. Winkler. You can also email Dr. Future at with questions, show ideas, or plain old mental torture. I'm not the good doctor so it wont hurt me. I'm Emmett if you don't know.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Motorcycles are coooool!

Let's face it: everyone knows that motorcycles are cool, but not everyone knows how cool. There are several things that only someone who rides one can now about.

1. You smell more on a motorcycle. Yes, you probably do smell worse after riding on a motorcycle, but you smell more of the world around you. Every restaurant you pass, you can smell the individual odors of the cuisine served at each restaurant. When passing by flowers or woods, you can smell the scents of the buds and pollens. You realize that the scents of your community change more than you'd think.

2. The ride is more of an experience. Frankly, you're a little scared that you're not going to have face when you reach your destination, so your much more focused on your driving. This can be such a stress release because you don't have time to worry about work or whatever. It clears your head.

3. The gas mileage is amazing. I have a small motorcycle, so I get at least 75 mpg. I have got about 100 mpg when I was learning to ride and riding like a granny. You also get the moral high ground in any environmental debate, unlike the SUV driving, bonfire for global warming crowd.

4. It's like a fraternity. Everyone is friendlier on a motorcycle. Expect to be waved at while riding. I have even had 1 percenters admire my baby bike.

5. People are jealous of you. If you don't ride, admit it. You are. Pre-teen boys everywhere think that you are a god!

6. You get to dress up like an astronaut! Think of the fun you can have with the biker clothes that you couldn't have otherwise.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Israeli thing

I wish that I had something good to say about the stuff going on in the middle east, but I don't and am kind of shocked at how quickly things have been progressing or regressing. It seems amazing to me that the same government that unilaterally pulled out of the Gaza strip is attacking anything that moves. I would agree that Israel has the right to defend itself, but this seems like overkill literally. It's pretty scary to me.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Famous People

I have this compulsion to figure out which famous person everyone I meet looks like. The music minister at my church looks like David Hyde Pierce (Niles Crane), my brother in law looks like John Walker Lindh (the American Taliban), a woman I work with looks like Linda Carter (Wonder Woman), and I even think that a famous person, Josh Hartnett from Blackhawk Down, looks like Tommy Lee Jones from The Fugitive. I went to go see the new Pirates of the Caribean movie and the whole time that I'm watching the movie , I'm thinking Davy Jones looks exactly like... let's say Jane Doe! Jane Doe is the meanist nastiest woman I have ever had the dishonor to meet. This made me wonder, do these people look like the people I think that they do, or if I like the people, they look like actors or characters I like and if I don't like the person, they look like disgusting sea creatures.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I have been doing this blog for about a month and I am amazed at the number of spelling and grammer errors that I make. I can barely stand to read soem of the crap that I type. It looks like an eighth grader did it. No wonder my english teachers hated me. I use the grammer check, but it just looking for noun, verb, article, object, or whatever those english terms are. I even read some of it and don't catch the errors until they are already posted. The sentence structures that I use are also pretty scary. I sound like a cave man. I go to store. I write bad. Urgh!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Post Modernism-the post communism communism

In the Christian media you will hear references to post modernism and its evils and it is given the stigma that communism had in the past. It is described as the belief that there are no absolutes or moral relativism. The interesting thing about post modern philosophy is that it impossible to describe since there is no coherent post-modern philosophy; it is so ambiguous that its title "post-modern" is a description of what it is not rather than what it is.

There is no committee on post modern thought that determines whether an idea is post-modern enough to be truly post-modern, and people don't really think purely in one or even two philosophical systems. We have beliefs and understandings that make sense in one system and we have beliefs and understandings that make sense in another.

One aspect of post-modern thought is that it is impossible to view and understand the world from someone else's point of view. You can enlarge and expand your point of view, but you are always interpreting new information based on your unique experiences. An example of this is myself. I grew up in Chicago, but I lived in the south for the past 11 years. My understanding of southern life has expanded, but I never will have the true experience of a southerner. No matter how long I live here I will interpret southern life through my northern goggles.

