An Appeal Upon Returning.

Hello again,

It’s been longer than I realized since I’ve written here, and I have some ideas on how I’d like to improve my blog as I return to it. I think it will help me organize my ideas if I refocus on a few major topics. Writing and books, science and other geeky news, and gaming, mostly. There will still be an occasional recipe and other randomness, because I love finding new things to share.

Today I’ve signed up for an event on short notice, and I’m sorry I couldn’t give more fair warning. I’m seeking sponsors for the Extra Life gaming marathon this Saturday, October 15th. I’ll be playing one of my favorite old MMOs – Anarchy Online.

Here’s a link to my sponsor page:

Extra Life - Play Games. Heal Kids.

All the proceeds from the marathon are going to support Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. I’m playing in support of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital here in Cleveland, Ohio. I think it’s hard to find a family in Cleveland whose life hasn’t been touched by the skilled teams at this hospital. I had friends growing up who might not have lived without the care they received there. And I have friends now whose children are thriving thanks to their incredible doctors.

I’ll be straight-up honest with you guys: I don’t plan to play a full 24 hours on this. I just can’t with my family’s crazy schedule. They come first, gaming is just for fun. I just thought it might be nice to use my fun time to give back a little. If you have the money to spare, please click through and pledge what you can. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

Thanks for your support,

Geargoyle

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Donate Your Brain to Science Today!

Donate Your Brain

As amazing as computers are, there are some things they can’t do as well as human minds. Visual processing and pattern recognition happen so quickly and on such an unconscious level for us that it’s practically a superpower, and it can take years to teach a computer how to even begin narrowing down false-positive matches and the like. Our scientific computer-driven tools are burying us in data that could take generations to sift through for useful discoveries. With all that in mind, I love seeing how today’s scientists are teaming up with game designers to crowd-source research to those of us with free time to give.

I’ve participated in distributed computing projects like SETI@home and BOINC off and on for years, donating processing power from my home computer to crunch data-sets for all kinds of projects and research. As satisfying as that is, it is a very impersonal kind of donation. All you need to do is install some software, choose the projects and let it run. I know my donations were valuable, but I didn’t feel very involved. The newer generation of ‘Citizen Science’ projects are putting the data into volunteer’s hands in a more direct and exciting way.

Click below to read my reviews of three Citizen Science sites I enjoy!

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