September 2004


leucinezip-tm.jpg Folding@home, a non-profit research project at Stanford University is trying to understand the structure of proteins so they can develop better treatments for a number of illnesses. By enabling your computer to work on complex problems when it would otherwise be idle, the work it does is automatically sent via the Internet to researchers who combine it with information sent by thousands of other users.

Folding@Home is a distributed computing project which studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. Through computational methods and large scale distributed computing which allows the simulation of folding for the first time, this is a more direct approach to examining folding related disease.

The Folding@Home Distributed Computing

Are all the facts and figures, tidbits of information and historical knowledge, all worth knowing? Some people consider them useless. Like what would you care that the first modern humans emerged from Africa 100,000 years ago? Or that the capital of Liberia is Monrovia? Or that the GDP of Japan is $4368 billion?

Most people think that all you need to know is what you need to know in life, in your little circle which you call your world. But if you choose to be ignorant of those things which you consider trivial, and if you prefer to limit your understanding of the world, then don’t be surprised that the emerging civilisation–the majority of which will be non-Christian and half the population of which will be Asian– will be one that you will not understand and cannot understand.

think again banner.jpeg John Locke once said that the mind is a fire to be ignited, not a pot to be filled. These math problems are seeds to start you thinking. If a problem is too hard, simplify it. If a problem is too easy, generalise it. If a problem is not to your taste, solve a similar problem.

Think Again! by Jan Nordgreen

There are good journalists and there are bad ones. There are objective writings and there are opinionated ones. Those people, who should have never been in the world of jounalism with their poor views, do give serious writers a bad name. But this sensationalist trash we see so much of somehow sell.

Serious writers and objective journalism on mainstream media are few indeed. These few writers are unfortunately getting killed for telling the truth or for being in a dangerous environment. We have a lot of respect for these serious and dedicated journalists.

But there is something terribly wrong with the mainstream media. Publishers and editors are greatly influenced by those in power be it in politics or the private sector, to print or to write about certain events with a particular slant or to not write about these events at all.

There is a new kind of writing we see today which can be found on millions of websites and discussion forums on the Net. Some are objective and some are opinionated. We complain about freedom of speech and biased writing, but what we criticise the mainstream media for is to be found also on the Net.

Philippine Journalists Murdered for Reporting on Government Corruption and Drug Lords
Be Careful What You Say on the Net

Reporters Without Borders
Committee to Protect Journalists

Rules of Ethics in Journalism

Be the master of your mind.jpg   Frank E. Reynolds, Ph.D., Professor of History of Religions and Buddhist Studies, University of Chicago: The original home of Zen Buddhism was India, but it was not until it was carried to China, then to Korea and Japan, that it reached its fullest potential.

The essence of Zen is that all beings are already enlightened. They simply do not know it yet. The goal of Zen, therefore, is to awaken people to their own spiritual nature and this is accomplished through meditation.

source: no. 1, pp. 72-75

The goal of Zen is the attainment of a state of spiritual enlightenment called satori. Zen Buddhists believe meditation is the key to achieving satori. There are two major schools of Zen, Rinzai and Soto. Followers of Rinzai meditate on the meaning of baffling riddles called koans while sitting cross-legged. People who practice Soto meditate in the same position. They also read from the sacred works of Mahayana Buddhism, another East Asian form of the religion. Zen Buddhists believe physical labor contributes to the attainment of enlightenment. They work closely with a teacher called the master, who guides their search for satori.

Zen developed in China, where it is called Chan. According to legend, an Indian monk named Bodhidharma first taught its principles in China in the A.D. 500’s. Two Japanese priests, Eisai and Dogen, introduced Chan into Japan. Eisai founded the Rinzai school in the 1100’s, and Dogen established the Soto school in the 1200’s. Zen Buddhism is practiced primarily in Japan and has greatly influenced Japanese culture.

arabiannights2-thumb.gif    A Thousand Nights and a Night

An hour before daybreak Dinarzade awoke, and exclaimed, as she had promised, “My dear sister, if you are not asleep, tell me I pray you, before the sun rises, one of your charming stories. It is the last time that I shall have the pleasure of hearing you.”

Scheherazade did not answer her sister, but turned to the Sultan. “Will your highness permit me to do as my sister asks?” said she.

“Willingly,” he answered. So Scheherazade began…

polytechnique.jpg France is a beautiful country; each region is unique in architecture, landscape and history. This nation’s culture and way of life are the most civilised in the world, and the French have strongly influenced the sciences, literature, social discourse, the arts, diplomacy and philosophy.

But what stands out as much as their contribution to the global culture is their educational system. France has superior schools, the Grandes Ecoles, specialised in forming the top executives of their nation, be it in government or the private sector. France provides its youth with a national objective.

France is a nation with a rich cultural heritage. It is a nation of brilliant achievements.

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