I do not believe that post-modernism says that there is no absolute truth, simply that we view it from our individualized goggles that we simply can't take off. I believe that is why different Christian denominations have developed. Each denomination reveals a different aspects of that universal truth. Because it is impossible for us to see from all angles, we have limited understanding of God and his creation. The Bible even acknowledges that there is truth in other religions by including proverbs from other religions in the book of Proverbs, but obviously is not endorsing the entirety of those religions. This does not mean that all religions and denominations are equal; some goggles are dirtier and more out of focus than others.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 even says:

It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. (NLT)

This explains to me why 2 people can read the same passage in the Bible and interpret it 2 completely different ways and both be equally right (or wrong). It is not there is not absolute truth, but that we can not yet fully comprehend it.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

If it has skin on it

When I hear someone make a statement, I think that I analyze the statement based on my understanding of the topic, the evidence relating to the topic, and hopefully the merits or the lack thereof of their arguments. I know that is not always the case; someone I may not care for may offer a valid idea and I likely will not properly consider it. I get frustrated when I hear individuals get quoted and misquoted out of context or their entire persons being equated with one of their perhaps less than sound ideas. I guess that I am beating around the bush, but I do not want to do what I am complaining about people doing.

I will use Tony Campolo for an example. Tony Campolo is an amazing man who has been a prophet in the modern Christian community. His preaching and writings have influenced me so greatly that I know that I live my life differently than I would otherwise. There are those as of late in the evangelical Christian community who have criticized him and have discounted all of his ideas because of his concern and consideration of the homosexual community and his criticism of the blind allegiance of evangelical Christians to the Republican party. I have heard individuals criticize and summarize his beliefs in ways that reveal either that they have never read his books or are blatant misrepresentations of his writings.

While not everything that he says or writes is correct, it is not more wrong than the stuff I hear coming out of the mouths of more "orthodox" preachers. I wish that those "orthodox" preachers would honestly respond to Tony's statements and agrue points of theology and not attack his character as if all he had to say had no value.

I find this to be true of all theological persuasions. We like to attack the person rather than to tag team wrestle along side them to understand the world together through the eyes of faith.

2 Corinthians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Quoting Jack MacGorman quoting a preacher-"If it has skin on it, it is not the enemy."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Iron Butt

My wife's cousin got a new motorcycle and wanted to go ride Natchez Trace. I called him yesterday to arrange to go today, but he wasn't home. When I got up this morning, I still had the Trace on my brain, so I took off. I had only ridden the Trace one time before and I rode with guys from south of town, so I really didn't know the best way to get there. I took local roads from Nashville to Pasquo and it seemed like every road had some kind of lane closure, accident, or plain slow traffic. I got on the Trace and could only ride for 20 miles or so. I ate lunch and turned around and headed home. By the time I got home, I had been on the road for over 5 hours and my rear is still killing me 4 hours later. I think that I may have killed the flesh of my rear.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Nothing to talk about

Over the past few days I have been working like crazy. I haven't read the news. I haven't watched TV except for a couple Frazier reruns on DVD. Yesterday I worked 12 hours straight; I was so busy that I didn't even get hungry. For my waistline, I wish that could be the case all of the time, but I know what "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' means. Sometimes I wish that I had one of those jobs where you can tell people about your day, but I have one of those "If I told you, I would have to kill you" jobs. Well maybe not that bad. More like "If I told you I'd get my pants sued off" jobs.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Nuclear Bibles

This Sunday morning we had a speaker from the Gideons at our church. I grew up in the Chicago area and remember when I was in junior high school there were a couple of guys standing on the sidewalk surrounding the school. As my friends and I began walking home one of those guys started walking towards. We wondered what kind of child molester was going to attack us. Instead he gave us these nuclear orange New Testaments. Everyone was pretty freaked out, but relieved that it was just some guy giving out stuff. None of my friends were particularly religious and they did not appreciate being scared to death to be given something they didn’t want. When they got a suitable distance away they threw their Bibles on the ground. I tried to explain that the guy was just being nice and I felt bad and picked up the New Testaments and carried home 6 nuclear orange books.
I appreciate what the Gideons try to do by making Bibles available to people, but there are a few things I think that they need to deal with in today’s world. First of all is finding a more readable translation of the Bible to use. I can barely read the King James Bible and I grew up reading it. Also, don’t scare the crap out people you’re giving the Bibles to.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cat food conspiracy

Have you seen these Cat food packets? They contain the chopped up cat food that until recently you would only find in a can. There are several different brands of cat food using this packaging but they probably all owned by the same company so I guess it is not technically a conspiracy. You rip open the top and pour out the food and when you're done the package still feels full, because there are pieces of cat [food] stuck to the sides. I just recently resorted to using a spoon to try scrape as much out as possible. The only reason we buy these things is because our cat is getting fat but, I think the true goal of this packaging is to make as purchase more packages to serve our cats the same amount of food.