The University of California’s Berkley Space Sciences Laboratory has issued a press release asking volunteers to join the seti@home program.  The program is receiving a burst of data from the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico and they need more computers for crunching the data. Yup, it’s a slow news day in the energy and fuel area.  So, I was looking for something worthwhile to post about.  If you don’t know, and I didn’t –

SETI@home, now eight years old has signed more than 5 million volunteers to date.  The current community offers 170,000 devotees and 320,000 computers.  New and sensitive receivers at Arecibo are generating 500 times the data than previously.  SETI is offering better software now to deal with it all.  Dan Werthimer offers that all this means man has 500 times the opportunity to listen in to another civilization.

The numbers rum to 300 gigabytes a day, or 100 terabytes per year, which is why they’re asking for more volunteers.

Here are the websites.  For more information and the original press release, UC Berkley.  Then here is the home page, SETI@home which is chock full of interesting news, information and participation details.

Robert Rapier Gets Busted!

My heart goes out to Robert Rapier who was accosted by the local game authorities in Oklahoma to the tune of $1500.  For his reasoned and kindly post about the event click here.  While this is another off topic post, the events that affect Mr. Rapier are not off topic at all.  Mr. Rapier is one of my most respected writers on energy and fuel and what ever affects him will affect everyone to some small degree.  OK, three tickets isn’t a huge deal, but I have been accosted by game officials in another state in a similar way.  No love here for sly, opportunistic, misrepresenting officers of the law.  I just believe Mr. Rapier and my personal experiences with this class of law enforcement supports many stories of extorting citizens.

On the other hand – I have family and friends in law enforcement and this sort of thing is a huge embarrassment that makes doing a good job more difficult and dangerous.  There seems to be “reasonable cause” and other tidbits that are supposed to be trained into the law officers and sorely overlooked in Mr. Rapier’s case, like hearing or seeing the discharge of a firearm, observing the tracking or hunting, and finding game carcasses.  That makes the trailing group officers sorely misinformed about what is proper conduct.  The public needs the officer’s name and badge number and Mr. Rapier needs a lawyer.  I know lots of cattlemen who have spotlights and firearms in their vehicles and confiscating Mr. Rapier’s father in law’s property is just stealing.  I am quite upset on behalf of good law enforcement people, victims of bad law enforcement officers, children who learn that law enforcement can be quite bad, and the rest of us who must pay the expense of these “crimes against the innocent.”

My only problem with Mr. Rapier’s side is assuming that “90% of the time” is just wrong.  I have a spotlight in all my vehicles for after dark emergencies and have used one once in support of a sheriff’s deputy trying to aid a person injured in an accident.  I doubt that the Oklahoma game officer is thinking he can make it stick, I think he was showing off, abusing his public confidence, and taking advantage of someone he thinks is from far enough away not to set the record straight.  Shame on the officer’s department, supervisors, and the whole state of Oklahoma.   But its not a rare or isolated thing any more, thievin’ is thievin’ even when the law does it.


4 Comments so far

  1. JD on January 4, 2008 12:26 AM

    Reference Rapier’s problem. He has my sympathy. I grew up in that state and spent quite a few years there. I never met any wildlife officers there who weren’t punks. He definetly needs to get a lawyer and fight it out. If he lets it slide it will come back to bite him in a few years with some employer or project.

  2. Gary Lamprey on May 27, 2011 10:08 AM

    I would like to say “wow” what a inspiring post. This is really great. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

  3. Adelle Duggin on September 1, 2011 1:37 PM

    I REALLY liked your post and blog! It took me a minute bit to find your site…but I bookmarked it. Would you mind if I posted a link back to your post?

  4. Werner Legoullon on September 16, 2011 2:04 PM

    Interesting read, perhaps the best article iv’e browse today. We learn everyday cheers to you!

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